House Democratic Leader Delegate David Toscano

David Toscano and Creigh Deeds at  Charlottesville's Dogwood Parade - April 26, 2014

David Toscano and Creigh Deeds at Charlottesville’s Dogwood Parade (April 26, 2014)

It is a privilege to represent Charlottesville and Albemarle and serve as House Democratic Leader in the Virginia General Assembly.  My work in the  House of Delegates reflects my commitment to expanding economic opportunity, investing in public education, and protecting Virginia’s environment and natural resources.  Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to represent you. I hope you will take a moment to read about my positions on the issues and follow what I’ve been doing at the General Assembly.

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Resignations and Investigations:
Senator Puckett and the Virginia Tobacco Commission

(This article appeared in the Virginian-Pilot on Sunday, July 7, 2014) The month has been a wild one with far reaching implications for Virginia politics. The defeat of Representative Cantor in a June primary was shocking; who would have thought … Continue reading

2014 Virginia General Assembly Session

Judges Matter

Whether you are a “strict constructionist” who believes the primary role of a judge is to serve as an umpire who calls “balls and strikes”, take the view that the Constitution is more a “living document” that should be interpreted … Continue reading

New Laws Now in Effect

July 1 brings new laws to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Here are some of the highlights: With certain restrictions, you can hunt on Sundays in Virginia (HB1237) No longer will owners of hybrid vehicles have to pay an annual “hybrid … Continue reading

The Veto Budget Session

We met again on Monday, June 23, 2014, to consider the Governor’s eight vetoes to the signed 2014-15 budget. There was no discussion about a government “shutdown,” because the budget is signed and takes effect on July 1. The only … Continue reading

A Budget without Medicaid

After seven hours of wrangling and a series of very close votes, the General Assembly passed and sent to the Governor a two-year budget. As has been the case for most of the session, the debates surrounding the budget were … Continue reading

Pollin’ and Explainin’

Earlier this month a poll from Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center has the Commonwealth’s political class in a “twitter.” Republicans argue that the poll is conclusive proof that Virginians do not favor Medicaid expansion, and some Democrats are choosing to … Continue reading

ICYMI: Senator McEachin Sends Letter to Speaker Howell

Where are the promised alternatives? Last week, Senator Don McEachin, Chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, sent a letter to Speaker Howell simply asking to see the alternatives to the expansion of Medicaid as proposed by Speaker Howell in … Continue reading

Common Ground on Medicaid

Is There A Reason To Be Optimistic? As someone who has made enough speeches on the House floor this session on Medicaid expansion to have my own “YouTube” channel on the topic, I have listened intently to my Republican colleagues … Continue reading

Budget Dispute Continues

We returned to the General Assembly on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to continue our debate over the budget. It was a very short session because House Republicans refused to consider a budget passed by the Senate which included provisions for … Continue reading

Adjournment Without A Budget

The General Assembly adjourned on March 8, 2014 without a budget. This is the third time that this has occurred in the nine years that I have been serving you in Richmond. We have until the end of June to … Continue reading

Winding Down or Gearing Up?

The General Assembly session is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday, March 8, 2014, and it is not clear that we will have a budget by that date. The stumbling block continues to be Medicaid expansion. Many of us have advocated … Continue reading

The Budget, Medicaid Expansion, and my Town Hall Meeting

The House and Senate budgets were debated and ultimately passed yesterday. Budgets are about choices, and the budget that passed the House reflected a choice that Republicans made to reject the expansion of Medicaid coverage to over 275,000 Virginians. In … Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Speech (Feb 14, 2014)



We are now at the midpoint of the General Assembly session, a time that we call “crossover,” aptly named for the process by which bills passed in one house “crossover” to the other body. The hours are long and the … Continue reading

House Loss is Senate Gain

The big news last week was the transfer of power in the Senate. The election of Lynwood Lewis as the 20th Democratic member of the Senate, and with Democrat Ralph Northam in the tie-breaking role of Lt. Governor, Democrats assumed … Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Speech (Jan 30, 2014)


Speech in Support of Attorney General Herring’s Position on Marriage Equality (Jan 23, 2014)


Medicaid Expansion and Ethics Reform Lead the 2014 Session

We are two weeks into the General Assembly and the dominant issue remains Medicaid expansion. Almost every interest group in Richmond, from the Chamber of Commerce to the Medical Society of Virginia to the Hospital Association to various anti-poverty groups … Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Speech (Jan 20, 2014)

Do we have a responsibility to help Virginia’s hospitals as engines of economic opportunity and providers of critical services? Last week, we heard several floor speeches exploring whether, how, when, and under what conditions we can expand health care coverage to up … Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Speech (Jan 15, 2014)

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House, I rise today in support of the new Governor’s efforts to assist some 400,000 Virginians who do not presently have health insurance. In the Governor’s recent address to this joint assembly, he … Continue reading

2014 Virginia General Assembly Session Has Begun!

The 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session began on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, when 100 delegates were sworn in and Gov. McDonnell gave his final “State of the Commonwealth” address. The outgoing Governor gave a deeply personal speech, apologizing for his … Continue reading

Prospects for the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session

Each General Assembly session takes on its own special character and tone. 2013 was the year of transportation, as House Democrats ensured passage of a bipartisan bill to inject significant monies into road construction and maintenance, rail, and mass transit. … Continue reading