Jo Knows: Weekly News 1.15.16

//Jo Knows: Weekly News 1.15.16

Jo Knows: Weekly News 1.15.16

TRANSPORTATION

OmniRide short on cash; doomsday scenario unveiled

There’s a lot of hope in the newly approved budget put forward Thursday night by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. Hope that Prince William County will magically find $6 million to help make up some of an annual $9.2 million budget shortfall, every year over the next five years. Hope the Virginia General Assembly will enact a gas tax “floor” to help the agency recoup and additional $3.5 million it lost when gas prices dropped. If a floor is not found, there’s also hope that Prince William County will make up the entire budget shortfall, each year for the next five years. Prince William County residents are the majority users of the commuter bus service, while the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park don’t pay for the commuter bus service but do have residents that use it.

Express Lanes finding good reviews after first year

The Interstate 95 Express Lanes just marked their first anniversary and the data is in: The high-occupancy toll lanes shorten most rush-hour commutes, on average, by about 15 minutes. That’s according to data compiled by Transurban, the Australia-based company that operates the lanes, as well as a survey of 1,700 area drivers conducted last September.

 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

School Board pushes for transparency in CIP

The Prince William County School Board will hold a work session to discuss the Capital Improvement Plan

[CIP] Wednesday at 6 p.m.; for the first time, citizens have a chance to preview the presentation. When Prince William County Schools held its first school board meeting this year with four new board members, the meeting lasted until 11:30 p.m. The board had scheduled a work session to follow the regular meeting, which would discuss the building of new schools, additions to old schools and the use of hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds.

REGIONAL

FAAR hold real estate discussion

The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors held a roundtable discussion with local industry leaders focusing on how the housing market performed in 2015 and what to expect in 2016. The meeting was the first of its kind held by the association and brought together realtors, lenders, stakeholders and media. The spring market was phenomenal but it turned lackluster in the fall, said Chip Taylor of Century Battlefield Real Estate in King George County. He said that while the November market was off, December and January—so far—have been slammed.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

In call for unity, McAuliffe urges lawmakers to avoid ‘political sideshows’

As he enters his crucial third year in office, Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday night called on the Virginia General Assembly to work with him to strengthen the state economy, while promising to block any efforts to curtail Democratic priorities such as gay marriage, abortion rights and gun control. As lawmakers convened at the Capitol for the start of the 2016 legislative session, McAuliffe used his State of the Commonwealth address to hit a familiar theme: The need to grow and diversify the state economy during a two-year pause in federal spending cuts. “It is my hope that our work together this session will be devoted to productive areas where there is room for compromise, and not political sideshows that distract from matters that demand our urgent attention,” McAuliffe said in a speech that ran a little less than an hour.

Getting There: Another I95 option tossed into the mix

Another hat has been tossed into the ring in the debate over how to fix backups at the Interstate 95 express lanes merge in North Stafford.

Del. Mark Cole, whose district covers Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg and Stafford, has proposed a bill pushing for the extension of the express lanes to U.S. 17 in Stafford by 2020. Cole’s bill would “direct” VDOT to negotiate with express lanes operator Transurban to extend the lanes.

Bill would make Airbnb legal throughout Virginia

Guests are flocking to Airbnb to book rooms in Richmond’s luxury lofts and quaint row houses, despite it being illegal to rent out your house for short-term stays. But that could change during this session of the General Assembly.

 

ELECTIONS

Andersons of Prince William share a home, and now, political careers

Maybe the Andersons should consider changing the welcome mat in front of their Woodbridge home. The current one bears a symbol of the Air Force and their last name. It quickly conveys the message that husband and wife were in the same branch of the military. But although they are retired from that service, they recently began sharing another kind of public work: elected office. Ruth M. Anderson was sworn in last week to represent the Occoquan District on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Her husband, Richard L. Anderson, has represented the 51st District in the House of Delegates since 2010.

Prince William Electoral Board chair under investigation, may lose job

An unauthorized investigation aimed at uncovering possible voter fraud might cost Prince William County Electoral Board Chairman Guy Anthony “Tony” Guiffré his job. The Virginia State Board of Elections took a rare vote Friday to initiate steps to remove Guiffré from the county electoral board over allegations he compromised voter privacy and might have broken state and federal laws. The allegations stem from his efforts to determine whether absentee ballots were improperly requested for the Nov. 3 election. The three-member state board, which includes two Democrats and one Republican, voted along party lines during a meeting in Richmond to ask Attorney General Mark Herring (D) to begin the removal proceedings.

 

 

Jo Gehlbach
Government Affairs Coordinator
REALTOR® Association of Prince William
(P) 804.422.5029

 

By | 2017-03-29T17:30:32-04:00 January 15th, 2016|Jo Knows|0 Comments

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