We are fewer than two weeks away from crossover—the last day for each Chamber to act on its own legislation. This week, I will share an update on my legislation, provide a summary on some useful General Assembly terms, talk about highlights from constituent meetings, share the story of a father’s activism on behalf of his son, and amplify a new way to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you for reading this newsletter and staying informed about the current happenings around Virginia Senate District 10.
As we wrap up a busy fifth week of session, many of my bills have successfully continued to move through the Senate committee process and are now headed to the House of Delegates for deliberation.
General Assembly Terms
Here are some of key terms that may be helpful in understanding the legislative process:
Between committee meetings and Floor Sessions this week, I was able to meet with constituents from across the district to talk about the legislation I am carrying, issues affecting the Commonwealth’s youth, and more. Please continue to reach out and connect with my office in the upcoming weeks of the 2022 General Assembly Session.
Members of the Powhatan Leadership Institute met with me this week to discuss specific issues that are impacting the county and other legislation that I am carrying for the 2022 Session.
A group from the Pride Liberation Project came to the Pocahontas Building to talk with my staff about legislation that addresses LGBTQIA Youth and homelessness. They are passionate about improving healthcare and housing access to homeless youth across the Commonwealth.
Trey, who has been outspoken against anti-transgender student policies, and his mom, Kelly, stopped by my office this week to discuss transgender policies in schools.
Members of the Chesterfield County Council of PTAs (Parent Teacher Associations) met with me to discuss their priorities, which focus on supporting the academic success, health, and safety of Virginia's students.
Recovery Residences Legislation
My Senate colleague, Senator Barbara Favola, and I have worked closely with Richard “Duke” Burruss on SB 622, which would ensure there are clear standards of practices across all recovery residences, specifically for those that receive federal and state dollars. Duke Burruss lost his son, Will, to an overdose that occurred at an uncertified recovery residence. To learn more about Duke’s story, see the op-ed he recently published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and this video he made explaining the tragedy.
As a Commonwealth, we must support people with addiction issues and ensure their access to adequate recovery and mental health services. Addiction is a concern that reaches households across the United States. Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction and over half a million Virginians struggle with alcohol or drug use. SB 622 will help our community members have the safest and greatest opportunity to succeed in the battle against addiction.
This legislation is the first step in the process of updating the standards for recovery residences and ensuring that those in these residences are in a safe place for recovery. Today, the bill passed out of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee on a unanimous vote (15-0) and will come before the full Senate next week.
I thank Duke Burruss for sharing this personal story and waking up every day to fight for Will. In the wake of tragedy and loss, he has made it his mission to establish clarity in the certification in recovery residences across Virginia and to help others avoid the devastating loss his family experienced. Thank you for your dedication, resilience, and strength, Duke.
Richard “Duke” Burruss (left) lost his son Will Burruss (right) at age 22 from fentanyl poisoning in an uncertified recovery residence.
New Opportunity to Receive Your COVID-19 Vaccine
The Richmond City Health District is now offering at-home COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Individuals can schedule an at-home appointment by calling the Richmond-Henrico Health District at 804-205-3501. Please note that RHHD will contact you in about two weeks following your initial inquiry to create a vaccine appointment plan.
It’s not too late to get vaccinated against COVID-19. You can also receive your vaccine at one of SD-10’s community health clinics:
To find out more about where you can receive your vaccine or booster, visit the Center for Disease Control vaccine portal and the Virginia Department of Health website. Remember: vaccines are safe, effective, accessible, and free.
Connecting With My Office
My staff continue to hold meetings with constituents via Zoom or by phone. You can sign up for a meeting with either of my staff members with our easy scheduling app:
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.