Bell Sounds from the 20th - Spotlight on Education

Over the last few weeks there have been several comments and accusations coming from those who oppose my candidacy regarding my views on education policy.  While I don’t normally feel inclined to respond to every criticism that comes my way, I do feel the need to address this with you. 

As many of you are already aware, I am a retired special education teacher.  I taught for 18 years before I retired in 2010.

I’m extremely proud of my record on education.  My experience in the classroom, especially in special education, taught me that all children learn differently.  I loved working with those children and they are the reason I am so passionate about education reform in the Commonwealth. 

I believe that every child in our Commonwealth deserves the right to a top-notch education, regardless of their zip code.   There is no doubt that Virginia has one of the best school systems in the country, but many of our students are still being left behind.  Traditional public schools work well for the vast majority of our students, but I believe parents should have additional choices should they find that their child does not learn well in the traditional classroom environment.

Education is the gateway to opportunity and should be the great equalizer. No matter a student’s background, our education system should make anything possible for every child.  This is why my colleagues and I have worked to make sure that our education system meets the unique needs of every child, whether that means a traditional learning model, virtual education or access to a charter or private school.

While I am extremely supportive of homeschooling, charter schools, and other school choice initiatives that we’ve looked at over the past few years, my specific interest has been in full-time virtual education.  During the 2017 Session we worked on House Bill 1400.  This bill established the Virginia Virtual School. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the bill would have required the School to be open to any school-age person seeking a full-time virtual education in the Commonwealth and to provide an educational program meeting the Standards of Quality for grades kindergarten through 12.

The virtual legislation has been a work in progress over the last several years, but I believe we have built a strong piece of legislation.  The bill did NOT take funding from public schools, but rather required the average state share of Standards of Quality per pupil funding for each enrolled student to be transferred to the School.  We modeled this legislation off the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton.  This idea has passed both Houses of the General Assembly the last two sessions, only to be vetoed by Governor McAuliffe.  

My support for school choice initiatives does NOT, however, mean that I do not support our traditional public schools.  On the contrary, I believe that empowering parents and students with choices in education and improving our traditional public school system go hand in hand.

Our state constitution specifically requires the General Assembly to maintain not only a public education system, but one of “high quality.”  This is a core function of state government. Strengthening and improving education has been a top priority for the General Assembly each year.

This starts with recruiting and retaining the best and brightest teachers.  We have excellent teachers in Virginia and we have made it a priority to provide these teachers with the tools, resources, and flexibility they need to provide our children with an excellent education. 

We have provided four teacher pay raises in the last five years.  This includes a 2% raise in 2017, 2% raise in 2016, a 1.5% raise in 2015 and a 2% raise in 2013, for a total of $106 million.  The most recent raise passed by the General Assembly was fully funded by the state without the local match requirement. This will go into effect in February of 2018.

We have made major reforms to our Standards of Learning, reducing the total number of tests from 22 to 17. We’ve worked to eliminate burdensome red-tape that takes time away from what matters most: educating our children.  We included $193 million in the 2016 budget to reduce the unfunded liability in the teacher retirement account.  In 2013, I patroned House Bill 2151, which reformed the teacher evaluation system to create more accountability while clarifying contract status for existing teachers. This was a major bipartisan achievement, endorsed by Republicans and the Virginia Education Association. In 2013, as part of our initiative to attract and retain good teachers, we created the Teach for America program in Virginia.

Another common misconception is that we have continued to cut funding to K-12 education or that somehow public education is not fully funded.  This in fact is not true.  While there was some reduction to direct aid to public education a few years ago during the peak of the recession, we have increased funding every year since FY 2011 and education funding now exceeds its pre-recession levels by approximately $200 million.  The current budget invested an additional $18 million in K-12 beyond the Governor’s introduced budget.  Additionally, for the current budget we increased the amount of lottery money going back to schools to $191.3 million.  This money goes to schools with no strings attached, so they can use it to meet their most critical needs.

I’m proud of the work that my colleagues and I have put into education over the last several years.  I have personally patroned 39 education related bills during my time in the house that range from school choice initiatives, to school discipline reform measures, to legislation to improve educational rights for students who are deaf and hard of hearing and expand opportunities for learning American Sign Language. 

