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Dick Saslaw

D

Minority Leader, Commonwealth of Virginia Senate (2012 - Present)

Virginia State Senate, District 35 (1980 - Present)

State Bills
Biography

Personal

Political Experience

Current Legislative Committees

Professional Experience

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

Additional Information

Articles

Issue Position: Gun Violence Prevention

Jan. 18

Home/Issues/Gun Violence PreventionAn epidemic of gun violence is raging in this nation. The murder rate per 100,000 in this country is 10 times greater than in comparable industrialized democracies. We are 4.6% of the world's population but we are home to 43% of all guns not currently held by the military or police. In the U.S., military-style weapons are in the hands of civilians. In the absence of the federal government acting, the states are going to have to react … or the voters will. Young people are the victims in what has become today's "shooting galleries" -- our nation's schools. Even after the mass shooting at VA Tech in 2007, we still are far from a solution to this scourge. Dick Saslaw has worked closely with the Coalition Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action to do more than just offer his thoughts and prayers to the thousands of people whose lives have been shattered with weapons in the wrong hands. Arming teachers is not only unacceptable, it is foolish to think a hand gun is going to stop a large-caliber, high-capacity weapon. Taking on the NRA and Civil Defense League, Senator Saslaw has used his influence with colleagues and the Governor to pull in the reigns on unreasonable legislation. With his leadership, all the Governor's vetoes on this issue for the past five years were sustained. Domestic violence abusers must now surrender their weapons within two days after being ordered to do so by the courts. Dick Saslaw is ready to stop the violence. Universal background checks are a long overdue step in the right direction. Banning the sale of mechanical devices that accelerate the firing mechanism on weapons (such as bump stocks) and prohibiting civilian use of assault-style weapons will do even more to help end this epidemic.

Issue Position: Medicaid Expansion

Jan. 18

Senator Saslaw worked tirelessly and helped lead the charge to expand Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of Virginians without access to healthcare. No longer will Virginia leave billions of federal dollars unclaimed. Instead, these monies will help benefit more than 400,000 of our Commonwealth neighbors in need of affordable healthcare and provide hope for the otherwise desperate. Senator Saslaw was honored by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association as a 2018 "Healthcare Hero" for his multi-year dedication to expanding Medicaid in the Commonwealth. Dick believes that leaving citizens to rely on visits to the emergency room to treat ailments is costly, foolish, and overall poor stewardship of taxpayer money. More importantly, it is the wrong moral course for our Commonwealth. Dick knows that Virginians deserve the right to access healthcare. Despite what others may have you believe, Medicaid expansion is not a divisive partisan issue in Virginia. With 83% of the Commonwealth in support of expansion, including 72% of Republicans, it was high time to enact this sensible expansion of Medicaid. During his time in Richmond, Dick has always fought to enact policies that safeguard the welfare of his constituents and advance their quality of life. He looks forward to working with Governor Northam to ensure Medicaid has a successful expansion in Virginia and our underprivileged citizens get the access to healthcare they deserve.

Issue Position: Healthcare

Jan. 18

Dick Saslaw has led the fight for necessary transportation funding for our region. He serves on the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Transportation and continues to work to ensure that Northern Virginia receives the funding required to meet its growing transportation needs. He has been a longtime advocate for making critical investments in infrastructure aimed at reducing gridlock. He strongly believes that Virginia must expand the use of mass transit, increase efficiency, develop multimodal transportation options, and invest in maintenance of our existing roads, trains, and buses. Saslaw knows that Virginia's transportation problems cannot be fixed overnight and has advocated for commonsense measures to generate new revenue. In the Senate, he is one of the leading advocates for new sources of sustainable transportation funding. During the 2018 Session, Dick championed a bill (SB 856) to provide annual funding for the Metro system in partnership with Maryland and Washington. The bill earned widespread support in the business community and among the various transportation authorities throughout the Commonwealth. Metro removes more than 1 million car trips from the D.C. region's road every week day and more than half of all jobs in Northern Virginia are located within a half mile of a Metro stop. For every dollar the Commonwealth invests in Metro and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) it receives approximately $2.50 in value. Metro must be fixed from a financial and operational standpoint to secure our region's primary mass transportation system for the next decade and beyond. It is well understood that leading companies place high priority on locating to regions with efficient public transportation. Amazon has been particularly vocal in listing it as one of the top criteria for the location of their next headquarters. Senator Saslaw will continue working to prioritize the most important transportation projects that show the greatest potential for alleviating traffic on our busiest roadways.

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