Friday, April 5, 2013
The state will raise $6 billion over the next five years for transportation projects.
Alexandria Democrats state Sen. George Barker and state Del. Charniele Herring on Thursday praised the passage of a statewide transportation funding package that is expected to raise $6 billion over five years. The transportation package is expected to raise more than $1 billion annually in taxes and sets up transportation funds for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Herring, speaking to the Holmes Run Park Committee at Beatley Central Library Thursday evening, called the bill the “right thing to do.” “There’s a dispute about how much revenue it will raise, but I do think it’s a step in the right direction,” she said. Barker told the group the bill marked the first real investment in Virginia transportation in 27 years. “All in all, I’m…
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Barker spoke to residents Wednesday at the Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield.
Virginia Sen. George Barker, D-39, says the 2013 Virginia General Assembly session was a success, due in large part to the passage of a transportation bill that will bring $800 million in annual revenue to the commonwealth. “The transportation bill will provide tremendous revenues to help us move forward long-term,” said Barker, who spoke Wednesday to 85 residents at the Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield. House Bill 2313 will generate $880 million in new revenue for state roadway projects. Fairfax County, under the transportation bill, will see $47.6 million annually and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will receive $111 million from increased taxes. The bill also guarantees $300 million for three years to …
Friday, March 1, 2013
“Friends and Family” sale coming Sunday at the West End’s new discount store.
Crowds formed a line outside of West End Alexandria’s new Big Lots discount store Friday morning for the store’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. As part of the grand opening, Big Lots officials made a $1,500 donation to Samuel Tucker Elementary School. The ceremony brought out local dignitaries including Samuel Tucker Principal Rene Paschal, Alexandria City School Board Chairman Karen Graf, Deputy School Superintendent Dr. Madye Henson, School Board member Ronnie Campbell and state Sen. George Barker. “It’s great to have this store here,” Barker said. “It’s great to have a new store in the community here that provides an opportunity for jobs and also provides great shopping for all of you. And with all of you here, obviously the…
Monday, February 25, 2013
Final budget amendments includes $3.4 million to add 1,700 in-state undergraduate seats at Virginia universities.
Monday, February 25
By Jessica Dahlberg, Capital News Service As the 2013 legislative session came to a close, the Virginia General Assembly approved amendments to the state’s two-year budget Saturday that included expanding Medicaid and spending more money on education. The amendments were passed by both the House (on an 83-17 vote) and the Senate (31-8) after tense discussions over Medicaid, which provides medical care for low-income residents. Legislators agreed to expand the program if certain reforms are made. In the House, Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, voted in favor of the bill. In the Senate, Alexandria Democrats George Barker, Adam Ebbin and Dick Saslaw supported the legislation. See vote tally below. The reforms will make Medicaid look similar to…
Sen. Adam Ebbin calls bill "bad economics."
Monday, February 25
By Stephen Nielsen, Capital News Service A divided Virginia Senate has passed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature issue of the 2013 legislative session—a bill to overhaul the state’s system for funding transportation. Just hours before the session’s end, the Senate voted 25-15 for House Bill 2313, which will raise about $880 million a year more for roads and mass transit by increasing sales taxes while lowering the fuels tax. The debate over how to increase revenue continued right up to the vote. Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) voted against the legislation; Sens. George Barker and Dick Saslaw, D-Alexandria, supported it. “This isn’t any bill. This is the only bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, R-Williamsburg. He said it’s the …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Gov. Bob McDonnell's task force releases recommendations to the General Assembly.
Tuesday, February 5
By Blake Belden, Capital News Service Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging state legislators to approve recommendations from his School and Campus Safety Task Force that would increase sentences for illegally buying guns, require mandatory lockdown drills at schools and establish more comprehensive suicide prevention programs, among other suggestions. McDonnell sent the General Assembly a letter outlining initial recommendations from the panel, which the governor established in the wake of December’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children. Sen. George Barker, who represents much of Alexandria's western half, is on the panel. In the letter, McDonnell highlighted those recommendations he wants …
Friday, February 1, 2013
Senators representing Alexandria split in support of amendment.
Friday, February 1
By Shelby Mertens, Capital News Service Starting in 2017, Virginia voters could have the opportunity to re-elect the governor to a second consecutive term if the House joins the Senate in seeking to amend the state’s Constitution. The Senate this week approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow governors to serve two terms in a row. The vote was 25-15. SJ 276 was co-sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Dels. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) and David Ramadan (R-South Riding). Sen. George Barker, who represents a large portion of Alexandria's West End, voted against the constitutional amendment. Sen. Dick Saslaw, who represents a small part of northwestern Alexandria, voted in favor of it. Ebbin represents the eastern …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Alexandria's senators were among those who supported bike legislation Tuesday — the first-ever Bicycle Action Day in Richmond.
Wednesday, January 30
By Katherine Johnson and Blake Belden, Capital News Service Several state senators joined Virginia bicyclists Tuesday for a Bicycle Action Day in Richmond, an event designed to support state legislators who are introducing bills that aim to make roads and biking safer across the Commonwealth. Several of Alexandria's senate representatives voted in favor of "share the road" legislation Tuesday that would increase the passing distance between vehicles and bicycles. About 15 bicyclists — members of RideRichmond, a nonprofit organization of bicycle enthusiasts, and their supporters – met on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and biked to the General Assembly Building to demonstrate support for legislation that would require drivers …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
If the senate's redistricting proposal passes the House of Delegates and is signed into law, Sen. Adam Ebbin would become Alexandria's only state senator.
Monday night’s Republican-led effort to redistrict Virginia's state senate would push Alexandria voters out of the districts of Virginia Sens. George Barker (D-39th) and Dick Saslaw (D-35th). The changes, which were introduced as an amendment to a larger bill late Monday, are awaiting House approval and would take effect in 2015. However, Democrats, including Barker, said the move is unconstitutional at best. Republicans called the redistricting attempt "an effort to create another majority black Senate district." It comes two years after Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the state's traditional redistricting plan, crafted every 10 years with census data in years that end in "1." However, introducing yet another plan is unconstitutional, Senate …
Left-leaning organizations protest the off-cycle redistricting of Virginia Senate and House of Delegates districts.
Virginia’s State Senate narrowly passed a bill Monday night that could change the map of senate and house districts across the state. The Senate bill, which squeezed through with a 20-19 vote, shifts the districts of five senate Democrats—three representing Northern Virginia—toward more Republican-voting areas and consequently alters the map of adjacent districts as well (See a map of the proposed redistricting in the media box to the right.). Sen. George Barker (D-39th), who currently represents a large portion of western Alexandria, would see his district moved entirely into Fairfax County. Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th) would then represent most of Alexandria city. Under the proposal, the districts of John Edwards (D-21st) Dave Marsden (D-…