The Leightner Family Visits!

Today the Leightner Family came to visit me in Richmond! They sat in on my Privileges and Elections Committee, toured the capital, had lunch in the General Assembly Building, and got to watch the action during Session from the gallery. I always enjoy seeing people from our area who make the trip down to Richmond for Session.

 

Final Criminal Law Subcommittee Meeting

Things are getting busy here in Richmond! Here’s a picture of the Courts of Justice Criminal Law Subcommittee debating the last bill before our deadline – at 10:43 PM last night. I’m not in my usual seat here because I was taking the picture. Final Crim Sub

Session Update #2

The weeks after our historic snowstorm have been busy at the 2016 General Assembly session! As promised, I have been very busy making sure that the voices of my constituents are heard every day.

Last Wednesday, South County’s own Rev. Andy Casper from South County Church said the opening prayer before Session. It was great to see him down in Richmond.

I would like to commend Virginia Tech this week for their major increase of spots for in-state undergraduate students. The number of spots shot upwards from 15,197 in 2004 to 18,126 in 2015. I always love seeing our state-schools increasing accessibility to college for our students in the Commonwealth.

Delegate Albo’s 2016 Legislation Updates

Since it is still early in the Session, many of my bills are assigned to subcommittees but have not yet been debated. However, HB 271 Parenting Time was continued to 2017 in the Civil Law subcommittee. In the meantime, the Bar will review the bill and send it back to me with recommendations.

HB 169: HOT lanes enforcement and notification by a HOT lanes operator and the Department of Transportation. Requires a HOT lanes operator to notify the registered owner of a vehicle that entered or used HOT lanes without payment of the toll. Such notification must be given within 24 hours of the violation if the registered owner of the vehicle has an account with the HOT lanes operator or within 24 hours of identification of a registered owner who does not have such an account. The bill requires the Department of Transportation to notify an account holder when his account reaches a low balance status, if the account holder has requested such notification.

With this bill, it would be possible for account holders to sign up for notifications for when the amount of money in their account is low. This would prevent users from using the HOT lanes without the correct toll amount in the future. If you did happen to use the HOT lanes without paying the toll, this bill would also make sure that you are notified within 24 hours.

HB 169 is in the process of being incorporated into HB 1069 Patron Jones. After incorporation, the bill will move on as part of HB 1069.

HB 225: Tolls for use of Interstate System components. Requires approval of the General Assembly prior to the imposition and collection of tolls for the use of Interstate 395. The bill contains a technical amendment. The bill contains an emergency clause.

Governor McAuliffe announced plans to turn the HOV lanes from D.C. to Edsall Road from HOV during rush hour to HOT lanes at all times. This means that my constituents who drive alone (non-HOV) to D.C. prior to 6:00 A.M. and from D.C. to Springfield after 6:00 P.M will have to pay a toll. I am a fan of HOT lanes for new lanes.

On the Beltway all the HOT lanes are new lanes, thus if you don’t want to pay to ride the new lanes you can just drive on the lanes that have always been available to you. However, with the Governor’s 395 proposal, you will no longer be able to drive as a single driver northbound prior to 6:00 A.M. or southbound after 6:00 P.M without paying a toll. I opposed this plan and filed HB 225.

I am sorry to report that the bill was killed in subcommittee by a vote of 5-2. The Chambers of Commerce (both NOVA and Mount Vernon), the NOVA Transportation Alliance, VDOT, and a whole host of others opposed to my bill.

If you would like to watch a video of me discussing my bills, watch my interview with VCTA here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2d2Ldz7JiE&feature=em-share_video_user

Once again, I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office during this Session. The feedback you provide helps me do a better job representing you. You can email me at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)-698-1042. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveAlboVA.

 

Delegate Massie’s Speech to the General Assembly

I wanted to share with you a transcript of the speech that Delegate James P. Massie III made to the General Assembly today on the state of Virginia’s economic growth.

Economic Growth Speech

Delivered by the Hon. James P. Massie III

February 4, 2016

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House: economic growth, job creation and wage growth is the most important public policy challenge facing our country and our Commonwealth! The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation, the well-being of the American people and the wellbeing of all Virginians!

Without economic growth Mr. Speaker…we cannot adequately pay for our national defense, our state and local public safety, provide for our families, educate our children or take care of those who cannot take care of themselves!

