During our second week at work in Richmond, we reviewed proposed laws in the three committees I serve on; Transportation, Science and Technology, and Education. I’m glad to report some big news on the legislative front!
First, two bills are set to move forward soon that need action on your part. My bill to create Education Savings Accounts for Virginia students has crossed its first big hurdle and passed the House Education Committee! It still needs to move on to the House Appropriations Committee and then the full House, but I am optimistic it will pass both this year as it did last year. Now is a good time to call your senator, your delegate, (if it’s someone other than me), and let your friends know to call their representatives too, and tell them they want school choice! It saves the Commonwealth money, leaves local districts with more per-pupil funding, and it will improve educational outcomes in and out of public school – what more could you want?
Next, I also believe my bill to protect 20-week-old pain-capable unborn babies will be up for a hearing soon as well. We’ve made some small changes to this bill to help it advance this year, but the concept is still identical to what it was last year. At 20 weeks gestation, we know through solid scientific evidence that unborn babies feel pain. This isn’t just one more good reason to give them legal protection, it also provides a constitutional basis to grant them protection according to Supreme Court decisions. Again – your phone calls to your representatives will be key to making sure this important protection advances! More information on the bill and who to contact is here.
Finally, I have exciting news! In the next few days I’m going to kill my HB260, the bill to ensure that local police officers can’t hold up a legal firearms transfer by refusing to sign off on a transferee’s paperwork. Why am I excited about killing my bill? Because after we (and other states) pushed this legislation forward, and after McAuliffe vetoed it last year under the ridiculous rationale that it would endanger communities, and after thousands of people contacted their state and national elected officials, the federal government has decided they are just going to quit asking for these sign-offs altogether! Apparently, this is one fight Obama and the democrats don’t want to have again in an election year. Put that one in the WIN column!
Another update – this week I met with folks at National Capital Lyme to discuss my bill to make sure that patients receive accurate information at the conclusion of a Lyme disease test. Right now this is still an issue, as many patients are being positively assured that they do not have Lyme based on outdated assumptions when they do, in fact, have the disease. Lyme continues to be a serious problem for our community, and this is one step we need to take.
Bills to watch: I have two bills specifically intended to help school children. House Bill 168 will help discourage drivers passing school buses when kids are getting on and off the buses and House Bill 1132 which will relax the law regarding what incidents principals are required to report to law enforcement. Currently, the Code of Virginia requires schools to report more than 40 different offenses to law enforcement – even misdemeanors and behavior that is not a crime. If passed, this bill would restore to school teachers and administrators the ability to use their own professional judgment in deciding what behavior to report to law enforcement unless that behavior could result in a felony charge. For more insight on this, go here: http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/CNB_JuvJustice.pdf
A bill that will help expose the duplicity of our governor’s treatment of 2nd Amendment rights, Del. Matt Farris’ HB 1338, proposes disarming Governor McAuliffe’s personal security detail. Seems fair that if he thinks you don’t have the right to personal protection, neither does he!
While jobs and economic development must be a priority, the governor must not lose sight of the need for accountability. Just this week it was revealed that the Governor’s Opportunity Fund might have been fleeced to the tune of $1.4 million. It was granted to a Chinese company that promised to open a factory in Appomattox that never materialized.
I assure you that I’ll be pushing to make sure the progress we’ve realized in reforming transportation spending will be mirrored in the area of economic development spending. That means our taxpayer dollars should only go to projects with a solid potential to yield a strong return on the investment.
As always, I enjoy your visits! This was a busy week of events and some great folks visited:
Monday: Americans for Prosperity activists from Northern Virginia
National Right to Life and Virginia Society for Human Life
Tuesday Morning: Conservative Caucus press Conference
Wednesday: Education Committee hearing on my Common Core bill
Wednesday afternoon: First of the weekly meetings of the Rural Caucus
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
Thursday evening: School Choice event in Winchester
Friday: session was canceled, so I was able to attend the March for Life in Washington, DC with Abby, John and Charlotte