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Chamber Supports Ramadan Bill to Lower Greenway Tolls

posted January 27th, 2015

LoudounCountyChamber

Monday, January 26, 2015
Contact: Brian Fauls
O (571) 209-9024
M (703) 431-5572
bfauls@loudounchamber.org

Chamber Supports Ramadan Bill to Lower Greenway Tolls

Urges State Officials to focus on distance-based pricing

Loudoun County, VA –Today, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce issued a statement of support for Delegate David Ramadan’s House Bill (HB) 2344, which seeks to lower tolls on the Dulles Greenway.

“The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce is proud to support the efforts of Delegates Ramadan, Greason and LaRock to give the State Corporation Commission (SCC) the authority to set more reasonable toll rates on the Dulles Greenway,” said Chamber President and CEO Tony Howard.

“As the Chamber indicated in its letter to the SCC in June of 2013, the Greenway’s high tolls clearly “discourage use of the roadway by the public.” Consequently, daily thousands of extra drivers crowd onto already congested local roads, worsening the intolerable level of traffic in Loudoun County, damaging our quality of life and harming the economic competitiveness of our businesses and their employees,” said Howard

“The Loudoun County Chamber fully supports free market principles and we support the rights of Toll Road Investors Partnership (TRIP) II, L.P. – the Greenway’s owners, – to earn a reasonable rate of return on the investment they have made in this public-private facility. We also believe that the lack of distance-based pricing and other factors ensures that the Greenway does not provide its users a value commensurate with the costs of the tolls. We urge Loudoun County’s General Assembly delegation to support the bill and to push the SCC to replace the toll structure currently used on the Dulles Greenway with a fairer, more competitive rate structure that incorporates graduated or distance-based tolls,” concluded Howard.

To read the Chamber’s June 2, 2013 letter to the SCC click here.

The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce is the “voice of business” on behalf of its nearly 1,300 members on issues that impact the economy and quality of life in Loudoun County.

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Legislation to Lower Greenway Tolls

posted January 23rd, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Delegate David Ramadan
Phone: 804-698-1187
E-Mail: Info@DavidRamadan.com

RAMADAN, GREASON, LAROCK INTRODUCE BILL TO LOWER GREENWAY TOLLS

Senator Black Joins the Effort, Congresswoman Comstock and Loudoun Board Supports

Richmond, VA | January 23rd, 2015 – Delegate David Ramadan (87th – R), Delegate Tag Greason (32nd – R), Delegate Dave LaRock (33rd – R) and Senator Dick Black (10th – R) filed new legislation today in the interest of their constituents who are desperate for relief from excessive Greenway toll increases. They intend to better define current law in Virginia as it relates to the Greenway in order to correct current inequities that have resulted in unbearably high tolls.

This legislation contains definitions that will clarify the existing Code of Virginia to assist the State Corporation Commission (SCC) in their duty to regulate the operators of the Dulles Greenway in a way that is fair to all stakeholders.

“The issue is complex, and the lawyers who represent the Greenway are powerful and well-funded. But the hard working residents of Virginia deserve better,” said the bill patrons on Friday afternoon. “We have the Code of Virginia on our side, and we will do our duty to seek relief for our constituents.”

“The ever increasing tolls on the Greenway make it harder and harder for moms and dads and others who are trying to get to and from work every day to justify using the road – that means more congestion on Route 7 and other local roads. I applaud my former colleagues in the General Assembly for taking on this issue and I will continue to work with them and others to keep the Greenway affordable,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

This week the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to endorse this bill and encourage all members of the Loudoun General Assembly delegation to support it. “The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is committed to doing anything and everything possible to bring relief to residents from outrageous Greenway tolls,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles). “The Board has devoted County legal resources to Delegate Ramadan’s SCC case and will be actively supporting this legislation introduced by members of our delegation. We appreciate their efforts.”

Ramadan and Loudoun County are currently engaged in an investigation that started in December of 2012 with the SCC against the Greenway’s excessive toll rates. In 2014 an SCC hearing examiner ruled that she had “no authority to reduce tolls.” Thus the legislators are now working to clarify the Virginia code by introducing this measure.

On December 30th, 2014, the Greenway operators filed an application for yet another toll increase with the SCC, despite the court case still being in progress. Local residents are encouraged to submit comments to the SCC via their website: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx, using case number: PUE-2014-00129 – Application of Toll Road Investors Partnership II, L.P., for an increase in tolls

Delegate David Ramadan represents the 87th House of Delegates District, which includes eastern Loudoun County and western Prince William County. He has been working on this issue since he was sworn into office in 2012. Delegate Tag Greason represents the 32nd House of Delegates District, which includes most of the Ashburn area of Loudoun County. He has been working on this issue since 2010. Delegate Dave LaRock represents the 33rd House of Delegates District, which includes parts of western Loudoun County, northern Clarke County, and northern Frederick County.

