It’s about rights

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I believe government exists to secure and protect individual freedoms and liberties – not to grant them. On July 1, 2014, my bill HB1084 was signed into law by the Governor, and is one of the strongest pieces of legislation to protect individual property rights. It states that when a local government puts unconstitutional conditions or provisions on a property the landowner can now sue the locality and recover damages, fees, court-costs and to remove those unconstitutional conditions or provisions. This is a big step to help secure private property rights.

I recently requested a booth at the Isle of Wight County Fair to help raise funds for a charity that assists abused and neglected children, to provide legislative updates and information on issues facing Isle of Wight and Virginia, and to just hear folks thoughts and concerns. Isle of Wight denied the booth because they refuse to grant a booth to any individual or group which allows folks to receive political information. This greatly concerns me, not because I wish to help a great charity like CASA, or update folks on legislative issues, but because this is an infringement on Freedom of Speech and Assembly. Our Founding Principals are clear — that government does not have the right to pick and choose what type of speech is allowed and not allowed. The Constitution applies to all levels of government. I became involved in public office because I strongly believe in securing individual liberty and freedom. But this issue isn’t about me having a booth at the fair, it’s about government believing it has the authority to limit political discourse and discussion, and I will work to resolve this.

Being an elected official means that people entrust you to lead and make decisions, but in order to make good decisions a leader must listen to the concerns of the people. With or without a booth I will be at the County Fair to hear folk’s thoughts, complaints, and concerns, and I extend an invitation to the elected officials of Isle of Wight to join me.

Rick Morris
64th District House of Delegates