This week in Richmond, I had the great pleasure of supporting bills which would directly improve the lives and livelihood of Virginians.
Yesterday House Bill 1686, also known the "Renewables First Act", was heard before a subcommittee. This bill would prioritize the creation of new renewable energy generation facilities and temporarily halt the creation of new fossil fuel facilities, allowing green energy facilities to catch up to fossil fuel in the Commonwealth. While the bill failed to report out of subcommittee, I am proud to be a Chief Co-Patron of this bill, and I remain committed to green energy initiatives.
In addition to standing up for environmental justice and the health of our community, I was proud to patron House Bill 2613, which seeks to require doctors to inform new and expectant mothers and their families about the risk of postpartum anxiety in addition to informing them about the risk of postpartum depression. This bill passed unanimously out of subcommittee The birth of a new baby is a transitional time in a family’s life, and it is vital that we protect those families by making sure they have information about this health issue so many new parents face.
Standing Up Against Tolls on I-66:
Yesterday, I defended House Bill 2643, legislation which would cap tolls on Interstate 66 at $15. Residents of Northern Virginia are facing exorbitant tolls every day as they are trying to and from their jobs. The people of my district have asked me to stand up against high tolls, and I have. The tolling system on 66 is complex and the purpose of this bill is to put the brakes on a broken system and demand a better solution. This bill was recommended to report to appropriations by the subcommittee and will be in full committee next week.
Equal Rights Amendments Fails in House Subcommittee:
Earlier this week, multiple efforts to make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Right Amendment (ERA) failed in a House subcommittee. Hundreds of ERA supporters packed the committee room, urging committee members to vote "yes." Despite its failure, we will persist and continue our efforts to secure equal rights and access for all living in the Commonwealth.
February Office Hours:
I invite you to meet with me February26th from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at Chantilly Regional Library for my monthly office hours. Office hours allow constituents of the 67th District to express their concerns or comments on what's happening at the state level and within the district.
Local Assistance for Furloughed Government Employees:
We are entering the 35th day of the Federal Government shutdown. This shut down is impacting thousands of residents in the Northern Virginia region, leaving them unable to meet their financial obligations and plan for the future. Local governments are providing relief and directing residents to assistance programs. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact Fairfax County's Coordination Services Planning at 703-222-0880. Loudoun County is offering food assistance to its residents, you can learn more by click here.
Local service providers are also providing assistance. To learn about what Northern Virginia Family Service is doing to help the region, click here. To learn about what the Greater Washington Community Foundation is doing, click here. And, if you are Coast Guardsmen, click here.
Additionally, a number of local businesses are offering a variety of free services. You can learn about them by clicking here.
Lobbyist in a Box:
Want to track bills during the 2018 General Assembly Session? Be sure to sign-up for Lobbyist in A Box. This program allows you to track up to 5 bills for no charge. You will receive email notifications when the bills are referred to a House or Senate Committee, passed or failed, and referred to the House or Senate floor.
This program will provide you the opportunity to stay up to date with the progression of legislation that matters to you.
Thank You For Stopping By!:
I want to thank everyone who visited my office this week. It is always a pleasure to meet with constituents and advocacy groups. If you are planning a trip to Richmond during the legislative session, please be sure to reach out to my office. I would thoroughly enjoy having you as my guest, providing you with tours of the Capitol and inviting you to sit in the Gallery during the session.