Arlington, VA

Arlington’s top legislative priority is on life support in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

As expected, the renewal of a hotel tax surcharge that is responsible for generating Arlington’s nearly $1 million per year tourism promotion budget was all-but-killed in a House subcommittee this morning. The bill, introduced by Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D), was passed by indefinitely — meaning the House version dead unless a member who voted against it changes his or her mind.

An identical bill introduced by Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple passed the Senate last week, however, meaning that the tax renewal will get another shot in House committee. It’s yet to be seen whether the outcome will be any different.

Other bills by Arlington lawmakers have met with mixed results.

A bill from Del. Patrick Hope (D) that would have banned guns in Virginia’s Capitol building and the General Assembly Building has been passed by indefinitely.

Another bill from Hope, which would have dramatically raised the state tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, has also failed.

Two bills introduced by Del. Brink have managed to pass the Republican-controlled House, however. The bills “address the irregularities discovered during the signature gathering process” for last year’s failed effort to change Arlington’s form of government.

One bill, HB 1646, calls for the name and address of a petition signature gatherer to be present on both sides of the petition form. The other bill, HB 1670, says that “a notary shall not perform any notarial act… that presents a conflict between his personal interest and his official duty.”

One bill passed unanimously, the other passed with only one ‘no’ vote. They will now be taken up by the Democratic-controlled state Senate.

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