Legislative Newsletters

Welcome to Delegate Mugler’s legislative newsletters! It is Delegate Mugler’s goal to keep constituents as informed as possible on the important work taking place in Richmond. Below you will find all of the newsletter sent out to date.

Interested in receiving the newsletter? Sign up HERE!

Special Session Newsletter

9-15-2020 

On August 18th, the General Assembly convened in Richmond at the request of Governor Northam to re-allot funds in the biennial budget, address legislation relating to COVID-19 response measures,and police and criminal justice reform.  The House of Delegates has taken action on all of these fronts. 

The Budget

In April, the Governor signed a budget that unallotted all the new spending the General Assembly passed during the regular session. His intention was for the General Assembly to reconvene and re-allot these funds once we had a better forecast of what State revenue would like in the face of COVID-19. Appropriations is still hard at work forming this new budget.

I submitted a budget amendment to fund the G-3 program. The “Get Educated, Get Employed, Give Back” program otherwise known as the G-3 program was one of the most important steps taken towards educational equity during the 2020 session. My budget amendment  provides financial aid to community college students in high-demand fields, and as a result, strengthens Virginia’s workforce,  and helps close educational and income equity gaps, and grow our economy. During this economic crisis of mass unemployment along with the continuing presence of COVID-19 in our communities, accomplishing these goals is more important than ever.  Click below to watch me defend this budget amendment in front the House Appropriations Committee.

COVID-19 Response Measures

The House passed 14 bills in response to COVID-19 that will mitigate the public health crisis and the resulting economic downturn. I am proud to be the Chief Co-Patron of HB 5048: Outbreaks of communicable disease of public health threat; posting of information about cases. This bill requires the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to make information about outbreaks of communicable diseases of public health threat at any medical care facility available to the public on a website maintained by the VDH. I am also the co-patron of HB 5047 Combating price gouging for Personal Protective Equipment.

Along with these important bills the House passed many other measures including HB 5046 Advancing innovations in telehealth, HB 5068 Prohibiting garnishments for stimulus relief checks, and many other pieces of legislation that you can find HERE.

Police Reform

In the months and weeks leading up to the Special Session, I spoke with stakeholders including police chiefs, sheriffs, city managers, county administrator, and community leaders in the 91st District. In these discussions, I found a tremendous amount of common ground and support for reform within our police departments, from new methods of training to banning certain practices the police had relied on in the past. A place of common ground I found between police and community leaders was a ban on the use of chokeholds by police officers, a practice that all law enforcement within our District are already banned. Thus, I am proud to co-sponsor HB 5069 Banning the use of neck restraints by law enforcement. 

I also supported several other bills that will reform law enforcement across the Commonwealth including HB 5029 Mandating the duty of one officer to intervene to stop use of excessive force by another officer, HB 5051 Requiring de-certification of a law enforcement officer who is terminated or resigns for violation of law, violation of departmental policies or procedures, or during an internal investigation, and HB 5045 Banning sexual relations between officers and arrestees.  All measures that will make Virginia law enforcement better, more transparent, and safer for all.  At the end of the day we want highly qualified, exceptional, well-trained law enforcement officers that we all trust and can call upon to defend and protect when we need them.

Criminal Justice Reform

The House of Delegates has taken substantial action to address injustices that have persisted in our legal system. I supported HB 5072 Empowering the Attorney General to conduct “pattern or practice” investigations of police forces that appear to be violating constitutional rights, including unlawful discrimination, HB 5043 Creating a statewide Marcus Alert system, and HB 5098 Expanding the definition of hate crimes to include false 911 calls or reports to law enforcement against another person made on the basis of race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. These key pieces of legislation along with numerous Criminal Justice reform bills will move Virginia  toward a more just legal system.

Important House Visitors

Dr. Jeffrey Smith Gives the House of Delegates’ Opening Prayer

It was my privilege to invite Hampton Superintendent the Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Smith to lead the House of Delegates in opening prayer and introduce him to the General Assembly. Click below to watch Dr. Smith’s opening prayer and my introduction:

Town Hall Announcement

I will hold another Virtual Town Hall in mid October once the Special Session has wrapped up.   Follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page to find out exactly when and where my Town Halls will be!

