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The Rust Report

July 22, 2011

In This Issue

New Laws
Virginia ranked Number 1!
LINK

New Transporation Study of VA Secondary Roads

As I visit neighborhoods in the 86th district, one of the main concerns I hear about and see firsthand is the poor condition of our secondary roads. Upon receiving a specific complaint from a resident, I contact the Virginia Department of Transportation to ask for assistance in addressing the problem. Unfortunately, many times the complaint is not able to be acted on because it does not pose a safety risk and because of limited funding. A new study, authored by a professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, was released which identifies ten findings related to Virginia’s secondary roads program as well as several policy options. I have read the report and will offer my thoughts and suggestions to the Secretary of Transportation. If you would like to read the report and offer me your thoughts, please visit http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1865957.

Herndon Police offer Vacation House Checks

The Herndon Police Citizens Support Team is assisting the Herndon Police Department by offering Town residents courtesy house checks while residents are away on vacation. To request the service, town residents need to complete and submit an “On Vacation Courtesy House Check” application at least 14 days prior to their vacation. Once the request has been approved, the support team will make periodic checks on the home for up to two weeks. You can visit www.herndon-va.gov or contact the police at 703-787-7627 for an application or for more information.

Deployed Military Absente Ballots

In an effort to ensure that our deployed servicemen and women are able to participate in the election process, the State Board of Elections has contacted the Virginia National Guard, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, and the Department of Veterans Services asking them to help inform Virginia resident’s serving abroad about the Primary Election, how to register to vote, and apply for and cast an absentee ballot. The Fairfax County registrar mailed 400 ballots for the primary election as requested by eligible voters oversees. Our deployed men and women will benefit from these actions and help us make Virginia the most veteran friendly state in the nation.

North-South Corridor Designated

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) recently designated a new Northern Virginia North-South Corridor of Statewide Significance. This corridor will connect Route 7 in Loudoun County with I-95 and Route 1 in Prince William County. This is possible as a result of a bill (HB2019, 2009) which I introduced and became law; it allows the CTB to establish transportation corridors in connection with the establishment of the Statewide Transportation Plan. This is the first step in a lengthy process to improve major transportation assets in Virginia.

During the past several weeks, I have been busy as your delegate attending the Joint Committee on Technology and Science, the Lyme Disease Task Force meeting, the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the Herndon Olympics, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission meeting, the Sterling Boulevard Clean-up, marshaling at Friday Night LIVE!, taking a tour of Echo (which serves intellectually and disabled residents), and speaking at a Civil War Trails Marker unveiling and garden groundbreaking at NVCC Loudoun Campus.

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

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

The Rust Report

June 20, 2011

As your Delegate, every day seems to be a new adventure. Whether attending the Memorial Day ceremonies in Herndon and Sterling, to attending bill signing ceremonies with the Governor on Human Trafficking and on Higher Education, to meeting residents at the Herndon Festival, to being honorary chair of the Walk to Cure Diabetes, to attending the Valor Awards banquet, to speaking at the Relay for Life, to voting on congressional redistricting, to speaking to students about the Virginia legislature, to presenting a flag to our newest Eagle Scout, to meeting with constituents – life as your Delegate is never dull!

In This Issue

Don’t Pass Up this FREE Offer!

A Safer Tomorrow for Students

And Again One of the Top Ranked Legislators!

Don’t Pass Up this FREE Offer!

Governor McDonnell has announced in recognition of the 75th Anniversary of Virginia State Parks there will be free admission for all visitors from June 13th-19th. There will even be free parking for all visitors as part of the celebration for the Park’s Anniversary. In addition, Virginia State Parks will honor all active-duty military and Virginia Veterans with free admission until the end of the year (December 31st) as a small token of appreciation for the men and women who have given up their lives to defend our liberty and freedom. Veterans must present a retired military identification card or a standard form for discharged military personnel (DD214). Active duty must present a photo identification card issued by the Department of Defense. Family members of active duty must present their official government-issued card. These forms of identification must be presented in order for the fee to be waived!

Virginia has the best state parks in the country, so enjoy one of our many parks!

For more information about Virginia State Parks, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.

A Safer Tomorrow for Students

Governor McDonnell has signed new laws which will make school campuses and transportation safer for their students. The bills have all been passed with my support. Here is a recap of the new legislation:

· It is illegal for sex offenders to operate or ride on school buses. If one violates the law, then it is considered a Class 6 felony.

· There is an increase for penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses. Failure to stop for the buses is considered reckless driving.

· Bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids have been banned from school property. Possession with either is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

· Video monitoring has been added to school bus systems.

· The extension of the existing prohibition on the use of obscene language has been implemented. This clarifies the current provision, prohibiting the use of obscene, vulgar, or indecent language over electronic communications devices.

· The Department of Health is now required to develop and administer a random survey to middle school and high school students to facilitate planning and monitor the effectiveness of the substance abuse prevention.

The foremost obligation of government is public safety, and protecting our youngest citizens so that they may focus on their education. It is a moral obligation for all Virginians. Our young citizens are the future of America!

