Forty percent of the average family’s earnings go to pay taxes at the federal, state or local level. Virginians don’t mind paying taxes if it is fair and the money is wisely spent. As your Senator, I have and will continue to fight against efforts to raise your taxes for every excuse that comes around the corner.
I tell the employers in our area that the best thing they can do for me is to keep my fellow citizens well employed. That being true, it is my job to help maintain a business-friendly environment so that these businesses can prosper. We have been successful in doing that as Virginia continues to be recognized as among the best states in the nation to operate a business.
Organized gangs are on the rise in Chesterfield and Colonial Heights, as is the violence and the havoc they wreak. I appreciate the work that our Chesterfield and Colonial Heights Police Forces are doing to combat this menace. However, the problem exists around the entire Commonwealth.
Virginia was established by immigrants. My own family includes a rich heritage of Norwegian immigrants. Legal immigrants of every ethnic background seek refuge and opportunity in this great land. Legal immigrants begin their journey in the United States with respect for our laws.
The right to private property is one of the foundations of our Republic and is clearly stated as a fundamental right in Virginia’s Constitution, but the Constitution is apparently not safe from bad court decisions. After the devastating US Supreme Court ruling, Kelo Vs. City Of New London, it became clear that Virginia needed to go an additional mile to protect our citizen’s property rights. No one should have their property taken from them for another’s personal gain, an increase in tax revenue or for an increase in employment.
The strength of our communities is dependent on the strength of our families, and the individuals that comprise them. While government cannot directly affect the heart and will of the individual, it can and does set a standard for what is or is not acceptable behavior. Nothing is more important in determining these standards than the value we place on human life.
It is our responsibility to assure a quality educational opportunity for all of Virginia’s children, regardless of their geography or family’s financial condition. Many have the financial means to choose where their children will attend school by purchasing their homes in the right neighborhood or their willingness to pay the necessary tuition.