Message from Glen
May was a busy month despite all of the rain! Our office has spent time in the community, discussing important issues with constituents, and attending local events.
It was a real honor to be recognized by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce as the Freshman Legislator of the Year. Each year, the Chamber ranks legislators on their voting record on legislation that contributes to private sector economic growth and business development in the Commonwealth. I was proud to be recognized for my commitment to supporting policies that will help the private sector grow the economy and create more jobs for Virginians.
In the spirit of transparency and greater public involvement in government, I was happy to participate in the Virginia Public Access Project's (VPAP) Annual, "Lighten Up! It's Just Politics!" Luncheon. This year's theme focused on the General Assembly from a freshman's perspective, and Delegate Lamont Bagby and I enjoyed our attempts at stand-up “comedy” with poking a little fun at the General Assembly and its members. The event was emceed by Beau Cribbs, the host of RVA Tonight. You can check out some of the highlights on VPAP's website by clicking here.
As our office gears up for summer, please don't hesitate to reach out to me if I may ever be of assistance to you. I encourage you to email me about your group and community organization's upcoming events to be featured in next month's newsletter!
Update on Felon Executive Order
At the end of April, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order to universally and automatically allow felons to serve on Virginia juries, without consideration of the crime committed, whether the felon had expressed contrition for his or her crimes, or whether restitution had been paid to their victims.
At that time, I sent an email detailing some of the consequences caused by this action, including the fact that criminal defense attorneys are now actively working to get felons on the jury of an accused cop killer in Dinwiddie. You can read more from the Richmond Times-Dispatch on this issue by clicking here: "Attorneys for man accused of killing state trooper seek eligibility of convicted felons to serve on jury."
We also just learned today that Gov. McAuliffe, apparently by accident, restored the rights of violent felons still serving their sentences in prison. You can read more about this issue by clicking here. This is one of the reasons why the Governor’s actions were so misguided. Removing transparency, public input, and the legislature from the process results in significant mistakes being made, and this is just one.
Most of us agree that for non-violent crimes, we should have a much more streamlined process for helping individuals re-enter society as productive citizens once their sentences are completed and their debts are paid to the victims, society, and the courts. Governors Bob McDonnel and Tim Kaine both made positive steps towards restoration for non-violent felons through appropriate Constitutional channels.
We are a country of second chances and redemption, however, it is extraordinarily important to not forget about the victims of felonies--especially violent felonies. While a felon may complete his or her sentence on a date certain, the victims must live with the consequences for a lifetime through no fault of their own.
Virginia General Assembly Republicans have hired Chuck Cooper, named one of the 10 best civil lawyers in Washington D.C. and Assistant Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, to challenge McAuliffe’s Executive Order before the Supreme Court of Virginia. Past legal opinions on this matter support our claim. Governor Kaine’s lead counsel in 2010 said universal orders automatically restoring rights were not a “contemplated use of executive authority” and would be a “rewrite of the law.” A bipartisan committee established by the Attorney General’s office in 2013 concluded that the governor did not have the authority to institute an automatic, self-executing restoration of rights.
On Wednesday, the Virginia Supreme Court announced a special session to hear the case. The hearing will be on July 19 at 9:00 AM. I will keep you informed as the process continues.
The Greek Festival - Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5 at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Malvern Avenue, Richmond. This family friendly festival features endless Greek food, culture, and fun. New this year on the menu is lamb sausage and meatless dinners offered through the drive thru!
Dogwood Dell’s Festival of Arts - Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 at Dogwood Dell starting at 8:30 PM, featuring free performances by the Richmond Ballet.
Broad Appetit - Sunday, June 5 on Broad Street between Henry and Adams Streets from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. This year's Broad Appetit is bigger than ever, featuring hundreds of different sampler plates from 70 Richmond area restaurants! There will also be live music, and craft beer and wines.
Speed – Daily from 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM at the Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. This new exhibit explores motion and time in the newest advancements in the world of science. Tickets are $14.
The Music Tree Summer Music Festival – Saturday, June 11 from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM at The Music Tree School, 3046 Stony Point Rd, Richmond, VA 23235. This festival will showcase live music performed by students and instructors from the Music Tree School and food such as BBQ, pizza and more.
Steam Bell Beer Works Grand Opening – Saturday, June 11 starting at 1:00 PM, located at 1717 E Oak Lake Blvd, Midlothian, Virginia 23112. The opening will feature a large selection of craft beers, live music, and great food.
This session, I sponsored a resolution to recognize the St. Gertrude High School Robotics Team on their hard work and success with their robot “Ellie”! I was happy to present the resolution to the Team at St. Gertrude's End of the Year Awards Ceremony.
I enjoyed listening to the Senior Seminar presentations at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School and hearing about our session intern Sunita's research!
Thanks to the Mill Quarter Republican Woman's Club for inviting Congressman Dave Brat, John Adams, and me to join their monthly meeting!
My wife Lori and I enjoyed celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Virginia Society for Human Life with the organization's founder, Geline Williams.
I had the opportunity to speak with Communities In Schools of Chesterfield, and enjoyed discussing the organization's vital work to keep our students engaged and involved in their education.
The Boy Scouts of America, Heart of Virginia Council had their 2015 Eagle Scout Commencement this month and I was honored to join them as their keynote speaker. Congratulations to all the new Eagle Scouts!
I enjoyed speaking with constituents at the Chesterfield Council on Aging and Chesterfield Triad's Joint Legislative Forum.
Thanks so much to Chesterfield County Fire and EMS who hosted me at Station 20 and for your service to our community!
My family and I had a blast at the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade!
I enjoyed talking with constituents at the Virginia Hops & Barley festival, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Powhatan.
The rainy weather didn't stop the Powhatan 4H and FFA at the Celebration of the Horse! Thanks for inviting me out!
Congratulations to Jay Stegmaier on his retirement! It's been a pleasure to work with Jay on behalf of Chesterfield County residents. His dedication and commitment to public service is inspiring. The county has excelled under Jay's leadership as County Administrator, and we wish him the best as he enjoys retirement.
In the News
Commonwealth of Virginia
"Supreme Court calls special session to hear GOP challenge on felon voting rights" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6-1-16
"McAuliffe in ‘shock’ over FBI investigation of campaign money, personal finances" - The Washington Post, 5-24-16
"Almost 5,000 felons registered to vote after rights restoration" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-24-16
"Schapiro: Why Virginia is important this year" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-31-16
"Chesterfield turns to Henrico official as next county administrator" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-26-16
"Company trades Innsbrook for Chesterfield" - Richmond BizSense, 5-27-16
"Wild about Wegmans" - Chesterfield Observer, 5-25-16
"Powhatan County Fair 2016" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, Powhatan Today, 5-22-16
"With or without permission, residents pitch in to cut Richmond's grass" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-25-16
"Richmond Cycling Corps featured in CNN Heroes series this week" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-19-16
"Richmond named one of 50 Invest Health cities" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-17-16
"Fallout over McAuliffe investigation extends to Richmond mayor's race" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5-25-16