Since my last email to you, I’ve been busy travelling the district meeting with constituents, attending community events, and researching possible legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session that will convene in January 2017.
In this email, I’ll talk about our work to combat drug addiction, share and update on the budget shortfall, and fill you in on the voter fraud case in Harrisonburg. I’ll also share with you my travels across the 66th district.
Heroin Addiction Recovery Program (HARP) Tour
Heroin’s impact on our communities is growing with more news of devastating overdoses being reported everyday. I’m committed to finding a solution to end this epidemic and keep our communities safe.
Recently, I, along with fellow Delegates Rob Bell, Scott Garrett, and Todd Gilbert, toured the Heroin Addiction Recovery Program at the Chesterfield County Jail. Started by Sheriff Karl Leonard, this program is designed to treat heroin addiction in jail rather than waiting until inmates have been released.
This voluntary program has two unique features that separate it from other recovery programs. First, heroin users can be admitted to the program prior to their sentencing when they are most receptive to recover rather than waiting until sentencing. Second, once inmates are released from jail, they have the ability to return to the jail at any time, day or night, to participate in the program.
Delegate Cox speaking to inmates at the Chesterfield Jail about HARP.
During the upcoming 2017 Session, we are looking at ways to implement pilot programs around the Commonwealth based upon Sheriff Leonard’s innovative work so more regions can have access to this recovery method. We must break the cycle of addiction.
To read more about my visit to HARP, click here.
By now, you’ve no doubt heard that Virginia has a $1.5 billion shortfall. The shortfall is a result of a lagging economy that generated less tax revenue than expected due to an economy that has replaced high paying full-time jobs with lower paying part-time jobs.
Unlike Congress, we in Richmond are Constitutionally required to balance our budget. That means we must adjust our spending to reflect new revenue estimates. During the upcoming 2017 General Assembly session, I will work with my colleagues to close this budget shortfall without raising taxes.
Election Fraud in Harrisonburg
News broke last week of a James Madison student forging voter applications for 19 deceased individuals. A student at JMU falsified and turned in 19 voter applications to the Registrar in Harrisonburg. He was caught when an employee in the Registrar’s office noted that one of the applicants had died in 2014.
Because of cases just like this at JMU, I supported strong photo ID laws that require voters to present a government-issued photo ID when they arrive at the polls to vote. Virginia’s photo ID law is currently being challenged by liberals in the federal court of appeals. But what makes our legislation different is that Virginia requires registrars to provide a photo ID absolutely free to anyone who needs one.
To apply for a free photo ID, click here.
Family Foundation Gala
Delegate Cox and Julie Cox with friends from Colonial Heights and Chesterfield.
I enjoyed attending the annual Family Foundation Gala in Richmond this past weekend. Julie and I were pleased to be joined by friends from both Colonial Heights and Chesterfield to include Chesterfield Republican Committee Chairman Jerry Baldwin, Marcia Sugumele, Doug and Sharon Barker, Brenda Beazley, and Zachary Wood.
The Family Foundation is a non-profit association dedicated to preserving traditional family values. They do an excellent job advocating for these principles in the state legislature.
Around the District
Throughout August and September, I’ve had the pleasure of attending many events throughout the 66th district. I truly enjoy getting to meet new people and hearing their thoughts on ways to improve Virginia.
I joined Tim Joyce, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond, and Jamal Riley, Executive Director of the Chester Family YMCA, for an informative tour of the YMCA’s facilities in Chester.
Tim Joyce (right) and Jamal Riley (center) share with Del. Cox the various programs that the YMCA of Greater Richmond has to offer.
The YMCA does great things for our community, particularly in the field of education. As a retired teacher, I know for a fact that children lose knowledge over the summer while not in school. With the YMCA’s summer learning program, participating students actually gained knowledge rather than losing it. I’m excited to see ways that the YMCA can continue to grow this program and provide learning assistance to even more children in the metro-Richmond region.
National Night Out
Back in August, I had the opportunity to ride along with Captain Shand of the Chesterfield County Police Department on National Night Out. I always enjoy getting to talk with constituents from across the district and listen to their concerns about state government.
Delegate Cox with Captain Shand at a National Night Out neigbhorhood party.
During National Night Out, I met Brandon. Brandon shared with me the experiences he, his mother, and his siblings had with domestic violence. Brandon has courageously stood up and started “Stop Shooting Innocent Kids,” a group aimed at preventing acts of domestic violence against children.
Del. Cox with Brandon at a National Night Out neighborhood party.
I’ve enjoyed going on the radio and sharing Republican alternatives to liberal policies. Just the other week, I went on the John Fredericks Show to discuss the state budget, Restoration of Rights, and the upcoming election. Click here to listen to my interview on the John Fredericks Show.
Delegate Cox discussing the state budget with John Fredericks.
More recently, I was a guest on “Cut to the Chase,” a local radio show hosted by Senator Amanda Chase. We discussed the GO Virginia legislation, which I believe will grow our economy, and the need for tax reform. To listen to my interview with Senator Chase, click here.
“Cut to the Chase” with Senator Amanda Chase airs on 820AM each Thursday from 4-5PM. I encourage you to tune in as Senator Chase and her guests discuss relevant topics in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
In closing, you can contact me at my home office by emailing email@example.com or by calling 804-526-5135, by US mail – PO Box 1205, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 – or by stopping by my Colonial Heights office at 250B East Ellerslie Avenue. I appreciate your views on legislation that will help me do a better job for the people I represent.
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.
Please forward this Update to your fellow veteran friends and neighbors.