Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2017 Session - Week 2

Today, our nation pauses to witness one of the fundamental hallmarks of our Republic, the peaceful transfer of power.  Today is a day for us to reflect on our past and look forward to our future. Despite differences that we may have with the outgoing or incoming President, I thank President Obama for his service and I pray for wisdom for President Trump as we start this new chapter. It is uniquely American that the transfer of power in the world’s greatest and most powerful country continues to take place peacefully and without bloodshed. We are America!

As the eyes of the nation are on Washington D.C. today, we are hard at work in Richmond.  We are wrapping up the first full week of the 2017 Session.  It is a short 45 day session with over 1700 bills and things are off to a quick start!

Jobs Agenda

Unfortunately, Virginia’s economy is still lagging.  Since 2015, we have lost more than 4,000 jobs, weekly wages are down, and part-time employees are up by more than 20,000.

The Virginia House Republicans are putting forward an aggressive agenda that will help get our economy moving. Our jobs agenda has one main goal: make it easier for people to work.

The current regulatory system is broken. Onerous permitting requirements have made it extremely difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to do business.  While we certainly don’t think that all regulations should be abolished, they should be transparent, fair, easy to understand and impose minimal financial burdens on businesses and families.

Several members have submitted bills to strengthen public input requirements on newly proposed regulations, create accountability for those agencies that think they should be exempt from public input, and in general scale back the tremendous amount of regulatory burden working professionals currently experience.

We will also have comprehensive legislation to reform the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the state agency tasked with marketing Virginia to potential new businesses.

Last December, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission published a disappointing report on this agency. In their briefing, they highlighted that VEDP has operated without using basic practices necessary for effective management and marketing. Further, VEDP’s unstructured and inconsistent approach to administering state incentive grant programs left the state vulnerable to fraud and poor use of limited resources.

I look forward to the ongoing discussion of this jobs agenda and hope that with this effort we will get Virginia's economy moving in the right direction.

My Legislation

Most of my legislation is still working its way through the committee process. I will keep you updated as bills advance.  In the meantime, if you want to take a look, you can do so online here

Legislative Survey

Each year I conduct a legislative survey featuring a few important public policy issues that may be considered by the General Assembly.  Your opinion is very important to me, so please take a few moments to let me know where you stand on the issues. 

You can take the survey online here.

Feel free to share this survey with your friends and family who live in the 20th District!

While we make every attempt to include as many topics as possible on the survey, we simply can’t cover everything.  If you have an opinion on an issue not covered by the survey, please let us hear from you.

Contact Information

We are operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2017 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.

Any political or campaign inquiries should still be sent to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.  

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

Visitors

We had a number of visitors from the 20th District in Richmond this week. We saw a group of school nutritionists from the Valley.  We were also visited by a group representing the Virginia Young Democrats, as well as a large group representing Americans for Prosperity.  We saw representatives from the Valley Children’s Advocacy Center as well as local economic development leaders including Carrie Chenery and Greg Hitchens.  We were visited by a group of professional firefighters from Staunton, as well as Peggy Whitehead and a group of professionals representing Blue Ridge Medical Center. Tom Sheets visited, as well as a group representing the board at Augusta Health. Amanda Campbell came to advocate for physical education in Virginia, and Pat Jarrett dropped by representing the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.  

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.

Weekly Updates

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.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment