What kinds of steps does Justin believe will help create more economic security and opportunity for Virginians?
Grow Small Businesses. 97% of all businesses in Virginia are small businesses. Along with his work as an attorney, Justin also works with his wife running her dental practice, and has a firsthand understanding of the challenges of running a small business. As Lieutenant Governor, he’ll work to ensure small business have what they need to succeed.
Increase the Minimum Wage. Justin believes that Virginia workers deserve the right to earn a livable wage in order to support and create economic security for their families, and he’ll fight to raise the minimum wage to ensure they can.
Expand Workforce Training and Development. There are 175,000 “middle-skill” jobs – jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year college degree – currently going unfilled in Virginia. Justin would support expanding programs that offer the training to give Virginians who are out of work the necessary credentials to fill these “middle-skills” jobs.
What are some of Justin’s areas of focus for improving our education system?
Restructure and Lower Student Loan Debt. Justin is passionate about implementing a state-based loan restructuring program to reduce the crushing burden of student loan debt on Virginia’s students and families so that graduates can purchase homes, start businesses, and invest in their future sooner in life.
Expand Access to Early Childhood Education. Access to a pre-kindergarten education is not a guarantee for all Virginians. Justin believes that each child across the Commonwealth deserves a high-quality early childhood education, regardless of socioeconomic status or where they live.
Reform SOLs (Standards of Learning). Justin supports continued efforts to reform SOLs, like the recent steps to eliminate tests and expedite retakes, and efforts to improve high school curricula, like the redesign model that matches curricula to the student’s career outlook.
What can Virginia do to create additional access to quality and affordable healthcare?
Close the Coverage Gap. Currently in Virginia, there are 400,000 people who could receive healthcare coverage under Medicaid expansion. In addition to providing healthcare coverage, the expansion would create an estimated 30,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.
Support Mental Health Reforms. Justin wants to work with legislators and stakeholders to find solutions that eliminate gaps in mental health coverage, decrease wait times, and expand crisis intervention training and emergency services.
Fight the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic. As a former federal prosecutor, Justin believes that addiction is a healthcare issue as much as it is a law enforcement issue. There are too many Virginia families being destroyed through the effects of heroin, prescription opioids, and other illicit drugs, and the right approach must include increased access to treatment.
What can be done in Virginia to stop gun violence in our communities?
Requiring universal, criminal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals will help to curb the gun violence epidemic that continues to be a critical issue for our communities.
What are some of Justin’s environmental priorities?
Restoring and Cleaning the Chesapeake Bay. Justin understands the importance of having a clean and safe Chesapeake Bay that will be sustainable for generations to come.
Implement the Clean Power Plan. Justin recognizes the importance of harnessing clean energy and the benefits for Virginia’s economy. With increased use of clean energy, Virginia families could see a 5% cut on average in their electric bills and Virginia’s economy could see thousands of new jobs.
Address Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels. Climate change is a threat to Virginia’s environment, economy, and quality of life. As Lieutenant Governor, Justin would advocate using money raised through the Clean Power Plan to develop clean energy technologies, help economically distressed coal communities transition to new, sustainable economies, and address increased flooding in coastal towns.
How does Justin plan to continue protecting the rights of all Virginians?
Protecting Women’s Reproductive and Healthcare Rights. As Vice-Chair of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington Action Fund, Justin is passionate about ensuring that women have the freedom to make their own reproductive and healthcare decisions. As Lt. Governor of Virginia, Justin will protect a woman’s right to choose.
Support Marriage Equality and Non-Discrimination Measures. Virginia must be open and welcoming to everyone, no matter who they love. Justin will continue the fight to ensure that marriage equality remains the law of the land, members of the LGBTQA community are protected from discrimination, and all Virginians are treated fairly and equally under the law.
Support Equal Pay for Equal Work. Women make only roughly 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. Justin supports equal pay for equal work. His mother’s hard work as a pharmacist allowed Justin and all three of his siblings to graduate from college and achieve more economic security and opportunity for their families. Justin will fight to make sure that every woman in the Commonwealth is paid fairly, so they can do the same for their families.