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Delegate Comstock Highlights Success of Legislative Agenda at End of 2011 Session
Monday, February 28, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 28, 2011


Contact: Elise Marsh

              703-209-3787


Delegate Comstock Highlights Success of

Legislative Agenda at End of 2011 Session


McLean, VA – Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-McLean) today highlighted the strong legislative agenda that was passed during this General Assembly session.  After a successful session last year turning a $4 Billion deficit into a surplus, while investing in job creation and our schools, this year the House of Delegates once again led the way in providing fiscal stability while making significant investments in job creation, transportation and education.  This was done while also cutting fees, reducing authorized debt, investing in core government services and depositing an additional $64 million into the Rainy Day Fund.  The Senate’s $300 million ‘Taj Mahal’ to replace the General Assembly Building was scrapped and overwhelmingly opposed by the House.

  
Below is the outcome for a number of measures – grouped by topic.

Budget & Taxes


HB 1500:  Final General Assembly Budget  
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1500  (Putney — Bedford) Passed House 97-0 Passed Senate 40-0
· Includes no new taxes and eliminates $5.7 million in fee increases adopted last year
· Eliminates $66.8 million in previously authorized debt
· Deposits an $64 million into the Rainy Day Fund, on top of that authorized in the Governor’s introduced budget, bringing the total deposit to $114 million
· Eliminates in large part the accelerated sales tax that weighed on retailers across the Commonwealth

HJ 852:  Balanced Budget  
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hj852  (Cline — Rockbridge) Passed House 68-26 Killed by Senate Committee
Encourages the United States Congress to adopt legislation requiring a balanced federal budget and to call a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.

 

Jobs, Energy & Economic Development Opportunities


HB 1500: Final General Assembly Budget  
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1500  (Putney — Bedford) Passed House 97-0 Passed Senate 40-0
· Includes over $40 million in various job-creating economic development efforts
· Eliminates the vast majority of the accelerated sales tax that hit retailers throughout the Commonwealth
· Includes no new fees or tax increases
· Invests $32.7 million to capitalize the new Transportation Infrastructure Bank for use by private and public entities in financing necessary transportation priorities

HB 1447:  Research and Development Tax Credit  
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1447  (Cline — Rockbridge and Comstock – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House 76-23 Passed Senate 40-0
Grants individual and business income tax credits of 15-20% for expenses related to qualified high-tech research and development in Virginia.

HB 2197:  Telework Tax Credit  
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2197  (Comstock — Fairfax) Passed House 89-10 Passed Senate 40-0
Grants employers a tax credit for expenses incurred in developing and implementing telework arrangements for employees.

HJ 500:  Right to Work Amendment
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hj500  (Bell, R.P. — Staunton) Passed House 61-36 Killed by Senate Committee
Incorporates Virginia’s “Right to Work” statute into the State Constitution.

HB 2052:  Secret Ballot Protection Act
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2052  (Hugo — Fairfax and Comstock – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House 63-32 Killed by Senate Committee
Requires the use of secret ballots in any procedure authorizing or selecting a labor organization to represent workers.

HB 1982: Development Opportunity Fund
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1982  (Kilgore — Scott) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Reduces the eligibility criteria for making use of the Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund from $10 million in private investment and 100 new jobs created to $5 million and 50 new jobs.



Education

HB 2510:  Higher Education Bill http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2510  (Cox, M.K. — Colonial Heights, Comstock Co-Patron) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0

· Sets a goal of creating 100,000 additional undergraduate degrees in Virginia over next 15 years
· Emphasizes the importance of highly competitive “STEM” degree programs, which include science, technology, engineering and math
· Increases access and affordability for more in-state residents wanting to attend Virginia’s institutions of higher learning
· Improves institutional efficiency by encouraging colleges and universities to analyze the use of state-owned buildings, find opportunities to use buildings year-round and explore technological alternatives for summer and on-line classes

HB 1416: Instructional Spending http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1416  (Loupassi — Richmond City, Comstock – Co-Patron) Passed House 48-46 Killed by Senate Committee
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

HB 2314: Education Improvement Scholarships
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2314  (Massie — Henrico, Comstock – Co-Patron) Passed House 54-45 Killed by Senate Committee
Enables Virginia corporations that have given cash donations to non-profit groups offering tuition assistance for non-public schools to receive a corporate income tax credit equal to 70% of their charitable contribution.

HB 1792: Standards of Quality
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1793  (Tata — Virginia Beach) Passed House 95-3 Passed Senate 40-0
Codifies the flexibility given in the Standards of Quality for use of appropriations act funds for instructional staffing for mathematics, limited English proficiency, reading, technology and assistant principals.

