We must move to single payer/universal insurance (Medicare For All). In the 2020 Regular Session, the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange was created, but it won’t go into effect into July 2023. For rates to be competitive, we need the option to buy into Medicaid. For it to work, we need to increase the reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers. Health care is a right, not a privilege. We shouldn’t have to choose between bankruptcy or death if we’re faced with a serious illness. My husband was forced into retirement in April 2017. Our only choice for health insurance was the Affordable Care Act. If we didn’t qualify for subsidies, we couldn’t afford it. Monthly health insurance premiums shouldn’t cost the same or more than a mortgage payment, and we shouldn’t be paying co-pays and deductibles on top of it.
Our wonderful public educators should be paid like the highly qualified professionals they are. They should also have the resources and training they need to do their jobs without digging into their own pockets. Investing in education ensures we can get the most skilled and highly qualified educators for our children.
All children should receive the best public education possible. That includes children who are physically, emotionally and learning disabled. The state education funding calculation must be brought into the 21st century. We should fully fund Universal Pre-K and full day kindergarten. I strongly oppose using public money for private schools. In rural areas, this takes away precious resources from already limited budgets and the best teachers. Plus, having a voucher doesn’t guarantee admission to a private school. The children that are left behind will get a second-class education or none at all. Competition does not make better schools.
The time is now for expanding fast, affordable, reliable internet in rural Virginia. It’s time to move forward with real solutions and implementation. The internet is a vital component of economic infrastructure and development. Lack of internet access impacts rural home sales, students in rural schools, small businesses, and economic growth. Corporate internet service providers are not interested in connecting rural communities because they see no profit. Local internet service providers working with county governments need more than the current state budget to bring underserved areas online. As adults, we need internet for ourselves. Worldwide connection is an imperative investment for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
The Republican answer to grow the economy is always cut taxes and regulations. All this does is steal from the poor to give to the rich. I want to invest in the people of our district with job training and placement programs, career and technical education, as well as affordable higher education. Making community college and trade school free to those who make grades of C or above and public universities less expensive is another investment we should make in our children. Companies bring jobs to areas with well trained workers. It’s time for your Delegate to work for your success not against it.
Workers deserve appropriate health care coverage, breaks during the work day/night, overtime and holiday pay, paid leave for personal and family sick leave, vacation pay, and time off for getting to the polls on election days (including primaries and special elections). Virginia’s minimum wage rate should be tied to the Consumer Price Index. I do not support “Right to Work” and believe this only creates an unhealthy dynamic between employers and employees in unionized industries.
Women should be paid the same amount as men doing the same job. Economic inequality must be addressed in Virginia. If the Commonwealth can be number one in the nation for business, it can be number one in the nation for working families.
The harshest impacts from climate change will occur long after I’m gone. The reason we are still working to combat this effort is a lack of foresight by our lawmakers. We must preserve the environment for future generations. We owe them this mission, and we must accomplish it. I fully support Del. Sam Rasoul’s Green New Deal Virginia. While the Virginia Clean Economy Act was a step in the right direction, we have a long way to go before this journey is complete. Our Commonwealth should be embracing the boom of the renewable energy market by investing in alternative renewable energy projects. We should be moving away from harmful fossil fuel projects.
I support the production of industrial hemp and cannabis and wine as an agricultural product.
We need more state funding for traditional farmers’ markets, regional markets and direct farm to table markets.
I encourage long term and stable state funding of the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program from a dedicated revenue source. The funding help for fencing around streams can’t keep up with the demand.
The state health insurance system should be opened up to farmers and their families to meet their medical, dental and mental health needs.
Criminal Justice Reform
Courts need to work out payment plans and community service options for those who can’t pay their fines. People can’t pay their debt if they can’t work because they’re sitting for days, weeks or months in jail because they can’t post a cash bond.
I applaud the death penalty being abolished because it is not a a deterrent and it disproportionally affects Black people. Mandatory minimum sentences should be eliminated because judges should determine punishment that fits the crime.
We have asked our police officers to do too much. We should provide funding for police and sheriffs’ departments to bring on mental health professionals to be first responders for people in crisis with police officers as backup.
I am pro-choice and will always work to protect reproductive freedom and justice for all. In the 2020 Session, House Bill 980 removed the ultrasound and hospital classification requirements. I’ll fight to protect that law and Roe v. Wade, ensuring that all people have access to quality affordable health care, contraception and abortion services.
Unless one is Native American, we are all immigrants and descendants of immigrants. Our Commonwealth should be open and welcoming to all. These hard working families deserve safe places to live, work and raise their children without fear of deportation. We should be going after businesses who break laws in order to get cheap labor.
We should not be spending valuable community resources to do the job of ICE. Our police forces should not be drawn away from serving our communities at the order of the federal government.
I believe in Second Amendment rights, and I believe in gun violence prevention. The groundbreaking legislation passed in the 2020 and 2021 General Assembly sessions has already saved lives. Open carry should be prohibited, and ghost guns should be regulated. Military grade weaponry belongs in the military and should be treated that way.