What a quick summer! It’s hard to believe school starts again this Tuesday, September 5th! In addition to reminding drivers to be aware of little pedestrians and wishing everyone a safe school year, I want to take a moment to share my direction for education. Education is one of my greatest priorities because I know students are the future of the Commonwealth. As a member of the Education Committee, the SOL Innovation Committee, and School Readiness Committee, I have a great opportunity to prevent regulations from being implemented that would further burden teachers, stifle education, and an opportunity to even out the playing friend for our most vulnerable children. Many teachers have shared with me the hindrances to providing a good education for their students, most of which can be summed up as excessive regulation. So, I’m working to minimize those difficulties and keep the decision-making process with the local school boards. I’ve worked to reduce the number of mandatory SOL tests, to require 65% of education funding be spent in the classroom where students will benefit, pay raise for our hard working teachers, and to abolish regulations that prevent local school boards from deciding their start date. Although I’ve been unsuccessful on eliminating the school start date restriction, I’m pleased to report we are headed in the right direction with SOL tests. We have reduced the required number of SOLs from 22 to 17 before students enter high school. Further, here in Chesterfield County, the public-school system exceeds the standard and puts 68% of their funding in the classrooms. I’ve supported anti-bullying programs and have added school security officers to each school because students learn best in a safe environment. Going forward, my goal remains the same: an education system that allows every student to get the best education possible. This means continuing to reduce SOL pressure that results in teaching to the test. It means working to improve school readiness. Families who prefer alternative routes of education through private or home instruction can make those decisions to benefit their children. And, it means we work on increasing school choice in the public sector. I always appreciate hearing from families and teachers, what their lives are like and how we can continue to improve education in Virginia, so I hope you will share your perspective. With that being said, I wish everyone a safe and productive school year! Best regards, Roxann L. Robinson, O.D.
Richmond, VA – This week, Delegate Roxann Robinson (R – Chesterfield) was appointed to the Advisory Council on Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections and Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, also known as, PANDAS and PANS by Speaker William J. Howell in conformance with the provisions of § 32.1-73.9 of the Code of Virginia. Dr. Robinson, a passionate advocate for children’s health, was a co-sponsor of legislation to enact the Council. In response to the appointment, Del. Robinson said, “I look forward to joining the PANDAS and PANS Advisory Council. Together, we will be able to help our children by conducting research, finding a treatment, and educating the public about PANDAS and PANS.” PANDAS and PANS are severely misdiagnosed among children, often causing frequent or constant strep throat and can lead to the development of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, tics, personality changes, anxiety, and much more. Families affected by PANDAS and PANS often face financial hardships associated with the high cost of misdiagnosis. One out of every 200 children are affected by this serious health condition. Joining Dr. Robinson on the council are Del. Richard Bell (R – Staunton), Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D -Fairfax), and Del. Gordon Helsel (R – Poquoson). ###
I hope you will be able to join Delegate Roxann L. Robinson for a Fall Happy Hour Reception on Wednesday, October 19th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Steam Bell Beer Works located 1717 E. Oak Lake Blvd, Midlothian, VA 23112.
Eye on the General Assembly – UPDATE: Voters File Lawsuit Against Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Executive OrderJune 2, 2016
Last week, six Virginia voters, including Speaker William J. Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr., filed suit in the Supreme Court of Virginia against Governor Terry McAuliffe regarding his executive order of restoring the political rights of over 206,000 convicted felons. Click here for the full court filing. Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it plans to advance the legal challenge of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order. The Supreme Court will be hearing the case during a special session on July 19th, 2016 at 9:00 am. Click here for the Court’s Order of Motion.
