Savanna Funkhouser

Statement from Delegate Bell Regarding the Supreme Court's Decision on Obamacare

“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.”


published Campaign Finance Deadline on June 30 in Blog 2012-06-27 15:39:57 -0400

Campaign Finance Deadline on June 30

 

We are just days away from an important campaign finance deadline.  

We’ve accomplished a lot over the last 3 years, but there’s still a lot to be done.  We must continue our work towards reforming the education system in Virginia, and promoting fiscally responsible policies that will help put Virginians back to work.  We must keep taxes low, and ensure that Virginia is still one of the best managed states and one of the best states to do business. 

Perhaps most importantly, we must work to change what’s going on in Washington.  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.  There is a key fundraising deadline coming up this Saturday, June 30.  I would sincerely appreciate your donation of $25, $50, $100, or what 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, and thank you for allowing me to serve in the House of Delegates.


Delegate Dickie Bell Addresses American Legion Boy's State

LYNCHBURG – Richard P. “Dickie” Bell, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Staunton, this morning addressed select high school students attending the 70th session of American Legion Boys State of Virginia being held this week at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

          Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20), participating for his second time as an instructor in the Boys State program, spoke on "Virginia Government - Origins to Today."  He described the history and legislative process of the Virginia General Assembly including how a bill becomes law.  Bell also discussed his duties and challenges as a state Delegate along with various current policy and political issues facing state government in Virginia.  He answered several questions from the Boys State citizens.

          The 2012 session of American Legion Boys State of Virginia opened yesterday with 740 delegates in attendance.  Outstanding rising seniors from high schools – public, private and homeschooled -- across Virginia have been chosen to participate in this annual educational program.


Bridge Named for Marine, 44 Years After His Death

The shock and disbelief eventually wore off, but the sorrow and the memories never left.

On June 19, 1968, 21-year-old Lyndhurst Marine Darl McDorman's body was shipped home for burial. On the same day in 2012, his short life was forever memorialized as the bridge on state route 624, the one that passes over McDorman's favorite swimming hole as a child, was named in his honor.

His sister Wenda Henderson still remembers hearing the news for the first time, nine weeks before McDorman was set to come home from the Vietnam War.

Read More - Bridge Named for Marine, 44 Years After his Death - The News Leader


published Allen, Bell Tout Goodlatte in Blog 2012-06-21 17:04:55 -0400

Legislators Discuss Budget at Chamber Breakfast

A familiar message heard at local government meetings in the past few months is how the Virginia General Assembly has dropped the ball on funding to the state’s localities.

Members of area’s legislative delegation said Wednesday that while the final state budget might not make everyone happy, it was not a bad budget.

Del. Dickie Bell, who represents Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County, said the final version of the budget offered more K-12 revenue than Gov. Bob McDonnell promised.

Read More - Legislators Discuss Budget at Chamber Breakfast - The News Virgininan


Delegates Bell, Cline, Landes, and Senator Hanger to host Town Hall

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today he will be joining Senator Emmett Hanger and Delegates Cline and Landes to host a joint Town Hall event.

      The joint town hall meeting will take place at 7:00 pm at Francis Auditorium at Mary Baldwin College on Thursday, May 17.  Francis Auditorium is located on the 3rd floor of the Pearce Science Center, on the corner of Frederick and North Coalter Streets.  

      The Town Hall meeting is open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend.  The legislators will provide an overview of the 2012 Session and Special Session I, and will take questions and comments from those in attendance.  You can contact Delegate Bell’s office with any questions. 

      Parking should be available near the Francis Auditorium.  There is a parking lot near the Pearce Science Center where parking should be available.  Those in attendance can also park on Frederick Street, or in the Staunton City lot on Market Street. Handicapped access is available on the First Floor.

      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.


Delegate Bell Announces "A" Rating From the Virginia Chamber

Staunton, Virginia – Delegate Bell announced today that he has received a 96 “A” rating from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for his record during the 2012 General Assembly Session.

