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Delegate Comstock Highlights Success Of Legislative Agenda At Session Midpoint
Thursday, February 18, 2010

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                       Contact: Ian Gallagher

      February 18, 2010                                                                                                                         (804) 698-1034

                                                                                                                             DelBComstock@house.virginia.gov

 

Delegate Comstock Highlights Success

Of Legislative Agenda At Session Midpoint

 

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-McLean) today highlighted the many legislative successes so far by the House of Delegates at the halfway point of the 2010 Session of the Virginia General Assembly.  The announcement comes at the 2010 session’s midway mark, commonly referred to as “crossover.”  By that date, which this year fell on February 16, each house must have acted on the bills filed by its respective members.

“In today’s tough economic times, state government has to learn to do more with less just as our businesses and families are doing throughout the Commonwealth,” said Delegate Comstock.    Since the House of Delegates defeated Governor Kaine’s $1 billion per year statewide income tax plan by a unanimous and bipartisan vote of 97-0 at the beginning of this Session, we have aggressively pursued fiscally responsible legislation to create jobs and opportunities for Virginians, reform government to deliver services more efficiently and address support for core services.  I’m pleased with the focus on creating jobs and the bipartisan support with which we have achieved House passage of scores of positive reforms.”

 Below is a partial list of measures I supported that have advanced at the February 16 midpoint of the 2010 Session.”

 

Jobs & Opportunity

 

HB 147                                                                                  Passed House 98-0

Places a constitutional amendment before the voters to increase the size of the Commonwealth’s "Rainy Day Fund" to allow the state to save more money during good times for budget shortfalls.

 

HB 193                                                                                  Passed House 98-0

Makes permanent the Aerospace Advisory Council which promotes Virginia as a center for aerospace industry job growth.

 

HB 199                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Expands the type of incentives that may be offered to Major Employment and Investment economic development projects to attract more job-creating employers to Virginia.

 

HB 384                                                                                  Passed House 97-0

Streamlines tax procedures for Virginians paying income tax in more than one state.

 

HB 389                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Promotes development of off-shore wind-powered electric energy generation.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legislation.

 

HB 523                                                                                  Passed House 97-2

Expands investment in science and technology by exempting investment in business startups from capital gains taxes.  This legislation is a top priority for the Northern Virginia Technology Council.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this bill and it is part of the Governor’s “Jobs and Opportunity Agenda”.

 

HB 677                                                                                  Passed House 97-0

Leverages $22 million state investment in biotech research at the Ignite Institute in Fairfax into $200 million in research and development funding and 415 new jobs.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this bill which went through the Committee of Science & Technology on which she serves.

 

HB 787                                                                                Passed House 69-28

Expands state policy to promote oil and natural gas exploration, development and production, not just exploration for natural gas.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legislation.

 

HB 928                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Promotes clean energy research and development by Virginia universities.

 

HB 1220                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Sycnchonizes implementation of federal and state stormwater management regulations to help businesses.

 

HB 1372                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Enhances the ability of the Economic Development Partnership to bring more employers and jobs to Virginia.  This is a Governor’s bill introduced and chief patroned by Delegate Comstock.

 

HB 1384                                                                                                  Pending

Creates a Virginia small business investment credit that will provide start up funds for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Virginia.  Delegate Comstock introduced the bill with a fellow delegate and this measure is part of Governor McDonnell’s “Jobs and Opportunity Agenda”.  The House version passed the Committee on Finance and a Senate companion bill already passed the full Senate.

 

 

Government Reform

 

HB 114                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Prohibits political campaigns from accepting contributions through anonymous credit cards that can make identifying the source of the funds difficult.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legislation.

 

HB 122                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Extends the "Revolving Door" lobbying ban on state lawmakers from one year to two years.

 

HB 485                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Directs an operational/programmatic performance review of government agencies to identify cost savings.

 

HB 524                                                                                  Passed House 98-0

Reforms the lobbyist disclosure rules to streamline disclosure and compliance.

 

HB 740                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Increases transparency by requiring disclosure of salaries from state and local government entities paid to members of the General Assembly.

 

HB 778                                                                                Passed House 86-13

Promotes accountability by making General Assembly voting records more easily accessible.  Delegate Comstock co-patroned this legislation along with a bipartisan majority of the Freshman Class.

 

HB 1034                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Reforms information technology governance for state government and agencies.

 

HB 1349                                                                           Passed House 86-10-2

Allows Virginians to file income tax returns without cost through Virginia Free File.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legistion.

 

HJ 60                                                                                     Passed House 95-0

Directs the Joint Legislative Audit And Review Commission to study efficacy of allowing school boards to procure services together.

 

Education

 

HB 76                                                                                  Passed House 63-35

Requires local school boards to report the percentage of their budget spent on instructional spending, and, if the percentage is less than 65 percent, to develop a plan to increase instructional spending.  Delegate Comstock’s bill, HB 898, was rolled into this measure which will work to target more resources to the classroom.