I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still so much more to be done. My commitment to education reform in the Commonwealth is one of the reasons that I am running for re-election. I want to continue the work that we have started and continue improving our education system for our teachers, students, and parents.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - October 30, 2017

Virginians head to the polls one week from tomorrow!  If you haven’t yet been involved in the campaign, there’s still time!  There will be many volunteer opportunities over the next week and I hope you’ll consider giving a few hours of your time.  I’d like to share a few ways you can get involved this week and provide a couple quick updates from the campaign trail. 

Volunteer!

We are still looking for volunteers who are willing to go door to door for our campaign. We’ve hit thousands of doors already, but will continue to knock on doors all week.  We would love to get as many people out as possible to help us spread our message! If you’re interested in going door to door either one evening this week or next Saturday, we’d love to have you.

We also need volunteers for Election Day. If you’re willing to help us out by talking to voters outside of their polling location on Election Day, please let Savanna know what times you’re available. Every little bit helps, so even if you only have an hour or two to spare we can certainly use you.

Please email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com to get more information!

Endorsements

I have been honored to receive many important endorsements over the last few weeks that I want to share with you. 

They are:

  • National Rifle Association (A Rating)
  • National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
  • Virginia Realtor’s Association
  • Virginia Retail Merchants Association
  • Virginia Society for Human Life
  • Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia
  • Virginia Farm Bureau’s AgPAC

I am thankful to each of these groups for their support of my re-election campaign and look forward to continuing to work with them if I am re-elected in November!

The following organizations DO NOT endorse, but rate legislators based on their voting records:

  • The Family Foundation – 100% Rating
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce – 98% A+ Rating

I have also received the following awards for my work during the 2017 Legislative Session:

  • Legislator of the Year for the Virginia Counselor’s Association
  • Catalyst for Change by The Arc of Virginia

House District 20 Televised Candidate Forum

Tune in to WVPT Thursday night at 9:00 pm for a 20th House District Candidate Forum hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.  A portion of the forum will be aired on WVPT and it will be available in its entirety online at www.woodrowwilson.org after 9:00 pm Thursday.

Ed Gillespie Get out the Vote Tour

I hope you will join me on Thursday November 2 at the Augusta Expo Center for a rally in support of my  friend and our next Governor, Ed Gillespie! The rally will be held this Thursday, November 2 at 5:30 pm at the Augusta Expo Center.  RSVP here! 

Bring your friends and family to wish Ed well as we approach election day.

Details may be subject to change as they work to finalize their tour. I will keep you posted on any changes to the schedule.

Election Night Party

After the polls close next Tuesday please join the Augusta, Staunton, and Waynesboro Republican committees at Queen City Brewery to watch the results come in.  We will be there from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.  Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. You’re welcome to bring a side dish or desert to share and attendees are encouraged to bring donations to help cover the cost of the food and drinks.  For planning purposes an RSVP is requested. You can rsvp to Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - There's still time to vote absentee!

We are 11 days out!

If you are unable to vote on Election Day there’s still time to vote absentee, but some important deadlines are approaching.

You can vote in-person absentee at your local registrar’s office or apply for an absentee ballot by mail.

  • The last day to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 31. Your request must be received by the registrar by 5:00 pm.
  • The last day to vote in person absentee is Saturday, November 4.
  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. Polls will be open from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

For more information on applying for an absentee ballot either online or by mail, please CLICK HERE!

If you have questions about your registration, absentee voting, or anything else related to voting, you can reach your local registrar’s office at the number below.

Thank you for your continued support! 

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - Help me finish this race strong!

We’ve reached the home stretch! We are just under two weeks away from Election Day! I’m so grateful for all of the support you’ve shown me through your volunteer efforts and contributions to my campaign. I need your help to finish out strong! 

This campaign has been very expensive. I have been consistently out raised by my opponent, with much of her support coming from out of the area and even out of state. I may be outspent, but I promise you I will not be out worked!

We are pounding the pavement, talking to voters and spreading our message of limited government, education reform, fiscal and personal responsibility, and reduction of taxes and burdensome regulations. We have been blown away by all the support! 

We need to keep spreading this message right up through Election Day, but need your help to do so. I must ask for your help one more time. 

Tomorrow marks the last campaign finance deadline of the 2017 Election Cycle. We need a strong showing on this report to give us the momentum we need over the next 13 days. Your financial support at this late stage in the campaign will also help me defend myself against any last minute attacks that may be coming. 

I know I have asked for a lot already, and I’m so grateful that you have come through for me every single time.

