Sen. Amanda Chase: Engaged Citizens are the Key to Good Government
Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Hello, I’m Senator Amanda Chase, of Virginia’s 11th Senatorial District, which includes most of Chesterfield County, all of Amelia County and the City of Colonial Heights.
This is my first session as a State Senator and my two top priorities are to be accessible and approachable to my constituents. In an effort to be accessible, I co-founded the Virginia Transparency Caucus this session. The purpose of this caucus is to focus on bringing the government to the people and making it more accessible.
I know before I got into politics, one of my frustrations, as a mom of 4 children and a small business owner, was that I was very busy and didn’t have time to go to the General Assembly and lobby on issues that were important to me, and that left me feeling disconnected from my government.
The Virginia Transparency Caucus encourages its members to agree to record the committee and subcommittee meetings where their bills are heard as a means of providing more information to constituents. Many times, the majority of work on legislation is done in committee, not on the Senate floor. I believe that by providing this perspective to constituents, it not only keeps them better informed but encourages their participating in the process.
My desire is to create an atmosphere of transparency where citizens can easily see what goes on in all committee and subcommittee meetings during session and even access past archives of meetings, so that the everyday average citizen can come home after a hard day at work and see what happened to a bill that they are interested in and follow that bill through the legislative process.
Also, in an effort to provide a three-dimensional perspective as to what’s going on in the Senate, I regularly post on my Facebook page to let constituents know what issues we are considering in committee and on the floor. I have often asked for their feedback as I’m preparing to vote on legislation and I love to interact with constituents in this way.
I encourage you to follow your elected officials on Facebook and engage with us through emails, phone calls and visits. You the people elected us to represent you in the General Assembly, and I believe that needs to be an ongoing conversation. So please reach out to us with your concerns, and we will do our best to keep you as informed as possible.
I’m Senator Amanda Chase. Thank you for watching and have a great weekend.”
Del. Chris Stolle: Republicans Propose a Conservative, Responsible Biennial Budget
Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Hello, I am Delegate Chris Stolle and I represent the 83rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. It is a privilege to serve as a member of the oldest continuing operating legislature in the western hemisphere.
As you know, this is the year that the General Assembly adopts a two year state budget. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, we have been hard at work on finalizing our proposal to fund the government.
This past week, the House unveiled its budget proposal. Our budget is a conservative, responsible, and structurally balanced budget that invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer resources. Our budget does not include any tax or fee increases, and when adjusted for population and inflation, general fund spending has decreased by 5 percent over the last ten years. Our budget deposits 605 million dollars in the state’s rainy day fund, saving our taxpayers resources should times get tough again.
Our budget makes significant investments into K-12 education. The proposed funding exceeds the Governor’s recommendations by nearly $70 million. We have proposed a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. Most notably though, is our plan to send $272 million of lottery proceeds back to the localities with no local match required and no mandate on how the money must be spent. Our K-12 education budget provides localities with much needed flexibility and relief in providing for our children’s education.
We also make significant investments into higher education. Our budget builds on our efforts to make college more affordable for Virginia students and families. We increase support for in-state students and hold tuition increases at no more than 3 percent.
We recognize that Virginia’s economic growth still lags behind the national average. The importance of good paying, private sector jobs remains our primary focus. That is why our budget funds strategic and targeted investments in economic development, while promoting increased accountability and legislative oversight. One of the new initiatives that will help us do this is GO Virginia, a regional economic development initiative that brings business and education leaders together to help vet economic development projects.
We continue to look for conservative solutions and make key investments into strengthening our healthcare safety net. We understand the importance of taking care of our neighbors, and that is why our budget includes $28.9 dollars in new funding for substance abuse treatment, increasing eligibility for the mentally ill, and creating additional developmental disability waiver slots to address the critical waiting list for our most vulnerable citizens.
While we may have completed work on our budget and have passed the House version, we still have a long way to go. Now, House and Senate negotiators go in to conference to work out the differences between the two budgets. I encourage you to stay connected with your representatives throughout this process to have your voice heard. Government works best when its citizens are actively engaged and involved.
I’m Delegate Chris Stolle. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”
Sen. Bill DeSteph: Virginia Republicans are Paving the Way for the Future of Driving.
Chairman Whitbeck: “Justice Scalia’s Legacy Will Last Forever”
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Justice Scalia will be sorely missed.John Whitbeck, RPV Chairman
Del. Jay Leftwich: At Crossover, Republicans are Pursuing Bold Conservative Ideas
Del. Jay Leftwich, R-Chesapeake, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.
“Hi, I’m Jay Leftwich and I represent the 78th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. It is an honor to serve in the Virginia General Assembly as we work on behalf of the Commonwealth and her citizens.
We just wrapped up our fifth week of session, which means we are almost at the halfway point of our 60 day session. All of that bills that were introduced in the House this year must be completed by Tuesday, what is known as crossover day. On Wednesday, all of our legislative agenda will be sent across the hall to the Senate for their consideration until the end of session. The House will then begin to start working on the legislation the Senate passed so far this year.
Our legislative priorities this year focuses on bold conservative ideas. We passed bills that will foster job creation, encourage and incentivize economic growth, and reform the regulatory process to protect small businesses.
We also passed legislation aimed at creating new opportunities in education by promoting choice and flexibility, encouraging early education, and continuing to work on reforming our educational curriculum and testing.
