Savanna Funkhouser

Bell amendment would codify 'right to work' status

The amendment was proposed by local House District 20 Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, who has been working on passing the amendment since he took office in 2010.

Bell's amendment has the backing of both the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. Those organizations, along with Bell and most Republicans, maintain that Virginia's right-to-work status is a plus in the state's efforts to recruit business and new industry.

Read More - Bell amendment would codify 'right-to-work' status - The News Virginian


published SOL Committee Member Offers Update on Work in Blog 2015-01-02 17:47:37 -0500

SOL Committee Member Offers Update on Work

Can Virginia’s nearly two-decade old Standards of Learning education accountability system be changed?

A 32-member committee of educators and Virginia legislators have been at work since the summer looking at potential changes to the SOLs. Already, the committee has made 12 recommendations to the Virginia General Assembly, SOL Innovation Committee member Karen Thomsen told a group in Augusta County Tuesday night.

 

Read More: SOL Committee Member Offers Update on Work - The News Virginian


Important Information Regarding Hurricane Sandy

As you are likely aware, Hurricane Sandy is already beginning to bear down on the East Coast.  Here in the Valley, we are already seeing the effects of Sandy, and it is forecasted to only going to get worse over the next 48 hours or so.  I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you information that will be beneficial to make note of as we begin to feel the strongest impact to our area.  Though the "eye" of the storm may not pass through the Valley, this does not mean that we won't be significantly impacted by Sandy. Regardless of exactly how the storm tracks, we are still expecting long periods of high winds, significant rainfall, and depending on where you’re located, possibly snowfall.

With expected high winds, power outages will be likely...

  • Charge your cell phones and laptops now so you will still have battery power in the event of a power outage.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to maximum cold and keep closed.
  • Using a flashlight is safer than using a candle for lighting.
  • Place generators far enough away that Carbon Monoxide won't enter the home.
  • If you have a land line, use a phone that does not require electricity so that you will still have phone service even if you lose power.
  • If you lose power, be sure to report the outage to your respective provider.

                  Dominion - 1-866-366-4357

                  Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop. - 1-800-234-7832

                  Central Valley Electric Coop. - 1-800-367-2832

 

Please be sure to use 9-1-1 only for true emergencies.

To check road conditions, you can call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org

For general information about the storm and the response effort, dial 211 or visit www.vaemergency.gov

By now, I hope you have made your necessary preparations. Please stay tuned to local media for the latest updates and information. Avoid driving or going out into the storm if at all possible.

Stay safe!


Important Information Regarding the 2012 Election

We have just over a week until the 2012 Election!  Like many of you, I’m very encouraged by the recent trends in polling, as well as Governor Romney’s performance in the debates.  However we must not take anything for granted.  The only “polling” that really matters is that which occurs on November 6.

I just want to take a few minutes to provide you with some important information about the upcoming election.  I hope you will find this information helpful, and I encourage you to pass it on to friends and family who may not be on this email list.

Hours and Polling Locations

In Virginia, all polls will be open from 6:00 am –7:00 pm on November 6.

If you do not know where you vote, you can find that information on your voter registration card. It is listed under“Voting Location” and will provide the name and address of your polling place.  You can also find it online by clicking here.

Voting Absentee

If you will be unable to vote on Election Day, it is not too late to apply for an absentee ballot.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is quickly approaching, though.  In order to request an absentee ballot you can download an application hereor contact your local Voter Registration Office to request an absentee ballot application. In order to have your absentee ballot mailed to you, your absentee ballot application must beRECEIEVED by your local registrar’s office by 5:00 pm eastern standard time on the Tuesday prior to the Election Day (Tuesday, October 30).

After receiving your absentee ballot in the mail, your completed absentee ballot must be received by an election official by 7:00 pm on Election Day in order to be counted.

Virginia also allows in person absentee voting for those who qualify to vote absentee.  In order to vote in person, you must complete an absentee ballot application at the registrar’s office and present an acceptable form of identification.  You will then be able to cast a ballot at the registrar’s office. The deadline to vote in person absentee is Saturday, November 3 at 5:00 pm.

