Saturday, February 23, 2013

The list of traitors in the Virginia House

I am speechless when I began to read the names of those who foisted this travesty upon us. There, in type were the names of at least three local republicans that I held in high regard until I realized that they were really just "tax and spend" liberals using the GOP to get elected.

There is no excuse for the voting...and these wannabees need to be set free in their respective and upcoming election bids. They are the best light.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

13th Va. Senatorial District makes moves.

Proving that he's a well-rounded and very dedicated conservative (one of two local guys in that senate that have a spine) and that he can use a five or six-speed transmission to great effect... Senator Dick Black has just championed some hard work on three important  topics of interest to real Virginians (as opposed to those folks who merely exist among us at election time before they go home to whatever rock they crawled out from under after the elections.)

It is very doubtful that the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly will have a week more eventful than this one. Amendments to the biennial budget, the continuing debate over transportation funding proposals, and crossover, all garnered headlines this week. But with just two weeks remaining until the scheduled end of session on February 23, there's still a lot to be done.


The Commonwealth of Virginia operates under biennial budgets. Since the General Assembly approved the 2012 to 2014 Budget last year, we only make amendments to the budget this year. Still, there are a lot of changes being made to the state's spending plan.


The Medicare amendment that was transmitted from the Senate to the House of Delegates represents the biggest welfare expansion in decades. Unfortunately, this expansion will provide "Cadillac-style" coverage to about 300,000 additional low income Virginians.

I voted against this expansion because I am tired of taxpayers footing the bill for benefits they often cannot afford themselves. The welfare benefits are out of control. From free cell phones with taxpayer funded internet access, to better healthcare than many taxpaying families have, the benefits and lack of cost oversight are providing an incentive not to work because the quality of life is better on welfare.

Medicaid expansion advocates claim that the Federal Government will pick up most of the cost for this massive expansion of benefits. However, the Federal Government often uses an initial "hook" by promising free money to states that later dissipates, leaving the states to shoulder enormous burdens. It is my belief that this will cause Virginia financial difficulty down the road.

It is now up to you and the members of the House of Delegates to stop the expansion of Medicare. The silence from taxpayers has been deafening, and I ask you to please get involved right away. You can contact your delegate by visiting this link, and forwarding it to your families and friends.

The Senate's package of budget amendments was approved on Thursday. Next week, the House and Senate will appoint conferees to negotiate the differences between their two plans.


The effort to reach agreement on a transportation funding plan this year is proving somewhat elusive, so far. The house approved a proposal this week and the Senate did not. But, it wasn't for lack of trying. I even presented my own transportation plan, which would not raise any taxes. Every Republican senator voted for a transportation at some point in the process. Some Senate Republicans voted for two different plans. Senate Democrats, however, did not vote for any.

Without at least one Democrat senator supporting a transportation plan, none can be approved. That's because a transportation funding plan is considered a revenue bill, falling into one of the few legislative measures for which the Lieutenant Governor is prohibited by the Constitution from breaking a tie. As a result, the Senate could not get a plan approved.

The effort to reach an agreement on transportation funding will get another chance in the coming week. I will support a transportation plan that does not raise taxes, adjusts our budget to make transportation a priority, puts a lock on the Transportation Trust fund so it is not raided for pet projects, does not eliminate the gas tax in favor of other taxes, and changes VDOT’s road project priorities to focus money on heavily traveled roads.

The transportation plan approved by the House will come over to the Senate for consideration. Whether or not Senate Democrats decide to actively participate in the debate over funding will ultimately determine the fate of transportation funding proposals for this session.


This year, all of the gun control measures have failed. There are, however, a few pro-Second Amendment bills making their way through the General Assembly. One of them is SB1335. I voted for this bill, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain, because it will further protect lists of concealed carry permit holders from having their names and addresses published by newspapers or any other organization.
I was recently appalled to see a newspaper in New York publish the names and addresses of law-abiding gun owners in order to punish them for exercising their Second Amendment rights. This exposed law-abiding gun owners, victims of domestic violence, families of prison guards and judges to threats of violence and home invasions. As one of the most law-abiding groups of people in the country, we need to protect their right to privacy and from intimidation from the media and radical anti-gun groups.


Crossover, the legislative halfway point of the General Assembly session, came this week. Of the more than 1,700 bills filed by delegates and senators, nearly 1,000 were still alive at the halfway mark. The Senate approved more than 400 of the bills filed by its members, all of which are now being considered by the House.
Of course, the Senate must now consider the nearly 550 bills approved by the House. That means that we have to act on over 50 bills per day from now until session ends. The final two weeks of session are going to be very, very busy in the Senate.

I’ll provide an update on the latest on the progress of legislation and the transportation funding debate next week. Until then, have a great week.

Warm regards,
Richard H. Black
Senator of Virginia, 13th District

And you know what? In all of that legislation and update...I didn't see the word abortion one time. Proving , yet again, that Senator Black's critics don't actually have legs to stand on, so they prefer invisible crutches.