ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Last night, Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43) and Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) addressed citizens at the Montebello Community Center about the 2016 General Assembly. They covered a variety of subjects, ranging from the new FY17-FY18 Biennium budget, updates on car title lending legislation, proffer reform, and other critical issues. During the question and answer session, Delegate Sickles and Senator Ebbin addressed constituents’ concerns on redistricting reform, the decline of Metrorail, AirBnb regulation, Medicaid expansion, gun safety legislation, and election law.
“It is always a pleasure to meet with the attentive and highly engaged members of the Montebello Condominium Association,” said Delegate Mark Sickles. “Great questions about our region and how the state, federal, and local governments try to work together to improve our quality of life. These sessions are invaluable to me as they can sometimes lead to bill ideas but are always good for gauging the needs and concerns of the 43rd District.”
“Town hall meetings are one of the best tools to keep our constituents engaged and informed,” said Senator Adam Ebbin. “They allow me to get valuable feedback on legislation affecting our community. These meetings play a key part in ensuring that I truly represent my constituents in Richmond.”
Delegate Sickles as a member of the Appropriations Committee discussed the benefits of the FY17-FY18 Biennium Budget.
“Despite a lackluster economy, positive revenue growth allowed the General Assembly to work with Governor McAuliffe to pass a fiscally sound and fair budget that provides unprecedented levels of investment for research, an additional $76.2 million for mental health services, and a considerable expansion of both K-12 funding and higher education, including almost $200 million from lottery funding for school divisions distributed on a per pupil basis rather than through the Local Composite Index.”
Senator Ebbin as a member of the Privileges & Elections Committee discussed election law reform.
“It should be our top priority to increase access to the ballot, but any bill that makes it easier to vote is met with considerable opposition,” said Senator Ebbin. “Each year in the Privileges and Elections Committees, common sense legislation such as ‘no excuse absentee voting for those over 65’ is immediately defeated. There is an attitude in Richmond that the status quo is acceptable. Despite these obstacles, I am happy to report that I was able to pass my bill, SB420, which will make it easier for individuals to vote who were previously disqualified.”