Today marks the start of our second Special Session of the year! I am so excited to be back down in Richmond with my colleagues in the House and Senate for the first time in over a year, and I'm looking forward to getting to work. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to contact my office about your priorities for Virginia's ARPA funds. I will share the finalized budget priorities in a future newsletter.
In this newsletter, I've included reminders on COVID-19 mitigation and vaccination, as well as updates from the General Assembly's Special Session to allocate American Relief Plan Act funds and elect judges to the Court of Appeals.
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.
Today the General Assembly convened at noon to begin our second special session of the year. During this time, we will be allocating $4.3 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and elect several new judges to the Court of Appeals. This is also the first time in 17 months that the House of Delegates has met in person in the House Chamber. It was such a joy to see all of my colleagues again after so much time apart!
The Governor and the chairs of the money committees have released their budget proposal, which includes funding for many of the priorities that my constituents have written to my office about. The full bill language can be found here, but here are some highlights:
$862 million to replenish the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that business' payroll taxes do not skyrocket.
$485 million to strengthen the Commonwealth's behavioral health systems
$353 million for small business recovery assistance
$250 million for school modernization and air quality improvements
$120 million in utility assistance
$114 million in public safety initiatives
$111 million for need-based financial aid for Virginia's college students at public and private institutions of higher education
I'm looking forward to discussions on these allocations and on hearing from all our Court of Appeals candidates. The session is livestreamed to the public, and you can find all links to House proceedings here. You can watch the Senate proceedings here.
Once again, cases are on the rise across Virginia - with the uptick in cases of the Delta variant, the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC are recommending that Virginians resume using masks indoors, even if vaccinated. Masking is incredibly effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the vaccine remains our best weapon in the fight against the virus. If you haven't been vaccinated yet, please consider following the links below to schedule your appointment.
Loudoun County residents can find more information on vaccine scheduling here. There are now walk-ins available at the Loudoun County vaccination site in Dulles Town Center (21090 Dulles Town Circle in Sterling), in addition to pre-scheduled appointments. You can learn more about walk-ins and procedures here.
Fairfax County also has walk-ins available at the Fairfax County Government Center and their Tysons Community Vaccination Site - more details on procedures and hours for these two sites can be found here.
Urgent Need for Blood Donations!
Community blood supply in Northern Virginia and across the country remains critically low. We need your help communicating the community need for blood donation - just one hour of time can save up to three lives. Scheduling an appointment is easy with Inova Blood Donor Services at 1-866-BLOODSAVES or at www.inovablood.org.
Great to See You!
Touring the StoneSprings Hospital's New Behavioral Health Unit
Ribbon Cutting at Pathway Homes' New Raised Garden Beds
Rally with Pres. Joe Biden for Gov. Terry McAuliffe
With Loudoun Democrats at the Loudoun County Fair
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