(Jan. 9, 2019) Catherine Read sits down with Delegate Kaye Kory (D-38) to discuss the upcoming legislative session in the Virginia General Assembly. Korey represents the Bailey’s Crossroads and surrounding neighborhoods in Fairfax County.
After a career in community organizing, Korey launched her political career as a member of the Fairfax County School Board starting in 2009. After serving on the board for 10 years, and having accomplished many of the things she set out to do, she challenged the party incumbent in a primary and was ultimately elected to the General Assembly in 2009. She was excited for the new challenge, and eager to represent her constituents in Richmond. She has always looked for common sense, practical solutions to problems she sees in the system.
Many of the bills that she files are the direct result of constituents who come to her with ideas, or complaints, with how specific issues are currently being handled. Working together with groups or individuals, Korey prides herself on learning the ins and outs of any specific problem, and working hard to find ways to solve it. She is well versed in the inner workings of the legislature, and is eager to get to work on behalf of her constituents in Richmond.
This year, Virginia could become the 38th and final state to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Korey was instrumental in raising a discussion about the ERA during last year’s session by working with her colleague Del. Sam Rasoul to start the discussion in the Privileges and Elections Committee. This helped to set the stage for the debate to happen in 2019. (Update: as of today, the bill has passed through the Senate, and will be sent to the House).
In addition to the ERA, Korey is always looking for ways to advance issues surrounding education, as it is an area near and dear to her heart. Bringing her experience as a school board member in the largest school division in Virginia, she is intimately aware of the challenges faced by teachers and administrators alike, and is always looking for opportunities to make things better.
In the 2018 session, one of her signature bills was HB 83. This bill requires that correctional facilities in Virginia provide menstrual hygiene products to inmates at no cost. The bill passed unanimously, and Korey has dedicated a great deal of time over the past year working with the Department of Corrections to ensure that the language on their books accurately represents the intent of the bill. She has diligently traveled the state to meet with corrections officers, and to personally see the impact of her legislation.
All 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for grabs this November. While the Republicans still hold a slim majority in both the Senate (21-19) and the House (51-49), the makeup of these two bodies could look drastically different come January of 2020.