Minchew Memo: Core Functions, Core Focus

February 15th, 2012

During the first five weeks of session, I appreciate the many emails, calls, and letters from constituents giving input on these important bills. They remind me of the fundamental truth in Article I, Section 2 of the Virginia Constitution that reads: “All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

My focus during this session is to help create jobs, expand education opportunities, keep our communities safe, and make our government more efficient.

Many of the bills that have gone through the house directly impact one of these core functions.

TRANSPORTATION – Finding the greatest reduction in congestion per dollar

Yesterday the house passed HB 599, a bill that I co-patroned with Delegate Jim LeMunyon, requiring that planned transportation projects be rated based on the amount of congestion reduction achieved per dollar spent on each project. The ratings will be available to the public and are intended to help ensure that our limited transportation dollars get the most bang for the buck.

Because our transportation dollars are limited, we should first be funding the projects that help get Northern Virginia moving. I helped shepherd this bill through the Transportation Committee last week and it passed the House on a 64-36 vote.

While it is encouraging that Virginia will be headed towards a more objective means to determine the funding of projects–a measure that will help Northern Virginia–there is still more work to be done to get us moving. One of my bills, HJ 131, asked for a study of a possible Rt. 28 extension North into Maryland connecting to I-270. This legislation failed to pass for the year, but has been noted as one of the most important transportation projects to alleviate congestion and further economic development along the Dulles Corridor. I agree with Governor McDonnell that another Potomac River crossing is needed upstream of the I-495 American Legion Bridge. For the good of our region, we will try again.

JOBS – Securing business investments in the Commonwealth

Virginia was ranked the #1 pro-business state by CNBC and #2 by Forbes in 2011. In order to protect our state’s appeal for businesses to come create jobs in the state, the House passed bills like HB 714 that extends the major facilities job tax credit to companies that invest in Virginia to create fifty or more full-time jobs. This tax credit will continue to help businesses in Virginia secure the capital investments they need in order to expand and create jobs.

EDUCATION—Expanding student opportunity

Providing the opportunity and freedom to schools and families in order for the most learning to take place at every level across the commonwealth is a top priority for me. A variety of measures during this session move us towards that end and I am pleased to support these bills.

School divisions will now have the flexibility to choose a start date, including one that comes before Labor Day. HB 1036 gives schools another tool to more fully prepare students before many of the Spring end of the year tests that can impact student’s competitiveness. Many in the business community supported this change to allow for our local school boards to run their calendars as they see fit.

Funding Virginia universities is essential and HB 54, which passed through the House unanimously, authorizes the Commonwealth to issue bonds to colleges and universities worth more than $130 million to pay for any revenue-producing projects at the institution.

The House and Senate paved the way for homeschool children to participate on high school sports teams in a five-year pilot program. The so-called “Tebow Bill” requires the Virginia High School League, the organization governing high school athletics, to allow homeschool students to try out for public school teams. This will allow tax-paying families to provide their children with the greatest opportunity to compete.  I supported this bill and do not believe that participation by home school student-athletes in high school athletics will be harmful to our great 10th district high schools.

I will continue to work for a commonwealth that is more free, prosperous, and full of opportunity for all of our citizens as the House of Delegates moves in to the second half of the 2012 session.

It is an honor to be both a trustee and servant to you in Richmond. Thank you to those who have contacted me; I value your opinions.

Comments

  1. The “Tim Tebow bill” seeks to crassly cash in on his notoriety. It’s a bad piece of legislating. These folks who opt out of the public schools, for whatever reason, but cry to get their kids on the public school athletic teams are pretty selfish and want to have it both ways. My wife and I thought about honmeschooling, knowing full well that opting out meant missing out on some of the ancilliary things that make a high school experience what it is – Friday night lights, etc. There are plenty of athletic leagues for homeschoolers that provide equal – if not superior – athletic competion and opportunities, and there’s the many rec league and travel team options in the area.

    Ultimately, we decided to keep our boys in the public schools. Those that do choose to opt out of the school academically do so knowing that the other stuff is also not an option. This bill would allow people to say, “Your academics are not good enough, but your sports are good enough, for my child.” Talk about a snobby outlook…

    • Wow talk about crass! Those people that you malign as being snobs pay the same taxes as everyone else so they have a right to services those tax dollars fund. The only question is if they can use them selectively.

      The idea that it’s all or nothing is silly and based on fear and prejudice. What are you afraid of? The home school students might be better athletes and beat your little Johnny out of a starting position?

  2. Shaun Broy says:

    Another GOP politician who is clearly out of touch with reality… The reality of Minchew’s hypocrisy is told by the votes in which he has cast so far this session. The record speaks for itself…

    HB 1060 Authorizes Officers to Ascertain the Citizenship of Those Arrested Bill Passed – House
    (75 – 25) Yea

    HB 462 Requires ultrasounds prior to abortions Bill Passed – House
    (63 – 36) Yea

    HB 1 Defines Life as Beginning at Conception Bill Passed – House
    (66 – 32) Yea

    HB 576 AmendsTeacher Contract and Evaluation Policies Bill Passed – House
    (55 – 43) Yea

    HB 48 Authorizing Physical Force Against Intruders Bill Passed – House
    (70 – 28) Yea

    HB 14 Provides Civil Immunity for the Use of Force Against Intruders Bill Passed – House
    (75 – 22) Yea

    HB 947 Authorizes Nonpublic School Students to Participate in Interscholastic Programs Bill Passed – House (59 – 39) Yea

    HB 62 Prohibits State Funding for Abortion Bill Passed – House (64 – 35) Yea

    HB 189 Authorizes private adoption agencies to follow religious tenets when placing children Bill Passed – House (71 – 28) Yea

    HB 940 Repeals Purchase Limit for Handguns Bill Passed – House (66 – 32) Yea

    HB 9 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed – House (69 – 30) Yea

    HB 1112 Repeals HPV Vaccine Requirement Bill Passed – House (62 – 34) Yea

    HB 251 Redistricting Bill Passed – House (74 – 21) Yea

    Delegate Minchew is most definitely out of touch and out of control, along with most of his GOP counterparts who are like rabid dogs, shoving their social agenda down our throats. Another classic example of hypocrisy… Another classic case of playing “bait and switch” with the voters… His words above might as well read “Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah”

    GET REAL RANDY!!!!

    • virginiacop says:

      Shaun is the new Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Get a job.

    • clarke conservative says:

      Randy Minchew is off to a great start and will represent our community well for many years to come. It is reassuring to have Representatives in Richmond who fight for the 2nd Amendment, law and order and defend the most vunerable in society.

      I wonder if Mr. Broy is positioning himself to run against Randy in the next election? I sure hope so. Maybe he could run on the Virginia Green Party ticket, or better yet form his own with Mr. Marro called the Virginia Whiners Party.