And Again One of the Top Ranked Legislators!

The nonprofit and nonpartisan organization Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education (VA Free) has just released their 2011 Virginia General Assembly Incumbent Evaluations. I am happy to announce, that I have again been ranked as one of the top legislators! I was ranked high in all the top categories that Virginia FREE considers the most important; I was ranked third out of my colleagues in the “stewardship” category and tied for seventh in the category of “effectiveness”. Virginia FREE is one of the most respected organizations in the state, dedicated to protect and strengthen the state’s business climate. I am extremely honored to have again been highly ranked in the evaluation. It is my goal every year to ensure that Virginia remains one of the best fiscally managed states in the country! Virginia FREE is a great program committed to improving Virginia’s economy and business climate. To learn more about Virginia FREE evaluations, you can visit their website at www.vafree.com.

The Controversy Surrounding the Dulles Metro Station

As you may know, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors passed a resolution directing the MWAA Dulles Corridor and Business Administration Committees to mandate a project labor agreement (PLA) in procurement documents for Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Typical PLAs are pre-hire contracts that require projects to be awarded to contractors that agree to: recognize unions as the representatives; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers; obtain apprentices from union apprenticeship programs; pay into under-funded union benefit plans; and obey costly union work rules. I do not agree with MWAA or support their actions on this measure. It discriminates against non-union construction firms and will be extremely problematic because only 3.9% of Virginia’s construction workers belong to a union, and it will add additional cost to the project. I also believe, like most residents, that an above ground Metro Station at Dulles Airport is the most economically viable choice. I welcome Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, acting as an intermediary on these issues. He has given all parties about another three weeks to report back to him with, hopefully, a satisfactory solution.

I hope that you find this newsletter informative. I invite you to contact my office with any concerns or suggestions you may have about state government. 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

The Rust Report

June 1, 2011

As I have traveled around the 86th district in the past couple of weeks, I have met many enthusiastic people helping to improve our community. I’ve attended an Open House by Reston Interfaith as they spotlighted their Green and Graceful Townhouse; I spoke at the Loudoun Lyme 5K race and the Virginia Spine Institute 5K race; I presented a Commending Resolution to Frying Pan Park commemorating their 50th anniversary; I attended the opening of the Teaching Garden at Oak Hill Elementary School; and attended a tribute to Warren Geurin at Forest Grove Elementary School. We have a vibrant and caring community and I am happy to be a part of it.

In This Issue

Be Prepared…for a Sales Tax Holiday!

Virginia’s Roadways

And the Winner Is…

Virginia – On the Right Track for Transportation

Northern Virginia Walk to Cure Diabetes

Be Prepared….for a Sales Tax Holiday!

Hurricane season starts June 1st! Though we may be far from the ocean, the weather can still affect us! But have no fear- this is your chance to save on items designated as hurricane and emergency preparedness equipment. The Virginia Department of Taxation has designated the following items as tax-exempt from the period of May 25 through 31st:

Flashlights and battery-powered lanterns
New batteries for flashlights and radios
NOAA weather radio or other battery -powered radio
Cell phone batteries
First aid kit
Cooler ice packs
Manual Can opener
Bottled water
Water storage containers
Gas or diesel fuel containers
Fire extinguishers
Smoke detectors
Carbon dioxide detectors
Duct tape

As you can see, the list is quite long and includes many items essential not just for hurricanes but for emergencies and other situations in general. To find out more, please visit http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=HurricanePreparednessEquipmentHoliday

Remember, it never hurts to be prepared, especially when getting prepared means saving some money!

Virginia’s Roadways

It’s time for the first spring manicure of the Virginia’s roadways! This means that all that grass growing in the median will be mowed, landscaping trimmed, and litter removed. This also means that there will be a lot of VDOT equipment out and about in the coming weeks. I would like to ask everyone to be careful when driving around the tractors which are sometimes quite large and have to operate near the road. Most roads will see up to three cycles of mowing this year, but local VDOT maintenance crews may increase that frequency in locations where safety issues and weather patterns require. If you have a roadway safety concern, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

And the Winner Is…

Patrick Hammes, 8th grade student at Herndon Middle School, won the National Geographic Virginia State Geography Bee and is headed to Washington D.C. to compete at the National championship! I met with Patrick and presented to him 55 Virginia lapel pins to trade with winners from the other states. We wish Patrick the best as he represents the Commonwealth at this prestigious event. For more information about the bee or to see a video of Patrick and the other winners, please visit National Geographic Bee.

