We are now two and a half weeks into the 2023 Legislative Session! I wanted to provide several updates on what has been going on in Richmond. We have been making strong progress toward getting my bills passed through the committee process and are excited to see them on the house floor soon!
I am proud to announce that this week I presented my first bill to subcommittee and full committee and it passed! HB 2424 will increase access to interpreters in civil proceedings for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. I look forward to continuing to advocate for this issue until it becomes law.
Other Bills Include:
HB 2402 - Requiring Medical Examiners to study Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), a devastating and all too common occurrence for the 84,000+ Virginians living with epilepsy.
I presented this bill to Subcommittee #3 of the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee yesterday evening. While it did not pass, committee members pledged to work together towards finding a solution.
It was my honor to welcome constituents Julie and Tom Kyllo (who you may recognize from Vienna's own Hawk & Griffin) to the Capitol to testify in favor of the bill. Tom bravely told the story of their daughter Khristin, who tragically passed from SUDEP. You can learn more about Khristin and get involved in the Khristin Kyllo Memorial Fund here.
While it is disappointing that the bill did not pass, I'm proud of the progress we made. Committee members, the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner all committed to working together with my office to put together legislation that will help tackle this serious issue.
HB 2416 - Making booster seats and other child car restraints tax-free to support our working families
This bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance and I am looking forward to presenting it once it is assigned to one of the subcommittees.
HB 2473 - Making Veterans' benefits more accessible by providing a poster listing benefits to all employers in Virginia
This bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Energy and is awaiting subcommittee referral
HB 2492 - Ensure that Virginia's disability board remains in compliance with federal law so that Virginia doesn't lose out on millions of dollars in federal funds
This bill has been referred to the Committee on Rules and is awaiting subcommittee referral.
You can check the status of all legislation on lis.virginia.gov.
On Monday I submitted my budget amendment to the Committee on Appropriations. If passed, this amendment will provide $8.4 million in additional funding to the Children's Behavioral Health Services so that kids can better access mental health services across Virginia.
In the last week, I have co-patroned a constitutional amendment protecting reproductive freedom, protecting coverage for contraceptive care, and legislation to protect kids walking to school at crossing zones.
In the past week, I have continued to meet with constituents, advocacy organizations, and interest groups to hear their thoughts and opinions on legislation and activities happening in the legislature. If you or an organization you represent would like to meet with me or a member of my staff, please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.
One of these meetings was with advocates from Planned Parenthood of Virginia. In this meeting, we discussed ways that we can work together to defend access to abortion and reproductive care.
I also met with representatives from the Virginia Education Association to discuss our shared priority in providing the highest quality education for our children while keeping them safe in schools.
I also got to meet with the Civil Air Patrol and was awarded with the honorary rank of Major!
On Tuesday I participated in a press conference in which we recommitted ourselves to the fight for reproductive freedom. I am ready to fight to protect our rights, which is why I have co-patroned critical legislation to protect Virginian's reproductive rights.
This week, I attended committee meetings for Communications, Technology and Innovation and Public Safety where we deliberated over important legislation ranging from data protection to firearm safety.
Yesterday I received my official House of Delegates license plates. If you see #99 rolling through the streets of our district, come say hi!
As a reminder, on Saturday, February 11th, at 9:00 am at the Vienna Police Station, I will be joining my colleague Senator Chap Petersen as well as Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert for a Town Hall to discuss our priorities for the Legislative Session. This will be your opportunity to hear directly from us, ask us questions about legislation affecting our community, and share your thoughts and opinions with us. We hope to see you there!
If my office can be of any service to you, please send an email to email@example.com. Make sure to follow us on social media to receive updates throughout the year!
Yours in Service,
Delegate, 35th District