The second full week of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session is now in the books, and we are starting to make our way through the immense amount of House Bills and Resolutions progressing through the 60 day session here in Richmond.
Most bills are still being debated in committees; however, there was significant traction on a number of important issues that I would like to bring your attention to in this week’s newsletter.
The opposition to Medicaid expansion continued this week as House Republican’s pushed for reforms to Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need Laws. A press conference was held Wednesday to highlight proposed legislation to repeal or reform COPN which will create a more free-market healthcare system, and improve access of care for the people of Virginia. Currently, COPN laws limit competition which means fewer choices and higher costs for Virginia families. Virginian’s deserve access to quality and affordable healthcare at a lower cost.
This week new legislation was introduced by my House colleagues to combat domestic violence by repeat offenders and ways we can empower the victims. A staggering twelve million people each year are victims of domestic violence, which means 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience a form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Delegate Robert Bell introduced HB 609, HB 610, and HB 754 that will create tougher penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders. HB 766, HB 768, and HB 767 were also introduced by Delegate C. Todd Gilbert which aim at empowering the victims of domestic violence. I am proud to support this legislation, and stand up for families across the State of Virginia in helping combat domestic violence.
You can learn more about this legislation at: lis.virginia.gov
I am also pleased to report that my bill, House Bill 351, the Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act gained media attention with a press conference earlier this week. Senator McEachin and I continue to push for Virginia to become the 10th state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It is of utmost importance to help communities deal with coastal flooding, and support programs that aim at making homes more energy efficient.
In other news, I would like to give a shout out to some of the groups that visited this week- Virginia Academy of Physicians Assistants, Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, ODU physical therapy students, Virginia Beach Jaycees, and student volunteers for Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Also a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to call, write, and stop by my office to share comments and concerns.
If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to share your thoughts and priorities for this General Assembly Session by completing the 2016 Pre-Session Survey
As always I look forward to working on your behalf in Richmond, and if you are in the area please feel free to visit me in room 503 of the General Assembly Building. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me, and allow me to better represent you. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office anytime with your input and feedback on proposed legislation. I can always be reached at (804) 698-1021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.