Can you donate $25, $50, or even $100 by midnight tomorrow night to help me finish this race strong? 

You can donate securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate or by sending a check to Dickie Bell for Delegate, P.O. Box 239, Staunton, VA 24402. 

Thank you in advance for your continued support. Lets finish this race strong and be ready to celebrate in November!



Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - September 28, 2017

There are 39 days until Election Day and I need your help to be successful in November!

Democrats are targeting Virginia this year, and our race is no exception! Our opponent has raised a significant amount of money, some from out of the area and even out of state.

I need your help to push back against this out of district and out of state influence! There is a critical campaign finance deadline Saturday night atmidnight, and I need your help! A strong showing on this report will give us the fundraising momentum we need to finish this race strong!

Can you donate $25, $50, or even $100 to help us reach our fundraising goal for this period?

You can donate securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate or a check made out to “Bell for Delegate” can be sent to P.O. Box 239, Staunton, VA 24402.

Another great opportunity to contribute to my campaign is at my upcoming Barbecue and Bluegrass fundraiser!  This barbecue is Thursday, October 5 at 6:00 pm at Shenandoah Harley Davidson. Tickets are $25 for an individual, and sponsorship opportunities are available. View the invitation online here!

If you’re unable to contribute, or have already contributed and would like to do more to help out, please see below for more ways to get involved in our campaign!

 Super Saturday on September 30!

We need people to help us spread our message by going door to door in our community! We are going to be having a Super Saturday this Saturday! We want to have as many volunteers as possible going out in our community to talk to our neighbors about our campaign.

We will meet at the newly opened Republican headquarters at 101 State Street in Staunton at 10:30 am.  We will distribute walk lists and literature and go out into Staunton to talk to voters. If you are able to participate this Saturday, please email me at Dickie@BellforDelegate.com or just show up!

If you’re unable to help this Saturday but would like to help with door to door or literature drops please let us know and we’re happy to get you some walk lists for you to work on at a time that is convenient for you.

 Yard Signs and Bumper Stickers

One of the easiest ways to show your support is by putting up a yard sign in your yard or a bumper sticker on your car.  Many of you already have signs out and we are so thankful. If you don’t already have a sign, please feel free to stop by the Augusta or Waynesboro headquarters to pick one up!

We also have large 4’x4’ and 4’x8’ signs available if you have a well-traveled location where you would like to display a large sign.  If you’re interested in a large sign please email me at dickie@bellfordelegate.com and we will get one out to you.

 Republican Headquarters

The Augusta County and Waynesboro Republican committees have each opened up a headquarters.

The Augusta County Republican Committee headquarters is located at 101 State Street in Staunton. The Waynesboro Republican committee has opened their headquarters at the Willow Oak Plaza in Waynesboro.

Please stop by and pick up your yard signs and bumper stickers for our Republican ticket!

 Letters to the Editor

We also need folks to write letters to the editor in support of our campaign! Our district includes four newspapers: The News Virginian, The News Leader, The Nelson County Times, and The Recorder.  Information on how to submit letters to each paper is below.

The News Leader – Submit letter online here or mail to Letters to the Editor/The News Leader/11 N Central Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401

The News Virginian – Submit letter online here.

The Nelson County Times – Submit online here.

The Recorder – Email to recorderanne@gmail.com. Signed copies can be sent to P.O. Box 10, Monterey, VA 24465.

Each paper requests that you include your full name and phone number.

Voter Registration and Absentee Voting

The first step in making your voice heard this November is voter registration.  If you are not currently registered to vote or if you have moved since the last election, it is important that you register.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 16. For information on how to register or to check your registration status, please visit https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

Absentee voting is now open!  

You can vote absentee either by mail or in person.

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 31.  Your request must be received by your local registrar by 5:00 pm.

You can also vote in person absentee at your local registrar’s office. The last day to vote in person absentee is Saturday, November 4 at 5:00 pm.

For more information on absentee voting, visit http://elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html.

Contact Me

I love hearing from constituents on the issues that matter the most to you.  If you have a state issue that you’re concerned about, or need help in dealing with a state agency, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

Please send campaign inquiries to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.  

If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - September 8, 2017

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! It’s hard to believe that Summer is winding down and Fall is upon us.  Labor Day marks the official kick off of campaign season! While we were busy all Summer on the campaign trail, we are even more so now.  Let me give you an update on the campaign and important information for the upcoming election.