For more information on absentee voting, including information on who is eligible to vote absentee please click here.

                               Acceptable Forms of Identification       
During the 2012 General Assembly Session, changes were made to Virginia’s voter identification laws.  Virginia law now requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of identification at the polls.  Voters arriving to the polls without ID will be required to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

Acceptable forms of identification are as follows:

  • Virginia voter registration card
  • Valid Virginia driver's license
  • Military ID
  • Any Federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID
  • Employer issued photo ID card
  • Concealed handgun permit
  • Valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter
  • Social Security card (*please see below as the social security card does not satisfy special federal ID requirements)

For more information about the new voter id requirements, please click here.

What’s on the Ballot?

You are no doubt aware that this year elections are being held for President and Vice President, Senate, and Congress.  I encourage you to support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for President and Vice President, George Allen for Senate, and Robert Hurt and Bob Goodlatte for Congress.

You may not be aware, however, that there are also two proposed amendments to the Virginia constitution also on the ballot this year.

Amendment 1

Amendment 1 is the more substantive of the two.  It will read:

Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?

I strongly encourage you to support this amendment.   

In a 2005 case from Connecticut (Kelo vs. New London), the United State Supreme Court upheld the taking of private property and its transfer to a private business for economic development purposes, and also said that states could restrict the use of eminent domain.

Two years later, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Section 1-29.1 of the Code of Virginia, and set limits on the use of eminent domain powers.  The proposed constitutional amendment takes it a step farther.  Amendments to the code by the General Assembly can be changed by any future General Assembly. However if the proposed amendment passes, it can only be changed by a future constitutional amendment approved by voters. 

The proposed amendment includes the following:

  • The right to private property is a “fundamental” right.
  • The taking or damaging of private property must be for a “public use”.
  • No more property may be taken or damaged than is necessary for the stated public use
  • A “public service company, public service corporation, or railroad exercises the power of eminent domain for public use when such exercise is for the authorized provision of utility, common carrier, or railroad services.” Elimination of a public nuisance may be a public use. It is not considered public use if the “primary  use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development.”
  • Just compensation for property taken is expanded and defined to be“no less than the value of the property taken, lost profits, and lost access, and damages to the residue caused by the taking.”
  • The burden of proof lies on the entity condemning the property, who must prove that the property is being taken for public use.

I believe that property rights are foundational rights, and I believe this amendment takes a huge step in protecting those rights in Virginia.  I hope that you will join me in voting“Yes” on Amendment 1.

Amendment 2

Amendment 2 is more technical in nature. It will read:

Shall Section 6 of Article IV (Legislature) of the Constitution of Virginia concerning legislative sessions be amended to allow the General Assembly to delay by no more than one week the fixed starting date for the reconvened or "veto" session when the General Assembly meets after a session to consider the bills returned to it by the Governor with vetoes or amendments?

At the end of every legislative session, the General Assembly is required by the Constitution to meet again or reconvene in a “veto” session.  The only bills that the General Assembly can consider in a veto session are bills that passed during the legislative session and that the Governor has sent back to it with his vetoes or suggested amendments.

The constitution now requires that the veto session must begin on the sixth Wednesday following the end of each session.  The veto session usually lasts for only one day, and cannot last more than ten days.

The proposed amendment gives the General Assembly the flexibility to delay the start of the veto session for up to one week.  This will enable the General Assembly to avoid possible scheduling of the veto session on a religious holiday such as Passover.  The proposed amendment does not change the present limits on the business that can be considered or the length of the veto session.

I would encourage you to join me in voting“yes” on this amendment.

Local Registrars’ Offices

If you have additional questions about the upcoming election I would encourage you to contact your local registrar.

Augusta County – (540) 245-5656

Highland County – (540) 468-2013

Nelson County – (434) 263-4068

City of Staunton – (540) 332-3840

City of Waynesboro – (540) 942-6620

Final Thoughts

I would like to thank all of you who have taken time to volunteer for our candidates. I know that many of you have made phone calls, knocked on doors, and manned the headquarters.

We are in the home stretch now, but we cannot stop yet. We must keep working to help carry our team across the finish line.  If you’re willing to knock on doors or make phone calls, contact Joe Russo at the Harrisonburg Victory office and he will let you know how you can get involved. You can reach Joe by email at JRusso@rpv.org, or by phone at (540) 221-1503.

Additionally, I know that our local committees are looking for folks to volunteer to hand out sample ballots at the polls on Election Day. If you’re willing to sign up for a shift, contact your local committee chair, who will point you in the right direction.

Thanks again, and as always, thanks for allowing me to serve as your delegate.


Delegate Bell Awarded Child Advocate Award by Virginia Council on Private Education

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that he has been awarded the 2012 Child Advocate Award by the Virginia Council for Private Education at a Luncheon reception in Richmond today. 


A spokesman for the Council, Matthew Stanley, remarked that "This award is in recognition for Delegate Bell's constant advocacy for children; for their health and safety, their education, and for those with disabilities. This is an award that we do not give every year, but only when there is a legislator that we feel has gone above and beyond in their advocacy for children."


“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition from the Virginia Council for Private Education.” said Delegate Bell “Children’s issues, including child abuse, children’s mental health, and improved education opportunities for all of Virginia’s students have been a top priority for me throughout my tenure in the House of Delegates. I believe these are vital issues that must be addressed. I’m very grateful that the Council for Private Education has recognized these efforts.” 

Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes parts of Nelson and Augusta Counties, Highland County, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.

Join Delegate Bell for Barbeque and Bluegrass!

Delegate Dickie Bell

With invited guests

Lt. Governor and Mrs. Bill Bolling

Governor and Mrs. George Allen

Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Robert Hurt

Congressman Morgan Griffith

Senator Mark Obenshain

 invite you to join them for an evening of

Bluegrass & Barbeque

Friday, October 5th, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

 

Shenandoah Harley-Davidson

213 RollingThunder Lane

Staunton,Virginia 24401

 

For questions or to RSVP, please contact Anne Bell at 540-448-4617 or by email at mrsrbellcoach@comcast.net

          *Casual Attire*

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yes, I will join Delegate Bell for Bluegrass & BBQ Oct. 5th at the following level

$1,000 Platinum Level

$500 Gold Level

               $250 Silver Level               

 $100 Bronze Level

 $40 per person to attend

 

Yes, I support Delegate Bell.  However, I cannot attend the event, but please accept my generous contribution of $________ to show my support!

 

Please make checks payable to “Bell for Delegate” 

2620 Eston Drive, Staunton, VA  24401

 

Name (s): ___________________________________________________________________

Company Name: _____________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________

Phone: ________________ Fax: _________________ Email: _________________________

Occupation: ________________________ Employer: _______________________________

 

         
   
   

Political Contributions are not tax-deductible.  Paid for by Bell for Delegate.  Corporate Contributions are accepted.  State law requires employer and occupation information for contributions over $100 in a calendar year.

   
   

 

 

 

 


Statement of Delegate Dickie Bell Regarding the Governor’s Announcement of FY 2012 Surplus Figures.

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) today issued the following statement in response to Governor Bob McDonnell's announcement of FY 2012 surplus including agency savings:

 

           “Just last month Governor McDonnell announced $129. million in FY 2012 surplus revenues.  Earlier today, in a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Finance Committees and the Senate Finance Committee, he announced an additional $319.3 million in agency savings.  This brings us to a total FY 2012 surplus of $448.5 million.  This is the third straight year that the Commonwealth has produced a budget surplus.  Just three years ago, our Commonwealth was in dire fiscal distress, facing a budget shortfall of nearly $6 billion.  We have gone from that shortfall in 2010 to nearly 1.4 billion in surpluses and budget savings over the past three years, all without a tax increase.  This is an incredible accomplishment. These continued surpluses are great news for Virginia, and one of many reasons that Virginia continues to be one of the best states to do business.”  said Delegate Bell.