And Mr. Speaker… I have some dire…frightening news with respect to economic growth, job creation and wage growth: the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last Friday that in 2015 U.S. real GDP growth was just 2.38%. Given that, 2015 will have been the tenth year, the tenth year in a row Mr. Speaker that real GDP growth came in under 3%. To put that in historical perspective, the previous longest such stretch of sub 3% growth was for 4 years only, not 10, from 1930 through 1933, or during the Great Depression! Mr. Speaker, we are experiencing the worst economic recovery from a recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even worse Mr. Speaker, the Congressional Budget Office is now forecasting that the United States of America will NEVER…NEVER see 3% growth again!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 50 years from 1964 through 2014, average hourly real wages, in 2014 constant dollars, for production and non-supervisory employees in the private sector grew only 7.76% from $19.18 per hour to $20.67. Only an 8% real pay raise over 50 years?

With respect to Virginia, Mr. Speaker, in 2014 according to the US Department of Commerce our state’s real GDP growth was ZERO %. That ranked Virginia 48th in the country only ahead of Alaska and Mississippi. For the decade from 2004 through 2014 Virginia’s compound annual growth rate was ONLY 1.3% per year!

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of leaving our children, and our grandchildren, as their inheritance from us, a nation and a Commonwealth with much…much less economic opportunity than we ourselves inherited! We are also leaving them a $19 trillion national debt or $59,000 of debt for every man, women and child! And, Mr. Speaker, the federal government continues to spend almost $450 million an hour with revenues of only $385 million an hour. Thus, deficit spending is at the rate of $65 million an hour.

And Mr. Speaker, this dismal current and projected, economic performance is a self-inflicted, avoidable public policy wound. It is the result of higher punitive marginal tax rates, a regulatory environment on irrational steroids, Obamacare, Dodd Frank, the Clean Power Plan and on and on and on poor public policy decisions!

This data is clear, Mr. Speaker, the Obama-McAuliffe economic track record of the past seven plus years has been, and is projected to be, a record of dismal failure! Again, a self-inflicted poor public policy wound! A clear result, or indicator of this dismal economic failure is the Donald Trump and Bernie Sander’s economic populism that is selling so well to those large swaths of Virginians who are rightfully angry because they, and their families, are doing so poorly!

Mr. Speaker, this Obama-McAuliffe track record of economic failure is unacceptable! It makes me and many Virginians very, very angry because our government is failing us!

What has, and what will the House Republican Caucus, hopefully in a bipartisan manner, do about this dismal economic performance?

The House of Delegates has led the effort to create many good paying jobs for Virginians! Since 2003 we have defeated 26 separate job-killing taxes that would have cost Virginia’s families over $30 billion. We have fostered a reasonable state regulatory and tort environment. We passed legislation to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to invest in start-up companies via crowd funding and angel tax credits. We have greatly expanded our job creating economic incentive programs especially in fields of the future like technology, data and cyber security. We have worked hard to align our educational system with the needs of the private sector and to streamline our workforce development programs!

But past is prologue Mr. Speaker! Our 2016 economic growth agenda, to mention just five, includes:

  1. Balancing our new two-year budget without a tax increase! Thank you, in advance, Chairman Jones, all our Appropriators and Chairman Ware and all our Finance Committee members!
  2. Enshrining our Right to Work tradition into Virginia’s constitution. Thank you Dickie Bell!
  3. Credentialing workforce training programs. Thank you Kathy Byron!
  4. Establishing Go Virginia, a regional economic development initiative. Thank you Majority Leader Cox and Caucus Chairman Hugo;
  5. And finally, promoting greater transparency in our regulatory process;

Mr. Speaker, despite your Wednesday Bible study on worry, I am worried sick and I am embarrassed, we should all be worried sick about, and we should all be embarrassed by the lack of economic opportunity we are leaving our children and grandchildren as a result of poor public policy! It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to create the public policy environment most conducive to economic growth! We cannot sit on the sidelines and expect this public policy self-inflicted wound to heal on its own!Mr. Speaker, we have a public policy agenda to address this failure during this Session and I sincerely hope we can enact this agenda in a bipartisan manner.

Thank you Mr. Speaker!

 

Visit from Rev. Casper

Today Rev. Andy Casper from South County Church said the opening prayer before Session. I really appreciate Rev. Casper making the trip down to Richmond, especially with the recent snow! Albo Casper 2

Post-Blizzard Update

Good news! The storm is over and no more snow is predicted in our area. Many of the main roads have been cleared, but VDOT is still working to clear all of them, including neighborhood roads, and will be for the next few days. Fairfax County Public Schools have announced closures on Monday and Tuesday, and VDOT is continuing to encourage people to stay indoors while the crews work on the roads. To give crews a chance to finish their plow assignments, VDOT has asked that residents wait 48 hours after the storm is over before reporting “missed” roads.

