The Rust Report

July 1, 2011

In This Issue

New Laws

Virginia ranked Number 1!

LINK

New Laws

During the 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly nearly 900 bills, out of 2968 proposed, passed and will become law on July 1st. I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of some these new laws which I think may interest you and are likely to have an impact on your life; they are listed below.

BOATING: Anyone under the age of 50 operating a personal water craft (boats, jet ski’s, etc.), must complete a boating safety class. This law was enacted in 2007 with the age requirements increasing each year. Next year ALL personal water craft operators regardless of age will have to complete the class. I voted yes on this bill.

ABC: Drivers younger than 21 with a blood-alcohol level of .02 percent or higher, will lose their license for 1 year and either pay a $500 minimum fine or 50 hours of community service. I voted yes on this bill.

BYOW: Restaurants can allow patrons to bring their own wine, which they purchased someplace other than the restaurant, to drink while they eat dinner. The restaurants will be allowed to charge a ‘corkage’ fee for the privilege. I voted yes on this bill.

SEXUAL ABUSE: The statute of limitations for a tort claim based on the sexual abuse of a minor or incapacitated person has been extended from 2 years to 20 years from the time of the incident. I voted yes on this bill.

SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA: It is now illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess synthetic marijuana (also known as Spice or K2). (This law became effective March 23, 2011) I was a patron of this bill and voted yes.

VIRGINIA HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 2011: This law provides for:

· A new higher education funding policy

· The calculation of the state general fund share of an institution’s basic operations and instruction funding need.

· Per student enrollment-based funding.

· Targeted economic and innovation incentives.

· The creation of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Public-Private Partnership.

· The creation of a Higher Education Advisory Committee, which is responsible for development of many of the specific criteria necessary for the implementation of this law.

I was a patron of this bill and voted yes.

TRANSPORTATION: The law allows motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles to proceed through red lights, in certain situations, where the traffic light is showing steady red signals. I voted no on this bill because of safety reasons for both motocyclists and oncoming traffic.

HOV LANES: The HOV law for hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates was extended until June 30, 2012; however, only hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued prior to July 1, 2011 will be permitted to use the I-66 HOV lanes during rush hours. I was a patron of this bill and voted yes.

AUTISM: Insurance carriers, under certain parameters, will be required to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism for children from age 2 thru 6 for policies beginning January 1, 2012. I was the chief co-patron of this bill and voted yes.

HEALTH INSURANCE: The law conforms the inconsistent and conflicting requirements of Virginia’s health insurance laws to corresponding provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This gives Virginia the enforcement authority of the bill and not the federal government. I was the Chief patron of this bill and voted yes.

Virginia ranked Number 1!

This week CNBC announced that Virginia has been names America’s “Top State for Business” by CNBC, receiving the highest point total in the history of the rankings, using 43 different measure of competitiveness. In addition, last week Virginia received the highest ranking of any state east of the Mississippi and third in the nation, in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s economic competitiveness ranking of the states; and last month Virginia was lauded as “Leading the Way” for transportation performance measures including safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation by the Pew Center on the States Study. This is great news for Virginians because this will help attract businesses, which will create jobs, and get our economy back on track. By keeping taxes low, controlling government spending, and investing in transportation, economic development and education, Virginia is open for business. In addition, unemployment in the Commonwealth has dropped from 7.2% in February, 2010 to 6% today; over three points below the national average. CNBC noted, “With an unprecedented fiscal crisis at the state level, never has it been tougher to stay competitive. But Virginia met the challenge on every level, achieving the highest point total in the history of our study, and finishing in the top half of every category.”

LINK

LINK, an all volunteer organization, has been serving the Herndon, Sterling, and Ashburn community since 1972. Summer is typically a time where families have an increased need for food because children are home from school and there are no more subsidized lunches. LINK has families in need who live in Herndon, Sterling, and Ashburn and they are looking for individuals interested in signing up to be a Volunteer Emergency Food Deliverer for August or just being on the Emergency list. In addition, food donations can be brought to my legislative office in Town Hall, 2nd floor. To sign-up, please visit www.SignUpGenius.com/go/august60/993582. If you have questions, please feel free to email them at president@linkagainsthunger.org or call 703-973-4444.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend and perhaps I will see you around town at one of the upcoming events listed below. As always, my staff and I are always available to assist you, so please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 703-437-9400, by mail at 730 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170, or by email at DelTRust@house.virginia.gov.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate – it is truly an honor.

Warm regards,

Thomas Davis Rust
Delegate, 86th District