The aftermath of the fire has triggered anew a disagreement between the City of Harrisonburg, state legislators and lobbyists for the apartment management industry over a city ordinance that was enacted in 2015 and, prompted several bills in the General Assembly and became the subject of a legal battle that lasted more than a year.
At this year’s oyster dinner fundraiser, the focus went beyond Sen. Obenshain’s attempt to win a fifth term to serve as a kick-off for the pivotal 2019 campaign season where Republicans are seeking to maintain their majorities in the General Assembly.
The road to funding improvements on I-81 took another twist Wednesday, with the General Assembly voting to increase truck registration fees and impose new fuel taxes along the I-81 corridor.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain went out on a limb with a bill to begin tolling on I-81 to pay for $2.2 billion in much-needed improvements to the interstate . Things didn’t work like he’d hoped, however.
“I’m deeply disappointed,” Obenshain said. “We had a commitment to a process last year, and, frankly, I did a pretty uncomfortable thing of taking the result of that process and carrying that legislation.”
While some say different circumstances call for different outcomes, a bill now moving through the General Assembly would create a mandatory prison sentence for certain kinds of threats made against schools in Virginia. Though the law is a response to the increase in threats made against schools in parts of Virginia, local school administrators say they have not seen an increase in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.