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The Comstock Connection
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dear Friend, 

I hope your Summer is going well.  I wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the events and news over the summer.  I would also invite you to share this newsletter with any  friends or colleagues who might be interested.  You can also follow district events by signing up on Facebook or Twitter from our website.  

Virginia Ranked As Most Pro-Business State
The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2010 rankings was released today, ranking Virginia as the "most pro-business state."  This marks the fourth time the Commonwealth has held the top spot, with previous top rankings garnered in 2003, 2007 and 2009.  Speaking about the ranking, Governor McDonnell said, "Pollina has pointed out what we've known here in Virginia for a long time-that we are the best state in America for business. That's no small feat in such a tough economy.  Pollina clearly recognized the pro-business atmosphere and first-class educational system we have built here in Virginia.  Over the past six months, our team has announced 131 projects in Virginia, creating nearly 8,000 jobs with a capital investment of $1.3 billion.  This is a great start, but it's just a start.  The more announcements we make, the more jobs we create for Virginians.  By keeping taxes and regulation and litigation at a minimum, we are ensuring that major employers, like Northrop Grumman, will continue to invest in the Commonwealth, bringing with them jobs and opportunities for all our citizens.  Just this week we announced that another major Virginian employer, DuPont, would reinvest in a new $20 million facility Chesterfield.  It's a great honor for Virginia to be named the most pro-business state in America. We are going to do all we can to ensure that we stay there in the years ahead." 
You can view the Pollina rankings and report here.  Governor McDonnell will be in Herndon at the Center for Innovative Technology on the evening of August 25 to hold a Town Hall meeting on Job Creation and Government reform.  You can find out more information on his website.

As a member of the Governor's Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission,  I have continued to work with my colleagues throughout the summer  to keep this job momentum going.  We also welcome any suggestions on the job front.   

Virginia  Has $220 Million Revenue Surplus 
Governor Bob McDonnell recently announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has posted a preliminary revenue surplus at the conclusion of the 2010 fiscal year on June 30th. It is estimated that the surplus will be at least $220 million; the final figure will be announced in August.  As of January, the Commonwealth faced a $1.8 billion budget shortfall for the remainder of FY 2010. In the General Assembly, we worked with the Governor to close the shortfall without raising taxes.
Virginia Sales Tax Holiday This Weekend

This weekend, August 6 through 8, Virginia will hold a tax-free holiday for back to school shopping.  During this tax holiday, certain school supplies, clothing, and footwear will be exempt from Virginia sales tax.  All school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and articles of clothing, including footwear, selling for $100 or less per item, will be exempt from sales tax.  To view a full list of the items that are included in the sales tax holiday, click here.

Virginia Gets OK To Proceed With 
Healthcare Lawsuit
On Monday, Judge Henry Hudson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the federal government's motion to dismiss Virginia's challenge to the constitutionality of the mandatory health insurance purchase requirement in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Monday's decision will allow Virginia's constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to move forward.  The requirement imposed in this federal legislation, that all Americans in every state must purchase health insurance or face a penalty, is not consistent with the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.  It is also inconsistent with the expressed will of the representatives of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who on a broad bipartisan basis, supported the passage of the Health Care Freedom Act this year.
Great Falls Town Hall Meeting Last Week
It was good to meet so many concerned citizens last week at the Town Hall Meeting in Great Falls.  We discussed the Virginia Department of Transportation's plan to construct dual left-turn lanes from Route 7 onto Georgetown Pike.  As you know, all of the area representatives, including Rep. Frank Wolf, Supervisor Foust, and Janet Howell and I, have all opposed VDOT's plan.   Last week, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 on Supervisor Foust's motion  to oppose the plan.  I have personally talked with the Secretary of Transportation about that reversal by the Board and the VDOT staff is now working with Fairfax County staff to revise the plan in accordance with the County's resolution..  You can view the resolution on the Fairfax County on my website.  We will continue to monitor this important issue.  Our thanks and kudos to the Great Falls Citizens Association and the GFCA Transportation Committee led by Joan Barnes and Eric Knudson, who have done such a great job providing invaluable information throughout this process. 
Delegate Comstock (right) with (left to right) Rob Jackson, President of the McLean Citizens Association, Joan Barnes and Eric Kndusen, members of the Great Falls Citizens Association Transportation Committee.
Delegate Comstock (right) with (left to right) Rob Jackson, President of the McLean Citizens Association, Joan Barnes and Eric Kndusen, members of the Great Falls Citizens Association Transportation Committee. Joan Barnes and Eric Knudsen with Delegate Comstock

Northern Virginia Transit Tour
Last month, I participated in a two day "Transit Keeps Northern Virginia Working" tour with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, of which I am a member.  We toured Northern Virginia's key transportation systems, Metro, Virginia Railway Express, Alexandria's DASH, and the HOT Lanes Contruction on I-495.  This tour was created to allow legislators and appointees to learn more about Northern Virginia's critical public transportation network while experiencing it firsthand.  It was very informative and showcased our extensive transportation network.
2010 Program for Emerging Political Leaders
I recently attended the Emerging Political Leaders program sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.  It was inspiring to join over 50 state legislators from around the country to focus on how we will meet the challenges facing us in our state legislatures.  
 Delegate Comstock and Delegate Greason
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If you have other events, news, or issues of concern, always feel free to contact me at [email protected].


Barbara Comstock

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