For decades, many in Southwest and Central Virginia have lamented our stagnant population growth and, with the explosive growth in Northern Virginia, our accompanying loss of political influence. Those who feel this loss particularly acutely are our political leaders, as their (and thus our) leverage wanes relative to other parts of the Commonwealth.
However, using what church growth experts call “natural growth,” Sen. David Suetterlein (R-19) and his wife Ashley have been doing their part for a robust, healthy population. They welcomed their fourth child on February 25.
In a “Dear Friends” email, the senator reported:
Thank you for all the prayers, kind words, and help this week. Ashley and our baby boy are home and doing well. Daniel was born early on Friday, measuring in at 23.25 inches and at 9 lbs, 14 ounces. His big brother and sisters are thrilled to have [him] home and our family appreciates all of the kindness.
Since Daniel chose to make his entrance during the busy General Assembly session, Sen. Suetterlein obtained the help of fellow Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) to help shepherd some bills through key votes while he came home to Roanoke to be with his family.
His email continues:
Bills Advancing in the House/Thank you Sen. ObenshainSenate Bill 146 to eliminate some onerous red tape placed on restaurants by Governor Northam’s Administration and my SB510 dealing with the technicalities of closing down a real estate firm in the event of the broker’s death. Senator Mark Obenshain had one of his own bills on the subcommittee’s docket and was kind enough to stay late into the evening to present both my bills so I could go be with Ashley. Both bills successfully advanced after his presentation and are expected to be considered by the full House of Delegates later this week. Making Parole Board Votes Public heads to Gov. Youngkin The House of Delegates voted 96-3 to pass my SB5 to make Parole Board votes public. This important transparency bill is now heading to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk. WDBJ’s coverage of SB5 passing is available here. Eliminating the Grocery Tax included in both budgetsThe Virginia Senate and House of Delegates passed competing budget proposals that will be negotiated and hopefully reconciled in the next two weeks before they are sent to Governor Youngkin who will then have an opportunity to offer his own amendments to the legislature’s proposal. Delegate Joe McNamara has been doing an outstanding job fighting for his HB90 that would fully eliminate the grocery tax while keeping localities whole. I’m proud to be the Senate Chief Co-Patron of this important tax relief and am working hard to get it through the Senate. An early promising sign for the proposal is that both the Senate and House included provisions in their budget proposals premised on grocery tax relief. I will continue to fight for HB90 and the total elimination of this regressive tax.While I was in Roanoke with Ashley, the House of Delegates General Laws subcommittee was considering my
Sen. David Suetterlein represents the 19th State Senate District. Because the 21st District is gerrymandered to connect the urban areas of Roanoke and Blacksburg, the 19th District is largely rural and spreads from the outskirts of Lynchburg all the way to Floyd County and Wytheville.
With redistricting, Sen. Suetterlein and septuagenarian Sen. John Edwards (D-21) will both be living in the newly-created 4th Senate District, which will comprise most of the Roanoke Valley. The next Senate elections for those four-year terms will be in November 2023.