RICHMOND, VA – 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie today released a detailed, substantive plan to improve veterans and military affairs policies in Virginia. Gillespie’s plan will improve career opportunities for veterans, give veterans a greater voice in our government, support our military and their families, and care for our veterans and their families. This is Gillespie’s sixth major policy announcement in his campaign, and second since becoming his party’s nominee.
“With nearly 800,000 veterans living in our Commonwealth, nearly one in ten Virginians is a veteran. Virginia should be the most veteran-friendly state in the country,” said Gillespie. “This is not just a policy matter to me, but a personal one as well. Both my parents are laid to rest in a veterans’ cemetery. I understand the pride, and the sacrifice, military families endure, and my policies will ensure that our veterans and military community have the support they need and deserve.”
Gillespie added, “From the Army general assigned to the Pentagon, to the Navy Seal in Hampton Roads, to the Reservist from Southside, the Commonwealth owes all of our service members our unwavering support. We can do more to help them and their families here.”
Speaking about the policy Honorary Policy Chair and former governor George Allen said, “Ed’s specific policies and focus should be supported by all Virginians who are grateful for the brave members of our military and their families who have served, are and will be serving in the future. From the days of George Washington’s admonitions to keep our promises to those who have served, Virginia should always be a Veterans-friendly State. During my first year as Governor, we settled a long-standing unconstitutional tax treatment of veterans by Virginia. I am proud to endorse Ed’s plan for veterans and military families.”
“Veterans and military families deserve strong leadership from Virginia’s governor,” said Policy Leadership Team Co-Chair Speaker-designee Kirk Cox. “Ed Gillespie will deliver on the Commonwealth’s promise to make Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. I am proud to endorse Ed’s military and veterans affairs plan.”
“Ed is deeply committed to ensuring our veterans receive the care and respect they deserve,” added Policy Leadership Team Co-Chair Senator Mark Obenshain. “In order for Virginia to become the most veteran friendly state in the nation, we need to advance Ed’s policy agenda.”
Veterans and Military Affairs Working Group Co-Chair Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (Col, USA, Ret.) added, “I’ve been proud to carry legislation in support of our veterans and our military families. As an Army Veteran, I know firsthand the unique challenges facing Virginia’s veterans. Ed’s plan reflects a seriousness of purpose to honor and care for our veterans and military communities. I am proud to support Ed and his vision for Virginia’s veterans.”
“The military and veterans community is the fabric of our community in Hampton Roads,” said Veterans and Military Affairs Working Group Co-Chair Senator John Cosgrove (USN). “Our neighbors, friends, and family who serve deserve our unending thanks and dedication. Ed Gillespie will be a governor for ALL Virginians and this plan demonstrates his dedication to our military and veterans.”
“My legislation reorganized our Veterans’ services in 2011 to improve accountability and quality but we still have work to do,” said Republican Nominee for Lieutenant Governor Senator Jill Vogel. “This detailed plan reflects our ticket’s deep commitment to serving those who served us and making Virginia our nation’s most veteran-friendly state.”
Republican Nominee for Attorney General John Adams (LT, USN) said, “As a Navy veteran, and son and brother of Army veterans, I know the unique challenges our service men and women, their families, and veterans face. Together, Ed and I will work to ensure Virginia is the best state for those who have served to live, work, and raise a family. Whether it’s access to legal help, protecting against scams, or coordinating across agencies and departments, veterans will be a top priority for us.”
Veterans and Military Affairs Agenda
IMPROVE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS
- Double the number of Certified Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Companies
- Improve the transfer of military training to civilian certification
- Ensure Virginia is BRAC-ready.
ENHANCING MILITARY AND VETERANS VOICE IN OUR GOVERNMENT
- Meet with the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations on a Quarterly Basis
- Improve Absentee Voting Process for Deployed Service Members
LEADING THE VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD
- Sign the Employer Statement of Support
- In-state tuition for all members of the Reserve Components
SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES
- Improve the Virginia Military Survivors & Dependents Education Program
- Designate a Military Child Leadership Team
CARING FOR OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
- Support Veterans and Mental Health Dockets in Virginia Courts
- Support Virginia’s Veterans’ Care Centers
- Build Partnerships to Establish Veterans Legal and Benefits Clinics Available in All Regions
- Support the Constitutional Amendment to Improve Tax Relief for a Surviving Spouse
- Designate a Virginia Women Veterans Services Coordinator
- Support the Virginia War Memorial Expansion
The full plan can be found HERE. Gillespie has released five major policy proposals, including:
- The “Cutting Taxes for ALL Virginians” Plan cuts individual income tax rates by ten percent across-the-board, putting nearly $1,300 more in the pocket of a family of four and creating more than 50,000 new full-time private sector jobs.
- The “FAITH In Our Government for ALL Virginians” Plan will close loopholes and give Virginians a better opportunity to hold elected leaders accountable for their actions.
- The “Efficiency + Effectiveness: A Government that Works for ALL Virginians” Planwill reorient government to more successfully address Virginia’s problems, demand evidence-based solutions, right-size our government to better steward taxpayer dollars, and incentivize our state government workforce to be more responsive to the needs of all Virginians.
- The “Removing Barriers to Job Creation for ALL Virginians” Plan will bring meaningful reform to remove barriers to job creation, making it easier for businesses to grow and thrive in the Commonwealth. It focuses on standing up for Virginia’s job creators, reforming Virginia’s regulatory climate, reforming occupational licensing and streamlining business formation.
- The Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery Agenda will improve Virginia’s behavioral health system and address all facets of the opioid and heroin addiction crisis, including prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.