Virginia Beach, VA, March 4, 2011 - Senator Jeff McWaters (R-Virginia Beach) today announced his intention to seek re-election to the Senate of Virginia's 8th District on November 8th of this year.
"Two years ago I ran on a commitment to reduce the cost and size of government, protect military families and assets, create an environment to attract and retain jobs, and address our transportation needs. We have made real progress across the Commonwealth and in Virginia Beach," declared McWaters. "In two short years, we've gone from 35th to 4th place nationally in job creation, and we've done it by reducing government spending, encouraging private sector growth, and beginning to address transportation. But we still have much more work to do, especially for those who are unemployed."
"Below is legislation that I introduced or worked on this session. As you can see, the promises I made during my campaign have been my top legislative priority, and they will continue to be. Unfortunately, my priorities are not shared by all in the Virginia Senate. Several good proposals, some sponsored by me, some by colleagues, were defeated by the Democrats, who control the Senate with a four-seat majority."
In addition to his legislative work, Senator McWaters was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Military and National Security Facilities, working directly with members of Congress to combat the Department of Defense's announced closure of JFCOM and ensure the long-term support of military families and assets.
Senator McWaters also served on the Governor McDonnell's transportation work group. The ten legislative members spent hours discussing various proposals and funding plans. The product of their work was SB 1446 (Wampler), which authorizes over $4 billion in bonds to start construction on more than 900 shovel-ready projects across the Commonwealth. Virginia Beach alone is receiving over $360 million. "I welcome 'complaints' that we are doing too much road construction in the upcoming years," laughed McWaters.
"While we've made good progress in a very short period of time, there is still much to be done. I will continue to fight for regional transportation issues, because I believe it is an important function of our state government that results in jobs and economic development. I will continue to ensure Virginia is a leader in job creation as we move out of this recession, and I will block any attempts to roll back our right-to-work laws. I will continue to reject tax increases, instead working to reduce the size and cost of government. I will work closely with our governor and our congressional representatives to ensure we continue protecting our military families and facilities," said McWaters. "This will be a quick campaign season, with new legislative districts likely to be approved early this summer, as a result of the census. With your help, we will take advantage of the short time frame to encourage residents of the 8th Senate District to join us at the polls on November 8th to ensure we keep common sense, business experience in the Virginia Senate."
"I ask, once again, for your vote and support. We have volunteers and friends all over Virginia Beach supporting us through this election. Please visit my website, www.jeffmcwaters.com, join my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jeffreylmcwaters, and follow me on twitter, www.twitter.com/jeffmcwaters, to stay updated on the campaign. Don't forget to sign up for email updates, volunteer, or contribute, all on my website. Also, numerous bills I carried were brought to me from constituents, so please continue to share your ideas for future legislation."
If you support his positions and hard work, please volunteer via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and vote for McWaters on November 8, 2011. Thank You!
- SB 693 (McWaters), incorporated into SB 472 (Watkins) - Lowers the threshold for the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit to 25 employees in economically-distressed areas and to 50 employees everywhere else. - PASSED
- SB 733 (McWaters) & SB 1365 (McWaters) - Would have created the Virginia Small Business investment Credit, which would bring $100 million in private funds to be invested in Virginia's small businesses. Similar plans have been created in 10 other states, raising $2.2 billion for small businesses and creating over 21,000 jobs. - DEFEATED
- SB 1282 (McWaters) - Creates a barge and rail usage tax credit for the Port of Virginia. A $50 tax credit will be granted for every container moved by barge or rail, rather than by truck. It's a good bill for our economy, the environment, and for transportation. - PASSED
Reducing the Size and Cost of Government
- SB 697 (McWaters) & SB 1286 (McWaters) - Directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to expand their managed-care programs statewide by July 1, 2012. Although it was defeated in 2010, Senator McWaters worked with Secretary Hazel to ensure it was included in the 2011 budget.
- SB 1280 (McWaters) - Makes policy improvements and clarifications to several state boards, plus streamlines the appointment process and clarifies the governor's authority to appoint chairmen. - PASSED
- Voted for a biennial budget with no new taxes.
Protecting Military Families and Assets
- SB 696 (McWaters) - Allows active-duty military personnel in Hampton Roads to use the HOV lanes, regardless of the number of passengers. - PASSED
- SB 1279 (McWaters) - Ensures that the established Virginia residency of a military spouse and his or her dependents is not affected by that spouse maintaining a residence in another jurisdiction for the purpose of maintaining a joint household with an active-duty service member. - PASSED
- SB 1289 (McWaters), incorporated into SB 874 (Edwards) - Authorizes veterans who elect to establish Virginia as their permanent residence to become eligible for in-state tuition immediately, rather than wait the current required one-year period. - PASSED
- Preserved the state's half of the $15 million Oceana BRAC encroachment fund for the 2011 Fiscal Year.
- SB 694 (McWaters) - Would have authorized the governor to include in his budget proposal additional funds for transportation in years when projected tax revenue growth is a minimum of 3%. - DEFEATED
- SB 1283 (McWaters) - Would have changed the priority of any year-end surplus of the General Fund to 50% towards transportation and 50% towards deferred VRS payments from the 2010 session. - DEFEATED
- SB 1285 (McWaters) - Proposed a change to take all state taxes paid by highway contractors and return them to the Transportation Trust Fund. - DEFEATED
- SB 1394 (McWaters) - Would have taken .25% of the sales tax revenue generated in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, and kept it in those regions for designated transportation projects. Unfortunately Democrats in Richmond fail to acknowledge that transportation is a core service of government and they won't allow money generated in our region to remain here to address our numerous transportation needs. - DEFEATED
Other Important Legislation
- HJ 693 (2011, Joannou) - Clarifies that if a Virginian owns property, that property should not be taken away, unless there is an explicit need, such as roads and utilities. Garnered a lot of bi-partisan support, PASSED 35-5 and 81-18.
- SB 1055 (2011, Stuart and McWaters) - Prohibits the sale, distribution, and use of fertilizer that contains phosphorus. It's a good start towards limiting the phosphorus that we put into the Chesapeake Bay. With almost unanimous bi-partisan support, it PASSED 39-1 and 95-0.
- SB 1049 (2011, Barker and McWaters) - Requires state contractors with over 50 employees, or $50,000 and above in contracts, to use the Federal E-Verify program to verify the work authorization of newly-hired employees. It's a great protector of jobs and tax dollars, as well as the small businesses who have been following the rules and employing United States citizens. Working with a bi-partisan coalition, Senator Barker and I guided it through the General Assembly. It PASSED 40-0 and 79-20.
For a full synopsis of both last year and this year's legislation, be sure to read the Senator's 2011 Session Wrap-Up.
Senator Jeffrey L. "Jeff" McWaters was elected to the Senate of Virginia in a special election held in January 2010. Senator McWaters represents Virginia's Eighth Senatorial District, which currently encompasses the eastern half of the City of Virginia Beach. In 2007, McWaters retired as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AMERIGROUP, the company he founded in 1994. Jeff McWaters and his wife, Cindy, have lived in Virginia Beach for over 20 years.