From the Desk of Senator Ruff: A New Car for You

How would you like to have a new car?  Well, thanks to the new majority in the General Assembly, you will have one!

     Never mind that you are happy with the car you have.  Anyway, unless you qualify, you won’t be able to drive it, just pay for someone else to drive it.  The car must be electric, never mind that there are few charging stations in rural Virginia.  However, you as a Virginia taxpayer, will have no choice but to pay part of the tab for that new car, with certain stipulations.

     Legislation that is working its way through the legislative process will soon be headed to Governor Northam to sign this into law.  You, the taxpayer, will pay up to $4,500 for someone else to use that brand new car.  Many of us choose to buy used cars because they are usually a better value for the dollar.  In addition, the state will study ways to open charging stations around the state.  Please have no doubt, that study will end up concluding that taxpayers should also have to pay for stations in most of rural Virginia.

Free Electricity

     Another legislative effort (House Bill 2330) also will force you to pay part of the electric bill of others.  This year, the electric companies are being forced to write off $50 million for those who either could not or would not pay their electric bills during the pandemic.  That was so easy to do that the Democrat majority has decided that all low-income people need help every year.  If a family’s household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty rate, their energy bill will be capped at a percentage of their income.  This great new freebie will come from you.  Either you will pay for this in taxes or the electric companies will be forced to provide this service.  They in turn will have to raise their rates.  Either way, the hard-working families will be the losers.

     Meanwhile, there is no requirement to be frugal in their use of electricity.  Most families try to hold their use down to keep bills lower.  With this policy, expect no effort to hold down usage.  That means, for those having this government subsidy, tee-shirts in the winter, for the rest, sweaters and robes.

Year’s Dumbest Legislation

     One of the delegates from Fairfax County was told by the Fairfax Professional Firefighters that the county was using a poor choice of material for their fire training structures.  In the real world, firefighters should have contacted the county leadership requesting they make a change locally.  Instead, the Delegate and they decided that this was an issue that needed passage as a law in Richmond.  When he came before the General Laws committee, I asked why it wasn’t handled locally.  His response was “it couldn’t be”.  The firefighters testified that Fairfax County and maybe one other jurisdiction were the only places where this was a problem.

     The bill, however, as it came out of the House would have affected Virginia’s wood products industry.  Because of poor wording, it could put a damper on sales of stranded composite board often called OSB.  It could have needlessly cost jobs at Huber in Halifax and Georgia-Pacific in Brookneal, as well as many loggers that provide wood to them from landowners all over the district.

     Likewise, it upset volunteer fire departments across the state who rely on property owners to donate old structures to them to burn for training purposes.  Those structures are old and in bad shape.  There is no record in most cases of what material was used.  Our volunteer fire departments did not want to risk unknowingly breaking the law.  The bottom line is that federal regulations bar the use of any product for construction of any building if it is determined to be dangerous.

     One might wonder why are all these bills being introduced and passed when they so clearly harm the bulk of regular everyday families.  There appears to be only one reason.  Payback for political support.  Thank George Soros, Mike Bloomberg, and the big unions.

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