Barring last-minute hiccups, the Arlington County government now appears likely to get back its taxing authority for tourism promotion.
Measures to end the five-year moratorium on the taxing authority continue to move forward in Richmond:
Published Thursday, February 24, 2016 7:00 am
The House of Delegates’ Committee on Finance has OK’d a Senate bill giving Arlington back its ability to levy a surtax on hotel stays to pay for tourism. But the approval was conditioned on an amendment that could complicate the bill’s path to success.
Committee members voted 15-7 in support of a measure by state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) to restore the taxing authority, which had been stripped in 2011.
Said Senator Howell, “Building a new Virginia economy means doing more to reward innovation. The research and development tax credit is an incentive for companies to come to Virginia and invest in Virginia. This bill is going to create well-paying, 21st century jobs, and it’s going to spur growth throughout the state. I am delighted my colleagues in the Senate have joined me in support of this measure.”
He didn’t need their votes, but Arlington’s seven-member legislative delegation deserted Gov. McAuliffe (D) on the governor’s compromise with legislative leaders on recognition of out-of-state concealed-weapons permits.
State Sens. Barbara Favola (D-31st), Adam Ebbin (D-30th) and Janet Howell (D-32nd) were among 13 Democrats who voted against the Senate version of the compromise measure. Six Democrats and all 21 Republicans supported the measure, worked out between the McAuliffe administration and the Republican legislative leadership.
For years we have been struggling to make essential improvements to I-66. The Interstate is the most congested major road in the most congested region in the country. Lack of funding, arguments about widening inside the Beltway, concerns about right of way, disagreements about tolls, and opposition to mass transit have made progress seem, at times, impossible.
I must be the world's worst prognosticator. Just this past Monday I wrote you that the legislature is so divided on gun safety measures that nothing good was going to happen. I was so wrong.
A major compromise has been reached.
When our Attorney General announced he was going to follow Virginia law and not allow concealed weapon permit reciprocity with states that have weaker permit laws than we have, he alarmed the NRA. They realized that Governor McAuliffe would veto any bills to reinstate weak reciprocity agreements; they decided to work on a compromise.
Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran and Republican leaders met several times and worked out an agreement on three major gun issues.
These days I feel like the old lady in the nursery rhyme who "had so many children she didn't know what to do!" Each of my bills and budget amendments has a life of its own in the General Assembly and just keeping track of them is a challenge. I want each to thrive and make it through the legislative process -- but that is a difficult and lofty goal.
Public Hearings Scheduled
Senate Finance Committee Pre Session Public Hearing
Thursday, January 7, 2016, Hearing begins at 10:00 a.m.
University of Mary Washington, University Center, Chandler Ballroom, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
[On Monday], we all lost a great visionary, Reston lost its founder, and I lost a dear friend. Robert E. Simon died peacefully at his home in Reston at age 101.
As summer 2015 ends, I want to give you an update on my activities as your Senator. It has been a somewhat unusual few months, so I will divide the report into "personal", "professional", and "political" sections.