Friday, February 17, 2012

Delegate Mike Watson Newsletter



Letter from Mike:





Dear Friends,


This past week, after nine hours on the House Floor Monday getting approximately 200 bills through their last hurdle, we officially entered Crossover.  At Crossover, we pass our bills to the Senate and give them an opportunity to weigh in on work we have been doing, and conversely, they send their bills to us.


Just this afternoon, the Senate passed my first bill, which regards tax calculations in Tourism zones.  It passed unanimously.  Next stop:  the Governor.  On that same note, on Monday, I will be presenting House Bill 1144 to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.  This bill seeks to expand the scope of Habitat for Humanity to extend their good works, and to address blight and abandoned homes.


We have passed the halfway point, and so far, I think Session has gone well.  I will admit that while many bills are right in line with the goals I set when I chose to seek this office, some bills introduced by others have presented me with some very tough choices.  On particularly difficult bills, I have had to go back to the patron of the bill, senior legislators, and constituents to look much deeper into the details.  Through this process, I have learned much.  Undoubtedly, few bills will make everyone happy and I suspect that my votes on certain bills will draw overwhelming support on one side and harsh criticism on the other.  Regardless, it is my job to look at all the evidence before me, hear both sides of the argument and make the best decision I can with that information. 


That being said, you will see from the bills and budget amendments I have put forth that I have been consistent in my efforts to promote jobs, economic development, education, and transportation.  These are issues on which I ran and which got me elected, and they have been and will continue to be the core of my focus.


I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read these updates and for your interest in the process in general.  Please stay in touch, and let me know if I can be of service.




Contact Me:


As always, we are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there's anything we can do to help you.


My office can be reached at:


(804) 698-1093


or via email at


"Like" Me on Facebook


The most up-to-date information can be found here

Click Here to "Like"





We have officially crossed the halfway point of the 2012 General Assembly Session, and the House has completed action on all House bills and begun to take action on the 403 bills that passed out of the Senate. On the other side, the Senate has begun to take action on the 603 bills that passed the House.


$3.0 Million Allocated for Jefferson Lab


We recently learned that the $3,000,000 Mike requested for additional Jefferson Lab funding will be included in the House of Delegates budget.  This funding is vital for upgrades to the Free Electron Laser at Jefferson Lab, and has the potential to generate additional revenue and jobs. 


Although the budget process is still in its infancy, inclusion of our budget amendment into the House budget is an important first step, and a good sign.  More details about this budget amendment will follow.


Delegate Watson Passes House Bill 581


This week, Mike’s first bill passed through the Senate.  House Bill 581, which clarifies the current tax code to ensure that tourism projects receive the tax revenue promised to them, passed unanimously through the Senate.  This commonsense measure will now go before the Governor to be signed into law.  Once signed, it will take effect on July 1 of this year.


Second Telephone Town Hall


We hosted our second telephone town hall this past Thursday.  Over 3,000 citizens of the 93rd District joined us to discuss important issues facing our region, including economic development, education, and transportation.  These events are important because they allow Mike to discuss issues in-depth, and allow Mike to receive valuable feedback from constituents.


Although time constraints prevented us from answering every question, we encourage anyone with any thoughts, questions, or concerns to email Mike at, or to call Mike at (757) 645-5298.  Information about legislation on which Mike is working can also be found at Additionally, you can track the status of  legislation at


Delegate Watson Speaks For House Bill 512


This past week, Mike spoke on the floor in favor of House Bill 512, which would classify machinery and tools purchased after July 1, 2012 as intangible personal property.  This bill would therefore prevent machinery and tools purchased after July 1 from machinery and tools taxes implemented by localities for the first three years they were in service.  This bill would provide an incentive for businesses to expand to Virginia, and Delegate Watson spoke in favor of this economic development legislation on the floor of the House.  The video of this speech may be viewed on our website


This measure was greeted by stiff opposition from several localities who depend on the revenue from the machine and tools tax.  This measure would not remove any current revenue from localities, but would provide an exemption from this tax for new equipment to incentivize businesses.  Ultimately, we are confident that the jobs created by this measure, as well as all ancillary revenue generated, would more than make up for any initial revenue lost by localities.  This measure failed to pass the House of Delegates.

Contact Delegate Watson

Phone: (804) 698-1093     Email:

Mail: General Assembly Building P.O. Box 406 Richmond, Virginia 23218

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