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me, I hope you look forward to my next newsletter at the end of the Special Session.

Sincerely,

Martha


Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


--


Newsletters from the 2020 Regular Session

3-2-2020 

Welcome to our seventh weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond we have reported out with a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what we’re working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. This week we will take a look at an exciting new Caucus I am Chairing, how my bills addressing the environment are making their way through the General Assembly; which of my bills are already on their way to the Governor’s desk; and as always a highlight of some of the important visitors who dropped by during the week.

Katherine Johnson

On Monday, February 24th, mathematician and hero for the black STEM community, Katherine Johnson, passed away at age 101. She lived an extremely accomplished life, producing precise trajectory calculations for the NASA Langley Research Center in preparation for the Apollo Lunar missions. Johnson was no doubt a genius of her time, creating these models without the help of modern technology. My colleagues joined me Monday morning in celebrating the life of this Hampton resident who made a trip to the moon possible and continues to inspire mathematicians, scientists, and students of color pursuing careers in the STEM fields. Johnson has truly shown us that anything is possible. 

Poquoson Bull Islanders Win 3rd Straight State Wrestling Title 

On Wednesday I gave a floor speech in honor of the Poquoson High School’s wrestling team winning the Class 2 State Wrestling Championship Title for the 3rd straight year. The Poquoson Bull Islanders, yet again emerged victorious as Wrestling State Champions - outscoring the runner-ups Strasburg Rams by 140 - 106 ½. I congratulate Coach Eric Decker and echo his sentiment when he said “this is a testament to the dedication from the coaches and the wrestlers in [Poquoson’s] youth program up to the Varsity.”

Plan for removing the SOQ Cap

A top legislative priority of mine is to increase teacher pay across Virginia without putting a financial burden on localities trying to match any state compensation increase. That is why at the beginning of this session I submitted a budget amendment requesting funding to develop a plan to eliminate the cap of support position in the Standards of Quality (SOQ) and instead recognize support positions in accordance with the prevailing local practice. The plan would conclude with a schedule for the full elimination of the cap and reaching full funding by the year 2025.Unfortunately, my budget amendment seeking this plan did not make into this year’s budget. I remain committed to resolving our current SOQ cap that puts a financial burden on our local school boards and increasing teacher compensation remains my top priority.

Bills on their way to the Governor

I am happy to report back to my constituents that I have 6 (SIX!) bills on their way to the Governor to be signed into law. 

HB 234 Offshore Wind, Division of; established, report.

HB 731 Hampton, City of; alcoholic beverage control licensees.

HB 1431 Art and Architectural Review Board; changes number of citizen members, staggered terms of members.

HB 1561 Fort Monroe Authority; civil actions in general district court.

HB 1608 Fort Monroe Authority; exemption from the Virginia Personnel Act.

HB 1609 Nutrient credit use; regulated entities, use of point source nitrogen credits, etc.

Along with these bills, I had the privilege of co-sponsoring numerous other important pieces of legislation that have been sent to the Governor’s desk!

HJ 1 United States Constitution; ratifies and affirms Equal Rights Amendment.

HB 113 Protected information; newspersons engaged in journalism, definitions.

HB 165 Teledentistry; definition, establishes requirements for the practice of teledentistry, etc

HB 422 Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Grant Fund and Program; created and established.

HB 438 Workers' compensation; post-traumatic stress disorder, law-enforcement officers and firefighters.

HB 448 Menhaden; management of the fishery.

HB 1490 Same-sex marriages; civil unions.

HB 1622 Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund; acquisition of interests in property.

HJ 4 Celebrating the life of Alan Arnold Diamonstein.

HJ 165 Commending the Washington Nationals.

HJ 231 Commending the Virginia Department of State Police.

HJ 232 Commending the Richmond Police Department.