And we remain committed to meaningful healthcare reform, including increasing access to care and controlling costs – but not through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
We work every day to live up to our principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government. We keep those principles in mind as we continue to craft the two year state budget. We will adopt a responsible, conservative budget that strategically invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer resources. We understand the need to invest in priorities, but we must do so in a fiscally prudent manner.
Our agenda offers real solutions to make life easier for Virginia families to get ahead. But we can’t do it alone. We need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Delegate and share your thoughts on this session. I’m Jay Leftwich. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”
Memo: Hillary in Virginia — Go Big or Go Home
Re: Go Big or Go Home
Sen. Bryce Reeves: Virginia Republicans are Fighting for the Second Amendment
Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Hi, I’m Senator Bryce Reeves of Virginia’s 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Albemarle, Culpeper, Louisa, and Spotsylvania Counties, as well as Orange County and the City of Fredericksburg.
One of the top priorities of Republicans during this year’s General Assembly session is reversing the recent action of the Attorney General, which seeks to end Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with many states. My fellow Republicans and I in the General Assembly are committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment rights for all Virginians, particularly the 421,000 law-abiding Virginians who hold concealed carry handgun permits and are directly affected by the Attorney General’s action.
I am proud to help lead the charge on this matter by carrying Senate Bill 610, which restores and protects the existing reciprocity agreements Virginia has with other states, as well as expands such agreements with additional states.
I am happy to announce that we are on a clear path to achieving this. Just last Friday, the Governor announced his intention to sign this bill when it reaches his desk.
Just yesterday, my reciprocity bill passed the full Senate with bipartisan support. The House’s companion bill to Senate Bill 610, introduced by Delegate Michael Webert, is on its way to passing as well. We are now one step closer to getting this done and ensuring that the Constitutional rights of Virginians are upheld and protected.
Republicans in the General Assembly are steadfast in guaranteeing that law-abiding Virginians have the right to protect themselves and their families from violent attack, whether they are in the Commonwealth or out of state. We will continue to stand by you, our constituents, and ensure your rights are protected.
I’m Senator Bryce Reeves. Thank you for watching and have a great weekend.”
Del. Jason Miyares: Improving the Economy is Job One for the House GOP
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Memo: Hillary Clinton’s Virginia Email Problem
To: Interested Parties
From: John Findlay, Executive Director
Re: Hillary’s Virginia Email Problem
Date: January 20, 2016
By now you’ve all seen the latest report from the Inspector General – Hillary Clinton’s insecure home-brew email account at one time contained materials that were part of Special Access Programs, the most secret of all top secret U.S. intelligence programs.
Handling these highly-sensitive materials in such an insecure way is a massive problem for Hillary in Virginia, and not just because of the likely Federal charges that will be levied against her.
Virginia is home to more military retirees than any other state in the union, all of whom have had the urgency of operational security drilled into them from their first weeks at boot camp.
Said simply, Virginia veterans who have spent their entire lives handling classified information with care – and with the legal consequences of failure drilled into them – will not take kindly to Hillary’s lackadaisical attitude toward national security.
It’s a disqualifying failure on her part, according to Del. Rich Anderson, R-Woodbridge, an Air Force veteran:
“With today’s disclosure that federal investigators found ‘Special Access Program’ (SAP) material on the unsecured private email server of Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State has demonstrated a fatal character flaw that renders her permanently ineligible for any position of public trust or responsibility. Because SAP material is beyond the classification level of Top Secret, Ms. Clinton’s misconduct has caused, in the words of federal classification rules, “exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”
“As a retired senior Air Force officer who in recent years had access to SAP-level documents and information, I cannot over-emphasize the lasting damage that Ms. Clinton’s misconduct has had on national security. Uniformed members of America’s armed forces who have access to sensitive and classified national security information know full well their responsibilities for protecting the nation’s secrets. No excuse or explanation offered by Ms. Clinton or her apologists can lessen the risk that she has caused to methods and sources of national intelligence or to the lives of American patriots who risk all to defend our nation.”
“Ms. Clinton’s disregard for the national security for her own political advantage or gain makes it indisputably clear that she is forever disqualified to serve as President or Commander in Chief.”
Around Virginia, news of Hillary’s mishandling of classified information is being met with disgust and anger by those who wore the uniform.
Bob Watson retired from the Army after 25 years of service as intelligence officer at the rank of Colonel. He agrees that Hillary’s lapses are simply inexcusable:
“The disclosure by Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough that Hillary Clinton retained information on her personal email server exceeding the Top Secret level disqualifies her to be the next Commander-in-Chief. The potential damage to our national security directly impacts our men and women in uniform, all of whom place their lives on the line every day for our nation. ”
“Members of the armed forces who handle classified information are taught that their number one priority is to protect that information. Sacrificing the security of classified information for the sake of personal convenience is strictly forbidden. Service members who handled much less sensitive information in far less damaging ways were prosecuted and dishonorably discharged from the military.”
“Our men and women in uniform do not deserve a leader who flagrantly violated national security regulations for the sake of personal convenience and entitlement. Hillary Clinton does not possess the integrity we demand in a Commander-in-Chief. Our Service Members deserve much better.”
Hillary can spin all she wants. But the facts are clear, and people who worked with classified information know just how bad Hillary’s transgressions are. Even if Hillary somehow manages to escape an indictment, Virginia veterans know what she did.
No amount of spin can change that. No claims of a “vast right wing conspiracy” can cover her failure in the eyes of veterans.
And that is a serious problem.
Sen. Mark Obenshain: It’s Time for Charter Schools in Virginia
Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.
Remarks as prepared for delivery: