I hope that you and your loved ones experienced a happy Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Christmas and the New Year. During this holiday season, remember our men and women in uniform that are unable to spend time with their families.
In this email, I’ll provide an update on photo ID laws and Medicaid spending, share with you my preparations for the 2017 General Assembly session, let you know how the WWII tribute went, and provide you an “around the district” update.
Court of Appeals Upholds Photo ID Law
In a unanimous decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Virginia’s photo ID laws. Virginia’s photo ID laws are designed to protect the integrity of the ballot box against voter fraud.
During the Presidential election, we saw multiple examples of voter fraud. One such example included a JMU student turning in voter registration forms for deceased individuals. Our strict voter ID laws will work to preserve the integrity of our ballot.
Sadly, this politically motivated case brought on by the Democratic Party of Virginia unnecessarily cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees because the Attorney General once again refused to defend the laws of the Commonwealth.
Report Finds Medicaid Costs Soaring
A report from the non-partisan Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) released on Monday noted that the growing cost of Medicaid continues to put pressure on the budget’s general fund. The report further notes that the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has failed to prioritize cost-saving measures. You can read the full report from JLARC by clicking here.
Medicaid currently costs the state $4 billion per year, roughly equal to 22% of the state’s general fund. Medicaid spending in Virginia is currently growing by approximately 8% each year, an unsustainable rate.
With the current budget shortfall, Virginia simply cannot afford to expand Medicaid. In the General Assembly, I will continue to work with colleagues to make sure that our taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently. Fixing existing faults in the Medicaid program is the best option moving forward so that recipients can receive the best care possible.
2017 General Assembly Session
The 2017 General Assembly session is less than one month away. During this session, the House of Delegates and Senate will consider hundreds of bills over the course of just 46 days.
In preparation for session, my staff and I have been meeting with constituents and advocacy organizations to learn about their legislative proposals. Earlier this month, I met with the Richmond Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to discuss legislation that will support the military and veteran community in Virginia.
Delegate Cox (center, seated) with fellow General Assembly members and MOAA members.
I appreciate hearing from constituents regarding legislation before the General Assembly. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your views on bills under consideration.
World War II Commemoration
December 8th marked the 75th anniversary of America’s entry into the Second World War. As Chair of Virginia’s World War I & World War II Commemoration Commission, it was my pleasure to help recognize the men and women that served with honor and distinction around the globe from 1941 to 1945.
Veterans and their active duty escorts participate in a ceremony to commemorate
the 75th anniversary of World War II.
At the “Dawn of Infamy” event, over 90 WWII veterans were in attendance. Many more veterans watched the ceremony live via satellite from locations across the Commonwealth.
Delegate Cox, joined by fellow General Assembly members and
commission members, cuts the ribbon to open the “Profiles of Honor”
mobile history exhibit.
In addition to the ceremony, I was able to officially open the “Profiles of Honor” mobile history exhibit. This exhibit will travel the Commonwealth sharing the story of Virginians during the war. In addition to its various displays, the mobile history exhibit will have equipment available to digitally scan photos, letters, and other documents from WWII so that they can be preserved for future generations.
You can visit www.virginiaworldwarii.org to learn more about the commission’s work and its upcoming events.
Around the District
I once again participated in the Colonial Heights Christmas Parade, a beloved holiday tradition in the district. This year, I rode in the “Profiles of Honor” mobile history exhibit that was noted above. I enjoyed getting to ring in the Christmas season and speak with friends and neighbors.
Please visit my Facebook page and my Twitter page. These pages, along with my website, have information/links to the 2016 General Assembly Session to include my 44 pieces of legislation, visitors’ photos, my legislative survey, videos of floor remarks, and related topics.