Petersen Senate Sentinel: Super Senate Rests on Sunday

We're near the midpoint of the 2017 session. Today the chamber is quiet, after an active week on the floor. Friday was an especially active day:

First the Senate debated SB 1282, which removes local zoning authority so that private telecom providers can construct new facilities on public land at minimal cost. Here's the issue: governments owning the land historically negotiate with providers to obtain benefits like universal access. SB 1282 takes away that ability in exchange for ... nothing. I voted "no." The bill passed the Senate 21-18, but the battle is not over.

Next we passed my legislation SB 1092 (rolled into SB 1456), which raises millions of new transit funding for northern Virginia by establishing a "floor" for gas tax revenues pegged to "per gallon" prices. We've lost revenue in recent years as gas prices have declined. My bill addresses that loss. That bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Finally, the Senate passed SB 1559, my bill providing due process for landowners prosecuted for zoning violations. The bill arose from a situation involving a client sued after an alleged zoning violation (that didn't actually exist), and then told she couldn't file a legal appeal. This bill requires a zoning office to actually find and notify the owners of the violation using standard legal procedures.

JCP NOTES: We have a town hall next Saturday, February 11, 9:00 a.m. at Fairfax City Hall with Delegate David Bulova. Hope you can make it.

Finally, Tuesday is the Fairfax City mayoral elections. Here are the candidate interviews, as prepared by "The Rebel Roar" newspaper. If you're a City vote, please remember to vote.

During session you can reach my office at We're located at Room 329 in the Assembly Building. Our office phone number during session is 804-698-7534.

Let us know how we can represent you better.

– Chap