                  The Chamber grades legislators based on their support of pro-business issues throughout the Session.  It is calculated based on voting records on the principles and issues outlined in the Chamber’s 2012 Legislative Priorities, as well as their support of initiatives that will keep Virginia as the best state in the nation for business.

 


Bell Sounds from the 20th - April 18, 2012

I am pleased to report that the State Senate passed the biennial budget just a few hours ago. It took the courage of one Democratic Senator, Chuck Colgan.  Senator Colgan acted with true statesmanship, and voted against his party to bring certainty to our localities, school divisions, state employees, and all of Virginia.

Like every other budget before it, this budget contains numerous compromises.  Unfortunately, however, some Senate Democrats spent the entire 2012 Session making excuses as to why they could not support it.

Fortunately, however, many other leaders came to the table willing to compromise, and built a strong, structurally sound budget that will  make critical investments in K-12 and higher education, reduce of our unfunded liabilities in VRS, and promote stability and job development as the economy continues to remain uncertain.

Virginia’s economy is continuing to improve, and more and more Virginians are finding jobs and going back to work.  However, the General Assembly plays a critical role in this continued recovery.  We must continue to foster economic growth by adopting responsible fiscal policies that promote job creation and keep taxation to the minimum.  In this vote today we made a big step in ensuring that we are able to do this.

I would like to again thank Senator Colgan for putting policy ahead of politics, and I would like to thank all of the conferees who worked tirelessly to produce this strong, fiscally sound budget.  I believe that this budget will serve the needs of the Commonwealth, and look forward to any amendments we may see from the Governor, and, eventually final passage.


Statement from Delegate Bell Regarding the Passage of the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget

STATEMENT FROM DELEGATE BELL REGARDING THE PASSAGE OF THE 2013-2014 BIENNIAL BUDGET BY THE STATE SENATE

 

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell issued the following statement today regarding the passage of the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget by the State Senate.

      “I am pleased to report that the State Senate passed the biennial budget just a few hours ago. It took the courage of one Democratic Senator, Chuck Colgan. Senator Colgan acted with true statesmanship, and voted against his party to bring certainty to our localities, school divisions, state employees, and all of Virginia.”

   


Statement from Delegate Dickie Bell Regarding Senate Defeat of Biennial Budget

STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell issued the following statement today regarding the defeat of the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget by the General Assembly.

      “I am extremely disappointed that the Senate Democrats have once again put politics over the hard working men and women of the Commonwealth. The budget the conferees agreed to was a structurally balanced budget, and strategically targeted economic development priorities, funds core services without increasing the tax burden of Virginia.  It included investments of $110 million in K-12 education, $122 million to help moderate tuition costs in our public colleges and universities, $44.7 million for health and safety services, and provides funding for 305 new Medicaid waivers.

    


Legislators hope a time out will get Virginia its budget

Virginia's General Assembly didn't finish its main job when legislators decided to adjourn a bitter, partisan session Saturday — but legislators hope taking some time off from each other's company will clear the way for eventual agreement on what the state should spend where next year.

The General Assembly's decision to adjourn Saturday, without completing a budget, marks the fifth time in seven years it has missed its deadline. It is the third time it has had to come back in a special session to do the job. It plans to do that later this month.

Read More - Legislators Hope A Time out Will Get Virginia Its Budget - The News Leader

 


Bell Pulls Intruder Legislation After Group's Campaign

In the end, it was one controversy too many, so with a heavy hint from the speaker of the House and grumbling from colleagues shaken by a last minute robo-call and email campaign, Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, pulled his "castle doctrine" bill Wednesday.

Bell's bill — which said people can use deadly force against intruders in their homes — made it out of a General Assembly conference committee Monday, only to fall into the sights of the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition.

Read More - Bell Pulls Intruder Legislation After Group's Campaign - The News Leader


published Staunton's Del. Bell Spikes Intruder Bill in Blog 2012-03-14 11:41:55 -0400

Staunton's Del. Bell Spikes Intruder Bill

A last minute push by a gun-rights group prompted Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, to pull legislation that would allow people to use deadly force against intruders in their home.

