Legislators update small business leaders

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Legislators and their representatives updated neighborhood small business leaders on the accomplishments and shortfalls of this year’s session in the Basic Assembly on Tuesday.

The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Post Legislative Update Tuesday morning at New College Institute just before a half-dozen persons who attended the occasion in-particular person and a lot more than 30 who joined the session practically.

These who spoke had been Josh Hess representing Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), Delegate Les Adams (R-Chatham), Delegate Danny Marshall (R-Danville, and Addison Merriman representing Delegate Wren Williams (R-Stuart).

“We had hundreds of bills to take into consideration inside our committees,” mentioned Adams. “The State Senate has a Democratic majority there, so due to philosophical variations, some bills that created it out of 1 Home failed to make it out of the other. The [Governor] Youngkin dynamic permitted me to perform hand-in-hand with the Governor’s workplace. We had been fairly productive with our priorities.”

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Adams pointed to two bills he helped pass that will enable the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) combat fraud that occurred in the course of the pandemic.

“They had been overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of situations they had been attempting to approach,” mentioned Adams. “I got two bills passed that will enable the VEC pursue the rampant fraud perpetrated in the course of the pandemic. Hopefully we’ll see some improvement in this new work to combat fraud.”

Adams mentioned transportation funding addressed by Home Bill 2302 was “priority legislation by the governor.”

“The governor may possibly now direct funds to boost transportation projects permitting grants and loans,” mentioned Adams. “This is new executive flexibility.”

Adams pointed out that Commonwealth Crossing Organization Centre in Henry County and the Berry Hill industrial internet site in Pittsylvania County would each advantage by the new law.

“Earlier projects would take a number of years and now the governor can place dollars on a project so that we never shed this small business,” Adams mentioned.

A third concern of Adams involved the Virginia Division of Well being and the improved prevalence of persons and cattle suffering from the ill effects of tick bites.

“There is restricted information collection in our state, and the professionals have complained about the lack of sources,” mentioned Adams. “My bill directs the Division of Well being to advise what techniques really should be implemented. Virginia has not had a concentrate on this location of well being considering that 2010-11 when we had an epidemic with Lyme illness.”

Redistricting will get rid of Marshall from representing any portion of Henry County at the finish of this year, and he started his remarks by saying what a pleasure it has been to serve an eastern portion of the county.

“Citizens are seeing what is taking place in Washington now with the price range. In Virginia we have to have a balanced price range,” mentioned Marshall. “I want our good friends in Washington would discover that.”

Marshall mentioned Virginia’s economy and revenues had been robust, but so is the disparity of how the income is filtered down to localities.

“In Virginia we have this composite index, which measures a locality’s potential to spend. Fairfax and Loudoun counties are two of the richest counties in America. The household earnings there is $145,000, and that relates back to K-12 funding,” Marshall mentioned. “Loudoun County gets $25,500 per student and right here we get about $six,500 per student. Some of my colleagues in Northern Virginia want to adjust it so it is primarily based on the quantity of students and if that happens, they win and we shed.”

Marshal mentioned power issues are the new threat for every person.

“The Virginia Clean Economy Act passed in 2020 says we have to be carbon-cost-free by 2045. Virginia will have to generate electrical energy with all solar or wind and no coal or gas, so we have a lot of solar projects,” Marshall mentioned. “Substantially of the electrical energy is going to Northern Virginia it is not coming to us. An engineer told me that it would take ten% of all the land in Virginia to produce adequate electrical energy to energy all the vehicles in the state, so we are going to have to import electrical energy. It will come from West Virginia and they make their electrical energy with coal and gas.”

As the ideal option, Marshall mentioned, nuclear energy really should be obtaining most of Virginia’s focus.

“I’ve been to the shipyards, and they had been developing a new aircraft carrier there and dismantling the initially nuclear carrier that was 50 years old,” mentioned Marshall. “After you energy these issues up, they generate electrical energy for 50 years at a steady price. I place a bill in it passed the Home but failed to pass the Senate. I will bring it back. It will enable our power expenses and flatten electrical energy prices in Virginia.”

Marshall recommended patience for Berry Hill and Commonwealth Crossing.

“We have come in second a couple of instances,” Marshall mentioned. “Kia, in February of final year, would have been eight,000 jobs and one more 9,000 jobs in a 45-minute radius. So if we had gotten it at Berry Hill, Commonwealth Crossing and Franklin County would have gotten some small business. It is just a matter of when, not if.”

Marshall mentioned the typical home sale in Northern Virginia is now more than $750,000, and the state is experiencing a housing shortage.

“Danville currently has 1,000 jobs that we never have homes for,” mentioned Marshall. “We want to be in a position to develop residential like industrial. We want to have land that is shovel-prepared so we can develop these homes when a firm comes in.”

Representing a western portion of Henry County, Wren Williams of Stuart introduced 15 bills in the most current session, and seven had been passed.

“One particular was a racketeering bill regarding catalytic converter thefts,” mentioned Merriman. “It is a key difficulty for a small business with trucks sitting in a parking lot. The worth of theft is in the hundreds, but it expense thousands to replace. Racketeering carries a important greater penalty, so we’re searching forward to that going into impact in July.”

Merriman mentioned one more bill by Williams addresses judicial misconduct.

“If a judge has been disciplined, that is now out in public,” Merriman mentioned. “Essentially it brings a criminal justice program into the light. If there is any wrongdoing, then it really should be public.”

Hess mentioned that Griffith’s congressional district stretches from Major Island in Bedford County all the way to the Cumberland Gap.

“He’s on lots of committees, and they’ve had a slew of meetings,” mentioned Hess.

Amongst 15 neighborhood project funding requests received by Griffith’s workplace in the previous year, 1 is in the approach of getting authorized for Martinsville and Henry County.

Henry County Administrator “Dale Wagoner place in for $two.five million for the Patriot Centre Industrial Park,” Hess mentioned. “Proper now it sits with the Home Appropriations Committee.”

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-591-7543. Adhere to him @billdwyatt.

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