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Posted on: February 13, 2024

Loudoun County Corrects Incorrect Report About Legislative Program

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Loudoun County Government is issuing a correction to a factually incorrect report by WJLA-TV and Channel 7 reporter Nick Minock published February 12, 2024, to ensure the taxpayers of Loudoun have correct information regarding the county’s regular legislative program.

The report incorrectly claimed that Loudoun County hired a lobbyist at a cost of $156,000 to defeat Senate Bill 549 (SB549) and House Bill 710 (HB710) proposed in the Virginia General Assembly, which relate to travel expenses of local officials. Loudoun County’s lobbyist at the state level, Troutman Pepper Strategies, was hired several years ago to conduct routine work in support of the county’s annual legislative program. The use of lobbyist contracts by local jurisdictions is a common practice to help advance the interests of local governments and the people they represent at the state and federal levels. The annual cost pays for the collective services provided by Troutman Pepper Strategies to Loudoun County, which includes a broad range of activities unrelated to defeating SB549 and HB710. 

In fact, county staff, who administer the Board of Supervisors legislative program, continually requested that the firm not conduct any lobbying activities on SB549 and HB710. While Troutman Pepper Strategies monitored the status of the bills and provided updates to the county, the firm did not actively lobby against these two bills on behalf of the county.

While the Board of Supervisors took no formal action to oppose SB549 and HB710, the bills were opposed by default in its legislative program because the county opposes legislation that erodes local authority.

During the February 6, 2024, Board of Supervisor meeting, the Board considered changing its default opposition of the bills to only monitoring the bills without opposition or support; however, the proposal was voted down by the Board and no change to the county’s position on the bills was made.

Members of the Board as well as Loudoun County’s legislative team and its lobbyists routinely advocate on behalf of the residents of Loudoun. The program exists to advance initiatives at the state and federal levels that benefit the people of Loudoun County. The recent news report inaccurately stated Loudoun County is actively working against the proposal in the Virginia General Assembly that would require the travel expenses of local officials over $5,000 to be paid from public funds to be approved by a vote of the local governing body. 

Loudoun County Government contacted WJLA reporter Nick Minock to request a correction to his report; however, he has not yet responded to the county’s request.

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