2014 Session and Constituent Survey
Greetings from Richmond! This past Wednesday, the 2014 General Assembly was gaveled into session. This will be another busy year as we consider issues such as how to grow our economy, whether to expand Medicaid, fixing our mental health system, strengthening the ethics rules that apply to elected officials, and reforming the way we conduct testing in our schools. This year we will also be adopting our biennial budget.
Your feedback on these issues and more is very important to me. Please take the time to let your voice be heard by filling out my 2014 Constituent Survey. Also, mark your calendars for my annual Town Hall with Senator Chap Petersen on February 1st from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at Fairfax City Hall.
With over 1,700 bills introduced to-date, and many more on the way, much of the work of the General Assembly is conducted through the committee system. I am pleased to have been reappointed to three committees, including Education, General Laws, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources. I am particularly excited about being placed on a new subcommittee in the Education Committee that will tackle educational reform issues. One of the many areas of reform discussed is our Standards of Learning. There is concern that the SOLs have resulted in “teaching to the test” at the expense of critical thinking skills. This concern was echoed by teachers, parents, and students alike as I knocked on doors and attended forums over the summer and fall. The million dollar question is how to re-achieve balance in our education system. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to be on the front lines of these very important discussions.
You can keep up with what is happening here in Richmond by subscribing to my Focus on Fairfax. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve!