Will offer budget amendment to prohibit state funds from being used to circumvent the ban.
Leesburg – Democratic candidate for Attorney General State Senator Mark Herring (Loudoun & Fairfax) released the following statement today announcing his opposition to legislation that would lift the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia:
“Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with interested stakeholders on both sides of the debate over whether to end the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia. I have carefully considered their positions, as well as the scientific evidence, and I have concluded that ending the ban on uranium mining and milling is not the right course for our Commonwealth.
Therefore, I will oppose legislation during the upcoming 2013 General Assembly session that would lift the ban. Additionally, I plan to introduce budget language that would prohibit any state funding from being used to promulgate regulations designed to circumvent the ban.
The Governor should not be using taxpayer dollars and staff resources to create the regulatory framework for uranium mining, which is currently prohibited by state law.
The health and safety of the public, and of the environment, should be of paramount concern when considering issues such as this and I am simply not convinced that uranium mining can be conducted in Southside Virginia in a safe and environmentally responsible way. I take very seriously the concerns raised by citizens, business leaders and local officials in both Southside and Hampton Roads who have expressed to me their fears with regard to the potential for negative public health impacts, particularly water supply contamination.
I look forward to working with those same citizens, business leaders and local officials on ways we can improve and expand economic opportunity in Southside and diversify Virginia’s portfolio of domestic energy resources.”
Declaring, “It’s time to get politics out of the Attorney General’s office and return its focus to doing what’s right for the people of Virginia,” State Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax Counties) announced today that he has filed paperwork and will seek the office of Attorney General in 2013. Herring released the following statement:
“Over the last three years, we’ve watched Attorney General Cuccinelli pursue an ideological crusade that is out of step with the mainstream. Time after time, the Attorney General has abused the powers of his office and twisted the law to advance his personal political agenda, which has been costly to taxpayers and costly to the credibility of the office. It’s hurt Virginians and damaged our state’s reputation.
“It’s time to get politics out of the Attorney General’s office and return its focus to doing what’s right for the people of Virginia.
“Virginia cannot afford another Attorney General like Ken Cuccinelli. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what those on the Republican side jockeying to take his place are offering. But what Virginians are looking for is an Attorney General who will restore the people’s trust in the office.
“So after talking with Virginians across the Commonwealth, and with much thought and careful consideration, I have decided to run to be Virginia’s next Attorney General.
“I want to be the Attorney General for all of the people in our state. Virginians deserve the respect and the protection of the law, regardless of the Attorney General’s personal politics.
“And that’s the kind of Attorney General I will be. As I have done in the Senate, I will work to keep Virginia’s families and seniors safe. I will fight to protect consumers, defend civil rights and ensure state agencies are accountable to the people. And I will stand up for the right of women to make their own healthcare decisions without government interference.
“As the only Democrat from Loudoun County in the General Assembly, I’ve stood up to Ken Cuccinelli and his allies in Richmond on the front lines of the legislative fights over their socially divisive agenda. I have won tough races in a swing district in the outer-suburbs of Northern Virginia and I know what it takes to win.
“I look forward to campaigning in every corner of the Commonwealth and introducing Virginia to a new vision for the office of Attorney General.”
Mark Herring was elected to the State Senate in 2006, representing Loudoun and Fairfax Counties and previously served as a Loudoun County Supervisor for four years. During his tenure in the Senate, Herring has been a leader in the effort to grow and expand technology-based economic development in Virginia and has worked to make both state and local governments more accountable to the public. Herring led the effort to crack down on new threats to our children’s safety, working closely with law enforcement and prosecutors to keep dangerous new synthetic drugs off the shelves. He has championed legislation to target those who would commit financial scams against our seniors and passed legislation to strengthen penalties for acts of domestic violence. As Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s National Guard Caucus, he has worked to ensure that military personnel, their families and veterans have the full support of the state and communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Herring has lived most of his life in Loudoun County. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia. Since graduating with honors from the University of Richmond School of Law, he has practiced law in Leesburg for 22 years. He is the Principal of the law firm Herring & Turner, P.C. He has been married to his wife, Laura, for 23 years and they have two children.
State Senator Mark Herring (D – Loudoun & Fairfax) released this statement following the vote by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to “Opt-In” to Phase 2 of the Silver Line Project:
“The Board of Supervisors made the right decision. Extending Metro to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County is an investment in our future and will help ensure our region’s continued economic growth and prosperity. While this is an historic moment, there is more work still to be done.
The state is only contributing about 5% of the total project cost for Phase 2, and that is unacceptable. I will continue my efforts to secure additional state funds for Phase 2 and look for other ways to keep tolls from skyrocketing on the Dulles Toll Road.
Additionally, the time for the federal government to step up is long overdue. I will work with our federal delegation to obtain their participation in this project that will connect our region’s international airport to our nation’s capital.”
State Senator Mark Herring (D – Loudoun & Fairfax) released this statement following the ruling of the United States Supreme Court affirming the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“The Affordable Care Act was designed to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Millions of Americans will no longer need to live in fear that insurance companies will deny them coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Young people can stay on their parent’s insurance plans until age 26 and seniors will receive free preventative healthcare benefits.
I am disappointed but not surprised by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s over-the-top response claiming that this is a dark day for America. He has wasted Virginia resources advancing a political agenda that the Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court has rejected. For Ken it is a dark day, but for Virginia families that can now rest easy knowing that the healthcare coverage they so desperately need won’t be taken away, it is a good day indeed.
While this isn’t a perfect plan, I applaud Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court for affirming the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement: healthcare reform. As a member of Virginia’s Health Reform Initiative, and a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Health Exchanges, I look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General and my colleagues in the General Assembly to implement this law in the best possible way so that our citizens will receive the maximum benefit of healthcare reform.”
As both a proud UVA alumnus and a state legislator, I was shocked by the decision and am deeply concerned about the process by which President Sullivan was forced to resign. I am also concerned about the damage this decision has done to the UVA community and to the University’s reputation, as well as the loss of outstanding University faculty and major donors.
I have worked with Delegate David Toscano (Charlottesville) to craft a letter from current members of the Virginia General Assembly who are also graduates of the University of Virginia calling on the Board of Visitors to reconsider their decision and reinstate President Sullivan.
Additionally, I believe that Rector Dragas should immediately submit her resignation to the Governor. Regardless of whether she had good reason to pursue the actions she did-which seems increasingly unlikely- the only way for the University to move forward and recover from the disastrous way this was handled would be for her to step aside.
The process by which President Sullivan was forced to resign was fundamentally flawed, dramatically at odds with the principles of the flagship University in the Commonwealth, and inconsistent with a transparent decision-making process required of a public University. I am encouraged by the recent announcement that the Board of Visitors has called a special meeting on Tuesday, and I am hopeful the Board will take swift action to reverse their prior decision.
~Urges citizens to participate in public comment period which ends on June 12~
Leesburg – State Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax) has written to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation Greg Whirley expressing his strong opposition to VDOT’s proposal to charge a monthly fee of $1.00 per EZ Pass transponder in order to pay for administrative and operations costs of Virginia’s EZ Pass program. See below the text of Senator Herring’s email to VDOT Commissioner Whirley:
I write to express my strong opposition to VDOT’s proposal to charge a $1.00 monthly fee per EZ Pass transponder. Many of the constituents I represent travel along the Dulles Greenway and Dulles Toll Road on a daily basis. Tolls on the Greenway are already at $4.00 ($4.80 peak) for a one-way trip and $2.25 on the Dulles Toll Road for a total of $6.25 ($7.05 peak). Additionally, tolls along the Dulles Toll Road are projected to double to $4.50 beginning next year due to the construction of Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail Project. If that occurs, tolls for a one-way trip from Leesburg to Tysons Corner will be $8.50 ($9.30 peak). Round trip, that is a total of $17.00 ($18.60 peak), which equates to $85.00 per week ($93.00 peak) and $4,250 annually ($4,650 peak).
As you can see, the charges for tolls the constituents I represent pay is becoming outrageous and adding a $1.00 per month fee for the privilege of being tolled this high only adds injury to insult. I urge you, Secretary Connaughton and the Governor to reverse your position and reject this proposal.
Thank you for your consideration,
Senator Herring is also urging citizens to participate in the public comment period. VDOT is currently accepting public comments through 5:00 pm, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. All comments will be reviewed and taken into consideration prior to the final decision on the proposed fee structure. VDOT began taking comments on April 19, 2012.
Citizens can go to www.virginiadot.org/e-zpass for information on the proposed monthly fee increase and provide their comments online. They can submit their comments directly to email@example.com or mail them to:
Office of Communications – Third Floor/Annex Bldg.
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
VDOT expects to have a final decision in June.
Leesburg – State Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax) released the following statement regarding the MWAA Board’s vote this morning to remove the PLA incentive for Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail Project:
“The MWAA Board’s decision removes the major stated obstacle for members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to commit to the project. It is time for the Board to vote to opt-in to Phase 2 and bring Metro to Loudoun. The decision also frees up the already promised $150 million contribution from the Commonwealth to the project. I call on Governor McDonnell to see that these state funds are released in a timely fashion and without further condition. I will continue my effort to secure additional state funding for Phase 2 in order to bring down projected toll increases and lessen the burden on the Toll Road users.”
State Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax) was reappointed by the Senate Committee on Rules to several state commissions and other groups on which he has served during his tenure in the State Senate:
- The Virginia Aerospace Advisory Council – To advise the Governor, the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, and the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Technology, and Education on policy and funding priorities with respect to aerospace economic development, workforce training, educational programs, and educational curriculum, and to promote the aerospace and space exploration industry in the Commonwealth.
- Standing Joint Subcommittee on Block Grants – To ensure the continued receipt of federal funds pursuant to the Preventive Health and Human Services Block Grant, the Community Services Block Grant, or any other federal block grant program requiring legislative public hearings.
- The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission – Manage and control the functions, affairs, and property of the Northern Virginia Transportation District.
- The Substance Abuse Services Council – Advise and make recommendations on policies and goals and on the coordination of the Commonwealth’s public and private efforts to control alcohol and drug abuse.
- The Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees – To honor patriotic Virginians who rendered faithful service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom and liberty for the Commonwealth and the nation in time of war.
In addition to these state commissions and groups, Senator Herring is a member of:
- The Virginia Domestic Violence Response and Advisory Board – Established in 2010 by Governor McDonnell to improve the services and support for Virginia’s domestic violence victims and survivors. Recently reauthorized in April, the board has made nineteen recommendations intended to provide an initial conceptual framework for improving services to children exposed to domestic violence, clarifying protective order processes, enhancing services and community response to traditionally underserved victims, and making Virginia’s college campuses safer.
- The Virginia Health Reform Initiative – Established by Governor McDonnell, and under the leadership of Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel, the purpose of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative is to go beyond federal health reform and recommend other innovative healthcare solutions that meet the needs of Virginia’s citizens and government.
State Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax) released the following statement today regarding the vote early this morning by the Virginia General Assembly to reject the nomination of Mr. Tracy Thorne-Begland to Richmond’s 13th District Court:
“The treatment that Mr. Thorne-Begland received by the General Assembly, well after midnight Tuesday morning, was disgraceful and offensive. Mr. Thorne-Begland is a highly qualified prosecutor who served our country with distinction as a member of the United States Navy. His nomination to the General District Court bench was rejected by a majority of Republicans in the General Assembly solely because of his sexual orientation. Together with many of my fellow Virginians, I am embarrassed by what I witnessed take place early this morning.”
Today, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved an improved Senate budget, which contains a budget amendment offered by Senators Janet Howell (D- Fairfax & Arlington) and Mark Herring (D- Loudoun & Fairfax), which will provide $300 million dollars in additional state funds to Phase 2 of the Metrorail to Dulles Project. The amount is in addition to $150 million the state has previously committed, bringing the total state contribution for the project to $450 million. The funds will help prevent tolls on the Dulles Toll Road from skyrocketing out of control and put Virginia in a better position to obtain some federal funding.
“This is great news for Northern Virginia,” Howell stated. “We believed all along the state needed to step up and make a major contribution toward the completion of Phase 2. The original Senate budget, which we opposed, was completely silent on funding for this project, which is of local, state and national significance.”
“The previous budget proposal that we rejected shortchanged Northern Virginia,” Herring continued, “Through our persistent efforts, we were able to secure these critical funds in the Senate budget, which will result in real relief for the users of the Dulles Toll Road and boost momentum for the construction of Phase 2 of the planned Metrorail extension.”
“It is our hope that the Governor and our colleagues in the House of Delegates will agree to support this needed funding for our region.”