Gov. Youngkin signs the Virginia State budget

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced in an email the signing of the state budget for Virginia.

With the signing Youngkin says he delivers on his promise to provide tax relief for Virginia families.

In fact the budget includes the largest tax relief in the state’s history at $4 billion.

The tax relief includes eliminating the 1.5 percent grocery tax in 2023 and nearly doubles the standard deduction and offers a tax rebate for Virginians.

Other features of the budget include more relief for veterans over 55 as well as boosts for  education spending including raises for teachers.

The budget also includes law enforcement benefits and funds to reinvigorate state agencies.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Unofficial results show Cline winning the Republican Primary

Unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections in yesterday’s Republican primary show Ben Cline winning the 6 district.

The newly drawn district includes Roanoke, Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren.

Cline who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2019 defeated new comer Clear Brook resident Merritt Hale.

The Virginia Department of election’s unofficial results show Cline with over 82 percent of the votes to Hale’s almost 18 percent.

Complete election results will be announced Friday and include mailed ballots that are postmarked by June 21.

If certified Republican Ben Cline will face Waynesboro resident Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the November general election.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Republicans primary in Virginia today 6/21

The Republican primary election is taking place today June 21 with polls open until 7 p.m..

A primary election is for registered voters to decide who they believe will be the best candidate for their political party in the general election.

Virginia utilizes an open primary process in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party’s primary.

In the newly drawn 6 district now includes the Cities of Winchester, Roanoke and Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick and Clarke Counties.

Incumbent Lexington resident Ben Cline is running against Clear Brook resident Merritt Hale in the 6 district today.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

NWS confirms 3 tornadoes in central Virginia

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that 3 tornadoes struck Central Virginia on Thur. June 16.

The first struck Fluvanna and Goochland Counties with 75 mile per hour winds around 6:35 accompanied by 3 inch size hail causing significant damage.

The path of destruction was about 2 and a half miles long 75 yards wide.

The tornado was recorded as an EF-0.

A second EF-1 tornado was confirmed in Goochland County with 95 mile per hour winds at 23 miles in length and 150 yards wide striking at 7:05 p.m..

A third EF-0 tornado was confirmed in Goochland Fluvanna Counties as traveling approximately 24 miles in length and 75 yards wide.

That tornado recorded high winds at 75 miles per hour.

As many as 16 homes were damaged with widespread power outages.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Gov. Youngkin dedicates Seven Bends State Park

An email from Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the official dedication of Seven Bends State Park.

The Governor was on hand to cut the ribbon on the park Tues. June 14 in Shenandoah County.

The Governor called the park a wonderful addition to the 41 Virginia State Parks.

Adding that the park provides additional access to the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

The Governor was joined by Senator Mark Obenshain and Woodstock Resident Virginia Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert.

The park consist of over 1,000 acres in the geographically unique Seven Bends area of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

The park was amassed through several land donations from the town of Woodstock, Dr. James R. Myers and purchases of land from Massanutten Military Academy by the state.

Area resident Gilbert said at the ceremony that he is committed to state parks and understands the importance of working to further their mission.

Outdoor exploration at Seven Bends State Park continues to be very popular as nearly 84,000 visitors came to the park in 2021.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia offers funding to improve farming systems

Governor Youngkin confirms in an email that Virginia is offering $214,000 in state funds to support new investments in local food and farming systems.

The funds will be shared among 11 counties and localities throughout Virginia.

The funds will support strategic investments in infrastructure that will help small scale farmers and food producers grow their operations.

Shenandoah County’s Route 11 Potato Chips will receive $25,000 to help install four oil tanks.

The tanks will be used to hold and  guarantee a supply of sunflower oil for production.

Fauquier County will receive $7,500 in funding to purchase signage and infrastructure upgrades for a Farmers Market in the county.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Senate Intel Committee Members Urge Sanctions on Additional Putin Enablers

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) led bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in urging the Biden administration to increase sanctions on enablers of Vladimir Putin’s regime amidst its unprovoked and illegal war in Ukraine.

 

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the senators wrote, “While many of the Putin regime’s top figures are already subject to United States, European, and other nations’ sanctions, we believe it is important that lower-tier enablers of the regime’s aggressive policies, including its militarists, propagandists, corrupt officials, public supporters, senior federal officials, and legislators, also be subject to a sanctions regime to ensure that they cannot continue to support Russia’s reprehensible aggression, yet benefit from assets, vacations, or educational opportunities in the West.”

