Newsletter ~ June 7, 2018
We Did it! Earlier this afternoon, Governor Ralph Northam signed the state budget that includes Medicaid expansion. It took a while, but when the Senate passed HB 5001 and 5002 on May 30th, the House of Delegates took action less than an hour later to pass the budget. This budget gives health care to nearly 400,000 Virginians who do not currently qualify. It not only expands medicaid, but it also includes major investments in education at all levels, new initiatives for job creation and economic opportunity, and enhanced funding for mental health and the social safety net. The budget also includes money for increasing the capacity of the port of Hampton Roads by 40%. The budget also includes pay raises for teachers and other state employees.
(Photo at right: Delegates Rip Sullivan, Paul Krizek, Kay Kory, Kathy Boysko, and David Toscano, some supporters and myself celebrating after the House vote on the budget.)
On May 19th at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, I was proud to be one of the speakers at the 9th Annual Hands Across the Sand event. It was a great turnout, particularly considering the ominous weather. I proudly shared my view that we cannot have drilling off the coast of Virginia! We do not need another Deepwater Horizon disaster off of our coast!
On June 2nd, I joined over forty-nine dedicated volunteers at Coastal Cafe as we participated in the 30th Annual Clean the Bay Day. In just three hours, 52 bags of trash and other debris weighing 1140 pounds were picked up. Later that day, I attended the Clean the Bay Day Volunteer Appreciation Picnic at Great Neck Park, where I presented the Chesapeake Bay Foundation with House Resolution 555, commemorating the 30th Annual Clean the Bay Day.
On May 1st, I joined mental health advocates City Council Member Shannon Kane, Delegate Jason Miyares, Tom Schaad of WAVY TV 10, and Virginia Beach School Board Member Dan Edwards by the fountain in Town center in support of Mental Health Awareness Month. NAMI Virginia Beach coordinated their month-long celebration with an education fair at the Town Center of Virginia Beach where several of us shared our stories about the importance of mental health.
On Saturday, May 12th, I joined over seven-hundred graduates from Tidewater Community College as the Commencement speaker for their Spring Ceremony. It was truly an honor to be chosen to address these successful individuals. It is a moment I will never forget!
Yours in service,