Legislative Accomplishments

  • 2020 legislative session patroned:
    • HB 353 (Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty)
  • 2021 legislative session: co-sponsored:
    • HB 1909 (School board property, certain; establishment of gun-free zone permitted)
    • HB 2276 (Plastic firearms and unfinished frames, etc.; manufacture, import, sale, transfer, etc.)
    • HB 1992 (Firearms; purchase, etc., following conviction for assault and battery of a family member)
    • HB 2128 (Firearms; criminal history record information check delay increased to five days)
  • 2019 session:
    • Co-sponsor of HB 2491 to eliminate many restrictions to access an abortion, including the state requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman’s death or impairment of her mental or physical health. Failed both chambers badly, see this article.
  • 2020 session:
    • Co-sponsored HJ1 to have VA ratify the ERA
  • Introduced legislation and budget amendments that increased the amount of money for business ready sites, that would bring additional manufacturing to rural communities 
  • Introduced budget amendments for rural electric charging facilities 
  • Medicaid expansion helped many of those communities
    • Patroned HB 850: Lyme disease; signage in state parks, instructional resources and materials, report. (passed)
  • 2022 – Introduced 6 billion $ budget amendment for school construction (primarily for rural) – didn’t get approved 
    • 2,000 public schools in VA, 1,000 of those schools are 50 years old or older and a study identified its a 25 billion $ problem
    • Rs will come to Richmond complaining about failing schools in rural areas 
      • DR did an op-ed about this issue
      • This amendment would have created a system to find the areas of greater need to put this money 
      • They put $1b towards this issue since DR made this issue so important (they believe it will be $3b total because of matching)
      • DR’s amendment would have not affected Youngkins tax cuts 
    • Elementary School: $35m Middle School: $65m, High School: $100m (before inflation) HS might be around $120M (not including land) 
    • Chief co-patron of HB 1626: Radford University; reduced rate tuition charges, students who reside in Appalachian region. (died)
    • Co-sponsored HB 2206: Child Care Subsidy Program; expanding Program to serve more families. (continued)
    • Co-sponsored HB 1827: Education, Board of; geographic representation of members. (continued)
  • Transportation in rural areas:
    • Patroned HB 859: Roadways; operation under HCA to operate instead under PPTA. (died)
    • Co-sponsored HB 1223: Shenandoah River; scenic river designation. (passed)
    • Chief co-patron HB 1494: License plates, special; issuance for supporters of Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. (passed)
    • Chief co-patron HB 1858: Roadways operating under Va. Hwy. Corporation Act of 1988; Commissioner of Highways to evaluate. (died)
    • Chief co-patron HB 1832: Virginia Highway Corporation Act; alteration of certificate of authority, powers and duties of SCC. (continued)
  • Ag/Farmers: 
    • Patroned and passed HB 723: Underground pipelines and electrical transmission lines; agriculture.
      • From End-of-Session Letter: 
        • “Patroned the Prime Agricultural Land Protection Act (HB723) that creates a process to protect topsoil when “prime agricultural land” is impacted by any underground linear infrastructure”
    • Co-sponsored HB 262: Agribusiness; includes farmers markets and roadside farm markets. (tabled)
    • Co-sponsored HB 2203: Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program and Fund; established and created. (continued)
    • 2019 – Sam Rasoul was trying to stop the pipeline, DR was looking at what can happen on the state level, he passed Prime Ag Land Protection Act (2019) 
      • In the future, any pipeline (regardless of what it’s carrying) if it’s going through “prime ag land” the top soil has to be removed and protected, and any pipeline that is put in, the top soil was put back in place. 
      • This helped to preserve top soil 
      • Now officially part of code in Virginia 
    • Member of Approp Commerce, Ag, and Natural Resources Subcommittee (CANR)
      • All Ag funding has come through the sub committee that DR is on
  • 2023 session: 
    • Patroned HB 1790: Electric vehicle charging equipment; creates tax credit.
      • Left in finance committee
  • 2022 session: 
    • Patroned and passed HB 1325: enhanced C-PACE program
      • From end-of-session letter:
        • “Enhancements to the Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program.  HB 1325 adds environmental remediation, EV infrastructure, and clean water improvements to the list of acceptable Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) projects.”
    • Voted in favor of HB 847: Virginia Resiliency Authority; established, definitions, report.
      • Only one of seven Democrats to support its passage
  • 2021 session
    • Patroned and passed HB 1979: Electric vehicle rebate program; creation and funding, report, sunset date.
    • Patroned and passed HB 1850: Motor vehicle weight limits; vehicles powered primarily by electric battery power, etc.
      • Missed opportunities (R majority) Need to have an EV rebate program, but when in the maj dems couldn’t stomach putting $40M
  • 2020 session
    • Patroned and passed HB 714: Virginia Energy Plan; climate change pressing challenge.
      • Legislative Update to the VA Energy Plan – Favola and DR
        • More strategic plan, he was the patron in the House and Favola in the Senate – passed and got signed 
        • Video in (Subcommittees and Committees) during second reading where DR explained what the bill does – might be worth checking out (the video would be the day before it passes because it’s before third read)
          • Here is one video: 
            • 2020-02-04: L&C Subcommittee #3: 8:35:49 (it won’t let my computer download the media, but that is the exact time stamp of when he begins to explain it)
    • Patroned and passed HB 717: Electric vehicles; DMME to determine feasibility of a rebate program.
