On a recent morning at the General Assembly, Del. Chris Jones dashed up to his fifth-floor office between committee hearings for what he thought was a quick meet-and-greet with some Hampton Roads constituents.
He instead found himself a bit back on his heels and at the center of a crowd urging him to support expansion of Virginia's Medicaid system, the health insurance program funded with federal and state dollars.
A Hampton Roads legislator is making headway in his attempt to inject more transparency and competitive potential into the state's system of using public-private partnerships for transportation improvements.
Del. Chris Jones' efforts were spurred by concerns over three big-ticket public-private projects undertaken recently by Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration: the expansion and improvement of the Midtown and Downtown tunnels, a new limited-access highway parallel to U.S. Route 460, and proposals to privatize the port of Hampton Roads' operations.
As a few state lawmakers fret about the burgeoning array of tax breaks that have chipped away at the public treasury, one Hampton Roads delegate Friday took on the biggest tax credit Virginia offers - and one of the most popular.
The result was predictable: Del. Chris Jones' bill to repeal the land preservation credit quickly was deep-sixed after a roomful of lobbyists objected to it.
Republican legislators in the House of Delegates and Senate propose to require reforms in the operation of the Port of Virginia while blocking the potential privatization of the port through the Public-Private Transportation Act.
Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, and Sen. Frank W. Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, were joined by a bipartisan group of legislators from Hampton Roads to announce the legislation today.
Two senior local lawmakers from opposite sides of the political spectrum are trying to halt a multibillion-dollar deal to privatize the operations of the port of Hampton Roads.
Legislative proposals from state Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, and Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, were introduced separately but share a common aim: preventing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration from turning port operations over to a private company.