Majority Leader Kirk Cox proposes caps on mandatory student athletic fees to help make college more affordable

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) announced Thursday that he will propose legislation in the 2015 General Assembly session to cap student athletic fees at Virginia’s four-year public universities. The legislation is based on a recommendation made by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. JLARC’s report concluded that “auxiliary enterprises have been the largest driver” of increased college costs in Virginia. “Virginia has world-class colleges and universities that produce some of the best and brightest students in the world. As parents to four sons who have graduated, currently attend or will soon attend college, my wife Julie and I understand firsthand the stress and anxiety brought on by the seemingly ever-increasing cost of higher education,” said Cox. “Virginia has great schools, but the cost of attending them is going up too much, too fast. The average cost of a four-year degree has increased by 28 percent since 2008. In 2012, Virginia had the fifth highest net cost in the country. Both of those figures exceed regional and national averages. We have to take steps to make college more affordable for families.”

Under Cox’s legislation, the amount of athletic revenue that colleges and universities collect from mandatory student fees would be limited. The caps will be applied differently to Virginia’s Division I, Division II and Division III schools. Institutions will have five years to incrementally reduce mandatory student fees as a percentage of overall athletic revenue. The exact percentage caps are still being developed.

“I am a huge sports fan. I am a former high school basketball coach and I currently coach youth baseball. My third son, Blake, has committed to playing college volleyball. Blake will represent a small fraction of students across the country who play college sports. In Virginia, only about three percent of college students will play intercollegiate athletics. But mandatory student fees account for, on average, 69 percent of athletic program expenditures, according to JLARC. In other words, we are asking non-athletes and their parents to cover two-thirds of the cost of college sports. In my view, we simply cannot ask students who will never play a minute of college sports to bear such a disproportionate share of the costs associated with these programs.”

Cox described this proposal and other ideas to make college more affordable in an op-ed in Thursday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Statement of House Republican Leaders on Governor McAuliffe's proposed budget amendments

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) issued the following statement Wednesday on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendments. “We appreciate the Governor’s work in crafting his proposed amendments and look forward to continuing to work with him wherever possible. There are areas where we agree and obviously areas where we disagree with his proposed amendments. The Governor’s proposal is the first step in this process.

“The House Appropriations Committee will now begin working to craft its proposed amendments. The goal of the House is, as always, to put together a conservative, responsible proposal that structurally balances the budget, protects the core functions of government and makes targeted investments when appropriate.

“We are disheartened by the Governor’s decision to include Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the budget. It is counterproductive for him to return to the same strategy that nearly resulted in a state government shutdown last year. The House of Delegates has overwhelmingly rejected Medicaid expansion three times and it would be irresponsible to try and again use the budget as leverage on this issue. We hope this is not the Governor’s intent.

“We are committed to protecting the Commonwealth’s status as one of the nation’s best managed states. The House of Delegates has consistently taken a conservative and prudent approach to the state’s balance sheet. This year will be no different. Again, we thank the Governor for his proposed amendments and look forward to working with him.”

Virginia Awarded $17.5 Million Federal Preschool Expansion Grant

Governor McAuliffe’s Office recently announced that Virginia’s application for a federal Preschool Development Grant was successful. Through the grant, the Commonwealth will receive $17.5 million, per year, for four years to provide a “VPI+” preschool program. This will include 100 new classrooms by the 4th year, and improved quality in 96 existing classrooms. As Chairman of the Virginia Commission on Youth, Delegate Peace said, “Virginia has a very strong K-12 education system, with great teachers and great students. But we have to continue to innovate and start early. Before children enroll in kindergarten, the gap begins to emerge for those who don’t have access to high-quality early childhood education. I believe that with strategic purpose, we can reduce these disparities much like we have reduced the number of children in foster care. The return is clear and will create long-term savings and sustainability. In September, I directed the Commission on Youth to send a letter of support for Virginia’s application for Federal Preschool Expansion Grant funds to HHS Secretary Burwell and DOE Secretary Duncan. I am proud that our Commission on Youth was able to be yet a small part of supporting the effort to secure grant funds.”

