Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2016 Session - Week 4

It’s hard to believe, but we are finishing up the fourth week of the 2016 Session. As we approach crossover, our committee meetings and floor sessions are running longer as we work to finish up all bills introduced in the House by February 16.  This week, a major focus in the House was an issue that I know is very important to families across the Commonwealth: jobs and economic growth.

The House is working to advance several pieces of legislation to foster private-sector job creation, encourage long-term economic growth, and protect small businesses. I know that these are continually voiced as the top priorities of the constituents of the 20th district, so it is good to see that it is also a priority of many members of this body.

Jobs Agenda

Despite modest improvements over the last several years, Virginia’s economy continues to struggle.  Due to the impact of sequestration on our economy, among other factors, the Commonwealth is recovering at a slower rate than the national economy.  In fact, Virginia’s economy registered zero percent growth in 2014.  

In order to help accelerate the improvements in the economy, House Republicans rolled out a comprehensive agenda to promote a pro-business climate, incentivize economic growth, and protect small business. My House colleagues and I have introduced specific proposals that will help improve our economy and give our families a better opportunity to succeed. This agenda is designed to foster job creation by maintaining Virginia’s pro-business climate, encourage and incentivize long-term economic growth, and enact reforms to protect small businesses from job killing mandates.  For more information on this agenda, please click here.

I was pleased to be the patron of one piece of legislation that I believe is integral to growing our economy.  This week the House passed a constitutional amendment to solidify Virginia’s right to work status.  The amendment, which I discussed in the last newsletter, prohibits union membership as a condition of employment.  While Virginia already has a right to work statute on the books, including it in the constitution would ensure that this pro-business policy would not be subject to the whims of the legislature or any other individual politicians.  At a time when we are seeing a great deal of overreach from our executive branch in the Commonwealth, I believe making this statute a permanent part of our constitution is vital.  This legislation will protect hard working Virginians from being forced to join a union.  

The Senate also considered and approved the amendment this week, meaning it will be on the ballot for voters to consider this fall.

To see the floor discussion on the right to work amendment, please click here.

Jobs for our Veterans

The House also remains focused on helping our veterans find the jobs they need and are trained to do.  Delegate Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), introduced a bill this year that I am particularly interested in given my background as a Navy corpsman.  HB 825 establishes a pilot program in which military medical personnel may practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician.  Military medics and corpsmen receive extensive health care training while on active duty.  Once they transition to civilian life, their military health care experiences do not easily translate into comparable certifications and licenses required for health care jobs.  As a result, many veteran medics are unable to gain employment.  

Virginia has already made progress on efforts to translate veterans’ military experience into academic credit. However, significant hurdles still exist with health care licenses.  This legislation will create a pilot program to help military medics smoothly transition to a medical career in the private sector without having to go through training they have already received in the military.

The House passed the bill this week. I hope it will continue to gain support in the Senate.

Visitors this Week

We were grateful to see a number of friends from home this week.  Crista Cabe stopped by for a visit with several young ladies from Mary Baldwin College. They were here to thank the General Assembly for their Tuition Assistance Grants.  We were visited by representatives of the AARP, as well as representatives of the Children’s Advocacy Centers in Staunton.  

I was visited by my friend Beth Beach, who was here to testify for a piece of legislation.  We also saw David Johnson of Augusta Mutual Insurance and John Hutchinson who was here for Shenandoah Valley Battlefields and later in the week the Virginia Conservation Network.  John Downey dropped by with some local business leaders.  Last but not least we were pleased to see Dr. Jennifer Davis, Earl and Violet Cash who dropped by for United Methodist Day, and Marcia Elliott who was here with the VEA, the retired teachers association, and Delta Kappa Gamma.

We love seeing friendly faces from home during Session.  If you are going to be in the Richmond area, consider dropping by for a visit. While appointments are not required, we do recommend that you call or email us ahead of time to schedule a time for a visit.

While we make every attempt to see all of our constituents, please understand that our committee schedules can be very hectic and our schedule can change very quickly.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Contact Me

We will be operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2016 Session.  While we still monitor the voicemail on our District Office phone line, the quickest way to reach us by phone will be by calling the Richmond office directly at 804-698-1020.  We will still receive email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

If you prefer to send us written correspondence, you can send mail to Post Office Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.

As in previous Sessions, I will provide weekly updates throughout our time in Richmond. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, they can sign up online at bellfordelegate.com or email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com.

You can also stay updated by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing you in Richmond! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.

  

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2016 Session - Week 3

As the third week of the legislative session draws to a close, I want to update you on the work we are doing in Richmond. I have been extremely busy meeting with constituents and attending committee meetings.  In addition, we are working extra hard to make up for the time we lost due to last week’s winter weather. 

