The never ending special General Assembly session finally adjourned last week.  The session was originally called to deal with a budget shortfall caused by the economic lockdown ordered to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Very quickly and unfortunately, the focus shifted to police and criminal justice issues.

After the first day of session, the House convened “virtually” using Zoom for session and committee meetings.  This greatly limited the public’s ability to testify or even follow what was going on.  If you have good internet you might be able to observe your legislature at work, if you don’t then probably not.  There were technical problems as well, with members being kicked out of virtual sessions and having a limited ability to participate and debate.

The Senate figured out how to meet in person for session, not sure why the House leadership could not follow their lead.  House Democrats also collected their session per diem, or special pay of more than $ 200 per day, which is supposed to offset travel expenses, for sitting in their homes or offices and logging into the virtual meetings.  House Republicans declined to accept the additional pay. The Speaker intends to hold the 2021 regular session virtually as well, I guess they really liked getting the extra pay without having to leave their home


The final Budget restores some funding that Governor Northam had reduced. The budget maintains additional spending for education, broadband expansion, utility assistance and possible bonuses for state employees. The bonuses are contingent on the state revenues being enough to pay the costs.

Only about half of Governor Northam’s final proposed amendments to the budget were approved by the General Assembly, one of those approved being enacting language for a bipartisan redistricting commission.

The budget restored some funding for mental health services and included money for public colleges and universities responding to the pandemic.  It also restores funding for early-childhood education and at-risk students.  It includes $18.6 million required to implement new laws regarding police oversight and criminal justice issues, along with $6.6 million for police body cameras.

You may view the details of the budget at:  https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/bill/2020/2/


Below is a summary of some of the legislation I sponsored or co-sponsored:

HB 5001 – Would have required DMV to reopen for normal operations. Many stores, businesses, and local governments have been able to reopen with certain safety procedures to keep employees and customers safe; no reason DMV cannot do the same.  Unfortunately, this bill did not even get a hearing, further burdening citizens who can’t get critical renewals and other services.

HB 5006 – Would have waived late fees and penalties for late tax payments for individuals who lost their jobs and businesses forced to close due to the pandemic.  I think it is hypocritical for government to order a business to shut down and cause people to lose their jobs and then fine them if they are unable to pay their taxes on time!  Again, Democrats did not even give this bill a hearing.

HB 5009 – Was a bipartisan bill to allow parents of school children to who do not have highspeed internet access in their homes to opt for in-person instruction.  Many rural and poor children do not have good internet access in their homes, putting them at a disadvantage when schools offer virtual instruction. Another bill that did not get a hearing.

HB 5041 – Requires the Board of Health to amend regulations governing nursing homes, certified nursing facilities, and hospices to require that, during a public health emergency related to COVID-19, each facility establish a protocol to allow each patient to receive visits. This bill did pass.

HB 5046 – Passed and expands telemedicine services in the Commonwealth.

HB 5052 / SB 5031 – Passed and designates June 19th (Juneteenth) as a state Holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US.


Some other important legislation that was considered this session:

HB 5013 -This bill would have removed qualified immunity for deputies and police officers, making them subject to being personally sued, putting their homes and savings at risk, if they did something someone did not like.  While Democrats pushed the bill through the House, despite my opposition, fortunately the Senate defeated it.

HB 5049 – Will prohibit the acquisition and use of certain weapons by law enforcement agencies, taking effective tools and tactics away from police and deputies. As it was written, it would have forbidden the use of rubber bullets or tear gas as less-lethal methods in dangerous situations, leaving more lethal options as the only recourse. This bill will make our communities less safe. It has passed and been sent to the Governor for his consideration.  I opposed this.

HB 5058 – Eliminates certain police stops. As passed, this bill bans stops for driving with only one headlight or taillight at night, among other things.  This will be especially dangerous for new drivers.

