Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy News

FIVE FOR FRIDAYWelcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.

  1. Virginia expands Amtrak service to downtown Richmond as part of $3.7 billion rail program

    The new service to the state capital starts Monday as Virginia kicks off service enhancements.

    Virginia is expanding Amtrak service in downtown Richmond this week that links to the nation’s capital, the first of multiple service enhancements planned as part of the state’s new multibillion-dollar rail expansion program.

    A morning trip from Richmond’s Main Street to downtown Washington — with a returning night train to Richmond — is a response to growing demand for increased service between the two capital cities and is part of a plan to re-energize Richmond’s historic station.

    1b.  Don't miss the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance's 17th Annual What You Need to Know about Transportation! 

    Join NVTA on October 28th at 8:30 a.m. This year's program boasts an all-star line-up of transportation experts, so don't miss your chance to become well-versed on our region's most critical transportation needs and infrastructure. 

    This year's program will be hosted via Airmeet webinar.  With space for only 200 registered participants, sign up today to guarantee your spot!

  2. Neglectful landlord ordered to pay nearly half a million dollars in back rent in record-setting case

    In a record-setting decision, a D.C. Superior Court judge has ordered a property owner to repay tenants nearly half a million dollars in rent. The judge found that the owner of a Columbia Heights apartment building repeatedly broke D.C. consumer protection laws by lying to his tenants about the safety and habitability of apartments.

    The ruling, issued Monday by D.C. Superior Court Judge Anthony C. Epstein, is the culmination of a years-long dispute and the largest amount of back rent ever ordered by a judge to be paid out to tenants, according to the D.C. Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The $422,322.16 in rent restitution covers 100 percent rent refunds for the 18 months between June 2016 and the appointment of the receiver in November 2017

  3. Alexandria City Council Approves Additional Eviction Prevention Resources

    At a legislative meeting on September 28, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to increase the City of Alexandria’s capacity to support households at risk for eviction. 

    City Council’s decision funds $457,000 for two service navigator and two housing relocator positions; storage assistance for household belongings; and additional legal services provided by the Legal Aid Justice Center to assist people at risk for eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    “The consequences of eviction during this pandemic are far-reaching for individuals and families,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “The likelihood of experiencing homelessness increases, mental and physical health are diminished, and the potential for obtaining employment decreases. City Council’s vote addresses the urgent need for eviction prevention and legal services in Alexandria and strengthens a local safety net that will help protect our residents as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.” 

  4. Bus rapid transit seen as top option on Route 1 corridor

    Extending a bus rapid transit line along the Route 1 corridor in Prince William County would be more cost-effective than Metrorail to ease traffic congestion, but denser development is needed to drive ridership, according to transportation planners. Those preliminary conclusions from a year-long study by Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation of enhanced transit options along Route 1 in Fairfax and Prince William counties were presented during a meeting Tuesday night.

  5. House Passes Remote Online Notarization Legislation

    If this bill becomes law, this amendment would authorize every notary in the US to perform remote online notarizations (RON), with appropriate safety standards.

    The bill authorizes military appropriations for 2022 and incorporates an amendment to implement the SECURE Notarization Act. For the past two congressional sessions, the SECURE Notarization Act has been introduced on a bipartisan basis to promote the nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) technology. In 2021, NAR and a coalition of industry partners successfully promoted the inclusion of the Act into the NDAA as Amendment #445.

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