Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric physician, started off the discussion Wednesday morning with a chilling statistic – there have been 860 deaths so far this year due to opioid overdoses. Virginia is on par to reach 1000 deaths by year end he said.
Dr. Northam, met with leaders at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to discuss the opioid public health emergency and to highlight policy solutions he will push for in the 2017 General Assembly session and beyond.
Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Steve Arner, President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center, Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic, Dr. Willia
Steve Shannon arrived at the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road Wednesday evening where a confluence of Democrats and Democratic candidates gathered. Councilman Court Rosen and Tommy Jordan pulled the event together.
On the issues Shannon wants to implement a regional solution to gangs and protect Virginians personal information as more and more information is stored technologically. As Attorney General, Shannon said he would protect Virginians from financial fraud and internet scams.
On campaign finance law Shannon praised Virginia’s State Board of Elections saying that “they are very responsive to questions that candidates or citizens have in regard to compliance issues.”
I mentioned to Shannon the difficulty that the SBE Campaign Finance Manager, David Allen was having in interpreting Campaign Finance expenditure law and the “gray” areas Allen was encountering. He stated that this was exactly where the Attorney General comes into play. The SBE would ask the Attorney General for an advisory opinion or they can ask the Governor or the Legislature to consider amending a particular law in a way that would clarify it. Shannon said that it is the Attorney General’s job to make government more efficient so “it certainly would be appropriate for us to assist the SBE on an area they consider ambiguous.”
He also stated that a Commonwealth Attorney should recuse himself if there is the slightest perception of a conflict of interest whether real or perceived.
Shannon made clear the role of an Attorney General is to enforce the law rather than make policy. “The Governor and the legislature make the policy,” said Shannon. The Attorney General when presented with a request for an advisory opinion on any law or a provision in the constitution “is responsible to give accurate legal advice.”
In answer to the Dillon rule that governs what cities like Roanoke can and cannot do – it would be the Attorney General’s responsibility to “interpret what the law is right now … changes to the Dillon rule would be initiated through either the Governor’s office or the legislature,” said Shannon. He would not only interpret the law but he would advise the Governor and legislature on any “status or shortcomings of a law.”
In summary Shannon said that it is the Attorney General’s job “to make government more efficient.” Steve Shannon’s website is HERE.
Steve Shannon talks to Pat Patterson
Delegate Ware makes a point.
Delegate Ware talks to attendees.
Gwen Mason and Pat Patterson
Delegate Ware introduces Steve Shannon
Attending were Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea, Delegate Onzlee Ware, Roanoke County Commissioner of Revenue, Steve McGraw, Sheriff Gerald Holt, Board of Supervisor member Charlotte Moore, Councilwoman Gwen Mason and candidate for the 17th District, Councilman Court Rosen, former Council members Linda Wyatt and Bill Bestpitch, candidate for the 8th District Ginny Weisz, candidates for the County Board of Supervisors, Sarah Goodman and Charlene Waybright, Roanoke City Sheriff candidate Frank Garrett, and Bedford County candidate Louis Medlin running for the 19th District House of Delegates.