I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning weeks of spring and continuing to stay safe and healthy. As vaccination rates continue to rise in the Commonwealth, we have a ray of hope and light at the end of the tunnel, but I urge everyone to continue to stay vigilant and use the strategies we've used for the past year to keep community spread low and ensure our neighbors are healthy!
In this newsletter, I've included updates from our reconvened session, a Virginia vaccine update, information on VDOT's 2021 repaving plan, and some news about community events and resources.
As a reminder, you can reach out to my office at any time at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov to schedule a virtual meeting with me. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email my office or call us at 703-996-9415.
The Virginia Department of Health recently announced that all Virginians 16 and older would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on April 18, an earlier start than the originally announced May 1 date. Currently, both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties are vaccinating everyone in Phase 1, including healthcare workers, people 65 and older, people 16-64 with underlying health conditions, and all essential workers.
On April 7th, the House and Senate convened again to consider the Governor's amendments on legislation passed in the 2021 session. The Governor did not hand down any vetoes for us this year.
One of my bills that I've spoken extensively about had some recommended amendments to it: HB 2133, which creates a way for sex trafficking survivors to have certain convictions vacated and sealed from their records. I'm happy to say that the House and Senate both agreed with the Governor's amendments, and this bill will become law on July 1st. Virginia is one of the only states that doesn't provide any sort of post-conviction relief for trafficking survivors, and I am excited to continue adding to this statute in the future.
Here are some other bills that we approved the Governor's amendments for:
HB 1375/HB 2207: Adds COVID-19 causing death or disability as an occupational disease compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act for frontline medical and law-enforcement workers.
HB 2040: Requires the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the obligation to repay overpayment of unemployment benefits in certain cases.
VDOT has announced this year's Northern Virginia Paving program to resurface roads across Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Arlington Counties. Many streets in and around the 67th District are on the schedule to be resurfaced this year, and you can see them highlighted in red in the map below. The blue outline is the outline of the 67th District.
You can find more information and additional resources at this website. Also, if you want to see more detail on the roads up for repaving and resurfacing this year, you can go to VDOT's interactive map - click on a colored road segment and a pop-up will appear with details about resurfacing, including the treatment type, location, and contact information for the project manager.
Virginia COPES Warmline:
Struggling to cope with COVID-19? The Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services has established the VA C.O.P.E.S warmline.
Trained Crisis Counselors are available 7 days a week. Call or text 877-349-6428 if you, a friend, or a loved one are experiencing stress, anxiety or are having difficulty coping with the pandemic and need someone to talk to. Check out the VA COPESwebsiteand Facebook too!
11th Annual Fairfax Run for the Children:
The Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates' (CASAs) are currently holding their annual Run for the Children, where they raise awareness and funds for their incredible volunteer advocates and the vulnerable children they serve every day. CASAs are truly heroic people who advocate for the best interests of every abused and neglected child in Fairfax County.
This year's race is being held virtually due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, and is going on through the end of April in tandem with Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. They have a 5K and 3K option, and all race participants can opt-in to have a race T-shirt mailed to them. They are also hosting a raffle for participants with great prizes. You can learn more about the event here and learn more about their amazing program here.
Mental Health and Domestic Violence Resources:
At this trying time, it is important that we continue to care for our mental health. Here are some resources if you are struggling and need help:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board hotline: 703-527-4077
Loudoun County Mental Health Emergency Services...703.777.0320
Loudoun Suicide Prevention...703.777.0176
PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text “Connect” to 85511
SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (800-662-4357)
Children's Regional Crisis Response: 844-NCrisis (844-627-4747) in English and Spanish