It is an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of the 25th District. I have enjoyed my service in the General Assembly and proud of what we have accomplished together. Our work is not finished. I ask for your vote on November 7th to continue the work on the issues we all care about: promoting economic development to create jobs and grow our economy; providing our students with the world-class education they’ll need to succeed in our new economy; and increasing healthcare access, affordability, and choice. We must continue our efforts on these issues to ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially the Piedmont Region and Shenandoah Valley, remain a great place to live, work and raise a family.
During my tenure in the General Assembly, I have gained the reputation of being a thoughtful and principled legislator who is committed to serving his constituents to the best of his ability and always doing so while remaining faithful to the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions, as required by the oath that I have taken to uphold.
Many of us have spoken during this campaign and throughout my tenure. Hearing your concerns, ideas and vision for Virginia helps guide me as we face many difficult choices in the General Assembly. Jobs and the economy continue to be a top concern with voters. Keeping Virginia’s economy moving forward remains a top priority. I will continue the fight to keep taxes low and reduce the burdensome government regulations that all too often stifle economic growth, while exploring ways to expand our economy, and remove any barriers that prevent our small businesses from reaching their full potential.
As chairman of the House Education Committee, I am leading efforts in high school redesigns in Virginia to increase flexibility for our students. I’ve fought for reductions in the state’s Standards of Learning tests, carried legislation for the establishment of charter schools to provide an option for parents in areas where struggling schools exist, and expanded school funding. As chairman of the Joint Committee to Study the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth, we have been working diligently in developing a long-term approach for educational excellence in the Commonwealth, including reforms to our K-12 and Higher Education systems in Virginia.
Working on solutions to our healthcare system remains another priority. While this is largely a federal issue, we are taking steps to try to find a solution to the problem created by Washington. In 2017, I introduced House Bill 2053, allowing the establishment of direct primary care agreements between doctors and their patients, establishing a new innovative healthcare delivery model between patients and doctors. I also serve on the Joint Subcommittee for Health and Human Resources Oversight. This Joint Subcommittee is exploring ways to respond to healthcare changes at the federal level, provide ongoing oversight of Medicaid and the children’s health insurance programs, and to provide oversight of Health and Human Resources agencies. My commitment to strengthening and expanding our healthcare safety net is firm and this Joint Subcommittee’s oversight will help us to identify and recommend the reforms necessary to improve healthcare access and affordability for all Virginians.
Over the years I have worked with members on both sides of the aisle and my work with legislators and the Governor on policies that will advance the Commonwealth’s interests will continue. I will never compromise on the conservative principles that guide me. As vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a budget conferee, I helped craft a conservative and responsible state budget that carefully spends taxpayer dollars while making strategic and targeted investments in the core functions of state government. We will continue to explore ways to provide additional services for Virginians in need and seek ways to reform and improve the programs we currently have in place.
In Crozet, I helped secure a $125,000 state grant for the “Build Crozet Library” project. Knowing the importance of this library for the families of Western Albemarle County led me to pursue that funding. Having travelled with the Governor to Georgia to explore ways to bolster biosciences here in Virginia, I recognized the tremendous work being done in the bioscience field in Albemarle County. Virginia can become one of the national leaders in bioscience.
I sponsored legislation that established the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Develop-ment Fund (AFID), one of the bills I’m most proud of, to spur economic development across the Common-wealth. Kelley Turkeys USA was awarded a $29,000 AFID Grant for its operation in western Albemarle.
Over the course of this year, I have campaigned person-to-person and town-to-town, as always. Your input and feedback are invaluable and greatly appreciated when casting votes on the challenging issues we face. You may not agree with every vote I cast, but you’ll always know that my votes are carefully considered and in the best interest of the people of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. On November 7th, I ask for your vote.