Since day one, my top priority has been strengthening our public schools across the Commonwealth, and I’m proud to be the only full-time public school teacher in the General Assembly. Since I was elected in 2017 to the House of Delegates, I’ve fought for increased public school funding, helped raise teacher pay by 5%, increased access to school counselors, and advocated for students day in and day out. But there is so much more work to do, like hiring support staff, reducing the cost of higher education, and making sustained investments to ensure every child has access to a world-class education in the Commonwealth.
I’ve championed legislation like House Bill 292 which requires more frequent and transparent reviews of memorandums of understanding between school boards and local law enforcement agencies. This bill enables more cooperative relationships between families, communities, school divisions, and school resource officers – all of whom have a role in the safety & security of the young people & staff inside our schools.
I passed House Bill 585 to limit excessive, high-stakes standardized assessments and work towards implementing rigorous performance-based tests that will assess a student’s ability to apply their knowledge and skills in ways that a multiple-choice test cannot ascertain.
Children’s Services Act workgroup and expansion of transition services through 1 calendar year for students with disabilities transitioning back to public school environments or their least restrictive environment
I expanded the Children’s Service Act to expand transition services for up to 12 months when a child is transitioning back to public school from private day placement. This piece of legislation helps support our students with disabilities access services – like a one-on-one aide – if placement in a public school is what is best for the child and family.
Every woman in the Commonwealth deserves to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions alongside her medical provider. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has endangered the lives of women across the nation, and here in Virginia, this right is hanging on by a thread in the Senate majority. As the only pro-choice candidate in SD-16, I promise to vote against extremist bans that threaten to restrict fundamental protections.
I was proud to vote for the Reproductive Health Protection Act. The restrictions the bill removes include:
The gun violence epidemic in our nation is felt here in Western Henrico, and across Virginia. We owe it to our kids and neighbors to pass robust, meaningful gun violence prevention legislation. When I am elected to the State Senate, I promise to be a consistent vote for gun safety legislation and will re-introduce my Safe Storage Bill (HB 2141) that was killed by the House GOP in 2023 without debate or opposition. This bill would hold gun owners accountable when a minor gains access to a firearm that is used to commit a crime or cause bodily injury to themselves or others. It’s time to get to work and protect our children – not pander to the gun lobby.
I voted to pass Red Flag Law/Extreme Risk Protective Orders (HB 674 / SB 240) which created a civil process to take guns from those who pose an immediate danger to themselves or others. Virginia’s red flag law has now been used hundreds of times since taking effect in mental health cases and domestic violence cases. This law is being used to get that person the treatment and the help that they need by temporarily taking their guns and making that community safer.
In 2020, I voted for (HB 1083). This bill made recklessly leaving loaded, unsecured firearms around minors under the age of 18 where individuals are at risk of death or injury would be classified as a Class 6 felony. Preventing young people from accessing firearms protects not only that child or family, but the entire community.
In 2021, I voted for a firearm ban for convicted Domestic Abusers (HB 1992)
This law prohibits a person convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery of a family or household member from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for three years following their conviction.
-One of three Democrats chosen to serve on a select committee for school safety to address prevention of school shootings and safety after the Parkland School shooting
–2019 Op-Ed w/ Mullin & Bourne
Every Virginian deserves access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. In 2018, I voted to expand Medicaid — which gave healthcare access to more than 500,000 Virginians. In the State Senate, I will continue to fight to lower prescription drug costs and improve our healthcare system so that it works better for working families.
Helped to pass Medicaid expansion, which enabled more than 11,000 people in Henrico County (and 500,000 Virginians) to have access to affordable healthcare coverage.
I introduced legislation to tackle skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs that continue to place severe economic burdens on Virginians of all ages.
For years, Virginia has been consistently ranked one of the top states for business in the nation. To stay competitive, we need to invest in high-paying jobs and programs that provide clear pathways from school to the workforce, like the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Program. This program provides financial assistance to certain low and middle-income students who are enrolled in an educational program at an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education that leads to employment in high-demand fields such as health care, I.T., and early childhood education.
In the General Assembly, I helped to promote healthy economic competition and growth, like my bill to ban noncompete agreements for low-wage workers. In the State Senate, I’ll continue to ensure that Virginia remains a place where businesses and workers want to relocate by investing in site readiness, being economically responsible and ensuring that workers are paid a livable wage and have dignity in the workplace.
I passed a bill (HB 1114) in my first session to prevent people from losing their state professional licensure due to unpaid student debt
In 2020, I introduced and passed HB 330 – Ban on Non-Competes for Low-Wage workers
I worked to provide an additional $25 million for Rebuild VA, a program started by Governor Northam to help Virginia businesses meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the pandemic not occurred, and to recover with the resources to offset the additional costs of operating a small business in the post-pandemic environment.
When more people vote and are engaged in the democratic process, our democracy and our Commonwealth are stronger. In 2020-2021, I chaired the committee that took Virginia from the second hardest state to vote in to the 11th easiest. In 2021, I worked to pass the Virginia Voting Rights Act, an expansive and monumental piece of legislation that expanded early voting and vote-by-mail infrastructure and made Virginia a national leader in voting access. I have also been a leader on other democracy-protection measures, from campaign finance to gerrymandering reform. With attacks on our democracy coming from far-right extremists, I promise to continue to fight for voting rights in the State Senate
In 2020, introduced and passed HB 784 – Ballot bill getting the redistricting amendment on the ballot
In 2021, introduced and passed HB 1888 – Absentee Voting Omnibus/Overhaul – Instituted drop boxes, pre-paid postage for ballots, and made a bunch of technical fixes
In 2021, introduced and passed HB 1810 – Voter registration deadline extension in instances of tech failure
In 2022, introduced and passed –HB 439 – Constitutional amendment information on absentee ballots
In recent years, there has been a shocking increase in hateful rhetoric and policy across Virginia. In 2020, I helped pass the Virginia Values Act, which prevents denying a person a loan, refusing them service, and stops public employers from firing a person from a job based on their sexuality or gender identity.
In 2023, these hard-won rights are under attack. In the State Senate, the Virginia Values Act will be one of the first things extremists try to repeal. I am committed to defending this legislation and voting to expand protections for marginalized groups in our community.
There is no disputing the fact that climate change is happening, and we owe it to the next generation of Virginians to tackle this issue head-on. That’s why I was proud to support the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which puts Virginia on the path toward a 100 percent renewable-energy electricity supply by 2050.
We can work toward a clean energy future by investing in green energy innovations that will do three key things at once: protect our planet, reduce Virginians’ energy bills, and build new modern jobs.
There is too much money in politics in Virginia. We need comprehensive campaign finance reform to fight against dark money groups that have a disproportionate influence on our elections. I am proud to support an anti-corruption and ethics reform agenda that focuses on banning the personal use of campaign funds, setting contribution limits for individuals and corporations, and requiring donor and spending disclosure from corporations, ‘dark money’ groups, non-profits, and other entities who spend money to influence our elections.
I introduced HB 575 and HB 2286 which would place a $40,000 contribution limit on what an individual could contribute to any candidate campaign committee, political action committee, and political party committee. Virginia is one of 10 states without any contribution limits on individual donors to political candidates and one of just five with no limits on contributions from corporations. It is past time we get money out of politics here in Virginia.