Dear Members of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce:
The 2022 General Assembly Session is a little over one month away, and our House Republican Caucus is eager to return to Richmond and begin the task of governing set before us by the people of Virginia.
As Speaker-Designee, I am excited about the opportunity to work in a bi-partisan fashion with my colleagues in the General Assembly and Governor-elect Youngkin to advance an agenda which keeps Virginia a welcoming state for both families and businesses and addresses key issues which diminish Virginia’s true status as a top state to do business.
To that end, the core of our focus this session will be issues that impact the day-to-day lives of Virginia families and the operation of businesses.
Over the past two years, one-party control in Richmond has led to an avalanche of policies which hurt Virginia’s business climate and create uncertainty about future opportunities.
As such, our focus must be on providing certainty to businesses which call Virginia home. We must be prepared to address key areas where Virginia continues to underperform, such as cost of living, housing affordability, and workforce development.
House Republicans are also laser-focused on ensuring that families and businesses can grow and thrive in a post-pandemic economy. Indeed, one of our top priorities is reviewing burdensome regulations passed over the past two years which hamper a business’ ability to recruit and retain good employees and drive up the cost of doing business. We will work collaboratively with the incoming administration to identify and repeal rules and regulations which harm businesses and stifle growth.
We will also prioritize education both at the secondary and higher education levels. Virginia must be educating and preparing the next generation to ensure we have a quality educational system that focuses on critical thinking skills such as STEM. Along with reforms to Virginia’s public education system, House Republicans will lean into issues surrounding workforce development and partnering with public and private institutions of higher education and the business community to ensure the curriculum is addressing what business leaders need in future employees.
As I traveled throughout the Commonwealth during the campaign, these issues were the most important for Virginia business owners, and it is critical that we act swiftly, yet concisely, to enact policies which will help address these problems.
That being said, developing business-oriented solutions requires input and collaboration from the business community. No one has a monopoly on good ideas. House Republicans are committed to working in a collaborative fashion with business leaders and organizations such as the Northern Virginia Chamber to find solutions.
Del. Todd Gilbert
Todd Gilbert is the Speaker-Designee of the Virginia House of Delegates and has represented the 15th District of Virginia since 2006.