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Phone: 540-576-2600
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PO Box 117, Glade Hill VA 24092
Phone: 540-489-8989

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2009 Session Report
March 2009

Dear friend,

As the 2009 General Assembly ends, I want to inform you of my activities and highlight some important legislative activities of this session.

The final language of the budget, bills and resolutions will not be known until the General Assembly acts on the Governor’s amendments on April 8, 2009. The information herein is by necessity a “snapshot.”

I have served on three committees which often address high profile issues: Counties, Cities and Towns; Militia, Police and Public Safety; and Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. By necessity, much of our work is done in subcommittees and committees, which report bills out to the full House for debate and vote. They then flow to the Senate and back to the House, then perhaps to conferees to resolve differences, then to the Governor for possible amendments before final Legislature action in April. Changes may occur at each step, so until the process is complete, one has to remain cautious on drawing conclusions on specific details and votes. I have also been active in the affairs of the Rural Caucus, Sportsmen’s Caucus, Cost-Cutting Caucus and Conservative Caucus.

After the 2008 session, the Speaker of the House appointed me to a number of Boards and Commissions, which meet during the year, examine and recommend actions to the General Assembly. The two most important appointments were the State Energy Commission, where I serve as Vice Chairman, and the Comprehensive Services Act Commission. Between sessions, I have thus traveled and met around the state to examine energy issues and the effectiveness of the CSA Program for children and youth considered at risk.

On a personal note, several of my bills have passed both the House and the Senate and will go to the Governor. These include (1) authorizing a Drug Court for Franklin County; (2) a Biomass bill that will broaden the definition of biomass to encourage energy generation projects using biomass; and (3) a bill to provide a new privately financed method to repair faulty private septic systems, which are polluting the streams in the Commonwealth.

My bill to place a “wanted on other charges” on the Sexual Predator Registry was sent to the Crime Commission for their review before next Session. My bill to improve DMV driver license education and testing to address over-correcting, trailering, and hand signals was settled when DMV agreed to further address these issues in their next updates to these processes.

My resolution for the Department of Environment Quality to study the impact of the newer Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs that contain Mercury was passed over by the Senate Committee, even after passing the House and Senate Subcommittees unanimously. Go figure on that one!

My bill to address harassing telephone calls, which I filed on behalf of a Franklin County constituent, died in committee, and a bill to address a Floyd County citizen issue over workmen’s compensation was pulled by me after conferring with state officials addressing the issue without legislation.

On the budget side, the budget will not be finalized until April 8, 2009, but the general outline is that we will use stimulus dollars to backfill some shortfalls especially in education, health care, and public safety. We’ll also reserve some funding, sort of a smaller rainy-day fund, to address further 2010 revenue reductions that are likely.

It appears that most, if not all, of the previously agreed to state funding for the Western Virginia Regional Jail will be included in the budget to complete that project for opening. I also have three other budget amendments, and a letter from the Governor, agreeing in principle, that deals with the State conveying the closing Diversion Center in Chatham to Pittsylvania County for a local jail annex. I’m confident the process will continue to effect the transfer to the County, but funding for some needed upgrades and initial staffing is more problematic for this year.

While this was the “short” session of the Biennium, where we are supposed to focus on year two of the budget, we still had a number of “hot button” items, many of which just come up year after year. The miss-named gun show loophole topic came up again and was defeated in the House and the Senate, as it is a step towards preventing the private transfer of firearms, as well as registration/confiscation. The so-called Bi-Partisan Redistricting bill also came up again and failed as appointed “bi-partisan” people probably don’t exist and would be accountable to whoever appoints them, while elected officials are accountable at election cycles. A proposed tobacco tax increase failed as the federal government is increasing that tax by 61¢ and another 30¢ by the state would not result in revenue expected, which is what other states have experienced.

A mandated employer insurance coverage bill for autism failed to pass as it discriminated against citizens purchasing their own insurance and state employees, would have led to higher premiums, and likely would have had the unintended consequence of some employers dropping health coverage policies and hence leaving some families without coverage at all. All legislators are sensitive to the issues the parents and children face with this problem and I’m hopeful a comprehensive package to deal with it can be formulated by next session.

Several bills addressed help for the housing and auto industries. Another will correct a loophole in last year’s pay-day lending compromise. The House proposed greater oversight and transparency on lobbyists and passed a transportation package to allocate a portion of the growth revenue from ports, airports, and inland facilities like the coming Elliston facility to transportation, but the Senate rejected these proposals. And as you know, the Speaker and Governor compromised on the annual restaurant smoking issue and that will go forward as the final details emerge by April 8, 2009. There were also proposals, from Northern Virginia especially, to change the formulas for distributing education and transportation funds. Thankfully, all of us “rural” legislators were successful in stopping these proposals because they would have huge negative impacts on the 9th and other rural districts schools and roads.

In summary, the 2009 session has been one where, along with my bills, I have worked to limit damage from the economic downturn, particularly in the areas of health care, education, public safety and economic growth. Clearly, one must work further to limit the increase in state government, use stimulus dollars only for temporary purposes, and follow policies that result in Virginia continuing to be ranked first as a business-friendly state and best state to raise a child.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of the 9th District during this Legislative Session. I feel I have been well-received by my peers, influenced legislation and the budget, and, most importantly, have cast my votes in line with the values and perspectives of the majority of the citizens of the 9th District. I am delighted so many of you visited, called, emailed, sent letters to inform me of your views, and requested assistance on an issue.

If you would like any information on current or past legislation, you can access the General Assembly website at

If you would like for me to speak at a local meeting after session (February 28), please call my Glade Hill office at 540-576-2600 or email me at


Charles D. Poindexter Delegate, 9th District

“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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