 

“Though this budget surplus brings with it many benefits, perhaps one of the most significant items that we will be able to address is a 3 percent performance based bonus to state employees on December 1.  Because our state employees were able to work together and use their innovation to be frugal, while not sacrificing service, they achieved the cost savings necessary to fund this bonus.  Our state employees have once again risen to the occasion and made this possible for themselves.”

 

“In addition to the one time state employee bonus, the Appropriations Act and the Virginia Constitution, and the Code of Virginia determines how this surplus must be allocated. An additional 78.3 million will be set aside for deposit to the Revenue Stabilization fund bringing the Rainy Day Fund balance to $689 million.  Another $30 million will go to the Federal Action Contingency Trust Fund. We will be able to return $132.3 million to higher education and non general fund accounts, 16.9 million to the Virginia Water Quality Fund, $20.9 million to the Transportation Trust Fund, and finally $17.2 million will be set aside to cover our obligations resulting from the natural disasters occurring over the course of FY 2012.

 

“Though Virginia is faring better than many other states in our nation, the economy is still very uncertain.  Many Virginians are still struggling to live within their means, and having to make extremely tough choices. When they have to face the challenge of balancing their books, they should be able to expect this from the Government as well.  And fortunately over the past three years they have been able to see this from Governor McDonnell.   He has spent the last three years working to produce not only a balanced the budget, which is a constitutional requirement, but budgets that have produced three consecutive surpluses. Virginians want to see this type of responsibility in Government, and this is what they deserve.” 

 

Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell is now serving his 2nd term.  He represents parts Nelson and Augusta Counties, Highland County, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.

 

 

# # #

 


Delegate Bell Commends Governor McDonnell for VTC Announcement

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) today commended Governor McDonnell on his recent announcement that the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) will award will award matching grant funds in the amount of more than $660,000 to 45 local tourism initiatives as part of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Grant program.  The grants help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 3:1 to create marketing projects such as Web sites, social media, and advertisements.

The grants that will be beneficial to our area are as follows:

  • $12,500 awarded to the City of Waynesboro-Tourism Office for Comprehensive Destination Marketing, research, Feasibility and Strategic Planning
  • $25,000 awarded to the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association for the Shenandoah Valley Regional Branding Initiative (SVRBI)
  • $4,000 awarded to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum for Stay and Play
  • $5,000 awarded to the Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables for promoting the Shenandoah Valley as a Premier Wedding Destination
  • $5,000 awarded to the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce for Good Times, Tastes, and Traditions Fall Celebration
  • $5,000 awarded to the Shenandoah Valley Art Center Inc. for River City Fall Foliage Weekend
  • $5,000 awarded to Nelson County Tourism for Virginia Cider Association
  • $5,000 awarded to the Artisans Center of Virginia for the Artisan Trail Network: Bedford and Shenandoah Counties and “Virginia’s Western Highlands Artisan Trail”
  • $5,000 awarded to Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. for the Virginia Chili Blues n’ Brews Festival
  • $3,000 awarded to Waynesboro Parks and Recreation for Park to Park Half marathon promotion.

 

            “I am thrilled that these grants have been awarded to so many well-deserving local organizations.  Tourism is so important to our economy here in the Valley, and to the economy of the Commonwealth as a whole.” said Delegate Bell.  “I am optimistic that these grants will help stimulate new tourism marketing and help support the economy in the Valley and throughout Virginia.”

            The objective of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Program is to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships and extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand.  To apply for a grant a minimum of three entities must partner financially.  Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.  In total, VTC awards approximately $1 million annually - matched and leveraged on average three to one by partner dollars - to more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth.

            More information about these grants can be seen at the Governor’s website at the following link http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1378

            Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell is currently serving in his 2nd term.   Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which currently includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.

 

# # #

 


Delegate Bell Commends Governor, Augusta County, and McKee Foods Corporation on Expansion in Augusta

Staunton, VA – Today, Governor McDonnell and Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Jim Cheng, announced that McKee Foods Corporation will invest $19 million to expand production at its manufacturing facility in Stuarts Draft in Augusta County. Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell commended the Governor, Augusta County, and McKee Foods Corporation on this expansion, which will add 78 new jobs to our area.

