Archive for: January 6th, 2018

Local News
Front Royal Business District Revitalization $ 700,000 in Community Development Block Grants
January 6, 2018
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RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $2,149,346 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for four projects in Virginia. This funding will support projects that improve sewer infrastructure and foster economic development in localities across the Commonwealth.

“This program has long been providing funding for projects that improve the quality of life for thousands of Virginians every year,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Through Community Development Block Grants, we are able to address needs across the Commonwealth including critical infrastructure, such as water and sewer service, as well as improve economic development opportunities, ensuring job creation in rural areas. I congratulate the four grantees and look forward to the success of these projects in Virginia.”

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Nearly three hundred non-metropolitan cities, counties, and towns are eligible for this program in the Commonwealth. Most of the approximately $16.5 million Virginia receives annually is allocated among local government applicants through a competitive process using objective scoring criteria developed in consultation with eligible localities. Other funds are available through several open-submission funds where projects that meet thresholds established in the CDBG program design are eligible for grant offers as long as funding is available. Most CDBG projects, in accordance with federal law, principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons or communities. Other projects are targeted for the prevention or elimination of slum and blighting conditions or in response to community development needs of a particular urgency.

“Through the CDBG program, we are utilizing all available resources to continue addressing community issues associated with housing, economic development, health, and safety,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “We are able to leverage this program together with local and private resources to maximize opportunities and ensure that all communities have the tools they need to flourish in the new Virginia economy.”

CDBG Community Economic Development Grant Award:
Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Scott County Riverside Development Phase III $ 250,000

CDBG Construction Ready Water and Sewer Grant Award:
Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Amherst County Old Town Madison Heights $ 500,000

CDBG Competitive Grant Award:
Locality Project Name CDBG Award
Town of Front Royal Front Royal Business District Revitalization $ 700,000
Town of Narrows Narrows Business District Revitalization $ 699,34

Legislative Update
Did You Know?
January 6, 2018
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Simplifying the tax code, protecting children from human trafficking, strengthening border security, combating the opioid epidemic, and bolstering career and technical education – these are just some of the many issues addressed by bills passed in the House of Representatives last year. In total, the House passed more than 477 bills in 2017, 86 more than average. Committees in the House, like the House Judiciary Committee, were busy as well, passing 544 bills. Take a moment to learn more at DidYouKnow.gop.

One of the largest accomplishments by Congress last year was enacting pro-growth tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is now law, lowers tax rates for families, puts more money in your pocket, and encourages businesses to invest in the United States. Ensuring our veterans receive the service and benefits they deserve was also a central focus of Congress. I was proud to support legislation that is now law to increase accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, modernize the claims appeals process for veterans, and expand access to education and workforce training for those who have served.

For years we’ve seen an avalanche of federal red tape choking the ability of job creators to grow. One of the first things the House did in 2017 was pass my bill, the Regulatory Accountability Act, to make the regulatory process more transparent and lift unnecessary burdens on job creators. Congress also used a tool called the Congressional Review Act to roll back some of the most egregious rules released in the final days of the Obama Administration. Fifteen of these resolutions to strike costly, overreaching rules from the books were signed into law.

The House also passed two bills that I introduced to help secure America’s borders and improve the enforcement of our immigration laws. Kate’s Law enhances penalties for deported felons who illegally reenter the United States. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act cracks down on sanctuary policies that allow unlawful and criminal immigrants to be released onto the streets.

Congress sent a strong message by passing legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which was signed into law, makes it clear that these countries must be held accountable for their actions against the United States and the global community. Additionally, legislation was signed into law to help rebuild America’s military and give our troops their largest pay raise in eight years. The House also passed a bill fully funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next five years.

It was a busy year in Congress, but there is much work to be done in 2018. I look forward to working on behalf of Virginia’s Sixth District to advance policies that will create greater opportunity for Americans and keep our country safe. As the next session of Congress gets underway, you can contact me through my website at Goodlatte.House.Gov or by visiting one of my offices. I hope you will stay in touch throughout the coming year.

In Case You Missed It
Heading to the President’s desk Passage of my bill, H.R. 954, will lift federal restrictions on land in Rockingham County and will allow the daycare currently using the land to help serve more of the community.

This is good news: Washington Examiner: Over 100 companies giving bonuses after tax victory and here’s a growing list of more.

What does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act mean for you? CBS News: How three different households will fare under the tax bill

Go Dukes! Tune in on Saturday: James Madison set to face North Dakota State in FCS Title Game

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month — Human trafficking impacts communities of all sizes, including Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District. I am focused on helping to stop this crime. The House has passed well over a dozen bipartisan bills to help victims, punish traffickers, prevent trafficking, and aid law enforcement. It is imperative that these bills become law. We must do all we can to fight this heinous crime and bring perpetrators to justice. Click here to learn more about human trafficking.

Stopping Global Terrorist Threats
In the past year, the terrorist group ISIS has lost a significant amount of ground. However, while it has received some coverage, it’s safe to say that the successes by the United States in helping to reclaim territory from ISIS have not received the attention they deserve. Thanks to our Armed Forces and strong foreign policy outlined by President Trump and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, the grip of ISIS on Iraq and Syria has greatly diminished. The fight against ISIS is certainly not over, but the progress made in the past year is significant. Click here to read more in my weekly column.

 

Home
Paint doesn’t have to be expensive to be high quality
January 6, 2018
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Expensive paint isn’t necessarily the best, according to a new Consumer Reports study.

Brands at home improvements stores are likely to be cheaper but just as good for coverage as the pricier options. In fact, in Consumer Reports rankings, the top four excellent interior paints are all from home improvement stores:
– Behr Marquee, $39, Home Depot.
– Behr Premium Plus Enamel, $27, Home Depot.
– Valspar Reserve, $44, Lowe’s.
– Behr Premium Plus Ultra, $30, Home Depot.

Benjamin Moore’s Aura, $70, sold at independent dealers, came in fifth in the rankings.

A paint rated excellent for coverage should cover a very dark paint in one coat.

Colors are another consideration. Famed paint Farrow & Ball is known for its unique and upscale colors. But, according to Consumer Reports, hardware store clerks can match Farrow & Ball colors within 1 percent, making it tempting to buy a cheaper brand and skip the salty $100 per gallon price. The sheen of the paint may look different, though.

All modern paints which claim to be self-priming do just that. So priming is not usually necessary, the magazine reports.

Interesting Things You Need to Know
Proxima Centauri: our not-so-nearby neighbor
January 6, 2018
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Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbour: Proxima Centauri.

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to planet earth. Close, however, is relative, as this red dwarf — the term used by astronomers to designate smaller, cooler stars — is still about 4.22 light-years away.

Even at the highest speed ever recorded by a man-made object (252,792 km/h), it would take a probe more than 18,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri. Bottom line: if you dream of interstellar travel, you’re going to need to be patient.