Savanna Funkhouser

Bell Sounds from the 20th - February 10

We are almost at the halfway point of the session, also known as Crossover. Crossover, which falls on Valentine’s Day this year, is the day that the House of Delegates must finish voting on the nearly 1,300 House Bills that were filed this session.  Next Wednesday, the House will begin to consider all bills that have passed the State Senate.

 A great deal has been accomplished over the past 5 weeks.  Over 400 bills have passed in the House so far. Over one-third of these bills relate to job creation, expansion of educational opportunities, public safety, and government efficiency.

 

 


published Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2/3/12 in Newsletter 2012-02-03 17:59:05 -0500

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2/3/12

Introduction

As we continue to advance in the 2012 Session, my focus continues to be on job creation, education reform, and government efficiency.  This week, the House advanced a number of important measures that will support open competition on public contracts, improve our public schools, and remove an outdated infringement to our 2nd Amendment rights.


published Bell Sounds from the 20th - 1/27/11 in Newsletter 2012-01-27 17:03:14 -0500

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 1/27/11

We are now in the heart of the 2012 General Assembly Session. Between subcommittee and committee meetings and House floor sessions, we are working hard to consider the legislation before us, and promote our own legislative agendas.
 

Let me apologize if this is the first newsletter that you’ve received this year.  It seems that we have had a few technical difficulties with our email server that caused many of you not to receive our last two emails.  If you’d like copies of those last two newsletters, please email Savanna at savanna@bellfordelegate.com,and she would be happy to forward those to you.


House Republican Caucus Unveils K-12 Education Plan for the 2012 Session


RICHMOND, VA - The House Republican Caucus was joined by Bill Thomas, Associate Vice President of Hampton University, for their weekly Policy Work Group press conference, this week discussing various K-12 initiatives the Caucus has introduced this session. Following the press conference, the Policy Work Group issued the following statement:  

 

"Last year our Caucus worked with Governor McDonnell investing in the future of Virginia's higher education system. Through structural improvements and targeted investments, we laid the groundwork to ensure Virginia's public colleges and universities remain among the most competitive in the nation," said Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). "This year, we will continue our efforts to improve Virginia's education system, with particular emphasis paid to our public K-12 institutions. Improving access, increasing accountability and encouraging innovative alternatives are key to improving our public schools," he continued.


published Delegate Bell's Bills Pass in Committee in Blog 2012-01-26 11:04:09 -0500

Delegate Bell's Bills Pass in Committee

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today he had a number of bills reported out of committee yesterday, January 25, 2011.  Those reported were House Bill 217 and House Bill 98.  House Bills 72 and 73 were reported out with motions to re-refer to Appropriations to determine the fiscal impact. 

     House Bill 217 provides that the provisions of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act do not apply to personal information systems maintained by the Department of Social Services related to child welfare, adult services or adult protective services, or public assistance programs when requests for personal information are made to the Department of Social Services.  It was reported from the Committee on General Laws with a vote of 22-0.

   


House Bill 74 Passes in the House of Delegates

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that House 74, a bill patroned by Delegate Bell, has passed in the House of Delegates

House Bill 74 reduces the time limit for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect by mandated reporters from 72 hours to 24 hours.

     


published House Bill 74 Reported Out of Committee in Blog 2012-01-20 16:37:38 -0500

House Bill 74 Reported Out of Committee

Delegate Dickie Bell’s House Bill 74 Reported Out of Committee RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that House 74, a bill patroned by Delegate Bell, has been reported out of the Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions. House Bill 74 reduces the time limit for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect by mandated reporters from 72 hours to 24 hours.


published Bell Sounds from the 20th - 1/20/12 in Newsletter 2012-01-20 16:15:15 -0500

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 1/20/12

The first full week of the 2012 Session is now in the books, and we have begun to make our way through more than 2,000 bills and resolutions that have been introduced. The vast majority of the legislation is still in committees and subcommittees, but we have already taken a handful of crucial floor votes.


published Bell Sounds from the 20th-January 13 in Newsletter 2012-01-14 21:28:13 -0500

Bell Sounds from the 20th-January 13

Bell Sounds from the 20th The 2012 Session is underway! Session convened on Wednesday, and I was honored to be officially sworn in for my 2nd term in the House of Delegates. Over 1,000 pieces of legislation have been filed, so it looks as though we are going to be very busy once again this year.


