Friday, January 20, 2006

The Rust Report

Friends: I have several items for this week’s Rust Report. First, and perhaps most importantly, I am hosting two town meetings tomorrow, Saturday, January 21. The first meeting is at 10:00 am at the Sterling Community Library, the second at 1:00 pm at the Herndon Town Council Chambers. Information for both is posted on my web site, Second, I wanted to make sure everyone knows where to go to see what legislation I have introduced. The direct link is: Despite how difficult the legislative climate is this year, I managed to steer three of my bills through legislative committees this week: HB310 – Amends the membership requirements for the Student Advisory Council to the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). This legislation was requested by SCHEV and I agreed to carry it for them. HB684 – Dealing with erosion control measures. This was a rare bill that had the full support of the homebuilders, civil engineers, environmentalists, and several state agencies such as the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. In essence, the bill provides definitions of terms in the Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Acts that clarify what are acceptable flow rates from storm runoff at sites where land development projects are occurring. This is something that both environmentalists and homebuilders have had problems with for many years. I’d like to thank area resident Mike Rolband of Wetland Studies and Solutions for his help on the legislation. HB1001 – Amendments to malpractice insurance law. This non-controversial bill was requested by the insurance industry and the state agency that oversees insurance. Lastly, I wanted to say a few words about the issue that seems to be on everyone’s minds right now: athletic fields. Many of you have called and/or written me about HB1368, a bill introduced by Del. Bob Hull and entitled the “Home Serenity and Tranquility Act.” The legislation has the following provisions: “prohibits the operation on an athletic field owned or operated by a public or private entity of any event (i) before the hour of eight o'clock in the morning, (ii) after the hour of six o'clock in the evening, or (iii) on Sunday without the unanimous written consent of the affected homeowners. The bill defines athletic field, homeowner, and affected homeowner. The bill provides a civil penalty for violation and gives an aggrieved homeowner a cause of action for violations.” I oppose this bill, I think it is overly broad, and creates a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that exists in only a few communities. This is a prime example where the General Assembly should stay out of problems best solved by local governments working with athletic associations and local homeowners’ associations. That said, I do not expect the legislation to make it out of the House Committee on Courts of Justice, where it was referred for a hearing. I hope this information is helpful to all of you and I encourage each of you to contact me during the session if you have any questions or comments. Sincerely, Thomas Davis Rust


At 1/20/2006 11:19:00 PM, Blogger Ben Kyber said...

I give infinite props to Del. Rust for being the only House Republican to vote for the Sickles Amendment to HB101.

Seems like I'm doing too many self-plugs lately, but for more info on that subject, check out Blue in VA.


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