Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2016 Session - Week 2

As you know, a significant snow storm is forecasted to impact most of Virginia this weekend. Significant accumulation of snow is expected across the Valley and other parts of the Commonwealth.  In order to help prepare for the storm, Governor McAuliffe has already issued a State of Emergency.  Before I provide you with an update on the General Assembly Session, let me first share some information on how to prepare for the storm. For general emergency planning tips, including tips for senior citizens and residents with disabilities, please click here.

If you lose power, be sure to report the outage to your respective provider.

Be sure to check out these tips from VDEM on power outages.  

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.  You can also download the Ready Virginia App here.  To find information on your local emergency management office, you can click here.  

To get the latest local school closings, cancellations and weather conditions please visit one of our local media outlets. (www.whsv.com, www.nbc29.com, www.wsvaonline.com)

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

My Legislation

Session is off to a quick start and my legislation is beginning to work its way through the committee process.  I have had a couple of early successes with 2 bills that began working their way through the process in the 2015 Session. 

As you may remember, last year I patroned House Bill 324, which established the Virginia Virtual School. The School will offer both online classes and virtual school programs to all public, private, and home-schooled children in Virginia. The Virginia Virtual School will be responsible for all federal and state accountability requirements applicable to those students enrolled on a full-time basis. 

This bill passed both houses and was signed by the Governor, but contained a reenactment clause.  This means that it has to be passed again this year in order to go into effect.

This year I filed House Bill 8, which is the same as last year’s house bill 324. It was referred to the Committee on Education, where it was reported out this week and re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  The Appropriations committee has to take a look at this legislation to help sort out the funding.

Virginia is a leader in so many areas and I hope that one of them will be virtual education. I am hopeful that we can get this legislation passed again this year so that parents will have this additional option when considering their choices for their child’s education.

You may also remember that last year I carried a resolution that would allow for a constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot that would add our Right to Work laws to the Virginia constitution.  It passed both houses last year, but in order to be put on the ballot it has to pass again this year.  It was heard earlier this week in a subcommittee of the Privileges and Elections committee and was reported out on a vote of 5-2. This was an encouraging step in strengthening our right to work laws in Virginia.

 Visitors

This week we were visited by a number of folks from home.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is always a busy day with many guests from all over the Commonwealth.  We had a number of folks drop by representing the Virginia Citizens Defense League, as well as local representatives from Americans for Prosperity and the Virginia Young Democrats.

Jason Clarke and representatives from Dupont Community Credit Union dropped by for a visit on Tuesday. Wednesday, Savanna had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Blue Ridge Medical Center who were in town for Health Safety Net day at the General Assembly. Thursday, I was able to spend a few minutes with Andrew Wiley who was there representing the Independent Auto Dealers Association, and Savanna met with Janita McNemar from the Adult Learning Center.  Last but not least I was able to visit with Dr. Frank Friedman and a group of students from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

We love seeing friendly faces from home during Session.  If you are going to be in the Richmond area, consider dropping by for a visit. While appointments are not required, we do recommend that you call or email us ahead of time to schedule a time for a visit.

While we make every attempt to see all of our constituents, please understand that our committee schedules can be very hectic and our schedule can change very quickly.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 

Contact Me

We will be operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2016 Session.  While we still monitor the voicemail on our District Office phone line, the quickest way to reach us by phone will be by calling the Richmond office directly at 804-698-1020.  We will still receive email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

If you prefer to send us written correspondence, you can send mail to Post Office Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.

As in previous Sessions, I will provide weekly updates throughout our time in Richmond. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, they can sign up online at bellfordelegate.com or email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com.

You can also stay updated by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing you in Richmond! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.



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