Delegate Bell Appointed to Finance Committee; Reappointed to Health, Welfare, and Institutions and Education Committees

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that he has been appointed to the House Committee on Finance.  He was also re-appointed to the Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, and the Committee on Education.

      The Finance Committee handles legislation that pertains to Virginia revenue and issues of taxation.  The Education Committee hears legislation that deals with K-12 as well as higher education in the Commonwealth.  The Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee deals with a broad range of legislation that affects healthcare, as well as issues that affect hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes, and other medical institutions.

    


Bell Gains Spot on Powerful House Finance Committee

The Valley's voice on Virginia money matters got a lot bigger Wednesday, with Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, winning a place on the tax-writing House of Delegates Finance Committee.

The move onto one of the legislature's real power centers came unusually early for the second-term delegate.


Shenandoah Valley legislators say governor's proposal good starting place

“This is a very good start for the budget process,’’ said Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave. “Now it (the budget) moves to the legislature, and we’ll see what the priorities are.”


published Jobs, Economy, Dominate Form in Blog 2012-01-11 17:35:47 -0500

Jobs, Economy, Dominate Form

Jobs and the economy dominated the minds of area state legislators at a forum Wednesday sponsored by the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce. “How do we in government help you in the private sector create jobs, hire more and improve the economy locally?’’ Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, asked the audience of business leaders at The Legacy of North Augusta.


published Legislature Confronts Familiar Problems in Blog 2012-01-11 11:54:15 -0500

Legislature Confronts Familiar Problems

The membership of the General Assembly has changed, and with it the party alignment, which now favors the Republicans. But schools, economic development and the budgeting process are still among familiar targets of legislative proposals for the session scheduled to start Wednesday.

Some of the all-GOP local delegation will be refiling changes to the law that were unsuccessful before while introducing new bills they think will help Virginians.


published Whats Going On in Richmond in Blog 2012-01-11 11:51:14 -0500

Whats Going On in Richmond

Repealing Virginia's ban on Sunday hunting has been discussed in the Virginia General Assembly for decades without success, but this year may be different.Hunters are using social media to organize, forming a Facebook group, posting videos to YouTube and hosting web forums for supporters.

The lobbying firm Reed Smith LLP, which has an office in Richmond, has been retained by the Sunday Hunting Coalition and, for the first time, a national hunting and conservation group, Delta Fowl, has joined with groups like the National Rifle Association to support a repeal of the ban.


published Funding Sought for Kids' Mental Health in Blog 2012-01-11 10:03:52 -0500

Funding Sought for Kids' Mental Health

LEXINGTON — Parents, advocates and mental health professionals urged state legislators Friday to fund crisis stabilization programs and additional psychiatrists to meet the needs of children with mental illness across Virginia.

"There is a huge need in this state for crisis stabilization for children," said Staunton resident Macy Fox, whose grown son, a graduate student, received state mental health services as a child.


published Area Legislators' Bills Trickling In in Blog 2012-01-11 10:01:19 -0500

Area Legislators' Bills Trickling In

Valley legislators want to make sure people defending their homes against intruders aren't sued, seek a fresh look at local business tax rates and propose writing Virginia's "right to work" policy into the state constitution.

The first trickle of legislative proposals for the next session of the state legislature, which convenes Jan. 11, includes a proposal by Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, to write the "man's home is his castle' doctrine into state law.


Dickie Bell Points to Deficiency in Tech Education After Firm Leaves Staunton

STAUNTON — The planned departure of Staunton biotechnology company Atlantic Research Group is an example of why technical education in the area could be improved, a state legislator said Wednesday at a breakfast for business leaders.

The company, founded in Staunton in 2004, announced this week its intention to move to Charlottesville next year because company officials think it will be easier to find workers with the highly specialized technical skills ARG needs for its contract research.


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