Health Care


HB 1500: Final General Assembly Budget
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1500  (Putney — Bedford) Passed House 97-0 Passed Senate 40-0
· Sets aside an additional $30 million for the Behavioral Health Trust Fund to help intellectually and developmentally disabled Virginians
· Includes $14.3 million for additional staffing and accomodations for the Sexually Violent Predator Program at the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation
· Restores a total of $12.5 million in CSA funding for Children’s Mental Health Services

HB 2467: Autism Health Insurance http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2467  (Greason — Loudoun) Passed House 74-24 Passed Senate 27-11
Ensures that health insurance plans in the Commonwealth cover autism spectrum disorders for children ages 2 through 6 up to a yearly cap of $35,000.

 

Law Enforcement & Public Safety


HB 1500: Final General Assembly Budget
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1500  (Putney — Bedford) Passed House 97-0 Passed Senate 40-0
· Includes $400,000 in additional funding for the Line of Duty program, bringing total FY 2012 funding up to $3.4 million
· Includes an additional $8.3 million for sheriffs in FY 2011 and $14.3 million in FY 2012
· Funds 27 new judges in jurisdications with heavy caseloads

HB 1995: Child Pornography
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1995  (Janis — Henrico) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Protects victims of child pornography by providing civil restitution as an additional punishment and deterrent to producers of child pornography.

HB 1407: Underage Drinking
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1407  (Janis — Henrico) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Increases penalties for underage drinking and driving, keeping all Virginians safer on our roads.

HB 1590: Jurisdictional Limits of Courts
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1590  (Iaquinto — Virginia Beach) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Expands the jurisdiction of Virginia’s General District Courts by raising the maximum claim limit from $15,000 to $25,000.

HB 1589:  DUI Ignition Interlock
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1589  (Iaquinto — Virginia Beach) Passed House 75-23 Killed by Senate Committee
Requires installation of an ignition interlock after a single DUI conviction.

HB 1651: Issuance of ID Cards to U.S. Citizens
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1651  (Cosgrove — Chesapeake) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Requires the DMV to cancel licenses and other identification cards issued to indivudals who are later discovered to be illegally present in Virginia.

HB 1859: Public Procurement Act
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1859  (Anderson — Prince William) Passed House 81-8 Passed Senate 40-0
Requires state agencies entering into contracts to require E-Verify use by contractors on projects over $50,000.

HB 1468: Public Assistance
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1468  (Albo — Fairfax) Passed House 83-16 Killed by Senate Committee
Requires that all local departments of social services verify the legal presernce of an individual applying for public assistance benefits.

HB 1757:
Address Confidentiality Program http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HB1757  (Wilt — Rockingham) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Heightens protections afforded victims of domestic violation by expanding Address Confidentiality Program.

HB 2063: Protective Orders
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2063  (Bell, R.B. — Albemarle) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Expands the scope of protective orders available to citizens of the Commonwealth to address the issues of dating violence and stalking.

 

Government Reform & Savings


HB 2076: Office of Inspector General
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2076  (Landes — Augusta) Passed House 96-2 Passed Senate 40-0
Establishes the Office of the Inspector General, which will investigate allegations of fraud, waste, abuse and corruption by state and non-state agencies and officers.

HB 2095: Virginia Retirement System
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2095  (Jones — Suffolk) Passed House 85-14 Passed Senate 34-6
Provides for the loss of benefits provided through the Virginia Retirement (VRS) System for any individual convicted of a felony arising out of misconduct in any position covered by VRS retirement programs.

 

HB 2198: Employment and Promotion of Personnel http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HB2198 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House 99-0 Passed

Senate 40-0

Clarifies that if an executive branch agency employee is promoted within the same agency to a higher position classification that requires a new probationary period and is unable to complete or satisfy the probationary period of employment for any reason other than misconduct, then such employee must be offered the previous classified position or an equivalent position for which a vacancy exists.

 

HB 2201: Payroll Consolidation Savings http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HB2201 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House 99-0

Passed Senate 40-0

Provides that the Department of Planning and Budget, in consultation with the Department of Accounts, shall require all agencies of the Commonwealth to participate to the fullest extent feasible in the Payroll Service Bureau operated by the Department of Accounts.

 

HB 2205: Electronic Signatures http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HB2205 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0

Provides that nonsalaried citizen members of policy and supervisory boards, commissions, and councils in the executive branch of state government, and local boards, commissions, and councils, may sign their disclosure forms using electronic signatures. In addition, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Commonwealth to accept electronic signatures on applications for recommissioning a notary or electronic notary.

 

HB 2206: Bulk Sales http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HB2206 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0

Repeals Title 8.6A of the Code of Virginia which is considered obsolete. It has been repealed in 45 states.  The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws states that there is no evidence that fraudulent bulk sales occur frequently enough or engender credit losses significant enough, to require regulation of all bulk sales.

 

 

Transportation


HB 2527: Transportation Infrastructure Fund
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2527  (Howell, W.J. — Stafford) Passed House 65-33 Passed Senate 32-7
· Creates the Transportation Infrastructure Bank, for use by public and private entities pursuing transportation projects across the Commonwealth
· Enhances VDOT’s popular revenue sharing program to incentivize localities to provide matching funds for transportation priorities
· Accelerates previously authorized debt to take advantage of low interest rates and a competitive bidding climate

HB 1432: HOV Lanes
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1432  (Greason — Loudoun) Passed House 90-8 Passed Senate 26-14
Extends for one year access to High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for clean fuel vehicles, regardless of the number of occupants.

 

Veterans & Military


HB 1862: Subordinate Mortgages
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1862  (Cosgrove — Chesapeake) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Extends the licenses, certifications and other identification documents of spouses accompanying a member of the military abroad.

HB 1645: Property Tax Exemption
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1645  (O'Bannon — Henrico) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Codifies the constitutional amendment adopted by voters providing a real property tax exemption for the primary residence of veterans who have a 100 percent, service-related disability.

HB 1861: In-State Tuition
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1861  (Anderson — Prince William) Passed Houe 97-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Waives the one-year residency requirement for veterans attending institutions of higher learning in Virginia, allowing veterans to immediately qualify for in-state tuition.

HB 1761: TRICARE Supplemental Health Coverage
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1761  (Cox, M.K. — Colonial Heights) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Provides supplemental coverage for members of the armed services through Virginia’s cafeteria plan for retirees and dependents eligible for TRICARE supplemental benefits.

HB 1557: Department of Veterans Services
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1557  (Cox, M.K. — Colonial Heights) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Requires the Department of Veterans Services maintain a certain ratio of staff to veterans in the Commonwealth.

HB 1774: State of Emergency
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1774  (Sherwood — Frederick) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Authorizes the Governor to allocate funds for the Virginia National Guard and State Defense Force for purposes of preparedness in the absence of an official state of emergency.

HB 1535: Licensure by Board of Medicine or Board of Nursing
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1535  (Merricks — Pittsylvania) Passed House 94-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Provides that the Boards of Medicine and Nursing may accept relevant medical experience towards certain civilian, medical certifications
.
HB 1848: In-State Tuition
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1848  (Stolle — Virginia Beach) Passed House 98-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Provides that an established Virginia domicile, and attendant in-state tuition, of an active duty military spouse is not affected by the maintenance of a second residence, due to military service, outside the jurisdiction.

HB 1697: Certificate of Public Need
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb1697  (Athey — Warren) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 40-0
Exempts all Department of Veterans Services facilities from requirements related to certificates of public need.

Other Improvements to Virginia’s Quality of Life



HB 2024: Electrical Transmission Lines
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=111&typ=bil&val=hb2024  (May — Loudoun) Passed House 99-0 Passed Senate 39-0
Requires applications to the State Corporation Commission for large electrical transmission lines must include a description of efforts to minimize environmental, historic and other adverse effects.

 

Commending Resolutions

 

HJ 643: Lyme Disease Awareness Month http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ643 (Comstock – Fairfax, Rust – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Permanently designates May as Lyme Disease awareness month.

 

HJ 655: Wolf Trap 40th Anniversary http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ655 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Commends Wolf Trap on its 40th Anniversary.  A special Center Aisle Presentation was held to present the resolution to Karen Pittleman, Director of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and Terre Jones, President and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts on the floor of the House.

 

HJ 734: Pope John Paul II’s Pilgimage to Poland Day http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ734 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Designates June 2, 2011 as Pope John Paul II’s Pilgrimage to Poland Day in Virginia.

 

HJ 783: McLean Orchestra 40th Anniversary http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ783 (Comstock – Fairfax, Scott – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Commending the McLean Orchestra on its 40th Anniversary.

 

HJ 784: McLean YouthOrchestra http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ784 (Comstock – Faifax, Scott – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Commending the McLean Youth Orchestra.

 

HJ 860: Fairfax County Park Authority http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ860 (Comstock – Fairfax) Passed House unanimously Passed Senate unanimously

Commending the Fairfax County Park Authority for receiving the 2010 National

Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, the parks and recreation industry's highest honor.

 

HJ 916: Fairfax County Public Schools http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+HJ916 (Comstock – Fairfax, Filler-Corn – Chief Co-Patron) Passed House unanimously, Passed Senate unanimously

Commending the Fairfax County Public Schools that received the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, the Board of Education Excellence Award, or the Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award.

 

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Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.