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Looking Toward General Assembly 2012

Hot topics for the 2012 General Assembly session include whether or not a 30-year ban on mining uranium in Virginia should be lifted.

A representative group of colonists met in the church on Jamestown Island in 1619
establishing a form of government for the new settlement and giving Virginia the distinction of having the oldest, continuous representative legislative body in the western hemisphere. 

Its successor, the General Assembly, will convene next week on Jan. 11 for its 2012 session.  As the person to whom the voters of the 36th district have delegated the responsibility to represent their interest, I would like to hear from you.

There will be many issues to resolve:  Should a 30-year ban on mining uranium in the state be lifted?  A recent study raises some serious doubts.  Should the use of hand-held cell phones be outlawed while driving?  The distracted driver causes serious accidents. 

Should life be defined to begin at conception?  The first bill introduced, House Bill 1, says it should be.  Should the governor be allowed to serve a second term in succession?  Such a change in the law would not apply to the current governor. 

Should Virginia set up a health insurance exchange to lower the cost of health insurance and make it more accessible?  Some want to wait for a
federal mandate.

Should Governor McDonnell’s $85 billion budget for the biennium be passed as presented?  Many of us do not like the cuts to education.  Should Virginia take action to reduce traffic congestion?  Many are scared away by the price tag that continues to get higher.  Do we really need the more than 3,000 bills
and resolutions that will be introduced?

All will be heard by a committee on the subject and only about half will pass.

On Wednesday evening, Jan. 4, I will be using an established technology of the
telephone to call voters in the district.  At 8 p.m. you should receive a call from me on your home telephone unless your number is unlisted.  For the first few seconds you will hear my recorded voice, and then I will come on the line to talk about the legislative session and respond to your questions. 

If you want to talk with me in person, come to the Public Hearing I am having with
Senator Janet Howell on Thursday, Jan. 5, 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Reston
Community Center at Hunters Woods.

Virginia’s House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees will hold a regional Public Hearing on Friday, Jan. 6, at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus,
Dewberry Hall, in the Johnson Center at 10 a.m. 

The purpose of the hearings is to receive comments on the Governor’s proposed 2012-14 biennial state budget.  Persons wishing to speak may register at the hearing site no earlier than one hour prior to the start of the hearing;speakers will be taken in the order of registration.  Persons unable to attend may comment in writing to Delgate Lacey E. Putney, P.O. Box 406, Richmond, VA  23218, or to Senator Charles J. Colgan, 10th Floor General Assembly Building, Richmond, VA 23219.

Fairfax County Delegation’s Pre-General Assembly Public Hearing will be held on
Saturday, Jan. 7, 9 a.m., in the Board Auditorium at the Fairfax County
Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.  Individuals wishing to speak should call the Office of the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors at 703.324.3151 by noon on Friday, Jan. 6.  Point of contact for other questions is Katie Boyle at 703.324.2649.

Constituents should have received a printed newsletter from me last week.  Please complete the survey in it or go to www.kenplum.com to complete it online.  If you did not receive a newsletter, call 703.758.9733 or e-mail kenplum@aol.com, and one will be mailed to you.  Throughout the legislative session you can continue to call me at 703.758.9733, and your call will be forwarded to my Richmond office without cost to you.  Continue to use kenplum@aol.com for e-mails to me during the session.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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