Sun-Gazett: Make the punishment fit the crime

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) has a bit of a maverick streak that occasionally can infuriate his colleagues, but we generally find bills he patrons worth discussing.

Such is the case with a measure awaiting action in the 2017 General Assembly session, calling for an increase in the financial limit that must be reached before a theft moves from petty larceny to grand larceny.

It’s not just a linguistic distinction: Grand larceny is treated as a Class 4 felony, with all the impacts involved, while petty larceny is classed as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

WTOP: Va. bills would limit high-tech license plate readers

RICHMOND — Police can use license plate readers to track drivers across Virginia, and some keep data for months or years on where people are every day.

But proposals from state lawmakers would change that, putting restrictions on the use of high-tech readers and other technology.
Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, is pushing a bill that he said “seeks to restrain electronic surveillance of citizens where there’s no warrant and no probable cause of a crime.”

RTD: Bill would end Virginia utilities' rate freeze when Clean Power Plan dies


Two years ago, the General Assembly and Gov. Terry McAuliffe halted biennial reviews of base rates for Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power, as well as refunds for customers if the utilities overcharged, ostensibly to help them weather the financial challenge posed by President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan.


RICHMOND, Va. – Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) will reintroduce a budget amendment to establish a online archive of Senate floor session video. Currently video of the Senate is only available for purchase on DVDs.

The measure, which Petersen has introduced for years, has consistently been defeated in the Senate Finance Committee.

The House of Delegates have announced they will establish an online archive of their floor sessions.

Petersen Senate Sentinel: On the road to Richmond...

Friends, Virginians, Citizens of Fairfax:

I'm on the road to Richmond.

The 2017 General Assembly session brings new faces to the Senate, an aging face in my mirror, and a slew of legislation – some never seen before, and some which will never be seen again.

My legislative agenda:

• Increase the felony larceny rate from $200 to $500: Virginia has the lowest threshold in the nation which causes small crimes to be treated as felonies.. I'm glad that Governor McAuliffe is making a push for this legislation (SB 923).

Sen. Chap Petersen’s Annual “Business Leaders” Breakfast!

What: Senator Chap Petersen's Annual “Business Leaders” Breakfast, 2017 Edition.

Where: NEW LOCATION: Westwood Country Club: 800 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA 22180

When: Thursday January 5th, 2017 7:30AM - 9:00AM.

Come to Chap's annual “Business Leaders” Breakfast – full breakfast will be served, the Commonwealth's budget will be dissected, and the business of the General Assembly will be digested.


The Curtain Closes on Ox Road South

Ten years ago, I wrote a letter to The Washington Post which decried the decision of the Assembly to eliminate the Virginia estate tax.

I spent weeks haggling with The Post editors about the content of my letter. Finally, I gave up. I decided to start my own blog so I could post whatever and whenever I wanted. No editors, just me.

My first post was about a trip to the 2006 Shad Planking. The rest of that year I blogged about the U.S. Senate campaign, won by Jim Webb. I loved writing. I had an audience around the state and something to say.

The Veto Session Cometh ... and Right Soon

In a handful of days, the Assembly will re-gather in Richmond for one of our annual traditions: the Veto Session in which we address the vetoes and amendments from the Governor.

In the old days, the Veto Session was a sleepy affair with a few small budget amendments and a lot of self-congratulation. This year is the exception, as the Governor has vetoed 32 bills, which is a record in my tenure. And that doesn't even count the amendments, such as the "GO Virginia" bill we discussed last week. And we have one day to debate it all.

Run the Monuments

It was windy and bitter in Richmond this morning. At 8:30 a.m., about 30,000 people were lined up on Broad Street for the annual Monument Avenue 10K. I was in Corral D in my sneakers and "Williams Rugby" tee shirt.

And they're off!

The first mile was straight west down Broad, then over to Monument Ave, where a band was playing classic Tom Petty ("Well she was an American girl ... raised on pro-mi-i-i-ses!")

GO Virginia?

We are days away from the veto session. One of the last unresolved bills involves "Go Virginia," a proposed state fund establishing regional bodies to attract new businesses.

We already have a number of economic partnerships under our state law: the Governor's Opportunity Fund, the Tobacco Commission, the Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, and others. This would add yet another fund to that growing list.