Check back often for new Legislative Updates and watch videos from Del. Price during Session here bit.ly/DelPriceYouTubeVideos
Legislative Update #5 - 1/31/20
Today completes about 3 1/2 weeks of the 2020 Session and we are fast approaching Crossover. That's the glorious day most of us await when the House bills that passed go over to the Senate and the Senate bills that passed come over to the House! Next week is the last push to get through our committee dockets. Buckle up, there will be some long sessions and committee meetings! Here's a legislative update from today:
1.) HB 422 passed out of Public Safety full committee to help fund community assessments for Youth and Gang Violence Prevention in six localities. It heads to the floor now! Check out more on this with 13 News Now: https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/politics/new-bill-aims-to-prevent-youth-and-gang-violence/291-a37765eb-3ed0-48b0-9002-436dc5e3d3a7?fbclid=IwAR2lrlmdRmYvA4u1dFUja-DFRO_IqEb0X4ZHS9rPRDpERs6iXuzgg432h28
(We ended up getting $150,000 in the introduced budget so in Committee, we added Portsmouth to the list too!)
2.) HB 340 was engrossed and passed on to its third reading and the vote will take place Monday. It will help federal workers who live in VA in the case of a governmental shutdown try to avoid being evicted. WUSA in DC called to talk about the bill today, read more: https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/virginia/government-shutdown-virginia-bill-protect-federal-workers/65-dfd90891-ee5f-49ab-b833-b2971bc29817?fbclid=IwAR3Vs86b-WfO-Ber_DTZnlV_a83I4AWQU_2aODrxgLr9Wol4kUpQTN5XJJw
(With amendments, tenants would have 60 days continuance.)
3.) ICYMI from yesterday: After five years of introducing legislation to help localities have more power to keep their communities safe, HB421 passed the House! We will continue the conversation with the Senate and make sure local leaders can do more to help prevent gun violence in their communities. See more from WTKR: Next steps in Virginia gun debate: https://wtkr.com/2020/01/31/gun-debate-in-richmond-will-head-back-to-local-governments-analyst-predicts/?fbclid=IwAR1TcKjWzCSNixlTVLV7Xmq-CeUYtPm8laiCC9E1pApjBkOpJSqYYKLXL0Y
4.) The remainder of my bills will be heard between Monday and Tuesday in their subcommittees and I'll be going before the Appropriations subcommittees to discuss the bills that passed but have a fiscal impact (cost the state money). So next week will be a beast!
5.) I'm still working hard toward #Redistricting reform and look forward to having continued conversations on ways to get fair and community-based maps, while also protecting the voting rights #ForAllOfUs
6.) Voting Rights Advocate and lead plaintiff in the 2017 Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections case, Golden Bethune-Hill herself has weighed in on #redistricting - Take a look: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/01/30/with-redistricting-reform-we-can-be-stewards-of-our-own-communities/?fbclid=IwAR1qepjMj0oMFdCN7jTfvd1KUZUkgZdN2JblS-f_0riNeLCPPNqd5Szw2a4
Legislative Update #4 - 1/30/20
It has been a LONG day. Session Update:
1.) I gave my first subcommittee report as Chair of the Behavioral Health SubCom of HWI. We recommended reporting some really good bills and I'm proud of the work we are doing!
2.) I met with members of the Peninsula Agency on Aging this morning and discussed issues they face in navigating getting older, healthcare needs, and affordable housing.
3.) HB 421 passed the House! It will now head over to the Senate where we will continue the conversation on helping allow localities to do all they can to keep residents safe from gun violence!
4.) HB 336 & 337 on wage theft passed out of full Labor & Commerce Committee!
5.) I struck HB423 from docket & will work to find funding in the interim for the Gun Violence Survivor's Assistance Fund.
6.) HB422 passed out of the Public Safety Subcom and heads to full com in AM. It will help fund community assessments for 6 cities on violence prevention.
Here's where you can go track bills that are of interest to you and see what the last action taken was:
You can look up all the bills that have passed the House and the Senate thus far to get an idea of what we will be hearing after #Crossover
Legislative Update #3 - 1/24/20
Legislative Update! This week has been quite eventful. Today, in the #PublicSafety Committee, HB420 was reported out and referred to the Appropriations Committee because it would have a fiscal impact on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. It will be heard by the Transportation/Public Safety subcommittee.
HB420: Creates a plan for state and local emergency preparedness resources to be made available and accessible to those with limited English proficiency. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB420
Also this morning, HB421 was reported out of the full committee and heads to the House floor. This bill is a part of the Governor's #GunViolencePrevention package of bills. This is the 5th year that I have introduced legislation like it and it was a great feeling to see it get one step closer to becoming law to enable localities to better keep their residents safe.
HB421: Removes the ban on localities preventing them from establishing ordinances regulating firearms. Allows for localities to destroy guns received at gun buy-back programs if the person giving the gun requests it. It also allows localities to sue gun manufacturers should it be appropriate. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB421
This afternoon, the Rules Committee voted on House Joint Resolution 111 and it passed and heads to the House floor. There was a teachable moment in the discussion about this resolution as we seek to understand each others' lived experiences. Thank you to those who have reached out with encouragement! Education is key... I remain determined to excavate and honestly discuss areas where structural racism impacts the ability of all Virginians to thrive.
HJ111: Establishes July as #MaternalHealth Month in order to raise awareness about the issues of #MaternalMortality and infant mortality as we work toward healthier outcomes for Virginia families. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HJ111
Legislative Update #2 - 1/23/20
Legislative update #2: Today was action packed. I had floor votes in session, three bills to present, General Laws full committee, and Housing/Consumer Protections subcommittee meeting. Here are some updates:
1.) HB340 will be heard today by the General Laws Housing and Consumer Protection Subcommittee again and would help federal employees who live in VA during times of #GovernmentShutdown prevent #evictions. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB340
UPDATE: HB340 passed out of the subcommittee and heads to the full committee next week!
2) Also being heard today is HB645 which would help patients with #diabetes access #insulin and treatment associated with the disease. This bill goes before Subcommittee #2 of the Labor & Commerce Committee today. You can track that here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB645
UPDATE: HB645 was not moved forward today but was sent to the Health Insurance Review Committee to be studied. So the conversation is not over. I will continue to fight for ways to make insulin, #diabetes treatment, and supplies more affordable and accessible!
3) Lastly for today, the Public Safety subcommittee will hear HB420 which would help create a plan for local and state emergency officials to ensure that communication about emergencies is accessible for people with limited English proficiency. Currently, there is a federal mandate for FEMA to provide this but not on the state or local level. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB420
UPDATE: HB420 passed out of the public safety subcom and would help create a plan for state and local emergency preparedness programs and resources to be made available and accessible to residents with limited English proficiency. It heads to full committee!
Legislative Update #1 - 1/23/20
1) HB277 would allow community service performed during incarceration to count towards paying off fees and fines. Right now only community service performed before and after incarceration counts. I am working on this with Newport News Sheriff Gabriel Morgan Sr. This bill passed from the full Courts committee! It now heads to the House floor! Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201&typ=bil&val=hb277
2) HB10 with Delegate Marcus B. Simon for the #StudentLoan Borrowers' Bill of Rights passed from the full Labor & Commerce committee! It now heads to the House floor. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=201&typ=bil&val=hb10
3) HB340 will be heard today by the General Laws Housing and Consumer Protection Subcommittee again and would help federal employees who live in VA during times of #GovernmentShutdown prevent #evictions. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB340
4) Also being heard today is HB645 which would help patients with #diabetes access #insulin and treatment associated with the disease. This bill goes before Subcommittee #2 of the Labor & Commerce Committee today. You can track that here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB645
5) Lastly for today, the Public Safety subcommittee will hear HB420 which would help create a plan for local and state emergency officials to ensure that communication about emergencies is accessible for people with limited English proficiency. Currently, there is a federal mandate for FEMA to provide this but not on the state or local level. Track it here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB420
2020 General Assembly Session Information
The 2020 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Session begins at noon on January 8, 2020. Here are some tips that I offer to help you navigate the systems and stay engaged. If you have any questions, please contact us!
- Members – There are 100 members of the House of Delegates. Find a full list here and click on their names to learn more http://bit.ly/2020VAHouseMembers The map of Virginia is split into 100 districts with about 83,000 people in each and we represent those constituents when we come to Richmond for Session. I represent the 95th District (mostly in Newport News but a small part of Hampton). Click here and type in your address to see who represents you: https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/
- Session – when all 100 Delegates and 40 Senators come to Richmond and meet at the Capitol to present, discuss, and vote on legislation including the budget and judicial appointments. In even numbered years like 2020, we meet for “long session” which is 60 calendar days. We then come back in April for Reconvened Session when we finalize actions on legislation from the regular session.
