On Sunday, the League of Women Voters of the Charlottesville Area organized a Meet and Greet between residents and their delegates - including Democratic House Minority Leader David Toscano. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini was there.
The League of Women Voters had invited House Delegates and State Senators from Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson, and Louisa counties. Unfortunately, only two of them answered the call – 25th District Democratic Senator Creigh Deeds, and 57th District Delegate David Toscano. Fortunately, the audience turnout was good at CitySpace downtown and the debate was fruitful, says Del. Toscano.
DAVID TOSCANO: The League of Women Voters always puts on a good forum where there are very substantive questions that are very difficult to answer. But it's important because it's a great way that we hear from our constituents about what's on their minds.
And many things are on their minds: gun safety, public education, the pipeline, the consequences for graduate students of the recent House’s tax bill. As well as the recent spike in health insurance premiums in Charlottesville.
TOSCANO: The Bureau of Insurance, they approved these rates based on what these companies submit to them, and that's pretty much where we stand. Now, the Bureau of Insurance is set up in a way, in kind of the outside of political pressure. But I could see the legislature exert more control over these rates to the Bureau of Insurance.
To achieve this, they’ll have to be creative, he says. Another topic that came around the end of the session, was about facilitating registration and voting.
EVAN: Hi, my name's Evan and I live here in Charlottesville. It was mentioned earlier, about no-excuse absentee voting, to make voting easier which I think is a great first step. But I think it's that: a first step. Would you all support legislation or introduce legislation for automatic voter registration or same-day registration, mail by voting, automatic restoration of felons' voting rights, or even relaxing voter ID laws?
And here’s Sen. Deeds’ response.
CREIGH DEEDS: I introduced legislation last year that called for a study of the same-day registration because I think we ought to be making it easier to vote. It would make more sense for us to have voting over a weekend.