As the legislative session draws to a close and the pace at our Capitol settles down, there’s a lot to share about the advancement of new laws and smart reforms that will benefit Virginia families and businesses. I am very honored to represent the people of Henrico and Hanover counties and to work on your behalf for fair policies and greater opportunities. My priorities this year, and each year that I’ve been in office, have focused on enhancing opportunity for our district’s residents by promoting education and business development, reforming the expenses of healthcare, and ensuring financial prudence that puts money back into our taxpayers’ hands.
When the General Assembly formally adjourns, the proposals that have passed in both the House and Senate will proceed to the Governor for his signature and then be enacted as new laws. While we still have work to do on advancing proposals that stalled in this year’s legislative process, there are major successes to report. In education, healthcare, and our economy, I am committed to delivering solutions that improve the daily lives and long-term opportunities of Virginians.
Through the huge economic victory of our [Senate Republican] tax relief plan, we will return $1 billion dollars to Virginia households. Every Virginian who pays income taxes will receive a rebate this year and a tax break every year through 2025. This major win for hardworking Virginians means that you will have the fair tax treatment you deserve and the freedom to spend your own earnings.
We have made progress in expanding access to learning opportunities for students of every age, promoting academic and career success through high-quality, affordable education. Major school safetyinitiatives have advanced in the legislature and are on their way to becoming law for the protection of our students and campuses. We have streamlined critical information sharing about potential threats and also raised awareness of mental health and crisis resources for students and all Virginia residents.
In healthcare, we have successfully advanced initiatives to reduce shared and individual costs, creating savings for families and businesses. Through greater access to group benefits, lower-cost prescriptions, and alternative treatments, Virginians will be able to cut their healthcare expenses and spend more freely on their families and futures.
We have expedited success for small businessesthrough more efficient certification and recognizing licenses between localities. In coordination with higher education agencies, we have expanded internship opportunities to enhance workforce developmentand career advancement for Virginia students.
For Our District
Policies that benefit our district and residents are always my top priority. This year, we’ve reduced business obstacles for local entrepreneurs and owners by ensuring that food truck licenses are allowed reciprocal privileges in every Virginia locality. We have also created greater eligibility for women- and minority-owned businesses to become certified as state vendors. In recognition of heroic public service, we succeeded in designating The Trooper Mark Barrett Memorial Bridge in Henrico County.
As this year’s lawmaking season ends, it’s an honor to update you on the passage of common-sense initiatives that promote opportunity for our district and state. I welcome your questions and perspective on these new laws and your input on ideas to put forth next session. Your voice is valuable to me not only as your Senator, but as your neighbor. And this year, perhaps more than ever before, your voice is valuable in defining a Virginia that we are proud to share.