I hope everyone is continuing to stay warm through this week's winter weather!
The work of the General Assembly continues, but things are coming to a close. Each body is working on the other body's legislation and making changes to bills. Sometimes one body doesn't agree with the recommendations of the other, and so the bills are sent to conference where all the differences are worked out. Many major pieces of legislation are working through this process now, including the new state budget. I went over some key points from the House version of the budget last week, but that version isn't final. I'll provide more updates in a future newsletter as the details and differences are ironed out between the two bodies.
In this newsletter, I've provided an update on the COVID-19 vaccination efforts, an update on my legislation from this session, and information about our COVID-19 vaccine town hall that I'm hosting this weekend with Del. Helmer and Sen. Marsden.
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.
Virginia continues to make progress on its vaccination efforts, but supply from the federal government remains low. You may have seen that the Commonwealth launched a statewide registration system this week - Loudoun County will be participating in the statewide system, and you can learn more about the registration process for Loudoun County residents here.
Please note that Fairfax County is not participating in the statewide registration system at this time, and the County asks that residents continue to use the County's registration site.
Fairfax County has also launched new tools to increase transparency around the vaccine administration process in the County. The first is a new Vaccine and Registration Data Dashboard which includes information on registration numbers, total doses received and administered, and more.
The second tool for Fairfax County residents is the vaccine registration status checker. This tool will help you ensure that your name is on the list to receive a vaccine. Right now, the County is vaccinating those who signed up on January 18 - please note that over 42,000 individuals signed up on the 18th to receive their first dose, and it could take a while to get through everyone that signed up that day given how many doses the County is receiving per week. If you're having difficulties with the registration status checker, please call the Fairfax Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404.
2021 Session Updates:
It's been an incredibly busy week in the General Assembly, particularly for my legislation. Here are some updates on what I've been working on:
House Bill 1865, which requires that reading intervention services for kids in grades K-3 be evidence-based and aligned with the science of reading, passed out of the Senate Education and Health Committee unanimously this week, and is headed to the Senate floor!
House Bill 1866 is a bill that allows court-appointed special advocates to particpate more fully in multidisciplinary teams for children in need of services. This bill was heard in Senate Judiciary this week, and reported to the floor where it passed unanimously.
House Bill 1867 removes the requirement that survivors of sexual assault report their assault to law enforcement within five days to be eligible for reimbursement of their medical expenses by the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Once again, this bill was reported out of Senate Judiciary and passed the Senate unanimously!
House Bill 1868 disqualifies people from holding a commercial drivers license for life if they've been convicted of a severe form of human trafficking. Not only does this bill help prevent human trafficking in the Commonwealth, but it keeps us in line with federal rules and keeps Virginia eligible for millions of dollars of federal transportation funding every year. This bill reported out from Senate Transportation unanimously and is headed to the Senate floor.
House Bill 2133 creates a process for survivors of sex trafficking to have certain convictions vacated and expunged from their records and was passed by the Senate unanimously yesterday. Virginia is one of the few states in the country that doesn't provide this sort of relief to survivors of sex trafficking, and thankfully, this bill will change that!
House Bill 2300 strengthens protocols around discharging patients from an emergency room after they experience a non-fatal overdose by ensuring they are given access to community resources for recovery and are properly screened for substance abuse disorder. This bill also convenes a work group to further study best practices for discharging and treating people who come to an ER after a substance-use related emergency, in the hopes that we can continue to make progress on this incredibly important issue. This bill was reported out of Senate Education and Health unanimously and is on its way to the Senate floor.
Don't forget that you can keep up with all House floor proceedings and view archived footage of past floor sessions and committee hearings here. All Senate sessions and archived video can be found here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall with Del. Helmer and Sen. Marsden:
Please join me, Delegate Dan Helmer, and Senator Dave Marsden for a COVID-19 vaccine town hall this Sunday, February 21 at 1pm! We will be joined by Dr. Danny Avula, the state's vaccine coordinator, and Dr. Addo-Ayensu, the Director of the Fairfax County Health Department, for a state- and county-level update and question and answer session. This town hall will be livestreamed on Facebook and will be available to re-watch if you're not able to make it.
We ask that you please submit all questions for the doctors in advance by filling out this form. Hope you can join us!
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