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Delegate Sickles’ Statement on New Committee Assignment and 2015 Legislative Agenda

RICHMOND, VA.  – Last week, the Speaker of the House of Delegates appointed Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43) to the Appropriations Committee, the panel that has jurisdiction over all state spending decisions. In addition to Appropriations, Delegate Sickles continues to serve on the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee (Subcommittee #1), and the Privileges and Elections Committee (Elections Subcommittee), committees he has been on for his previous 11 years in the House.  His Appropriations assignments include the Transportation, Higher Education, and Health & Human Resources subcommittees.

“I want to thank Speaker Howell for his confidence in appointing me to the Appropriations Committee, a place where there is a tradition of bipartisanship. The Commonwealth is facing some tough budgetary decisions as we work together with the Governor to lay the foundations for a ‘new Virginia economy’ and I look forward to the challenge,” said Delegate Mark Sickles.

“One area of immediate concern to me is ensuring that at-risk four-year olds are fully enrolled in a good pre-K educational program,” said Delegate Sickles.  “I have submitted amendments to restructure the Virginia Preschool Initiative to make sure existing and future funding is fully used and used efficiently. Overwhelming evidence has demonstrated that early childhood education is critical to the development of a student throughout their lifetime. In Virginia, too many four-year-olds are not prepared for kindergarten, and too many rising six-year-olds are not ready for first grade, a situation that is not being addressed by our current program.”