Equity in Education
Establishes STEAM Education Fund (HB 2780)
Chief Patron - It is increasingly important that our children have the opportunity to excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). These young people eventually become adults who can enter the workforce with a strong understanding of skillsets in STEAM. I brought a bill to the House, and was proud to have high school students testify on behalf of it, to create a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) Education Fund.
Free public elementary and secondary education; eligibility criteria (HB 2297)
Chief Co-Patron – A proud graduate of Prince William County public schools, and the mother of two Prince William County public school graduates, I know the importance of access to a free public education. I signed on as Chief Co-Patron to Delegate Simon’s bill (HB 2297) to ensure that every person of school age be deemed to reside in a school division for the purpose of eligibility for free public elementary and secondary education.
School Breakfast Program/National School Lunch Program; school boards to determine eligibility (HB 2400)
Chief Co-Patron - Access to basic nutrition should never be a barrier to getting a good education. Therefore, we should make it easier, not harder, for families to apply for free or reduced school meals. Working with Delegate Roem to champion HB 2400 and its passage in the House was a great first step in the right direction, providing both a web-based and paper application process making it easier for families to access this information.
School safety procedures; emergency situations, annual training (HB 1732)
Co-Patron – No child or educator should enter a school in fear for their own safety. I co-patroned this bill to require each school board develop training on safety procedures in the event of an emergency situation on school property. The bill requires such training to be delivered to each student and employee in each school at least once each school year.
Virginia Retirement System; part-time public-school teachers, report (HJ 679)
Chief Patron - I carried HJ 679, requesting the Virginia Retirement System to study the impact of permitting part-time public-school teachers to participate in a retirement plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System. Health care credit and eligibility would help establish economic policies that incent teachers to return to the profession. Especially if there are currently licensed teachers who would return to the profession part-time if they were eligible for VRS benefits. Our children are our future, and we should always do our best to recruit and retain the very best educators for our communities.
Fighting for families
Kinship foster care; notice to relatives (HB 2758)
Chief Co-Patron – The proud mom of an adopted daughter, I sponsored this bill to ensure that next of kin are notified when a child is going to be placed in foster care, so they can be aware of opportunities to take over guardianship.
Employment; covenants not to compete, low-wage employees (HB 1792)
Co-Patron – I co-patroned this bill to prohibit an employer from entering into a covenant not to compete with any of its low-wage employees. The measure declares that covenants not to compete entered into by an employer and a low-wage employee are contrary to public policy and are void and unenforceable. The measure defines a low-wage employee as one whose average weekly earnings are less than the average weekly wage of the Commonwealth.
Small businesses; parental leave tax credit (HB 2533)
Chief Patron - Advocating for an economy that works for all types of families is not just part of the job, it is a part of my own story. As a single, working mom, I know what it means to juggle the expectations of a workplace, and the home, in a system that was not designed for working parents like me. These experiences drove me to sponsor this bill to create an income tax credit for a portion of the salary or wages paid by small businesses to full-time employees while on leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
Protecting our State with Cyber Security
Cybersecurity; care and disposal of customer records, security for connected devices (HB 2793)
Chief Patron - As a cybersecurity specialist, I know the importance of keeping our communities safe, which is why I brought HB 2793, a bill to the floor that would have required companies to give notification when a data breach has occurred. This would directly impact companies that create and connect more than 500 devices that connect to the Internet, and collect personal information. Think of a GPS, fitbit, alarm system, or even your heating register within your home – these can be hacked without your knowledge. Currently for these devices, there is no law in place that requires companies or manufacturers to report when their products are breached or their collected data is compromised. This bill would require companies that create said products to follow current state data breach notification criteria and to properly dispose of personal data collected. This would carry a penalty if they should fail to report a breach. I am committed to protecting consumers from unseen threats in the cyber-space we utilize daily. Your safety in cyberspace is my priority.
Protection for minors in Digital services (HB 2535)
Chief Patron - I introduced this bill that requires the operator of a digital service (example – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to allow minors to request to remove content or information posted on the digital service permanently. This bill also prohibits a digital service (examples mentioned above) from directly targeting or advertising products that minors are prohibited from buying.