Here’s the Problem
As a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, I have the utmost respect for our veterans and their commitment to putting service before self. With nearly one in ten Virginians being a veteran, our Commonwealth is a proud home to many returning to civilian life. We must do all that we can to support our veterans as they do for us.
We must work to ensure that veterans can get the care that they need — beginning with stronger access to quality and affordable healthcare. Veterans from rural areas are especially disadvantaged when accessing physicians and healthcare providers. Additionally, research shows that 91 percent of veterans live with severe mental health conditions, and we must take this crisis seriously.
Our veterans are some of the best-equipped business owners in Virginia, having the leadership, discipline, and integrity that it takes to thrive in the entrepreneurial space. However, research shows that our veterans are facing overwhelming financial burden — often taking from personal savings — to start and maintain their businesses. We must do more to ensure that we are supporting veteran entrepreneurs.
My Plans as Governor
As Governor, I will keep up this momentum and continue to fight for our veterans. They protect and serve our families and we must do the same.
In addition, my plan will:
- Create a Microloans for Veterans Program (MVP). This loan initiative will have an education and mentorship requirement and will be administered by the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. This is a recommendation by the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations.
- Recruit Veteran business owners in post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts by including them in my Rebuilding Virginia Task Force.
- Review state-funded workforce development initiatives to ensure inclusive outreach to veterans.
- Expand Veterans Court and Dockets in Virginia in order to offer alternatives to incarceration for veterans suffering from addiction and homelessness.
- Streamline and expedite license reciprocity for veterans and military spouses.
- Enhance the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program. My administration will institute a hiring goal of 25,000 Virginia military veterans hired through the V3 Program by the end of my administration.
- Address homelessness and invest in suicide prevention by increasing Community Service Boards’ funding.
Increase positions for the Department of Veteran Services Women Veterans Program. We must meet the challenge and support women veterans.
My Record & Experience
Many of my college classmates are veterans, and I know that our Commonwealth has not done enough to support our veterans. I ran for Delegate to expand veterans’ access to healthcare and as a supporter of veteran-owned small businesses, and I am proud of my record of support for veterans.
As a Delegate, I:
- Passed legislation allowing service-disabled veteran-owned businesses to purchase property that the government no longer needs. This effort, inspired by feedback from veteran-owned businesses in Prince William County, made it possible for nearly 311 certified service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses in Virginia to access the capital needed to launch their businesses confidently.
- Proposed amendments to the state budget to restore two key workforce development programs that help veterans enter the workforce — Virginia’s Job Investment Program and Virginia’s Talent Accelerator Program.
- Co-sponsored legislation expanding access to alternative treatment options for those experiencing PTSD and related conditions.
- Led efforts to raise funding for programs and initiatives geared towards women veterans.
- Supported a bill to name the last full week of March as Women Veterans Week, highlighting the unique challenges women veterans face, especially around pregnancy and childbirth.
More Issues & Priorities
- Access to Broadband
- Affordable Housing
- Childcare & Early Childhood Education
- Clean Government & Ethics
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Gender Equality
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Health Care
- Jobs & the Economy
- Labor & Working Families
- Protecting LGBTQIA+ Rights
- Racial Justice
- Supporting Immigrant Communities
- Supporting Virginians with Disabilities