Endorsements

This month I was honored to pick up a few key endorsements in the race for the 20th House District.

Virginia Farm Bureau’s AgPAC

As a representative of one of the top agriculture communities in Virginia, I understand firsthand how critical agriculture production and agribusiness is to our local economy.  With the significant growth of the agritourism sector, particularly right here in the 20th House District, it is important that our state legislature continues to support policies that allow this sector of our economy to flourish. I look forward to continuing to work with them if re-elected to continue to advance the Commonwealth’s top industry.  

National Federation of Independent Business

I am honored to have the support of the National Federation of Independent Business. Small business is vital to Virginia’s economy. In this economic climate, the success of small independent businesses are essential to the health of Virginia’s economy as a whole. Throughout my tenure in the House of Delegates I have supported policies that will reduce the regulatory burden and help our small businesses thrive.  I’m grateful for the support of the NFIB and I look forward to working with them to continue to move Virginia forward.

National Rifle Association

The right to bear arms is very important to me personally, and to many residents of the 20thDistrict.  We’ve unfortunately seen these freedoms come under attack in recent years.  For this reason, the defense and protection of the second amendment has been and will continue to be a high priority for me throughout my tenure in the House of Delegates.  I am grateful to the NRA for their support.

Catalyst for Change Award

Last month I was honored to be named a “Catalyst for Change” by the Arc of Virginia at their state convention in Norfolk.  I was selected based on the work we did together on inclusive education, seclusion and restraint, and protections of children with disabilities, as well as my support of DD Waivers and community based services.  I am humbled to receive this award.  The Arc of Virginia does outstanding work to ensure the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  I have been honored to partner with them on issues related to special education over the last seven years and I look forward to continuing the fight for inclusive education and improved community based services. 

Barbecue and Bluegrass

It’s almost time for our annual BBQ and Bluegrass Fundraising Event! Please see the invitation below.  

 Join Delegate Bell for his Annual BBQ and Bluegrass

with John Adams, Republican candidate for Attorney General

Music by FLATTBROKE

BBQ by Mrs. Rowe’s

 Thursday, October 5, 2017

6:00 -8:00 pm

at

 Shenandoah Harley Davidson

213 Rolling Thunder Lane

Staunton, Virginia 24401

 Please RSVP to 540-255-8778 or by email at mrsrbellcoach@comcast.net.


Yes, I will attend the annual Bell’s BBQ and Bluegrass at the following level:


         _____$1000 Platinum Level       
_____$500 Gold Level        _____$250 Silver Level


 
_____$100 Friend                     _____$25 Individual 

 

Yes, I support Delegate Bell. However, I cannot attend the event but please accept my generous donation 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
___________________________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.

 

Voter Registration

The first step in making your voice heard this November is voter registration.  If you are not currently registered to vote or if you have moved since the last election, it is important that you register.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 16. For information on how to register or to check your registration status, please visit https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

Absentee Voting

If you will be out of town or otherwise unable to make it to the polls in November, you can vote absentee, either in person or by mail.   

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 31.  Your request must be received by your local registrar by 5:00 pm.

You can also vote in person absentee at your local registrar’s office. The first day to vote in person absentee is September 22. The last day to vote in person absentee is Saturday, November 4 at 5:00 pm.

For more information on absentee voting, visit http://elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html.

How to Get Involved!

Our campaign is in full swing and we need your help! We are looking for folks willing to join us for door to door, write letters to the editor, stuff envelopes, and more! If you’re interested in helping out our campaign in any way, please email me at dickie@bellfordelegate.com and we will get you plugged in!

I am also available to speak at special events and meetings for clubs, civic organizations, church groups, etc. as scheduling allows.  I can speak about the campaign specifically or about legislative issues in the Commonwealth.  If you are involved in the planning for a civic group, church group, or special event,  please feel free to contact Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com to schedule.

We also have yard signs, large 4’x4’ and 4’x8’ signs, and bumper stickers.  Please let us know if you have a location for a larger sign, or if you would like a small yard sign or bumper sticker and we will get one to you. 

If you would like to help but are unable to volunteer your time, please consider making a donation to the campaign.  Campaigns are unfortunately very expensive.  We have to purchase campaign materials, signs and bumper stickers, and other advertising materials to help spread our message.

