Legislative Update from HRT
The Virginia General Assembly opened last week, Wednesday, January 11. Joe Dillard, HRT’s Government Liaison, bids us a happy new year and sends a message from Richmond:
“I couldn’t be more excited to share with you stakeholders what our efforts are going to be while here. Many of you represent different sectors of public transportation, union representatives and works, community activist, civic leagues and public transportation organizations and we are grateful to have your continued support. This year’s Public Transportation Advocacy Day at the Capitol will be on January 23rd, 2017. I have attached the flyer created by the Virginia Transit Association that gives some logistical insight on this day ahead.
(Wednesday) we had the House of Delegates reveal the new committee appointments to begin working this short session. However, the Senate hasn’t made any appointments as of yet. On the January 10th there were two special elections for Senate in which Jennifer McClellan (D) won the 9th Senate District and Mark Peake (R) won the 22nd Senate District. The election must be certified and all provisional ballots must be tallied, with the upcoming holiday, this will not occur until next week. This delay has postponed any appointments to committees on the Senate side.
Legislation to Advocate on:
Senate Bill 1172: Fare Enforcement Officer
Currently Hampton Roads Transit has fare enforcement officers under ordinance governed by the City of Norfolk. The fine currently for The Tide operating in Norfolk is up to $250 if found in violation. Any expansion of public transportation services requiring a fare enforcement officer will need a new individual city ordinance from the city wanting the service. However, this bill will support a fare enforcement officer in place each of the six cities we service.
Senate Bill XXX: Floor to Gas Tax (Hampton Roads Region)
We are currently waiting on a Bill from the Senate that will address the floor to the Gas Tax issue. When this bill becomes available, I will update you all with the tracking number.
Those supporters who live on the Peninsula side of Hampton Roads, we will continue to push our message of the Peninsula Corridor Study. Those new to this topic can find more information here.
Supporters on Southside Hampton Roads, we know we have taken a hit on the referendum outcome of taking the tide to Virginia Beach. This does not slow down our efforts to make Hampton Roads Transit the most efficient and costumer driven agency in the Commonwealth. We have some major ideas coming concerning High Transit Capacity options. Stay tuned for further information.
Though the committee appointments are still in waiting, bills are hitting the system every day! This is where you come in, you are a supporter of public transportation in our region and your voice here is louder than you realize. We need you to visit your legislator, make calls to their offices showing support for the legislation we are advocating for. If you have trouble identifying your legislator, please let me know. My phone number is (757)771-2071 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Dillard Jr.
Joe W. Dillard Jr.
Government Affairs Liaison
Hampton Roads Transit
509 E. 18th Street
Norfolk, VA 23504
office: (757)222-6000 ext. 6349