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News
Here’s why protesters say they’ll line up against Corey Stewart tomorrow night

Submitted: 

“A coalition of community organizations will hold a protest/rally prior to the PW BOCS next meeting scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, at the McCoart Building, 1 County Complex, Woodbridge, VA. Additionally, coalition members and others will be speaking at citizens time during the Board meeting.

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News
Austion wants to create opportunity through education

Laquan Austion is currently running for the 2nd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Austion submitted responses to our Project: Election survey posted below the jump.

Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 

6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing voters in your district?

Austion: Transportation, Education, Fostering an environment for opportunities and upward mobility (more…)

News
Scarborough reappointed to Prince William Electoral Board

From Keith Scarborough:

Keith Scarborough has been reappointed to another 3-year term on the Prince William County Electoral Board by the Circuit Court of Prince William County. Working with the General Registrar, the Electoral Board is responsible for overseeing all voter registration and election activities in the County.

A Lake Ridge resident, Scarborough is an attorney for an advertising trade association in Washington, D.C. He was first appointed to the Electoral Board in 2007 and is currently serving as Secretary. (more…)

Dudenhefer bills on Widewater State Park, school nursers ‘crossover’

From Delegate Mark Dudenhefer: 

Hello from your state capitol in Richmond. As of February 3rd, the House has completed 24 of the 45 days of the 2017 session. On Sunday, February 5th, the committees responsible for the budget bills unveiled their complete proposals. Two important deadlines are happening this week. One of the deadlines is called “Crossover” the deadline with which each chamber must complete work on bills that originated in their chamber. Thursday the House will vote on their version of the budget.

Things to Mention:

1. HB 1691 Widewater Bill

This bill authorizes the Department of Conservation and Recreation to convey some property to the Widewater Beach Subdivision Citizens Association. This bill passed the House today and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

2. HB 1829 CPR Bill

This bill requires that teachers seeking or renewing a teacher’s license are required to demonstrate hands-on training of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It is imperative that hands-on training is included in the curriculum for emergency first aid training. The bill was approved by the House and is awaiting Senate action.

3. HB 1769 Malicious Bodily Injury or Laser Pointing at U.S. Armed Forces

The bill adds uniformed members of the United States Armed Forces, including members of the Virginia National Guard, to the list of persons the malicious or unlawful wounding of whom, or the pointing of a laser at whom, is subject to an enhanced penalty. Unfortunately, the Court and Justice Committee chose not to hear this legislation citing funding shortfalls.

4. HB 1757 School Nurses

This bill requires that each local school board employ at least one full-time equivalent school nurse in each school or one nurse for every 550 students. After passing the committee on Education, the bill was tabled in the Appropriation Committee for lack of funds. Even though the bill failed, it was important to raise awareness of the importance of a school nurse in every school.

Progress on Possum Point, and 2% teacher raises

The last week of January was especially busy as the General Assembly approached February 7th – Crossover – the day we are required to complete all work on bills originating in our chamber. The bills saved for last usually involve the hardest issues to resolve.

Out of the 40 bills I introduced twenty-two have passed the Senate or are poised for passage before Crossover.

Last week saw another victory for water quality. This session, I introduced three bills to help control water pollution caused by coal ash. One of my bills was reported by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee over the objection of Dominion Power. The bill prohibits the issuance of any final permits until Dominion to identifies and describes all water pollution occurring at coal ash ponds and demonstrate corrective measures, evaluate coal ash removal or “clean closure,” and demonstrate that leaving coal ash in place or “cap in place” will not put the community at risk during hurricanes, floods or other major weather events.

Also, the legislation also requires Dominion to evaluate options to recycle coal ash using new technologies and identify locations where recycling might work. Coal ash recycling is being used in George, North and South Carolina to clean the environment and create jobs. Coal ash is used in concrete and we currently import significant amounts of coal ash into the United States from China. I am hopeful the bill will pass the full Senate next week.

On Sunday, the Senate Finance Committee announced its proposed amendments to the State Budget. The good news is that the Committee found a way to fund 2% raises for teachers along with other state employees, and extra raises for court clerks and especially our State Police. The House Budget does not include a pay raise for teachers so that is not guaranteed. The bad news is that my request for funding the next stage of construction at Widewater State Park was not funded, nor my request to fill two vacant but authorized Fairfax County Judgeships.

Several of my other bills passed the Senate this week. First, my legislation requiring 30-days’ notice before any tuition increase is voted on passed the Senate unanimously. The Senate also passed my bill making it easier to hold drunk driver’s liable for punitive damages in civil cases and legislation which requires community colleges and universities to publish lists of courses that are guaranteed to be given credit to transfer students. Many students take the wrong classes – this costs students more tuition and causes them to take up space at our four-year colleges that other students could fill when classes must be retaken.

