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General Assembly Session Passed Midpoint

For Immediate Release
February 19, 2014

Delegate Israel O’Quinn
Contact: Jacob Holmes (804) 698-1005
 
General Assembly Session Passed Midpoint

RICHMOND – The 2014 General Assembly Session is drawing to a close in Richmond.  This year marked the start of Delegate Israel O’Quinn’s (R-Washington) third year representing the Fifth House District in the Virginia House of Delegates.  He was appointed to the Commerce and Labor Committee this year by Speaker Bill Howell, which brought his total committee assignments to a total of four – the maximum allowed for any Delegate. He continued to serve on the three committees to which he was originally appointed to: Finance; Privileges and Elections; and Militia, Police, and Public Safety.

Delegate O’Quinn introduced several important pieces of legislation this year.  One of his most significant pieces of legislation was HB 375, a bill to combat bad faith assertions of patent infringement, or “patent trolls.”  This bill will prohibit any person from falsely claiming that someone has infringed upon a patent.  Delegate O’Quinn stated that, “This will be a big help to small businesses by allowing them to devote valuable time and resources to more productive things.  Virginia is only the second state in the Nation to pass such a law.”

Delegate O’Quinn also passed HB 710, which keeps the Coal Surface Mine Reclamation Fund solvent and will prevent the federal government from taking it over.  The Reclamation Fund is an important part of the coal industry and safeguards against potential issues related to surface mining. 

With the help of Delegate Jeff Campbell (R-Smyth) as the Chief Co-Patron, Delegate O’Quinn introduced HB 592 to keep open the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville, as well as the other training centers across the state.  This bill would have kept this much-needed facility open and available to serve our very valuable members of our communities.  Unfortunately, this bill did not make it out of committee.

In addition, Delegate O’Quinn co-patroned several other bills with fellow House members.  He co-patroned HB 1211 with Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) to create a Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council to help keep the political process in Virginia more transparent and principled. This bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate.  Another bill that was of great importance this year was Delegate Tag Greason’s (R-Loudoun) HB 930 that reduces the number of required SOL tests by 23%.  Delegate O’Quinn was very supportive of this endeavor to better education in the Commonwealth and he said, “Students are being tested too much and there isn’t enough classroom time for learning other skills that aren’t covered by the SOLs.  HB 930 is a big step in the right direction.”

“I am honored to serve you in the Virginia House of Delegates.  Throughout my tenure, I have striven to advocate for the people of the Fifth District to the best of my ability.  I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the coming years,” stated Delegate O’Quinn on his work in the House of Delegates.

Delegate O’Quinn appreciates the input of constituents on issues that they find important. Please stay in touch by emailing him at delioquinn@house.virginia.gov or by writing at PO Box 16325, Bristol, VA 24209. You may also reach him by phone at 276-525-1311. You can find helpful links and track what is happening throughout the district on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/israeloquinn and on his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/israeloquinn.

Delegate Israel O'Quinn represents the Fifth House District, which is comprised of the Cities of Bristol and Galax, Grayson County and parts of Smyth and Washington Counties.  www.israeloquinn.com
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