Post by Brain Fauls, Government Affairs Manager at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce
Let’s face it, most people just don’t care about what goes on in the Virginia General Assembly. If you ask the average person on the street about the General Assembly they’ll probably respond in one of two ways; either complain that all politicians are crooks and walk away in disgust, or just stare into space while having a horrible flashback of high school civics class. I get it. Government procedures and politicians aren’t exactly exciting or popular; especially in an era of political gridlock.
We may hate government but what our elected officials do has a direct impact on our daily lives and on our ability to run our businesses. For example, would you rather Virginia’s transportation money be spent on repairing existing roads and reducing traffic congestion or building sidewalks (HB 2099 & SB 932)? How about giving every locality in Virginia the right to set its own minimum wage (SB 704)? Hopefully, you’re thinking those are bad ideas. And you’d be right. Unfortunately, I’m not making those ideas up; there really were bills introduced in the General Assembly this year to do just those things. Had the business community not been paying attention and not been down in Richmond talking to legislators about why those bills were bad, they might have become law.
When you’re running a business and dealing with payroll, employees, customers, suppliers, insurance needs, etc., etc.; you don’t have time to follow the ins and outs of the General Assembly – or the Board of Supervisors or Congress. But we do. We watch what’s going on and we tell our legislators at all levels of government what policies we believe they should enacted to make it easier for people to run their business and to create world-class communities.