June Update

Dear Friend,
Tuesday, June 9 is an election day. Please remember to exercise your important right as a citizen and vote in this primary. All state senators and delegates are up for election in November. In preparation, several precincts of the 69th district will be voting for their senators in the Tuesday primary; all precincts will be voting in the House of Delegates race.  You can find out who is on your ballot here. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In-person absentee voting can be accomplished through Saturday, June 6 at the Office of the General Registrar, 900 E. Broad St., Room 105. For Chesterfield residents, the Office of the General Registrar is located at 9848 Lori Road in Court Square. If you would like any additional information from my campaign office, please call us at 804-767-7530 or e-mail at info@betsycarr.org.
Elections matter; every vote is important. The General Assembly passes laws that effect our lives every day.
It is my privilege to serve you and provide you with a legislative update.
The General Assembly reconvened April 15th to consider the Governor’s vetoes and amendments to legislation that passed during the Session, which ended in late February.
The governor vetoed 17 bills and those vetoes were sustained by the General Assembly so those bills will not become law. You can read more about each of the vetoes and amendments here.
While the Governor was successful in upholding his vetoes, several of his amendments were more controversial. In a bipartisan effort, the General Assembly rejected the Governor’s amendments relating to law enforcement’s use of drones to collect information on citizens without a warrant. Other amendments relating to law enforcement’s use of license plate readers (LPR) elicited bipartisan concern. The Governor proposed allowing law enforcement to keep information obtained from LPRs for 60 days, while the General Assembly fought to shorten the timeframe to seven days. While it is important to provide law enforcement officials with the tools that they need to ensure public safety, I support limiting the use license plate readers and protecting Virginians’ right to privacy in our technological 21st century world. Ultimately, the Governor vetoed the legislation limiting law enforcement’s use of license plate readers for data collection, which means that the current law that only allows data pertinent to a criminal investigation to be retained without any specifications regarding the timeframe or other boundaries remains the law.

Additionally, during the April session, the General Assembly was tasked with settling the ethics reform bill. With unanimous votes in both Houses, the General Assembly passed the ethics bill applying to state and local officials. It will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The Governor’s top priority amendment was accepted, which adds an annual aggregate $100 cap on gifts to state and local officials from people seeking to influence the government.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s amendment to close the loophole that would allow legislators to accept free travel to ALEC conferences without disclosure or other limits was rejected by the General Assembly.

Since the General Assembly concluded on April 17th, I have been engaged in the community at civic meetings and events as well as with continuing General Assembly business. I was appointed to two commissions: the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules and the Housing Commission. I look forward to working as a member of these commissions and to representing the 69th district in these groups.
The House Appropriations Committee is instrumental in the General Assembly’s most important work: deciding how to spend taxpayer dollars. I was pleased and honored to be appointed to that committee. On our recent House Appropriations Capital Outlay tour we visited several educational, health, and recreational facilities, which serve Virginians andreceive state funds. Over four days we saw Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Port of Virginia, Virginia State University, Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation, Longwood College, the Carilion Research Center/Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute, Western State Hospital, the Frontier Culture Museum University of Virginia, Lake Anna State Park and University of Mary Washington. Along the way, we heard additional presentations from the College of William and Mary, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Norfolk State University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
This was the first such Appropriations Committee tour in a number of years. The information we learned will be extremely helpful as we make decisions about spending priorities to best benefit citizens of the Commonwealth for the immediate and long-range future.

Thank you for the honor of serving you in the General Assembly. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work for you. My door is always open. For any legislative or constituent concerns, you can contact my legislative office at 804-698-1069 or delegate.carr@betsycarr.org.


Betsy B. Carr