Follow Atoosa Online

I hope you’ve been enjoying the warm days with some spring cleaning, and gearing up for the upcoming summer months! I’ve been quite busy, both in the district and back in Richmond for the Special Session. This newsletter will update you on what I’ve been up to, from budget updates and commission appointments to community events and more district office hours.

As always, feel free to reach out to my office to schedule a meeting, share your thoughts or concerns, or invite me to visit a business or attend an event in our vibrant community!

Mobile Office Hours

We have our second mobile office hours in the first week of June! Come stop by and meet my staff at the Sterling Library on June 4, 2024, from 11:00-4:30!

You can reserve a time slot using the button below or simply drop in. My staff will be available to assist you with any issues you are experiencing with state agencies, discuss important updates from the legislative session, and listen to your concerns.

Special Session and the Budget

On May 13, 2024, I returned to Richmond to vote on the conference budget. This budget provides record investments in our education and healthcare systems, helping all working families keep Virginia moving forward.

Providing a World-Class Education
We have delivered historic funding of over $2 billion for K-12 education and significantly boosted opportunities at colleges and universities with over $700 million for higher education improvements. Teachers and other school staff members will receive a 3% salary increase each year of the biennium, totaling a 6% increase. Additionally, $370 million has been allocated for an “at-risk add-on” to support economically disadvantaged students, and over $70 million has been allocated to support English language learners.

Fostering an Economy that Works for Families
This budget does not include any of the tax cuts directed at wealthy individuals or corporations that Governor Youngkin proposed in his December 2023 budget. Additionally, there are no tax increases. The budget excludes the digital sales tax but requires a study of the tax proposal ahead of the 2025 legislative session.

The budget includes a 3% salary increase each year of the biennium for state-supported employees, totaling a 6% salary increase. It also provides $175 million for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing.

Keeping our Communities Safe
Our budget includes $3 million per year for youth development programs, including Big Heroes of Minority in Every Society (Big H.O.M.I.E.S) and Cleaning Up the Streets Youth Employment Programs (C.U.T.S). We have also allocated $6.5 million each year for additional public defender positions to reduce turnover and address the increased workload across the Commonwealth and $3.75 million for the Victims Services Grant Program administered by the Department of Criminal Justice.

Protecting our Natural Resources and Infrastructure
I am happy to share that we have funded the Metro at the level requested by WMATA, with $144.7 million over the biennium for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Many constituents brought to my attention their concerns about keeping Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Although language to require Virginia to rejoin the RGGI was removed from the final budget, Virginia’s participation in RGGI is mandated by law. The Governor’s attempt to remove Virginia from RGGI is a gross overstep of his authority. While I am disappointed that RGGI was left out of the budget agreement, it was necessary to prevent a government shutdown. A lawsuit is pending to stop Governor Youngkin’s administrative efforts to remove Virginia from RGGI. We remain committed to ensuring Virginia re-enters RGGI and will work with Virginia’s next Governor in 2026 to continue combating climate change effectively.

The budget includes significant funding for environmental priorities, including $231 million for agricultural best practices, $20 million for pollution reduction projects in the Chesapeake Bay, and $400 million for upgrading wastewater treatment. Additionally, $100 million is allocated for flood preparedness and $1 million to create an Office of Commonwealth Resilience to coordinate climate adaptation.

Keeping Healthcare Accessible and Affordable
The budget allocates $58 million from the general fund to expand and modernize Virginia’s comprehensive crisis service systems, including crisis receiving centers, crisis stabilization units, and enhancements to existing facilities. An additional $10 million is allocated for the Virginia Mental Health Access Program to address shortages of pediatric mental health specialists, a $4 million increase from last year.

Furthermore, more than $12 million is allocated for child psychiatry and children’s crisis response services, while $5 million is allocated for school-based mental health integration grants. These investments are dedicated to providing support for our children.

New Appointments

The legislators in the Commonwealth do not only work to create new laws. In the House of Delegates, delegates are appointed to Boards and Commissions by the Speaker of the House. Serving on Boards and Commissions provides an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of issues, aid in decision-making processes by studying issues, plans, and policies, make planning processes more inclusive, and facilitate communication between elected officials and the community.

I am happy to share that I have been appointed to the following:

 Joint Commission on Healthcare 

Commission on Civic Education 

Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program 

Committee on District Courts 

You can read about all of the Commissions and Boards Virginia has HERE. 

Around the District  

May has proven to be a busy time all across Northern Virginia and in Richmond!

Working with Loudoun County Public Schools

Speaking to Loudoun County School Board at their Legislative, Audit and Policy Committee.
Presenting a resolution to commend student-guitarists of Loudoun County Public Schools.
Reading to students at Potowmack Elementary School.

Northern Virginia’s Period Pantry 

It was an honor to join in on the ribbon cutting! 
You can find the Period Pantry at 24 Export Drive in Sterling.

LCDC Blue Gala 

It was great to be with members of the LCDC community and my fellow Loudoun Legislators! 
Congratulations to SEIU Virginia 512’s Patti Nelson, receiving the first annual Jennifer Wexton Service Award!

Special Session

Northern Virginia Labor Federal Awards Dinner

HD-27 Community Board

The 2024 Sterling District Job Fair is designed to bring together local businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations with talented individuals seeking employment opportunities and information on community resources. Come meet local organizations and make connections for employment!

Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024
Time: 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Sterling Community Center, 120 Enterprise Street, Sterling, VA

If you are a business owner in Northern Virginia or a representative of a nonprofit organization looking to expand your team, the 2024 Sterling District Job Fair offers a great opportunity to connect with individuals eager to contribute to your organization’s success. Register today to showcase your available positions, network with potential candidates, and make connections within our community.

Businesses should register by Saturday, June 1st, HERE.

How My Office Can Help You

Navigating state agencies can be confusing and difficult at times. As your delegate, I can help you communicate with state agencies such as the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), Departments of Taxation, Social Services, Transportation, and more! I can also submit inquiries with those agencies on your behalf and help you engage with the state agency you need. There are limits to what I can do, however. For example, I am unable to expedite cases or force state agencies to favor your inquiry, provide legal advice or recommend a specific attorney, intervene with judicial issues, overturn decisions, or be involved with matters involving private businesses.

Whether you want to bring an issue to my attention, need my office’s assistance, or want to invite me to a community event, please reach out! If there is any way I can assist you, please let me know here:

As always, I am grateful for your ongoing support!

Yours in Service, 

Atoosa Reaser (she/her)
Virginia House of Delegates 
District 27 (Eastern Loudoun)
Follow | Like | Volunteer | More Info