COY Letter of Support

Delegate Chris Peace Announces Legislation to Restrict Applications of and Provide for Greater Local Control of Industrial Sludge

-- Measures include a proposed moratorium on the application of industrial residual waste material in the 97th District which includes Hanover, King William and New Kent Counties in addition to additional local control and reimbursement for testing and monitoring of these waste residuals, commonly known as “industrial sludge”-- Mechanicsville, Virginia - The General Assembly will start its 396th Session on January 14, 2015, with legislators likely considering over 2,000 introduced bills and resolutions running the gamut of issues.  Delegate Christopher K. Peace’s (R, 97th House District) unveiled the first part of his 2015 legislative package which will start with a focus on an issue of great importance to residents of the counties he represents

Delegate Peace has drafted and will file legislation which will place a moratorium on the future application of industrial residual materials, also known as “industrial sludge,” to farm land in Hanover, King William, and New Kent counties. Industrial sludge material is commonly mistaken for biosolids, which are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility and commonly used by the farming community. Created through the treatment of domestic wastewater generated from sewage treatment facilities, biosolids, when treated and processed, can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.  However, industrial “sludge” even when treated to reduce pollutants can still contain heavy metals and germs. Industrial sludge can contain heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, which are linked to health problems including cancer, brain damage and nervous system disorders.  “Many critics say it can pose a threat to people, streams and wells. And I share their concern. It is my hope that this announcement will likewise cause the State Water Control Board to carefully proceed,” said Del. Peace. The announcement of this issue is considered timely because in an upcoming meeting the State Water Control Board will vote on an application by Synagro to apply industrial residual waste on land in his district

“We must guarantee the citizens of my District and the Commonwealth that land application of industrial sludge is safe and monitored for on-going environmental impact.  The 97th District is a rural area with sensitive natural resources and an aquifer that must be protected.  A large portion of the district is in the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area with its primary water source being groundwater.  Furthermore, many residents depend on wells for water so it is vital that we take measures to protect our water resources including surface water and wells from contaminates that are applied to the surface,” asserted Peace.  Delegate Peace believes that there are other legislators from the regions of the piedmont and middle peninsula who will also be considering legislation in response to growing concerns about the application of these industrial residuals from local governments. Local representatives are requesting that further study of the impact of application of industrial waste be conducted and have called for additional testing and monitoring.  Studies will likely review all available science on this issue including but not limited to a 2007 study issued by the Virginia Department of Health titled “ Health Effects of Biosolids Applied to Land: Available Scientific Evidence.”

Another bill to be patroned by Peace would allow all local governments to adopt ordinances to provide for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial residual waste and receive reimbursement for this enforcement.  This legislation would require the State Water Control Board to adopt emergency regulations, requiring persons that apply industrial residual wastes to private land to collect a fee from the producer of the industrial wastes and remit the fee to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  The fee cannot exceed the direct costs to localities for testing and monitoring of land application of industrial wastes. The bill would require the Board's regulations to include procedures for (i) collection of the fees by DEQ, (ii) deposit of the collected fees into the Sludge Management Fund, and (iii) disbursements from the Fund to localities for the testing and monitoring of the industrial wastes.

Peace continued, “I look forward to the 2015 General Assembly Session and am ready to continue to work in service to the residents of the 97th District and the Commonwealth.” Additional components of Delegate Peace’s legislative package will be announced as the 2015 Session nears. Please follow the Delegate on Facebook, Twitter (@DelCPeace) and at www.chrispeace.com

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

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Commission on Youth Announces Adoption of Study Recommendations

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA

Commission on Youth

 

Delegate Christopher K. Peace, Chair
Senator Barbara A. Favola, Vice Chair
_______
Executive Director,Amy M. Atkinson
General Assembly Building
201 N. 9th Street, Suite 269
Richmond, Virginia 23219-0406
804-371-2481
FAX 804-371-0574
http://vcoy.virginia.gov
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2014
CONTACT: Amy Atkinson
804-371-2481

Commission on Youth Announces Adoption of Study Recommendations

RICHMOND – Delegate Christopher K. Peace, Chairman of the Virginia Commission on Youth, and Senator Barbara Favola, Vice Chair, are pleased to announce the adoption of legislative recommendations for three of the Commission’s 2014 initiatives: the Commission’s Study on Unlawful Adoption, the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools, and Early Childhood Education – Workgroup on Quality. These recommendations seek to protect Virginia’s most vulnerable youth while strengthening service delivery to families and children.

The Virginia Commission on Youth is a bipartisan, standing legislative commission of the General Assembly comprised of 12 members (six Delegates, three Senators, and three citizens) that provides a legislative forum addressing the needs of and services to the Commonwealth's youth and their families. The Commission contributes to the General Assembly’s ability to make sound policy decisions based on well-studied and reasoned recommendations.

