Constitutional Officers Provide Valuable Service to Community

Del. Peace Sponsors House Bill 713 to Protect ConsumersPeace Budget Amendment asks Treasurers to perform in-state collections saving Virginia thousands House Bill 712 filed at the request of the Virginia Sheriff's Association would allow for smaller jurisdictions like New Kent to give sworn officers overtime compensation

Central Virginia - Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R) recognizes the service provided by Constitutional Officers, including but not limited to the Sheriffs, Treasurers and Commissioners of Revenue, to residents of the 97th District. Thanks to their hard work the people of the District's 7 counties are safe and governments are accountable. From even before his first day in elected office, Peace has voiced his support for the system of checks and balances provided by these public servants and has not withdrawn from that position even at this difficult time.

Everyone knows that delivering a balanced budget this year will be difficult and yet it is the charge of legislators to keep. The former Governor exponentially added to budget difficulties by presenting a proposal with latent defects, notably an income tax increase which was unpalatable to most and defeated in the early weeks of session 97-0. The resulting effect of the Kaine plan laid at the doorstep of the incoming assembly is a severely imbalanced budget.

Peace states, "Governor McDonnell and legislative leadership already indicated that new tax proposals are a nonstarter while we recover from the Great Recession. Voters feel the same way. Unfortunately, by focusing on on-going reductions and leaving Car Tax relief as is, the legislature will need to find another $1.9 B in on-going spending reductions and right sizing government in addition to the $1.5 B that the Kaine budget proposes." Kaine also suggested eliminating support for the state's constitutional officers.”

With the support of the Commissioners of the Revenue statewide association, Delegate Peace introduced HB 713, a consumer protection measure which requires for each locality that imposes the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax to verify that every contractor and sub-contractor seeking a local business license has satisfied the requirements and obtained the applicable state license. The commissioner shall not issue a local business license if the applicant does not show proof of the needed state license. Passage of this bill would further protect the health, safety and welfare of the public by assuring qualified individuals and businesses are licensed for the service they are providing and serve to enforce standards of professional conduct for professions and occupations.

Peace likewise submitted budget language on behalf of the Treasurers Association that will improve efficiencies for local tax collection, therefore keeping more dollars in localities and not out of-state. Instead of the State Tax Department paying up to 35% commissions for the assistance of private tax collectors located out of Virginia, local governmental treasurers would use their collection tools and experience to assist the Commonwealth. Treasurers believe they can significantly improve collections for the Commonwealth while also generating revenue for their localities through these commissions.

According to various state agencies and higher education institutions, House Bill 712 which removes the restriction that the overtime compensation rate only applies to law-enforcement agencies of 100 or more, is not expected to have a fiscal impact, since the Compensation Board does not pay or reimburse for overtime, and does not reimburse for any accumulated leave time, a fiscal impact is not expected.

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The 97th District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.