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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.”

   

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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.

    

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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

 

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State Senate Shelves Bell's Teacher Contract Bill

RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate rejected the most sweeping component of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's education agenda Thursday, shelving for this year legislation that would make it easier to fire public school teachers.

Senators voted 23-17 to send the bill back to the Education and Health Committee and carry it over until the 2013 session.

Read More - State Senate Shelves Bell's Teacher-Contract Bill - The News Leader

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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

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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

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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

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