News and Events
The General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 11, 2016. There was a lot of good accomplished this session with passage of a budget that invested over $1 billion in support for education at all levels. Since the recession, the state has been reducing its share in funding for public education, leaving local governments to take on more and more of the costs of educating our children. With this budget, the General Assembly has once again taken its share of the responsibility for providing children in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a high quality education.
Other areas of significance include workforce training for industry certifications on a regional basis. This is certainly important for those of us here in Hampton Roads. Equally important is the focus on one of our most valuable resources in our workforce, veterans. The General Assembly created a new health care careers pathway for former medics and corpsmen and fully funded the new veteran care center for Hampton Roads. The Port of Hampton Roads received funding for terminal expansions which is critically important for our region.
State employees (hardworking teachers, sheriffs, and other public sector personnel at the state and local level) will also receive a much needed increase in their pay. They truly deserve it.
While there was collaboration on a number of initiatives like the budget, there was also quite a bit of acrimony. There was legislation to defund Planned Parenthood (HB 1090) which the Governor has vetoed. Republicans removed a highly qualified jurist, Justice Jane Marum Roush, from the State Supreme Court; injecting politics into the selection of judges. There were the usual bills designed to undermine public education and a woman's right to make her own personal health decisions. There was also an effort to begin the process of censoring reading materials for AP (college level classes) courses. There was no effort to address Medicaid expansion and cover the health care needs of 400,000 Virginians. Several bills that would have allowed easier access to voting, the hallmark of democracy, were killed in committee.
It is my honor to serve each of my constituents in the Senate of Virginia and I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments.
The reconvene session is Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
Contact Mamie Locke
47 E. Queens Way
Hampton, VA 23669
Senator Mamie E. Locke
General Assembly Building
P. O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Locke for State Senate
P. O. Box 9048
Hampton, VA 23670