The 2021 legislative session has started, and although things look very different this year, I couldnt be more excited to get to work for our community. In this newsletter, I'll provide a snapshot of the bills I'm carrying in this virtual session, as well as updates on the COVID-19 vaccine.
The committee of Courts of Justice considers matters relating to the Courts of the Commonwealth, including all matters considering the criminal laws of the Commonwealth, as well as nominations of judges and justices where provided by the Constitution and statutes of Virginia. I serve on the Criminal and Judicial Subcommittees.
The Transportation Committee considers matters concerning airports, airspace and airways; laws concerning motor vehicles relating to the rules of the road or traffic regulations and laws concerning transportation companies, transportation public utilities and license plates. I serve on the Motor Vehicles subcommittee, and am the Chair of the Innovation and General Topics subcommittee.
Finally, the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee considers matters concerning public health, mental health, social services, and regulations and licensure of health professionals. I serve on the Social Services and Health Professions subcommittees.
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 during the session. I am looking forward to hearing from you as the session unfolds! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email my office or call us at 703-996-9415 or 804-698-1067.
Fairfax and Loudoun Counties are currently in Phase 1B of vaccine distribution. At a press conference this week, Governor Northam announced that Virginia would be following new CDC guidance that recommends that individuals 65 and over be vaccinated as soon as possible. This change has now been reflected on the Virginia Department of Health's vaccine page. Fairfax County has announced that vaccine registration for individuals 65 and older will begin on January 18.
You can read more about the phases and vaccine distribution at the Virginia Department of Health's website, and they have set up an FAQ as well. You can find more information from the Fairfax County Health Department here. And here is more information from Loudoun County on vaccine administration. If you're not sure which phase you or your family members are in, you can find out by filling out this questionnaire from the Virginia Department of Health.
2021 Session Updates:
This year, the House of Delegates has a limit of 7 bills that can be introduced, not counting resolutions and studies. Here's and overview of the bills I've introduced so far:
HB 1851: exempts an owner of an unmanned aircraft from the requirement to register aircrafts.
HB1865: requires that reading intervention services provided to students in kindergarten through third grade who fall below benchmark be aligned with the science of reading.
HB 1866: allows court appointed special advocates (CASAs) to fully participate and share information verbally in family partnership meetings and in meetings of family assessment and planning teams, multidisciplinary child sexual abuse response teams, individualized education program teams, and multidisciplinary teams related to child abuse.
HB 1867: removes the requirement that survivors of sexual abuse must report their abuse to law enforcement within 120 hours in order to be eligible for reimbursement of medical expenses by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
HB 1868: Disqualifies for life from holding a commercial driver's license persons convicted of a felony involving an act or practice of severe forms of trafficking in persons while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
HB 2133: Establishes a procedure for victims of sex trafficking to file a petition of vacatur in circuit court to have certain convictions vacated and the police and court records expunged for such convictions.
HJ 528: Designates November 12, in 2021 and in each succeeding year, as Uyghur American Friendship Day in Virginia.
HJ 568: Directs the Virginia State Crime Commission to study methods and solutions to prevent girls who are victims of violence from entering the juvenile justice system.
Since this session is all virtual, you'll be able to follow along with all subcommittee and committee meetings, as well as all floor sessions. Here are some helpful links for you to follow along with bills and the proceedings of House and Senate committees: