My office is in routine contact with the county’s liaison to the General Assembly, who serves as the advocate for the Board of County Supervisor’s legislative priorities at the state level. Following are some of the updates that he has provided thus far; also, you can track state legislation online:
- Transportation: Senator McPike has filed S.B. 218 (local condemnation authority) at the county’s request: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+SB218
- Procurement: Delegate Sewell has filed HB 438 (Virginia Public Procurement Act; architectural and professional engineering term contracting): https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+HB438
- CSB workforce legislation: As a regional CSB priority and at the county’s request, Delegate Roem has introduced H.B. 624: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+HB624
- Crisis Stabilization Unit: Whereas Governor Northam placed numerous references and several million dollars in his outgoing budget for community crisis services, and Governor Youngkin has pledged support for such initiatives in his administration, we will be monitoring this facet of the budget process carefully.
- Vehicle Noise: Delegate Watts made good on her intentions to address vehicle noise – HB367. A number of constituents, from my District and beyond, are very excited about this. https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+HB367 and Senator Saslaw has introduced a similar bill: SB 180 https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+SB180
- Multimodal Transit: Delegate Torian has filed HJ 76, which Requests the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study Northern Virginia regional transit and develop a regional transit plan that includes an extension of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority service to Prince William County and report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by November 1, 2022. https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+HJ76
I am also following additional items of interest:
- Senator Surovell highlighted that his requests for the following were included in the Governor’s outgoing budget, and encouraged us to advocate for their inclusion with the budget approach in the House of Delegates:
- Dredging & Stormwater: $325,000 for dredging in Occoquan and $3,000,000 for Dumfries for stormwater remediation: https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/…/1/SB30/Introduced/1/380/
- $17,000,0000 for Quantico for a water line connection to the PWC Service Authority: https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/…/1/SB30/Introduced/1/486/
- Elimination of the grocery tax: This change, while eliminating a regressive tax and stretching food budgets for residents, could have up to a $15 million impact on Prince William County. We are following this legislation closely. Though this proposal has bipartisan appeal, we recently learned that H.B. 90 is not Governor Youngkin’s planned bill on this issue, so we anticipate multiple approaches as it moves forward.
- Veterans Services: Delegate Sewell filed bill HB432 which “directs the Department of Veterans Services to study and develop a plan for the establishment of a veterans care center in the eastern portion of the Northern Virginia region.” https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+HB432 Supervisors Angry and Franklin issued a joint directive not too long ago for County staff to research and develop a plan to bring a Veteran’s Care facility to Prince William County; this bill has obvious synergy and may even be a direct result of that directive.
- Budget Amendments:
- Crisis Stabilization Unit: Delegate Guzman will introduce a $2 million request in support of the project.
- Cost to Compete initiative: Senator Bell is planning to introduce a $45 million request.
- CSB workforce development legislation: Delegate Roem plans to introduce a budget amendment in support.
- Natural Resources: Senator McPike is also planning for a budget amendment in this arena.
- Local Infrastructure Projects: Senator Surovell is advocating for funding of numerous infrastructure projects in the Occoquan District.
The above list is far from exhaustive. Please let me know if there are state-level bills or issues that you would like to hear more about. I will continue to remain in contact with my regional peers, the Prince William Delegation to Richmond, and the county legislative liaison, and to share updates with you.