From the Desk of Del. Ed Scott: Winter weather doesn’t stop General Assembly

Winter weather did not stop the General Assembly from moving forward on a number of legislative fronts this past week. Committees and subcommittees have been scheduling meetings from early morning into the evening in order to hear the 2,168 bills and resolutions that had been introduced as of the end of last week.

At the request of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, I have introduced House Bill 1473 which exempts concessions at youth sports activities from burdensome Health Department regulations in the same manner that school, church, and social organizations are exempt. It makes sense that the concessions at a Saturday morning soccer game not be treated any differently than those at the Friday night football game. This bill reported unanimously out of committee and should pass the full House this week.

The Orange Town Council asked for the authority given to certain localities in Virginia to request owners of property to mow grass or weeds, and if the owner does not comply, the locality can mow the property at the owner’s expense. The Town Council sees this as protection for nearby property owners who are properly maintaining their property. House Bill 1474 has been passed by the House and will next be heard in Senate committee.
As chairman of the Chesapeake subcommittee of the House Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, I have been working with the McDonnell Administration on legislation to ensure that Virginia’s menhaden fishery is in compliance with recent decisions by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Menhaden are an important component of the bay and ocean ecosystem and menhaden fishing provides jobs and income for hundreds of Virginians. The ASMFC has ordered a 20 percent reduction in the total allowable catch for the next two years. Virginia will comply with this decision while further scientific studies are conducted in an effort to determine an appropriate level of fishing. House Bill 2254 is supported by environmental organizations as well as those who fish for menhaden.

Visitors this week included school boards and superintendents from Culpeper, Madison, and Orange, Farm Bureau members, auto dealers, along with advocates for mental health and community services. Their input is helpful to our work, and your feedback on these reports is welcome as well.

I can be reached at (804) 698-1030 or DelEScott@house.virginia.gov.