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Making Progress and Some Pictures I Think You’ll Enjoy

 

Dear Friends,

The 2022 Session is well underway and we are excited to update you. Several bills I initiated this year in the House of Delegates are making progress, receiving bipartisan support, and we are working hard to get them passed.

My first bill to pass the House and move over to the Senate was HB 793, which aims to improve VDOT Traffic Incident Management vehicles’ response time to help clear serious accidents and get traffic flowing again. 

Also, my bills to require absentee ballots be returned before polls close and amending the Lovettsville town charter reported out of Committees yesterday and will see action on the floor next week.



DULLES GREENWAY-BACKED BILL GOES DOWN

I was pleased with Thursday’s unanimous Transportation Committee vote to defer consideration of HB 859, brought to the General Assembly by Del. Reid on behalf of the Greenway’s owners. The bill was continued to next year’s session, allowing continued discussion of how to lower tolls and if distance-based tolling without higher tolls is possible.

A study completed in January 2020, pursuant to legislation by former Sen. Dick Black and I, made it clear that the amount of debt the Greenway owners have accrued is a barrier to a possible transition of the road to state control. This has occurred in the past partly because the Greenway has successfully enlisted the legislature to manipulate the Highway Corporation Act to their benefit. I aim to work with others to put an end to that.

For over 13 years, the Greenway’s owners have had their way with toll increases, to the detriment of Greenway users. This year’s bill was obviously designed to increase Greenway profits through higher tolls in the future. Defeat of this bill was a team effort by Loudoun County staff, supervisors, and some of the legislators who represent Loudoun, and sends a message to the Greenway owners that they cannot continue to line the pockets of foreign investors by changing the rules through the legislature. 

The push to pass this bill was intense and so was the resistance; the outcome is a win for Loudoun residents and businesses and all Greenway users. I am grateful for the Transportation Committee’s deference shown to the Board of Supervisors and to me as the only member of the majority party representing Loudoun County on the Transportation Committee and in the House of Delegates. I expect to be part of future discussions on how best to lower tolls and to make full use of the Greenway, as well as the Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Airport Access Highway, as affordable alternatives to Rt. 7, Rt. 28, and I-66.

Here is an excellent summary of what goes on behind the scenes with management of the Greenway.

 

PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION MOVING FORWARD

The first of the House Republican Caucus' priority pro-life bills, freshman Del. Greenhalgh’s HB 212, passed by a 5-3 vote in a Courts subcommittee Friday afternoon, marking the first time abortion-related legislation has been on the docket for the House in three years. This bill reinstates informed consent requirements for obtaining an abortion, requiring the same standards we put in place for informing patients receiving prescription drugs or most any routine medical procedure. 

There was powerful testimony given by a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, now pro-life advocate, Kelly Lester, saying Planned Parenthood abortion centers routinely misinform young women and rush them toward abortion. I was so moved by her dramatic testimony and the miraculous change in her life. I recommend you go to her website, proloveministries.com. From her personal testimony of restoration: Kelly questioned, “But God, do you know the things I’ve done?” until she came to a place of surrender to God’s answer, “Yes, Kelly, but if you follow me, I will make beauty from ashes.” 

My seatmate in the House chamber, Nick Freitas, presented HB 304 The Born Alive Infant Protection Act (identical to my HB 1349) at the same subcommittee, and it also was voted out 5-3. This proposed bill requires every medical provider licensed by the Board of Medicine who attempts to terminate a pregnancy to (i) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of a human infant who has been born alive following such attempt as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age and (ii) take all reasonable steps to ensure the immediate transfer of the human infant who has been born alive to a hospital for further medical care. A physician who fails to comply with the requirements of this act is guilty of a Class 4 felony and may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Medicine. 

Testimony in the subcommittee included a woman who survived 3 failed attempts to end her life through abortion. She now advocates for the thousands of yet- to- be- born infants who need this bill to pass so they will be treated as human beings. You can view video of the hearing on both Pro-life bills here.

Join us in Richmond Wednesday, February 9, for Defending Life Day (https://vaprolifeday.org/) to support our Pro-life leaders and urge your legislators to support protection of babies and their mothers!

 

2ND AMENDMENT LEGISLATION ADVANCING, AND GUN CONTROL DEFEATED

House Bill 827, which repeals local gun control, PASSED on the House Floor Thursday, on a 52-48 vote. This bill restores Virginia’s firearm preemption law to prevent localities from passing their own restrictions on Second Amendment rights. It will now move to the Senate for further consideration.Ever since the General Assembly allowed them to do so, anti-gun jurisdictions have created a confusing patchwork of carry restrictions that are difficult to know and obey and result in arbitrary boundaries that disarm law-abiding citizens without doing anything to keep armed criminals out.

Over in the Senate, SB 487 is a bad bill that is moving forward. The sole focus on firearms and the description of the proposed “center” make it clear this is political and not about finding solutions. Violence is violence. The violent person is the problem, not whatever tool that is used. Please contact your Senator urging him or her to oppose this bill.

All of the anti-gun bills in the House have been killed. Dozens of bills are still pending, and you may follow VCDL’s status updates here.

 

MY OTHER LEGISLATION MAKING PROGRESS

Monday, the full Education Committee will vote on two of my bills: HB 789 Providing parental opt-in rather than opt-out for family life education and HB 1100 to help ensure our public school buildings meet standards for maintenance and operations.

