Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Location: Herndon, Virginia, USA
|Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:45 pm Post subject: The Rust Report from Richmond, January 28, 2011
|I received this by e-mail from Virginia Delegate Tom Rust
The Rust Report
January 28, 2011
"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government" - Thomas Jefferson
I have heard many stories of the harrowing time that resident's experienced with Wednesday's snow. While I'm not in Northern Virginia to 'experience' it first hand, I did hear from my wife, who was stuck in traffic, like many of you experienced. VDOT, Dominion, NOVEC, and other agencies are working around the clock to clear roads and restore power. I have been advised by Dominion that it expects to restore power to 90% of the affected customers by Friday night with the remaining work continuing overnight into Saturday until all customers have been restored.
In This Issue:
- Be Ready!
- 100,000 Degrees
- Virginia Places 4th
- Autism Update
This storm reminds us to be ready for any emergency. Whether you are stuck in your car or confined in your home, it is important to be ready. The first step is to have a disaster supply kit in your home and your car, complete with food, water, and blankets among other things. The next step is to have a plan that prepares you for different types of emergencies. The final step is to stay informed using different types of media. You can get free worksheets at www.ReadyVirginia.gov that will aid you in planning for an emergency.
I participated in a press conference last week to announce the Governor's Higher Education Legislation that came as a result of the recommendations of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education, of which I am a member. I believe if Virginia is going to continue to grow and prosper, we need to be innovative in our approach to higher education. The Commission has finalized our report and offered recommendations in 3 major areas:
1. Greater economic opportunity and impact
a. Add 100,000 undergraduate degrees in the next 15 years.
b. Focus on high-demand, high-income fields with emphasis in the STEM area
c. Return on investment: college graduates earn on average twice as much as those without degrees and every $1 invested in Virginia's public higher education system yields $13 in increased economic output.
2. Reform-Based Investment
a. New comprehensive funding model
b. Comprehensive and streamlined six-year planning process
c. Creates Higher Education Advisory Committee
d. More year round use of existing facilities
3. Affordable Access
a. Provides enrollment-based funding to increase access for qualified Virginia students
b. Enhances long-term affordability
If you would like to learn more about this, visit http://www.education.virginia.gov.
Virginia Places 4th
I was pleased to learn that Virginia placed fourth in Education Week's "Quality Counts" report. The rankings are based on four critical areas: the chance for success, K-12 achievement, school finance, and policies related to transitions and alignment. We are fortunate to have a very good education system and it is the basis upon which success is built.
After years of various autism bills failing in committee, I am pleased to report that a bill of which I am chief co-patron passed out of the Commerce and Labor Committee Thursday and is headed to the floor of the House. This bill will require insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of children 2 to 6 years of age with autism. This bill was the result of serious negotiations and compromises by all parties. Approximately 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism in Virginia each year. Numerous studies and reports have found that early intervention is the key to helping autistic children overcome their disability and lead full, functional lives. But therapy is expensive and is seldom covered by insurance. This bill would help thousands of Virginia families cope with this financial burden and improve the lives of thousands of autistic children.
This week I was visited by students, alumni, and Presidents from various colleges and universities in Virginia. Amanda, a student at Virginia Tech who lives in Herndon, stopped by to visit and update me on the student government activities at Virginia Tech. I also had visits from the principal at Hutchison Elementary School, Ms. Judy Baldwin, who shared with me the work she and her staff are doing at Hutchison not only to educate the students but also to help those less fortunate than most of us. Members of the Fairfax Education Association and various arts organizations rounded out the visits this week.
As always, my staff and I are here to serve you! We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there's anything we can do to help you in dealing with a state agency.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.
Thomas Davis Rust
Delegate, 86th District
Visit my website at:
730 Elden Street
Herndon, VA 20170
Find me on:
For more information on my bills:
Delegate Thomas Davis Rust Legislative Information Page
Government debt and deficits are robbing your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren. http://www.usdebtclock.org/