We have had an eventful week in our special session to address COVID-19 relief and police reforms. The past days have been full of committee meetings, amendments, and floor sessions with spirited debate from both sides. I have detailed some of the bills that have passed the House so far in this newsletter.
Also, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day. Please take proper precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 as you visit with family and friends and celebrate this long weekend. The virus is still very much with us, but if we continue to practice social distancing, good personal hygiene, and mask-wearing, we can keep the spread to a minimum and keep ourselves and our communities safe.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my office at DelKDelaney@house.virginia.gov. My staff and I are here to help connect you to the appropriate resources or state agency as we continue to navigate this pandemic.
The House has been working for the past two weeks on a lot of legislation introduced during this special session. As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I have introduced HB 5045, which finally bans sexual relations between law enforcement officers and the individuals they supervise in their vehicles or at stops, for example. I'm proud to announce that today this bill passed the House unanimously. I look forward to defending this critical piece of legislation in the Senate soon.
Here are some other bills that have passed recently and are heading to the Senate for review:
HB 5046: This bill clarifies certain code sections related to telemedicine to make it easier and more affordable for Virginians to access critical healthcare services at a distance.
HB 5103: This bill funds safe and secure methods for Virginians to vote absentee in the November elections.
HB 5115: This bill extends eviction and foreclosure continuance in court proceedings for Virginians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you know, all House committee meetings and floor sessions will be held virtually. You can tune in to all meetings and sessions here.
As you know, the deadline to respond to the census is coming up. If you have already completed your census form, thank you! Your responses are critical to ensure funding for schools, roads, and so much more in our communities.
If you have not filled out your census form yet, please do so soon. You can fill out your form online, on the phone, or by mail. It is so important that everyone complete the census. Thank you for doing your part and stepping up to be counted.
On Tuesday, the Governor amended Executive Directive 7 to further extend the validity of driver's licenses and other driving permits. This amended directive extends the validity of licenses set to expire in August, September, and October by 60 days. Additionally, licenses set to expire in November are valid through November 30, 2020.
It is important to note that vehicle registrations have not been further extended.
DMV is also preparing to implement a new option for driver’s license and ID renewals. Beginning in mid-September, most customers who are due to renew their eight-year credential in person (because they renewed online or by mail last time) will be offered two options for renewing:
1.Eight-year/renew by appointment – schedule an appointment to renew the driver’s license or ID card for the full eight years.
2.Two-year/renew remotely (new) – renew online or by mail for a driver’s license or ID card that will be valid for two years. DMV will mail the credential to the customer’s address on file. In two years, these customers will need to visit a DMV in person for their next renewal, vision screening, and new photo for an eight-year credential. This option is currently not available for customers age 75 or older as Virginia law requires an in-person renewal every five years. However, we understand that there is budget language under consideration that would ease the in-person requirement as a result of the pandemic.
The credential extension and the two-year credential renewal option give Virginians more time to renew important credentials and help to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees during this health crisis.
Virginia has become the first state in the country to implement a free COVID-19 exposure notification app using the Apple/Google Bluetooth Low Energy framework. The app is called COVIDWISE and was developed in an unprecedented, public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health, Google, and Apple. Simply put, COVIDWISE allows you to anonymously notify others if you test positive for COVID-19, and notifies you if you’ve likely been exposed to the virus based on positive reports from other app users.
This effort is an example of Virginia leading the way forward during the most pressing pandemic of our lifetimes, with the goal of reducing the risk for your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues and helping Virginia stay safe and healthy.
But it only works if we all use it. Here’s how you can help:
Visit the App Store or Google Play Store and download COVIDWISE
Share information about COVIDWISE with your friends, colleagues, and family members
Post & share your support on social media
Collect for Kids:
Every year, the Foundation for FCPS launches their "Collect for Kids" campaign to collect supplies and resources for kids in need in our community. This year, due to COVID-19, all collections will have to be virtual. As kids and their parents prepare for the next virtual or hybrid school year, there are still so many families who are struggling to provide their kids with the basic necessities for the classroom.