As we get into the full swing of the session, the House continues to focus on top agenda items like increased educational opportunities, decreased federal regulations, protection of our second amendment rights, and promotion of religious liberties.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Over the last several weeks, a number of you have contacted me with your concerns regarding Attorney General Herring’s severance of Virginia’s reciprocity agreements with a number of states.  The House of Delegates has spent a great deal of time and energy looking into Mr. Herring’s actions to determine how we could work to ensure that we protect the constitutional rights of all Virginians. 

Just yesterday, we made a huge step forward in restoring our reciprocity agreements.  Governor McAuliffe and General Assembly Republicans announced a major, bipartisan agreement that will restore and expand our concealed carry reciprocity. 

After some candid discussions, we reached an agreement to grant universal reciprocity in return for allowing voluntary background checks at gun shows, and prohibiting individuals under permanent protective orders due to a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm. 

I believe that this agreement shows strong leadership on both sides of the aisle.  This bipartisan agreement took some give and take on both sides.  Ultimately, however, it restores and expands the rights of law abiding citizens while sending a clear signal about the House’s commitment to preventing and combatting domestic violence. 

Education

On Tuesday, Republican members of the House of Delegates outlined the House’s legislative agenda to promote opportunities in education. This agenda focuses on continuing to enact reforms in public education, promoting choice and flexibility, and encouraging early childhood education.  Our ideas will help strengthen Virginia’s public school system so all children have the opportunity to succeed.

Last week I detailed my virtual education legislation, but that is not the only meaningful education reform that House Republicans are championing this year.  

Delegate Rob Bell is carrying a constitutional amendment that would give the Board of Education the authority to establish charter schools in Virginia. Charter schools are public schools that are given a bit more flexibility to improve student outcome. Virginia has consistently lagged behind other states when it comes to charter schools. New York has 197 and Washington D.C. has over 115, while Virginia only has nine. If passed, this amendment would set up a framework for the state to establish charter schools, which would hopefully lead to more charter schools in Virginia. This amendment must pass the General Assembly this year before being sent to voters for final approval this fall in the form of a referendum. 

Delegate Dave LaRock is once again carrying legislation to create Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). ESAs allow parents to receive 90 percent of the State’s portion of education funding for their child to deposit annually into a savings account that can be accessed via a debit card. The funds can then be used for tuition, tutoring, private courses, instructional supplies for homeschooling, online learning, and more. Funds not used can be saved for college. 

The General Assembly is looking at several ways to increase access such as: creating a pilot program to test a mixed-delivery early childhood education model; establishing a stakeholder committee to explore how to break down barriers that limit the use of private providers; and expanding the eligibility of the successful Educational Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit to include early education providers. 

Fighting Federal Regulations 

On Wednesday, the House passed legislation to require General Assembly approval of Virginia’s implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan thereby restoring legislative oversight of energy regulations.  House Bill 2, which would restore legislative oversight by requiring the Department of Environmental Quality to receive approval from the General Assembly for a state implementation plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, passed the House of Delegates 66-34. 

These regulations are yet another example of federal government overreach.  These attacks on coal will have a devastating impact on Virginia’s economy and will drastically increase the cost of electricity.  In fact, the SCC has estimated that these regulations could increase electricity costs in Virginia by $5.5 to $6 billion. 

By passing this legislation, we are able to protect Virginians from job losses and significant rate hikes. 

 My Legislation

I haven’t had any of my own legislation on the floor yet, but still have bills working their way through the committee process.  One bill that I am carrying, House Bill 755, will have a direct impact in the 20th District if passed.

This legislation would allow Wayne Theatre to obtain an ABC license. Under current law, they are simply not permitted to obtain a license.

The Wayne Theatre is scheduled to open in March of 2016 and as the law is currently written they are unable to obtain an ABC license without having to meet food ratios. I believe that the opening of this theater will bring with it a wealth of opportunity for additional economic development in Waynesboro and they feel that obtaining an ABC license will help contribute to this success.

This legislation was passed out of the full General Laws committee this week and I expect the final vote of passage on this legislation in the House will be on Monday.  

Additionally, last week I told you that the Right to Work amendment had passed in the Privileges and Elections subcommittee. I am pleased to tell you that it passed out of the full P&E committee this morning, and will head to the floor of the House of Delegates next week for final passage.

Throughout my time in the House, I’ve been contacted by dozens of constituents expressing their concern about the safety of that section of I-64, particularly highlighting the hazards created by truck traffic. I’ve communicated these concerns to Virginia State Police, yet we’ve been unable to find a solution.  Based on these concerns, I introduced House Bill 178 as a potential remedy to this problem.

This bill, if passed, would have made it illegal for 18-wheelers to drive in the left lane of I-64 on Afton Mountain.  If driving in the left lane, these drivers would’ve been charged with reckless driving and charged $500.  I realize that the reckless driving component of the bill may have been excessive, but I was open to any alternatives that would make driving on Afton Mountain safer.

While it may not have been a perfect solution, I hoped it would be a step in the direction of finding a solution that would make our drivers safer. After some conversation and debate, this legislation was ultimately tabled in a Transportation subcommittee this morning.  I am hopeful that this conversation will continue and that we will be able to keep a dialogue with VDOT and the Virginia State Police on this issue. I will continue to look for solutions and remain committed to increasing safety in this area.  

Visitors this Week

Despite the weather we were fortunate to have many visitors this week. It is always nice to see Bo Wilson and Bruce Thompson of Dr. Pepper of Staunton.  I was also able to spend a few minutes with Roger Watson of the News Leader and Matt Paxton from the News-Gazette.  Tamy Mann, executive director of SafeHome stopped by for a visit, as did Christy Cacciapaglia from Western State Hospital and Donna Gum, who represents the Augusta County chapter of MHA.

We were able to see members of the Augusta County Home Builders Association, as well as representatives from Community Coalitions of Virginia from Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro.  Savanna had the opportunity to visit with a number of Murphy Deming students from the Physician’s Assistant program as well as students from their Physical Therapy program.

On Thursday we were visited by Roy Gutshall and Matthew Blagg from the Highland-Bath Farm Bureau, as well as representatives from the Rockingham County Farm Bureau.  We were also able to meet with Alexann Westlake, a local certified nurse midwife.  Denver Riggleman was here to discuss some legislation important to our local distilleries.  Last but not least, I had the opportunity to chat with David Foster, who plays Abe Lincoln in “Mercy Street.”

On Thursday we also had a guest who was here for a very special reason.  Major Ben Sprouse, Associate Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Staunton, was here to deliver the opening prayer to the House of Delegates.  He did a wonderful job.  You can see the video of his prayer online here.

We love seeing friendly faces from home during Session.  If you are going to be in the Richmond area, consider dropping by for a visit. While appointments are not required, we do recommend that you call or email us ahead of time to schedule a time for a visit.

While we make every attempt to see all of our constituents, please understand that our committee schedules can be very hectic and our schedule can change very quickly.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.

  Contact Me

We will be operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2016 Session.  While we still monitor the voicemail on our District Office phone line, the quickest way to reach us by phone will be by calling the Richmond office directly at 804-698-1020.  We will still receive email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

If you prefer to send us written correspondence, you can send mail to Post Office Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.

As in previous Sessions, I will provide weekly updates throughout our time in Richmond. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, they can sign up online at bellfordelegate.com or email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com.

You can also stay updated by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing you in Richmond! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2016 Session - Week 2

As you know, a significant snow storm is forecasted to impact most of Virginia this weekend. Significant accumulation of snow is expected across the Valley and other parts of the Commonwealth.  In order to help prepare for the storm, Governor McAuliffe has already issued a State of Emergency.  Before I provide you with an update on the General Assembly Session, let me first share some information on how to prepare for the storm. For general emergency planning tips, including tips for senior citizens and residents with disabilities, please click here.

If you lose power, be sure to report the outage to your respective provider.

Be sure to check out these tips from VDEM on power outages.  

To check road conditions, you can call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org

For general information about the storm and the response effort, dial 211 or visit www.vaemergency.gov.  You can also download the Ready Virginia App here.  To find information on your local emergency management office, you can click here.  

To get the latest local school closings, cancellations and weather conditions please visit one of our local media outlets. (www.whsv.com, www.nbc29.com, www.wsvaonline.com)

Please make sure to use 9-1-1 only for true emergencies.

My Legislation

Session is off to a quick start and my legislation is beginning to work its way through the committee process.  I have had a couple of early successes with 2 bills that began working their way through the process in the 2015 Session. 

As you may remember, last year I patroned House Bill 324, which established the Virginia Virtual School. The School will offer both online classes and virtual school programs to all public, private, and home-schooled children in Virginia. The Virginia Virtual School will be responsible for all federal and state accountability requirements applicable to those students enrolled on a full-time basis. 

This bill passed both houses and was signed by the Governor, but contained a reenactment clause.  This means that it has to be passed again this year in order to go into effect.

This year I filed House Bill 8, which is the same as last year’s house bill 324. It was referred to the Committee on Education, where it was reported out this week and re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  The Appropriations committee has to take a look at this legislation to help sort out the funding.

Virginia is a leader in so many areas and I hope that one of them will be virtual education. I am hopeful that we can get this legislation passed again this year so that parents will have this additional option when considering their choices for their child’s education.