Important Visitors

 African First Landing Memorial at Point Comfort 

As we entered the final week of Black History Month, I had the privilege of introducing Brian Owens, the sculptor of the African Landing Memorial Project at Point Comfort, on the House floor.

Brian was selected in the spring of 2019 by the Fort Monroe Authority, the National Park Service, and the Fort Monroe Foundation as the sculptor to design the first ever African Landing Memorial at Point Comfort.

Officials from the Fort Monroe Authority and their partners have been working to get community feedback about the proposed memorial. They stopped in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, before joining us here in Richmond to gather insights from the community; college students, art groups, history lovers, civic groups, and others; and hosted similar meetings in Williamsburg, Hampton, and Norfolk.

The resulting design is intended to capture the tenor of those community conversations, by honoring the lives of the “twenty and odd” Africans who landed on shores of Virginia at Point Comfort in August of 1619.

The African Landing Memorial Project began with a grassroots effort many years ago led by Calvin Pearson and Dr. Bill Wiggins through their organization, Project 1619. These men should be especially recognized for their persistence, commitment, and dedication to this project.

 

Joining Brian in the gallery were Mr. Pearson and Dr. Wiggins from Project 1619, and former Delegate Glenn Oder, the Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority.

Town Hall Announcement

I will be holding 2 town halls once the session has wrapped up. I will be holding a Poquoson & York Town Hall and another Town Hall in Hampton where I discuss what was accomplished in session. I hope to hold both Town Halls in mid-March, the specific dates and locations are still yet to be determined. Follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page to find out exactly when and where my Town Halls will be!

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter where we all do a general summation of this year's session!

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--


2-23-2020 

Welcome to our sixth weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond we have reported out with a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what we’re working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. This week we will take a look at an exciting new Caucus I am Chairing, how my bills addressing the environment are making their way through the General Assembly; which of my bills are already on their way to the Governor’s desk; and as always a highlight of some of the important visitors who dropped by during the week.

Arts Caucus

Earlier this session I had the great honor of being named Chair of Virginia’s Arts Caucus by Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a caucus Speaker Filler-Corn founded herself in 2011. We held our first Caucus meeting this week where my colleagues and I were delighted to be joined by representatives from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts. VMFA spoke about the importance of Fine Art in Richmond and Virginia for not only the aesthetics and culture it brings the Commonwealth but also the commerce it drives to our community with an estimated 350,000 out of state visitors drawn to the VMFA each year. VCA spoke about the importance of state funding for the Arts in Virginia and celebrated this year’s budget which meets the long-held goal of $1 per capita in funding for the arts. Finally Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts gave a presentation introducing us to their organization and its mission to present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants. I thoroughly enjoyed each of our presenters and looked forward to our next Arts Caucus meeting!

Environmental Legislation

This session I made advocating for our environment one of my top priorities. I introduced bills that protect our Peninsula from rising tides, bring Virginia’s power-grid into the 21st Century by establishing a division of renewable energy, and ensure The Chesapeake Bay is protected from harmful run-off.

HB231; Tree conservation ordinance; Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act will provide protection from the rising sea levels by defining “Chesapeake Bay Watershed Trees” to ensure our region has a healthy Tree Canopy. A healthy Tree Canopy is a substantial step in building resilience to rising tides and mitigating the effects of soil erosion. This bill has been continued to the 2021 session.

HB234; Establishing the Division of Offshore Wind Energy is my landmark bill that establishes Hampton Roads as the hub of OffShore Wind Energy for Virginia and the Eastern Sea-Board . This will create more renewable energy for our Commonwealth and will create generational jobs for Hampton Roads. This bill passed the House of Delegates 100-0 and is currently making its way through the Senate!

Finally, HB1497; Fertilizer contractor-applicator; Nutrient Management Plan will protect the Chesapeake Bay from harmful run-off by mandating that the contractors spreading fertilizers containing harmful nutrients on farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed adhere to a Nutrient Management Plan. This bill has been continued to the 2021 session in hopes of reaching a consensus with the farmers. 

