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Brewer responds to governor’s address

By Ryan Persaud

Capital News Service

RICHMOND

First-term Del. Emily Brewer of Suffolk was chosen by the Republican leadership Monday to help deliver the GOP response to Gov. Ralph Northam’s address to a joint meeting of the General Assembly.

Brewer joined Sen. Glen Sturtevant of Chesterfield in discussing key issues on the Republican agenda, such as crafting a balanced state budget, fixing what they see as a broken health-care system, and improving education in the state.

“We’ll be providing practical solutions to the everyday issues facing Virginia’s families,” Brewer said.

Brewer, the youngest Republican in the House of Delegates, said the solutions the GOP proposes are designed to unite Virginians, putting their interests first.

“From measures that will protect and provide for the women and men who serve in law enforcement, to long-overdue changes that will grant family leave to state employees who adopt a child,” Brewer said, “we will be advancing changes that will make the commonwealth an even better place to live, to work and to raise a family.”

Sturtevant emphasized the need to work on crafting a balanced budget with Democrats.

“Virginia Republicans are committed to a cooperative and collaborative approach to considering legislation and passing a responsible budget,” Sturtevant said. “We will continue our long-standing emphasis on fiscally responsible, conservative budgeting, looking for cost savings and efficiencies to ensure your family gets the greatest possible value out of every tax dollar you send to Richmond.”

They were responding to a speech by Northam in which he focused on Democratic policies, calling on lawmakers to expand Medicaid, protect abortion rights, increase funding for education and pass gun control measures.

“If we take these steps, we will answer the charge our voters gave us to make Virginia work better for everyone — no matter who they are or where they are from,” Northam said.

Northam touched on expanding voting rights, such as no-excuse absentee voting, restoring the voting rights of felons who have served their time and raising the threshold for felony larceny.

Northam also highlighted the gender diversity of his cabinet and the growing diversity of the House and Senate.