Early next week in subcommittees, we have two bills up Monday morning - HB 788 to improve the existing Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit (EISTC) program, and HB 1024 Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts. The following morning, I will present HB 787 to prohibit political indoctrination like CRT in our public schools, and HB 1036 limiting school boards’ powers re. mask mandates.

Several of my bills have been incorporated into other similar or identical House bills, including the following:

COVID-19 Response and Medical Freedom:

  • HB 783 Providing a religious exception to “emergency” vaccines – Moving forward as HB 306
  • HB 976 Restore power to doctors, pharmacists and patients for off-label uses of FDA-approved medications– Moving forward as HB 102

Elections and Voting Reform:

  • HB 941 Stopping voter registration up through Election Day – Moving forward as HB 185
  • HB 942 Photo ID required for voting – Moving forward as HB 46
  • HB 945 Absentee voting in-person available only 14 days prior to election (down from 45 days) – Moving forward as HB 39
  • HB 1101 Prohibiting outside organizations from selectively funding elections – Moving forward as HB 205

Several of my other bills, including one to limit executive branch emergency powers to protect fundamental rights, one to provide transparency and accountability in law enforcement collective bargaining agreements, and more, will be heard later this week, as Friday is the deadline for most legislation to be voted out of committees and to the House Floor.



SCHOOL BOARDS VIOLATING THE GOVERNOR'S ODER AND PARENTS' RIGHTS

Last week, I wrote a letter of support to freedom-fighter students and parents, and visited with some at Woodgrove High School.

We expected the Supreme Court to quickly issue opinions supporting the Governor's Executive Order 2, Reaffirming the Rights of Parents in The Upbringing, Education, and Care Of Their Children, but so far that has not happened. I stand solidly with parents and students who are exercising their rights, even while being targeted by suspension, isolation, refusal of in-person instruction, and other irrational and illegal retaliatory actions of the Loudoun and Frederick County School Boards and staff.

Judge Louise DiMatteo of Arlington County Circuit Court yesterday issued a temporary restraining order against EO2, applying only in the cities of Alexandria, Hampton, Falls Church and Richmond, and the counties of Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington and does not mean even those localities have to require masks. Local school boards can continue to make their own decisions, and should continue to allow parents to make decisions.

The Commonwealth recognizes in § 1-240.1 of the Code of Virginia, that “a parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child." Ultimately that’s what this is all about — fighting for the rights of parents, and we won’t stop standing up for those rights.

The next legal battle is expected in Loudoun County, where a group of parents, backed by Attorney General Miyares, are seeking an injunction against the school board.

The Governor believes that ultimately the Virginia Supreme Court will decide the issue, and that they will affirm the rights of parents who believe it is in their child’s best interest. The Governor's spokeswoman said, "The governor will never stop fighting for parents’ ability to choose what is best for their children. The governor often said that this is not a pro-mask or anti-mask debate. It’s about parents knowing what’s best for their child’s health, and opting-out should there be a mask mandate. More voices, including from the scientific and medical community, call into question the efficacy behind a universal mask mandate for children. This is about what’s best for their kid’s health and who can best make that decision. We are going to appeal, this is just the first step in the judicial process."

Please consider signing the petition asking Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares to go even further to protect medical and religious freedom!

 

Thanks again for the honor of serving you. Please keep my family, staff and me in your prayers.

Sincerely,

If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email my office at 540-751-8364 or DelDLaRock@house.virginia.gov. You can also follow my campaign on Twitter @LaRock4Delegate and my Facebook page to keep up to date. I'm also now on MeWe and Telegram.

 

PICTURES OF RECENT EVENTS AND VISITORS

My wife Joanne and I watching the inauguration of Governor Youngkin, Attorney General Miyares, and our friend and 33rd House District constituent, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears

 

Following his "State of the Commonwealth" Address, Governor Youngkin and the First Lady invited all 140 legislators to a reception at the Executive Mansion. It's such a breath of fresh air to have a Governor working for us and our shared values, instead of the last eight years of liberal opposition to everything we tried to do.

Please keep Governor Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, all 140 legislators, and all their families and staff in your prayers, especially for wisdom, health and safety during this stressful and extremely busy legislative session.

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman discussing law enforcement issues; I've introduced a budget amendment to restore state funding for Sheriff Deputies in localities

 

My first meeting serving as a transportation subcommittee chairman

 

Farm Bureau Day visitors, including constituent Brian Walsh, Frederick County School Board Chairman Brandon Monk and Clarke County Supervisor Bev McKay

 

Constituent Bill Orndoff representing SVEC on electric co-op day

 

Representatives of the Moose Lodges shared with me about the great work local charitable organizations are doing in our communities

Town Council members Joel Grewe and Erin Rayner from Purcellville and Kari Nancy from Leesburg visited on Local Government Day

 

With freshman Delegate A.C. Cordoza, whose application to join the Legislative Black Caucus was rejected because he is conservative. Watch his floor speech here, and read more about it here.

 

Trying out the Civil Air Patrol's flight simulator at the annual Aviation and Aerospace Reception. The transportation subcommittee I chair handles legislation dealing with airports, so I'm looking forward to learning more about the opportunities to expand aviation in the Commonwealth!

 
 

Get in touch and stay connected:

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DelDLaRock@house.virginia.gov

District Office: P.O. Box 6, Hamilton, Virginia 20159 (540) 751-8364

Paid for and authorized by Dave LaRock for Delegate


Paid for and Authorized by Dave LaRock for Delegate
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