How Much Have We Lost?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Weekly Column: Week #3 - Town Halls, Cycling Safety and Tuition Transparency

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice, and the Potomac and Stafford Locals in the week of January 24, 2017.
Week #3: Town Halls, Cycling Safety and Tuition Transparency

               Week three saw our General Assembly in full swing and movement on many bills.

               First, over 100 residents came out for my two Town Halls in Prince William County.  There were many questions about my “hand’s free” legislation, coal ash legislation, increasing teacher salaries, tuition affordability, predatory lending, and other issues.

               Thirteen of my bills have either passed or are poised for passage out of the Senate this week, ten bills were rejected, and sixteen are still awaiting action in committee.  One day, I had to defend eleven different bills in committee in addition to attending a floor session and two committees.   

Two cycling safety bills passed this week.  First, one bill clarifies that no motor vehicle can use a bicycle lane to pass another vehicle on the right.  More bike lanes are being constructed across Virginia and our traffic code does not clearly prohibit the interplay between these lanes and passing on the right using pavement.  Cutting into a bike lane to pass on the right can be deadly and needs to be illegal.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fairfax County Interview With Cable Reports & Delegate Marcus Simon

Yesterday, I lucky enough to once again sit for an interview with Woody Evans on Cable Reports along with fellow Fairfax County Delegation member Delegate Marcus Simon. 

During the interview we were able to discuss our legislative agendas including my legislation to increase transparency in death investigations and closed meetings as well as  my bills to regulate internet-based lending and require public notice of public university tuition increases. We also discussed the state of the budget and its effect in Farifax County.

Thank you to Comcast Cable and Cable Reports for having me on again!

Prince William County Interview on Cable Reports

Last week, I was honored to sit for an interview once again with Woody Evans on Cable Reports to discuss the 2017 Legislative Session and what it has in store for Prince William County.

During the interview, we discussed my legislative agenda including my bills to address sewage runoff from the City of Alexandria, ground water pollution from coal ash, hands-free driving, driver Privilege Cards and much more.

Thank you to Comcast Cable and Cable Reports for having me on the show again!  I hope to be on again soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Column: Raw Sewage and Predatory Lending Addressed and U.S. 1 Funding Update

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice, and the Potomac and Stafford Locals in the week of January 24, 2017.
               The General Assembly Session is in full gear and legislation has begun to move through the process as we start to take action on 3,000 bills. 
               First, this weekend I am hosting two town hall meetings in Prince William County.  On Saturday, January 28 from 9-11 a.m. I will be at the Occoquan Town Hall with Delegate Luke Torian and Senator George Barker, and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. I hold a Town Hall with Senator Jeremy McPike and Delegate Luke Torian at Forest Park High School.  Please come out, attend and ask questions.
               Three of my bills have been passed by the Senate and moved on to the House.  Mostly importantly, we reached a compromise solution that will require the City of Alexandria to have measures in place to prevent 95% of all raw sewage discharges into the Potomac River by 2025. 
               Reaching this conclusion was not easy and the City is not happy about it, but water quality is a concern to all Virginia’s regardless of political party.  The resolution would not have occurred without the help of City of Alexandria Senator Adam Ebbin and Committee Chairman Richard Stuart who represents the Northern Neck.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekly Column: Surovell Initiatives Moving in the Legislature

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice, and the Potomac and Stafford Locals in the week of January 17, 2017.
Several of my bills are moving quickly in the General Assembly’s “short,” 45-day.

First, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed my bill to require the city of Alexandria to expedite its cleanup of its primary raw sewage discharges into the Potomac River after consolidating my bill with Committee Chairman Senator Richard Stuart’s bill. 
Many legislators agree that we cannot tolerate 70 million gallons of untreated sewage pouring into the Potomac River for the next 30 years while the city addresses the rest of what’s called a “combined sewer overflow” system dating from the 1800s.   Water quality is a nonpartisan issue.  I will continue to expedite this legislation with Senator Stuart and Delegate Dave Albo who is carrying similar legislation in the House of Delegates.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Eastern Fairfax County Largely Missing from TJ

Since it opened when I was a freshman at West Potomac H.S., Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology has achieved much academic acclaim by skimming off students from around Northern Virginia.  The success has also attracted corporate grants and additional funding that other schools - especially schools in Eastern Fairfax County - can only dream about obtaining. 

The new admission statistics for Thomas Jefferson High School's Class of 2020 are out and it appears to be more of the same.  The full stats are below, but here are the highlights:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekly Column: Senator Surovell Previews 2017 Legislative Agenda

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice, and the Potomac and Stafford Locals in the week of January 10, 2017.
On Wednesday, January 11, the 2017 Session of the General Assembly Session will gavel in for a 45-day “short” session.  I am looking forward to a very busy six weeks and would like to update you on my plans for session.  I am introducing nearly 40 bills, but here are a few highlights.

First, lagging state revenues continue to limit legislative initiatives and create funding priorities.  The Virginia State Police is hemorrhaging Troopers due to lagging pay and a planned two percent raise for teachers and state employees was delayed after anticipated revenues fell short.  They will be a priority this year.

My number one legislative priority will be prohibiting drivers from having mobile phones in their hands while driving.  Between January 1 and July 1 of 2016, traffic fatalities in the United States were up by 10% - for the first time in 50 years.  Most experts attribute this to distracted driving.  Anyone driving our roads only has to look at the vehicle next to them to realize this is a problem that requires attention.
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