There are many other environmental protection bills making their way through the General Assembly that I have co-patroned and I look forward to discussing with you in the weeks to come.

Bills on their way to the Governor

With only 15 days left until the end of 2020’s legislative session I have two bills on their way to the Governor’s desk with, with 4 others closely in tow. 

HB1431; Art & Architectural Review Board is a bill that makes room for another member on the Art & Architectural Review Board. It was received extremely well in both the House and the Senate, with all yeas and not a single no vote. HB1561 Fort Monroe; Civil Actions is a bill I introduced on behalf of the Fort Monroe Authority which expands their ability to work within the judicial system. On February 7th the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and this Monday it passed in the full Senate. With both these bills now passed by the House and Senate, the only step left is for Governor Northam to sign both of these bills into law.

The Budget

Thursday, the House approved its 2021-2022 budget. A state budget that delivers on our promise to move Virginia forward. The budget stresses investments in funding in areas of education, workforce development, healthcare, and growing Virginia’s rainy day reserves to the highest level in the history of the Commonwealth. It is the most progressive budget in Virginia history, advancing equality of opportunity across Virginia and protecting Virginia’s AAA bond rating by shoring up our reserves. 

While the budget does not increase teacher compensation by 4.5% every year for five years in order to bring teacher salaries up to the National Average like my House Bill 233 called for, it does include a  2% per year each year of this biennium and is a step in the right direction. The budget brought forward by the House makes critical investments in Virginians for today and tomorrow and ensures our teachers, our children, our workforce are our top priorities. 

Important Visitors

Hampton Sheriff’s Department

I was thrilled to meet with Hampton’s members of the Virginia Sheriff Association on Wednesday. It was a pleasure meeting with old friends from the Hampton Sheriff’s office and meeting the newer deputies. I have the utmost respect for the work they do in keeping our community safe and I am committed to supporting all Virginian Sheriffs during my time in Richmond. 

Girl Scouts of Virginia

On Monday morning I had a visit from the Girl Scouts of America! As both a former girl scout and a troop leader during my daughter’s time as a girl scout, I’m proud to see these young women continue the Girl Scout legacy of strength and community leadership.

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter as we near the close out the 2020 session.

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--


2-17-2020 

Welcome to my fifth weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond we will send out a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what we’re working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. This week we will take a look at a few of the important bills I have signed on as a co-patron, highlight the budget draft released by Appropriations over the weekend, and highlight some very important visitors that stopped by.

HB66; Health insurance; cost-sharing payments for prescription insulin drugs

Perhaps one of the most impactful bills I have the honor of co-sponsoring this year is HB66; Health insurance; cost-sharing payments for prescription insulin drugs. This bill introduced by my colleague Delegate Lee Carter prohibits health insurance companies and other carriers from setting an amount exceeding $30 per 30-day supply that a covered person is required to pay at the point of sale in order to receive a covered prescription insulin drug. One of the issues that has been brought up most to me is the ever rising cost of prescription drugs in Virginia and I am proud to support this bill making insulin within the price range of everyone.

HB448; Management of the Menhaden Fishery

One of the most long overdue pieces of legislation moving through the General Assembly this year is HB448; Management of the menhaden fishery. I am proud to co-patron this bill that requires the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to adopt regulations necessary to manage Atlantic menhaden, including those necessary to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The bill also repeals several Code sections relating to quotas, allocation of allowable landings, and administrative procedures that will be included in a regulatory framework for managing the fishery. 

HJ 1; Equal Rights Amendment

I am proud to have signed on as a co-patron of the Resolution and voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment the first week of session, marking an historic day in the name of Equality for not only the Commonwealth, but for the nation. I have always been inspired by the women who fought for Equal Rights before me and because of them was granted this historic opportunity to ratify the Amendment and solidify our Equal rights in the US Constitution, creating a better future for my daughter and granddaughter.

Following the General Assembly’s historic vote, The U.S.House of Representatives voted last week to repeal the time limit on ratifying the ERA clearing the way for the Amendment’s biggest challenge yet, the U.S. Senate.