HB 5099 – Prohibits no-knock search warrants. This legislation sought to address an issue that rarely happens in Virginia. As law enforcement stated, these warrants, issued by Judges who consider the circumstances and evidence, are rarely used and are to protect the suspect, victims, and law enforcement from harm in special situations.  Police will now be required to announce their presence before serving search warrants giving suspects time to dispose of evidence, harm their victim, or arm themselves for a shootout.  I fear this ban with no exceptions will lead to more armed confrontations, with potentially deadly outcomes.

HB 5148 – Increasing earned sentence credits for criminals. As it passed, it is a back-door attack on Virginia’s truth in sentencing laws.  We have a low crime rate and lowest recidivism rate for a reason — our system of locking up dangerous criminals works. This bill weakens that system and will allow dangerous people back on the streets faster.  Again, I opposed this because I believe it will make Virginia less safe.

SB 5007 – Allows the defendant will be able to choose a jury trial but be sentenced by the Judge. While this may not be a bad policy,  it is estimated to cost immense amounts of money and jam our courts with cases as more and more criminals choose to roll the dice with a jury, knowing they won’t face that jury’s sentence which may be more strict than a judge.

SB 5032 – Would have led to reduced charges and penalties for assaulting a police officer or deputy. Our law enforcement officers need all the protection we can give them — including the knowledge that if someone attacks them, they will likely face serious consequences.  This bill passed the Senate but fortunately was defeated in the House Courts Committee.


The election may be over, but the results are still not clear. While the media may have declared a winner of the Presidential race, at least five states still appear to be close without a clear winner. There will be recounts, with voting “irregularities” and apparent violations of election law in some states. All of this may end up being disputed in court. President Trump has every right to challenge results his campaign believes are fraudulent, just as Vice President Gore did in 2000.

Here’s what we do know about the election: there was no “blue wave” favoring Democrats; Republicans picked up seats in the US House of Representatives, how many is unclear as some races are still very close; the Redistricting State Constitutional Amendment passed, so Democrats will not be able to gerrymander Congressional and General Assembly districts; and control of the US Senate will be decided by two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5th.

The source of much of the confusion and allegations of voter fraud is mail-in ballots. Many states, including Virginia, expanded the use of absentee and mail-in voting due to fears of the COVID19 virus. Absentee and mail-in ballots are less secure and much easier to falsify than in-person voting. The apparent fraud in some states is causing many voters to lose faith in our elections. I believe Congress needs to pass minimum national standards for elections in order to restore confidence, including:

– Require the counting of ballots be recorded and live streamed for all to see,

– Require in-person voting unless the voter is physically unable to do so, due to illness, disability, or because they are out of the area,

– Establish a two-week early voting period to reduce the number of people who would need to vote absentee due to being away on Election Day; currently the early voting period varies widely from state to state,

– Require photo ID to vote; this has worked very well in states that have implemented it without reducing voter turnout or disenfranchising any legal voter, and

– Require proof of citizenship and residence in order to register to vote.

These reasonable steps, could be easily implemented in every state and would significantly improve election integrity. Continuing the current path will just lead to more turmoil and division.

I’ll continue to fight for fair, open and honest elections.


Election Day is Tuesday!  Early voting runs through Saturday.  If you have not voted by then, Tuesday is the last day to vote.

This election is probably the most important in my lifetime.  The choices are stark, Democrats want to reshape America into a nation dominated by an ever-increasing socialist bureaucracy that controls every facet of your life.  They will radically change our economy, imposing the “Green New Deal” which will make gas and electric prices skyrocket while sending the economy into an economic depression.  Over regulation and higher taxes will kill small businesses, which are responsible for creating most new jobs.

Look at what is happening in some of our large cities, which have been ruled by Democrats for decades.  Crime is increasing while local officials order police to stand back.  This is not speculation but fact; this is what Democrat leaders did in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland.  You just cannot count on Democrats to keep you safe!

Here are the area candidates I am supporting in this election along with the candidate’s web page if you would like more information. I encourage you to get out and vote for these candidates Tuesday!

