We are now in the heart of the 2012 General Assembly Session. Between subcommittee and committee meetings to House floor sessions, we are working hard considering bills filed by our colleagues and advancing legislation we have introduced. It sometimes makes for a breakneck pace, and it can occasionally be challenging just to keep on track.
Telephone Town Hall
On Monday, January 23rd, I hosted a telephone town hall and was able to connect with over 11,000 households across the 98th District. The participants on the call asked great questions ranging from Sunday Hunting to Ballot Access Requirement. Through the use of the polling feature, I was able to get feedback on a number of bills I will likely be voting on later in the Session. I would like to publicly thank everyone who participated and hope that you will be able to join us for our next telephone town hall that will be held in mid March.
Improving Care for the Intellectually Disabled
This week, Virginia took a big step forward to improve the care for some of our most vulnerable citizens, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
On Thursday, Governor McDonnell announced that Virginia will move forward with the transition to community-based care by adding 4,710 new Intellectual Disability (ID) waiver slots and closing four of the five training centers around the state. This is long-overdue news for many families across the Commonwealth who are waiting for an ID waiver. An ID waiver funds services to help individuals with an intellectual disability remain in the community and avoid institutional care. Since 2002, the General Assembly has increased the number of ID waiver slots by about 58 percent, from about 5,386 slots to 8,467 slots currently. Last year, Virginia invested $30 million into a trust fund to begin the process of transitioning those with intellectual disabilities from institutional care to community-based care.
The Governor’s announcement came as Virginia reached a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice regarding Virginia’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 1999 Supreme Court decision in the Olmstead case
Golf Carts for Town of Urbanna
I introduced HB-119 which would allow golf carts to be used in the town of Urbanna. Click here for video from floor of House – Video of HB-119 – Golf Carts for the Town of Urbanna
On Wednesday, we had visitors from Rappahannock Community College – click here for video – Video of Floor annoucement
Links of Interest
House Republicans Caucus Unveils K-12 Public Education Agenda for the 2012 Session
Private Sector Innovation Wanted for Transportation Operations Centers
Governor McDonnell Announces “Governor’s Bowl” Food and Fund Drive
Governor McDonnell Announces 31 New Jobs in King and Queen County
Governor McDonnell Announces Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Virginia’s Intellectual and Developmental Disability System
Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on News that the President will Request Congress Authorize Use of BRAC Process to Identify Savings
As always, my staff and I are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there’s anything we can do to help you in dealing with a state government agency. My office can be reached at (804) 698-1098 or via the Internet at email me. If you are planning to visit Richmond during Session, I encourage you to visit me in Room 821.
Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.