Eye On the General Assembly – Voters File Lawsuit Against Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Executive OrderMay 23, 2016
Attorneys for General Assembly Republicans are filing suit in the Supreme Court of Virginia to halt enforcement of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) order restoring the political rights of more than 206,000 convicted felons, Speaker of the House William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) announced Monday. Six Virginia voters, including Howell and Norment, are asking the Supreme Court to issue writs of mandamus and prohibition to stop the implementation of the order. In accordance with Supreme Court rules, the petition will be filed with the Court later today, after the Respondents receive notice. To read the full filing click here. “The Constitution of Virginia forbids this unprecedented assertion of executive authority,” the filing states. “Governor McAuliffe’s executive order defies the plain text of the Constitution, flouts the separation of powers, and has no precedent in the annals of Virginia history. The Governor simply may not, with a stroke of the pen, unilaterally suspend and amend the Constitution.” “Governor Terry McAuliffe exceeded the authority granted to him by the Virginia Constitution and we simply cannot ignore this unprecedented executive overreach,” said Speaker Howell. “Along with fellow citizens, we are asking the Supreme Court of Virginia to stop the implementation of the order and any similar orders he may issue in the future. The case against the Governor’s executive order is overwhelming. A plain reading of the Constitution, 240 years of practice, and precedent-setting Virginia Supreme Court cases lead to the unambiguous conclusion that the Governor’s order is unconstitutional and cannot stand.” “The Governor has willfully ignored constitutional limitations on his power, demonstrating his complete and total disregard for the Commonwealth, the people of Virginia, and the principles of representative government,” Majority Leader Norment said. “We have three separate and co-equal branches of government to serve as checks and balances to prevent abuses of power. To fulfill the legislative branch’s constitutional duty to check the excesses of executive power, we are compelled to challenge this order. The weight of the case against the Governor’s action is staggering, and we are confident we will prevail on the merits.” Six Virginia voters are filing suit in the Virginia Supreme Court challenging Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring the political rights of more than 206,000 convicted felons. The petitioners are: House Speaker William J. Howell; Fredericksburg, VA Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment; Williamsburg, VA Bill C. Cleveland; Alexandria, VA; Former Vice-Mayor Marianne Gearhart; Fairfax Station, VA Brett Hall; Coeburn, VA Hunter Slemp; Dryden, VA The petitioners are asking the Supreme Court to: Issue a writ of mandamus against the Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Board of Elections and the Department of Elections commanding them to require the Commonwealth’s registrars not to register felons based on the April 22 order and to cancel all invalid registrations made since April 22. Issue a writ of prohibition against the Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Board of Elections and the Department of Elections prohibiting them from permitting the registration of any felon based […]
On Sunday the House of Delegates Committee on Appropriations proposed a biannual budget that includes no tax or fee increases, takes steps to eliminate future liabilities, and makes strategic investments in K-12 and higher education. The House budget is a conservative, responsible, and structurally-balanced budget. General fund spending has decreased by 5% over 10 years when adjusted for population and inflation. Here are some highlights from the House budget. The proposed budget deposits $605 million in the state’s rainy day fund. Fully funds the annual contributions to the Virginia Retirement System at 100% of the Board certified rates which re-pays the funds deferred from VRS in 2010, six years ahead of schedule. Exceeds the Governor’s investment in K-12 education by nearly $70 million while increasing flexibility for local schools and reducing tax burden on local government. Includes $83.3 million for a 2% teacher pay raise in the second year of the budget. Re-establishes the lottery proceeds distribution, sending $272 million back to localities with almost no strings attached. This sends 31% of lottery proceeds back to local schools by FY18. The House goal is to fully restore the 40% distribution, which was the policy prior to 2010. Includes $3.2 million to fully fund the House legislative proposals on domestic violence. Includes $2 million to expand domestic violence prevention, treatment and counseling programs and services for women and children. Includes $5 million for rapid re-housing efforts. Rapid re-housing funding is used to provide safe shelter for veterans and victims of domestic violence. The House budget invests $28.9 million in new funding to build a stronger healthcare safety net, including funding for substance abuse treatment, to create two new PACT teams, and increase eligibility for the GAP program to 80% of FPL. Creates new DD waiver slots to address the critical waiting list. Includes $197.9 million for a 3% pay raise in the first year of the budget for state employees, college faculty and state-supported local employees. The Governor’s budget proposal provided a pay raise in the second year. The budget also sets aside $28.2 million in FY18 to implement the findings and recommendations of Speaker Howell’s Commission on State Employee Retirement Security and Pension Reform. Over the coming weeks budget negotiations will go on between the House, Senate and Governor’s Office. The final budget will be voted on during the last week of the 2016 General Assembly Session. To see the budget in its entirety please visit http://budget.lis.virginia.gov. As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at email@example.com or by calling (804) 698-1027.
