Morris, Cosgrove outline intentions for assembly
Published 10:55 am Saturday, January 4, 2014
During his presentation at the Richard J. Holland Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast in the Smithfield Center on Friday, Del. Rick Morris (R-64) said he wants to give more authority to boards of supervisors when it comes to making appointments.
The event was sponsored by the Isle of Wight-Smithfield-Windsor Chamber of Commerce. The Virginia General Assembly convenes for its 60-day session beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8.
He noted that it takes an act of a judge to remove members who aren’t doing their jobs.
“I don’t see how that’s good government,” said Morris. “Boards of supervisors should have that right and to bring more accountability and efficiency.”
He also said he opposes unfunded mandates, such as when the state demands localities pay for programs or services for which there’s little to no money readily available.
As previously stated in this newspaper, the delegate wants to again find a way to eliminate the commission that appoints school boards.
“One size doesn’t fit all,” said Morris, whose district includes parts of Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton, Surry and Sussex counties, as well as parts of Franklin and Suffolk.
Another bill that Morris is working on would require localities to pay the attorney’s fees of individuals who have to sue to enforce zoning locations and win their case.
“I don’t believe any citizen should pay out of pocket for this,” he said to the audience.
As per budget requests, Morris is looking to get a government efficiency grant, which he said would seek out ways for government to become more efficient and save money. The delegate hopes to get $700,000 for the Western Tidewater Regional Jail, and $400,000 to establish a mental health drop-off center, where police could take mentally ill people that have to detain.
This type of emergency room would both free up the law enforcement and also get help to the patients.
Morris also asked the audience to participate in his annual online survey. The link can be found on his website at www.delrickmorris.com or enter http://survey.house.virginia.gov/Survey.aspx?s=f63d60c2e4994cde8de5e861e112600c directly into your browser and start the survey.
Sen. John Cosgrove (R-14), another speaker at the breakfast, said on the topic of the proposed new Route 460 that he favors the project, but did object to paying the tolls. He noted that Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe would be looking into the controversial issue.
One of the reasons that Cosgrove favors the new road would be for evacuation purposes in the event of a disaster, such as an intense hurricane.
“If we don’t improve evacuation capabilities, people will die,” he said.
Morris echoed, “If 460 doesn’t happen, how will 1.7 million residents be evacuated?”
Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-18) said that seniors and young people would be most vulnerable.