Sunday, November 23, 2008

Virginia State Senator Whipple discusses legislative issues

Virginia State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple spoke about recent legislative issues at the RAFOM meeting on November 17 at Prospect House. Video of her talking about all the issues except for the first are available at the links below and on YouTube. Issues she addressed:
  1. Discussed inability to get a new transportation bill. The 2007 legislative session passed a billed establishing a regional transportation authority for Northern Virginia, but it was declared unconstitutional because the members of the authority were only elected officials, but not officials elected specifically to the authority. The Senate passed a new bill, but the House of Delgates rejected it.
  2. Discussed bills banning smoking in public places, bars and restaurants, or other slight variations. These bills have passed the Senate, but are being killed in sub-committee in the House of Delegates.
  3. Discussed new pay-day lending regulations. Some forms of pay-day lending have been misused. The new regulation attempts to ensure that pay-day lending occurs in proper circumstances and for sound reasons.
  4. Discussed new common-interest community, e.g. condo association, regulations. The criminal activity that occurred with condo associations funds that the Koger Management Group managed (including some River Place Condo funds) stimulated this legislation. More information about the regulations is available from the Common Interest Community Board of the VA Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.
  5. Discussed the response to Virginia's state budget revenue shortfall. It now appears that there will be a $2.5-3 billion state budget revenue shortfall over the next two years. Some noticable cuts will have to be made in the next fiscal year's budget.
Meeting attendees were grateful that Senator Whipple extended her long day to address RAFOM.

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