President/Vice-President: Donald J. Trump / Michael R. Pence,  https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

United States Senate: Daniel M. Gade, https://gadeforvirginia.com/

House of Representatives 1st District: Robert J. Wittman, https://robwittman.com/

House of Representatives 5th District: Robert G. “Bob” Good, https://www.bobgoodforcongress.com/

House of Representatives 7th District: Nick J. Freitas, https://www.nickforva.com/

In addition to candidates running for office, there are two amendments to Virginia’s state constitution on the ballot for your approval.

Constitutional Amendment #1 would establish a bipartisan redistricting commission to draw new legislative and congressional districts next year.  I helped write this amendment and believe it will reduce partisan gerrymandering when it comes to drawing districts.  I encourage you to vote YES on this question.

Constitutional Amendment #2 would mandate a break on local personal property taxes for veterans who have a 100 percent, service-connected disability rating from the VA.  Many localities are already doing this so I am not sure if this will make any difference in your locality or not, but I am sure this will pass easily.


As I write this, the House of Delegates is entering its 11th week of a “special” session called by the Governor to address a $2.7 Billion budget shortfall.  The pandemic has hurt many families and the Governor’s shut-down of the economy and many of our schools certainly hasn’t helped.

The General Assembly has convened in “special” sessions in the past, and most have lasted less than weeks under Governors from both parties, but all when Republicans provided strong and determined leadership.  Today, none of those words can be used to describe what’s happening at the capitol.

As of today, work on the budget was relegated to an afterthought and the focus has been on issues related to public safety, police tactics and other items on an agenda advanced by the most liberal leadership ever to hit Richmond.

What you might find the most ironic is that those same liberals claim to be the champions of the poor and unfortunate.  There are a lot of those people in my district and they urgently need help.  But the Democrats have failed them.

The result is funding to halt evictions and power shutoffs to our most vulnerable neighbors is on hold.

 That’s right, the funding needed to help the most desperate is being held hostage.  The reasons are very complex, but Republicans aren’t standing in the way.  To the contrary.  Our members are ready to approve measures in both committees and the full House.

The impact is devastating to our neighbors and friends.

I’ve heard from constituents who need help getting jobs, educating their children and staying healthy.  I’m ready to help but am mostly powerless as the House Speaker has muzzled me and others when we attempt to speak up.  And little attention is paid in the media.  That’s why you are receiving this brief update.

This is an unprecedented situation and I’ll try to keep you informed.  You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more timely information.

If you have comments, suggestions, questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Election Day is November 3rd, but early and absentee voting is going on right now!  If you cannot make it out to vote, you may request an absentee ballot now.  If you can get out to vote, you can go early and vote in person right now.  Please contact your local Elections office find out where and when you can vote.  If possible, I would encourage you to vote in person, either early or on Election Day.  Do not take a chance on your vote getting lost in the mail or arriving late if you do not have to.

Below is the web page for local Offices of Elections in the 88th District as well as the state Department of Elections:

Spotsylvania Countyhttps://spotsylvania.va.us/239/Office-of-Elections

Stafford Countyhttps://staffordcountyva.gov/875/Voter-Registration


Fauquier Countyhttps://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments-h-z/registrar


For what it is worth, here are the area candidates I am supporting in this election along with the candidate’s web page if you would like more information:

President/Vice-President: Donald J. Trump / Michael R. Pence,  https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

United States Senate: Daniel M. Gade, https://gadeforvirginia.com/

House of Representatives 1st District: Robert J. Wittman, https://robwittman.com/

House of Representatives 5th District: Robert G. “Bob” Good, https://www.bobgoodforcongress.com/

House of Representatives 7th District: Nick J. Freitas, https://www.nickforva.com/

In addition to candidates running for office, there are two amendments to Virginia’s state constitution on the ballot for your approval.

Constitutional Amendment #1 would establish a bipartisan redistricting commission to draw new legislative and congressional districts next year.  I helped write this amendment and believe it will reduce partisan gerrymandering when it comes to drawing districts.  I encourage you to vote YES on this question.

Constitutional Amendment #2 would mandate a break on local personal property taxes for veterans who have a 100 percent, service-connected disability rating from the VA.  Many localities are already doing this so I am not sure if this will make any difference in your locality or not, but I am sure this will pass easily.



