Of the. Sally Hudson, an economist and professor at the University of Virginia, has represented Charlottesville and the 57th district since 2019. Seeking a second term, Hudson said she was proud of the work she and other members of the Democratic majority have been able to accomplish this as-is, and she looks forward to helping the legislature put education first.
âThe top priority of the General Assembly in the next administration must be the reform of school funding,â she said.
She added that Virginia has been asking teachers and students to “do too much with too little for far too long.”
âIt places a huge burden on our local governments to fill the void,â Hudson said. âRichmond needs to put the state’s fair share in public education so that every child in every corner of Virginia can attend a strong school. “
Hudson plans to work on increasing teachers’ salaries, expanding universal preschool, creating more internship and apprenticeship programs for students, and restoring state-funded support to students. public colleges to combat rising tuition fees.
She knows it will cost money and has said that her background as an economist can help make this possible. The ideas include adjusting corporate tax codes to ensure that companies doing business in Virginia pay “what they should” and closing loopholes that could disproportionately benefit large businesses.
Hudson said she was proud of the advances Virginia has made in health care in recent years, such as building on the expansion of Medicaid during her first term.
“We also passed legislation to start our own state health insurance stock exchange so that we can build a system that better matches Virginia’s needs, âexplained Hudson.
Last August, the federal government approved Virginia’s request to pursue a state-based health insurance exchange. This was a priority for Hudson in her 2019 campaign. Dismayed by the price spikes some experienced in the state in 2017, Hudson knew that if elected, she planned to work on a nationwide option. State for public health insurance.
âWe’ve had people who maybe went a little too much to qualify for Medicaid, or small business owners and entrepreneurs or freelancers who didn’t have employer-sponsored health insurance who were shaken up, “said Hudson. âAs shocking as this has been to many consumers, we shouldn’t have been surprised. Economists know that health insurance markets are designed to fail. This is the classic example of a product that the private market is not equipped to deliver.
The idea is getting closer to reality for her, as the recent approval of the application puts Virginia on track to create her own market by 2023.
âOnce we have our own operational market, we can do even more, like deploying a state-based public option so that every Virginian can buy coverage, no matter where they work,â said Hudson. âThis kind of change doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re on the right track. “
Access to abortion is another area of ââhealth care she plans to focus on. As the first woman to serve Charlottesville in the House, she is particularly proud to be a âchampion of reproductive rightsâ.
Hudson passed a bill that repealed the ban on abortion coverage in the health insurance market and has been approved by the NARAL Virginia advocacy group.
The passage of a controversial Texas abortion law has resurfaced the debates surrounding them across the country and within the race of Virginia governors.
The law prohibits abortions where a heartbeat can be detected (usually six weeks), makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and allows health care providers or transport providers to be prosecuted for aiding a patient to have an abortion. Hudson said it was important for her not to allow similar legislation to pass in Virginia.
“With reproductive rights at risk across the country, it is all the more important that we protect these rights here at home so that Virginia can be a safe haven for patients in our region,” she said.
On economic improvements, Hudson would like to see an expansion of child care options and paid family and medical leave programs to allow workers who “double as caregivers” to keep their jobs.
Hudson also wants to reduce the hassle and costs of doing business in the state.
âRight now, Virginia has too many inefficient agencies that are slowing down business owners with unpredictable permits and red tape,â Hudson said. “Agencies like the Virginia Employment Commission need a complete overhaul to better serve employers and workers.”
While the state is also on the verge of deploying a new legal market for cannabis by 2024Hudson said she was happy the government was taking the time to “get it right” to ensure local contractors across the state have a chance to enter the market.
“If we open the floodgates too quickly, there’s a good chance the biggest out-of-state suppliers will rush in and set up before our local businesses gain a foothold,” she said. . âWe need to make sure that farmers, businesses and especially our Virginia residents who have been harmed by past drug policies are the first to step into this new market.â
She would also like to protect the health and safety of consumers by ensuring that there are regulations that products are tested fairly and labeled correctly.
Hudson said the continuing challenges she hopes to help the state tackle are tackling climate change, holding utilities accountable for protecting consumers and pushing them to create clean energy.
âWith heat waves and flooding nationwide, it’s clear the consequences are already here,â Hudson said. âI was a strong advocate for clean energy and environmental protection during my first term.
She noted the efforts of the General Assembly to involve Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It also supports the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which helps local companies like SunTribe Solar, Sigora Solar and Apex Clean Energy by increasing the cap on power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects. Hudson also brought in a bill to end government subsidies for coal production in order to invest that money in renewable energy.
âI have also helped lead a new wave of lawmakers to end the corporate culture in Richmond that allows utilities to write all their own rules, and the [State Corporation Commission] just announced that our work will offer historic refunds to Dominion Power customers, âsaid Hudson. âThere is still a lot of work to be done on this front, and we are just getting started. “