February 5, 2016

Ron’s Report: Week 4

As we reach the end of our fourth week of General Assembly Session here in Richmond, I am pleased to say that a number of productive initiatives are well under way. The House has made real progress towards economic development and has maintained its commitment to empowering our veterans. Several pieces of legislation making up the ‘GO Virginia’ plan passed through House committee this week. GO Virginia intends to incentivize localities, school divisions, and universities to work together on economic and workforce development. My colleagues and I have worked very hard to create this business friendly model, which does not depend on any tax increases from our constituents.

The House and Senate both passed an amendment to the Virginia Constitution this week. The amendment will appear on the fall ballot for citizens to vote on. The purpose of the amendment is to set Virginia’s right-to-work status in stone. It accomplishes this by prohibiting union membership as a condition of employment. The House has also considered over 80 bills and budget amendments intended to support our veterans. New initiatives include the Virginia Transition Assistance Program to aid veterans in their transition home and new scholarship programs for their continued education.

Week 4 - 1

The Virginia Bioscience Caucus met for the first time this week.  Pictured above are the CEO of Virginia Bio, Jeff Gallagher, the CEO of Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation Mike Grisham, Immunarray CEO Donna Edmonds, and Nutriati Incorporated CEO Richard Kelly. The main topics of the caucus include expanding Virginia’s activity in technological fields as well as funding for research in the biopharma industry.
As Chairman of the Transportation Committee, one of my tasks is to help focus our Commonwealth in areas that improve our transportation networks via rail, air, road, and space.  In addition, I work to advance the funding and accountability measures put forth.  I have joined Chairman Chris Jones and Secretary Aubrey Layne in creating the guidelines for a statewide tolling policy.  The following bills make up these guidelines:

House Bill 1069 restricts existing Virginia authorities such as VDOT from adding new tolls to our highways, establishes electronic notification of toll violations, and protects Virginia’s interstates from the creation of additional tolls.

House Bill 1070 establishes reciprocity with other states. This will ensure that toll violations made by citizens of other states are recorded and enforced. Virginia will also enforce toll violations made by Virginians in other states.

Week 4 - 2

It has been a great week for visitors here at my Richmond office.  I enjoyed meeting with the Old Dominion University Alumni Board, the Virginia Beach Teachers Association, students from Hampden Sydney College and Old Dominion University, several Parent Teachers Associations, NASA, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Eye Specialists, the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists, and the Multicultural Chamber Alliance.  Thank you all for your input and may the force be with you.

Week 4 - 3

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time for your insight and feedback on proposed legislation. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me, and enable me to better represent you. For the duration of legislative session, I can be found in Room 503 of the General Assembly Building. As always, I can be reached at (804) 698-1021 or

I also encourage you to take a moment to share your thoughts by completing the 2016 Session Survey.