This week, I’ll provide updates on the legislation I am carrying this session, share reflections from meetings with constituents this week, and remind you of the many ways you can get involved and stay informed during the General Assembly session. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and staying informed about the current happenings around Virginia Senate District 10.
As the third week of session comes to an end, many of my bills have continued to move through the committee process, with one already crossing over to the House of Delegates for consideration.
SB 263 directs the Department for Housing and Community Development to expand the existing Housing and Supportive Services Interagency Leadership Team (ILT) initiative to include Virginians aged 65 and older as an included subgroup. It passed the full Senate (39-0) and now heads to the House of Delegates.
SB 156 amends the staffing requirements for English Learner (EL) teachers throughout the Commonwealth. It passed out of the Senate Education and Health Committee on a vote of 8-5 and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 157 declares that it is the objective of the Commonwealth to fund Standards of Quality (SoQ) positions at a rate that is at or above the national average. It passed out of the Senate Education and Health Committee on a vote of 8-5-1 and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 239 and SB 261 adds computer science to Virginia's Standards of Learning (creates a STEM+C framework) and ensures we capture Virginia's existing STEM+C workforce profile accurately. Both bills passed out of the full Senate Education and Health Committee on votes of 15-0. Both now head to the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 159 prohibits transcript withholding as a form of debt collection for direct-to-school debt for students who attend public colleges & universities in Virginia. This bill passed out of the full Senate Education and Health Committee on a 9-4 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate Floor.
SB 160 provides that energy efficient programs may include electrification, including measures that electrify space heating, water heating, cooling, drying, cooking, and other building uses that would otherwise use fossil fuels to reduce total onsite energy consumption. This bill passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Energy Subcommittee 4-1 and now heads to the full Commerce and Labor Committee.
SB 241 creates the Renal Disease Council and the Renal Disease Council Fund. This bill reportedout of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee (15-0). The bill now heads to the Senate Floor.
SB 161 directs the Department of Education to develop guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student athletes, and their parents or guardians on the nature of heat related illness, how to recognize it, and how to prevent it. This bill passed out of the Finance and Appropriations Committee (15-0) and will head to the Senate Floor.
SB 272 establishes a workgroup composed of industry stakeholders, Virginia Department of Transportation, the Department of General Services, and others to develop a timeline and structure for the implementation of low carbon cement manufacturing. Cement manufacturing is one of the leading sources of destructive carbon emissions. Virginia has the potential to play a leading role in reducing the carbon footprint that results from cement manufacturing. This bill passed out of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on a vote of 9-6. It now heads to the Senate Floor.
In between committee meetings and floor sessions, I had the opportunity to connect with constituents from SD-10 and advocates from across the Commonwealth—both in-person and virtually. Hearing about the issues that matter most to members of our community—funding for education, affordable and accessible healthcare, preserving and protecting our environment—is essential to my work. I am grateful to have been able to meet with many of you recently, and I look forward to connecting with many more constituents during these upcoming weeks.
Elijah Lee—an activist, ordained minister, and advocate for children in foster care—stopped by my office to talk about how young people can get more involved in the political process.
A group of Radford University students came to the Pocahontas Building to speak with legislators about issues that matter to them, including investments in education and job opportunities.
Members of Care in Action US, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and SEIU Virginia 512 gathered at the Capitol for the Rally for Workers’ Rights.
Senator McClellan, Delegate Van Valkenburg, and I joined members of the Virginia Education Association to discuss legislative priorities focused on our public schools. Senator McClellan and I joined others in Red for Ed Day to express support for our outstanding educators.
Staying in Touch During Session
As a reminder, my staff members continue to hold meetings with constituents via Zoom or by phone. You can now sign up for a meeting with either of my staff members with our easy scheduling app:
As a response to the recent surge of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant, we have made sure to protect staff and the public by accommodating Zoom and phone meetings. Limited in-person meetings will be offered, but must be scheduled by emailing our district email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All in-person meetings will require attendants to wear masks and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
The General Assembly session is an exciting time for constituents and electeds alike. We look forward to staying connected with you—via phone, through email, or by meeting in person—over the coming weeks.