As the temperature is rising and snow is melting, it is very important that everyone be cautious of the ice that will form tonight when the temperature drops again. Please be sure to watch where you walk outside and, if you must drive, be careful of ice on the roads.

Should you need to travel on the Metro, please not that there have been changes made to the schedule and routes due to the storm. Metro announced the restoration of limited service on Metrorail and Metrobus as the region digs out from the historic Blizzard of 2016.

Metrorail

The Metrorail system will open at 7 a.m. with limited underground service on the Red, Orange and Green lines as follows:

  • Orange Line: Ballston to Eastern Market only
  • Red Line: Medical Center to Union Station only
  • Green Line: Fort Totten to Anacostia only

At the start of service, trains will run every 20-25 minutes. Service levels may be upgraded as conditions allow. The system will remain open until midnight. Fares will not be charged on Metrorail on Monday, January 25.

For your safety, travel only if necessary. Check wmata.com before starting your trip or sign up for MetroAlerts to receive updated service information by email or text message.

Metrobus

  • Metrobus service will operate Monday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. on “Lifeline Service,” meaning SERVICE WILL BE LIMITED TO 22 ROUTES ONLY. Additionally, many of these routes will operate on snow emergency routes only to keep vehicles off hilly terrain, narrow side streets and other problem areas. Details will be posted at wmata.com and sent via MetroAlerts.
  • Buses will operate from origin points every 30 minutes on a “clockface” schedule with departures at :00 and :30 each hour. The last trips will depart at 5 p.m. and operate to the end of the route.
  • Fares will not be charged on Metrobus on Monday, January 25.

The Lifeline Service bus routes are as follows. Note that these buses will operate on Snow Emergency Routes only:

  • District of Columbia: 32, 33, 36, 53, 70, 90, A6, A8, P12, S4, U8, X2
  • Maryland: C4, D12, K6, Q2, V4, Y2, Z8
  • Virginia: 16A, 16E, 28A

IMPORTANT: Service changes are possible due to road conditions. Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts to receive updates.

MetroAccess

Due to expected road conditions, all MetroAccess service is SUSPENDED on Monday, January 25. Service will be restored when it is safe to do so; however, a time for service restoration is not yet known.

Our area handled the storm exceptionally well, and Dominion reported that the number of power outages was well below the average. I especially want to thank all of the first responders, police, and public safety officers who helped to keep us safe during the storm.

VDOT invites contractors with loaders, motor graders and operators to contact VDOT Northern Virginia’s procurement office at 703-259-3240.

Other VDOT resources:

Keep staying safe and warm!

2016 Winter Storm Alert

The Weather Channel is reporting that Fairfax County, Virginia (including Springfield, Fairfax Station, Lorton, West Springfield, and Mason Neck) will be under a winter advisory storm warning this coming weekend, starting Friday January 22 at 12:00 PM until Sunday January 24 at 6:00 AM.

During that time we will be under a blizzard watch in our area. It is essential to be prepared for the predicted storm to avoid any potential dangers or hazards that you or your family may come across.

Here are some helpful links to ensure that you and your family are prepared and stay safe in this coming blizzard!

To Track a Snow Plow:

http://novasnowplowing.virginia.gov/

Weather Channel:

http://www.weather.com/weather/alerts/localalerts/l/USVA0723:1:US?phenomena=BZ&significance=A&areaid=VAZ053&office=KLWX&etn=0001

VDOT:

http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/resources/snowfacts/snowFactSHEET_4.pdf

National Weather Service:

http://www.weather.gov/

If you need to report any Emergencies, Outages or Traffic Issues, here are some contact information that can be handy.

For Outages:

Dominion Virginia Power- (800) 367-7623

NOVEC- (800) 367-7623

Washington Gas- (800) 367-7623

For up-to-date Road conditions:

Go to www.511virginia.org or

Call 511

To Report any traffic issues:

Call (800) 367-7623

Other Helpful Sites:

http://www.fcps.edu/index.shtml http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/winter-storm-snow-cold.htm

http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/winter

If you do not receive a response from one of these resources, contact me or my Legislative Assistant Danielle Gemma at dave@davealbo.com or danielle@davealbo.com

First Week of Session 2016

The 2016 General Assembly Session has begun!

