State records show one of Virginia's richest state lawmakers and his politically connected father made a Civil War-themed movie last year that received $1 million in tax credits and grants.
Henrico County Republican Del. Peter Farrell was an investor, co-producer and played a Union Army officer in "Field of Lost Shoes," an independent movie that focuses on the role of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute in a Civil War battle in the Shenandoah Valley.
In addition to House Majority Leader Kirk Cox's proposal to speed up funding -- at least the state share of funding -- for veterans care centers in Hampton and Northern Virginia (you can read about it here), other initiatives for the 2015 legislative session emerged today.
Del. Peter Farrell, R-Henrico, has proposed a bill that prohibits law enforcement from searching cellphones and other digital devices without obtaining a search warrant.
Here on the Peninsula, we seem to have led the way when it comes to mowing the lawn. Now, Del. Peter Farrell, R-Henrico, is proposing the rest of the state follow suit.
His bill would make current grass-cutting provisions applicable statewide.
The House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Monday morning that requires insurance companies that exclude coverage for earthquake damage to provide written notice of that and notify property owners that the insurance may be available for additional cost.
State park campgrounds would have to raise their fees and limit their offerings under a bill in the General Assembly.
The bill requires state parks to avoid competing with private-sector campgrounds, by setting their camping fees at or above the mean fee charged by local private campgrounds. It also would bar state parks from expanding new camp areas unless they could show nearby private campgrounds weren't providing enough camping areas.
In Del. Mark Dudenhefer's office, his aide slotted newly arrived business cards into a holder.
Del. Margaret Ransone of Kinsale had an office crowded with family and friends, and the corridor outside Sen. Bryce Reeves' office was filled with dozens of supporters having a pre-session reception.
State lawmakers will return to Richmond on Wednesday to start the 60-day 2012 legislative session.
Between now and mid-March, the General Assembly will write a new two-year budget, tackle reforms to the Virginia Retirement System and K-12 education, and address issues ranging from uranium mining to gun rights, abortion to tax preferences to election laws.
So far, only about 250 bills and resolutions are showing up on the legislature's website, but that number will swell--in the last long session, in 2010, nearly 3,000 bills and resolutions were filed.
Seniority takes years to achieve in the General Assembly – but it all starts with the luck of the draw.
Earlier this week, incoming freshmen delegates drew straws to determine seniority within their 15-member class. Peter Farrell – a Republican from Henrico – won the draw and will enter the House of Delegates ranked 85th out of 100 in seniority. Nick Rush –a Republican from Southwest Virginia – was not so lucky. Rush will enter as #100. (See complete list below)
Most voters probably couldn’t care less where their state legislators rank on the seniority scale. After all, it makes little difference outside the General Assembly, at least until a lawmaker has been around so long that seniority helps confer committee chairmanships or other powerful roles.
But the seniority ranking a new legislator starts out with can impact their attainment of those power positions later in their careers.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen today announced he has the support of several newly-elected state lawmakers. They include Bryce Reeves, who won the 17th state Senate seat; Mark Dudenhefer, who won the 2nd House seat; Peter Farrell, who won the 56th House seat (which now includes part of Spotsylvania County); and Michael Webert, winner of the 18th House seat (which includes a sliver of Culpeper County).