We are wrapping up the fourth week of the 2016 General Assembly Session. This was a busy week in the House, as we near the half-way point of the 60-day session. This week, the House focused on an issue that I know is very important to you and your family: jobs and economic growth. I've gone into more detail about these initiatives later in this e-newsletter.
I continue to hear from constituents that fostering private-sector job creation, encouraging long-term economic growth, and protecting small businesses should be our top priorities. Be assured, the House of Delegates is committed to ensuring the Commonwealth is prosperous!
As always, I am grateful for your confidence and look forward to participating in a process that produces good public policy that benefits our district and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
All The Best,
Delegate Scott Garrett M.D.
House Republican Jobs and Economic Growth Agenda
Virginia's economy is improving, but continues to suffer from a sluggish recovery. The Commonwealth is recovering at a slower rate than the national average and registered zero percent growth in 2014. That is why this week House Republicans rolled out a comprehensive agenda to promote a pro-business climate, incentivize economic growth, and protect small businesses. My House colleagues and I are introducing specific proposals that will help improve our economy and give your family a better opportunity to succeed. I've listed a few of those ideas here, but to read more about our entire jobs agenda, click here: http://virginiahouse.gop/2016/02/02/house-republicans-outline-jobs-agenda/
Amendment 109 #4h to House Bill 30, Delegate Scott Garrett
I filed this amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016-18 state budget to provide the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research with $925,797 over the biennium to prepare the facility for future projects. The facility is located in Forest, VA and will also utilize funds from the federal Department of Energy, private companies, and universities. We are fortunate to have such a cutting-edge center in our community that produces innovative ideas and products in the field of nuclear energy!
House Bill 18, Del. Chris Head
This bill protects small business franchises from being overrun by big labor unions. http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=161&typ=bil&val=hb18
House Bill 462, Del. Chris Head
This bill ensures greater transparency so that the public is fully aware of regulatory notices and can be made aware of a contact for the regulatory agency. http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=161&typ=bil&val=hb462
House Bill 499, Del. David Yancey
This bill ensures that occupational licenses are the least restrictive means to protect public safety, and that any new licenses demonstrate a compelling need. http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=161&typ=bil&val=hb499
This week, the House passed a constitutional amendment to solidify Virginia's right to work status. The amendment, carred by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-Augusta), prohibits union membership as a condition of employment. Virginia already has a right to work statute, but including the policy in the Virginia Constitution solidifies this important pro-business policy.
This legislation will protect hard-working Virginians from being forced to join a union. The Virginia Senate also approved the amendment this week, meaning the measure will be on the ballot for voters to consider when they head to the polls this fall.
This session, I have filed six pieces of legislation. A full list of the legislation can be found here. A couple of bills to highlight this week:
We must ensure that proper oversight is part of every economic deal to protect our hard-earned tax dollars. Virginia's partners in the private sector can help ensure bottom-up, free market growth and opportunity through the "GO Virginia" initiative.
"GO Virginia" is a business driven initiative to facilitate more collaboration between the business community, higher education, and local governments. There are two bills in the House to establish an innovative new economic development model and encourage local governments to work together to create jobs.
This initiative incentivizes localities, school divisions, and universities to work together on economic and workforce development. It builds on the existing efforts and strengths of each region to attract new business, providing a business lens through which to examine economic and workforce development proposals. After regional councils vet proposals, start-up funding can be awarded, to be matched by local and private resources. These awards are then used for transformational projects that boost private-sector growth and reflect collaboration among business, education, and at least two local governments.
The goal is to create good paying jobs in high demand fields and make our economic development dollars go further. This is not just another "jobs program," but will establish the framework and infrastructure for real, long-term economic growth.
House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) gave a detailed overview of "Go Virginia" on the House floor this week. You watch the speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HXqthPTJIQ
I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my legislative aide, Sarah Owen, over the coming months. I value your feedback, as it helps me do my job of representing you. This week, I saw several friends from our community as they visited our Capitol! A few names include:
- Bedford County members of the Virginia Education Association (see photo above)
- E.W. Tibbs and Michael Elliott, Centra Lynchburg
- The Lynchburg Center for Independent Living (LACIL)
- Robert O'Brian, Lynchburg Ready Mix
Paid and Authorized by Friends of Scott Garrett