March 30, 2005
Virginia's Governor paid a visit to our part of the state on Wednesday, March 30 to discuss this year's General Assembly. This after recently signing, vetoing, and amending about 942 bills.
Dozens of Virginia residents and Governor Mark Warner's supporters gathered in Harrisonburg to listen to the Governor speak and answer questions on the 2005 General Assembly session.
Among the list of bills passed this year, 850 million dollars in new funds for transportation and the removal of the state's share on grocery sales tax.
"That's real tax relief for every Virginia family that starts July 1 of this year; an average family [saves] about $80 a year off of sales tax," said Warner.
The Governor also touched on the chartered initiative sought by state universities, and his changes to the proposed bill.
"I've put forward a series of amendments to the charter bill to make sure, yes the universities can get some additional flexibility, but they've got to continue to meet the state's needs in terms of access, affordability," said Governor Warner.
Another hot topic that concerns Charlottesville residents is high property taxes. Warner said although the state can't control housing assessments increasing, it can be fiscally responsible.
"Make sure the state pays its bills," said Governor Warner.
For the most part, the state does seem to be doing well financially. The Commonwealth received an A- rating from an independent survey, ranking Virginia the best managed state in the country. A good reflection on Warner, who is soon ending his term as governor. No word yet on what comes next on his agenda.
"I'm focused on one thing, and that's finishing this job the best way I can," said Governor Warner.
Warner also said he is supporting Lt. Governor Tim Kaine in his run for Governor of Virginia. Now legislators are set to return to the state capital April 6, 2005 for a one day session.
They'll either endorse or reject Warner's proposed changes or vetoes.