Description: The House of Delegates has legislative power, with the Senate, to enact laws. Delegates serve a 2-year term and are eligible for reelection. The salary is $17,640 per year. A delegate must be at least 21 years old at the time of election and be a resident of the district he/she seeks to represent.
Kenneth R. “Ken” Plum
Address: 2073 Cobblestone Lane Reston, VA 20191-4039
Education: B.A., Old Dominion University; M.Ed., University of Virginia
Occupation: Retired teacher and school administrator; Member of Virginia House of Delegates
Experience: Nearly 30 years as a teacher and school administrator. Served as Director of Adult and Community Education, Fairfax County Public Schools. Member of Virginia House of Delegates: 1978-80; 1982-present.
Q: What are your views on Virginia’s current financial and gift disclosure laws for elected state officials and candidates; what changes, if any, would you support?
A: Current laws are inadequate. I would support a $50 limitation on gifts, establishment of an ethics commission, and periodic audits of elected officials’ expense and campaign accounts. Disclosures of economic interests must include immediate family members. I would support increased penalties for those who fail to disclose. Action must be taken to restore the public’s confidence in the system.
Q: What legislation, if any, will you support to rebalance state and local resources and authority to provide critically needed community services, such as education and mental health?
A: Virginia’s equal support with localities for K-12 education has slipped to 40% state and 60% localities forcing local governments to pick up a higher cost for education. Monies cannot be diverted from schools to pay for roads. The next budget needs to move to correct this imbalance as well as increasing funding for much-needed mental health services and greater funding for colleges and universities to keep costs down.
Q: What improvements, if any, do you propose to the way the Commonwealth conducts redistricting?
A: Since 1982 I have introduced a bill to establish an independent redistricting commission, and I will continue to do so. There is no way with their self-interests that legislators can fairly and objectively draw district boundaries. The current system has led to increased partisanship and needs to be changed. My proposal would make redistricting non-partisan and based on communities of interests.
Q: What is your legislative priority for the next General Assembly session?
A: My priority for the 2014 General Assembly session is to work for a biennium budget that more adequately addresses the needs of preschool and K-12 education, affordable colleges and universities, expansion of mental health services and an open and accessible voting system. At the same time I will work to end gun violence, stop discrimination based on sexual orientation, and protect a woman’s reproductive rights.