By Del. Carrie Coyner
I want to thank everyone who took time to fill out my 2020 legislative survey so that I could have a better sense of how the community feels about issues coming before the General Assembly. Here are a few highlights from your collective responses.
The core state government services that are most important to you (in order of priority):
(1) Fostering jobs and economic growth;
(2) Keeping Virginians safe from crime; and
(3) Supporting K-12 schools and higher education.
You overwhelmingly responded that our children are taking too many SOL tests and want to see the focus on year-end testing reduced. You have mixed opinions on how to delivery early childhood education, but you all agree we need to promote early childhood development. You also have a wide range of ideas on how to decrease the cost of higher education but agree it is too expensive.
Ninty-nine percent of you feel that Virginia remaining one of the best states for business is important to you and to the vitality of our community, and 92 percent of you feel strongly that right-to-work laws should remain in place. With limited state dollars to spur economic growth and job creation across the state, you would prioritize spending public dollars by investing in workforce training to ensure Virginia has skilled workers ready to fill jobs.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of the legislature following the national census every ten years is to redraw legislative district lines, commonly referred to as redistricting. Last year, the General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment that would create a nonpartisan and independent redistricting commission, and ban the use of race and political preferences in the consideration of new lines. 90 percent of you support this constitutional amendment to create a nonpartisan redistricting process in Virginia. The bill passed last year must be passed again this year by both legislative bodies to move this effort forward, and then a statewide referendum would be on your ballot to amend our state constitution accordingly.
As always, you can email me at email@example.com to inquire about legislation and to be added to our weekly newsletter which will keep you informed of what’s happening at the General Assembly.