What a big week! My first bill, HB106, a Town of Herndon charter bill passed by the House unanimously and was sent over to the Senate. The bill changes the western boundary of the Town of Herndon slightly to incorporate a couple of acres next to the Department of Public Works building on Rock Hill Road. It also brings the town charter up to date with our emergency preparedness plans.
I spoke on the floor about HB770, which seeks to limit how localities can use proffers when developing residential housing. This is a subject near and dear to me, having worked in Fairfax County government on land use and transportation projects. We spent years on large planning efforts like the Innovation Metro Station with surrounding jurisdictions, state and federal government, and of course, the developers to make sure our plan addressed our various infrastructure needs that will come with redeveloping the area around the Metro station. In the recent past, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties have worked responsibly and successfully in these public-private partnerships to make the area a better place as we grow. In other counties, large cash proffers--some requiring $40-50,000 per single family house--are customary, which greatly affects a builder’s ability to create affordable housing. My hope is that HB770 can be amended so that it is able to address the core issue of the cash proffers in other regions, without tying the hands of Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. The Senate will be addressing some of these concerns and I am optimistic that we can work together to find a solution.
While the presidential campaigns are ramping up, keep an eye out for a constitutional amendment referendum that could make it on the ballot this year. In Virginia, constitutional amendments must pass the legislature in two successive sessions, straddling an election. They are then put on the ballot for a popular referendum. This year, HJ1 is one step closer to Election Day because it passed the House and now only needs to pass the Senate. HJ1 would allow the Virginia Board of Education to open charter schools in any locality directly, bypassing the local school boards’ ability to determine applications and conduct impact studies. Charter schools are already problematic without stripping local control of the process because they place a strain on the limited resources our public schools already have. I voted against this measure because I believe in keeping public schools open and broadly available, under the direction of the local, elected school boards, and to be fully funded across the board. I was interviewed on WAMU last week about charter schools. You can listen to the piece here.
Is Your Voter Registration Current?
Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the March 1 “Super Tuesday” presidential primary. Virginia voters may cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary, but not both. Virginia’s will be one of a dozen contests across the country that day to choose delegates for this summer’s Democratic and Republican conventions, where the parties will officially name their candidates for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Virginians who are 17 and will turn 18 before the November election may register now to vote and may vote in the March 1 primary, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Online registration and more information is available at Elections.Virginia.gov.
Visiting the Capitol
While the General Assembly is in session, feel free to stop by my Richmond office in room 715 of the General Assembly Building. Be sure to keep an eye on the day’s schedule, which can be found at the GA’s website, and also call at 804-698-1086 to get on my calendar.
If you have a matter that concerns state government, contact my Richmond office during session at 804-698-1086 or send an email to DelJBoysko@house.virginia.gov. Even if it’s with another government level, we can help you get connected with the appropriate person.