December 2018 Update

In the midst of the holiday season and preparations for the 2019 General Assembly Session, Winter Storm Diego slammed into the Richmond area yesterday, leaving over 10 inches of snow in some paces.  Schools and government offices across the 9th District are closed today.  VDOT crews are working around the clock to clear and treat roads, but urge motorists to avoid travel to give them and emergency responders room to work safely.    
 
Overnight travel will remain treacherous even on roads that have been treated, due to dropping pavement temperatures refreezing snow and ice on treated roadways.  To monitor travel conditions and stay safe you can:
  • Report severe road conditions to and ask questions of VDOT's Customer Service Center team around the clock at  https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/or by calling 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623);
  • For real-time traffic conditions anywhere in the state, dial 5-1-1 or visit 511Virginia.org;
 

 

Senate Finance Committee Annual Meeting
Last month, the Senate Finance Committee held its Annual Meeting to discuss fiscal issues facing the Commonwealth. To read a summary of the meeting or view the presentations, visit the Senate Finance Committee website.
 

 

Governor Northam Signs Executive Order to Address Virginia's Unmet Housing Needs
At last month's Virginia Governor's Housing Conference, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 25 establishing new state housing policy priorities designed to enhance the quality, availability, and affordability of housing in the Commonwealth.  The Executive Order seeks to prioritize and identify policy solutions that will address the shortage of quality, affordable housing, increase the supply of permanent supportive housing, and reduce eviction rates.  The Order will also focus on developing housing policies and actions that increase the supply of permanent supportive housing, including programs to reduce homelessness and housing instability for vulnerable populations.  

You can read Executive Order 25 here

 

 

Virginia Announces New Educational Pathways for Early Childhood Teachers
Thanks to regulatory changes made by the Virginia Board of Education and internal policy changes by participating higher education institutions, early childhood educators now have a streamlined pathway to earn credentials in early childhood education. 
 
The result of a taskforce of key stakeholders and representatives of Virginia community colleges and universities working to overcome barriers to this career pathway, the pathway gives early educators access to more affordable coursework and credentials that "stack" seamlessly from one certificate or degree to the next.  Virginia's higher education institutions have worked out an agreement to ensure that all credits transfer, and the timeline for graduating with a bachelor's degree and teacher licensure is achievable within a 4-year period.  Since many of these educators are working full time, this pathway makes it feasible for them to move along the continuum at their own pace and set credentialing goals that meet their needs, interests, and job responsibilities.
 
Read more about this exciting development here
 

 

VARatifyERA Takes Its Campaign on the Road
During the 2019 General Assembly Session, Virginia has the opportunity to be the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.  VARatifyERA is leading a grassroots campaign in sup

port of Virginia's ratification, and last month took the campaign on the road!

For ten days, the VAratifyERA Bus toured college campuses and towns across the Commonwealth to raise awareness of the ERA and sign-up supporters.  I joined Delegate Jennifer Carroll-Foy, the Chief Patron of the bill in the House, for stops around the 9th District at the State Capitol, Randolph-Macon, Virginia Union University, Maggie Walker High School, and Virginia Commonwealth University.  I also joined the the bus at Virginia State University, where my 101 year old childhood Sunday School Teacher, Mr. Martin showed his support, declaring, "The ERA was passed when I was six years old.  I don't know why it's taken so long!" 
 
VAratifyERA is organizing lobby days during the legislative session to advocate for the ERA. Learn more to support the VARatifyERA on their website

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