Happy New Year! I hope 2021 brings you great joy, health, and positive change to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 2021 legislative session is being conducted a little differently this year compared to previous sessions by utilizing remote work and live streams of committee meetings. This legislative session starts on Wednesday, January 13th. Starting on January 13th your state elected officials will be reviewing new bills and will consider new opportunities for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
During the legislative session, I will send you a weekly update about the happenings of the general Assembly, popular bills, and legislation that I am personally championing. With this session being remote, I will also include the links to several vital websites that will help you look up bills or watch the live stream each week.
In this newsletter, I've also included information on the vaccine administration plan in the Commonwealth.
As always, thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve the 67th and be your voice during these different and challenging times. Please do not hesitate to contact me to let me know how I can better serve you. I can be reached at 703-996-9415 or at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov. I hope you are staying safe and healthy as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the 2021 legislative session.
Cases are still going up in the Commonwealth, so please make sure you continue to practice good hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing as you go about your day-to-day.
Last week, Governor Northam laid out further plans for Virginia's accelerating vaccine administration program. You can read more about the steps the Commonwealth is taking to distribute the vaccine to Virginians quickly and equitably here.
As of this week, both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties have made sufficient progress in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution to begin moving into Phase 1B. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes:
Frontline Essential Workers
People age 75+
People living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps
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:
As I mentioned before, the General Assembly will begin the 2021 session on Wednesday, January 13. I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to reach out to my office regarding the issues and bills that you care the most about. And thank you to everyone who filled out my pre-session survey! If you haven't already, I invite you to fill out my pre-session survey to share your thoughts with me ahead of session.
Due to the all virtual nature of the session, here are some helpful links for you to follow along with bills and the proceedings of House and Senate committees:
Please know that if you would like to reach out to my office about a bill or an issue, that we are accessible to you in a couple of ways. You can always email me at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov to let me know your thoughts or to schedule a meeting with myself or my staff. You can also call our district line at 703-996-9415. Our Richmond line (804-698-1067) will be available to take calls as well, and messages will be forwarded directly to me and my office.
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