• Whitbeck: Speaker Howell Created the Modern Speaker’s Office

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “It’s easy to forget that Speaker Howell is only the second Republican Speaker the Commonwealth has ever known. His leadership has created the model for those who will hold the gavel after him. Mr. Speaker ensured that the people’s business was done in a timely, efficient fashion, and with a sense of humor to boot.”

    “Under Bill Howell’s leadership, the House of Delegates held the line against Obamacare and resisted Terry McAuliffe’s liberal policies. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your service to Virginia, and best wishes for a long and happy retirement!”

  • Del. Todd Pillion: GOP is Committed to Combating Heroin Addiction and Opioid Abuse

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Delegate Todd Pillion and I represent the 4th 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. I am proud to represent the counties of Dickenson, Russell, Washington, and Wise which make up the heart of Southwest Virginia.”

    “We just wrapped up our fifth week of session, which means we are almost done with our 45-day session. As this session winds down, I want to share with you a few of our accomplishments this year.”

    “Our legislative priorities focused on important issues facing Virginians. We passed bills that encourage and incentivize economic growth, reform the regulatory process to protect small businesses, and most importantly foster private-sector job creation.

    “We passed legislation to improve our educational system by increasing accountability, promoting school choice, and holding down the cost of tuition at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Republicans also remained committed to meaningful healthcare reform by increasing access to quality care and controlling skyrocketing costs.”

    “We took major steps this year to combat the ongoing opioid and heroin addiction. On average, nearly three people die every day from a drug overdose. In 2014, more people died from opioid overdoses than fatal car accidents. Thousands of Virginians and their families are struggling. It is important that we do everything we can to combat addiction by prevention and intervention. I was proud to sponsor a comprehensive legislative package that will immediately help put a dent in this devastating epidemic. But there is still more to do. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to fight this problem”

    “We work every day to live up to our principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government. As we finish session, our most important work left is to adopt an amended state budget. Last week the House passed our version of the 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 budget is now in conference to work out differences with the Senate. I am confident that our final budget package will reflect the priorities that matter most to you. I encourage you to stay in touch with your elected officials over the last week of session to have your voice heard. Government works best when citizens take part.”

    “I’m Delegate Todd Pillion. For the entire House Republican caucus, thanks for watching and have a great weekend!”

  • President Trump News Conference — Feb. 16, 2017

  • Whitbeck: Perriello Statement Shows Just How Unhinged Democrats Have Become

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “To say this is an offensive statement doesn’t do it justice. Virginia came under attack on 9/11, and many Virginians lost their lives. Countless more lives were disrupted as mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters never returned home. If Tom Perriello truly thinks that a Presidential election that didn’t go his way is the equivalent of a terror attack that killed more than 3,000 people, it raises serious questions about his fitness for office.”

    “We know that Democrats have become unhinged since President Trump took office, but this is beyond the pale. Tom Perriello owes an apology to the survivors of 9/11, the loved ones of those lost that day, and to the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. “

  • Weekly Virginia GOP Address – Feb. 10, 2017

    — House GOP Budget opens door to much needed teacher pay increases  —

    Del. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address.

     
    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, my name is Delegate Tag Greason and I represent the 32nd district in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes most of eastern Loudoun county. It is a privilege to serve in the House of Delegates as a member of the oldest continually operating legislature in the western hemisphere.

    “As you may know, this year is the year that the General Assembly amends our two-year state budget. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to say, we have been working hard to finalize our budget proposal.
    This past week, the House unveiled its budget proposal…a conservative, responsible, and structurally balanced budget that invests in the core functions of government, while protecting precious taxpayer resources. Our budget accomplishes all this, without any tax or fee increases.

    “We all want our children to have a high-quality education. That is why our budget makes significant investments into K-12 education. Our proposed funding exceeds the Governor’s investment by nearly 15 million dollars. We build on our plan from last year to re-establish the lottery proceeds distribution, which will send an additional $218 million back to localities, with no local match requirement. Our K-12 education budget provides localities with much needed flexibility and relief in providing for our children’s education….which could include the option for a much needed teacher pay raise.”

    “We have also made significant investments in higher education. Our budget continues our efforts to make college more affordable and accessible for all Virginia families. We are investing over $20 million more than Governor McAuliffe, to hold down tuition costs at Virginia’s public colleges and universities.”

    “We recognize that Virginia’s economy still lags behind the national average. Virginia needs good paying, private sector jobs, and a thriving economy. That is why our budget restores funds for strategic and targeted investments in economic development, while promoting increased accountability and legislative oversight.”

    “With the uncertainty of healthcare at the federal level, we have put in place several independent measures to strengthen our healthcare safety net here in the Commonwealth. We understand the importance of taking care of our neighbors, and that is why our budget includes nearly $29 million in new funding for substance abuse treatment, increasing eligibility for the GAP program, and creating additional DD waiver slots to address the critical waiting list.”

    “While we may have passed our version of the budget, we still have a long way to go. Now, House and Senate negotiators go in to conference to work out the differences. I encourage you to stay connected with your representatives throughout this process to have your voice heard. Government works best when its citizens are engaged and involved.”

    “I’m Del. Tag Greason. For the entire House GOP caucus, thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Perriello Outflanks Northam to the Left on Pipeline

    — What far-left policy position will Northam adopt next to strike back? —

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. Tom Perriello finally made a left turn that Ralph Northam can’t match.

