Brewer wants input before prefiling bills

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Newly elected Republican Delegate Emily Brewer wants to meet with the seven localities she will represent in the Virginia House of Delegates before drafting new legislation.

The 2018 General Assembly session begins Jan. 10.

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In addition to Isle of Wight, the 64th District includes portions of the cities of Suffolk and Franklin and Prince George, Surry, Southampton and Sussex counties.

Brewer plans to meet with Isle of Wight County officials in December, as well as the other six localities. Meanwhile, Isle of Wight County published its legislative priority list in October, which includes a call for full state funding for public education, equity between counties, cities and towns when it comes to taxing authority, addressing unfunded mandates, providing full funding for federal inmates at Western Tidewater Regional Jail and supporting a fuel tax floor to ensure sufficient transportation funding.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Isle of Wight is also opposed to any legislation that would exempt short-term rentals through platforms such as Air BnB from local zoning regulations.

Smithfield District Supervisor Dick Grice requested that proffers be added to the list.

Grice complained about new legislation passed last year that prohibits discussion of proffers between developers and a locality. The legislation led Isle of Wight to completely repeal its proffer policy.

“The pendulum has swung and it’s swung too far,” Grice said.

Proffers are cash or other tangible offerings made by developers to offset the cost, generally, of new housing.

Pre-filing of new legislation began Nov. 20, but Brewer said she hasn’t been to the new delegate orientation yet, nor has she received her committee assignments.

One of the issues raised by Brewer during the campaign was adoption and foster care reform, which she said is being looked at.

The Virginia State Board of Elections certified the House of Delegates election results for Districts 28 and 88 on Monday where some voters cast votes in the wrong district, according to Ballotpedia. In total, 147 voters cast ballots in the wrong elections, and those were in the Republicans’ favor.

As of Monday, Republicans led in the House with a two vote lead, 51-49, with three races likely headed for a recount. However, Republicans are leading in all three of those races, which include the 28th, 40th and 94th districts.

The race for the 94th District in Newport News is set for a recount as just a handful of votes separate Republican incumbent David Yancey from Democratic opponent Shelly Simonds.

The 40th District race, where Republican Tim Hugo won by less than 1 percent of the vote against Democrat Donte Tanner, is also expected to be recounted.  {/mprestriction}