“McKee Foods has been one of the major employers in Augusta County for over two decades, and their announcement today further cements this fact.  In a time of extreme economic uncertainty, I am extremely pleased that they have been able to expand when many corporations are instead being forced to downsize.” said Delegate Bell.  “I am especially grateful that Governor McDonnell saw the need to place $200,000 of the Governor’s Opportunity Fund into this expansion. I know that the impact that this expansion has on the economy of our area will be great. I look forward to their continued success.”

Headquartered in Collegedale, Tennessee, McKee Foods Corporation represents a group of companies that provide a livelihood for more than 6,000 employees, and has annual sales in excess of $1 billion. The company’s products are available across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and on U.S. military bases around the world. While McKee Foods Corporation is best known for its line of Little Debbie® brand snack cakes, product lines also include Sunbelt®, Heartland® and Fieldstone™ Bakery.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. The company is also eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.

Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.


published Ryan Gets the Thumbs Up in Blog 2012-08-15 13:10:48 -0400

published Bell: Boost Kids Mental Health in Blog 2012-08-15 13:07:08 -0400

Bell: Boost Kids Mental Health

STAUNTON — Del. Richard P. “Dickie” Bell on Thursday expressed frustrations with trying to convince many of his legislative colleagues and political leaders to make funding for children’s mental health a higher priority.

“It’s tough because we have an administration that is sympathetic to the needs” of children and adults with mental illness, said Bell, R-Staunton, at a legislative forum hosted by Valley Community Services Board and Mental Health America of Augusta.

“It’s hard when (leaders) are sympathetic, but they’re not willing to fund it ....

“It’s always the cost. It’s always about money,” Bell said. “We never talk about the real needs of children with mental health issues. What’s the cost to society if we don’t find the money?”

Read More: Bell: Boost Kids' Mental Health - The News Leader


Delegate Dickie Bell is Right on Mental Health

Most everyone but perhaps the most vehement of budget-cutting libertarians or tea partiers would agree that providing basic medical care to those who need it is a prudent job of government.

So funding for, say, Medicaid or Medicare for an individual with cancer is something that most all of us can agree is a good way to spend tax dollars.

Read More: Delegate Dickie Bell is Right on Mental Health - The News Virginian


Delegate Dickie Bell Thinks Mental Health Funding Needs Prioritizing

Del. Dickie Bell told a meeting of providers Thursday that mental health needs to be a priority in the Virginia budget, and that it should be funded like the state’s other core services such as transportation, education and public safety.

The Staunton Republican spoke at the annual legislative forum sponsored by the Valley Community Services Board and Mental Health America of Augusta.

Read More - Delegate Dickie Bell Thinks Mental Health Funding Needs Prioritizing - The News Virginian


Local Legislators React to State Surplus Funds Being Spoken For

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Monday announcement that the commonwealth recorded a $129 million surplus for the recent fiscal year brought a mixed reaction from local legislators and other elected officials.

They are pleased that the state has frugally managed its resources, but say the governor’s announcement makes it sound as if a windfall is going to local governments and citizens.

Instead, the bulk of the funds – more than $78 million – will go to Virginia’s Rainy Day fund. This appropriation will bring the fund to $690 million -- its largest total since 2008.

Read More - Local Legislators React to State Surplus Funds Being Spoken For - The News Leader


published PPI/TimeZero to Add 50 Jobs in Waynesboro in Blog 2012-08-15 12:57:04 -0400

PPI/TimeZero to Add 50 Jobs in Waynesboro

Waynesboro high-tech electronics manufacturer PPI/Time Zero said Tuesday that it plans to add 50 jobs to its local operation by the end of the year, which will take the company’s local workforce to 100.

PPI/Time Zero President and CEO Dana Pittman said the company’s first year at the Solutions Place business center in Waynesboro has gone better than he could have hoped.

Read more: PPI/TimeZero to Add 50 Jobs in Waynesboro - The News Virginian


Romney Campaign Makes Early Foray Into the Valley

It’s only the second week of July, but the Mitt Romney campaign for president is running full steam in Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley.

