Sunday, April 14, 2013
"No officer, I was just typing directions into my GPS…"
Texting while driving is dangerous, but some people do it anyway. This year, Virginia's General Assembly passed a measure that increased the fine to $125 (it was $20) for the first infraction and $250 for the second. But Virginia legislators did not pass a hands-free measure like they have in the District, and as such enforcing the law could prove difficult. The problem: Using cell phones to dial a number or setting the phone GPS is legal. “Distracted driving is a big problem, but it’s bigger than just phone use,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, to the Washington Post. “Even if a law were successful in stopping phone use and texting, it wouldn’t eliminate distracted driving.” Northern Virginia Del. Scott …
Monday, February 25, 2013
"Northern Virginia will not continue to attract new businesses to the region if its infrastructure frustrates the way businesses operate or slows their accessibility to clients and consumers."
Monday, February 25
Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon) issued the following statement regarding the General Assembly’s recent passage of the comprehensive transportation funding and reform package: Ease of transportation is a basic need — it keeps the people and businesses that sustain our economy moving, and it is a core function of government to provide for a modern transportation system that can accommodate this need. Congestion and immobility not only hurt how we go about doing business in Northern Virginia, but our very quality of life. How we go about our daily routines, the ways in which we connect with each other and with our communities, and the health of our living environments are all inextricably linked to accessibility and mobility. Working together …
Friday, February 22, 2013
The plan reduces the state’s gasoline tax by replacing the current 17.5-cent-per-gallon tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale gas tax.
Friday, February 22
By Whitney Spicer • Capital News Service RICHMOND – Negotiators from both the House and Senate came to an agreement Wednesday on a transportation plan that, if passed, would be the first transportation funding overhaul in Virginia since 1986. “This is a huge moment for Virginia,” said Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) a member of the conference committee. “We are on the cusp of bringing home real and lasting transportation solutions that will move Virginia forward now and in the future.” The transportation compromise, which was hammered out by a 10-member conference committee over the past week, would potentially raise nearly $900 million a year in transportation revenue. The plan reduces the state’s gasoline tax by replacing the …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Bill would impose harsher penalties, make texting while driving a primary offense.
A bill that would impose tougher penalties on those convicted of texting while driving cleared the state Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the desk of Gov. Bob McDonnell. Del. Tom Rust's (R-86) House Bill 1357, which also addressed texting while driving and made it a primary offense, was incorporated into the bill last week. Rust said texting while driving is reckless behavior, and "committing another reckless, dangerous act shouldn't be required to stop the first." The bill increases the fine to $250 — up from $20 — for the first texting-while-driving offense and $500 for each subsequent conviction. It also makes texting while driving an aggravating circumstance to reckless driving, and so anyone convicted of such would face a mandatory…
Monday, February 11, 2013
Legislation in Virginia's House of Delegates could prevent teens under 15 from using indoor tanning salons and require those older to get parental permission.
Monday, February 11
By Allison Landry, Capital News Service Virginians under age 15 would no longer be able to use indoor tanning salons under legislation moving through the General Assembly. The Senate recently approved Senate Bill 1274, which would prohibit individuals 14 and younger “to use a tanning device at a tanning facility.” It would also require 15- to 17-year-olds to get parental or guardian consent before visiting a tanning parlor, with the exception of emancipated minors —teenagers who are legally adults because of a court order, marriage or military service. The bill could become law, pending the outcome of a House vote. It is waiting to be reviewed in the House Committee on Commerce and Labor. “The goal is to try to reduce incidents of cancer…
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Del. Mark Herring voted for the proposal that would allow localities to impose a 1 percent income tax without voter approval.
The Virginia State Senate has passed a bill that would enable Virginia localities to create a local income tax to fund improvements to transportation infrastructure. Under the legislation, SB 1313, which is now awaiting review in the House of Delegates, local governments would be allowed to establish an income tax of up to 1 percent without approval from voters. The bill would affect the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. Current Virginia law dictates a jurisdiction’s residents must approve a local income tax in a referendum. The majority of Virginia localities, like Fairfax County, rely on road maintenance from the state, with the …
Jail time no longer a maximum penalty under proposed law.
Jail time is no longer on the table as a maximum penalty as state lawmakers look to tighten Virginia's texting-while-driving law. The Old Dominion is in line to increase the fines for such offenses, though, and to give law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for texting. Del. Tom Rust, as well as Del. Ken Plum both supported the bill. House Bill 1907, which passed this week on a 92-4 vote, increases the fine upon conviction to $250 — up from $20 — for the first texting-while-driving offense and $500 for each subsequent conviction. The bill makes texting while driving an aggravating circumstance to reckless driving, and so anyone convicted such would face a mandatory minimum $500 penalty if they were texting while they were …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Ken Plum will hold "Conversations with Delegate Plum" events in Herndon and Reston.
Want to know what is going on at the onging General Assembly session in Richmond? Have an issue you would like to discuss with 36th District Delegate, Ken Plum? Plum will be holding two events on Saturday for constituents to share their thoughts and concerns with him. • McNair Elementary School in Herndon from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. • Jo Ann Rose Gallery in the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne from 2 - 3:30 p.m. Can't make it Saturday? You can also reach Plum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay in step with local issues. Subscribe to Herndon Patch's free daily newsletter.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Herndon's Del. Rust was encouraged by the support the bill received this year, and will reintroduce it next year.
The Virginia DREAM Act — legislation that would have allowed children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition — has died in Richmond, but supporters are optimistic the bill will pass next year. "I was encouraged," said Del. Tom Rust, R-Herndon, chief patron of the bill. "The bill has never gotten this far before. In fact, it's never gotten anywhere. I was encouraged by the response. It got a lot of support. I will be introducing it again next year, and I will be working on it between now and then." For the past seven years, similar legislation has died in a House subcommittee. This year, though, the measure enjoyed bipartisan, unanimous support on the subcommittee level, and it then passed the full House Education …
Friday, February 1, 2013
Virginia State Sen. Chap Petersen among those praised for introducing safety legislation Tuesday in first Bicycle Action Day in Richmond.
Friday, February 1
By Katherine Johnson and Blake Belden, Capital News Service State Sen. Chap Petersen, whose District includes a part of Chantilly, was among the legislators who joined Virginia bicyclists Tuesday for a Bicycle Action Day in Richmond, an event designed to support state legislators who are introducing bills that aim to make roads and biking safer across the Commonwealth. About 15 bicyclists – members of RideRichmond, a nonprofit organization of bicycle enthusiasts, and their supporters – met on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and biked to the General Assembly Building to demonstrate support for legislation that would require drivers to give bicycles more room on the road. “It’s our day to be supportive and loud,” RideRichmond …