The 2016 General Assembly session opened on Wednesday, January 13. My fellow legislators and I are working hard to get a lot done in a 60-day session, and I’m looking forward to a productive session working for you in Richmond this winter!

On Wednesday afternoon Session began with the swearing in of 11 new members! Later that evening, Governor Terry McAuliffe delivered his annual State of the Commonwealth address to the Joint Assembly of the House of Delegates and Senate. I sit on the second row, so I have nearly a front row seat to the Governor’s speech. I must say, he is a likable guy, but I did not agree with much of what he said. We will have to agree to disagree. However, I was encouraged to hear about his efforts to increase Computer Programming in our K-12 education. I have a bill that attempts to do this (that you can read about below), so that is something we can definitely work together on! So far, no partisan haggling on the House Floor…

Delegate Albo’s 2016 Legislation

I have filed a few bills that you may find interesting. The official bill summaries are listed below. To follow any other legislation, or read these bills in full, please visit  http://www.lis.virginia.gov

HB 169: HOT lanes; enforcement and notification by lanes operator when person used without payment, etc. Requires a HOT lanes operator to notify the registered owner of a vehicle that entered or used HOT lanes without payment of the toll. Such notification must be given within 24 hours of the violation if the registered owner of the vehicle has an account with the HOT lanes operator or within 24 hours of identification of a registered owner who does not have such an account. The bill requires the Department of Transportation to notify an account holder when his account reaches a low balance status, if the account holder has requested such notification.

HB 225: Interstate System components; approvals of tolls on I-395 This bill requires the approval of the General Assembly prior to the collection of tolls for the use of Interstate 395.

HB 271: Parenting time. Replaces “visitation” with “parenting time” in statutory language relating to the custody and visitation of minor children.

HB 886: Stalking; penalty. Provides that a second offense of stalking committed within five years of a prior stalking conviction is punishable as a Class 6 felony. Under current law, a second offense of stalking only qualifies for the Class 6 penalty if the person convicted had also been convicted of certain offenses involving assaults or bodily woundings or of violating a protective order.

On a more personal note, on Friday the 15th of January all state flags at the Capitol and in Fairfax County were flown half-mast in honor of former Springfield supervisor Elaine McConnell. She passed away on January 10th at the age of 88. Mrs. McConnell’s distinguished career spanned 24 years and was filled with numerous achievements for the citizens of Springfield. She will perhaps be best remembered for her central role in the formation of the Virginia Railway Express and founding the Accotink Academy, one of the first instructional pre-educational schools in Virginia.  At her funeral, I learned that she was a published poet, self-taught national expert on learning disabilities, and an accomplished pianist! Mrs. McConnell’s service to our community is unparalleled.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the McConnell family at this time. I was happy to see her memory honored in the Capitol today.

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the rest of session! I value the feedback you provide as it helps me do a better job representing you. You can email me at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)-698-1042. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveAlboVA.

Links of Interest

My Web Site: www.DaveAlbo.org

Speaker Howell’s Start of Session Remarks: https://youtu.be/4E3LmQAl9YI

Governor McAuliffe’s State of the Commonwealth Address: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=13920

The Republican Response to the State of the Commonwealth Address: https://youtu.be/Ufho3mzbQAE

My Legislative Information System Page: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+mbr+H2

Speaker Howell announces standing committee assignments: http://www.williamjhowell.org/speaker-howell-announces-house-of-delegates-standing-committee-assignments/

State of the Commonwealth

Here is a picture of my view of Governor McAuliffe at last night’s State of the Commonwealth Address. Although we usually agree to disagree, the Governor is a likeable guy who is doing what he truly believes is best for Virginia.

IMG_7007

Update on the Rolling Road Widening Project

In the effort to reduce the impact on the area surrounding Rolling Road, VDOT has begun to implement entirely new design standards. Since we are not using federal money a design with less impact on surrounding homes is possible, but as this is a new design VDOT has to start over. This new review and redesign process has created a delay, and the Public Hearing will now be occurring in the second half of 2017. During this time VDOT will be conducting public information meetings and meeting with HOAs to hear your questions and comments. I am always a fan of “measuring twice and cutting once” and I am happy that VDOT is paying such close attention to the impact aspects of the project.

Further information on the Rolling Road Widening Project can be found here.