Tag: Ken Plum

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Ken Plum: Follow the children

Last week I ended a walking tour of Capitol Grounds as I always do with a stop at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial that is between the Executive Mansion and the Capitol.


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Ken Plum: Budget imbalance

Last week Democrats in the House of Delegates were able largely to sit on the sidelines as Republicans debated among themselves whether Virginia should expand access to medical care through the federal Medicaid program.


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Ken Plum: More than enough

“Enough is enough” is a slogan adopted by many advocates for action to end gun violence, but with 290 school shootings in the U.S. since 2013 clearly we are to the point that the shootings that have occurred in schools and numerous locales are more than enough.


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Ken Plum: Roller coaster ride

Every session of the General Assembly I am reminded of how much the functioning of the legislature is like a roller coaster ride. Every ride on a roller coaster regardless of how big it may be starts off very slowly.


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Ken Plum: Mr. speaker, Not Mr. Speaker

In the House, the Speaker of the House is the presiding officer who is elected by the members of the House. The political party with the most members has control of the House and elects the Speaker.


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Ken Plum: General Assembly off to lumbering start

The General Assembly is convening for its annual session today. Hopes that the historic election results of November brought forth have dimmed somewhat as the drawing of lots to settle the results of the final district race gave the Republicans a one-member advantage to control the House of Delegates.


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Ken Plum: Shades of the Old South

Just when you think things are changing you can be shocked to realize just how much they stay the same.


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Ken Plum: Building a new economy

Candidate Terry McAuliffe promised during his campaign for governor that he would work to build a new economy in Virginia.


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Ken Plum: Too close for comfort

For many years, I have been involved in various demonstrations and vigils to bring attention to the sobering facts about gun violence in our society.


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Ken Plum: Never armed enough!

Much to my dismay last week I received in the mail an envelope with the return address of the National Rifle Association of America headquarters in Fairfax.


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Ken Plum: We should know better

A Kentucky school administrator recently expressed sentiments that I feel but could not write as clearly as she did.


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Ken Plum: State of the Commonwealth

The median family household income of $66,262 in the Commonwealth makes it the eighth wealthiest state in the country.


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Ken Plum: A monumental problem

Virginia has more Confederate monuments than any other state in the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.


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Ken Plum: Tread on me

Recent years have seen a growing number of yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and license plates with the coiled rattlesnake on them.


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Ken Plum: A lesson from Charlottesville

The “Unite the Right” event that happened in Charlottesville this past weekend could have happened in any community in America.


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Ken Plum: A Virginia staycation

Virginia is one of the best places I know for a staycation. I offer several examples here and will in future columns.


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Ken Plum: Keeping our heads above water

Any report by the Union of Concerned Scientists is met with skepticism in some quarters.


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Ken Plum: Systemic changes to government needed

While there are a myriad of issues facing government, some advocacy groups are working on changes to the basic way government works.


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Ken Plum: Balancing our budget based on needs

Before voters jump at a promise of reduced taxes, I hope there will be a serious consideration of the consequences.


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Ken Plum: Dismantling Virginia’s ability to care for our citizens

Changes proposed in the new healthcare bill would reduce coverage to Virginia residents while increasing costs to the state.


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Ken Plum: Stay with the Paris Climate Agreement

Few actions of the new administration have drawn sharper disagreement as has the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.


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Ken Plum: November general elections

With the conclusion of the political party primaries last week the general election is now teed up for November 7.


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Ken Plum: Starting anew

The Virginia General Assembly will celebrate its 400th anniversary in a couple of years.


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Ken Plum: The ugliness of prejudice

A woman in the check-out line at a local grocery store told another customer – a Muslim woman – “I wish they didn’t let you in the country.”


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Ken Plum: Infant screening

In 1984 Virginia became the first state in this country to begin infant screening for biotinidase deficiency.


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Ken Plum: Mental health advances

Virginia has the distinction of having had the first mental health hospital in the country although it was called an insane asylum.


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Ken Plum: Sense of impending change in Virginia General Assembly

Nearly two hours of the reconvened session of the House of Delegates were taken up last week by speeches from retiring members.


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Ken Plum: Education to save our democracy

The genius of Mr. Jefferson was the recognition that a republic could be successful only to the degree that people were educated.


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Ken Plum: Virginia will lose under TrumpCare

Explanation of the recently announced American Health Care Act usually starts with an expressed need to clean up the Obamacare mess.


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Virginia reputation as a gun-running state returns

A headline in The New York Times in 1992 proclaimed that “Virginia Aims to Shed Image as a ‘Handgun Supermarket.”’


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Ken Plum: Balancing the budget

The fact is that the budget is adjusted at every session of the General Assembly.


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Ken Plum: How a bill does not become a law in Virginia

Most people can remember the flowchart from high school civics class that graphically showed how a bill becomes a law.


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Ken Plum: At the half 2017

The 2017 session of the General Assembly that got underway on January 11 is barreling ahead towards its midpoint of February 7.


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Ken Plum: Diversity in the legislature

Legislatures are about the serious work of governance even though they are often the brunt of jokes and criticism.


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Ken Plum: Charles Colgan was role model for leadership

Former Sen. Charles Colgan passed away earlier this month. He retired a year ago as the longest-serving State Senator in Virginia history.


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Ken Plum: A look at the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session

At noon on January 11 the sergeant at arms will enter the chamber of the House of Delegates carrying a 20-pound, 24-karat gold coated mace.


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Ken Plum: What do I do now?

The most frequent question I have gotten from friends and constituents in recent weeks has been, What do I do now that the election is over?


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Ken Plum: Civics education

While I enjoy studying history and reading the stories of the past, I equally enjoy studying the writing of history – historiography.


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Ken Plum: Condition of public schools in Virginia

The State Board of Education recently released its 2016 Annual Report on the Condition and Needs of Public Schools in Virginia.


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Ken Plum: To be a delegate

The National Conference of State Legislatures sponsors a “Legislators Back to School Day” each year.


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Ken Plum: Opioid epidemic in Virginia

In 2014 for the first time on record fatal drug overdoses became the most common cause of accidental death in the Commonwealth.


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Ken Plum: Remembering our rights

During the week following the national presidential election I attended two lectures on George Mason the man.


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Ken Plum: Making high school more meaningful

High schools are largely operated under an industrial model that has not changed in a 100 years even though the world has undergone major changes.


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Ken Plum: Accepting the outcome

My lack of success in my two first attempts to be elected to office was disappointing, but I understood the uphill challenge.


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Ken Plum: My 2016 election picks

Voters in the 36th legislative district that I represent will receive my annual voting guide in their mailboxes this week.


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Ken Plum: Vote no on right to work ballot question

On the ballot on Election Day is constitutional amendment question one that would put the state right to work law into the constitution.


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Ken Plum: Cyber security

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


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Ken Plum: Virginia extremes

Native Virginian and long-time advocate August Wallmeyer is providing a real service to the people of the Commonwealth.


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Chesapeake Bay: Barometer of the environment

John Smith’s visit around the Chesapeake Bay highlighted the wealth of forests, wildlife and sea life the new land offered.


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Ken Plum: A danger to our way of governing

My parents knew of my interest in politics and government from the time I started school.