Fiscal accountability is on the ballot:
The $5.1 billion surplus last fiscal year in Virginia was a sign of both prudent fiscal management and critical federal assistance. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), with pressure from Democrats in the Virginia Senate, wisely decided to allocate $3.7 billion in new spending and to cut taxes by $1.05 billion. This 3-to-1 spending-to-tax cut ratio demonstrates a commitment to investing in our future. The surplus in the first quarter of the new fiscal year shows that Virginia is thriving economically. The upcoming election will determine whether this responsible approach to managing any excess funds continues, with Democrats prioritizing wise and prudent investments for the Commonwealth.
Investment in the labor force is on the ballot:
Approximately 40% of Virginians now live in areas that have approved collective bargaining for public employees. This decision empowers workers and ensures they have a voice in their workplaces. It does not divert public funds but rather supports the rights of employees to negotiate for fair wages. In areas like Fairfax, Loudoun, Alexandria, and Portsmouth, the cost is a worthwhile investment in workers' well-being. This important trend promotes higher wages, improved working conditions, and a stronger, more inclusive labor movement. Governor Youngkin's opposition to collective bargaining puts the rights of workers at risk.
Your right to drive an electric vehicle is on the ballot:
Virginia's mandate that electric vehicles (EVs) must make up a significant percentage of automakers' sales within a few years is a forward-thinking approach. While EVs have the benefit of federal tax incentives, more importantly, they are a step toward environmental sustainability and reduced reliance on environmentally harmful fossil fuels. Governor Youngkin's efforts to repeal this mandate hinder progress toward cleaner and more sustainable transportation options.
Abortion access is on the ballot:
Virginia is the last southern state without severe restrictions on abortion. Should Republicans take control of the House of Delegates, we can expect that they will pass an arbitrary 15-week or less abortion ban. Governor Youngkin has stated that he would “gleefully” sign any such legislation that comes across his desk. In fact, he issued a press release last week comparing Virginians’ rights to seek abortion care with the ability to purchase a gasoline-powered vehicle. Virginians need the freedom to make their own informed healthcare decisions.
Reliable, affordable, clean energy is on the ballot:
The Virginia Clean Energy Act sets important targets for renewable energy, fostering a more sustainable future. The transition to renewable energy creates jobs and mitigates the harmful effects of carbon emissions. Governor Youngkin's efforts to repeal the act are regressive and risk further environmental degradation.
The future of public education is on the ballot:
Virginia's education system faces significant challenges, with reports of learning loss and disparities among students. The gap in academic performance, especially among minority students, is a critical issue. Parents have valid concerns about what their children are taught, school safety, and transparency in decision-making. But Governor Youngkin's pledges to “defend parents' rights” and support school vouchers do not address these challenges effectively or fairly. Focusing on increasing funding for public schools, expanding early childhood education, and promoting equity and inclusion, offers a more comprehensive solution to these pressing issues.
The results of this election will determine the direction Virginia takes on many crucial issues, including responsible fiscal management, expanding workers' rights, sustainable transportation, abortion access, energy policy, and excellence in education. The choice between Governor Youngkin's MAGA-like approach, which hinders economic progress for all, and the progressive vision of Democrats running for the General Assembly will shape the future of Virginia. Your vote is important!