Crossover Update: Local Legislation
Helping my constituents
While the General Assembly Session is very short (only 60 days this year), I spend the whole year meeting with constituents to find out how I can help them as their state senator. A lot of times my legislation the following session is a result of these meetings – and this year is no different. Some of my bills were created specifically to help Henrico County. Here’s a quick rundown!
In the greater Richmond area, the mighty James River is a major draw for outdoor activity, tourism and general quality of life. We need to be sure we are protecting this natural resource and, in an effort to do so, continue to work to clean up the James River and all of our waterways. That’s why I have introduced legislation which would address the State Water Control Board to report annually, to the agriculture and money committees of the legislature, an assessment of Combined Sewer Outfalls in Virginia waterways, including the James River.
This year, Senator Jennifer McClellan and I have teamed up to address affordable housing needs in central. This bill would allow localities to incentivize developers to build new residential and mixed-use developments. The conditions in which a person lives is a determinant of someone’s health which is why I am such a large supporter of measures similar to this.
Henrico Drug Court
The Henrico County Drug Court has successfully helped address the heroin and opioid crisis in our county and helped set adults on a path to recovery. In an effort to support this growing alternative sentencing program, I have proposed a budget amendment that provides additional funding to meet the needs of this program.
Human Trafficking Hotline
Human trafficking is hard to identify, and those who know how to identify it rarely come into contact with the victims. Because of this, many of these cases often go unreported and victims continue to suffer in silence and do not know how to get help. The hope behind this legislation is that by making notices about the existence of the human trafficking hotline more readily available, victims will be able to discreetly seek help.
Hopefully you’ve heard the big news that Facebook is building a data center in Henrico. In an effort to help lure additional opportunities like this to Henrico, and help other existing data centers around the Commonwealth, I have proposed legislation that allows equipment like computers in data centers to be devalued as time goes by – just like we do with cars. This will make it more affordable for businesses to operate in Virginia.
White Oak Technology Park
We have a growing asset in White Oak Technology Park, located off of Parham in eastern Henrico. This is another issue Senator McClellan and I have teamed up on to increase economic development in the region. The legislation we have proposed returns property back to the economic development authority while ensuring that the technology park creates green space for area residents.
Highways in Henrico
Another budget amendment I have proposed has to do with Henrico’s roads. When allocating funds to Henrico, VDOT shorted the county about $300,000. This underfunding would have been a burden on the county for the upkeep of our roads. This amendment requires Henrico to be compensated for these miscalculations and also fixes the issue for future allocations. I look forward to seeing this in the final budget.