Supporting Military Families
Virginia National Guard; state active duty pay (HB 2626)
Chief Patron - A large majority of Virginians support a living wage. I introduced HB 2626 to raise the minimum wage for State Active Duty (SAD) service. Service members are required to leave their families and report for SAD within 12 hours of notification. Twelve-hour days are normal for State Active Duty service, earning soldiers $7.48 per hour, less than the federal minimum wage. These men and women that have served our country and who are activated during a state of emergency risk their lives to protect us, and those who dedicate their lives to service should always be taken care of.
Access to Affordable Healthcare
Medicaid Expansion included in Budget (HB 5002)
I know first-hand what it is like to rely on an affordable healthcare system. Medicaid saved my son’s life. Having access to affordable healthcare is a right, not a privilege. For this reason, among many others, I feel strongly about serving in the House of Delegates. We worked across the aisle to pass Medicaid expansion. Now over 200,000 Virginians have applied and have access to affordable healthcare! Closing the Medicaid gap is both the fiscally and morally responsible thing to do to help Virginians. For more information go to: http://www.coverva.org/expansion/ to find out if you are eligible.
Criminal Justice Reform
Grand larceny; increases threshold amount (HB 1550)
Co-Patron - As products have increased in price exponentially since the 1980s, Virginia’s grand larceny threshold has remained the same. Last year’s bipartisan effort to increase the felony larceny threshold was incredibly necessary. HB 1550 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support to increase the threshold from $200 to $500.
Equality in the Commonwealth
Feminine hygiene products; no cost to female prisoners or inmates (HB 83)
Co-Patron – In 2018 we were able to pass HB 83. This bill will guarantee that female prisoners and inmates in Virginia correctional facilities have access to free feminine hygiene products, such as pads and tampons.
Long-Term Employment Support and Extended Employment Services; assisting persons with disabilities (HB 916)
Co-Patron - People in every community deserve to have the opportunity to live a fulfilled life. Too often, we do not see this prioritized in the disability community. I helped champion, and later pass, this bill which requires the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to administer Long-Term Employment Support Services and Extended Employment Services to assist individuals with disabilities with maintaining employment.
Same-sex marriages; civil unions (HB 75)
Co-Patron – I was proud to sign onto a bill that repeals the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage. These prohibitions are no longer valid due to the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.
Virginia Equal Pay Act; created (HB 1089)
Chief Co-Patron – I teamed up with Delegate Boysko to create the Virginia Equal Pay Act (the Act), which prohibits private employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of membership in a "protected class," defined in the bill as a group of persons distinguished by race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age, in the payment of wages or other compensation for substantially similar work.
Virginia Personnel Act; equal pay for equal work, policy of the Commonwealth (HB 1090)
Chief Co-Patron – I collaborated with Delegate Boysko to champion anti-discrimination policy that states that their shall be no discrimination between state employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to state employees at a rate less than the rate at which it pays wages to state employees of the opposite sex for equal work.
Equity in Education
High school graduation requirements; substitution of computer coding for foreign language credit (HB 443)
Chief Co-Patron - HB 443, which I introduced with Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, will allow students coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma for children with disabilities and permit any English language learner who previously earned a sufficient score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate foreign language examination to substitute computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate. This bill will help prepare students for the 21st century economy and incentivize tech-related careers and empowers students to prepare to enter the workforce. It has since been signed into law!
Teacher, counselor, principal, etc.; expenses tax credit (HB 624)
Chief Patron - I introduced legislation that would have established a tax credit, for taxable years 2019 through 2023, of up to $250 who paid for classroom materials used in teaching students in kindergarten or an elementary or secondary school. There is no reason our educators should have to break the bank to provide basic resources for their classrooms.