Starting off last week in the 59th District, I was very happy to see that justice was served for Bob McDonnell. I always thought this ordeal was an overreach of the federal government. We never could see how he did anything to help Johnny Williams with state funds, through state employees, or with anything through his elected position. I am continually praying for Bob McDonnell and his family and glad again to see that justice prevailed.
I was able to attend the investiture of Judge Randy Krantz in Bedford County last Wednesday. Judge Krantz has served the legal system in Bedford County well as the Commonwealth Attorney and I look forward to his tenure as a judge. That evening I was able to attend the Central Virginia Justice Academy Graduation with many other judges and delegates in attendance. This year marked the 87th graduating class with over 40 graduates. I look forward to them serving all over the state of Virginia.
Last week the Governor signed a new executive order to reduce carbon emissions in Virginia. While I agree that changes need to be made, this year, the General Assembly approved clear language prohibiting the executive branch from implementing the EPA's new carbon emission rules because the Supreme Court put the rules on hold while lawsuits are being heard. The Governor did not recommended changes to language nor did he veto the bill. This order is just another attempt to by-pass the legislature and the wishes of Virginia voters. The governor is developing a concerning predisposition to prefer Washington-style executive action instead of the dialogue and collaboration that Virginians expect and deserve.
The Budget Language clearly states in Item 369: C. Funding provided in this item is contingent upon no amount contained herein being used to prepare or submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a state implementation plan, or other document with respect to the Environmental Protection Agency's “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (October 23, 2015), unless the stay issued by the United States Supreme Court is released pending disposition of the applicants' petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants' petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought.
In brief, here is a history of the Governor’s executive actions: In June of 2014 he vowed to unilaterally expand Medicaid. The Governor failed to accomplish this. In June of 2015, He announced the creation of a commission to re-institute parole in Virginia. The Governor also failed to accomplish this. In October of 2015 he issued an executive order banning firearms in state buildings, despite later admitting concealed weapons holders are among the most law abiding citizens. In April of 2016 the Governor issued an unconstitutional executive order on restoration of rights. And in June of 2016 he issued an executive order attempting to circumvent the legislature on the Clean Power Plan.
Now is the time that my office will begin working on drafting legislation for the 2017 session. 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.