Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Column: Partisan Games on Healthcare Hurt Mt. Vernon-Lee Community

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, the Mt. Vernon Voice and Patch in the week of July 12, 2012.

Partisan Games on Healthcare Hurt Mt. Vernon-Lee Community

Everyone deserves the security of good healthcare and reliable insurance. Americans have chosen a mixed system of public and private health insurance. We have Medicare for the elderly, military health care for our active duty and veterans, and Medicaid, a federal-state program that insures many disabled, low-income, and elderly people, especially people needing long-term care.

The political delay games currently being played in Richmond will hit our community harder than any other part of Northern Virginia. In the 44th Delegate District with 80,796 residents, the 44th District is tied for the highest percentage of Medicaid beneficiaries in the County at 15%. One in seven people in the 44th District presently receive their health insurance from Medicaid.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Little Hunting Creek Trash Flows On

This weekend I heard a report of new shopping carts in Little Hunting Creek only a month after we cleaned out most of them.  So I dropped by this morning to check things out.  Here's a picture I took. 

If you click to enlarge the pictures, you can make out the detail much better.

The battle goes on I guess.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weekly Column: Five Lessons from the Derecho of 2012

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, the Mt. Vernon Voice and Patch in the week of July 2, 2012
Five Lessons From The Derecho of 2012

The storm of June 29, 2012 will go down as one of the more memorable moments of Mother Nature in the Lee-Mount Vernon Area. I pulled into my drive way around 9:30 p.m. while listening to WTOP. There was no mention of a pending storm. Within an hour, the trees in my yard were wildly swinging around. After we lost power and my natural gas generator didn’t automatically come on, I ventured outside to turn it on manually and the battery exploded. Lesson #1 – Stay inside the house during a Derecho.

While everyone in the 44th District will probably not be fully restored by the time this newspaper is delivered, substantial progress has been made on restoration of service. If you continue to have difficulty getting service restored, please contact my office at 571.249.44TH(4484) and we will do our best to get you assistance.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

UPDATED 7/3/12 1:30 PM: NOVA Power Outage Information - 6/29/12-7/3/12

As of midnight, there are currently over 450,000 households without power in the Northern Virginia Area and widespread power outtages in the 44th District (including your state delegate's house).  This is over one-half of all households in Northern Virginia.

If you have a power outtage, please report it to Dominion and sit tight. 
You can reach them and view up to the minute outage information on the links below.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Laws Effective Today - 7/1/12

Here is a sample of some new laws that are going into affect today:
  • Mandatory ultrasound within 48 hours of an abortion (transvaginal requires consent).
  • Families of fifth grade girls will no longer be offered vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) which prevents cervical cancer
  • Identification required to vote (pending DOJ approval)
  • Virginians can now sue if someone negligently injures their fetus (e.g. in a car accident)
  • Adoption agencies are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, race or religion
  • Taxpayers may donate to foundations that support private schools and take a 100%/dollar-for-dollar credit against their taxes.  Donations to other needy charities still get only a regular deduction.
  • Virginians can now buy more than one handgun per month or more than twelve handguns per year
  • Virginians employed by local governments can now keep their guns in their cars on local government property
  • Electricity generated by pig waste now gets the same credit as wind and solar under Virginia's renewable energy standards
  • Ignition Interlock Devices required for restricted license after convictions of driving while intoxicated
  • Must pay sales taxes on all purchases from (actually effective 9/1/13, but is a law without further action starting 7/1/12)
Not many of my constitutents would consider any of the foregoing priorities (the last two are debatable). 

Needless to say, we have made zero progress on transportation funding.  Schools are still funded below 2007 levels.  We are not in compliance with federal health insurance reform because we have not raised our Medicaid eligibility or set up a state healthcare exchange.

Hopefully, we will do better in the 2013 Session.