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With Business Focus, Delegate Morris Takes Office

January 13, 2012

By Alex Morton
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Rick Morris, former chairman of the Isle of Wight County Republican Party, moved into his office this week as the new delegate representing the 64th House District. Morris won the seat last fall from Delegate William Barlow, a Democrat who held the position for 20 years.

The 64th District was redrawn during the redistricting process last year because of population shifts. It now includes parts of the cities of Suffolk and Franklin, as well as parts of Isle of Wight, Surry, Southampton, Sussex and Prince George counties.

In an interview Thursday night, Morris said he wants to address issues that are important to the people in those areas.

“Right now, the biggest issue is economic development, and helping business get back to business. We need to make the 64th District the most business-friendly district that we can,” said Morris, a 43-year-old lawyer.

Delegate Rick Morris at his office in the General Assembly Building. (CNS photo by Alexandra Morton)

He said his priority for this session is to help businesses thrive through tax credits and less intrusive regulations. He said that it is important not only to create jobs but also to ensure that people work in the best possible environment.

Even though Morris has been a delegate for only a few days, he already has introduced six House bills and a resolution for consideration this legislative session.

Among other things, he has been working with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on HB 630. This bill would allow funds from criminal investments in racketeering operations to be forfeited.

“For example, if an individual with drug trafficking invests $200 into a business, right now the law is only that we can get that $200. But if they (criminals) profit as a result of that illegal activity in any way, they don’t have a right to keep that money either,” Morris said.

HB 630 has been sent to the House Courts of Justice Committee.

Delegates received their committee assignments this week, and Morris was placed on three committees: the Courts of Justice Committee; the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee; and the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee.

Morris said he couldn’t be happier with those assignments.

“I feel very fortunate that I was lucky enough to get some great committees,” Morris said. “Every single one can directly impact our citizens. … I look forward to getting in there and doing what I can do to help.”

Delegate Richard L. Morris
Born: Fort Polk, La., on Nov. 6, 1968
Education: Bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Leo University in Florida, 1988; law degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, 2002
Occupation: Attorney
Email: DelRMorris@house.virginia.gov
Phone numbers: 804-698-1064 in his Richmond office; 757-773-1645 in his Carrollton district office

This CNS article was published by The Suffolk News-Herald and The Tidewater News.