You may also remember that last year I carried a resolution that would allow for a constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot that would add our Right to Work laws to the Virginia constitution.  It passed both houses last year, but in order to be put on the ballot it has to pass again this year.  It was heard earlier this week in a subcommittee of the Privileges and Elections committee and was reported out on a vote of 5-2. This was an encouraging step in strengthening our right to work laws in Virginia.

 Visitors

This week we were visited by a number of folks from home.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is always a busy day with many guests from all over the Commonwealth.  We had a number of folks drop by representing the Virginia Citizens Defense League, as well as local representatives from Americans for Prosperity and the Virginia Young Democrats.

Jason Clarke and representatives from Dupont Community Credit Union dropped by for a visit on Tuesday. Wednesday, Savanna had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Blue Ridge Medical Center who were in town for Health Safety Net day at the General Assembly. Thursday, I was able to spend a few minutes with Andrew Wiley who was there representing the Independent Auto Dealers Association, and Savanna met with Janita McNemar from the Adult Learning Center.  Last but not least I was able to visit with Dr. Frank Friedman and a group of students from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

We love seeing friendly faces from home during Session.  If you are going to be in the Richmond area, consider dropping by for a visit. While appointments are not required, we do recommend that you call or email us ahead of time to schedule a time for a visit.

While we make every attempt to see all of our constituents, please understand that our committee schedules can be very hectic and our schedule can change very quickly.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 

Contact Me

We will be operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2016 Session.  While we still monitor the voicemail on our District Office phone line, the quickest way to reach us by phone will be by calling the Richmond office directly at 804-698-1020.  We will still receive email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

If you prefer to send us written correspondence, you can send mail to Post Office Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.

As in previous Sessions, I will provide weekly updates throughout our time in Richmond. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, they can sign up online at bellfordelegate.com or email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com.

You can also stay updated by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing you in Richmond! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.



Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - 2016 Session Week 1

The 2016 Session of the Virginia General Assembly began on Wednesday, January 13.  As always, we are off to a quick start. 

The Speaker gaveled the House to order at noon on opening day, signifying the official start to the 2016 Session.  During the opening ceremony, all new and returning members were sworn in.  Taking the oath of office is a humbling experience and I am so honored to represent the 20th District in the oldest continuing legislative body in the Western hemisphere. This year we welcomed 11 new House members.  I congratulate the new members and I look forward to serving with them.

After taking our oaths of office, one of our first tasks was the election of the Speaker of the House. We unanimously re-elected Bill Howell (R-Stafford).  In his opening remarks to the House, Speaker Howell laid out the House Republican agenda for the year.  He highlighted our top priorities, including strengthening Virginia’s economy, investing in new educational opportunities, and the importance of being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.  His full remarks are available at https://youtu.be/4E3LmQAl9YI.

That same evening, Governor Terry McAuliffe delivered the annual State of the Commonwealth address to the Joint Assembly of the House of Delegates and Senate.  While we share some top priorities with the Governor, including K-12 reform, economic development, and investments in higher ed, there are also many areas where we do not agree. 

I am unfortunately not as optimistic about Virginia’s revenues as Governor McAuliffe. While we are still improving slightly, we still lag behind the national recovery.  I was also disappointed to see him once again push for Medicaid expansion, which he knows the General Assembly has repeatedly opposed.  By choosing to include expansion in the budget, he has made it even more difficult to finish the budget on time.  Additionally, it is unfortunate that he has continued to push efforts to infringe upon the second amendment rights of Virginia citizens.  

The Republican response was delivered by Delegate Rob Bell (Albemarle) and Senator Frank Ruff (Mecklenburg).  Delegate Bell and Senator Ruff laid out a positive agenda for the 2016 session which will focus on:

 Improving our public schools by investing in our teachers and resources to improve student success;

  • Investing in workforce training targeted to growing industries to help more people get back to work;

  • Being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars throughout the entire budget process;

  • Standing up and defending Virginians’ Second Amendment rights;

  • Investing in our health safety net without expanding an already broken Medicaid system.

You can watch our Republican response at https://youtu.be/Ufho3mzbQAE.  

 Committee Assignments

This year my committee assignments did not change. I will continue to serve on the Education, General Laws, and Health, Welfare, and Institutions committees.  I will continue to serve as chairman of the Primary and Secondary Education subcommittee. In addition, I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to chair a subcommittee of the Health, Welfare, and Institutions committee.  

If you would like to follow my committees, you can sign up for email notifications at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/committees/all.php.

 

My Legislation

This year I have filed 13 bills and 1 house joint resolution.  Topics range from education reform to healthcare and more.  I will detail my legislation in future updates as it works its way through the committee process.  If you would like to take a look at my legislation in the meantime, it can be viewed at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+mbr+H211C

Visitors

Though we have only been her for a few days, we have already had the opportunity to see several of you from home!

