During my first term, the General Assembly took the initiative to pass several important laws which make the state a safer place to live and work. As members of the Courts of Justice committees, Sen. McDougle and I worked in our respective houses to improve public safety. In addition to Amber Alerts for Seniors, eliminating the triggerman rule and improving internet safety at home and at public libraries, Jessicaâ€™s Law is the most important new series of laws passed protecting those who can least protect themselves. Virginia now ranks in the top tier of states when it comes to cracking down on sexually violent predators. I am proud to have been a part of making Virginiaâ€™s children safer.
Consistently the legislature demonstrated support for our law enforcement community. Reforming the stateâ€™s approach to retirement benefits for those in the line of duty was another major victory for law enforcement. In 2006, the State Police and state Sheriffâ€™s Associations honored me with a Rookie of the Year award for my legislative efforts fighting to get them better benefits. The state appropriately recognized the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, both police officers and sheriffsâ€™ deputies, and this year Senate Bill 875 will make their retirement more competitive.
Similarly on the local level, I value the hard work of our law enforcement community which includes both the Sheriffâ€™s and prosecutorâ€™s office. This year Hanover has three first-rate choices for Commonwealth Attorney and I look forward to working with the person chosen by the voters to enforce those above laws passed to make our communities safer.
When the legislature reconvenes on April 4, my focus will remain on finding collaborative solutions to transportation and preserving freedom and personal responsibility through a more efficient and limited government. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime if you have a constituent concern, an idea or an item of state legislation that is of interest. It is my honor to serve.