Two of my biggest issues in the ’07 campaign were student loan reform and energy efficiency in our state government.
Yesterday, the House Education Committee unanimously endorsed SB 510 patroned by me and Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) which prohibits unfair practices such as gifts or exclusive relationships between our colleges and student loan vendors.
This prohibition is long overdue. Assuming the bill passes the full House this week, it will become law on July 1st. That’s excellent news.
Conversely, I appeared today before the House General Laws Committee on SB 447 which is my bill to require LEEDS standards for energy-efficiency in all new state buildings. This bill makes sure that the state is doing the right thing, before we require it of local governments or home builders.
SB 447 attracted a lot of interest including comments from the Farm Bureau, Virginia Forestry Products, commercial home builders, and environmental groups — all of whom had different opinions about what is the best standard for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth.
To make a long story short, the bill was “carried over” this morning and will be sent to the Climate Change Commission this summer for further study.
That will not be a polite goodbye. Virginia needs to have energy efficiency standards, first for itself and then for its builders. I’ll keep bringing this bill until we get there.