On May 3, the Suffolk Division of the HRCC hosted a wrap up briefing on the 2016 General Assembly Session at the state of the art Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center. Delegate Chris Jones, Chairman of the influential House Appropriation Committee noted that the region should benefit from many of the budgetary initiatives including the $350 million to the Port of Virginia; the creation of the GO VIRGINIA Intiative to incentives regional cooperation for major economic development projects; and the proper use of Statewide Transportation Revenues in tandem with the Regional Transportation Funding initiatives.
Senator Cosgrove, member of the Senate Local Government and Transportation Committees remarked that the abuses of the proffer system, especially in localities outside of Hampton Roads, necessitate the action taken to tighten up the Conditional Zoning statutes. Additionally, he noted that the General Assembly did a excellent job of providing new revenues for vital services such as K-12, major transportation projects with economic benefit without adding new programs to be funded in the future.
Both state legislators noted that the new Federal redistricting lines will impact relationships across the region with the possibility of the election of several new officeholders in Congress in the fall of 2016. They urged the HRCC to engage in educating these newly elected Congressmen on the challenges and opportunities facing the region.