Spring has sprung! Sunday, March 20, marked the official start of the Spring season. I hope you have found time to enjoy the outdoors during some of our recent, sunny days. We’ve got an upcoming town hall, some further legislative updates, and more upcoming events and opportunities to get involved in across SD-10. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and staying informed.
Higher Education Virtual Town Hall
I will be hosting a virtual Town Hall focused on higher education in Virginia next Tuesday, March 29, with Dr. Ted Raspiller, President of John Tyler Community College (JTCC), and Peter Blake, Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
Dr. Ted Raspiller is the seventh president of JTCC. He has over three decades of experience in higher education, both in and outside of the Commonwealth. Prior to joining JTCC administration, he served as President of the Brazos County Campuses at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. Dr. Raspiller also previously directed the Community College Leadership doctoral program at Old Dominion University. Peter Blake has been the Director of SCHEV since 2012. Prior to his work at SCHEV, he served as Deputy Secretary of Education, then Secretary of Education, and as the Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development Services for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
We will discuss workforce development, emerging trends in higher education, 2022 legislation that impacts higher education, and the stresses that the pandemic has placed on our education systems. We will also invite questions at the conclusion of the program. This event is open to the public; register here. We look forward to having you join us.
Highlighted Legislation of the 2022 Session
As we continue to wrap up the work of the 2022 Session, I’d like to highlight some of the legislation that passed out of both Chambers. All bills listed below have been signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, but still must be signed by the Governor to become law. A comprehensive list of all of the bills that passed this session is available here.
SB 68/HB 979: Permits the Board of Education to provide a provisional license to any individual who has held, within the last five years, a license or certification to teach that was issued by an entity outside of the United States. This legislation seeks to address the crisis of teacher shortages that we face in many localities.
HB 583: Requires each school board to adopt policies that prohibit denying a student the opportunity to participate in extracurricular school activities because of a school meal debt.
SB 537: Prioritizes on-site tree preservation and replanting during the development processes in localities, allowing localities to adopt ordinances related to tree conservation.
HB 1309: Creates the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund for government and private property owners to plan for and mitigate flood events.
HB 891: Removes the term "alien" as it pertains to persons who are not citizens or United States nationals, and replaces it with synonymous language, as appropriate, throughout the Code of Virginia.
HB1063: Clarifies that the term “religion," as it relates to freedom of expression, includes any outward expression of religious faith in contexts where discrimination on the basis of religion is prohibited.
HB 481: Requires every hospital to make information about standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital available on the hospital's website by July 1, 2023.
HB 537: Provides that the statute of limitations for an action on any contract for health care services is limited to three years.
SB 14: Directs the Board of Pharmacy to convene a work group of interested stakeholders to evaluate any challenges and barriers to participation in the prescription drug donation program.
Public Health & Safety
HB 258: Directs the Department of Criminal Justice Services to develop an online course to train hotel proprietors and their employees to recognize and report instances of suspected human trafficking.
SB 439/HB 525: Also known as Adam’s Law and named for Adam Oakes, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who tragically died as the result of fraternity hazing, establishes mandates to prevent hazing at public and private institutions of higher education.
HB 1178: Directs the Department of Labor and Industry to disseminate information regarding seizure first aid to all employers in the Commonwealth and requires all employers of 25 or more employees to physically post this information in a prominent location in the workplace.
SB 446/HB 445: Directs the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a stakeholder advisory group on expanding broadband service in new residential and commercial developments.
SB 724: Requires each school board in the Commonwealth to submit an annual report to the Virginia Department of Education and to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development listing the 9-1-1 address for each student who does not have broadband access
This summer, ART 180 is hosting their seven-week Edward Dean Robinson Artist Residency. Nine sophomore and junior students of color from Richmond Public Schools will have the opportunity to grow their artistic talents under the mentorship of a professional artist, use studio space, and grow their artistic portfolio all while earning a $1350 stipend. The deadline to apply is May 1.
Program participants will have the opportunity to tour county facilities, meet with government and school officials, and learn about how to obtain information and resources related to county services. Sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 9:30AM until to 2:30PM, beginning April 26 and continue through December 20. Sessions will not be held in July and August.
More information about the program is available here. Applications are due March 25.
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.
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: