Virginia Senate Democrats’ Legislative Priorities: What Happens At Your Kitchen Table?

November 30, 2021

As the Commonwealth heads toward the 2022 Legislative Session with a divided government, Virginia Senate Democrats lay out their legislative priorities:

Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Every family is different, and every family spends time differently around their kitchen tables. In the ongoing development of our legislative package, we have been asking ourselves: What do Virginians do around their kitchen table?

“Dynamic, diverse, and determined Senate Democrats once again are pursuing a forward-thinking, comprehensive legislative agenda in 2022 that addresses Virginians’ hopes, realities, and concerns about the Commonwealth’s future—from Tidewater to Shenandoah, from Arlington to Bristol.”

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said: “Virginians have seen some very lean months since the beginning of the covid pandemic. But through employment initiatives and education programs we are well on our way to rebounding even stronger and more economically diverse than ever before. In the 2022 Session, we look forward to working with our colleagues across the aisle to ensure every Virginian who wants a job can get it, and that job pays a wage and affords the benefits needed to take care of a family.”

Senator Ghazala Hashmi said: “When my daughters were little, we all sat around the kitchen table as they worked on school assignments. I remember our conversations about what it means to be thoughtful and inclusive members of our broader community. A world-class public education is the essential foundation for Virginia’s children, and we owe it to the next generation to ensure they grow up to think collaboratively and responsibly so they can continue Virginia’s record of being an economic and social justice leader for the nation. I know that both of my girls benefited so much from their educational opportunities; they value giving back because they have received so much from Virginia’s schools and universities.”

Senator Barbara Favola said: “At my kitchen table, we take care of one another. Whether it be bandaging up a scraped knee or attending telehealth appointments, my family’s health comes first when we gather. In Virginia, we have helped more families get much needed health care and stay healthy through expanding Medicaid, investing in Community Services Boards, increasing behavioral health resources, and working to end the covid pandemic. Senate Democrats look forward to strengthening our previous efforts and expanding upon them as we make sure everyone in the Commonwealth can afford to see a doctor when they need to.”

Senator John Edwards said: “People continue to expect Richmond to provide the infrastructure of a better future: more funding for public schools, improved transportation, affordable healthcare, and support for public safety.  As Democrats, we have worked tirelessly to keep citizens safe, to build a more equitable judicial system, and to give our law enforcement officers and our teachers a raise. We have made historic investments in education and transportation and are delivering broadband to every corner of Virginia.  We will continue to invest in our future as we head into the 2022 Legislative Session.”

Senator Creigh Deeds said: “At my kitchen table, we talk about the political issues facing the Commonwealth. Many families also vote by mail, thanks to groundbreaking legislation to expand access to the ballot box and encourage more participation in Virginia’s elections. We will ardently continue to make sure everyone has the ability to exercise their unalienable right to make their voice heard, not only at their kitchen table but in their government.”

Senator John Bell said: “At my kitchen table, we look forward to when everyone can be home at once and on time. Easing traffic woes across Virginia remains a top priority, and ensuring our infrastructure can support our growth is crucial to continue to attract top employers and employees to the Commonwealth. Our roads, bridges, electric vehicle infrastructure, and public transit options are a top priority as we look to keep our rating as the #1 state for business.”

Senator Lynwood Lewis said: “We plan our weekends to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors Virginia has to offer at my kitchen table. Protecting the Commonwealth’s existing natural resources while planning for a clean-energy future is the only way we can face climate change and future-proof not only our energy production but also our economy.”