March 05 - March 10, 2018
Greetings from Richmond: Weeks 8 & 9
The last two weeks were eventful as we prepared for our last few days in Richmond for the 2018 session. The General Assembly adjourned sine die on Saturday, March 10th. Because we have not passed a biennial state budget, we asked Governor Northam to call a special session to allow us time to continue negotiating and finalizing the budget. The budget must be passed by June 30th so that our state government has funding to continue to operate.
Please continue to let me know your questions and concerns about state-related matters. You can reach me by calling (804) 698-1042 or emailing me at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov.
Biennial Budget Update
Since the budgets approved by the House of Delegates and Senate differ, a conference committee was formed to negotiate a final proposal. As I mentioned in my Week 7 Newsletter, one of the most notable differences between the two budgets is Medicaid expansion. Only the House bill, which I voted in favor of, includes funding to expand access to affordable healthcare to nearly 400,000 Virginians.
Medicaid expansion is one of the key issues that is still being negotiated between both Chambers. Note that the six Delegates assigned to negotiate the budget all voted to expand Medicaid, and the Senate conferees include Senator Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who represents parts of the 42nd District and who also voted in favor of Medicaid expansion.
As we continue to negotiate the budget in the special session, I remain very hopeful that the final bill will include Medicaid expansion.
Throughout my campaign and during this session, I have heard from many of you about how traffic congestion in our region directly affects our quality of life. One aspect of addressing this issue is to make sure that Metro is funded, safe, and reliable.
I voted in favor of Metro funding, and the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation on a bipartisan basis to provide $154 million in dedicated funding to Metro. This is Virginia’s proportional share of the total $500 million in funds needed from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC to support the system.
Further, Metro will need to report on its performance and modernize its governance structure as part of this funding. This OpEd summarizes the importance of this bill. I am glad we are not only working to ease traffic congestion in our region, but continuing to stimulate our economy in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth.
League of Women Voters Legislative Roundtable
I had the honor of speaking to members of the League of Women Voters at their Legislative Roundtable alongside my colleagues Delegate Watts (D-Fairfax), Delegate Krizek (D-Fairfax), and Delegate Roem (D-Prince William). We reflected on the work that still needs to be done on key issues such as breaking down barriers to voting, funding Metro, and incorporating lessons from the #MeToo movement.
Constituent Input and Responses
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my office and connected via email, phone calls, and office visits throughout this session. Also, many thanks to all of you that responded to my 2018 Constituent Survey. I will post highlights of the Survey input on my website (www.kathyfordelegate.com) in the next few weeks.
I greatly value your input, and thank you for taking the time to let me know about your priorities and concerns for our community, as well as your thoughts on specific legislation before the House of Delegates.
I am in the process of responding to all of my constituents that wrote me a letter or email.
Meetings in Fairfax
With session having adjourned, I am back in the 42nd District and look forward to meeting with constituents to hear about the issues that matter to you. I am available to meet with you individually, with your civic association, or with your huddle group. I will also be having monthly office hours at locations throughout our district - more information coming soon.
From now until the end of 2018, you can schedule a meeting with me by calling (804) 698-1042 or emailing DelKTran@house.virginia.gov. I look forward to continuing to serve our community.
Join me for two Post Session Town Halls to discuss highlights of the 2018 Legislative Session. I look forward to updating community members on legislation that passed in 2018 and where we stand on the budget. Below you will find more information.
Post Session Town Hall at Pohick Regional Library on Thursday, March 22nd from 6pm-7pm. The address is 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015
Post Session Town Hall with Delegate Mark Sickles at Lorton Library on Monday, April 9th from 7:30pm-8:30pm with Delegate Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax). The address is 9520 Richmond Highway, Lorton, VA 22079.