Thanks in part to the federal holiday, we had a lot of visitors this week, to include members from Tea Parties across the state, who celebrated their lobby day on Monday. Also visiting from the district this week were Melvin Adams of Hardy, President of Renewanation, William Jacobsen, CEO, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Daphne Jamison, VP, Virginia Assn. of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Dr. Carlyle Ramsey, President, Danville Community College, Shannon Hair, Director of Development of Danville Community College. Other Danville and Pittsylvania County visitors included Jim Bebeau, Frank VanValkenburg, Billy Talbott, Sylvesta Jennings, Mary Lee White, Dean Jennings, and Drs. Gary Miller and Pradeep Pradhan. Franklin County visitors included Rodney Jordan, Jon Morris and Elmer Hardy.
On Tuesday, the Senate Republican Caucus unveiled its legislative agenda for 2011. Our agenda includes measures to increase transparency and strengthen accountability in Virginia’s budget process, to oppose tax increases, to protect Virginia’s status as a Right-to-Work state and to prevent the implementation of Card Check.
Our agenda includes the Repeal Amendment, which would strengthen federalism by placing a new safeguard against overreaching by the federal government. Republican Senators are also supporting Governor McDonnell in his effort to reduce the number of state boards and commissions. Measures that would enforce immigration laws by requiring state contractors to use E-Verify, and legislation to prevent taxpayer funding for abortions were also part of the agenda.
The Caucus agenda also included my Senate Bill 1378 which provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States and precedents of the appellate courts of Virginia and of the United States.
While the final count isn’t in yet, it’s safe to say that the General Assembly will be considering somewhere around 2,000 pieces of legislation during this year’s session. I have submitted several pieces of legislation this year. In addition to SB1378 mentioned above, I have introduced a bill which provides a significant tax credit for companies that relocate their business to our area and utilize our older industrial buildings to operate their business. The tax credit will off-set their costs expended for retro-fitting and modernizing these buildings for use. I believe that this incentive will bring new companies and jobs to our area. I am proud to have Delegate Danny Marshall, Delegate Don Merricks and Delegate Charles Poindexter as co-patrons for this very important bill.