General Assembly Update (1/12/11)
At noon today, the 2011 General Assembly Session officially began with a prayer and the passage of two procedural resolutions. With hundreds of bills filed and at least $191 million in budget cuts proposed, there is much business to address during this short, 45-day session.
I have filed bills on a number of subjects, from government transparency, to renewable energy development, to bike safety. Here are just a few of them:
- HB 1869: requires the budget conference committee to issue reports to inform members and the public of any non-state appropriations or other line-items that were not in either house’s budget bill or that represent legislation that failed in either house. This bill will add more transparency to the budget process.
- HB 1870: requires corporations and other entities that received state monies for the purpose of economic development to issue reports on the actual jobs created so that the state may spend tax-payer money more efficiently.
- HB 1685 and HB 1686: expands support for renewable energy by allowing agricultural customers to aggregate their meters, thereby making large manure-to-energy and other renewable projects more feasible, and by authorizing the State Corporation Commission to create a pilot program to allow greater use of solar energy in more densely populated areas.
- HB 1683: prohibits motor vehicles from following a bicycle too closely and mandates a three-foot passing distance around bikes.
- HB 1871: increases the minimum number of “seat-hours” required in Virginia’s public schools by a day’s equivalent every year for 10 years beginning in 2012.
I appreciate the many responses I have received so far to my 2011 Constituent Survey. You may have seen the ad placed in the Hook (soon to appear in C’Ville Weekly, as well) and you may have received a survey in the mail. Please fill out the survey — you may also do so online — and let me know what your priorities are this Session, so that I may better serve the 57th District.
Please also feel free to contact my office any time with questions, concerns, or suggestions. My number in Richmond is (804) 698-1057 and you may reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to serving you in the coming weeks.