Christopher Newport University Social Workers

Toward the middle of last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with graduate and undergraduate students from Christopher Newport University studying to be Social Workers. We discussed the important work social workers do along with the barriers many social workers face in Virginia and how the General Assembly can play an important part in overcoming these obstacles.  

Budget

I went to Richmond this year with a few top priorities, chief among them being giving our teachers a raise in compensation. I’m proud to report back to my constituents that priority has become one step closer to a reality.

Earlier in the session, I submitted an amendment to the budget to raise teacher salaries in Virginia to or above the national average. Over the weekend, the Committee on Appropriations released their draft of the budget and with it included a 4% raise for our public teachers over the next 2 years! This won’t get our teachers to the national average, but this is an important step in the right direction and demonstrates where our priorities are going forward.

Also in this year’s proposed budget is more crucial funding for Early Childhood Education. $90 Million is currently headed toward early childhood education with $59.5 Million toward the Virginia Preschool Initiative to increase early childhood education access for at-risk four-year-olds. This funding will empower Virginia’s children and I echo the words of Governor Northam, “Every child should have an equal opportunity to build a strong foundation, and early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make in our children’s health, well-being, and future success.”

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter where I will discuss which of my bills make it through Crossover! Crossover marks the halfway point of session and is the last day for bills to be heard in the House or the Senate before they cross over to the opposite chamber.

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--


2-10-2020 

Welcome to my fourth weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond we will send out a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what we’re working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. This week we will take a look at how my key pieces of legislation are moving through the House, highlight some very important visitors that stopped by, and discuss the landmark gun violence prevention bills that passed through the General Assembly.

HB233 Teachers; required to be compensated at or above the minimum wage

On Monday morning, I was joined by hundreds of educators from across Virginia as I presented my bill HB233 Teachers; required to be compensated at or above national average to the Education Subcommittee on SOL & SOQ. If passed, this bill would immediately begin a 5 year phasing in of teacher pay raises for every public school teacher in the Commonwealth.The subcommittee voted to pass it to the full committee and recommends referring it to the Committee on Appropriations.

Talk about putting money where your mouth is: Del. Martha Mugler, D-Hampton, is serious – really serious – about boosting Virginia teachers’ pay to the national average." -The Daily Press on Wednesday commenting on my budget amendment to raise teacher compensation.

HB234; Offshore Wind Energy Master Plan

I am proud to announce HB234 passed through the House of Delegates with a 100-0 vote! HB234 creates an Offshore Wind Master Plan for Virginia and establishes Hampton Roads as its hub. This will create more renewable energy for our Commonwealth and will create jobs for Hampton Roads! 

Some Important Visitors

Between the many Committee Meetings, Floor Votes, and Legislative Receptions during the week I welcomed many important visitors to my office in Richmond!

On Thursday I met with political science students from JMU visiting the Capitol. I was happy to speak with them about the process in which a bill becomes a law and the importance of bi-partisan relationships in Richmond

Earlier in the week, I had the privilege of meeting with the United Jewish Community of the Richmond Peninsula. We had a wonderful conversation about the Virginia Israel Advisory Board which helps Israeli companies build and grow their U.S. operations in Virginia.

Gun Violence Prevention

When I campaigned to be your Delegate I promised I would go to Richmond and enact Common Sense gun violence prevention  measures and this week I kept that promise to my constituents. Below are the seven landmark pieces of legislation the House of Delegates passed this week in order to cub the gun violence epidemic.

HB 2 - Universal Background Checks

20 states already have universal background checks and 91% of Virginians support this common sense gun safety policy. Nearly 25% of gun owners bought their most recent firearm without a background check, and states that have more rigorous background check requirements have lower homicide and suicide rates.

HB 674 - Red Flag Law/Emergency Substantial Risk Orde (ESRO)

This law prohibits a person from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm if the person is determined (by a judicial officer on the basis of a sworn petition from a law enforcement officer) to pose “a substantial risk of personal injury to himself or others in the near future”. This is a temporary (14 day) restriction and gives the individual some time to find help with any mental health issues they may be going through. Duke University estimated in a study that “1 life is saved per every 10 temporary removals”!

