If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide

˜David Bowie, "Let's Dance"

The Virginia House of Delegates convenes Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. for the 2016 General Assembly Session. I'll take my place in seat #9 for my second term representing YOU and your interests in Richmond, and once again be administered the Oath of Office by the House Clerk.

To more effectively represent your interests, it's essential that I hear from you about the issues that matter most. That's why I spend so much time attending hearings and sending and reviewing the results of constituent surveys prior to and at the beginning of Session. This past Saturday was the annual Fairfax Delegation Public Hearing at the Fairfax Government Center. During the 3 1/2 hour hearing, I, along with my House and Senate colleagues, heard from more than 110 speakers sharing their priorities.

Unsurprisingly, the largest number of speakers wanted to talk about public education - from making it a budget priority to ensuring teachers have the freedom to teach. With the Governor's proposed budget making K-12 funding a priority, I am hopeful that we will have good news once the General Assembly is ready to vote on the state budget at the end of Session.

Other issues raised included concerns about filling judicial vacancies, access to healthcare, having truly gun free school zones, and increasing the number of I/DD waivers.

WTOP reporter, Max Smith, did a story about the public hearing and an audio clip of the story can be heard here.

2016 General Assembly Session

If you don't think your testimony or feedback makes a difference, take a look at these three bills I've prefiled for the 2016 Session - all of which are at the specific request of a constituent or group of constituents:

HB 305 - This bill prohibits those registered as a sex offender from having a Kids First specialty license plate. A former Fairfax County Public School classmate of mine brought this to me after he learned that a sex offender from his childhood had these plates.

HB 423/HB 424 - These bills deal with gun free school zones and the recent opening of two gun stores within close proximity to schools in McLean and Falls Church. After hearing the serious concerns raised by the community, my colleagues and I knew legislation was needed to clarify provisions for law enforcement and allow cities and towns the option to create local ordinances.

HB 495 - This bill places a three-year moratorium on installation of synthetic turf that contains recycled crumb rubber from waste tires at schools and recreational parks. I first learned of this issue last year and have been working with interested constituents (including my wife) who are concerned about the yet unknown effects on kids of this type of field. You can view all the bills I have submitted here.

While I'm in Richmond, you can stay in touch with me on issues and bills of interest by emailing me at DelMSimon@house.virginia.gov or calling (804) 698-1053.

Don't forget, you can watch Session live online every day, beginning at noon on January 13 until March 12th.

Legislative Survey

Nothing helps me better represent you in Richmond than knowing what issues concern you the most. Please take a few minutes to fill out this online survey from the House Democratic Caucus.

You can also share the survey with your friends and family!

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Town Hall Meetings

This Saturday, January 16th, I am hosting two Town Hall Meetings, one in Falls Church and one in McLean. Both Town Halls will provide an opportunity for constituents to hear about Session, our legislative priorities, and ask questions of their state representatives. More information on the Town Halls can be found in the left hand column of this email under Upcoming Events.

Yours in service,
Marcus Simon

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