The Senate also passed my legislation that creates and electronic government document authentication system. The Federal Government and other states have already taken steps to electronically authenticate government records. If implemented, this allows citizens to access official copies of official records – such as vital records, deeds, or government licenses – must faster and saves taxpayer dollars.

We will experience Crossover this week, debate on the State Budget and we will begin debate on bills from the House of Delegates.

Please come to my town halls on Saturday, February 11 at 9:00 a.m. at Walt Whitman Intermediate School and 1:00 p.m. at Hayfield Elementary School. Also, please complete my constituent survey at www.scottsurovell.org/survey.

I look forward to your feedback and appreciate your input. It is an honor to serve as your State Senator.

Traffic
McPike drops bill that would require HOT lanes to post estimated travel time with toll price; State says it’ll address later

Submitted by Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike’s office: 

Senator McPike asked me to share a few pieces of information as it relates to his efforts to improve commuter fairness in Northern Virginia.

He introduced Senate Bill 1536, a bill to require operators of dynamic tolling facilities in Northern Virginia to included the estimated travel time, along with the price, for each posted destination. Consumers need all the information to make an informed choice about whether a high fare is worth it for them. Nothing is worse than paying the high toll and then getting trapped in gridlock in the facility.

After introducing and presenting the bill to the Senate Transportation Committee this week, Senator McPike struck the legislation with the guarantee from Secretary Layne that VDOT would work to address this issue in the coming year.  If it is not addressed, Senator McPike intends to introduce this legislation again next year.
From the letter: 
“…I have directed the Virginia Department of Transportation to evaluate and experiment with implementing portions of your proposal in a manner that would not create a compensation event with our private partners on I-95, I-495, and I-66.

VDOT will provide the public with information regarding travel times in the general purpose lanes compared to the travel times in the parallel express lanes to similar destinations. “

News
‘Ed Gillespie will be in Manassas tomorrow for a small business roundtable’

Photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore

From Manassas Park City Councilman Preston Banks: 

I hope everything is going well.  This is just an FYI to let you know that Ed Gillespie will be in Manassas tomorrow for a small business roundtable at 10:00 a.m. at Jirani Coffee House. It’s part of campaign for Governor.  

https://smallbizroundtablemanassas.eventbrite.com

News
Manassas business owner invited to the White House

President Donald Trump invited small business leaders to discuss regulatory concerns and business growth this week. 

From Jacqueline Krick, CEO of ECU Communications in Manassas:

President Trump invited small business owners from various parts of the country to a small business discussion focusing on the issues that affect small businesses. Many of the issues raised were similar in nature and included, access to capital, regulatory reform, and taxation. (more…)

Cyclist safety, and tuition transparency bills passed

Week three saw our General Assembly in full swing and movement on many bills – on Wednesday, eleven of my bills were heard in one day!

First, over 100 residents came out for my two Town Halls in Prince William County. There were many questions about my “hand’s free” legislation, coal ash legislation, increasing teacher salaries, tuition affordability, predatory lending, and other issues. (more…)

Bus rapid transit on Route 1 ranks low on state priority list

Three of my bills have been passed by the Senate and moved on to the House.  Mostly importantly, we reached a compromise solution that will require the City of Alexandria to have measures in place to prevent 95% of all raw sewage discharges into the Potomac River by 2025.

Reaching this conclusion was not easy and the City is not happy about it, but water quality is a concern to all Virginia’s regardless of political party.  The resolution would not have occurred without the help of City of Alexandria Senator Adam Ebbin and Committee Chairman Richard Stuart who represents the Northern Neck.

Second, I also introduced legislation this session to require Virginia to take the initial steps to start regulating internet lenders.  Today, Native American Indian Tribes and foreign companies are making loans to Virginians over the internet.  Interest rates between 300% and 5,000% have been documented in the state.  My legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support and headed to the House of Delegates. 

Also, we received mixed news on the funding of widening U.S. 1 and the construction of bus rapid transit.   Two years ago, the General Assembly enacted legislation to require all transportation projects to be objectively scored for congestion relief, economic development, safety, environmental benefits, and relative cost before being acted upon by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.  The intent was to remove politics from the road funding process.

First, the 36th District has more users of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) than any other district in Virginia.  The funding analysis recommended $92 million of funding to help capacity improvements for VRE.  VRE already takes one lane’s worth of cars off I-95 and improving VRE is critical to reducing congestion on I-95.

However, Fairfax County submitted two applications for the widening of U.S.1 and the construction of bus rapid transit.  Fairfax County’s applications were ranked 40 and 41st out of 60 in Northern Virginia and were not recommended for funding although two other projects in western Fairfax County were recommended for $100 million of funding.  Myself, Senator Ebbin, and Delegates Krizek and Sickles have already met with the Department of Transportation to examine how to improve our application when funding is re-examined in two years.