On Wednesday, the Romney campaign bus rolled through Staunton and Waynesboro. Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, offered speeches in support of Romney, while campaign workers got rally visitors to make phone bank calls on the bus.

Read More: Romney Campaign Makes Early Foray Into the Valley - The News Virginian


Local reaction positive to Virginia's Waiver from No Child Left Behind

The news Friday that the U.S. Department of Education has granted a waiver to Virginia schools from the benchmarks of the federal No Child Left Behind law brought audible relief from commonwealth educators, political leaders and school board members.

The waiver removes meeting the adequate yearly progress mandate of the federal law, and the unrealistic requirement that all students achieve proficiency by 2014.

Read More: Local Reaction Positive to Virginia's Waiver from No Child Left Behind-The News Virginian



published Bell Sounds from the 20th - July 27 in Newsletter 2012-07-29 21:32:48 -0400

Bell Sounds from the 20th - July 27

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  Though the House of Delegates is not in session, I’ve been busy traveling throughout the 20th District participating in numerous parade, lawn parties, and other area events.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many of you out, and I’m hopeful that I will continue to see some of you out and about at the various celebrations throughout the district.

 I want to take a few minutes to give you an update on what’s going on in the Commonwealth and here in the 20th District.

Churchville Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Carnival

This weekend the Churchville Volunteer Fire Department is hosting their annual carnival.  It started on Wednesday,July 25 and will go through tomorrow, Saturday July 28, andwill take place at the Churchville Elementary School.  Tomorrow nightI will participate in the Churchville Fireman’s Parade at 5:00 pm. Ihope to see you out at the parade and carnival!

Augusta County Fair

The Augusta County Fair is just around the corner. The fair will kick off on Tuesday, August 7 and go through Saturday,August 11. The gates will open at 6:00 pm on Tuesday through Friday,and at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

For more information about the Augusta County Fair,visit their website at http://www.augustacountyfairva.com.

The Augusta County and Staunton City Republican Committees will be working together to sponsor a booth for our Republican candidates.  Please stop by to say hello, and pick up your yard signs, bumper stickers, and other literature.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the booth please let me know, and I would be happy to pass it on to the appropriate person.

Highland County Fair

The Highland County Fair will kick off on Saturday,August 25, and will be in full swing from Wednesday, August 29 –Saturday, September 1. I will be over on Wednesday night to participate in the parade, and I hope to see you there.

For more information on the Highland County Fair, or for a detailed fair schedule, visit their website at www.highlandcountyfairva.com.

Make a Difference in 2012!

The 2012 Election is only 101 days away!  This is the most important election of our lifetime, and the visions for leading America could not be more different.  I strongly support Mitt Romney for President, George Allen for United States Senate, and Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt for United States House of Representatives.

 Virginia is a battleground state, and crucial to victory for Mitt Romney.  The polls have all races extremely close,and every vote will make a difference.

If you want to makea difference during this crucial election, I would encourage you to volunteer at our local Victory Headquarters.  The headquarters in Harrisonburg is already open and they need volunteers to make phone calls and knock on doors for our Republican candidates.

The headquarters is located at 182 Neff Avenue, Suite S13 in Harrisonburg.  They are open from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm, Monday - Friday and 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturdays.  If you'd like to volunteer please contact Joe Russo.  The phone number for the headquarters is 540-221-1503, or you can contact them by email at HarrisonburgHQ@rpv.org.

There will be a headquarters opening in Staunton very soon. Please stay tuned for more details.    

Save the Date - Barbecue and Bluegrass with Delegate Bell  

Please mark your calendars for the evening of October 5.   We willbe hosting our annual Barbecue and Bluegrass event at Shenandoah Harley Davidson in Staunton. We will be sending more details as the date gets closer.

 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

 Each year many families across the Commonwealth struggle to afford school supplies for their children.

 To make this time of year a bit more bearable,Virginia is once again holding a Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. The Holiday will start Friday, August 3 and go for three full days through Sunday, August 5.

 This is one small way that we can try to makeschool supplies more affordable.  I encourage each of you to take advantage of this opportunity.

