Tag: Ken Plum

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Ken Plum: Progress on transportation

In the early years of the 20th century travelers were advised not to come to Virginia because of the poor condition of the roads.


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Ken Plum: General Assembly session underway

After the usual business of organizing for a new legislative session, the General Assembly got underway without major incident.


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Ken Plum: Clearing an obstacle to gun violence prevention in Virginia

Virginia has the distinction of having had the biggest mass murder in history, Virginia Tech in 2007, and the first televised shooting, Smith Mountain Lake in 2015.


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Ken Plum: Legislative Report 2016

Del, Ken Plum dedicates his 2016 Legislative Report to the late Senator Clive DuVal, who represented parts of Fairfax County in the Virginia Senate.


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Ken Plum: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Virginians, especially those around the capital city, have long believed in Santa Claus.


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Ken Plum: Passing of Thomas Moss is end of an era

Last week I made a journey to Norfolk, Virginia, to say a final goodbye to a former colleague in the House of Delegates, Thomas W. Moss, Jr.


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Ken Plum: Helping the working poor

There is another solution for Virginia that can make a great deal of difference: let working people keep more of the money they earn.


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Ken Plum: 2016 Virginia General Assembly session preview

The General Assembly will convene for its regular session on January 13. Major work in the even-numbered years is passage of a biennial budget.


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Ken Plum: Medicaid in perspective

A recent newspaper headline proclaimed that “Audit finds waste, inefficiencies in Virginia’s Medicaid program.” As often is the case, the real story is beyond the headline.


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Ken Plum: Chicken and the egg

A chicken or egg kind of debate has been going on in Virginia recently as a result of a report from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC).


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Ken Plum: Elections matter

I know it is a safe assumption that readers of this column are regular voters. There is no need for me to carry on about the importance of voting, how elections matter, etc. You get it, but it is a bit shocking and disappointing to realize the small percentage of people who do.


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Ken Plum: Not up to the living wage challenge

ProgressVA sponsored the “Live the Wage Challenge” asking elected officials, community leaders, advocates, and everyday citizens to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week.


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Ken Plum: Remembering Robert E. Simon Jr.

Robert E. Simon Jr., our immediate surprise and sadness at your passing have quickly turned to joy at having known you. Rest in peace inspirational leader, wise counselor and good friend; you made a wonderful difference for all!


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Ken Plum: Keeping Virginia voters informed

Virginians can access state government programs and services through a single internet portal,www.virginia.gov that is nationally recognized as one of the best among the states.


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Ken Plum: Time for redistricting reform

The redistricting of 2011 packed black voters from Richmond to Norfolk in a single congressional district ensuring the probable election of one black representative while reducing the likelihood of another one being elected.


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Yes, Virginia, it’s time to act on gun control

Virginia made history last week – not for the kind of event for which we would like to be remembered, but one nonetheless that took place on our soil and will be talked about around the globe.


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Ken Plum: Both sides of the wall between church and state

Recently a place of worship in the community asked me to be a speaker in their summer worship series. After getting past the frightening idea that I was to preach a sermon, I started to focus on the fact that I live my life on both sides of the wall that separates church and state.


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Ken Plum: Public trust above party in redistricting fight

Shifting from a relaxing vacation back to work is always challenging, but my return this past week from the mountains, streams and lakes of Glacier National Park to a special session of the General Assembly has been a particularly stark contrast.


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Ken Plum: Alzheimer’s epidemic

In 1982 my then legislative assistant came to me distressed that her father had been found to have Alzheimer’s disease.


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Wind energy: Part of the renewable mix

According to an American Wind Energy Association announcement last year the United States has more wind energy supplying its grid than any other country, enough to power 15.5 million American homes.


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Ken Plum: School funding in Virginia

The recent tension between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board over approval of the budget for the public schools left one big factor out of the equation for funding schools–the role of state government in financing public education in the Commonwealth.


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Ken Plum: Recent victories call for another

I continue to celebrate the human rights victories we have had recently in marriage equality, health care and housing. I voted against Virginia’s marriage amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman when it came before the General Assembly.


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The NRA, and the tactics of fear

I recently received a “Dear Mr. Plum” letter from the executive vice president of the NRA. Had it not been for the obvious marketing design of the envelope, I may have thought that he was writing to me about my monthly appearance outside his office as part of our End Gun Violence Vigil.


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What are the political prospects for Medicaid expansion?

If elections were based purely on facts, Medicaid expansion would be a sure winner. The White House Council of Economic Advisors issued a report recently that said expansion would reach an additional 179,000 Virginia residents with lifesaving care. The report also said Virginia will miss out on $1.24 billion in federal funding in 2016 by not expanding Medicaid.


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Fixing our corrupt political system

Recently the public perception by some of our political system was brought clearly to my attention. I was invited to George Mason University by a group of students concerned about corruption in government who had organized themselves as part of a national group, Represent.Us.


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Virginia Politics: The lull before the storm

If the Virginia political scene seems to you to be quiet at the moment, stick around for we may just be experiencing a lull before the storm.