I stand firmly for the sanctity of the family and the fundamental right of parents to make crucial decisions for their children. Upholding this pivotal value, I am committed to advocating for legislation that unequivocally grants parents the final authority in all critical aspects of their children's lives. Regrettably, my opponent does not share the same sentiment. In a recent survey, he failed to express support for parental permission for critical and sensitive aspects of their children's lives, revealing a concerning disregard for the vital role of parents in guiding their children's health, education and emotional well-being.
It is evident that my opponent's stance not only undermines the pivotal role of parents but also threatens the safety and protection of our youth. By advocating for reduced parental consent on life-altering decisions, my opponent has publicly endorsed divisiveness between parents and their children, displaying a disconcerting lack of regard for the fundamental rights of families. This alarming revelation should compel every parent to urgently consider the future well-being and safety of our youth. As your Virginia Senate representative, I am steadfast in my commitment to championing the rights of parents and protecting the well-being of our children, ensuring that families maintain their rightful authority in guiding their children's lives.
I want to ensure that every child has access to a safe and excellent education. This includes supporting our teachers and staff, investing in modern learning resources and facilities, and promoting innovative teaching methods. We must also prioritize transparency in how education dollars are spent, making sure they reach the teachers and the classrooms where they are needed most.
We also need a renewed focus on academics to prevent our students from falling behind. In addition to increasing our literacy levels, I advocate for increased investment in STEM educational programs to empower our students and teachers with knowledge about emerging technologies like AI and equip them for the workforce of the future.
Lastly, safety is paramount, and we must provide adequate support and authority to School Resource Officers to ensure secure learning environments. We need to re-establish a collaborative environment between teachers, students and parents so we can make sure our children’s well-being is the priority.
Governor Youngkin's proactive fiscal policies resulted in a total tax reduction of $5 billion, surpassing the combined tax cuts made by the previous administrations over eight years. The upcoming elections will determine the fate of the surplus funds, and I will advocate for having taxes returned to hard-working taxpayers.
With the recent approval of collective bargaining for public employees, unions in Virginia are directing public funds away from essential services, impacting schools and public safety. The influence of unions could impact political influence and create an environment where the interests of unions supersede broader public interests. There are also concerns about how union funds are being utilized and whether they are truly serving the intended purpose. Finally, funneling a large portion of public funds to unions could impose a burden on taxpayers, potentially leading to increased taxes or reduced public services to compensate for the redirected funds.
The Virginia Clean Energy Act's stringent targets for renewable energy are impacting the reliability of energy supply in the state. This has resulted in the closure of efficient energy facilities and an increase in energy costs to renters and homeowners. I will aim to balance the transition to renewable energy while maintaining reliable and affordable energy for all Virginians.
While expensive electric vehicles (EVs) represent a minimal fraction of cars in Virginia, existing laws mandate a substantial increase in their sales. These vehicles remain inaccessible for most buyers and present concerns around reliability, particularly for longer commutes and road trips. I will seek to repeal them, promoting accessibility and affordability in the automotive market.
The exorbitant tolls in Northern Virginia have burdened regular commuters, sometimes reaching well over $200 per week. I am committed to implementing a Tolling Equity and Relief Plan aimed at refunding a significant percentage of tolls paid by Virginia-based commuters and restoring HOV-2 lanes, alleviating the financial strain on commuters.
Currently, Arlington and Alexandria impose the Business License Tax on small businesses based on gross earnings. I believe it's time to transition to a net revenue-based tax system that takes into account the expenses incurred by business owners. This change would alleviate some financial burden on small businesses and promote economic growth.
We must simplify and clarify our tax code to reduce compliance costs. To support startups, we can explore tax relief options during their initial years of operation. Incentives for growth and expansion and streamlined tax filing processes for small business owners will be pivotal in our economic recovery efforts.
I also stand in support of existing Right-to-Work laws, as they ensure that no one should be compelled to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. This principle has been long standing in Virginia, and I believe it should continue to be upheld.
Addressing the alarming surge in crime remains my utmost priority. Witnessing the rapid escalation of crime not only within our community but across the nation has deeply concerned me. From an increase in shootings and carjackings to the menace of porch piracy and fentanyl overdoses, our streets have become hotbeds of criminal activity. Regrettably, certain media narratives and political voices have unfairly vilified law enforcement, while simultaneously excusing the actions of those responsible for destroying lives, businesses, and neighborhoods. While holding law enforcement accountable for any abuses of power, we also cannot allow other criminal behavior to go unchecked.
It is imperative that our communities support law enforcement, recognizing their role as the Thin Blue Line that safeguards society from descending into chaos. Recognizing that comprehensive solutions are needed, I want to providing law enforcement with the requisite resources, training, and support to effectively protect our communities, fortify laws on violent crime to reinstate a sense of law and order and prevent recidivism, and encourage community engagement to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior. Additionally, I intend to explore innovative crime prevention initiatives, such as educational and rehabilitation programs, fostering opportunities for individuals to become productive and valuable members of our society. It is essential to uphold transparency, accountability, and the rule of law in law enforcement oversight. It is also crucial to ensure that any oversight mechanisms are consistent with established legal principles and represent the best interests of the community. By fostering a culture of transparency and accountability within law enforcement, we can cultivate trust within our community. These policies collectively strive to foster safer neighborhoods and instill a profound sense of security for all residents. As I continue to seek more effective solutions, my commitment remains unwavering: to ensure that our communities are secure and thriving.
By actively involving residents, organizations, and stakeholders in decision-making processes, we can harness collective wisdom and work together to find sustainable solutions.
When addressing the pressing issue of climate change and environmental protection, it is crucial to approach the matter in a balanced and practical manner. I firmly support the necessity for clean air and water, emphasizing the importance of diligent monitoring and remediation of industrial waste, alongside stringent penalties for any individuals or companies that recklessly pollute the environment. In order to safeguard our greenspaces and farmland, I am committed to endorsing legislation that preserves these vital resources, while also advocating for the implementation of greenspaces in densely populated areas.
While advocating for responsible environmental practices, it is essential to acknowledge the limitations and challenges associated with certain renewable energy sources. It is imperative to take into account the environmental challenges and constraints of these technologies, ensuring that any transition to renewable energy is executed in a responsible and well-considered manner.
We need to address the financial burden placed on households and businesses as a result of certain climate change initiatives. We must assess these programs thoroughly, ensuring that any approach we adopt is economically viable in the short term, while also working towards the goal of sustainable long-term growth. I firmly believe in the implementation of practical and balanced policies that not only safeguard our natural resources but also promote economic growth and sustainable environmental stewardship. I am committed to championing measures that work towards a sustainable future that prioritizes both environmental preservation and economic stability.
I consider myself a moderate in my views on this subject because while I do respect the sanctity of life, I understand that there are circumstances where a woman may need to make this difficult decision and want to make sure there are measures in place to allow her to do so. I definitely support a woman's right to decide on pregnancy termination within reasonable time frames to be determined by discussion with Virginia residents and the legislature. I also understand there are exceptional circumstances to later term abortions such as cases of rape, incest, or threats to the mother's life, where a woman's choice must be upheld. Unfortunately, my opponent doesn't exhibit compassion or moderacy and supports abortion until the moment of birth which should cause concern for most people. I am committed to promoting comprehensive reproductive health education and accessible contraceptive options to reduce the need for such procedures. Ultimately, my goal is to foster a society where individuals are equipped with the resources and knowledge to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.