    Just days after bringing former Bernie Sanders staffers onto his team, Perriello came out in opposition to two major Virginia energy security projects supported by Governor Terry McAuliffe — the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

    Perriello’s announcement puts Northam in an untenable situation. Either he repudiates Governor McAuliffe’s strong support for the pipelines and turns off much needed money and support from Virginia’s business community, or he stands up for the pipeline projects and alienates the ever-leftward leaning base of the Democrat party in Virginia.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “If flop sweat were votes, I have no doubt that Ralph Northam would have locked up the Democrat nomination for Governor today. Tom Perriello’s announcement is the worst possible news for Northam — it drives a definitive wedge between Northam and Governor McAuliffe.”

    “Does Ralph Northam stand for jobs, or does he stand for the Bernie Sanders far-left, radical environmentalist wing of the party? His response today was a case study in how to use a lot of words without saying anything. Northam said he supports science and property rights. That’s great. How about the pipelines?”

    “There’s only one way out for Ralph Northam — find his own wedge issue further to the left that will alienate Tom Perriello from the Bernie Sanders wing of his party. But having seen just how far left Tom Perriello is on policy, that might just be an impossible task.”

    “Pop some more popcorn folks, this is going to be a Democrat primary to remember!”

  • RPV Statement Celebrating Black History Month

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “This month we recognize the central role that African Americans have played in the life of our nation, and few if any states have been shaped by the contribution of African Americans more than Virginia. The story of Virginia simply cannot be told without the powerful contributions African Americans have made to our Commonwealth. ”

    “This month, Virginia Republicans will continue to focus on ensuring Virginians of all backgrounds can achieve their dreams. Whether it was the courage of Barbara Johns, the genius of George Washington Carver, the courage of the Tuskegee Airmen, or the moral leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Virginia Republicans are proud to celebrate the amazing contributions of African Americans to our shared national story all month long.”

  • RPV Statement on Supreme Court Nomination

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “President Trump has made an excellent decision in choosing Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. His pre-judicial service was exemplary, and his time on the 10th Circuit make it clear that Judge Gorsuch is dedicated to the same principles of original intent and strict construction as Justice Scalia.”

    “No one will ever replace Antonin Scalia on the bench, but Judge Gorsuch will make a fine and worthy successor. I congratulated Judge Gorsuch on his nomination, and look forward to seeing him confirmed by the Senate.”

  • The ACLU of Virginia Wants Inmates to Vote. Do Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam Agree?

    — Only two states, Vermont and Maine, allow felony inmates to vote —

    After last year’s actions by Governor McAuliffe, Republicans in the General Assembly introduced a number of bills related to the restoration of felon voting rights.

    Remarkably, the ACLU of Virginia opposed all GOP efforts at compromise. Why? Because they don’t allow felony inmates currently serving a sentence to vote. Not those released, not those on probation, not those who have served their time.

    No, they argue that those currently in prison for committing felonies should be allowed to vote.

    From the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star (emphasis added):

    “The ACLU of Virginia, which has a long history of fighting felon disenfranchisement in Virginia, is opposed to both GOP bills after taking the position that no one should lose the right to vote for any crime.”

    “‘Our bottom line now is the right to vote is the right to vote,’ said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. ‘It’s time to stop thinking about that as something that somebody gives you. It is yours.'”

    Statement of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck:

    “People of goodwill can and do disagree over when rights should be restored to former felons. It’s an appropriate matter for debate at the General Assembly. But to argue that every inmate serving time for murder or rape at Red Onion or Wallens Ridge should be able to vote is simply beyond the pale.”

    “To date, neither Ralph Northam nor Tom Perriello have been asked – nor offered to to say – whether or not they’d continue Terry McAuliffe’s blanket rights restoration policy.”

    “Perhaps the more pressing question is do they agree with the ACLU’s radical position that felony inmates serving time should be able to get an absentee ballot at taxpayer expense? During the Democrats’ race to the left, I don’t expect an answer – because the only acceptable answer to the far left is ‘yes.'”

  • Weekly Virginia GOP Address — January 27, 2017

    Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Delegate Steve Landes, a member of the House of Delegates from the 25th District. I have the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Education and as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.”

    “We are a little over two weeks into the 2017 session and things are moving very quickly. Over 1,000 bills were introduced by members this year that the House must act on before February 7, which is known as crossover.”

    “I want to share with you some of the priorities that Republicans will be working on this year.”

    “At the top of the list is improving our economy. Governor McAuliffe likes to say that our economy is booming, however that is simply not the case. In 2014, Virginia’s economy registered zero economic growth, which put us 48th in the United States. That’s why we’re working hard to encourage job growth, protect small businesses, continue to reform our regulatory process, and focus on workforce development.”

    “One of our biggest responsibilities this year is to amend the two-year state budget. As you may know, we currently face a 1.2-billion-dollar shortfall due to the lagging economy. But unlike Washington, we balance our budget in Virginia. Tough decisions will have to be made, and there will be cuts to government. We remain committed to passing a balanced conservative budget that does not include any tax or fee increases.”

    “One major budget announcement made this week will secure the future of our hardworking state employees and state police. We announced that our budget will include a 3 percent pay raise for state employees, raise the salaries of Virginia State Police officers, and include money to alleviate salary compression for local sheriff’s deputies. It is important that our men and women in uniform know that the General Assembly is truly grateful for all they do to keep us safe.”

    “Over the remaining session days, Republicans in the General Assembly will be working hard to make life easier for Virginia families. But we can’t do it alone. We need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your representatives and share your thoughts on important issues to you.”

    “On behalf of the Republican caucus, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.”

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