Name: Steve Heretick
Race: House of Delegates, 79th District
Biography: Steve Heretick is a local attorney, a former member of the Portsmouth City Council, and serves as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 79th House District of Virginia. Steve’s district includes the major portions of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake.
Steve is currently assigned by the speaker of the House to the House Committees on Finance, Commerce and Labor, and Cities, Counties, and Towns. He has recently served on the Speaker’s House Select Committee on School Safety and the Coal Ash Study Commission.
During his service in the House of Delegates, Steve brought home full funding from the state for the long-neglected port host impact fees, has introduced several major bills seeking relief of the tolls on our tunnels, and has introduced several significant economic development initiatives, including legislation which will pave the way for wireless communication infrastructure development to make Virginia among the very first all 5-G states in the country.
Steve has been a strong supporter of the development of our ports, and has committed significant resources to update the capacities of the Norfolk International Terminal, the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, and the Virginia International Gateway facility, together with widening and deepening of the Hampton Roads channel, to make our port the most advanced on the Eastern seaboard.
Steve is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Villanova University Law School. He served for over a decade on the Virginia Board of Medicine under three Governors, and was elected President of the Board of Medicine twice during his tenure. He remains the only non-physician in Virginia history to serve in that role.
Steve has also served in national healthcare policy roles on the board of the Federation of State Medical Boards, and was past president of its foundation. Currently, Steve chairs a committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Steve lives in Portsmouth. He’s married to Stephanie, and they have a son, Stephenson, who loves to fish and everything connected to our waterways. On the Portsmouth City Council, and now in the Virginia General Assembly, Steve is known for his quiet manner, his strategic vision, and his proven ability to work with leaders and citizens at every level to get things done.
Why Should residents re-elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
While I am not opposed this year, I am still asking for your vote. It is an honor to represent the people of Portsmouth, Norfolk, and now Chesapeake as well. My district has changed quite a bit since the federal courts made their ruling, but I am still committed to being accessible to the people of my district.
I am a strong voice for our region and have not been afraid to challenge those in power when they are not looking out for our best interests. I always keep an open mind, listen to my constituents, and do my best to work hard to find solutions to the problems our communities face.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
One of the biggest issues in my district is the horrible tunnel toll deal that has added a huge disproportionate tax on the residents of Portsmouth, Norfolk, and the surrounding areas. I have been fighting the tolls on the tunnel from day one (when I was then on city council) and I continue to fight against it as your delegate.
I have put in numerous bills to curtain abuses by the tolling agencies and crack down on excessive judgments they are able to get against people. Through that we have been able to get a few reforms in place, establish some programs for low-wage commuters, and capped the amount of judgments that can be levied against violators. Now, I am working very closely with the administration to create a long term financial plan for the state to mitigate the toll’s impacts on residents and businesses.
What was the most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, and why?
The most important vote taken in the General Assembly every year is the budget. While we usually consider around 3,000 pieces of legislation, the funding for state government sets the priorities and has the greatest impact on the lives of everyone who resides in our great Commonwealth.
In this year’s budget we highlighted education funding, ensuring additional funds for teacher raises as well as other civil servants. We invested heavily in public safety, funded numerous transportation improvements for our region and the state, and provided funding for reliable and renewable energy sources for the future. We were also able to pass along some additional tax relief for Virginia residents following the recent federal tax restructuring.