Change. Rarely do we experience so much change in Richmond. When we begin the new General Assembly session on January 10, we will have a new Governor, a new Lt. Governor, an unprecedented number of new --mostly Democratic -- delegates, a new Speaker, more women in the legislature than ever before and a more diverse House of Delegates. The old, "Virginia way", good old boy, rural dominated legislature is rapidly changing -- and none too soon! Even our offices are changing as the old General Assembly building is being torn down and we will all have new, temporary offices.
We have an opportunity this session to change Virginia for the better. My goals for the session are ambitious. Expand federally-paid healthcare to 375,000 Virginians. Pass redistricting reform. Remove barriers to voting. Protect families and neighborhoods with responsible gun safety measures. Combat climate change by supporting renewable energy sources and conservation measures. Promote more humane and effective programs for people suffering from mental illness and drug addiction. And, improve our education systems from pre-school through graduate school.
As the ranking member of both the Finance Committee and the Privileges and Elections Committee, I will be actively engaged in all these issues. And, as a budget conferee, I will be formulating crucial budget decisions. Spending taxpayer dollars wisely is always my goal. Investing in the people of Virginia is always my top priority.
You can follow all the action in Richmond. Once the session begins on January 10, the Senate sessions are live streamed here. House sessions are live streamed at this Link. Both bodies go into session at noon. You can track the progress of every piece of legislation on the General Assembly website.