Read the Bills Act Coalition

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

LIEUTENTANT GOVERNOR BOLLING'S SUCCESSFUL LEGISLATIVE AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2009

Contact: Randy Marcus
Phone: 804-786-2078
Cell: 804-814-7117
Email: randy.marcus@ltgov.virginia.gov

LIEUTENTANT GOVERNOR BOLLING HIGHLIGHTS SUCCESSFUL LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
-Bipartisan victories include wind energy development, job creation, government reform and making health care more affordable-

RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today highlighted successes from his 2009 Legislative Agenda, including legislation to develop wind and renewable energy resources, create new jobs, reform government and reduce the cost of health care.

“I was pleased to receive broad based, bipartisan support for several of the important pieces of legislation we proposed this year,” Lieutenant Governor Bolling said. “With the help of legislators from both parties, we passed legislation to position Virginia as a leader in wind and renewable energy development, increase funding for important job creation and economic development programs, make government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers and make quality health care more available and more affordable for more Virginians.”

Lieutenant Governor Bolling’s 2009 Legislative Agenda included issues developed from his 100 Ideas for the Future of Virginia initiative, a two-year program designed to reach out to the people of Virginia and develop realistic, workable solutions to the critical challenges facing the Commonwealth.

“While I am gratified by the initial successes we have achieved from the 100 Ideas initiative, our effort to reform and improve Virginia government is an ongoing process. I look forward to continuing my work to grow our economy, create new jobs and find solutions to our education, transportation, energy, public safety and health care challenges,” Lieutenant Governor Bolling added.

Lieutenant Governor Bolling also expressed his disappointment that some important legislative proposals were not approved by the General Assembly this year.

“I was most disappointed by the General Assembly’s failure to approve our proposals to increase transportation funding in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads and pass a Constitutional Amendment to make certain that transportation dollars cannot be diverted to other government programs,” Lieutenant Governor Bolling said. “I will continue fighting for these initiatives, which are critical to our ability to build a transportation system for the 21st century.”

Below are the initiatives from Lieutenant Governor Bolling’s Legislative Agenda that were approved by the General Assembly this year.

Wind Energy Development

Wind Energy Development Act of 2009 – (SB 1347 – Wagner) - A comprehensive package of reforms to streamline the regulatory process for wind and solar renewable energy projects so more projects can be built faster and at a lower cost, helping reduce electric grid consumption.

South Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure Development Compact (SB1349 – Wagner) - Establishes the South Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Infrastructure Development Compact to study, develop, and promote of offshore wind energy infrastructure and operations with neighboring states.

Economic Development

Governor’s Economic Opportunity Fund Budget Amendment – (Wampler) – Provides $12.5M to the Governor’s Economic Opportunity Fund to recruit new businesses and jobs to Virginia.

Economic Development and Tourism Budget Amendment - Restores budget cuts of $2.5M to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Tourism Council to provide needed funding for proven job creating programs.

Government Reform

Online Budget Transparency - (HB 2285 – Cline) – Requires the Commonwealth to develop a searchable website database to include detailed information on state revenues, appropriations and expenditures.

Increase Rainy Day Fund Contributions – (HJ 647 – O’Bannon) – Increases the amount that can be appropriated to the Revenue Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) from 10% to 15% to enable the Commonwealth to save more money during good economic times to offset declines in revenue during bad economic times.

PPEA Reform – (SB 1153 - McDougle) – Expands the type of education construction projects that can take advantage of public-private development partnerships.

Electronic Submission of certain documents – (HB 1969 – Massie / SB 1299 - Wagner) -
Improves the regulatory process by increasing the electronic submission of certain documents.

Absentee Voting For Certain Military Personnel - (HB 1712 - Janis) – Conforms Virginia’s absentee ballot laws to similar federal laws to make certain that all absentee ballots from active duty military personnel are counted. [Furthermore, it allows the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot to be used as a voter registration card.]

Health Care

Basic Health Care Insurance Programs For Small Business Owners – (HB 2024 – Marshall, D.) - Allows insurance companies to offer health insurance policies to small business owners that are exempt from mandated benefit laws. This will help reduce the cost of health insurance and increase the number of Virginians that have access to quality health care.

Certificate of Public Need Reform – (HB1598 – Hamilton) - Streamlines the Certificate of Public Need process, which will result in increased competition in the delivery of health care services, making quality health care more available on the local level.

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