Aside from the budget, there were some other legislative successes this year. We mandated that insurance providers cover services for many children with autism, protected the Chesapeake Bay by banning phosphorus in lawn fertilizer, and took a major step toward fighting childhood obesity by requiring 150 minutes of PE per week in grades K-8. We also managed to pass an important - though temporary - fix for transportation funding which will allow for the construction of long overdue projects in our area.
There are still many challenges ahead as we begin to emerge from the economic downturn, and I am committed to working with you all to improve our transportation network, increase opportunities for education and employment, and protect our natural resources. I am excited to return to Hampton Roads and spend time listening to your ideas about how we can build on the progress we are making in these areas and others. Maybe most importantly though, I am eager to do my part to help ensure that Virginia stays above the raw politics and negativity that currently characterizes many debates at the national level. Ours is a diverse state within a diverse nation, and we all have our differences. However, I am focused on what we can accomplish together, not what can push us farther apart.
As I begin my bid for re-election to the Senate, I will be making every effort to visit all the communities of the 6th District, and will keep you posted as we put together local public meetings. Please also let us know if there is an event or gathering you would like me to attend. Additionally, I will need your help to return to Richmond, so please contact my aide Matt Strickler at (757) 818-5172 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer on my campaign between now and November 8. I look forward to seeing you all soon.