The 2021 virtual session's work continues, and we are just a week away from crossover! Crossover is the day that all the House bills that have passed the House of Delegates get sent over for consideration by the Senate, and vice versa.
On a separate note, you may have heard that our area could experience some severe winter weather this weekend. I urge all of you to stay safe and vigilant should we get large amounts of snow and ice. If you experience a power outage, you can report those and keep track of the status of a reported outage here. Also, VDOT operates a snow plow tracker to help you monitor the status of plowing in your area. I hope you all stay safe and warm!
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 as the session continues. 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.
Right now, the Commonwealth is receiving 105,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per week from the federal government. We expect this rate to continue for the forseeable future. As the supply of vaccines increases, Governor Northam indicated that we can expect around a 16% increase in doses sent to Virginia. Additionally, the federal government will start providing states with information on how many doses they are going to receive a month in advance - this is critical information for the Department of Health as they plan how to allocate first and second doses we receive.
Also, the House passed HB 2333, a bill that ensures that the Commonwealth has the proper infrastructure in place when we start receiving more doses of the vaccine. Here's an overview of what this legislation will do:
Expands the kinds of healthcare providers who can administer the vaccine
Allows for corporations, businesses, and other entities to offer up their sites for large vaccination sites
Requires data collection and reporting by vaccinators, to make sure vaccines are being distributed equitably
The bill passed the House unanimously, and is on its second reading in the Senate. The bill contains an emergency clause, meaning it will go into effect immediately upon passage and signature from the Governor.
Here are some resources and information about the vaccine in the Commonwealth and in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties:
All of my bills have either passed the full House of Delegates and are headed to the Senate, or are almost ready for a floor vote. Here's some updates on my bills from this week:
HB 1865, which requires that reading intervention services for kids in kindergarten through third grade be evidence-based, passed the House unanimously.
HB 1866, related to court-appointed special advocates for kids passed the House unanimously this week.
HB 1867 removes the requirement that survivors of sexual assault report their assault to law enforcement within five days in order to be eligible for reimbursement funds from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. This bill reported out of the Courts of Justice Committee on a vote of 20 yeas to 2 nays. This bill was a recommendation of a work group that was created from a bill of mine last year, and I am thrilled that this commonsense solution has been met with broad bipartisan support in the House of Delegates!
HB 1868, which bans human traffickers from qualifying for commercial drivers' licenses also passed unanimously. Not only will this legislation help curb human trafficking in the Commonwealth, but it puts the Commonwealth into compliance with federal rules and ensure we are eligible for millions of dollars in transportation funding from the federal government in the years to come.
HB 2133, a bill that creates a process for survivors of sex trafficking to have their convictions for certain crimes vacated and their records expunged, passed the House unanimously.
HB 2300 is a piece of legislation that requires hospitals with emergency departments to include life-saving provisions in their protocols for discharging survivors of non-fatal opioid overdoses, including a requirement to provide recommendations for follow-up care and proper screenings for substance abuse disorder or other mental health disorders. I'm proud to say this bill reported out of the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee unanimously. With fatal overdoses on the rise in the Commonwealth, it is so important that we do everything we can to make sure people have access and knowledge of the resources available to them.
As a reminder, below are some links for you to follow along with bills and the proceedings of House and Senate committees: