The ideas enshrined in Virginia’s constitution convey an essential relationship between citizens and the government they form — a trust.
The people of Virginia trust elected officials to preserve a free society that maximizes peace and well-being by first acting with integrity, respect, responsibility and toleration. In turn, officials must trust the citizenry and properly limit the role of government in society.
When lawmakers and citizens work together to preserve this alliance, people are empowered to learn, earn and care for themselves. This is called the Virginia Trust.
There is trust between the government and citizens of Virginia to protect an individual’s right to freely speak, teach and learn.
Legislative actions that support the trust to teach and learn:
Education Savings Accounts – ESAs enable families and students in Virginia to freely pursue educational opportunities that best fit their child’s needs.
Protections for freedom of speech – Freedom of speech is the bedrock of democracy. This right allows us to express diverse ideas to ensure human flourishing.
The people of Virginia reserve a right to earn and keep the product of their labor and talents. Our government is trusted to preserve free and open trade between those who work within and beyond the commonwealth.
Legislative actions that support the trust to earn and trade:
Red Tape Reduction Act – Creating rules that unnecessarily increase the cost of person’s business creates a system that is rigged against working people and undermines the trust between citizens and government. Lawmakers should reform the state regulatory regime to reduce as much cost and burden as possible while protecting competition and the free market.
Occupational licensing reform – The government violates the trust to earn and trade when it creates barriers that keep citizens from using their talents and skills to make a living. Lawmakers should reform state licensing laws to reduce or eliminate their burden on occupations unrelated to health and safety.
Ban Stadium Subsidies – Taking money from hard-working taxpayers to give to big businesses undermines the trust between citizens and elected officials who pledged to protect their constituents’ welfare. Lawmakers should prevent putting taxpayers on the hook for stadiums that will benefit private sports teams and their wealthy owners.
The trust to care and serve together requires two things:
1. A competitive healthcare market so individuals can freely choose the best services for themselves and their families.
2. The individual responsibility to care and earn for oneself, so Virginians may be free to care for those who require assistance.
Legislative actions that support the trust to care and serve:
Saving Medicaid for Those Who Need It Most – Expanding Medicaid to able-bodied, childless, working-age adults would create an unsustainable burden on taxpayers and crowd out resources intended for truly needy populations like the elderly and disabled. Virginia should not expand Medicaid but rather pursue supply-side reforms that increase the supply and quality and decrease the cost of healthcare.
Stopping an increase in the state minimum wage mandate – The state intervening to raise the minimum wage would increase the cost of hiring workers, raising costs on consumers and depriving many people of jobs – especially younger, less skilled, and less educated people most in need of opportunity.
Rebuilding our criminal justice system – A system in which sentencing is disproportionate to the impact of the offense upon society will undermine the trust of the government and deprives people of opportunity and prosperity after they have paid a reasonable debt to society.
The people of Virginia elect and trust lawmakers to preserve a free society so that they may provide for themselves and their families without the government getting in the way.
When lawmakers and citizens work together to safeguard this alliance, people are empowered to learn, earn and care for themselves and for others.
This is called the Virginia Trust. Take the citizens’ pledge today!