Delegate Knight Files Legislation to Correct Oversight to Benefits for Surviving Spouses of Veterans Killed in War

Virginia Beach, VA – Delegate Knight, representative to the 81st District in the Virginia House of Delegates, files legislation that will correct an oversight to the Virginia code. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, surviving spouses of military service members that are killed in war are granted a property tax exemption of up to $300,000.00 the value of the property. Originally, the legislation incorporated service members that were ruled by the federal government as Killed In Action (KIA). Service members that are taken to field hospitals and sadly pass away due to their service on the front are said to have “Died of War Wounds”, therefore their spouses do not qualify for the tax exemption.

“I believe the full intent of the General Assembly was to support the spouses of our heroes when they make the ultimate sacrifice whether it is on the front or in the hospital. No spouse should have to prove the heroism of their loved one.” — Delegate Barry D. Knight

Delegate Knight’s legislation will open the exemption to the surviving spouses of those who are ruled as “Died of War Wounds.” This will ensure the spouses will receive the property tax exemption. This legislation will correct the oversight, and will also implement the original intent of the program when it was brought to a vote in the Virginia General Assembly.

Delegate Knight Files Menhaden Legislation to Address Massive Public Concerns

Virginia Beach, VA – Delegate Barry D. Knight, of Virginia’s 81st House District, filed two pieces of legislation to address the massive concerns of the people of Hampton Roads with menhaden fishing regulations. Menhaden populations affect many other species in the Chesapeake Bay and they are considered the most important fish of the sea.

The first piece of legislation will be to remove regulatory authority from the Virginia General Assembly and place it under the purview of the Virginia Marine Resource Center (VMRC). All marine life in the Commonwealth of Virginia is regulated by the VMRC using scientific data and trends. Menhaden is the only species that continue to be regulated by the General Assembly.

“Regulation for menhaden fishing should be based on scientific research and not the political whim of the governor or legislative body.” -Delegate Knight

The second piece of legislation being carried by Delegate Knight will push menhaden fishing three miles off of the coast of Virginia from the North Carolina line to Cape Henry and one mile off of the coast of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This legislation will put into code a gentleman’s agreement with menhaden fishing and the people of Virginia Beach.

This evening Delegate Knight, along with Senator Frank Wagner and Senator-elect Bill DeSteph, will be hosting an event for Hampton Roads Anglers Associations to discuss the issue of Menhaden fishing off the coast of Virginia and in the waters and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The meeting has had a change of location and will be held at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center today, Tuesday, December 22nd from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Legislators participating want to have a discussion with anglers about their concerns with the menhaden fish population, and how to address these concerns during the 2016 legislative session.

“I have been working the menhaden issue for several years since my election to the Virginia House of Delegates, and look forward to this dialog to gain grassroots support for the General Assembly to do what is right for the conservation efforts for the menhaden population.” -Delegate Barry D. Knight

Our Work in Richmond

For the first time in the past 15 years, the Virginia General Assembly ended early and demonstrated a clear contrast between the way the people’s business is conducted in Richmond as opposed to how things are done in Washington, D.C. or in other state capitols.

The General Assembly passed a conservative, responsible and most importantly, balanced state budget that spends $1 billion dollars less in general funds than last year’s originally-adopted budget. This budget also reprioritizes funding to award the hard work of our teachers, state employees and state troopers.

The most important fact about this state budget is, it increases pay for the above mentioned workers, directs more resources towards mental health services, adds funds to the commonwealth’s rainy day fund and, the budget we passed eliminated $33 million dollars in debt and $11.7 million dollars in new fees proposed by the Governor.

Our new budget also does more to shore up the Virginia Retirement System, reducing underfunded liabilities and saving future taxpayer dollars.

We have also dedicated another $42 million dollars for higher education, restoring 94% of the cuts adopted by the supplemental budget to address the shortfall. This includes $19.8 million dollars to incentivize enrollment, $10.1 million for financial aid and $5 million dollars for faculty research.

On April 15th, the General Assembly will reconvene in our state capitol for the “veto” session and I will be sure to keep you up-to-date with the latest news.