Several days ago, I reached out to you and more than 5,000 other households – Democrats and Republicans – asking for your opinion on the “Defund the Police” movement.  Based on unsolicited comments from friends and neighbors, I was fairly certain that my informal survey would reveal strong feelings of concern.

Boy was I wrong.  Nearly 1,000 voters responded and 99% expressed varying degrees of outrage, disbelief and concern that this legislation was even being considered.

Yet, even as I write this, the Democrat majority continues to advance toward various funding cuts and so-called “reforms” to weaken public safety in our communities.

One proposal would open our law enforcement to frivolous lawsuits brought by criminals and others for simply doing their jobs.  Imagine how difficult it will be to recruit new officers and deputies if that happens.

Still another reduces the penalty for assaulting an officer or deputy, thus encouraging criminals to resist arrest without fear of a serious charge.  Finally, the Democrats want to eliminate the use of tear gas and other non-lethal options for ending riots and looting, further assuring more violence and damage.

Richmond city leaders have already restricted their police and the results are clear.  More violence and crime.

You know that I’ve stood as a strong voice against these measures.  But as we now meet in virtual session, with delegates working remotely, the Democrat Speaker and her hand-picked committee chairs are restricting debate and both public and media attention to what has been going on.  Under the cloak of virtual secrecy, they are weakening law and order.

I’ll not retreat from my stands.  That’s why, as next year’s elections approach, I will be a top target for defeat.  As you may have observed, the Democrat’s base in Northern Virginia is heading south.  My district is closer to the beltway than most others held by a Republican.  Put simply, they see me as their next target.

My district has changed a lot since my first election in 2001, but I have not.  If you believe I should continue the fight for law and order and in support of all our valiant law enforcement officers, I need your help!

When the Democrats and their cronies make their list, they look for weak, vulnerable candidates.  And while I’ve enjoyed strong support in the elections, I’ve never raised a lot of money.  I’ve been outspent in several past elections, one by more than two to one, but my margin of victory gets smaller every election.

The Democrat machine runs on money.  A lot of it.  You may have read that in August nationally, they had raised a record $300 MILLION to elect Joe Biden.

They will have every dollar they need and I need to be able to match them.  I’m hoping I can fund my campaign at a competitive level.  But to do so, I’m hoping you’ll help.

Will you please consider a gift of $100, $50, or $25 today to prepare for my campaign to take back the House of Delegates?

With you on my side, I’m hopeful we can keep this seat and win others to be able to take back control of the House of Delegates and restore sanity to Richmond.

Thank you and may God bless you.

I’ll not retreat but I need your help! Help me stop this dangerous agenda and take back the House of Delegates!  Click here to make a donation and take back Virginia!


Representing you in the Virginia House of Delegates is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously.  This update may be the most important one I have done during my entire service in the House.

As you know, violent protests have broken out across the nation and even in our area of Virginia demanding that police agencies at every level be “defunded.”   Two weeks ago, we began meeting in a special session of the General Assembly to address issues related to the budget, the pandemic and these riots.   As historic monuments commemorating Virginia’s past are being vandalized, and businesses looted, there has been a strong push by the Democrat majority to initiate “defunding” in the form of a 25% cut in spending for state police and a reduction in funds for local School Resource Officers (SRO), deputies and police officers that protect our schools.

That’s right, some Democrats want to pull SRO’s out of our schools!  One local Democrat recently texted me, “I support removing police from schools 100%,” and “Schools are no place for cops.”  Too many Democrats consider law enforcement to be the enemy!

In addition to reducing funding, Democrats are pushing an across the board anti-police agenda.  They are advancing legislation to reduce penalties for assaulting a police officer, banning the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, and removing qualified immunity, which would allow police and deputies to be personally sued if they do something someone did not like, putting their home and personal savings at risk.  We already have a hard time finding people willing to serve in law enforcement, if these become law it will become almost impossible to find good people to serve!