Over the course of the year, the Commission has worked closely with the McAuliffe administration and impacted stakeholders to identify best practices, engage families, and identify policies that research reveals yield the greatest returns. Speaking about the Commission’s recommendations, Delegate Christopher K. Peace, Chairman of the Commission on Youth, stated, “The recommendations adopted by the Commission accomplish three critically important goals. First, they will offer increased protections to Virginia’s most vulnerable children in the school setting. Second, they will support efforts to provide services to adoptive parents who may be struggling to meet the needs of their children. Third, they will provide extraordinary returns by ensuring our children have access to high quality education from early ages. He added, “I am very pleased that our Commission was able to develop policy recommendations that address these incredibly important topics.”

safe_imageThe Commission’s Vice-Chair, Senator Barbara Favola stated, “I am thrilled that the Commission adopted recommendations on all of these studies. The recommendations reflect the importance of early childhood development as well as the success of the Virginia Preschool Initiative. The Commission on Youth also understands the urgent need to assess Virginia’s existing child care system. We must move to a place where children are safe in every child care setting and receiving high-quality developmentally appropriate instruction.”

Summary Review of Recommendations Adopted by the Commission:

Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Virginia’s Schools

The Commission adopted several recommendations addressing the use of restraint and seclusion in Virginia’s public schools. The Commission will introduce legislation during the 2015 General Assembly requiring the Virginia Board of Education to promulgate regulations for the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. The regulations will address criteria for use, training, parental notification, and follow-up. During the course of the study, the Commission met with family members, advocacy organizations, and school officials. This recommendation addresses concerns raised by family members who stated that schools reliance upon guidelines allows for discretion pertaining to the use of seclusion and restraint as well as notifying parents when it is used. The Commission sought to address these concerns while acknowledging the distinct emotional and physical developmental difference of students. The Commission also adopted a recommendation encouraging the Governor to finalize regulations governing private day schools for students with disabilities and supporting efforts to provide school officials with resources and training in techniques to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint.

Study on Unlawful Adoption

The Commission recently finalized the Study on Unlawful Adoption. This study reviewed the existence of "re-homing,” which occurs when a child is removed from one adoptive family and placed in another home without following established adoption procedures. Children who are re-homed are extremely vulnerable and are at great risk for human trafficking and abuse. The Commission adopted several recommendations to strengthen post-adoptive services for these families. Adoptive families may confront a variety of challenges because their children may have been abused, neglected, and have ongoing emotional, developmental, physical, or behavioral difficulties. The Commission also adopted a recommendation that asks the Governor to ensure there is adequate funding in the 2014-2016 Appropriations Act to fund fully the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which would extend foster care and adoption assistance until the age of 21. Doing so would allow the Commonwealth to draw down partial federal reimbursement for support of young adults in the 19 to 21 age group. Youth who receive this type of assistance are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to end up homeless or become involved in the criminal justice system.

Early Childhood Education – Workgroup on Quality

In the first five years of life, a child undergoes the most dramatic brain growth and development over the course of his lifetime. In June, the Commission hosted the Early Childhood Education Workgroup on Quality. The Workgroup brought members of the General Assembly, Executive Branch and stakeholders together to investigate ways Virginia can invest in high-quality early childhood education. Quality early childhood education is critical to success in school and the future workforce. Investments in high-quality early education have demonstrated a $3-15 return on investment.

The Commission adopted several recommendations from the workgroup to enhance quality. One recommendation is the creation of an interagency workgroup to develop a competency-based professional development framework for early childhood teachers. The workgroup will also consider a child care system where all providers, including home-based providers, obtain a child care license. The workgroup will study ways to achieve this goal by September 1, 2017. The Commission adopted a recommendation requesting further study of ways to improve access to the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI). The Commission also adopted a recommendation to address the lack of high-quality early childhood programs for Virginia’s military families and tracking the progress of Virginia’s kindergarten readiness assessment program.

Additional information about the Commission on Youth and the Commission’s initiatives can be obtained on the Commission’s website at http://vcoy.virginia.gov

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Delegate Peace ranked as one of the top three House members on 2014 Business Legislative Report Card

-- VA Free 2014 General Assembly Report Card Released --

-- Peace Rated as Consistent Job Creating and Economic Development Legislator --

Central VA – VA Free recently released its 2014 General Assembly report card.  Delegate Christopher K. Peace(R-Hanover) was pleased to receive a score of 92.4 percent, ranked 3rd amongst his House colleagues on the legislative report which informs citizens on key business related votes taken by the General Assembly during the 2014 session.  Virginia FREE compiles annual voting records of all General Assembly members on important legislation affecting business and industry.