 

Specifically, the senators urged the administration to take into account the list of 6,000 such Russian officials and regime enablers compiled by the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

 

Added the senators, “The goal of such sanctions should be to ensure that these individuals do not have access to assets in the United States or ability to travel to the U.S.; force them to leave their posts, thereby hollowing out the Putin regime’s capacity to continue its unjust war; and pressure such officials to denounce publicly Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the corruption of the Putin regime.”

 

In addition to Sens. Warner and Rubio, the letter was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Governor Youngkin Signs Legislation Expanding Health Care for Small Business

 Governor Glenn Youngkin ceremonially signed HB 884, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, and SB 195, sponsored by Senator Montgomery “Monty” Mason, D-Williamsburg, which will permit the creation of benefits consortiums for small businesses in Virginia. Benefits consortiums allow small businesses to come together as a single large pool to offer their employees comprehensive and affordable group health care coverage. These bills will drastically improve the ability for Virginia’s small businesses to share risk, streamline administration, and reduce costs of coverage.
“This bill is a meaningful step forward to removing the barriers for our small businesses across the Commonwealth, by allowing them to come together and provide health care for their employees,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “On day one, I made a commitment to our small business community that when this bill reached my desk, I would sign it. Today, I am honored to stand with small businesses and legislators from both sides of the aisle to deliver on that promise. Virginians sent me here to go to work for them, and that is exactly what we are doing. These bills are an example of what we can accomplish when we come together for the communities we serve.”
“These bills will make affordable health care coverage available to more Virginians and help to control the costs of businesses offering that benefit,” said Delegate Kathy Byron. “Although the General Assembly approved similar measures over the last decade, the two previous administrations rejected these reforms. They are becoming law now because Governor Youngkin challenged lawmakers to put these bills on his desk – and we met that challenge.”
“Supporting small businesses and increasing access to affordable health care are some of the most important things we can be doing to grow our economy,” said Senator Monty Mason. “Small businesses will be able to use SB 195 to help attract and retain talented workforce, while providing workers and their families greater options for health care. Thank you to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and all of the local chambers of commerce who helped advocate for this important legislation for many years. I look forward to when these plans are available for businesses to enroll in and Virginians can take advantage of this health care option.”
“Since 2018, the Virginia Chamber, in partnership with Virginia’s Farm Bureau, Virginia’s Realtor community, and more than 100 local and regional chambers across the Commonwealth have advocated relentlessly for this common-sense health care solution,” said Virginia Chamber President and CEO Barry DuVal. “I am thankful for Governor Glenn Youngkin and leaders in the General Assembly, including Delegate Kathy Byron, Senator Monty Mason, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Delegate Chris Head, Delegate Tony Wilt, and Deputy Majority Leader Israel O’Quinn, for taking action to expand access and lower the cost of health coverage for small employers. We look forward to working with our small business community to ensure employees have greater access to health care through this valuable health coverage option.”
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP report from the Memorial Day weekend 2022

The Virginia State Police (VSP) emailed a  report on the 2022 Memorial Day Weekend.

The VSP report shows a sharp decrease in traffic accidents and fatalities compared to 2021.

Traffic volumes rivaled per-pandemic numbers in amounts not seen since 2019.

The holiday weekend saw eight people lose their lives in six traffic accidents compared to 15 in 2021.

Five of those fatalities were people not wearing safety belts.

From Midnight May 23 through May 30 State Troopers issued almost 5,000 speeding tickets.

Almost 2,000 reckless driving citations were issued and 90 impaired drivers were arrested.

Additionally over 650 individuals were cited for seat belt violations.

Almost 120 people were cited for child safety restraint violations.

Almost 150 felony arrest were made.

VSP Troopers were able to assist almost 2,000 disabled motorist over the holiday weekend.

Funds raised from summons issued by VSP go directly to court fees.

The state’s literary fund also benefits from summons’ fees.

The state literary fund helps support public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

NWS confirms a tornado in Bedford County Virginia

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched down in Bedford County.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) reports that 35 structures received varying levels of damage.

Fifteen of those 35 structures were homes with three of those structures being destroyed.

Two minor injuries have been reported with county officials calling some of the damage catastrophic.

Total path of destruction is estimated to be over 6 miles long with a width of 330 yards.

Winds reached up to 135 miles per hour with the storm tracking in a north northeasterly direction from 7:25 to 7:36 a.m. May 27.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.