- Process - We meet in subcommittees and committees for the major parts of the discussion on legislation. THIS IS WHERE PUBLIC COMMENTS CAN BE MADE. Once a bill passes from subcom and then full committee, it goes to “the floor” meaning it goes to the full House for a vote by all 100 delegates. Here’s a refresher on how a bill becomes a law. https://bit.ly/2QweCc2 I’ll update on Committee structure and meetings once we have more info. Stay tuned for that part. But remember, House sub/committee meetings are the chance for residents to make public comments about bills.
- Delegates have until 10am on the 8th to introduce pre-filed legislation but we have until January 17th to introduce up to 5 more bills. You can view all bills and resolutions as they are introduced at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+men+BIL – you can look them up by member, topic, actions taken, or a full list of all.
- Here’s where you can keep track of the bills I am introducing: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+mbr+H284C
- Starting Jan 8th, the full House meets every Monday-Friday at noon until we adjourn in March. You can watch live or archived videos here: http://bit.ly/VAHouseFloorVideo
- Planning to come visit during Session? You should! And be sure to schedule a tour! If you need help planning your trip, contact your legislator’s office. Here are some tips for visiting https://bit.ly/2ZXxl3l
- Due to the nature of some of the issues to be discussed this session, please expect long lines and crowds. The Capitol Police, VA State Police, and Richmond Police Dept are working hard to keep everyone safe as we go about the business of the legislature. I’ll update you with more tips on visiting soon.
- Communicating with legislators is how you make your voice heard – THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. We need to hear from you on proposed bills, your support or opposition. This is where I want to help facilitate better communications.
- It is really important that you communicate during session about specific bill language.Philosophical conversations help us see your general perspective but do not communicate what you want to see your representative do for votes. See above tweet about looking at the bills.
- When reading bills remember:
Regular font = what the law already says, how it is now
Italics font = what the bill would add to the code of VA
Strike through (has a line through the words) = what the bill would remove from the code of VA. We often get emails that are addressing the regular font of the code section but that is current law and is not a part of the bill’s proposed changes. If you want to see changes to those words, you should contact the sponsor to suggest an amendment to the bill or get with your legislator after session for a bill for 2021.
- There are issues that can create high emotions. If you find yourself upset, walk away from the computer/phone/pen and breathe. Then come back to it to finish the communication. Please Note: Threats will be reported to law enforcement swiftly.
- Email – In your email introduce yourself, state the current issue or situation that needs to be addressed, offer your personal context/story (why is this important to you?), explain why you support or oppose the specific bill (use bill numbers!), and include your address so we know you are a constituent. For me, email is best for schedule requests and invites. Form emails are received but often it’s not as impactful as your writing your own message.
- Phone – During Session members often are not available by phone. When you call, our Administrative Assistant usually answers first. They will take a message or forward your call to our office staff. Remember courteous communication gets you further.
- Letters – Use the member’s Richmond address for written communication during session. We don’t get our district mail until the weekends. Be sure to include the current issue or situation needing to be addressed, add your personal story, state why you support or oppose the specific bill using the specific bill number, and make sure to include your return address.
- Social Media – This one is different for each member. For me, I don’t use messenger or social media (comments, event invites, etc) for official business.Please use other modes listed for scheduling requests and input on legislation to make sure we receive them!
- Session meetings – You can come visit us during session in Richmond at the Pocahontas Building. Things to remember: meetings are short, so get to the point quickly. Don’t be offended if the legislator isn’t there – you can speak to their aide. Leave an info sheet if you can.
- Public Comment – You can let us know your thoughts by speaking at sub/committee meetings. Here are some tips for testifying during a meeting. https://bit.ly/39RyLRh Remember that meetings are live-streamed and public.
- District meetings – Some members will have office hours on the weekends in order to meet with constituents in the district. You should contact the office to see if that’s possible for where you are.
- Video chat – If you can’t make it to Richmond but want to have a face-to-face conversation, you can ask if the member does video chats. I use Zoom and we schedule these meetings based on my availability. You can also do this with classrooms to meet with students 😊
- Here are a few more resource links:
Budget Items https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/
Virginia Constitution https://law.lis.virginia.gov/constitution/
- This list is by no means exhaustive and is from my perspective from my experience over the last four years in the House. I hope this helps you find a way to be and stay engaged because legislators really need to hear from constituents as we make these important decisions.
95th District 2020 Legislative Survey - You can take the survey here: