Colleen On The Issues
Colleen on Jobs
Encourage continued job growth and opportunities within the Commonwealth by promoting innovation and limiting taxation and regulation.
As owners of a small law firm, my husband and I have a unique vantage point on the impact regulation and taxation have on the families in Virginia’s 91st District. We feel that impact as business owners and we see the ways the economy impacts our clients who represent every section of the economic spectrum. In Richmond, I will work to reduce burdensome red tape, reduce taxes and help small businesses throughout community thrive and create jobs.
Additionally, maintaining Virginia’s Right-to-Work laws is vital to attracting large corporations and incentivizing the growth of small businesses. Not only do Right-to-Work laws attract high paying employers to states, national statistics indicate that Right-to-Work states enjoy higher standards of living than non-Right-to-Work states Additionally, families in Right-to-Work states statistically enjoy greater after-tax income and have higher purchasing power than families in non-Right-to-Work states. Right to Work is a significant draw for high paying employers and it is an indicator of prosperity for families. Thus, I will fight all efforts to overturn Virginia’s status as a right-to-work state.
Colleen on Education and Workforce Development
Improve our children’s education by empowering parents and local communities, not bureaucrats in Richmond.
I am proud and humbled to be the first member of my family to graduate from college. Thus, I have a unique understanding of how vital strong public schools are to our community and families. As your Delegate, I will fight for funding for the schools in Virginia’s 91st district so that our communities are not having to make choices between necessary public services and educating our children. I will work to ensure that more money is directed to the teachers and the classroom, instead of the bureaucracy. I will also fight to ensure that educational decisions are made at the local level – not dictated by Richmond.
Additionally, in speaking with many of the businesses located here in Virginia’s 91st District, I find that businesses are very interested in working with local schools to develop workforce development partnerships.
Business are willing to invest in students to provide on-the-job training, in order to ensure a well-prepared workforce. We need the General Assembly to come alongside these local businesses promote and assist these partnerships.
We also need to ensure that schools are working closely with the business community to inform students and their parents of opportunities so the students can best plan for their futures.
We are also very excited about the apprenticeship programs available to all students in the 91st district from New Horizons, partnerships with the Newport News Shipyard, and other workforce development programs like the Academies of Hampton, the aviation program offered at Poquoson High School. Through programs like these we can ensure that students are workforce ready whether they choose to enter college immediately, delay college or go immediately into their chosen fields.
Colleen on Health Care
End crippling healthcare premiums. Improve health care for all by promoting free market solutions. Encourage innovation and competition. Fight the expansion of failed government-run health care.
As a family law attorney, I am overwhelmed by the hard-working families we see everyday whose budgets have been crippled by the cost of health care. So-called health care “reform” has been devastating to so many in Virginia’s 91st district. I am determined to fight for proven solutions to decrease costs and increase access to health care for all Virginians by encouraging competition and innovation rather than expanding failed and expensive government-run programs.
One of the best ways to do this is by allowing Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (“MEWAs”). These arrangements allow smaller employers to pool together and enable them to provide to their employees the comprehensive and affordable health care plans available to larger corporations.
COLLEEN ON SUPPORTING OUR FIRST RESPONDERS
Provide the support and health care coverage that our first responders deserve.
Our first responders put their lives on the line daily to protect us. Yet we aren’t doing everything we can to protect them – and that needs to change. While entering burning buildings our firefighters are exposure a host of unseen carcinogens that have made cancer a major occupational hazard for firefighters. I support amending the law to ensure that firefighter health benefits fully cover any cancer they receive in the line of duty and to make sure they get the best treatment possible.
COLLEEN ON IMPROVING FOSTER CARE
Better provide for our children in need.
A battle I am determined to fight in the General Assembly is working across party lines to better serve children in foster care. Virginia recently slipped from #47 to #48, making us one of the worst states in the nation at placing foster children in families before they age out of the system. This is a human rights crisis that must be addressed. Our children deserve better!
COLLEEN ON INFRASTRUCTURE
Fight for the peninsula’s fair share to fix our roads and bridges and improve the local shipping lanes without raising your tax dollars. Fight to ensure state-of -the art broadband to support our growing economy.
Hampton Roads is growing quickly, which means added jobs and opportunities. But, it also means more congestion on our roads. Time spent stuck in traffic means lost wages, lost productivity and lost time with family and friends.
Virginia has the third-largest state-maintained highway system in the country. Unlike most states, with only a few exceptions, the state maintains local streets. Transportation consumes 12.5% of the state’s annual budget, that means we need a delegate who is focused on working with local leaders to fix our broken transportation system and fight for our fair share to maintain and improve our roads.
I will work across party lines to secure funding and pursue solutions to keep the peninsula moving!
Additionally, we are realizing increasing “dead zones” among wireless providers and increasingly slower broadband access. We must increase competition and incentivize high performing wireless providers.
It is vital that we ease congestion and increase the speed of wireless communications in order to attract job-providing business to the area, and so that we can boast a hassle free standard of living to attract and keep a robust workforce here in Hampton Roads.
COLLEEN ON FLOODING AND SEA LEVEL RISE
Regardless of your view on the issue of climate change, we cannot deny that the sea levels are rising.
Regardless of your view on the issue of climate change, we cannot deny that the sea levels are rising, and that Hampton Roads is a flood zone that is likely to see significantly more flooding in the years to come if predictive models are accurate.
Having this information, the General Assembly must take action. I support efforts advocated by some of my colleagues and friends, in the Virginia Beach area, including Delegate Jason Miyares, who has called for the formation the Virginia Hurricane and Flood Risk Reduction Authority, an entity capable of working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite needed resiliency projects.
We are eager to mobilize business leaders to join with the General Assembly to take the necessary action to prepare our coastline before flooding happens and to have a plan of action when it does.