Peace Calls for Accountable and Transparent Higher Education, Lower Taxes for Middle Class Families, Procurement Reform for Small Businesses, and Higher Ethical Standards for Public Officials
Tuition has risen persistently over the last five years while many Virginia workers and families haven't received raises or increased income. This fall, Virginia's four-year college students and their middle class families face an average increase in tuition and fees of 4.1%, and the same is true at Virginia's community colleges, where tuition increased by 4.6 %. Delegate Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville) intends to freeze these dramatic increases in tuition as well as promote greater accountability and transparency for those consumer students and their families. In addition to a budget amendment capping the rate of growth in tuition, Peace's proposed state-based legislation is more commonly referred to as "Know Before you Go" and would require Virginia institutions to provide students and parents data on average individual annual earnings based on educational program, degree received, and employment sector, allowing Virginians to determine the value of an institution's tuition before enrolling.
Delegate Peace, speaking about the proposed policy change, said, "Choosing which college or university one will attend is an important life decision. Students are graduating with more and more debt and are still finding it hard to get a job. This trend needs to turn around. I am committed to jobs and improving the economic climate, at the same time parents and students need to make well informed decisions based on the facts. By demanding truth in the process, it is possible to know the real costs and earning potential of a college degree. This transparency will aid families in making this most important decision." According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education report in 2008, the cost of college increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007. In 2010, graduates who took out loans left college with an average of more than $25,000 of debt, more than double what it was 15 years ago. In 2011, student debt in the United States outweighed credit card debt at nearly $1,000,000,000,000.
During this fall's campaign, Delegate Peace will outline his plans for lower taxes for middle class families, procurement and regulatory reform for a better climate for small businesses to create jobs, and a proposal for ethics reform in Richmond. He invites you to submit your additional ideas to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace said "I am running for re-election to be a voice for principled conservatism that gets results for working families. Virginians deserve leadership committed to the taxpayer and respecting of individual liberties. Serving the people of the 97th district in the Virginia House of Delegates is a tremendous honor that I take very seriously." Speaking about his campaign for re-election, Peace continued, "As a Delegate to the Virginia General Assembly, I have honored my commitments, but I strongly believe that there is much more work to be done to make a smaller government and a stronger economy a reality. To improve our community's quality of life and sustain Virginia's economic recovery, government must lower the burden on taxpayers and respect individual liberty." Delegate Peace earned the Republican nomination for the fall election to continue his commitment of faithfully serving the people of Hanover, New Kent and King William Counties.
In just a short time in office, Delegate Peace has proved to be an effective, thoughtful and respected legislator serving on the prominent Appropriations, Health Welfare and Institutions, and General Laws Committees. "As a member of the budget committee, I am proud to have been part of turning $6 billion in shortfalls into three consecutive years of surpluses totaling $1.4 billion, without a tax increase," said Peace. In fact, during Peace's service in the House, he and fellow conservatives have trimmed $7 billion from the state budget since 2007, balancing the budget every year while keeping taxes low and maintaining Virginia's "AAA" bond rating. Virginia currently ranks 48th lowest net tax burden in the United States. "In order to curb spending and strengthen the economy, we made tough decisions such as to reorganize state government by eliminating and consolidating 19 agencies, boards and commissions. These decisions were not easy but they were necessary. They also save the taxpayers' money. I was proud to patron two pieces legislation that are saving the Commonwealth approximately $2 million," said Peace.
Over the years, Peace's voting record has earned him top ratings from the National Rifle Association, Virginia Society for Human Life and the Family Foundation, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and Virginia Farm Bureau. He has also been presented awards for his legislative work by the Virginia State Police Association, Virginia Sherriff's Association, and the Virginia Retail Merchants Association.
Delegate Chris Peace, a Virginia lawyer, is serving in his 4th term. An avid history buff, Peace serves as the executive director of Historic Polegreen Church Foundation, a historic preservation non-profit foundation, and established the Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail to honor America's founding heritage. Peace received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampden-Sydney College, earned his law degree from the University of Richmond, and is a member of numerous statewide organizations and non-profit boards. Along with their two children, Chris and Ashley make their home in Old Church and attend a local Episcopal Church. A full biography and other legislative information are found at www.chrispeace.com . You can follow Delegate Peace on Twitter @DelCPeace.