Nearly $70 million in funds intended to help Virginia aid victims of the housing crisis could be used to fill budget gaps if state lawmakers get their way.
Members of the General Assembly’s Progressive Caucus took aim today at nearly $500 million in what they called “loopholes and giveaways” in the House of Delegates’ proposed 2012-14 state budget.
Using an electronic tracking device to monitor the movements of others could soon be illegal in Virginia.
A bill to criminalize use of increasingly accessible tracking devices, coming soon to a big box store near you, was granted preliminary approval today by the House of Delegates on a voice vote.
A provision that would withdraw Virginia from a long-standing, multistate compact devoted to cleaning and maintaining the Potomac River has been stripped from a bill working its way through the House of Delegates. The $151,500 in the state’s annual dues to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, established in 1940, was removed during the 2011 General Assembly’s budget amendment process.
Northern Virginia has held considerable sway in the state Capitol for the past four years as Democrats from the region dominated the Senate.
Six of the Senate’s 11 committees, where chairmen decide the fate of legislation, were led by Northern Virginians. The majority leader, decider of which measures are actually voted on, was from Fairfax.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s two-year, $85 billion budget blueprint does not include thousands in dues to a long-standing, multistate compact to clean and maintain the Potomac River, a move drawing fire from critics who say the relatively small outlay provides a substantial return for the commonwealth.
Every year, a host of special interests descend on Richmond to lobby for tax credits. Recent years have seen a proliferation of tax credits, creating incentives for everything from creating green jobs to producing biodiesel. This year will be no different, as legislators will face pressure to support an ever-increasing list. For the individuals and businesses that receive the tax preference, it’s money in the bank. For the state, it’s an economic hit during difficult times. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the phenomenon is what you don’t know about it.
REPUBLICANS HOLD a 59-seat majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Now, owing partly to their control of a baldly partisan redistricting process, swing districts across the state have been transformed into safe ones for the GOP. If the result is to further entrench increasingly hard-line, anti-tax, socially conservative Republicans in the legislature’s lower house, many Northern Virginians are likely to be unhappy.