A donation in any amount is very helpful and will be most appreciated. You can donate securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate.

We are also looking for folks who would be willing to write letters to the editor in support of our campaign! Our district includes four newspapers: The News Virginian, The News Leader, The Nelson County Times, and The Recorder.  Information on how to submit letters to each paper is below.

The News Leader – Submit letter online here or mail to Letters to the Editor/The News Leader/11 N Central Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401

The News Virginian – Submit letter online here.

The Nelson County Times – Submit online here.

The Recorder – Email to recorderanne@gmail.com. Signed copies can be sent to P.O. Box 10, Monterey, VA 24465.

Each paper requests that you include your full name and phone number.

Republican Headquarters

We are fortunate to have two Republican offices in our area this year where you can pick up your materials for the Republican ticket. The Waynesboro and Augusta Republican committees will each have their own Republican Headquarters this year.

The Augusta County Republican Committee headquarters is located at 101 State Street in Staunton. The Waynesboro Republican committee headquarters is at the Willow Oak Plaza in Waynesboro.

I will keep you posted with their hours, need for volunteers, etc. as information become available. I encourage you to stop by one of these locations to pick up a yard sign and/or bumper sticker for our candidates.

Congressman Goodlatte’s Annual BBQ

Congressman Goodlatte's Annual BBQ is coming up on September 17th at 3:00 pm at the Augusta Expo. This is a fun event for the whole family.  It’s free to attend, but an RSVP is requested. For more information about the event and to RSVP, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-annual-goodlatte-bbq-tickets-37417955111.

Contact Me

I love hearing from constituents on the issues that matter the most to you.  If you have a state issue that you’re concerned about, or need help in dealing with a state agency, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

Please send campaign inquiries to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.  

If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

 

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - Helping with Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast over the weekend, leaving devastating flooding in its wake and has made a second landfall once again along the Louisiana-Texas border.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this devastating storm. As many of you know, my wife's family lives in Houston. They are safe now but the flooding is far from over. Anne and I ask that you keep them in your prayers during this difficult time. 

I am thankful for all of the first responders, National Guard members, and others who are working diligently to mitigate the devastation. Earlier this week, staff members from the Virginia Department of Forestry headed to southeast Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey efforts.  We also know that there are search and rescue crews from across the Commonwealth heading to Texas. We wish them all the best as they help with the relief efforts.

It's at times like these when we see the very best our nation has to offer.  At a time when our nation is increasingly divided, we’ve come together to help those affected by this terrible storm.  There will be time for campaigning and fundraising in the weeks and months to come.  I hope this week we can focus our efforts on how to assist those who have lost so much to this storm.

Like myself, many of you are likely wondering how you can help those who have been affected by Harvey. Below is a list of suggested charities to help with the recovery.  I hope you'll consider contributing to one of the relief organizations listed below.

·         The American Red Cross – www.redcross.org; 800-RED-CROSS; or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

·         The Salvation Army – www.helpsalvationarmy.org; or 800-SAL-ARMY

·         The United Way - www.uwtexas.org/hurricane-harvey; or text UWFLOOD to 41444

·         The SPCA of Texas - https://www.spca.org/

·         The SPCA of Louisiana - https://www.la-spca.org/

·         The Houston Humane Society - http://www.houstonhumane.org/

·         The Louisiana Humane Society - http://news.humanela.org/

Thank you for your consideration and again, please keep those affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - July 28, 2017

It’s hard to believe it’s almost August! I’ve seen many of you out and about at lawn parties, festivals, and other events, and I hope to continue to see you out as the Summer winds down. I’d like to give you an update on the happenings in the 20th district and across the Commonwealth.

2017 Valley Business Summit

Registration is now open for the annual Valley Business Summit scheduled for Monday, August 14 at the Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Center. This is the 5th year of this Summit, hosted by Delegates Cline, Landes, Wilt, and me in partnership with Blue Ridge Community College, our local Chambers of Commerce, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and the Small Business Development Center. This year the event will kick off at 1:00 in the afternoon and conclude by 4:30.

Come hear from the new CEO of the Commonwealth's leading economic development organization, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, about their enhanced focus on statewide growth for businesses of all sizes.  Mr. Moret’s keynote remarks will be followed by a session from local business owners and experts with successful case studies on business transitions throughout the business cycle, from opening a business to retirement. Rounding out the schedule, your local House of Delegates members will highlight recent efforts to improve the business climate in Virginia and seek feedback from participants on areas where we can do better. Local and state business assistance partners will once again be on hand for our resource fair.

