Name: Chris Stolle
Race: House of Delegates, 83rd District
Biography: Chris is a Virginia Beach native who graduated from Cox High School. He and his wife, also a veteran, are both graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy. Together, they raised five children in Virginia Beach and now have two granddaughters. Their children have also chosen lives of service: two active duty military, a lawyer keeping the community safe, and two doctors, including another veteran.
Chris began his career in the Submarine Force as a naval nuclear engineer. He later earned his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and began practicing as an OB/GYN. After 24 years of service, Chris retired from the Navy, earned an MBA from the College of William & Mary, and started a small business with his sister to reduce newborn fatalities and lower patient care costs. Chris now serves as the vice president for Medical Affairs and Director of Medical Education for Riverside Health System.
Since he was elected to serve the citizens of Virginia’s 83rd House District, Chris has become a trusted and respected leader in the General Assembly. He currently serves on the Appropriations Committee where he is the transportation subcommittee chair, Counties Cities & Towns Committee where he is the vice chair, and the Health Welfare & Institutions Committee. Outside of the General Assembly session, Chris serves on the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, and the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission.
Why should residents re-elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
When constituents call, I am there to help. I’ve been involved in issues such as securing the Weblin House, fixing a 20-year repetitive flooding situation on Chubbs Lake, advocating for a sound wall along Northampton Blvd, and helping a constituent receive funds from the Victims Injury and Compensation Fund after a violent crime, just to name a few.
I’ve worked during my time in the House of Delegates to bring leaders together to address the issues of our community and the Commonwealth. Civility, conversation, and compromise lead to more progress than hostility and partisanship. Virginia is now ranked the best state for Veterans, America’s top state for business, the number one higher education system in the US, the number two state for school safety, and number four for K-12 education. Virginia is tied for the highest bond rating of any state at AAA.
I brought a new Veterans Care Center to Virginia Beach, authored the SmartScale legislation that has brought $8 billion in transportation improvements to Hampton Roads, and led Virginia’s effort to adapt to recurrent flooding by creating the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency at ODU, creating the position of special assistant to the Governor for Coastal Flooding, and securing state funding to preserve Pleasure House Point.
My work in the General Assembly is far from over and we have serious challenges and opportunities ahead. We are finding more affordable health care options, preparing to move towards electric and autonomous vehicles, developing a workforce that will meet the demands of a new economy, and funding improvements to our critical infrastructure.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
My district, and most of Hampton Roads, is extremely susceptible to coastal flooding. This is something that citizens experience when there are large storms like Hurricane Matthew, but also when there are heavy rains, high tides, and wind-driven currents.
In order to protect our homes, businesses, and the military, we must work together to mitigate and adapt to this recurrent flooding. As your delegate, I have made flooding mitigation and resiliency a key focus of my work in Richmond.
I wrote and passed the legislation that created a cabinet-level position dedicated to coastal flooding, the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding, and the Joint Subcommittee of Coastal Flooding, which I was selected to lead. Because of this bipartisan effort, Hampton Roads is quickly becoming a leader in flooding mitigation and resiliency.
Climate change and sea level rise will continue to affect our region, but by bringing together state, local, and federal authorities, we can take the steps necessary to protect Hampton Roads.
What was the most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, and why?
The most important bill that the General Assembly passes is the state’s budget. We are constitutionally required to balance the budget, and we can only spend what the taxpayers give us. Every item in the budget competes for funding with other very important needs in the Commonwealth.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, the chairman of the Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, and a member of the Health, Higher Education, and General Government subcommittees, I believe that it is every legislator’s duty to be a responsible steward of the finances of the Commonwealth.
I work to make sure that your tax dollars are used wisely. This year we passed a balanced budget that includes funding for a tax refund, tuition freezes at public colleges and universities, school safety, economic development, and a 5% teacher pay raise all without raising taxes.