HB 421 - Let Localities Regulate Guns Themselves

This law grants local governments the freedom to write their own regulations regarding the possession and sale of firearms. A recent survey found upwards of  67% of Virginians support this approach to gun regulation.

HB 812 - Limit Gun Purchases to 1 per Month

In 2016, the number of crime-related guns purchased in Virginia was over 9,000! It is up to us Virginians to take responsibility and help prevent violence in Virginia and the rest of the country. Law enforcement has been seeking ways to decrease the number of handguns being redirected to the unregulated market. This will help mitigate the easy availability of guns, and in turn, help prevent gun-related violence.

HB 1083 - Firearms in the Hands of Minors

In 2017 was Virginia’s highest number of gun-related child mortalities since 1982 and the suicide rate of 14-17 year-olds increased by 32% over the last five years. Almost half of those young people used a gun to take their own lives.

This bill seeks to reduce firearms access to minors in Virginia. I supported this legislation because  I believe preventing young people from access to firearms improves safety for that child, the family, and the entire community. 

HB 9 - Requires people to report lost and stolen firearms

This is common sense legislation that we need to combat the illegal transfer of guns to the underground market. This market disproportionately affects communities of color in urban settings and it goes beyond state lines. I’m glad this responsible legislation is in place to help protect our communities in Virginia and beyond.

HB 1004 - Disarm Domestic Violence

Virginia has seen a lot of domestic violence-related homicides - over 1,300 from 2006 to 2015. In 2015, nearly 60% of Virginia’s domestic violence homicides were committed with a firearm. When an abuser has access to firearms, the risk of intimate partner homicide increases by 400%. Currently, Virginia does not prohibit abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms. This piece of legislation will prohibit those with protective orders against them from possessing firearms, and now law enforcement has the ability to enforce this prohibition.

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter where I will discuss which of my bills make it through Crossover! Crossover marks the halfway point of session and is the last day for bills to be heard in the House or the Senate before they cross over to the opposite chamber.

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--


1-25-2020

Welcome to my second weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond we will send out a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what we’re working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. This week is a deeper dive into some of my proposed legislation, and some details on my subcommittee work.

Supporting Our Teachers

Among the bills I have introduced this year is HB233 Teachers; required to be compensated at or above national average. If passed, this bill would immediately begin a 5 year phasing in of teacher pay raises for every public school teacher in the Commonwealth. HB233 has been sent to the Education Committee and I will be defending it in subcommittee Monday morning.

Protecting the Chesapeake Bay

It has been an excellent week for environmental legislation. I am pleased to share that two of my bills, House Bill 221 and House Bill 1497, which advocate for the health and protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, have been sent to the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources and from there to the Chesapeake sub-committee. 

The first bill I introduced House Bill 221, is an amendment to existing law that would help preserve vital trees of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This legislation for tree preservation will keep our coastline more resilient to rising sea levels by reducing erosion. I also introduced House Bill 1497 which requires fertilizer contractors to submit and abide by a nutrient management plan. This legislation aims to minimize the amount of fertilizer containing harmful nutrients or chemicals from making their way into the Chesapeake Bay and our waterways. 

Offshore Wind Energy

Speaking of environmental progress, this session I am the chief patron of House Bill 234 - The Virginia Offshore Wind Master Plan. This bill puts a plan in place for constructing wind turbines off the shore of Virginia, and will establish Hampton Roads as a wind energy hub! This legislation will not only create more sustainable sources of energy in Virginia but it will also culminate in the creation of a whole new workforce in Hampton Roads.