Bell said the Virginia Virginia Gun Owners Coalition launched an email and robo-call push against the bill after a conference committee of delegates and state senators hammered out their differences over the legislation.

Read More - Staunton's Del. Bell Spikes Intruder Bill - The News Leader


Budget Impasse in Richmond Puts Many in a Bind

Area school divisions and local governments were left in budget limbo about next year’s state funding Wednesday as the Virginia Senate rejected the House of Delegates’ version of the state budget.

Legislators from the Valley say the Democratic party-line vote in the Senate left the General Assembly in uncharted budget waters. And there are doubts the issue can be resolved in time for the scheduled General Assembly adjournment March 10.

“We don’t have a document to consider. There is nothing to work from. We don’t know what happens next,” said Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton. “We are looking at a real shutdown. The House budget was pretty darn good. It was not perfect, but even the Democrats in the House said it was a pretty good starting point.”

Read More - Budget Impasse in Richmond Puts Many in a Bind - The News Virginian


published Bell'sTeacher-Contract Bill Remains on Ice in Blog 2012-03-14 11:34:07 -0400

Bell'sTeacher-Contract Bill Remains on Ice

The keystone of Gov. Bob McDonnell's education reform — a bill to phase out open-ended contracts for teachers — seems stalled in the state Senate because of that body's impasse over a budget, the bill's sponsor, Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, said Tuesday.

"This time of year, it's always about the budget," Bell said, after the Senate decided, for the seventh day running, to skip a scheduled vote on the bill.

Read More - Bell's Teacher-Contract Bill Remains On Ice - The News Leader


published Bell's Bill Stalls Again in Blog 2012-03-14 11:30:48 -0400

Bell's Bill Stalls Again

RICHMOND — It hasn't been the easiest ride to get to the state Senate, and now that legislation to change teachers' contracts is there, that body isn't in a hurry to act on it.

The senate, preoccupied with controversial measures on voter I.D. and health measures, opted Monday to postpone consideration of the contract bill, sponsored by Del Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton.

The bill already has been heavily edited in the House and has been met with disapproval by teacher advocacy groups, including the Virginia Education Association.

Read More - Bell's Bill Stalls Again - The News Leader


published Bell's Teacher Contract Bill Advances in Blog 2012-03-14 11:28:02 -0400

Bell's Teacher Contract Bill Advances

RICHMOND —A bill that would end continuing contracts for teachers — hotly contested by their union, but a keystone of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's education reform package — made it over a critical hurdle Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, was reported out of the state Senate's Education Committee on an 8-7 vote. It moves to the Senate, and has already been approved by the House.

It states teachers hired in the future would have a five-year probationary period, instead of three years. After that, they'd be limited to contracts with three-year terms.

Read More - Bell's Teacher Contract Bill Advances - The News Leader


Both Sides Agree Castle Doctrine Passed Too Fast

RICHMOND — People on either side of the gun rights debate in Virginia are looking to combat Monday's Senate passage of legislation that says it is OK to use deadly force against an intruder in your home if you feel threatened.

The "Castle Doctrine" bill, sponsored by Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, goes to Gov. Bob McDonnell after passing the state Senate with a 24-16 vote. It passed the House of Delegates on Feb. 9, with a 70-28 vote.

Both the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group, and gun control supporters at the Virginia Center for Public Safety said they'll continue to oppose the bill.

Read More - Both Sides Agree Castle Doctrine Passed Too Fast - The News Leader


Bell's Intruder Bill Passes Virginia Senate

RICHMOND — A bill sponsored by Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, that says it is OK to use force, even deadly force against an intruder into a home if the people living there feel threatened has passed the state Senate.The bill passed on a 24-16 vote.

Read More - Bell's Intruder Bill Passes Virginia Senate - The News Leader


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