It’s important to make sure that all Virginians have access and training for high-quality jobs and an even playing field.
Expanding access to broadband internet
As the Chair of the Virginia Broadband Advisory Council, Senator Boysko worked with businesses in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and throughout our Commonwealth. All of these businesses will benefit when healthcare, education, and telework are available to all Virginians via the internet. As the COVID-19 pandemic made all too clear, these are equity issues. Parents need broadband for remote work and students need broadband for distance learning when they are quarantined or have chosen distance learning. Her 2020 legislation made permanent a pilot program that allows utilities to install broadband fiber in conjunction with ongoing work to modernize our electricity grid. Local governments will now consider broadband infrastructure in comprehensive planning.
A great place to work
Senator Boysko seeks to create a business-friendly environment in the District, especially in the areas of scientific research, healthcare, renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency. She encourages new startup businesses to base themselves in the Dulles Corridor creating new opportunities for residents. Senator Boysko believes small businesses will be the principal source of new jobs in Northern Virginia in the coming decades and are vital to our economy.
Paid Family and Medical Leave for all Virginians
Senator Boysko’s paid family and medical leave program passed the Senate in the 2023 session but was killed in the House. Her PFML program pools funds from employers and employees (about the cost of a cup of coffee each week per employee). The fund then pays 80% of the employees salary or wage (capped by the average state weekly wage) for up to 12 weeks when the employee takes leave to care for a baby, themselves or a loved one with a serious medical illness. Senator Boysko also supports sick leave for short term illnesses. No worker should have to choose between caring for their loved ones or themselves and financial stability. Twelve states and DC have pfml programs.
Workforce training and education
Senator Boysko works closely with our excellent colleges and universities to make sure that our graduates are prepared for the high-quality jobs available in the District. It’s also critical to make sure our community college system provides an affordable, top-tier education and opportunities to transfer and graduate from four-year schools. We are seeing an increasing emphasis on apprenticeships to meet our workforce needs. Senator Boysko supported the 2023 session bill to consolidate and reorganize workforce programs.
Importance of Affordable Housing
Senator Boysko has long supported efforts to ensure that all Virginians can live in dignity – this includes access to affordable housing. She is working with both nonprofits and Chambers of Commerce as affordable housing is necessary for meeting our workforce needs. In the 2023 Session, Senator Boysko sponsored a bill to provide localities with the option of passing an ordinance for rent stabilization, limiting rent increases to the increase in the consumer price index. The bill has been sent to the Housing Commission for study.
Protecting unions and fair pay for all
As we strengthen and diversify our economy in Northern Virginia, Senator Boysko has not forgotten the many people in our community who work hard for low pay, often working two and even three jobs. She was the sponsor of the bill that eliminated the state tax on groceries and essential personal hygiene products. When the General Assembly flipped to democratic control, Senator Boysko sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 with interim raises, reaching $15 per hour on January 1, 2026. She also sponsored the legislation that has allowed localities to engage in collective bargaining. From attending union meetings, press conferences, and union rallies to sponsoring legislation to increase the minimum wage, Senator Boysko has a history of fighting for equal opportunity and fair treatment for all workers. Additionally, Senator Boysko has worked on legislation to end racist exceptions to the minimum wage and update the 1974 Equal Pay Act law to get rid of the gender wage gap.
Good Working Relationship with Chambers of Commerce
Senator Boysko works with all stakeholders to craft legislation that will solve real world problems. She looks for practical solutions that are fiscally responsible. In our region, our Chambers of Commerce work with legislators to solve workforce shortages, transportation issues, education, and affordable housing – all of which are important for a strong economy and successful businesses.