With the adjournment of the 2022 General Assembly, I have a lot to share with you. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and staying informed about the current happenings around Virginia Senate District 10.
2022 Session Update
The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Saturday, March 12, after sixty days of subcommittee and committee meetings, floor debates, bill deliberations, and discussions with colleagues, constituents, and advocates.
Of the twenty-seven bills I introduced this session, six passed both Chambers and are going to the Governor’s desk for his signature, four bills were carried over to the 2023 session or sent to state agencies for study, and four bills were incorporated into other members’ legislation.
Legislation That Passed:
SB 158: Establishes the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund to award grants to recognized organizations, tribes and localities to acquire and preserve land of cultural significance to Black, indigenous, or communities of color.
SB 161: Directs the Virginia Department of Education to develop guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and parents of the risks, signs, and prevention of heat related illness in children
SB 241: Creates the Renal Disease Council and Fund to develop education programs, fund support services, and pursue research opportunities
SB 263: Requires the Department for Housing and Community Development to expand the existing Housing and Supportive Services Interagency Leadership Team (the ILT) initiative to include older Virginians as a target subpopulation, in order to increase the supply of permanent supportive housing for older Virginians
SB 265: Provides opportunities for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to receive early intervention language development resources
SB 667: Expands paid or credit-bearing student internship and other work-based learning opportunities in collaboration with Virginia employers through the Innovative Internship Fund and Program
Legislation Sent to Study or Continued into 2023:
SB 156: Increases the number of staff, professional development opportunities, resources, and community-based support services for the increasing numbers of English learners in Virginia’s schools. SB 156 was continued to the 2023 session, and I will be collaborating further with other General Assembly members on this bill.
SB 160: Clarifies that energy efficiency programs can include electrification with the goal of reducing sources of energy that require on-site combustion of fossil fuels. The Virginia Department of Energy has been asked to conduct a study to assess the efficacy of energy efficiency improvements and related cost of living reductions available to Virginia ratepayers.
SB289: Asks that the Department of Education (DOE) recommend finalized language by December 2022 definitions of the basic literacies employed in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing; and also evaluate these literacies and their applications across all disciplines
SB 272: Asks that the Department of General Services (DGS) convene 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.
Legislation That Was Incorporated with Other Patrons:
SB 242 and SB 244 were incorporated into Senator Adam Ebbin’s SB 271—the Living Donor Protection Act. In the Conference Committee, SB 271 was scaled back to provide insurance protections for living organ donors, and so the final form of the legislation is reflective of my original SB 242.
SB 670—requiring all practitioners licensed by the Board of Medicine to complete implicit bias and cultural competency training—was incorporated into Senator Mamie Locke’s SB 456. A letter has now been sent by the Committee Chair to the Virginia Department of Health’s Task Force on Maternal Health Data and Quality Measures requesting a report with recommendations be presented to the General Assembly by October 1, 2022.
Legislation That Failed to Pass:
SB 157: Requires that teachers in the Commonwealth be paid at or above the national average by 2027 and calls for compensatory increases for other SOQ instructional staff and support positions
SB 159: Bans transcript withholding as a form of debt collection for students who attend public colleges and universities in Virginia
SB 200: Exempts names, addresses, and telephone numbers of complainants in the active investigations of onsite sewage complaints made to the Department of Health or Department of Environmental Quality from Freedom of Information Act requests, with the goal of protecting tenants from retaliation from their landlords
SB 243: Directs the Department of Health to establish the End Stage Renal Disease Patient Navigator Network to assist persons diagnosed with end stage renal disease
SB 262: Provides that any person 21 years of age or older who knowingly or intentionally possesses psilocybin or psilocin shall be punished by a civil penalty of no more than $100 and such civil penalties shall be deposited into the Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund
SB 266: Creates a nonrefundable income tax credit for taxable years 2022 through 2026 for expenses incurred by an individual in caring for an eligible family member
SB 270: Establishes the Interagency Language Access Working Group to maximize state policies, resources to further language access and equity in Virginia and its state government agencies
SB 668: Establishes a process with robust safeguards that would allow a terminally ill and mentally-competent adult to request compassionate, life-ending medication from their physician
Despite our adjournment, we still have work to do. The Senate and House of Delegates must come to a consensus on the Commonwealth’s budget and approximately 40 items of legislation still need to be addressed. The Governor has not announced the date of a Special Session to work through these items, but we should know within the next few days.
2022 Session Interns
During the 2022 General Assembly Session, my office was fortunate enough to host three bright and talented interns—Hadia, Anna, and Lily. In addition to their demanding course work at their respective institutions, all three spent several hours each week helping manage our legislative agenda, responding to constituents, and drafting content for our newsletters and social media. Our office could not have run as efficiently as it did without their hard work and dedication.
Hadia is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, who will be graduating this Spring with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International Social Justice.
Anna is a senior at the University of Richmond, who will be graduating this Spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies and Political Science with a minor in Healthcare Studies.
Lily is a junior at the University of Richmond and is studying Political Science and Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies.
Senate Page Program
Senate Pages have served the upper chamber of the legislature since at least 1850. This time-honored tradition gives 13 and 14 year-olds across the Commonwealth the opportunity to engage with elected officials, learn about the legislative process, and begin growing into the civic leaders of tomorrow.
I had the opportunity to speak with the Senate Page 2022 Class about their thoughts on session—whether committee meetings or floor sessions were more exciting, what they thought was the most challenging committee to present bills to, and what they thought was the “best” piece of legislation to pass this year. This time-honored tradition of the Senate Page Program continues to educate the next generation of civic leaders. Further details are available here, and the application process for the 2023 Senate Page Program will open up in August or September 2022.
Bob Brown’s Retirement
At the adjournment of the General Assembly, we honored Bob Brown, the Richmond Times-Dispatch photojournalist who has captured thousands of iconic images during his 52-year career. He has been a fixture of the General Assembly—his good humor and wit have endeared him to everyone. The Senate Resolution commending Bob’s legacy is here, and The Washington Post recently highlighted his long career.
We are grateful to Bob for capturing the work of government for Virginians and for history for over five decades. I hope his well-deserved retirement is one filled with relaxation and time spent with loved ones.
University of Richmond Law School Symposium on Environmental Justice
The University of Richmond School of Law’s Public Interest Law Review is hosting a virtual symposium on environmental justice this Spring, and I am honored to serve as the keynote speaker. The symposium will examine the intersection of public policy, urban development, and the climate crisis, with a focus on marginalized communities.
The symposium will take place on April 1, 2022, from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, and admission is free. Registration for the symposium is available here.
Mayor’s Youth Academy
Applications are being accepted for the Mayor's Youth Academy Summer Youth Employment Program—a six-week initiative that involves job readiness training, leadership development, exposure to entrepreneurship, mentoring, and post-secondary career exploration for young adults (ages 14 to 19) in the City of Richmond. The deadline to apply is March 31. More information about the program is located here.
Sorensen Institute’s High School Leaders Program
The University of Virginia is now accepting applications for its Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program (HSLP). Participants learn about how Virginia government—both local and state—functions, how public policy is shaped and debated, and how to develop professional skills, pitch stories to the media, effectively address audiences, collaborate with others, and lobby legislators.
The 2022 HSLP will be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from Saturday, July 9, through Saturday, July 23. Additional information about the program and the application process is here. The deadline to apply is March 22.
Connecting With My Office - Update
My staff and I will be out of the office on Friday, March 18, and return on Monday, March 21. We will respond to all emails and phone calls once we return.
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 email@example.com.