This week we welcomed a number of constituents who visited for “Bankers Day”. This included representatives from First Bank, Union First Market Bank, and Farmers and Merchants Bank.  We also visited with representatives from the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District and the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. 

We love seeing friendly faces from home during Session.  If you are going to be in the Richmond area, consider dropping by for a visit. While appointments are not required, we do recommend that you call or email us ahead of time to schedule a time for a visit.

While we make every attempt to see all of our constituents, please understand that our committee schedules can be very hectic and our schedule can change very quickly.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Contact Me

 We will be operating out of our Richmond Office for the duration of the 2016 Session.  While we still monitor the voicemail on our District Office phone line, the quickest way to reach us by phone will be by calling the Richmond office directly at 804-698-1020.  We will still receive email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.

If you prefer to send us written correspondence, you can send mail to Post Office Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

I look forward to hearing from you on the issues that matter most to you.

As in previous Sessions, I will provide weekly updates throughout our time in Richmond. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, they can sign up online at bellfordelegate.com or email Savanna at Savanna@BellforDelegate.com.

You can also stay updated by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing you in Richmond! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate.

 

 

 

 

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - October 28, 2015

We are just under one week away from the 2016 General Election! I want to take a few minutes to provide you with some information you may need as your prepare for Election Day! 

Election Day 

Election Day is next Tuesday, November 3.  The polls will be open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.  Turnout is expected to be very low and every vote matters. Please take a few minutes that day to exercise your right to vote.  

All General Assembly members are up for re-election this year. In addition, some localities have local contests as well.  There are contested local elections in Augusta, Highland, and Nelson counties here in the 20th District. 

If you have questions about where you vote, or what will be on your ballot, visit https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation.  Here you can plug in your name and you will be given detailed information about your precinct, as well as a list of offices that will appear on your ballot. 

Absentee Voting 

While the deadline for voting absentee by mail has already passed, if you are going to be away next Tuesday there is still time to vote in person absentee.   You can vote at your local registrar’s office through Saturday, October 31

Click here for information about absentee voting, including eligibility requirements.  

If you have specific questions on voting absentee, I encourage you to contact your local registrar’s office.   I have put the contact information for the registrars in the five localities in the 20th House District at the bottom of this email. 

Voter ID Requirements 

It is important to note that effective July 1, 2014, a photo ID is now required for voting in Virginia.  Voters must present one of the following acceptable forms of identification: 

  • Valid Virginia Driver’s License                   

  • Other government-issued photo identification card

  • DMV-issued photo identification card                  

  • Valid United States Passport                     

  • Valid college or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia

  • Valid employee photo identification card 

If you do not have an acceptable form of identification please contact your local registration office for a free ID. 

For more information on the ID requirement in Virginia, please click here

Contact Your Local Registrar 

Augusta County     (540)245-5656

Highland County    (540)468-2013

Nelson County       (434)263-4068

Staunton City        (540)332-3840

Waynesboro City   (540)942-6620 

Endorsements 

I am pleased to announce that I have been endorsed by Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Congressman Robert Hurt. I’m pleased to have their support! 

“I am pleased to endorse Delegate Dickie Bell for re-election to the House of Delegates.  Dickie is a great legislator, who the citizens of the 20th District can count on.  Dickie has worked tirelessly throughout his time in the House to reform our education system, promote job growth and fiscal responsibility, to limit state government, and to protect our shared Shenandoah Valley values.  He and Anne go out into the community and meet with citizens regularly, so he knows his constituents and knows how to best represent their interests in Richmond.  I hope you will join me in supporting Delegate Dickie Bell for re-election to the House.”

~Bob Goodlatte 

 “I am pleased to endorse Delegate Dickie Bell for re-election to the House of Delegates.  Delegate Bell has done great work during his time in the House.  Dickie is a no-nonsense conservative who has consistently supported limiting the size of government, reducing the tax burden on our families and businesses, and protecting individual liberties.  His work on education reform -- especially in promoting virtual education -- has been unparalleled.   He has been a great legislator for Nelson County and the rest of the 20th District, and I look forward to working with him to serve our mutual constituents in the future.”

~Robert Hurt 

Election Day Volunteers 

We are still in need of volunteers to stand outside the polls on Election Day.  If you have some free time that day and would like to help out, please email me at Dickie@BellforDelegate.com. 

Election Night Party 

Tuesday night after the polls close I hope you will join the Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro Republicans for our Victory Party. It will be held at the Staunton Republican Headquarters. Their headquarters is located on N. Central Avenue in Staunton, in the old Fireplaces and Things building. I hope to see you out as we watch the results come in and cheer our candidates on to victory!

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.  