At the same time, they are pushing this anti-law enforcement agenda, Democrats are also releasing violent criminals from prison early!

The result will be higher crime rates, fewer School Resource Officers, fewer deputies and police, and longer response times for 911 calls!

As I participate in this session, I’m astonished to find that the governing elites in Richmond are in lock step support with the radical left and their agenda.  It leaves me speechless.

They’ve proclaimed that this is the will of the people and it must be done.  Do you think police and sheriff’s departments should be drastically cut?  Feel free to email me your thoughts.


I hope you and your family have been spared the ravages of the COVID pandemic as has ours.

Over the past month or so I’ve heard from a lot of folks about the special session of the Virginia General Assembly scheduled for next week.  The House of Delegates has been called, along with the Senate, by the Governor, to address legislation to deal with several issues that are the result of our pandemic and the related budget shortfalls as well as criminal justice reform and perhaps still others.

The Democrat-controlled legislature, as in the regular session, is keeping much of their legislation secret so citizens have less time to rally opposition to their radical left-wing agenda.

You can be sure there will be measures proposed to defund or radically cut spending on law enforcement and to initiate broad new gun control measures.

As for me, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to address the Gubernatorial abuses of their executive powers when declaring a state of emergency.  An “emergency” should only be declared when it is not possible for the General Assembly to convene and consider necessary measures for dealing with the issues at hand.  Presently we are in the sixth month of an emergency.

Of special concern is the designation of a violation of the emergency order a crime.  The punishment for mask and/or social distancing orders could receive penalties equal to those for assault and battery, a DUI and even some drug offenses.  That’s crazy!

State government offices including the Virginia Employment Commission, DMV and others have also been shuttered or offer reduced service hours making it difficult for citizens to get needed relief from unemployment situations as well as the renewal of driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.  Our government is making many folks run afoul of the law and I will support legislation to eliminate late penalties and interest for any violation that results.

Many have also expressed concerns about the consequences of refusing to open our public schools full time.  If a school district refuses to open classrooms, then I propose providing parents vouchers to be used at a school where they will be educated.  And for schools that only open “online” but high-speed internet isn’t available, then they will be required to teach children in person.

Finally, you may have heard about an incident in Fredericksburg where a frightened mom with her young child dialed 911 from her car when surrounded by protesters.  The dispatcher said no help would be coming and that she should call the city government.  I support legislation that would make local government liable for damages caused when they refuse to protect private property and citizen safety.

Of course, as for the balance of the many issues, I will approach our budget situation as I always have: if we don’t have the revenue, we must cut spending; it would be wrong to raise taxes when so many people are out of work and businesses are struggling.   On gun control, I remain 100% committed to defending our Second Amendment rights and will oppose gun control schemes.

The session will likely be short, and you may not hear many details from the media.  So, be sure to follow my additional reports on Facebook and Twitter.  If necessary, I’ll also send additional information via email.  Please forward this to friends and neighbors who may be interested.


Thank you for sharing your feelings with me on the issue of school “in-person” attendance for the coming school year. I have heard from many like you with deep concerns for the safety of our students and their teachers. With the second half of the 2019-2020 school year lost due to the ongoing pandemic, many parents are understandably eager to see their children back in the classroom this fall. Of course, reopening our schools during this pandemic will require safeguards to ensure the health and safety of our children, teachers, and other support staff. I’m confident this can be done.

As you may know, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released guidance for reopening schools in the fall. The AAP stated that their guidance “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” They went on to say that “schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being.” The science and data show that all students should be back in the classroom on a regular basis this fall. It’s evident that children rarely transmit COVID-19 between themselves and adults.

And according to an article on the recent comments made by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on reopening schools. As quoted in the article, the CDC Director, Robert Redfield, states: “I’m of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen.” In June, Governor Northam unveiled his mandated guidance to local school divisions and his proposal was quickly rejected by local school divisions — and me — as unrealistic. Under COVID-19 Phase III rules, in-person instruction is allowed, but only with extensive, often unrealistic, social distancing measures such as staggered class schedules and limited bus capacity.

