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Poindexter has successful session
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
By JOEL TURNER - Staff Writer

The General Assembly approved most of Ninth District Del. Charles Poindexter's top bills during the session that ended this past weekend.

Poindexter (R-Franklin County) won approval for his bill requiring local school boards to provide an annual report to the governing bodies that details the school system's expenditures.

Poindexter and State Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) also won approval of a bill to create a drug court in Franklin County for youthful offenders.

Poindexter also worked with other state legislators in the region to obtain funds to cover larger-than-expected costs for the Western Virginia Regional Jail. Franklin County is a partner in the regional jail.

The lawmakers also approved three other bills by Poindexter dealing with eligibility for betterment loans, definition of renewable energy, and storage capacity and yield requirements for private residential wells.

Another Poindexter bill dealing with the sex offender registry was referred to the state Crime Commission.

Poindexter's bill on the school finances report will apply to the Franklin County School Board and all other school boards in the state. They will have to provide an annual report to the local governing body detailing the school system expenditures.

The report will have to be made available to the public, either on the school division website or in hard copy at the school division's central office.

In addition, Poindexter's bill would require the report to "provide sufficient details in order for citizens to readily identify how appropriated funds have been spent."

Poindexter said his bill is intended to provide the public with more information on how school funds are spent. This will help the public better understand how the school board spends its funds, he said.

Poindexter and Hurt won approval of the drug court for Franklin County on their second try. Last year, Poindexter and Hurt introduced a similar bill, which was killed in the House Appropriations Committee, due to lack of funding for existing drug courts in the state. The Franklin County drug court won't require new state money, however. The court will operate with the assistance of Piedmont Community Services, Franklin County Court Services Unit and the commonwealth's attorney office.

Drug courts for youthful offenders are designed to reduce drug-related court workloads and to increase personal, familial and societal accountability among offenders.

Drug courts are specialized court dockets within the existing structure of Virginia's court system, providing judicial monitoring of intensive treatment and strict supervision of addicts in drug and drug-related cases.

Poindexter, who is in his first term in the House of Delegates, also won approval of the following bills: "One bill requires the state Board of Health to include in its regulations minimum storage capacity and yield requirements for residential drinking wells.

"Another bill directs the state Board of Health and the Department of Environmental Quality to develop procedures for qualifying the owners of failing septic tanks, underground storage tanks and contaminated dry cleaning stories for betterment loans to be provided by private lenders.

"A third provides that the term "renewable energy" shall include the proportion of the thermal or electric energy from a facility that results from the co-firing of biomass.

Poindexter voted for the budget bill that used federal stimulus funds to restore state cuts in education, Medicaid and other services.

But Poindexter said that the state should not rely on federal stimulus money for long-term needs. "Long-term structural changes and reforms must be made to prevent us from relying on stimulus dollars for future budgets," Poindexter said.

“Entrepreneurs and their small business enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States".
Ronald Reagan
Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
“Whatever else history says about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way".
Ronald Reagan
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