 You can save on all school supplies (priced at $20 or less per item) and clothing and footwear (priced at $100 or less per article of clothing or pair of footwear) for three full days. There is no limit on the number of items that may be purchasedtax-free.  Additionally, some retailers will voluntarily absorb the sales tax on other items in their stores for these three days.

 All residents, not just those headed back toschool, qualify for the tax exemption.  You can find a complete list of exempt items, as well as guidelines for the sales tax holiday and aset of frequently asked questions, online at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday

 Women’s Monument on Capitol Square

 The Virginia Women’s Monument Commission is currently seeking proposals for a site specific sculpted design to beerected on the grounds of capitol square.  Recently, there have been a number of conversations held across the Commonwealth regarding the possibility of a permanent tribute to Virginia women on Capitol Square. The Commission is planning for a monument to be erected that will stand as a constant reminder of the key role that women have played in the History of the Commonwealth.   They hope the monument will inspire the women of today, while recognizing the struggles and accomplishments of the women of our past.

 For more information on the monument, or forinformation on how to submit proposals or provide feedback, please see Governor McDonnell’s Press Release.

 Governor McDonnell Signs Legislation to Strengthen Penalties for Repeat Drug Dealers

 This week, Governor McDonnell signed legislation from the 2012 Session that would strengthen penalties for repeat drug dealers.  Among the legislation were measures to increase the mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug dealers, criminalize the illegal distribution of new synthetic cannabinoids and hallucinogenic bath salts, strengthen procedures to combat the use of methamphetamine and establish a Substance Abuse Recovery Grant Program.

 One of the fundamental obligations of the government is to provide safety for its citizens.  Each year,thousands of Virginians suffer from the effects of drugs and addiction, yet dealers continue to provide these illegal products. The consequences of this extends beyond the individual, and impacts families and our community as a whole.  Therefore I’m pleased that Governor McDonnell signed this legislation and showed Virginia’s commitment to decreasing the spread of illegal drugs here in the Commonwealth.

For more information about this, please see the Governor’s Press Release.

 Donate

Though there’s no election for the House of Delegates this year, the need for money is still very real.  We must spread our positive message of small government, fiscal responsibility, and valley values across Virginia.

I would like to continue this work as your Delegate and promote this message, but I cannot do this without your help.   I would sincerely appreciate your donation of $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford. You can donate online here or you can send a check to Dickie Bell for Delegate Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

As always, thank you for your generosity.

Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if wecan be of any assistance to you. You can reach us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.


Statement from Delegate Dickie Bell Regarding the Supreme Court's Decision Regarding Obama Care

“I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.  I believed, and still believe, that President Obama and Congress overstepped their authority by passing legislation requiring the citizens of the United States to purchase health insurance.  Unfortunately the Supreme Court did not reach that same conclusion, and we must accept their decision.”

     “What the ruling today did not change, however, is that Obamacare is bad policy. The ruling to leave PPACA intact will force Virginia and the other 49 states to continue their preparations to follow a law that is extremely burdensome and expensive.”

     “Virginia Republicans have been among the most vocal opponents of Obamacare, which will result in net spending of 1.2 trillion from 2012 – 2022. We quite simply cannot afford this level of spending, particularly during these uncertain economic times when we should be removing barriers to employment.  These barriers include higher taxes, increased regulation, and costly mandates.  For these reasons, in the 2010 General Assembly Session we passed House Bill 10, which Attorney General Cuccinelli used to provide legal basis for his lawsuit. Unfortunately those efforts end today.” 

     “The fight, however, is not over. It is now up to us, the American People, to stop Obamacare.  Today’s decision makes the November election even more critical.  We have two extremely distinct and different views on how to move this country forward, and it is vital that we elect Mitt Romney as President of the United States, George Allen to the United States Senate, and that we send Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt back to the House of Representatives.  We need President Romney and a solidly Republican congress to repeal Obamacare.”

     “It is no question that every Virginian and every American needs access to affordable health care, however Obamacare is not the solution.  We must instead work toward a solution that is economically responsible, reflects free market principles, and protects our individual liberties.”


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