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

For campaign inquiries, please contact me at dickie@bellfordelegate.com

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. There is no charge.  

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



Delegate Richard Bell

http://www.bellfordelegate.com/

Add your reaction Share

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

Given the potential for significant rainfall and flooding in our area through the weekend and beyond, I want to share some storm related resources that you might find helpful. Governor McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency for Virginia due to the multiple storm systems expected to impact the Commonwealth over the course of the next several days.

While Hurricane Joaquin is grabbing most of the headlines, other storm systems are expected to bring heavy rainfall through Sunday prior to any potential landfall by the hurricane. The ground is already saturated and many rivers and creeks are still at flood stage due to the rain we received earlier this week, making this situation very serious. Any additional rain is likely to cause flooding in some areas. Furthermore, even if the hurricane does not pass through the Valley region directly and tracks east, we still stand a good chance of receiving additional rain and high winds from the storm early next week.    

 Tips for flooding...

  •  Be prepared to evacuate. If evacuated, don't return to your home until local officials say it is safe. 
  • Use common sense and look for information. If water is rising quickly or you see a moving wall of mud or debris, immediately move to higher ground.

  • Do not walk through moving water. Look for areas where the water is not moving. What might seem like a small amount of moving water can easily knock you down. 

  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground, if possible.

  • Flood water might cut off access to roads. Be prepared to stay where you are until floodwaters recede. 

 Know the weather terms and what you should do:

  • Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch: There is an increased possibility of flooding or a flash flood in your area.

  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will likely occur very soon. If emergency officials advise you to evacuate, do so immediately.

  • Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately. 

Click here for additional flood preparedness information from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  You can also download the Ready Virginia mobile app here.

 If you lose power, be sure to report the outage to your respective provider.

To check road conditions, you can call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org

For general information about the storm and the response effort, dial 211 or visit www.vaemergency.gov

To get the latest local school closings, cancellations and weather conditions please visit one of our local media outlets. (www.whsv.com, www.nbc29.com, www.wsvaonline.com)

Please make sure to use 9-1-1 only for true emergencies.

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - September 24

I hope you are enjoying the first few days of fall! It’s a beautiful time of year, especially here in the Shenandoah Valley! With the start of fall, we are reminded that Election Day is just around the corner.  This year the election will take place on November 3.  I’d like to provide you with a few updates regarding the election and other items of interest.

Join Me for an Evening of BBQ and Bluegrass

We are just a week away from my annual BBQ and Bluegrass event! The event will take place from 6:00-8:00 pm on October 1 at Shenadoah Harley Davidson in Staunton. 

There is still time to RSVP! This is a great event for the whole family. We will have BBQ from Mrs. Rowe’s, and will feature music by Flattbroke. Kris Neil will be back this year to serve as our emcee.

You can see the invitation online here.  Please RSVP to Anne at mrsrbellcoach@comcast.net.

Endorsements

Over the last couple weeks, my campaign has received a few important endorsements that I would like to share with you.

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s AgPAC announced a few weeks ago that I am one of the 115 candidates across the Commonwealth that they have endorsed.  The AgPAC endorses based on the recommendations of local farmers and supports candidates who have a proven record of supporting the needs of the agricultural community.  I appreciate the support of the Farm Bureau and look forward to continuing to support our farmers throughout my time in the House.

The National Rifle Association announced their endorsements just last week.  The NRA rates and endorses candidates based on their record of upholding the second amendment rights of Virginia’s citizens. I am honored to receive this endorsement.  I have made protecting the constitutional rights of Virginia citizens a top priority during my tenure of the House of Delegates, and will continue to do so if I am re-elected in November.

The National Federation of Independent Business also announced last week that I have received their endorsement.  Small business is crucial to the economy of the Commonwealth, and Virginia cannot succeed without the success of small, independent, businesses.  During my service as Delegate I have supported policies that will help our small businesses thrive, and this will continue to be a top priority for me. 

Important November Election Deadlines

Deadline to register to vote: October 13

Register or verify your registration online at www.vote.virginia.gov or by mail or in person at your local registrar's office. Click here for information about voter eligibility.

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail: October 27

Last day to vote in peron absentee: October 31

Apply for an absentee ballot by mailing this form to your local voter registration office. Clickhere for information about absentee eligibility.

Get Involved in My Campaign 

We need volunteers to help with our victory effort!  Volunteers can help in a number of ways, including making phone calls, knocking on doors, distributing yard signs, and working outside the polls.

If you have even an hour to volunteer over the next few weeks, please contact me atDickie@BellforDelegate.com.  

If you’re unable to get involved in this way, please consider supporting my campaign by writing a letter to the editor.  Below is information on how to submit letters to each paper in our area:

The News Leader – Letters can be submitted online or by mail to The News Leader 11 N Central Avenue, Staunton, VA 24402.

The News Virginian – Letters can be emailed to news@newsvirginian.com (with Letter to the Editor in the subject line) or mailed to The News Virginian P.O. Box 1027 Wayesboro, VA 22980.

The Nelson County Times – Letters can be submitted online

The Recorder – Letters can be emailed to recorder@htcnet.org and mailed to PO Box 10, Monterey 24465. 

With each submission be sure to include your phone number.

Donations are also graciously accepted at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate or by mail at P.O. Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

Republican Headquarters Hours

As I have shared in previous newsletters, we are very fortunate to have three GOP headquarters locations this year. 

The Waynesboro Headquarters is located in Willow Oak Plaza in Waynesboro. Augusta County has a location on Route 11 in Verona, next to Shipplett Cleaners.  The Staunton City Committee headquarters is located on N Central Avenue in the old Fireplaces and Things building across from Scott and Stringfellow. 

The Staunton headquarters will be open 4 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday – Friday and 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday.  Augusta County will keep theirs open on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12 pm to 2 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.  Waynesboro has not yet determined their schedule, but we will keep you updated.

Each of these locations can only operate at full capacity with the help of volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering at the Staunton location you can sign up for a time online here. To sign up for a time at the Waynesboro Headquarters please contact Ken Adams at 942-1880, and to sign up to volunteer at the Augusta Headquarters please click here or contact Denise Kelley at Denise@IEW.com or 540-248-3952.

 Save the Date for a Pre-Election Rally

Please mark your calendars for 6:30 pm on Monday, November 2! We will be having a pre-election rally at the Staunton Republican headquarters for all of our local and state Republican candidates.  We will have music and refreshments.  More details to come, but plan to come out and send our candidates off to victory!

Augusta County Republican Committee Events

The Augusta County Republican committee is hosting a couple of events next month that I would like to pass along to you.  They will be hosting a reception at Barren Ridge Vineyards onOctober 5 and a concealed handgun class on October 24.  Please see below for details on both events.

The Augusta County Republican Committee cordially invites you to a reception in honor of our U.S. Constitution and to share an evening with our GOP Candidates

Guest speakers:

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Ed Gillespie, Cathy Gillespie, and Delegate Rob Bell

Monday, October 5, 2015

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Barren Ridge Vineyards

984 Barren Ridge Rd, Fishersville, VA

YESI will attend the reception in Fishersville on October 5th. I wish to participate at the following level:

Gold Freedom Sponsor $250 – 10 tickets and special recognition 

Bronze Liberty Sponsor $200 – 8 tickets and special recognition 

Friend $100 – 4 tickets and special recognition

Couple $50 – 2 tickets

Individual $35 – 1 ticket

** Each ticket includes a glass and wine of heavy hors d’oeuvres**

RSVP by Sept. 30th to Denise Kelley at ACRCFundraiser@solanqui.com

**Please mail checks to: ACRC, P.O. Box 2824, Staunton, VA 24402


 Augusta County Republican Committee Proudly sponsors:

Tactical Concealed Handgun Class
Virginia Resident & Florida Non-Resident
(This will provide proper certification for 33 states by reciprocal agreement)

Saturday, October 24, 2015, 8a.m.-12p.m.
Preston L. Yancey Fire Station
2015 Jefferson Hwy
Fishersville, VA

 Instructors: David & Dee Dee Van Buren

Register by emailing: shrewsbury100@comcast.net

Your name must be exactly as it is listed at the Department of Motor Vehicles

 Cost: 1-50 people $65, 50-100 people $55, +100 people $50


 
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

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

For campaign inquiries, please contact me at dickie@bellfordelegate.com.

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 atsavanna@bellfordelegate.com to schedule. There is no charge. 

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

 

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - September 10, 2015

I hope you had a wonderful summer!  Labor Day not only marks the end of summer, but to many voters and elected officials it also serves as the official kickoff of campaign season.  As you are likely already aware, the entire General Assembly is up for re-election this year.  Though it is hard to believe, we are less than 2 months away from Election Day. I would like to share with you some information about the upcoming election, as well as some ways that you can get involved with my campaign.

Register to Vote

If you have never voted or if you have moved since last year’s election, you must register in order to be eligible to vote in the November election. The deadline to register is October 13, 2015

To be eligible to vote in Virginia, you must:

  • Be a resident of Virginia (a person who has come to Virginia for temporary purposes and intends to return to another state is not considered a resident for voting purposes).

  • Be a U. S. Citizen.

  • Be 18 years old (any person who is 17 years old and will be eighteen years of age at the next general election shall be permitted to register in advance and also vote in any intervening primary or special election).

  • Not be registered and plan to vote in another state.

  • Not currently declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.

  • If convicted of a felony, your right to vote must have been restored.

You can register or verify your registration status online at https://www.vote.virginia.gov/.  You can also register by mail or in person at your local registrar’s office. 

For more information on voter registration you can visit  http://elections.virginia.gov/registration/how-to-register/index.html.

Absentee Ballots

If you will be away on Election Day, it is time to start thinking about voting absentee.

You can apply for an absentee ballot by mailing this form to your local voter registration office.  Citizens who qualify for an absentee ballot are also able to vote in person at their local registrar’s office.  The last day to apply by mail is October 27, 2015. The last day to vote in person absentee is October 31, 2015

For more information on absentee voting, including information on who is eligible to cast an absentee ballot, please go to http://elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html.

Get Involved in My Campaign 

We need volunteers to help with our victory effort!  Volunteers can help in a number of ways, including making phone calls, knocking on doors, distributing yard signs, and working outside the polls.

If you have even an hour to volunteer over the next few weeks, please contact me at Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.   Donations are also graciously accepted at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate or by mail at P.O. Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

 Republican Headquarters

This year we are fortunate to have three GOP Headquarters locations in our area.  The Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro committees have each opened their own headquarters.

The Waynesboro Headquarters is located in Willow Oak Plaza in Waynesboro. Augusta County has a location on Route 11 in Verona, next to Shipplett Cleaners.  The Staunton City Committee headquarters is located on N Central Avenue in the old Fireplaces and Things building across from Scott and Stringfellow. 

Schedules are still being discussed, but we will keep you updated once we know what the hours at each location will be.

Each of these locations can only operate at full capacity with the help of volunteers.  If you are interested in helping out at one of these locations please let us know and we will get you in touch with the appropriate people. 

BBQ and Bluegrass Fundraising Event

There is still time to rsvp to our annual BBQ and Bluegrass fundraising event.  Please see below for the invitation.  This is a great event for the whole family, and I look forward to seeing you there!

 Join Delegate Bell for his Annual BBQ and Bluegrass

With Senator Mark Obenshain

and invited guests Congressman Bob Goodlatte

and local Republican candidates for office

Thursday, October 1, 2015

 6:00 -8:00 pm

Shenandoah Harley Davidson

213 Rolling Thunder Lane

 Staunton, Virginia 24401

Please RSVP to 540-448-4617 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 Bronze Level

           _____$25 per person to attend (no Press passes)

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.

 Contact Me

I appreciate your patience and understanding over the last few weeks as my Legislative Aide has been on maternity leave.  Savanna will be returning back to work beginning next week and our office will soon be operating as normal.

For legislative inquiries, you can reach us by phone at 540-448-3999 or by email at DelDBell@house.virginia.gov.  If you would prefer to send us written correspondence, you can to do so at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

Please send campaign inquiries to dickie@bellfordelegate.com.

As always, 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 - Campaign Finance Deadline Tonight!

Though it is hard to believe, the summer is winding down and we are in high gear for our 2015 re-election campaign.  I have spent countless hours this summer traveling across the 20th district to many festivals, lawn parties, fairs, and other events and I have had the opportunity to see many of you on the campaign trail.   I am honored to have so many wonderful friends and supporters throughout the district and your enthusiastic support will ensure that I am able to continue to serve you in Richmond.

 Tonight marks an important campaign finance deadline, so I must once again ask for your help! A donation in any amount will help us continue to get our message out to the voters of the 20th District.  You can donate securely online at www.bellfordelegate.com/donate or you can send a check to Bell for Delegate, Post Office Box 239, Staunton, VA 24402.

If you would like to help our campaign but are unable to provide financial support, there are other ways to get involved.  We have 4x4 and 4x8 signs, as well as yard signs and we are looking for more great sign locations.  We are also looking for volunteers to go door to door for me this fall. If you are interested in helping out with our door to door activities or if you would like a yard sign for your home or business, please email me at Dickie@BellforDelegate.com.

Thank you again for your continued support!

Add your reaction Share

Bell Sounds from the 20th - Join us August 26 for the Annual Valley Business Summit

Registration is now open for the annual Valley Business Summit, hosted by Delegates Cline, Landes, Wilt, and myself.  The summit is scheduled for August 26 at the Plecker Center at Blue Ridge Community College.

The event is FREE of charge and open to any business owner/manager or aspiring entrepreneur. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about what resources may be available to assist in starting or growing their businesses. They will also be able to connect with officials from various agencies and organizations that can help them pursue these resources. Barry DuVal, President of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce will serve as the keynote speaker for the event.

You can see the full agenda for the summit here. Space is limited, so please register here by August 19.

Add your reaction Share
← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10    13  14  Next →