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Governor's Proposed Budget

February 4, 2016Blog Post

Happy New Year!  I write just days before we are sworn in for the 2016-17 General Assembly Session.  Governor McAuliffe introduced his first (and only under our system) biennial budget on December 17th.  It is the first budget in the Commonwealth’s history to exceed $100 billion, continuing his efforts to create a “New Virginia Economy.”  About 62 percent of the total comes from what are called “non-general funds” or from user fees and federal funds dedicated to certain purposes, like the gas tax for roads.

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Republicans Vote Against Making Voting Easier

January 19, 2016Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

CONTACT: Jacqueline Hixson, (770) 362-2408

Republicans Vote Against Making Voting Easier

RICHMOND, Va. – This morning, at a 7:30 a.m. committee meeting in which the location had changed and day of the meeting had been moved up by two days, Republican members of the Privileges and Elections – Elections Subcommittee essentially killed four bills (the only four bills heard, all patroned by Democrats) that would make the process of voting easier and more accessible for already-eligible voters.

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Delegate Mark Sickles' Statement on his 2016 Legislative Agenda

January 18, 2016Press Release

RICHMOND, VA – In the first week of the 2016 General Assembly Session, Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43) introduced legislation and budget amendments that, if passed, would further efforts to reform Medicaid to better assist our disabled population, improve the efficiency of our voting process, rationalize our reckless driving law, better protect individual rights, and help transition the Commonwealth’s economy away from its dependence on defense spending and to a “new Virginia economy.” These initiatives cover a wide range of topics including foreign language e

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WMATA Riders’ Union

December 1, 2015Blog Post

Two months ago, I attended the inaugural meeting of the WMATA Riders’ Union and immediately signed up to become “a card-carrying member.” In addition to Metro being a critical resource to the people of the 43rd District, I have a strong personal interest as one of the few Virginia elected officials that use Metro many times a week. The Riders’ Union is offering a new way for users of WMATA’s bus, rail, and MetroAccess services to express their concerns and advocate for specific policy changes.

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Reforming Disability Services in the Commonwealth

November 1, 2015Blog Post

Last month, I visited an extraordinary family supporting a child with Cystic Fibrosis to discuss their experience with Virginia’s Developmental Disability waiver, or so-called DD waiver.  Medicaid “waivers” refer to community supports that are life-saving to families with disabled children and do not want to see their loved ones institutionalized.  At least that is the history of the “waiver” terminology—a waiver from costly institutional care.   

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