The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice and The Potomac-Stafford Local in the week of December 29, 2015.
What's Ahead in the State Legislature
The 2016, 60-day session of the Virginia General Assembly gavels in on January 13.The legislature will craft a two-year budget, which will be Governor McAuliffe's first chance to put his stamp on the state's finances. While Virginia’s economy lags behind the national average, revenue is up more than average for the first time since I was elected in 2009 and there are many unmet needs worthy of funding.
Supporting Our Schools and CollegesVirginia is currently funding secondary education on a per pupil, inflation-adjusted basis at levels below funding in 2007. The Governor has requested a billion dollar increase, new teacher positions, teacher pay raises and full funding for “Cost to Compete,” a program that supplements salaries for Northern Virginia school employees.