On September 20, Sync757 was scheduled to host a Hot Topics Luncheon titled “Meet a Candidate” with Virginia State Senator Ralph Northam (D) 6th District. Unfortunately, Northam’s duties as a Pediatric Neurologist kept him working on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Instead, his colleague Virginia House Delegate Paula J. Miller from the 87th House District filled in and spoke to 15 Sync757 members.
Miller began her presentation with the ever-present and hugely debated topic in Virginia: Transportation. She discussed the possibility of I-95 and I-295 becoming toll roads which could redirect funds to other interstates and highways in Virginia. Miller also stressed the importance of the Port of Virginia, explaining that during the 2011 General Assembly Session in Richmond, tax credits were approved to companies using Virginia ports. This incentive allows the state to compete with other ports such as Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC.
Miller briefly explained the legislative process by referencing one of her most recent bills nicknamed “Kathryn’s Law,” a law requiring college campus police to hand over serious criminal investigations to local law enforcement agencies. Miller then moved on to answering questions from Sync757 members about the shift of power (due to re-districting from data provided by the 2010 US Census) from Southwest Va., Northern Va., and Hampton Roads. She also discussed state-funded higher education, citing Old Dominion University as one of the beneficiaries of increased state spending on education. Miller explained that more adequate funding will allow ODU to stop raising its tuition in the future.
In closing, Miller informed Sync757 members to “be on the lookout” for future litigation concerning Uranium mining and the Virginia Retirement System. To learn more about current proceedings at the Capitol and active and passed bills, visit http://legis.state.va.us/.