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My New HERO: Delegate Michael Webert for Opposing Crony Capitalism!

Delegate Michael Webert (R-Loudoun) is my hero at least for this week or so.

Webert introduced a bill to bar any state or local government from providing any financial assistance for a professional sports team.  Here’s the bill and below is the text of it:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 55.3, consisting of sections numbered 2.2-5514 and 2.2-5515, as follows:

CHAPTER 55.3.PROHIBITION OF PUBLIC FUNDING OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS.

§ 2.2-5514. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter:

“Professional sports stadium” means a venue that hosts two or more events or practices featuring professional sports teams in a calendar year. “Professional sports stadium” includes practice and development facilities, office space, merchandising facilities, restaurants, or lodging for professional sports teams.

“Professional sports team” means any team consisting of athletes that receive monetary compensation for participating in sporting events. “Professional sports team” does not include high school or collegiate teams or teams funded exclusively by organizations holding tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3).

“Public funding” means:

1. Tax incentives that reduce the burden of state or local taxes, including deductions, subtractions, modifications, credits, and exemptions from taxation;

2. State or local grants, appropriations, authorizations, or expenditures, including the issuance of any state or locally supported debt or any conduit debt issued by a state or local authority;

3. State or local loans; and

4. Financial assistance in the construction of private infrastructure.

§ 2.2-5515. Prohibition of public funding of professional sports teams.

A. On and after January 1, 2019, neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision thereof shall:

1. Provide or offer to provide public funding for the construction of a professional sports stadium unless the public funding is otherwise available to all development projects or business entities located in the locality;

2. Utilize public funding for the construction or maintenance of facilities for a professional sports team;

3. Utilize public funding for infrastructure improvements required by a newly constructed professional sports stadium; or

4. Lease or donate land to a professional sports team or an entity affiliated with a professional sports team.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof from constructing, maintaining, and charging reasonable fees for the use of public infrastructure related to a professional sports stadium, including water and sewer systems, electricity generation facilities, and transportation facilities.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate any existing contractual obligation incurred by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof prior to January 1, 2019.

Isn’t it wonderful?  My only addition would be that if there had to be funding for sports teams they must have a policy of requiring all to stand for the national anthem!  It was co sponsored by these delegates:

Patrons– Webert, Collins, Freitas, Krizek and VanValkenburg; Senator: Surovell

But it got killed 8-0 by this subcommittee of Appropriations:

YEAS–Torian, Ingram, Poindexter, Knight, Stolle, Head, Hayes, Tyler–8.

The YEA is for laying it on the table – e.g. killing it for the year.  That’s what I call bipartisanship!  For both parties are in deep when it comes to crony capitalism and corporate welfare.  They tried to say in fairness that this bill was too broad and would cut down on the discretion of local governments.  One tried to invoke the Olympics to oppose this bill.  Reminds me of the sign I see at the Hanover Trash Transfer station:

HORSE MANURE NOT PERMITTED

But these delegates have some vision.  Now turn that to other “economic development” ideas such as bringing movies to Virginia.  I heard some representative of the movie commission try to claim this very AM on the news that the state’s economy made $40,000,000 from bringing movies to Virginia.  Yeah, and we were also told:  The bike race made money!  I need to find more facts on this movie claim.

In the meantime:  No more crony capitalism.  What Virginia needs is a Ron Paul in each house of the General Assembly.  Any takers?

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “My New HERO: Delegate Michael Webert for Opposing Crony Capitalism!”

  1. GeneThePopulist says:

    I shouldn’t say anything, Sanford. But, don’t you realize that these bills going down in flames 8-0 against, DO NOT HAVE A CHECK STAPLED TO THEM, THEREFORE THERE IS NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR THE HOODLUMS? No lobbyist, no money, poof, gone. No legislation. All legal.

    Please, quit pretending that the GA is not a bunch of crooks. All legal of course.

  2. GodSaveVirginia says:

    I thought Bob Marshall was the Ron Paul of Virginia, but he got taken out with the trash last November.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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