Virginia – On the Right Track for Transportation

Virginia has been recognized recently by a national study, Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results by the Pew Center as a leader in the transportation industry. Virginia earned the highest marks in the six performance measures, including safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship, and infrastructure preservation. Governor Bob McDonnell said that “Virginia has long connected the importance of performance measurement and transparent reporting with sound government management.” I could not agree more-as a civil engineer, member of the transportation committee, and longtime advocate for transportation solutions, I have and will always work hard to improve the Commonwealth’s infrastructure. Better infrastructure means more jobs, more businesses moving to Virginia, and a better quality of life. Great nations are built on great infrastructure, and I intend to do my part as a state legislator to make sure that we continue to provide nothing short of the best when it comes to transportation solutions. To read the full report, visit www.pewcenteronthestates.org/transportation

Northern Virginia Walk to Cure Diabetes

The Northern Virginia Walk to Cure Diabetes will be held on June 5 with registration beginning at 8:30 am and I am serving as as an Honorary Chair. This walk involves more than 3,000 people from the Northern Virginia area, raising money to support research to find a cure for diabetes. As a father of two sons who have diabetes, finding a cure for diabetes is important to me and this walk will give researchers the financial support they need to find a cure. Besides the Walk, the day will include live entertainment, special guest appearances, and activities. In 2010, the Capitol Chapter Walks to Cure Diabetes raised more than $1.3 million and attracted more than 7,000 area families, corporations, unions, and individuals to walk for a cure for diabetes! If you would like to sign up to support this worthwhile cause, please visit www.jdrfcapitol.org.

My staff and I are always available to assist you, so please do not hesitate to contact me. My office 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

The Rust Report

May 4, 2011

After numerous trips along the I-95 corridor from Herndon to Richmond, I am happy to report that both the House of Delegates and the Senate have passed the redistricting bill with bipartisan support and has been signed by Governor McDonnell. I applaud the efforts of the committee members on both the House and Senate to reach this compromise. If you are interested in viewing the new districts, please visit http://redistricting.dls.virginia.gov/2010/.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

During the 2011 General Assembly session, I was chief co-patron of HJ643 which designates May as Lyme disease awareness month, so I wanted to let you know about some events that are happening in Northern Virginia which may interest you.

Lyme Disease Awareness Program by Dr. Samuel Shor
When: May 5 from 7 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church (43115 Waxpool Road in Ashburn).
Details: Dr. Samuel Shor will be presenting an awareness program, answering questions, and showing the movie, “Under Our Skin”.

Cheeburger Cheeburger Fundraiser
When: May 10 from 5 pm – 10 pm
Location: Cheeburger Cheeburger, 22000 Dulles Retail Plaza, Sterling (in the Wegman’s shopping center)
Details: Fundraiser for Loudoun Lyme 5K & 1 mile Fun Run. To print out the flyer, visit National Capital Lyme Disease Association’s website (you must turn in the flyer for 20% of the sales to be donated)

Loudoun Lyme 5K and 1 mile Fun Run
When: May 15 beginning at 7:30 am
Location: National Conference Center.
Details: 1st Annual Loudoun Lyme 5K will drive awareness and raise money to help find a cure for Lyme disease – the number one tick-borne illness in the United States. The Loudoun Lyme 5K will also feature a 1M family walk, children’s activities as well as information fair to educate the public about Lyme disease, its causes, symptoms and treatments. I have been asked to be the featured speaker to start the race. If you would like to sign-up to run or walk, please visit Loudoun Lyme’s website.

Wash out Lyme Disease
Date: May 22 from 12 pm – 3 pm
Location: Regional Veterinary Referral Center, 6651 Backlick Road, Springfield.
Details: This is a dog wash fundraiser, so bring your dog and they’ll give your dog a bath while answering questions you may have about Lyme disease and its effect on you and your pets. For more information, visit Wash Out Lyme Disease’s website.

To learn more about lyme disease or any of these events, please visit www.natcaplyme.org.

Our Volunteers

I was honored to attend the Mayor’s Volunteer Appreciation reception where over 400 people were recognized for dedicating at least 100 hours each of volunteer service in our community – that’s more than 40,000 hours – Wow! In addition, Barbara Glakas, Pete Lindsay and Bob Thomas were recognized as Distinguished Service Award winners for their years of selfless service to Herndon. I am thankful for all of our volunteers who help to make our community a vibrant place to live, work, and play.

HOV Law for Hybrid Vehicles

Drivers of hybrid vehicles with the required clean fuel license plates will continue to be able to use the I-95, I-395, I-66 and Dulles Toll Road HOV lanes until June 30, 2012. However, effective July 1, 2011, 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 hour. A similar law took effect on I-95 and I-395 five years ago – only hybrids with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 are permitted to use I-95/395 lanes during rush hour.

A Tribute to Warren Geurin

Warren Geurin, Loudoun County School Board member, passed away last Saturday. Warren served as a school board member for twelve years, and his fingerprints are on many schools in Sterling. It was my privilege to know Warren as a personal friend and a political ally. He was a wealth of information and resource to me on state issues that impacted Loudoun County schools. His dedication to the students of Loudoun County with emphasis on the Sterling area was without precedent. Warren leaves behind many reminders of his life including the construction of Forest Grove Elementary School and the renovations/additions to many schools in Sterling. While I will miss him personally, I know that his memory will live on as he helped make a brighter future for thousands of young people as they utilize their education to build a life for themselves. Sterling has lost a devoted son.

My staff and I are always available to assist you, so please do not hesitate to contact me. My office 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