The past few months have been a whirlwind, but my first session as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates is over and I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to represent you in Richmond. I am proud of the work we did and I want to share with you a recap of this year’s session.

I am proud that the Republican led House of Delegates and the Democratic led Senate came together to pass an historic transportation plan, to make a major investments in both K-12 and higher education, to invest in targeted job creation initiatives, to support our dedicated public safety workers, to invest in health care for the most needy and to take steps to streamline government.

Most satisfying to me is that we were able to accomplish so much, not only without raising taxes, but while actually cutting fees, returning accelerated sales tax payments, funding the rainy day fund and shoring up our Virginia Retirement System. I promised during the campaign to find ways to meet our obligations without raising taxes and it gives me great pride to report that we did just that.

Also, as I promised during the campaign, I pushed for and gained passage of legislation that streamlines government, reduces unnecessary mandates, makes government more transparent and accountable and reduces the cost of doing business in Richmond.

I was also incredibly encouraged by the bipartisan efforts of the Roanoke Valley delegation to gain passage of legislation that will give all Roanoke Valley school systems control over our own school calendars. Legislators have tried for years to gain passage of this legislation and we were told over and over that it couldn’t be done. However, I campaigned on returning local control to our school leaders and parents and I’m proud to report that, against all odds, we gained passed of this landmark legislation.

Apart from legislation, I diligently worked to make myself as accessible as possible to the people of the Roanoke Valley. From posting constant updates to Twitter, Facebook and our website, to holding multiple townhalls and a live webchat, it was important to me that the people of the Roanoke Valley had an open line of communication to me and me to them. Thank you to everyone who took advantage of these opportunities and to everyone who provided us with input, information and support.

While we accomplished a lot this year, our work isn’t done. In April, we’ll return to Richmond for the veto session and we’ve already begun working on redistricting.

I’m now back home in the Roanoke Valley and I look forward working with you all, regardless of political affiliation, to continue to make the Roanoke Valley the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.

If you have questions or comments, please call my office at 540-915-2962 or e-mail delghabeeb@house.virginia.gov.