Wednesday, February 17, marked the halfway point of the 2016 General Assembly Session, commonly known as Crossover. Moving forward, the House will only consider bills passed by the Senate and the Senate will deliberate bills from the House. During the first half of this year’s session the house has been laser focused on introducing and passing legislation that fosters private-sector economic growth, promotes a positive pro-business climate, and protects small business through regulatory reform. Below are a small sampling of these bills. HB 66 will encourage workforce training in high-demand fields by establishing a grant program to cover part of the cost for tuition, textbooks, and training for students seeking certification. HB 884 will encourage businesses in Virginia to invest in major capital projects to expand their research and development efforts, which will create new jobs and attract highly skilled employees to the Commonwealth. Part of the reason Virginia is known as a great place to do business is our strong right to work law. This year HJ 2 passed the house for the second time. In November it will be up to you, the voter, to decide to enshrine our right to work laws into the Constitution of the Commonwealth. In addition to passing legislation that fosters economic growth in Virginia, we also passed a major bipartisan agreement to protect Virginia’s Second Amendment Rights. The agreement was divided into three bills. HB 1163 will grant universal concealed carry reciprocity for Virginia citizens. HB 1386 requires state police to be available at all gun shows to perform voluntary back ground checks for private sales. HB 1391 prohibits individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm. Finally, the house passed several pieces of legislation to improve Virginia’s access to affordable healthcare. HB 59 and HB 193 would reform Virginia’s archaic Certificate of Public Need commonly known as COPN. COPN reform will encourage competition among our healthcare providers which will lead to an increase in access to care, reduced costs, and promote innovation. HB 825 will establish a pilot program to allow military medics to transfer their skills learned during their time in the service to the private sector. HB 310 alleviates regulations for mobile dental clinics to help reach a greater number of the underserved in rural communities. To track the progress of these pieces of legislation or any other, please visit www.lis.virginia.gov. As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (804) 698-1027.
This week, I was able to co-patron one of the best pieces of legislation I have seen during my time as Delegate. Kathy Byron, the Delegate from Bedford, has been working on work force development for ten years, and Monday the House will pass the first workforce development grant program in Virginia’s history. HB 66 will provide a means to invest in Virginians to help close the skills gap, expand economic opportunities for individuals, and strengthen the state economy. HB 66 is a performance-based grant program to reward individuals who complete a noncredit workforce training program and earn the related industry-recognized credential in a high-demand field. Let me explain how this will work. Subject to the availability of funds, any eligible student who enrolls in a noncredit workforce training program offered by an eligible institution may apply for a grant to cover two-thirds of the cost. At the time of enrollment the student pays one-third of the program cost and signs an agreement to complete the training program. In the event of non-completion an additional one-third of the program cost will be the responsibility of the student. Conversely, the education institution is responsible for one-third of the cost if they do not get the student to finish the program. Eligible institutions will include comprehensive community colleges, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, New College Institute, Roanoke Higher Education Center. The Virginia Board of Workforce Development will maintain on its website a list of high-demand fields and industry certificates that will be eligible for the grants. Industry-recognized credentials range from crane operators to welders, laboratory techs, manufacturing technicians and many more. Click here to see a full list of industry certificates. HB 66 represents “The Virginia Way” of doing business. Everyone involved has skin in the game with a laser focused goal of closing the skills gap in our workforce by creating opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth. To track the progress of these pieces of legislation or any other, please visit lis.virginia.gov. As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at email@example.com or by calling (804) 698-1027.
The third full week of the General Assembly is coming to a close and things are moving along. One of the questions I often get asked is “why can’t the Republicans and the Democrats work together”? Well last week, there was a historic bipartisan agreement. As many of you know, in late December, Attorney General Mark Herring made a surprise announcement that Virginia would not recognize concealed weapons permits issued by other states. This action severed Virginia’s reciprocity agreement with all but 5 of 30 states. My Republican colleagues and I made reversing this decision one of our top priorities during the 2016 General Assembly Session. Last week the House of Delegates came to a landmark agreement with Governor Terry McAuliffe to restore and expand Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements to all 50 states. The bipartisan agreement is broken into three bills. Senator Bryce Reeves (SB610) and Delegate Michael Webert (HB1163) will carry companion legislation that will grant universal concealed carry reciprocity for Virginia citizens. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (HB1386) and Senator John Edwards (SB715) will introduce legislation that will require the State Police to be available at every gun show to administer voluntary background checks for private gun sales. All Federal Firearms Licensed Dealers, who sell professionally at gun shows, will still be required to administer background checks before the sale is final. HB 1391, carried by Delegate Kathleen Murphy will prohibit individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm. In conclusion this agreement restores the rights of law-abiding citizens while sending a clear message that the House is committed to preventing and combatting domestic violence. To track the progress of these pieces of legislation or any other, please visit www.lis.virginia.gov. As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (804) 698-1027.
