Media Advisory: Senators, Delegates, Former Attorney General Call on Governor to Restore Electric Refunds, Rate Review:

RICHMOND, Va. – Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City), Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and David Suetterlein, (R-Roanoke County), along with Delegates Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke City) and Randy Minchew (R-Loudoun), and former Senator and Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli will join with the Virginia Poverty Law Center to call on Governor Terence R. McAuliffe to repeal SB 1349. (2015 legislation by Sen. Frank Wagner).

SB 1349 froze the ability of the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to review earnings from electric utilities and issue refunds to customers.

Petersen Senate Sentinel: Feeling a Little Rebellious ...

Friends, Virginians, Citizens of Fairfax:

One of the central issues in the 2017 General Assembly session has been college access and affordability.

The disclosure of UVA's $2.2 billion "Strategic Investment Fund" coupled with an overall inflation in higher education costs (and a decline in students choosing college), has created a public demand for action and accountability.

RTD: Chap Petersen: It's not too late to save a billion dollars for the people of Virginia

It’s 2017. Donald Trump is president. The public is engaged. For too many years Virginians have seen the largest corporations get their way in our political system. It’s time to change.

This year, a single move by the governor could save more than a billion dollars for ordinary Virginians. How? By restoring a longstanding Virginia policy of requiring refunds when public utilities earn excessive profits. To do that, he would have to take on the most powerful players in Richmond.

RTD: One senator sees conflict as bills addressing higher-ed cost are thwarted

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS

A state senator spoke out Tuesday against what he said is “an obvious conflict of interest” as legislation intended to address the cost of higher education continues to stall in the General Assembly.

Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax City, objected when the Senate higher education subcommittee advanced a bill to the full committee with the understanding it then would be referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where a half-dozen other proposals related to tuition charges have died.

AP: Virginia GOP, big utilities back a costly green energy idea

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Virginia have maintained a go-slow approach to renewable energy for years, saying a conservative path has helped keep electricity costs under control as the state figures out how best to harness solar or wind power.

"We're going to take small steps and not large steps," said Del. Terry Kilgore, the GOP leader of the powerful House Commerce and Labor Committee, said at a recent news conference where Republicans touted their green energy record compared to other states.

Petersen Senate Sentinel: What's a Normal Day During Session?

Friends, Virginians, Citizens of Fairfax:

We are now on the back half of the 46-day session, which moves at a frantic pace. (We'll return in April briefly). What's an average day during session? Not too many average days but try this ...

5:45 a.m. Wake up. It's dark and windy. Perfect for a 5 mile run down Grove Avenue through the West End of Richmond. Then shower. Off to work.

Bill DeSteph & Chap Peterson: Virginia must do better on college affordability

On more than a few occasions, we — a Democrat from Fairfax and a Republican from Virginia Beach — find ourselves polar opposites when it comes to a host of issues. But when it comes to higher education, there is no debate.

Study after study, including one prepared for Virginia’s State Council on Higher Education, states that a higher education is the key to innovation and prosperity. We agree.

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