I want to thank all of those who have responded to our survey. Your guidance helps me better understand the thoughts of those in the Fifteenth Senate District. In the course of the next couple of weeks I will bring you up to date on those issues that have sparked the most interest.
Breaking the Rules
According to Senate rules, sub-committees may not defeat a bill - they can only recommend that action to the full committee. This week Senator Janet Howell, D-Reston, ruled that a motion to consider such legislation was out of order. This action gives three Senators the power to kill legislation. If it had been heard by the full committee at least 15 of the 40 members would have been involved in the legislation. This type of action is not acceptable in an open democracy.
Extension Service Update
I received a letter from the President of Virginia Tech explaining that because of concerns with the restructuring that had been proposed for the Extension Service that they were going to begin the process over. He committed that this time they would ask interested parties to be a part of the process. Thank each of you for expressing your concern on this issue. Your reasoning is why I spoke out strongly against the plan presented in the fall. Great proof that you can make a difference!
Many have concerns about ABC Privatization. Some believe the system is working now, and wonder why we should change the current system. Others are concerned with the state picking winners and losers. Under the current system, no retailer has an advantage over another. Should one retailer in each town be licensed, this would put all other stores at a disadvantage. In the mean time, many worry that changing the system will create problems with more consumption or with our youth having easier access to alcohol. A minority thought it was a great idea. I am not convinced that the sale of alcohol should be the role of the state but I also do not believe that a workable solution has been offered. I do not believe that there is an idea currently before us that has sufficient support to pass the General Assembly.
If you have any questions or thoughts about legislation, please contact us. I am always glad to hear from you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.frankmruff.com or call my office at 804 698 7515.
15th Senate District