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Local lawmakers discuss how General Assembly can affect I-81, internet sales

Delegate Landes also touched on education issues in the commonwealth.
Delegate Landes also touched on education issues in the commonwealth.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 26, 2018 at 1:43 PM EDT
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Bagels, fruit and your local General Assembly members — Lawmakers discussed on Tuesday how the last General Assembly session can affect you right here in the Valley.

Delegates Steven Landes and Tony Wilt, as well as Senator Mark Obenshain, met in Harrisonburg over breakfast on Tuesday to discuss how policy will affect local business.

One of the key topics was Interstate 81.

Delegate Wilt said he has been looking at immediate solutions to help alleviate backups and a major problem is slow response times, because Virginia State Police is understaffed.

"As I understand, I think there's maybe three new troopers that are going to be coming into the area," Delegate Wilt said. "To get on the scene of the accident and start investigating it sooner so we can get the accident cleaned up."

Another immediate solution could usedrones. Delegate Wilt said drones could help Virginia State Police to more quickly assess an accident.

Another one of the key topics was taxing internet sales in Virginia.

Senator Obenshain said it has long been a controversial issue. He said he sees the reasoning for adding the tax, as well as the reasoning for not adding it.

"It may be some hybrid solution in which sales tax is reduced [in brick and mortar stores] and a lower internet sales tax is placed on products," Senator Obenshain said.

The senator said he does not want to rush to a solution. He wants to wait and learn from other states who tackle the issue before Virginia does.