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Lawmakers and their representatives briefed neighborhood business enterprise leaders on the accomplishments and shortcomings of this year’s Common Assembly session on Tuesday.
The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce held its annual legislative update Tuesday morning at the New College Institute in front of half a dozen men and women who attended the occasion in individual and additional than 30 who joined the session practically.
Josh Hess representing Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), Delegate Les Adams (R-Chatham), Delegate Danny Marshall (R-Danville) and Addison Merriman representing Delegate Ren Williams (R-Stuart) spoke.
“We had hundreds of bills to think about in our committees,” Adams mentioned. “The state Senate has a Democratic majority there, so mainly because of philosophical variations, some bills that came out of 1 chamber did not make it via the other.” [Governor] The Youngkin dynamic permitted me to operate hand-in-hand with the governor’s workplace. We’ve been fairly effective with our priorities.”
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Adams pointed to two bills he helped pass that will aid the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) fight fraud through the pandemic.
“They had been overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of instances they had been attempting to procedure,” Adams mentioned. “I got two pieces of legislation passed that will aid VEC continue the widespread fraud committed through the pandemic.” I hope to see some improvements in these new anti-fraud efforts.”
Adams mentioned the transportation funding covered by Home Bill 2302 is “priority legislation for the governor.”
“The governor can now direct funds to advance transportation projects that let grants and loans,” Adams mentioned. “This is the new executive flexibility.”
Adams pointed out that the Commonwealth Crossing business enterprise center in Henry County and the Berry Hill industrial internet site in Pittsylvania County would advantage from the new law.
“Earlier projects would take many years, and now the governor can place dollars into the project so we do not shed this job,” Adams mentioned.
Adams’ third concern was with the Virginia Division of Well being and the elevated incidence of men and women and livestock suffering from the ill effects of tick bites.
“There is restricted information collection in our state, and professionals have complained about a lack of sources,” Adams mentioned. “My bill directs the Ministry of Well being to suggest which tactics really should be implemented.” Virginia has not focused on this location of health considering that 2010-11 when we had the Lyme illness epidemic.”
The redistricting will get rid of Marshall from representing any portion of Henry County at the finish of this year, and he started his remarks by saying it has been a pleasure to serve the eastern portion of the county.
“Citizens see what is taking place now in Washington with the spending budget.” “We have to have a balanced spending budget in Virginia,” Marshall mentioned. “I want our close friends in Washington would find out that.”
Marshall mentioned Virginia’s economy and revenues are robust, but so is the distinction in how cash filters down to localities.
“In Virginia, we have this composite index, which measures the capability of the neighborhood population to spend. Fairfax and Loudoun counties are two of the wealthiest counties in America. The household earnings is $145,000, and that relates to K-12 funding,” Marshall mentioned. “Loudoun County gets $25,500 per student and we get about $six,500 per student right here.
Marshall mentioned power challenges are a new threat to every person.
“Virginia’s Clean Economy Act passed in 2020 says we have to be carbon neutral by 2045. Virginia will have to create electrical energy with all solar or wind and no coal or gas, so we have a lot of solar projects,” Marshall mentioned. “A lot of the electrical energy goes to Northern Virginia he does not come to us. An engineer told me that it would take ten% of all the land in Virginia to create sufficient electrical energy to energy all the vehicles in the state, so we would have to import electrical energy. It will come from West Virginia and they make their electrical energy from coal and gas.”
As the greatest remedy, Marshall mentioned, nuclear energy really should get most of Virginia’s consideration.
“I was in the shipyards and they had been creating a new aircraft carrier and dismantling the 1st 50-year-old nuclear-powered carrier,” Marshall mentioned. “When you energy these factors, they make electrical energy for 50 years at a steady price.” I placed the bill it passed the Home, but did not pass the Senate. I will return it. It will aid our power charges and reduce electrical energy costs in Virginia.”
Marshall recommended patience for Berry Hill and Commonwealth Crossing.
“We’ve been in second spot a handful of occasions,” Marshall mentioned. “Kia would have had eight,000 jobs final February and yet another 9,000 jobs inside a 45-minute radius. So if we had gotten it in Berry Hill, Commonwealth Crossing and Franklin County, we would have gotten some business enterprise. It is just a matter of who, not who if.”
Marshall mentioned the typical property sale in Northern Virginia is now more than $750,000, and the state is experiencing a housing shortage.
“Danville currently has 1,000 jobs that we do not have properties for,” Marshall mentioned. “We need to have to be capable to create residential as properly as industrial. We want to have land that is shovel prepared so we can create these properties when the organization comes.”
Representing western Henry County, Stuart’s Ren Williams introduced 15 bills final session, and seven passed.
“A single was the racketeering act associated to the theft of catalytic converters,” Merriman mentioned. “It is a major trouble for the business enterprise with the trucks sitting in the parking lot.” The worth of the theft is in the hundreds, but the replacement price thousands. Racketeering carries a drastically greater penalty, so we appear forward to that coming into impact. in July.”
Merriman mentioned yet another of Williams’ bills bargains with judicial misconduct.
“If a judge is disciplined, it really is public now,” Merriman mentioned. “Essentially, it really is bringing the criminal justice program out into the open.” If there is any crime, then it really should be public.”
Hess mentioned Griffith’s congressional district stretches from Grand Island in Bedford County all the way to Cumberland Gap.
“He’s on a lot of committees and they’ve had a quantity of meetings,” Hess mentioned.
Amongst the 15 neighborhood project funding requests Griffith’s workplace has received in the previous year, 1 is in the approval procedure for Martinsville and Henry County.
Henry County Administrator “Dale Wagoner committed $two.five million to the Patriot Center Industrial Park,” Hess mentioned. “He at present sits on the Home Appropriations Committee.”
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-591-7543. Stick to him @billdviatt.
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