Also, all of Prince William County’s applications for U.S. 1 funding were ranked poorly and not recommended for funding.  I will be setting up meetings with my Prince William colleagues to improve those applications. 

This week, I have several bills up in committee to improve cycling safety.  Also, my bill to require thirty-days notice before any university can increase tuition will be considered.  Tuition costs have skyrocketed and the public deserves more notice and input before tuition is increased.

If you would like more information regarding my legislation, please go to my online newsletter (scottsurovell.blogspot.com), my website (www.scottsurovell.org), “like” me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/surovell) or send me an email at scott@scottsurovell.org.  It is an honor to serve as your state senator.  

News
McPike law would make tax returns mandatory to get on presidential ballot

RICHMOND, Va. – In a slap at President Donald Trump, two Democratic legislators are pushing for a state law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to get on the ballot in Virginia.

Del. Mark Levine of Alexandria and Sen. Jeremy McPike of Woodbridge filed their legislation after Trump refused to make his tax returns public during the Republican nominee’s successful presidential campaign last fall. It had been a tradition for presidential hopefuls to disclose their tax filings; candidates had done so for 40 years.

“It had been done not as required by law, but because the presidential candidates felt that the voters had a right to know,” Levine said.

Under current state law, to get on the presidential ballot in Virginia, a candidate must submit to the State Board of Elections petitions signed by at least 5,000 qualified voters, including at least 200 qualified voters from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. (more…)

News
Guzman seeks expansion of Medicaid in House of Delegates bid

Elizabeth Guzman seeks to augment Medicaid and early childhood development programs.

Guzman submitted responses to our Project: Election survey posted below the jump.

Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 

6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing voters in your district?

Guzman: Expansion of Medicaid; expansion of early childhood education in the form of Early Head Start and Head Start; and  create community support systems for veterans (more…)

Surovell announces 2017 General Assembly Town Hall meetings

VA

From the Senator Scott Surovell:

More information: Nadine Slocum, Chief of Staff
571.249.4484
Bryan Estey, Communication Director
860.371.7474

Richmond, Virginia. On Saturday, January 28th and Saturday, February 11th, Eastern Fairfax & Prince William County Members of the General Assembly will be hosting town halls to hear the concerns of residents during 2017 Legislative Session.

Senator Scott Surovell (D-36), Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30), Senator George Barker (D-39), Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43), Delegate Luke Torian (D-52) and Delegate Paul Krizek (D-44) will review their legislative agendas for the 2017 session, the status of current legislation, and answer questions from attendees.

Details are as follows:

January 28:

Northern Prince William County Town Hall with Senator Surovell

Occoquan Town Hall
314 Mill Street
Occoquan, Virginia 22125
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Southern Prince William County Town Hall with Senator Surovell and Delegate Torian

Forest Park High School Library
15721 Forest Park Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22193
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

February 11:
Mount Vernon District Town Hall with Senator Surovell, Senator Ebbin, and Delegate Krizek

Walt Whitman Middle School
2500 Parkers Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306
9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Lee District Town Hall with Senator Surovell, Senator Barker, and Delegate Sickles

Hayfield Elementary School
7633 Telegraph Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22315
1:00 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Please note that the time and dates have changed since they were originally announced. Please mark your calendars accordingly.

The topics of discussions will include:

-Transportation
-The State Budget
-Medicaid Expansion
-Firearm Violence Prevention
-Consumer Protection/Predatory Lending
-Reproductive Choice Issues
-Education Funding & Reform
-Congressional Redistricting
-Marriage Equality & LGBTQ Rights
-Civil/Criminal Justice Reforms
-Investing in Green Energy
-Protecting Environmental Interests

News
Stewart plans Virginia Gubernatorial Campaign launch in Occoquan

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart is making a run for the office of Virginia Governor.

From Corey Stewart for Governor Campaign:

You’re invited to join us this Monday night to kick-off our campaign to Take Back Virginia from the political elites, at our Northern Virginia Launch Party.

It will be this Monday, January 23rd at Bistro L’Hermitage, 12724 Occoquan Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192. You can sign up to attend here.

Come out and meet our team and learn how you can help Take Back Virginia. Appetizers will be provided.

WHAT: Northern Virginia Launch Party

WHERE: Bistro L’Hermitage
12724 Occoquan Rd
Woodbridge, VA 22192

WHEN: Monday, January 23rd at 7 PM

News
Updated: Connolly boycotts Trump Inauguration

Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly who represents voters in Fairfax and Prince William counties in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District today joined a growing list of federal lawmakers boycotting the Presidental Inauguration of Donald Trump. 

From Connolly: 

“After long reflection I have decided that I cannot attend the inauguration of Donald J Trump on Friday. His behavior and harmful words during and after the campaign have left the country I love with open, bleeding wounds. Instead of binding those wounds, he has poured salt on them. Instead of unifying us, he has reveled in driving wedges between us. His disparagement of an entire religion; his racist rants about minorities; his resurrection of white supremacy; his ridicule of the disabled; his blatant misogyny and boasting of unwanted sexual advances; his intimidation of the press; his repugnant attack on civil rights hero John Lewis; and his disturbing defense of and advocacy for Vladimir Putin – a KGB thug – threaten our democratic institutions. How can I celebrate that? The sordid aspects of his behavior must not become the new normal for America or her presidents.”

Updated: Connolly Tweets the Inauguration

 

News
Roem on Route 28: ‘We can fix the roadway without raising taxes’

Longtime journalist Danica Roem seeks to unseat Bob Marshall in Virginia’s 13th House of Delegates District. 

Roem submitted responses to our Project: Election survey posted below the jump.
 
Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 
 
6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing voters in your district?

(more…)

News
Treasurer, Commissioner of Revenue on ballot this year in Manassas Park

MANASSAS PARK, Va. — Candidates seeking to run for the offices of City of Manassas Park Treasurer or Commissioner of the Revenue can pick up information packets at the city’s voter registration office.

From City of Manassas Park Director of Elections Patricia Brendel:

 

The two positions will be on the ballot November 7, 2017.  One is for the office of the Treasurer and the other is for the Commissioner of Revenue.  The deadline to file paperwork to run for those office’s  is 7:00pm on June 13, 2017; this also happens to be the same day as the June Primary.  Packets are available for anyone interested in running for either of these offices.

News
Boddye wants to put marketing skills to work as state legislator

Ken Boddye aims to challenge incumbent Richard Anderson in Virginia’s 51st House of Delegates District.
 
Boddye submitted responses to our Project: Election survey posted below the jump.
 
Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 
 
6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

 
PL: What are the top three major issues facing voters in your district?

(more…)

Surovell initiatives moving in the legislature

Several of my bills are moving quickly in the General Assembly’s “short,” 45-day.

First, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed my bill to require the city of Alexandria to expedite its cleanup of its primary raw sewage discharges into the Potomac River after consolidating my bill with Committee Chairman Senator Richard Stuart’s bill. Many legislators agree that we cannot tolerate 70 million gallons of untreated sewage pouring into the Potomac River for the next 30 years while the city addresses the rest of what’s called a “combined sewer overflow” system dating from the 1800s. Water quality is a nonpartisan issue. I will continue to expedite this legislation with Senator Stuart and Delegate Dave Albo who is carrying similar legislation in the House of Delegates.

I have also introduced three bills to address the ongoing pollution of the Potomac River by coal ash. One seeks to stop the importing of 600 cargo containers of Chinese coal ash into Virginia every year by requiring electric utilities to recycle coal ash currently polluting the Potomac River. Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are taking this approach and Virginia should too.

This week, my legislation to prohibit the operator of a motor vehicle to drive with a digital device in his or her hand goes before the Senate Transportation Committee. Traffic deaths are on the rise in the United States for the first time in 50 years. I am optimistic that my bill will be approved this year.

Also, my legislation requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses for all Virginia residents regardless of immigration status will be heard in committee on Wednesday along with my bill to prohibit using bike lanes to pass vehicles.

I also introduced a bill requiring further transparency and accountability in Virginia higher education. One bill prohibits universities from considering tuition increase without providing 30 days notice, an explanation and a public comment period to all students. My second bill requires the rector and vice-rector (chair and vice-chair) of university governing boards to be Virginia residents. Governing boards are supposed to look out for Virginians and Virginia taxpayers, not their own allegiances and alma mater.It is important for Virginians to serve in those positions.

I filed a bill requiring a study of reserve funds at all Virginia universities so that we can develop better policies governing university reserve funds. While the University of Virginia’s $2.1 billion reserve fund is exceptional, it is not clear to me that a fund of this size is necessary or prudent given that it was generated during a time when the university raised a 50 percent tuition increase. I also introduced legislation requiring universities and community colleges to publish a list of classes granted reciprocity so community college transfer students do not end up having to retake courses.

Lastly, I introduced legislation requiring a court to impose civil sanctions against any person who improperly votes to certify a closed public meeting. Currently, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act has no consequences if extraneous matters are discussed during closed sessions of public hearings. That needs to change.

By the end of the week, I hope to have introduced 40 bills. Please see my website and online newsletter (http://scottsurovell.blogspot.com/) for my complete agenda. If you have any questions, contact me at scott@scottsurovell.org or 804-698-7536. I am honored to serve as your state senator.

News
King makes another run at 2nd District House of Delegates seat in Stafford, Woodbridge

This is Josh King’s second run at the 2nd District House of Delegates seat. He lost his 2015 bid to Republican Mark Dudenhefer, who announced in January 2017 he won’t seek reelection.
 
Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 
 
6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

 

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