Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Politics

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? 

 

(more…)

News
Marshall defends bathroom privacy bill

A state lawmaker and his supporters Thursday defended legislation telling transgender individuals which bathroom they must use – a proposal that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vowed to veto.

House Bill 1612, proposed by Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, would require people in public schools and government buildings to use the restroom for the sex shown on their original birth certificate.

The bill also would require the principal of a public school to notify the parent or guardian if a child requests to be identified by the name, pronoun or treatment “inconsistent with the child’s sex.”

Marshall discussed the proposal, known as the Physical Privacy Act, at a news conference with members of the Virginia First Foundation, a citizens group that supports “limited Constitutional government supported by a strong Judeo-Christian, Conservative culture.”

“This bill ensures that parents are included when a student requests accommodations when they are gender uncertain,” Virginia First Foundation board member Travis Witt said.

(more…)

News
‘Day 1 of RILEYwatch on the floor of the Va. House of Delegates’

Press release: 

Manassas 7th grader Riley Kotlus will travel to Richmond next month to begin a two-month experience working with the Virginia General Assembly. Kotlus was selected by House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell as one of only 38 students from throughout the Commonwealth for the highly competitive Virginia House of Delegates Page Program. The Virginia Senate also conducts a similar program in its own chamber.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Kotlus. “I have always been interested in politics and government, and even though I will be doing clerical duties, I will have a front-row seat to history.”
Pages work during the day completing assigned tasks that include assisting committee clerks, distributing documents, running messages, and performing other administrative tasks.

(more…)

News
‘We will be hosting an official presentation ceremony…in Woodbridge, where I hope to spend some time firing off some rounds with the winner’

Submitted: 

Republican candidate for Governor Corey Stewart announced today the winner of his campaign’s AR-15 giveaway contest today.

“The right to keep and bear arms is non-negotiable.” Stewart opened, “What better way to bring attention to that right than to give away a firearm over the Christmas holiday.”

We are happy to announce the winner of the AR-15 has been selected. He is a Navy Veteran from Woodbridge, is a member of the NRA and loves the Second Amendment,” Stewart said. “We will be hosting an official presentation ceremony Friday, January 13th, at All Shooters Tactical in Woodbridge, where I hope to spend some time firing off some rounds with the winner.”

Stewart campaign’s giveaway incited a storm of media coverage, from the perspective of gun rights supporters and gun control advocates alike.

Update Monday, Jan. 9, 2017

Today, the campaign moved the time for the presentation announcing the winner from January 13th to this upcoming Wednesday, January 11, at All Shooters Tactical in Woodbridge at Noon.

AR-15 Presentation
All Shooters Tactical
3310 Noble Pond Way Ste 105
Woodbridge, VA 22193
January 11th at 12 PM

‘How would a loving dad react if he saw a grown man follow his nine-year-old daughter into a bathroom’

We got this statement from Delegate Bob Marshall about his new bathroom bill HB 1612 which he says  will “protect privacy in facilities normally separated by sex” in government-owned or rented buildings.

Agree with him or disagree with him? Leave it in the comments. 

How would a loving dad react if he saw a grown man follow his nine-year-old daughter into a bathroom at a state park?  Would parents want their 14-year-old daughters on the school swim team taking showers with 17-year-old biological males in a public school locker room?  Would women feel safe stopping at an Interstate rest stop knowing biological males could use the women’s bathroom?

Because identifying as transgender is about how an individual perceives themselves how can a biological female third party possibly distinguish between a transgender individual who means no harm and a male predator using the ladies room who does intend harm?

It is because of situations like this that more than six hundred parents and students in Prince William County and many more in Fairfax County attended meetings to oppose changes in school policies which would have allowed biological males to use the bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, and showers set aside for females, and vice-versa.  

In response to that outpouring of concern for the safety and privacy of our children, I have introduced HB 1612 to preserve current law to prevent schools and government entities from changing policies that protect privacy in facilities normally separated by sex.

(more…)

News
Exclusive: Mark Dudenhefer won’t seek reelection to House of Delegates

STAFFORD, Va. — After this year, Mark Dudenhefer is done in Richmond.

The two-term Republican represents northern Stafford County and Woodbridge in eastern Prince William County. His term is up at the end of 2017. 

Dudenhefer is expected to make a formal announcement by press release later today. He told Potomac Local on Thursday that he will serve out the remainder of his term, and attend the General Assembly which begins Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2017. 

“My family, and my wife and I have been talking about it for a long time,” said Dudenhefer. “They’ve stood by me through seven elections, but they don’t want me to do House of Delegates Election again.”

Dudenhefer, who lives in Stafford, was first elected to the newly created 2nd District House of Delegates seat in 2011. He was unseated two years later by Democrat Micheal Futrell, of Woodbridge. 

Dudenhefer won back the seat in a 2015 election against Futrell Josh King by winning a majority of the votes in Stafford County. King is once again seeking this seat this year, said Trent Armitage, Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

Before going to Richmond, Dudenhefer served on as Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. Serving on that Board again is something he has not ruled out. 

“I really enjoyed my time on the Board of Supervisors because I felt like I got more done. It’s easy to get more done when you are a big fish in a small pond,” said Dudenhefer. 

(more…)

News
Crack shot? Stewart raffles AR-15 assault rifle in Virginia governor bid

Here’s a way to get attention for your bid to be Virginia’s next governor: Give away an assault rifle.

Here’s a snippet from an email from Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, who is also a Republican candidate for Governor in 2017:

I’ve always believed the Second Amendment is fundamental to a true understanding of individual liberty.

It may not be “politically correct” to say it . . .

. . . but the Founders didn’t include the Second Amendment solely for future generations of Americans who wanted to enjoy hunting or a little target shooting on Saturdays.

Of course, those things are fun and important.

But you and I both know the reason the Founders included the Second Amendment is because they understood that if Americans are to remain a free people, you and I must be able to defend our persons, property, and liberties.

If elected to be your next Governor, you can be 100% CERTAIN I will never compromise on your God-given right to keep and bear arms.

Our liberties come from our Creator.

And the government exists to protect our life and liberties — not to “manage” them.

That’s why I firmly believe our right to self-defense — enshrined in the Second Amendment to our Constitution — is not negotiable.

I pledge to you that I will protect and defend the Second Amendment with everything I’ve got. Not only that, but I’ll work hard to fully restore the gun rights of every law-abiding citizen in Virginia.

But I can’t do it without your help and support.

Stewart unveiled the enter-to-win campaign fundraiser this weekend in Richmond.

He is one of four GOP hopefuls to win back the governor’s mansion next year. Ed Gillespie who mounted an unsuccessful campaign against Sen. Mark Warner in 2014 and Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner are all candidate for the Republican nomination.

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for Governor.

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