As always, the Valley Business Summit is FREE to attend, but pre-registration is required. Please click here to register today!

Budget Surplus

We learned earlier this month that Virginia ended the fiscal year with a $132 million budget surplus. This is the direct result of the Republican-led General Assembly’s conservative budgeting and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. While Washington deals with massive debts and deficits, Virginia has produced five budget surpluses totaling over $2 billion.

To understand the significance of this accomplishment, we must also look at where we came from. Prior to the 2017 General Assembly Session, we faced a $1.5 billion. We made tough decisions and adopted conservative budget amendments to keep spending in check and balance our budget, while also funding the core functions of government like K-12 education and public safety, providing a pay raise to teachers, state police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Our surplus is great news, but we must remain cautious as we look to the future. Virginia’s economy is struggling and we continue to lag behind the national recovery. That means we must continue to be conservative and responsible with our budgeting.

That also means we must continue to remain laser focused on strengthening our economy. It’s becoming clear to me that the McAuliffe/Northam approach to economic development might attract a lot of headlines, but it’s not creating the solid economic growth we need. Over the next few months, I look forward to sharing how Republicans will grow our economy to help Virginia families and businesses.

Save the Date for our Barbecue, Beans, and Bluegrass Fundraiser

It’s almost that time again! Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 5. We will be holding our Eighth Annual Barbecue, Beans, and Bluegrass Fundraiser! It will be held at 6:00 PM at Shenandoah Harley Davidson.  More details will be forthcoming, but be sure to save the date!

Augusta and Highland County Fairs

The Augusta County Fair kicks off next Tuesday, August 1 and runs through Saturday, August 5.  This is a great event for the whole family and I hope to see many of you out.  I’ll be there every night so stop by the Augusta County Republican Committee’s booth and say hello! For more information about the fair including a schedule of events visit http://www.augustacountyfair.com/.

The Highland County Fair is August 26, and August 29 – September 2. I plan to be there for some of the events on August 26th and again on August 30th for the parade. I hope to see you there! More information about the Highland County Fair can be found online at http://www.highlandcountyfairva.com/.

Contact Me

I love hearing from constituents on the issues that matter the most to you.  If you have a state issue that you’re concerned about, or need help in dealing with a state agency, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

Please send campaign inquiries to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.  Campaign donations can be made securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate.

If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Please also note that I am happy to speak at special events and meetings for clubs, civic organizations, church groups, etc. as scheduling allows. Please feel free to contact Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com to schedule.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

 
Delegate Richard Bell
http://www.bellfordelegate.com/

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - July 3, 2017

I hope you’re having a wonderful Summer! I’ve already seen many of you out and about at some of the wonderful activities this area has to offer, and I hope to see more of you throughout the coming months.

I’d love to give you an update on the happenings in the area and across the Commonwealth.

New Laws

As you know, the 2017 General Assembly adjourned in early March. Throughout the 46 day session, we considered thousands of bills. Most of the bills that ultimately passed and were signed by the Governor went into effect July 1.

Each year, the Department of Legislative Services compiles a list of legislation that may affect the average citizen.  While this is not a comprehensive list, I encourage you to take a look at it, and share it with your friends.

This publication, titled In Due Course, can be found online at http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/idc/idc17.pdf.

 America’s Birthday Celebration 

For those of you who may still be trying to decide how to spend your Independence Day, I encourage you come out to the American’s Birthday Celebration at Gypsy Hill Park. 

It will be going on today and tomorrow and is a wonderful event for the whole family.  There are vendors, great food, rides and games for the kids, and live entertainment.  There is also a parade going through the park at 10:00 am tomorrow morning! For more information on this event, including a schedule of events,  go to www.stauntonjulyfourth.com.

 Join us for Baseball!

 This Thursday, July 6 we will be hosting a promotional night at the Waynesboro Generals Game and Friday, July 7, is our annual promotion night at the Staunton Braves baseball game.

We will be there both nights right outside the gate and will have a free gift for the first 250 attendees. We hope to see you there!

 Upcoming Events

In addition to the America’s Birthday Celebration, there are a number of other community events coming up this summer that are fun for the whole family.  The dates for those are provided below.

