The Newport News Chapter met with Delegate Mike Mullin of the 93 District, accompanied by his assistant Randy Riffle, on Monday, December 6 to discuss our statewide priorities.
Chapter member Marissa Walker asked the delegate where he stands on our priorities for increasing school funding and support for educators and staff, including increases to pay and benefits. We want funding that is equitable with revised Standards of Quality, including the Equity Fund, and we want the General Assembly to lift the cap on support staff, which limits funding for school support positions like counselors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses.
Delegate Mullin said he supported this effort. “You’ll be happy with the Governor’s bill,” he added. He promised that the budget will have about fifty percent funding for school support.
Cyrenia Johnson, another chapter member, asked about housing needs in Hampton and Newport News. She raised her concerns over lack of shelters and affordable housing. Del. Mullin said that, “shelters and housing are not in places where people need them.” He highlighted that areas such as Denbigh may need revitalization. According to the delegate, there are funds for housing needs, including back rent, to help those at risk of eviction. The Housing Trust Fund has the largest funding at 14 million dollars.
New member Shaun Brown asked about our priority on increasing funding for mental health in place of increased funding for policing and police departments.
“We have funding for Marcus Alert, a one year pilot program that just began this week. We are not just responding with police presence,” Mullin said.
Newport News Chapter realizes the continued work our community requires and will continue these conversations with our legislators. Join us in our efforts today!