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Week 2 – Reporting from Richmond!

posted January 23rd, 2015

Dear Friends & Neighbors, 

Best regards from Richmond! We have now finished the second week of the 2015 General Assembly Session. Last week I filed 13 bills dealing with multiple issues of interest to my constituents, and in my last newsletter I gave you a brief description of each of them. This week was quite busy – I had five subcommittee meetings, five full committee meetings, nine caucus meetings, a budget briefing, and numerous other meetings and phone calls with constituents, groups and organizations, and fellow legislators. In addition, I worked with several of my colleagues to draft a bill regarding the Greenway –just in time to file it before today’s 3:00pm deadline.

The Greenway Bill

Today I filed HB2344, a bill dealing with that ravenous beast in our own backyard – the Greenway and the outrageous tolls you have to pay each day. As you may all remember, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is currently investigating the Greenway tolls based on my request –the case which I initiated back in December 2012 is still ongoing and hearings will likely resume in the spring. It has been my position from day one that the Greenway is in violation of the current Code of Virginia. This bill contains many detailed pages of definitions and ‘legalese’ that will clarify the code to achieve what we have been after from the beginning:

  • Lower the current rates;
  • Distance-based pricing;
  • Limit yearly increases.

My colleagues Delegate Tag Greason, Delegate Dave LaRock and Senator Dick Black have joined me on this effort. This will be a very hard, uphill battle due to the complexity of the issue and the extensive power and reach of the lawyers who represent the Greenway. Please click here to read the Press Release (http://www.icontact-archive.com/Tw8sBwLUbjTdBs_d6LiW9-xxZPpZZpmV) and stay tuned for updates. Also, if you have not already done so, please visit www.LowerGreenwayTolls.com to sign the petition.

IMPORTANT/URGENT – NOTE: On December 30th, 2014, the Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II), operators of the Dulles Greenway Toll Road, filed an application for yet another toll increase with the SCC. I will be filing my objections to this new toll hike on Monday. I urge you to do the same. The SCC is accepting comments online until February 6th, 2015. Please go online, fill out the easy comment form (www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx) , click on case number PUE-2014-00129, and make sure that the SCC knows where you stand on this issue.

TRIP II’s application to the SCC to further raise the currently disputed rates is an insult to the citizens of Loudoun County and shows their utter lack of respect for the SCC and Virginia.

 

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Week 1 – Reporting from Richmond!

posted January 16th, 2015

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Best regards from Richmond! My staff and I arrived here on Sunday. The first week of the 2015 General Assembly session has ended. This year, the House and Senate will likely tackle over 1,500 pieces of legislation. Not only do we have the task of considering legislation on various issues of interest to all Virginians but we must also investigate and debate the merits of proposed changes by the governor to the biennial budget for FY2015-16. The Virginia Constitution requires a balanced budget; a practice that insures Virginia will remain a stable and prosperous place to do business, raise a family, and enjoy the great freedoms of this country.

On Wednesday, Speaker Howell announced committee assignments. I am pleased to continue to serve on Privileges & Elections, General Laws, and Science & Technology committees, which gives me greater seniority. I will also continue to serve as chairman of the Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee and vice-chairman of the Appointments Subcommittee. Due to the retirement of several members since last year’s regular session, I have risen in seniority. Thus my new license plates reflect #67.

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Earlier this week I filed 13 bills dealing with multiple issues of interest to my constituents; please review a summary of the bills below. There are still a few other issues I will be addressing in the coming week, including a bill to deal with the outrageous tolls on the Greenway – stay tuned for more info soon!!!

My 2015 Legislative Survey is now live. Please take a few moments to complete it and let me know where you stand on many important items that the General Assembly is likely to consider this year: http://survey.house.virginia.gov/Survey.aspx?s=079466903fa940f88a712cf5cfa21524

87thDistrict Day in Richmond –You Are Invited!!
On President’s Day, Monday February 16th, I will be hosting an 87th District Day in Richmond at the General Assembly Building (GAB) for the citizens of our District. Please bring your families, friends, and neighbors to visit Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol; the seat of our Virginia Government is full of history for you to experience. In addition to the FREE morning reception (9:30am-11:30am in room 7West of the GAB), we have arranged a special tour of the Capitol for you starting at noon.

Everyone is invited to sit in on the House proceedings as legislation is discussed and voted on. This is a great opportunity to bring the children (who will be out of school that day) to experience your state government in action!

As an added bonus that day, Pastor Charlie Whitlow of Community Church in Ashburn will be giving the Invocation for the House of Delegates!
If you would like to attend, or get more information, please RSVP online. For more info contact Katrina Foard in my office at Katrina@DavidRamadan.com. …

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