The Governor needs to go back to the drawing board and give our local Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fauquier County School boards the ability to safely offer five-day classroom instruction.

My Republican colleagues and I will introduce legislative changes in the upcoming Special Session if the Governor fails to rework his school reopening plan. Virginia currently has the resources necessary to ensure students and teachers can return to the classroom safely and ensure further education isn’t lost.

There is no question that we are currently facing a public health crisis, but Governor Northam’s lack of leadership has caused confusion and fear for our local divisions as they work to bring our students back to the classroom. His ‘guidance’ has caused confusion on how to comply with his mandates, as well as fear of being sued for not properly implementing them. I know that the lasting impacts of a disrupted school will be felt for years to come and will have a negative effect on an entire generation.

What we’ve seen from the Governor is an unworkable plan that considers only one aspect of closed schools and fails to recognize what happens to students who aren’t in the classroom. Many students in the rural parts of our area don’t have access to high speed internet and computers — they rely on in-classroom instruction to further their education.

Additionally, to afford to live a decent life, many families rely on two incomes and with students out of school, they are burdened with additional childcare expense – or someone quits their job. While some districts can provide these services to their students, I worry that under this current reopening plan, many students will be further left behind in their educational pursuits. Our youth need social interaction. Developing social skills through interactions with other students is equally as important as studying math, sciences and all the rest.

Please contact me with your thoughts about how Virginia should proceed for the upcoming school year. You may want to let Governor Northam know how you feel about his plans, 804-786-2211.


Most new laws and changes to existing laws take effect on July 1st, following the General Assembly session. Below is a link to a summary from Legislative Services of this year’s changes to Virginia law. I just want to highlight some of the more significant changes that I have been contacted about by concerned constituents.

VIRGINIA’S GREEN NEW DEAL – Several bills were passed during session that fall under the umbrella of “Virginia’s Green New Deal” including House Bill (HB) 981 / Senate Bill (SB) 1027, HB 1526 / SB 851, HB 1634 / SB 629, and HB 1664 / SB 860 / SB998. Taken together, these bills require power companies to phase out the use of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. The problem is that these alternative sources are much more expensive and less reliable. This will cause electric rates to significantly increase in the future. This is being done in an attempt to reduce air pollution and combat climate change. Air pollution has already been dramatically reduced in Virginia and the US in recent decades by implementing new, cleaner power generation technology, and an overall reduction of reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will not be achieved unless countries like China, India, and others reduce their pollution. All these bills will do is significantly increase your electric bill, reduce economic growth and jobs in the Commonwealth, for no real benefit to the global climate.

HB1414 / SB 980 – Increases the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon over the next few years, then automatically increases it to account for inflation. The legislation also increases the number of transportation related funds that will receive the gas tax revenue, so I am not sure that this will actually result in an increase of funds to improve our roads or not!

HB 395 / SB 7 – Increases the minimum wage to $ 15 / hour over the next few years, then it will be automatically increased to account for inflation. This will result in fewer entry level and low skilled jobs and more automation.

HB 33 / SB 793 & HB 35 / SB 103 – Expands the number of criminal inmates that will be eligible for parole, including some murderers and sex offenders.

HB 19 / SB 65 – Removes the requirement that you present a photo ID in order to vote.

HB 1211 / SB 34 – Allows illegal aliens to get a driver’s license.

HB 1547 / SB 935 – Allows illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition at our public colleges and universities.

HB 1537 / SB 183 – Gives localities the authority to remove veteran’s and war memorials and statues.

HB 421 / SB 35 – Allows localities to adopt gun control ordinances; this does away local preemption for gun control laws, something that I pushed through the General Assembly 16 years ago. The result will be a patch work of inconsistent laws throughout the state. You should be careful if you are traveling from one locality to another, because you could be legally carrying a gun in one locality and then inadvertently break the law when you go into another locality even if you have a state permit to carry.

HB 874 / SB 160 – Bans the use of handheld cell phones while driving, effective 1 January 2021.

To read more about new laws please visit this web page: In Due Course-New Virginia Laws