I’m having a great time winding along the campaign trail, visiting events around the community, keeping up with the newest developments in the legislature, and polishing off my virtual campaign literature. Last Saturday, I had a great time with Glen Sturtevant for Senate, School Board Member Dianne Smith, Chris Winslow for Board of Supervisors, and our Congressman Dave Brat at the Independence Day Parade. I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, as well. Even though my first Super Saturday of the season was a little dreary, I’m looking forward to our next one at 9:00 a.m. on August 8. We’ll meet at my legislative office, 9409 Hull Street Road, Suite F-1. (My office is sort of around the back of the building), and Majority Leader Delegate Kirk Cox will not only be joining us; he will also be providing lunch for everyone afterwards, so be sure to RSVP on Facebook or via email email@example.com.
With the beginning of summer also comes the beginning of my campaign for reelection. This has been in the form of two kickoff events, a luncheon with Speaker Bill Howell and Super Saturday last weekend. On Wednesday, June 17 I hosted my first official campaign event of the 2015 election season in the Brandermill neighborhood. The event was hugely successful, and I greatly appreciate the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Bill Howell, joining us and providing an update on other races around the state. We’re feeling very optimistic not only about my race, but many others throughout the commonwealth; November 2015 is looking to be a great election. And although it was a rather dreary day, our first Super Saturday this summer was quite a success! We had a great turn out of volunteers and were all welcomed warmly by the community, as we went door to door. The goal was primarily to find out what the biggest issues were on the minds of Chesterfield voters. As your Delegate, I wish to be of service to you however necessary and to be your voice in the Virginia General Assembly. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from the community and always look forward to your comments.
Join me, Chris Winslow, Supervisor Candidate, and Dianne Smith, School Board Member, for the Clover Hill District, in kicking off my campaign for reelection on Saturday, June 27 at 9:30 a.m. We will be meeting at my optometry office, located at 6019 Harbour Park Dr, Midlothian, VA 23112, for a light breakfast followed by door knocking in Bailey Bridge precinct. Once again, please note that this will not be held at my legislative office but instead at my optometry office. The address of my optometry office is 6019 Harbour Park Dr, Midlothian, VA 23112. To RSVP please email Eric Philipkosky at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-308-1534. As always, thanks for your support and please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns.
Congratulations to Ms. Virginia Hendricks, second grade teacher at Providence Elementary School, who won the 2015 Virginia Lottery Super Teach Award! I’m so proud of all the wonderful, hardworking educators in Chesterfield. Thank you for going above and beyond for our children!
On Tuesday, June 2, I had the pleasure of attending a bill signing ceremony for HB 1873, SB 1320, HB1490 and SB 874. These bills developed out of the SOL Innovation Committee and passed with bipartisan support. HB 1873 and SB 1320 charges the Virginia Board of Education with establishing a multiple level accreditation system. The current system, schools either pass or fail and there are no rewards for schools that are making significant progress. As a co-patron of HB 1873 it is important to give schools credit where credit is due. HB 1490 and SB 874 allows all students the ability to take an expedited retake of failed SOL tests. Previously, only high school students were given expedited retakes. These reforms build on the legislation passed last year that reduced the total number of SOL tests elementary students are required to sit for from 22 to 17. The members of the SOL Innovation Committee are continuously making strides to reform the Virginia Standards of Learning to make our public education system the best in the nation. If you would like to read any of these bills in their entirety or see a bill history please visit http://lis.virginia.gov/
Even though the General Assembly has been out of session for several months, we’ve still been hard at work. Below you will find some highlights of the great accomplishments that have recently been made in our public education system and an invitation to join me for my campaign kickoff on Saturday, June 27.
May 27, 2015 In her optometry office off Hull Street, Delegate Roxann Robinson formally announced the kickoff of her campaign for Virginia’s 27th House District, the seat she currently holds. She has been honored to represent the people of central Chesterfield in the Virginia General Assembly and is working to earn your support for the November election. Since announcing her candidacy for reelection, Delegate Roxann Robinson has been very busy. She has hosted her annual General Assembly Session town hall recap, launched a new website, and attended a number of community events including picnics and parades. One of her renewed interests has been supporting the Chesterfield County Food Bank’s new distribution location at Providence Elementary School. She attended the opening ceremony and has volunteered a number of times. The food distribution occurs on the fourth Saturday of the Month, sign-in begins at 9:00 AM and distribution starts at 10 AM. While community outreach efforts have already been going on, she has been increasing her time spent walking through neighborhoods and knocking on doors. She is seeking out interns and volunteers for her campaign office and will be hosting a Super Saturday on June 27, 2015. If you are interested in helping Delegate Robinson spread her conservative commonsense message to the voters of the 27th House District please call Eric Philipkosky at 804-308-1534 or email 27District@comcast.net.