April 11th, 2016 Newsletter

It was a busy and productive time back in the 59th District last week. On Tuesday, my office was able to attend the Campbell County Board of Supervisors meeting and hear school and county budget talks. On Wednesday, I was able to attend a luncheon held by Congressman Robert Hurt for the elected officials in the 5th Congressional District. I always enjoy my time spent with Congressman Hurt as he is truly a man of the people. We are most definitely going to miss him when he retires in January. On Thursday, I attended the Buckingham County Farm Bureau Spring Meeting were I was able to give an update on the happenings at the General Assembly to my constituents in that area.

The Governor completed his bill review Sunday, April 10, 2016, at 8:45 PM of those legislative measures sent to him by the 2016 Session of the Virginia General Assembly.  He returned all bills and communicated all actions including bills signed, recommendations offered, and vetoes made to the 811 bills passed by the 2016 General Assembly and sent to the Governor. There are a total of 19 vetoes and 30 recommendations on House legislation. You can visit www.lis.virginia.gov to check on any specific piece of legislation.

Below are the four pieces of legislation I was able to introduce this year and have been passed and signed by the Governor. All pieces of below legislation will take effect July 1, 2016.  

Signed by the Governor on April 1, 2016- HB 476; Submission of animal intake policy. Requires animal control officers, law-enforcement officers, humane investigators, animal shelters, humane societies, and releasing agencies to annually submit a copy of their intake policy to the State Veterinarian.

Signed by the Governor on March 25, 2016-HB 1142; Hunting with a slingshot. Allows the hunting of wild birds and wild animals, except deer, bear, elk, and turkey, with a slingshot unless shooting is expressly prohibited.

 Signed by the Governor March 1, 2016-HB 1275; Copies of statements in support of arrest warrants. This bill provides that if an officer authorized to issue criminal warrants does not issue an arrest warrant in response to a written complaint, the written statement shall be returned to the complainant.

Signed by the Governor on March 11, 2016- HB 1329; Trespass by hunters using dogs; penalty. Punishes as a Class 3 misdemeanor the intentional release by a person of hunting dogs on the lands of another to hunt without the consent of the landowner. The bill punishes a second or subsequent offense committed within three years as a Class 1 misdemeanor and provides for the revocation of the person's hunting license for a period of one year upon conviction.

As the Governor vetoes or signs certain legislation, I get a good number of calls or emails on each bill from constituents on whether they support or oppose. Please take the time to call or email my office with your thoughts and views as this is why I am your Delegate. This is the information that I need to take back to Richmond with me as we reconvene next Wednesday, April 20th. If you have any concerns, questions, comments or issues that I or my Aide, Jenna, can help you with, please contact us at (434)821-5929 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov. You can also keep up with me on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.

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