Joint Town Hall Meeting with Delegates Cline and Landes
Please join me on Thursday, January 6 for a joint Town Hall meeting in Stuarts Draft. We will be meeting in the auditorium at Guy Stump Elementary School at 115 Draft Avenue in Stuarts Draft. The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm. I would like to encourage each of you to come out if you haven’t had the chance to attend one of the others. The Town Hall meeting is open to the public. We will be giving you an overview of the 2011 Session and will be taking questions from you as well. If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to contact me.
2011 General Assembly Session Schedule
As you know, the 2011 General Assembly Session is upon us. We will be closing our District Office in Staunton during session, but we still would love to hear from you, or would love for you to schedule visits to our office in Richmond. In order to increase the likelihood that I will personally be able to meet with you, I want to give you my committee schedule for the 2011 Session.
Full Committee: Monday, 9:00 am & Wednesday, 8:30 am
Standards of Quality Subcommittee: Tuesday, 7:30 am
Subcommittee # 3: Thursday, 5:00 pm
Full Committee: Wednesday, 8:30 am
Subcommittee: Monday, 5:00 pm
Health, Welfare, and Institutions
Full Committee: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 am
Subcommittee: Monday, 5:30 pm
Sportsmen's Caucus: Thursday, 7:30 am
Speaker Howell’s Bible Study: Wednesday, 7:30 am
Most days the Republican Caucus meets at 11:30 am, and the Session begins at 12:00 noon.
Please let us know ahead of time when you plan to visit, and I will make every effort to meet with you. My legislative staff will be available to meet with you if for some reason I cannot.
The 2011 Session begins January 12, and is sure to be a busy one. Governor McDonnell will be focused on a series of government reforms that will include ABC privatization, improvements to transportation, and improvements to higher education in the Commonwealth.
I also have some priorities laid out for the session that I would like to share with you. I will focus my efforts on working to ensure funding for mental health services. I will continue to fight for education reform. Perhaps most importantly, I want to see our state government set an example to the federal government and show that you can do more with less, by cutting spending and shrinking the size of government. I also want to support small businesses and job creation, and have proposed a couple of pieces of legislation that will do so.
I would like to take some time to update you on the bills that I plan to carry this year. Because this is a short session (45 days), we are limited to 15 bills. I hope that you will follow these bills on our legislative information system after session begins.
HB 1435– This bill will require that American Sign Language (ASL) be recognized as a foreign language for all levels of private and public education.
HB 1410– This will allow a reduction in the corporate income tax for certain small businesses that increase their number of employees by 5% or more. This bill quite simply adds a tax incentive for small businesses to create jobs.
HB 1408– This is a bill that I submitted last year that moves to establish a special license plate in the Commonwealth of Virginia bearing our national motto, “In God We Trust.” Please see below for information on how you can help with the passage of this bill.
HB 1409 – This bill provides that whenever an individual is requested to provide prayer at public events sanctioned by a governmental agency, that agency will not be able to regulate how that individual refers to God in prayer, or to prohibit the religious content of the individual's prayer, provided that prayer is not used to advance or disparage another faith.
HB 1428 – This is a bill that Delegate Matt Lohr carried last year. It would require all abortion clinics to be licensed and regulated by the Board of Health. In other words, it requires abortion clinics to have the same regulations as any other health clinic.
HB 1473 – This is a bill I mentioned in the last newsletter. It will create penalties for the possession, sale, and distribution of synthetic marijuana. These penalties are largely in accordance with the provisions for actual marijuana.
HJ 500 – This resolution is the first resolution calling for a Constitutional amendment to add the Right to Work law to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
HJ 513 – This resolution commends Highland County High School for being one of only 7 schools in Virginia to be honored as a United States Department of Education No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School.
HJ 514 – This resolution commends the Town of Bridgewater on the occasion of its 175th Anniversary.
I have a filed a few more bills that do not have bill numbers yet, but I will certainly keep you updated as those become available.
As I mentioned last month, my website has undergone some significant changes. I would like to encourage you to check the site frequently, as it will be an important way of communicating with constituents during session. If you haven’t yet had a chance to do so, please visit the site at www.bellfordelegate.com.
“In God We Trust” License Plate
As I mentioned above, I will be carrying a bill in the 2011 General Assembly session to create a specialized license plate with our national motto, "In God We Trust." In order for this bill to pass through the Transportation Committee, the Department of Motor Vehicles must have 350 pre-paid applications on file. If you are interested in purchasing an "In God We Trust" license plate, you can download an application at www.ingodwetrustvaplate.com. In the event that we do not get enough applications and the bill does not pass, this money will be returned to you from the Hubble Group. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Changes to DMV Vehicle Registration
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has recently added a new service to allow you to more conveniently receive your vehicle registration renewal notice. You can now sign up to receive your vehicle registration renewal notices via email or telephone rather than U.S. mail. This is a convenient service that is also going to save taxpayer dollars. In order to opt in you can establish an online account with the DMV and let them know your preferred method for receiving these notifications. You will just need to establish or update your DMV PIN number, and then you will be able to manage your DMV record and complete other transactions without having to visit a DMV office. To sign up visit www.dmvNOW.com/myDMV
Please provide me with your ideas on one or two things that should be priorities in the General Assembly Session this year. Email these ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need your help to continue to get my message of small government out there. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibits members of the General Assembly from raising money during the Legislative Session. If you are able to help me with a donation of any amount, please click hereto make a secure donation online prior to January 12, 2011. You can also mail a check made out to Bell for Delegate to P.O. Box 239, Staunton, VA 24402. Thank you in advance for your help.