      • From End-of-Session Letter: 
      • Energy & Environment
        • Authored the Virginia Energy Plan (VEP) (HB714) that establishes ambitious goals to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across Virginia’s economy by 2045. The VEP also establishes the Clean Energy Advisory Board and requires the development of a greenhouse gas inventory.
        • Passed the Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Study (HB717) which directs the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop the processes and procedures to implement an EV tax rebate program.
  • 2019 session:
    • Patroned HB 1686: Renewables First Act
      • Died in subcommittee
      • From 2019 end-of-session letter:
        • “In recognition of the need to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy economy, I patroned HB 1686, the Renewables First Act (RFA). The RFA would have required the 5500 MW of renewable energy declared “in the public interest” to be completed “first” before any new fossil fuel-based facilities were brought on-line. I worked with great partners, specifically Zero Carbon Virginia from Loudoun County, to research and draft the legislation. The bill gained significant state-wide recognition for its pragmatic approach before it failed in the Commerce & Labor Subcommittee. Despite this setback, I remain committed to finding an economically viable transition to renewable fuels.”
  • 2018 session: 
    • Patroned HB 355: Virginia Fuels Tax Act; refueling vehicles.
      • Left in the transportation committee
    • Patroned HB 469: Electric vehicle; establishes tax credit on purchase or lease price.
      • Left in finance committee
    • Patroned HB 474: Solar energy collection devices; land lease program for installation.
      • Left in Commerce and Labor committee
    • Patroned HJ 74: Electric vehicles; DOLI to study effect of switch on automotive mechanics.
      • Left in rules committee
    • From End-of-Session Letter:
      • “I introduced two bills related to electric vehicles: HB 469 would establish up to a $3500/vehicle electric vehicle tax credit, which was intended to jump-start the sales of electric vehicles in Virginia. HJR 74 would instruct the Commonwealth’s Department of Labor and Industry to study the long-term impact on jobs as consumers switch from gasoline to electric vehicles.  It’s important that we ensure our workers are prepared for any future shifts in automotive technology.”
  • 2019 session
    •  $150m a year towards the VA portion of WMATA capital improvement program which allows them to issue bonds
      • New metro cars, redoing platforms and upgraded stations is all due to the money invested in 2019
      • Some stations had deferred maintenance for decades and this money is going towards addressing these issues 
      • DR was not on appropriations at the time but was on transportation
    • Voted in support of HJ 581: Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Plan; Commonwealth Transportation Board to study.
    • Voted in support of HB 2718: Interstate 81; Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund created, etc.
  • 2020 session
    • 2020 session
      • From end-of-session letter:
        • “Transportation & Transit:
        • Restored $50 million in Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) funding to support road construction in Loudoun County and across Northern Virginia
        • Approved a $3.7 billion agreement that will transform passenger rail service in Virginia.  This agreement will double Amtrak service, creating nearly hourly service between Richmond and Alexandria, increasing service to Norfolk/Newport News, and increasing VRE service by 75% along the I-95 corridor”
  • 2021 session
    • 2021 – DR proposed legislation to reduce the tolls on the greenway with Webert as a co-patron and Northam
    • From end-of-session letter:
      • “Reducing Greenway Tolls.  Provides the State Corporation Commission with better definitions, more specific guidelines, and creates a more transparent process in conducting their rate review (HB1832)”
  • 2022 session
    • From end-of-session letter:
      • “Dulles Greenway Toll Reduction Act. HB 859 would have set in motion the process to BOTH reduce the tolls on the full length of the Dulles Greenway AND implemented distance-based pricing, where you only pay for the amount of the road you drive.
      • In these times of high inflation and high cost of living in our area, this legislation could’ve saved Loudoun families and businesses approx. $250 – $500+ per month in reduced tolls. Unfortunately, Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles District) and Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun) worked overtime and behind the scenes to defeat my toll reduction legislation legislation. Their reasoning is “…they want to be able to take the Dulles Greenway before the State Corporation Commission every year…,” which is the same approach they’ve been using for the past 10-years, with the same result – higher tolls. Their approach has created a “jobs program” for lawyers and lobbyists and NOT accomplished a single toll rate reduction… ever.”
  • 2023 session
    • 2023 – bi-partisan effort, worked with Del. Michael Webert to reduce the tolls that was with the Youngkin administration
    • 2023 – we put the authorizing language in the budget, so if the budget gets passed and George Barker doesn’t lose (he is working on negotiations) – he is in a primary – this can pass 
    • Others (Suhas) has supported restricting future increases instead of what DR is doing to try to actively reduce them 
    • From end-of-session letter:
      • “I also serve on the Transportation Committee where my focus has been on reduciHB 1475:ng tolls, providing congestion relief, and maintaining roads in a state of good repair.”
  • Wallops Island 
    • DR influenced because he is on the transportation committee and approps 
    • Working on expanding Wallops island 
    • Only one of four states in the country that launches rockets/things vertically into space 
  • Expanded Lanes on I-95 and I-64 and building out the Hampton Roads bridge-tunnel 
    • 50-70% of road construction in the country is happening in VA
    • $3.8b towards the expansion of rail expansion on I-95 down to Norfolk and Cville (on approps)