"This rating reflects my belief that low taxes create opportunities for job creation and economic growth. We need a smaller government for a stronger economy, but I strongly believe that there is much more work to be done to make this vision a reality. To improve our community’s quality of life and sustain Virginia’s economic recovery, government must lower the burden on taxpayers and guarantee individual liberty. For these reasons, I am pleased with this positive score,” commented Del. Peace.

VNG-KW Pipelaying

One of the bills considered in the VA Free evaluation was Delegate Peace’s House Bill 887, a measure to pursue modeling for a Governor's School for Career and Technical Education (CTE).  CTE training provides good paying jobs and strengthens workforce training opportunities in fields such as HVAC, culinary arts, plumbing, electrical, and finance.

“I applaud the leadership of Hanover Superintendent Dr. Jamelle Wilson and other school divisions for their work to implement my successful legislation.  While some students will attend Virginia's universities or community colleges, there are other students who would benefit from a workforce development or career readiness program that provides technical training for jobs in high paying manufacturing fields.  I am delighted that VA Free also recognizes and prioritizes this need for increased workforce readiness training.”

Peace visits CM

According to their website, Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education (VA Free) is an independent association committed to protecting and strengthening Virginia's prosperous business environment through the political process.  Founded in 1988, VA FREE provides a wealth of objective, non-partisan information to business.  VA FREE information, services and programs foster a business community prepared to take the lead in electing legislators who advance free enterprise and responsible, pro-business government.

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.  The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County. 

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Historic Polegreen Church Foundation Upcoming Events

Thursday nights in June, July and August from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm we offer the community admission to the Lawn Chairs and Liberty Performance Series. Music lovers may bring blankets and lawn chairs to Polegreen and enjoy the sound of terrific bands. The site opens at 5 to visitors and free parking is available along and across Heatherwood Drive next to the historic site. Catered BBQ and a variety of cold beverages are available for purchase. Because of the band contracts we offer no "Rain Dates." In June, we enjoyed approximately 300 people and families attend the En'Novation concert which performed Motown/beach music on June 26, 2014.  On July 24th, we host Party of Four, which is known as "America's #1 Tribute to Jangle Pop!" So get ready to relive all your favorite pop hits from the 80s and 90s! Visit: www.eastcoastentertainment.com/artist/party-of-four for more information.

Our most popular attraction will be Jackson Ward on August 21, 2014. Jackson Ward is Richmond's hottest new country band that offers classic tunes as well as original singles. Their new album debuts soon! For more information visit:  http://www.jacksonwardmusic.com/

Polegreen Family Day will take place on Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. The park is open to families to experience and enjoy in new ways. Activities including face painting, an ice cream vendor, food, and crafts, and children's silhouettes will be available for $10 each. The silhouette artist is being sponsored in part by the Foundation to offer more affordable pricing to families. Read more about our silhouette artist here:  http://www.pavisnet.com/billiewills/

Living histories will be also presented of Patrick Henry and is always a hit.

 

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Delegate Chris Peace Appointed to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board

-- Relate Peace legislation will reform and streamline funding for Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention Agencies --

Central Virginia - Speaker of the House William J. Howell recently appointed Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board (CJSB).  The CJSB is the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) policy board, and represents all aspects of the criminal justice system on both state and local levels of government, as well as representatives of the private security industry, the public-at-large and members of the General Assembly.

The Board is the approving authority for Department regulations as well as for grant applications the Department awards to localities, state agencies and private non-profit organizations, such as the Hanover Safe Place.

Delegate Peace, speaking of his appointment, stated "I am honored to be appointed to this Board which connects all aspects of our criminal justice system.  Virginia must remain a safe place to live, work and raise a family. To that end, the Department of Criminal Justice Services reviews opportunities to collaborate with others to maintain and enhance public safety in our communities."

Peace continued, "Of special importance to me is the Victim/Witness Grant Review Subcommittee, which reviews grant applications for victim/witness programs, sexual assault programs, rural domestic violence programs, projects to improve the investigation and prosecution of cases of violence against women, and or services for victims of these crimes and makes recommendations to the CJSB. In a time when our communities are witnessing an increase in domestic homicides it has never been more critical to see that important funds go to the places of greatest need."

"Having been the sponsor of successful legislation during the 2014 session which provides additional compensation for mental health services for survivors, reasonable moving expenses for domestic violence victims and a process to advance efforts to streamline sexual and domestic violence victim service grants, I am delighted to be asked to serve on the CJSB."

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.  The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.