 

HB 599                                                                                Passed House 55-44

Expands educational opportunity by providing future tax credits for investment in public and private education scholarships.

 

HB 1390                                                                                                  Pending

Facilitates the expansion of charter schools in the Commonwealth by making the charter school application process more transparent and requiring that the procedures be in place for receiving, reviewing, and ruling upon applications for charter schools.   This is a priority bill for Governor McDonnell which would demonstrate that Virginia is committed to supporting charter schools and improves Virginia’s chances for receiving $350 million in federal funding it is seeking for a multi-billion dollar program that President Obama has proposed for charter schools.  Governor McDonnell has strong bipartisan support for this measure, including the support of former Governors Kaine and Wilder.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this bill.

 

 

 

Health Care

 

HB 548                                                                                  Passed House 97-0

Provides for discounts on group health insurance premiums for employer's with a wellness program.

 

HB 556                                                                                  Passed House 97-0

Expands availability of basic health insurance by including HMOs along with insurers and corporations among offerors of such insurance.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this measure.

 

HB 726                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Requires review of all health insurance mandates for medical efficacy.

 

HB 733                                                                                  Passed House 98-0

Protects Virginia's taxpayers by cracking down on medicaid fraud.

 

HB 1039                                                                                Passed House 97-0

Requires notification to Virginians if medical or insurance information is breached.

 

HB 1263                                                                                Passed House 93-5

Promotes health care choice by prohibiting dental plans from setting prices for services not covered by such plans.

 

HB 1375                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Updates diagnostic criteria for drugs to treat cancer.

 

 

Transportation

 

HB 214                                                                                Passed House 78-17

Extends for one year access to HOV lanes for clean special fuel vehicles, regardless of the number of occupants.

 

HB 276                                                                                Passed House 59-37

Mandates that VDOT do a study using scientific, assets based standards to determine what roads, bridges, and tunnels should get top priority attention based on need.  The study would also determine how transportation funds would be allocated if such standards were utilized.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this bill.

 

 

 

 

HB 333                                                                                Passed House 88-10

Allows the Commonwealth Transportation Board to name some transportation infrastructure for a living person, group or private entity that pays the cost of the highway, bridge, interchange or facility.

 

HB 665                                                                                Passed House 63-35

Increases the amount of the general fund surplus to be deposited in the Transportation Trust Fund.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this measure.

 

HB 756                                                                                Passed House 71-26

Requires at least 80 percent of royalties from off-shore drilling be dedicated to transportation funding.  Delegate Comstock’s bill, HB 900, was rolled into the bill which would provide a new dedicated stream of funds for transportation.

 

HB 970                                                                                Passed House 81-18

Increases the amount of a general fund surplus to be deposited in the Transportation Trust Fund.  Delegate Comstock is  a co-patron of this bill.

 

 

 

Law Enforcement & Public Safety

 

HB 15                                                                                    Passed House 87-7

Prohibits the federal government from using state or local correctional facilities for suspected or convicted terrorists.

 

HB 281                                                                                  Passed House 91-7

Increases penalties for animal cruelty.

 

HB 682                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Protects students from gangs by expanding Gang-Free Zones to bus stops and other public facilities frequented by students.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legislation.

 

Veterans & Military

 

HB 128                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Provides free fishing licenses to disabled, active duty military personnel during their treatment at a veterans or military hospital.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this legislation.

 

HB 149                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Places constitutional amendment before voters in 2010 to exempt disabled veterans from property tax.

 

HB 174                                                                                    Passed Houe 98-0

Expands coverage of Wounded Warrior Program to all injuries sustained by military service personnel, regardless of whether the injuries were sustained in combat areas.

 

 

 

HB 262                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Waives fees for veterans starting a new business through the one-stop business permitting program.

 

HB 419                                                                                  Passed House 98-0

Enables Virginia to lead the nation in processing veterans disability claims by upgrading systems to support electronic claimsprocessing.

 

 

HB 479                                                                                  Passed House 99-0

Provides burial vaults at cost for veterans and their family members interred at state veterans cemeteries.

 

HB 760                                                                                  Passed House 97-0

Promotes employment of veterans by establishing a skill matching database for employers and veterans looking for jobs.

 

HB 1118                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Exempts Virginia Military Family Relief Fund benefit payments from taxation.

 

HB 1235                                                                                Passed House 99-0

Protects the right to vote for military and overseas voters by reforming the absentee ballot law.

 

Federalism

 

HB 10                                                                                  Passed House 72-26

Protects Virginians from Federal government requirements or mandates to carry health insurance.  Delegate Comstock is a co-patron of this bill.

 

NOTE:  This list of bills and resolutions is not a complete record of all legislation sponsored and passed by the House of Delegates.  The short summaries above are provided for convenience and are not meant to be a complete description of the highlighted legislation.   

 

 

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Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.