  • July 8 - Waynesboro Summer Extravaganza
  • July 19 - 22 - Stuarts Draft Lawn Party  
  • July 22 - Sweet Dreams Festival, Stuarts Draft
  • August 1 – 5 - Augusta County Fair
  • Augusta 26, August 30 – September 2 - Highland County Fair
Contact Us

I love hearing from constituents on the issues that matter the most to you.  If you have a state issue that you’re concerned about, or need help in dealing with a state agency, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.  Please send campaign inquiries to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.

If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

Please also note that I am happy to speak at special events and meetings for clubs, civic organizations, church groups, etc. as scheduling allows. Please feel free to contact Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com to schedule.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - June 9, 2017

I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of the Summer! It’s a great time to be in the Valley and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you out and about at the various lawn parties, festivals, baseball games, and other activities that Summer in the Valley has to offer!

I’d love to take a few minutes to share with you a quick update of what’s been going on in the Valley and across the Commonwealth!

Primary Day

Next Tuesday, June 13, is Primary Day for both Republicans and Democrats in the Commonwealth.  Republicans and Democrats both have contested races for both Governor and Lt. Governor.  The polls will be open from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm and you will vote at your normal polling location. 

Please note that there is one precinct change in the City of Staunton that I would like to make you aware of.  If you live in Ward 1 of Staunton and formerly voted at Bessie Weller Elementary School, you will now vote at Third Presbyterian Church (1313 Barterbrook Road). This change was made effective in February of 2017 to help facilitate a smoother election process.

 If you have questions about where you vote or what’s on your ballot, please click here.

Don’t forget to bring your photo ID with you when you vote. Click here for information on acceptable forms of ID!

Class of 2017

Congratulations to all graduates of the Class of 2017 in the 20th District and across the Commonwealth! I was delighted to attend several local graduations this year, including Robert E. Lee High School and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and I plan to attend the Highland High School graduation tomorrow.  Additionally, I attended GRASP Scholarship Award Ceremonies at Riverheads High School and Wilson Memorial High School.  Yesterday I even had the opportunity to attend an 8th grade graduation for students at the Virginia Virtual Academy. 
 
I was also privileged to attend the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber’s Academic Achievers Reception.  This is always a wonderful event where the community comes together to celebrate some of our community’s highest academic achievers.  Anne and I were honored to present a scholarship to Tyrone Curtis Brotherton, a VSDB student who was honored at this reception. 

Congratulations again to all our local graduates! You did it! I wish you all the best, whether you’re headed off to two or four-year college, the military, or the workforce.    

Honors and Awards

Over the last few weeks I have been honored to receive recognition for my work during the 2017 Session. 

On Friday, April 20, I was named Community Support Member of the Year by the Central Valley Counselor’s Association. They based their selection on a broad array of legislation that directly impacts the work of counselors. Specifically, they highlighted work on legislation impacting foster care, as well as my 2017 school discipline reform legislation.   I appreciate the work that this association does for our community and I am humbled to receive this recognition.

In early May, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce presented me with the 2017 Excellence in Education and Workforce Development Award.  This award recognizes legislators who worked to give Virginians better opportunities to develop skills that align with the workforce needs of businesses. I was chosen because of my work on expanding virtual education in Virginia.  Additionally, I earned an A+ rating on their 2017 Legislative Scorecard, and I hold a lifetime rating of an “A”.

Virginia has traditionally been recognized as a great state for business, but our rankings have begun to slip over the last couple of years. I believe that to promote economic growth in Virginia we must think outside the box and continue to promote education reform, as well as tax and other regulatory reforms.  I will continue to pursue this throughout my time in the House.

Just this week, I was honored to receive the Award for Conservative Achievement from the American Conservative Union. The American Conservative Union ratings intend to reflect how each legislator views the role of government in an individual’s life.  In determining these ratings, they looked for legislators who could be counted on to protect the constitutional right to life, liberty, and property.  I am grateful for their recognition and will remain committed to the founding principles of this nation.

Contact Us 

I love hearing from constituents on the issues that matter the most to you.  If you have a state issue that you’re concerned about, or need help in dealing with a state agency, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact us by phone at 540-448-3999, or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

Please send campaign inquiries to Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.

If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

Please also note that I am happy to speak at special events and meetings for clubs, civic organizations, church groups, etc. as scheduling allows. Please feel free to contact Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com to schedule.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

 

Add your reaction Share
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  Next →