 

 

 

Statement of House Republican Leadership on Governor Terry McAuliffe's Budget Actions

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas), Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) issued the following statement Friday: “As soon as we receive them, the House will review all of Governor McAuliffe’s vetoes on the budget bill passed by the General Assembly last week. The Constitution and Supreme Court proscribe specific limits on the Governor’s line-item veto authority. We will review these vetoes to determine if they fall within the narrow scope of that authority, and once that review is complete the House will act accordingly.

“The Governor has no authority to expand Medicaid unilaterally or without the specific approval of the General Assembly.  The Governor’s attempt to usurp the constitutionally proscribed powers of the legislative branch is a dangerous threat to the rule of law, separation of powers, and foundation of representative democracy that we simply cannot allow. We are prepared to challenge this blatant executive overreach through all available avenues, including the court system.

“Some of the other vetoes appear to be petty and politically motivated. The continuity and operation of our judicial system is of paramount importance, and should not be subject to political gamesmanship. Governor McAuliffe signed the bipartisan ethics bill; his decision to veto this funding is counterproductive and unnecessary. The House of Delegates will act accordingly when it convenes on Monday.”   

Localities Across Commonwealth to get Approximately $180 Million in State Matching Funds for Transportation Projects

Localities throughout Virginia will receive approximately $180 million in state matching funds, which advances nearly $880 million in transportation projects to improve roads, bridges, sidewalks, trails and traffic lights in their area. The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the funding through the state’s Revenue Sharing Program during its meeting in June.  “Localities across the state, from rural counties to large urban cities, are able to make critical transportation improvements in their communities with state dollars,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “The Revenue Sharing Program provides a unique opportunity for the state and local governments to work in partnership to responsibly invest transportation dollars and support projects that enhance economic development opportunities in their locality.”

“The Revenue Sharing Program is an essential funding source for localities to proceed with their transportation priorities,” said Charlie Kilpatrick, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “The state’s contribution of $180 million advances projects valued almost five times that investment. Many projects will move forward to improve transportation throughout the commonwealth.”

Below is a partial list of projects that will advance under the Revenue Sharing Program

  • widen Lee Highway from two to four lanes from just east of Blevins Boulevard to just west of Alexis Drive in the City of Bristol 
  • repave several sections of unpaved roads in Culpeper County and new sidewalk construction in Albemarle County 
  • widen Morris Road/Mudd Tavern Road to four lanes and construct two double lane roundaboutsfrom the bridge over Interstate 95 to just east of the bridge over I-95 in Spotsylvania County 
  • widen Courthouse Road from two to four lanes from Winding Creek Road to Cedar Lane in Stafford County
  • widen Rosemont Road to four lanes from Lynnhaven Parkway to Dam Neck Road in Virginia Beach
  • bridge replacement on Main Street over the Expressway in the City of Lynchburg
  • widen Lee Highway from Legato Road to Shirley Gate Road in Fairfax County
  • extend Riverside Parkway in Loudoun County from Lexington Drive to Loudoun County Parkway
  • citywide repaving in the City of Richmond and construction of additional bikeways and trails as part of 2015 World Cycling Championship event
  • Franklin Road bridge replacement and citywide repaving in the City of Roanoke
  • construct four lane extension of Snowden Bridge Blvd in Frederick County just east of Route 11

A full listing of projects is located at http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2014/june/Resolution_Agenda_Item_5_Allocations.pdf.

Localities apply for funding under the Revenue Sharing Program each year.  VDOT recommends projects for funding and the CTB approves the final list of projects and allocation amounts for each.

For more information on the Revenue Sharing Program go to http://www.virginiadot.org/business/local-assistance-access-programs.asp#Revenue_Sharing.

Transportation Budget Chairman Applauds Upcoming Investment in King William County

~ King William Delegate Christopher K. Peace applauds VDOT rehabilitation of Route 30 in King William ~

Central Virginia- Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, applauds new investments in transportation projects by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in King William.  VDOT will begin major road repairs in King William on Route 30 beginning in July 2014.

The VDOT contract, valued at $4.4 million, will repair a 4.4 mile section of Route 30 west of Route 360 and a 1.88 mile section in the Town of West Point.  VDOT will be removing and replacing four inches of asphalt on the 4.4 miles section west of Route 360 and removing and replacing two inches of asphalt on the 1.88 mile section in the Town of West Point.

In response to the upcoming road work, Delegate Peace stated, “Route 30 is a major transportation artery for citizens and business.  Transportation investments in King William will be greatly beneficial to residents, many of whom have contacted my office and raised serious concerns over road conditions.  Being mindful of the needs of the District and responsiveness to constituent concerns are my top priorities.” 

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.  The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.

 

 

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