Subcommittees

Last week I shared with you the Committees that I have been selected to serve on, and now I would like to give you an update on which subcommittees that I have been assigned to. As you may recall, I was thrilled to be selected to serve on the Education Committee and now I am proud to announce I have been selected to serve on not just one, but TWO education subcommittees. I will be serving on the Pre-K-12 Subcommittee as well as the Post-Secondary and Higher Education Subcommittee.  I will be able to use my experience as a member of the school board in order to support legislation that increases school safety, school resources, and higher teacher compensation. Out subcommittee considered bills that will foster an inclusive learning environment through measures relating to disability, mental health, and equality. In the Post-Secondary and Higher Ed subcommittee, I will use my prior experience as assistant director of admissions for Radford University and Virginia529 (college savings) board and work to ensure college affordability and accessibility for all Virginians. 

I am in subcommittee #2 of the Finance Committee which reviews legislation regarding property and sales taxes. Finally, on the Committee of Counties, Cities, and Towns I serve on the Land Use Subcommittee which addresses a wide range of issues, from clean energy initiatives, pollution regulation and affordable housing.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This past Monday marked the 25th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr Day, an important time to reflect upon the tremendous service of Dr. King, as well as his peer activists who fought for their civil rights and greater equality.

In light of honoring peaceful civil disobedience, my office met with the youth group, March for our Lives and discussed the ways we can address gun violence in Virginia. It was also a big day for pro-gun protesters, with thousands of people gathering for the Second Amendment protest. Thankfully the day ended with no incidents of violence. The House will tackle the issue of gun violence legislation this upcoming week.

Contact Me

Have a concern or input on a certain piece of legislation going before the General Assembly? You can reach out to me and my staff at our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter where I will discuss how our bills are moving through the General Assembly!

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--

 

1-18-2020

Welcome to my very first weekly newsletter! Each week during session in Richmond I plan on sending out a weekly newsletter to let constituents know what I'm working on, keeping you informed on bills I have introduced, and sharing important updates. I am looking forward to working in the majority and getting things done for my constituents back home. 

My Committees

Late last week, it was announced on which committees I will serve on this session. I was thrilled to receive the news that I will be serving on the Committee on Education, Committee on Finance, and the Committee on Counties, Cities, and Towns. As a former school board member of almost 12 years, Education remains my top priority in Richmond and I look forward to ensuring teachers receive a salary adjustment, schools are fully funded, and Virginia continues to be a model for excellent education.

The Committee on Finance plays a crucial role in considering the matters of Virginia’s general and special revenues, including tax exemptions, sales and use tax, and food and beverage tax, I look forward to being a good steward of the taxpayers' revenue.

Finally, I believe my experience in local government has provided me with a strong foundation for addressing the issues and needs that will come before the Counties, Cities,  and Towns Committee. I have first hand experience and understanding of the impact legislation can have on localities. I am committed to serving the best interests of the 91st District and all Virginians.

The Equal Rights Amendment

I am proud to have signed on as a co-patron of the Resolution and voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment this past Wednesday, marking an historic day in the name of Equality for not only the Commonwealth, but for the nation.

I have always been inspired by the women who fought for Equal Rights before me and because of them was granted this historic opportunity to ratify the Amendment and solidify our Equal rights in the US Constitution, creating a better future for my daughter and granddaughter.

Alzheimer's Association

This week I had the honor of meeting with the Alzheimer's Association.

We discussed what the state can do in order to improve the medical care and support offered to Alzheimer patients. I plan on supporting the Senate Bill 572, which seeks to educate and inform the public on Alzheimer’s disease so that early detection and treatment is possible. Additionally, the Dementia Case Management Plan, Senate Bill 256, and House Bill 310 ensure that the proper infrastructure is in place in order to treat these individuals. Ensuring that all Virginians have access to the appropriate medical resources is a top priority.

This Week in Richmond

Finally, I am proud to be a founding member of the Commonwealth Caucus. I was on television this week where I sat down with fellow Delegate Suhas Subramanyam and host David Bailey to discuss the bi-partisan effort. Please follow the link below to watch the segment!

This Week in Richmond Video

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being apart of this journey with me and I hope you look forward to next week's newsletter where I will discuss what Subcommittees I'm on and give an update on how my bills are moving through the General Assembly!

Sincerely,

Martha

Delegate

District 91

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.