Access to Affordable Healthcare
Maternity care patients; adds information about perinatal anxiety (HB 2613)
Co-Patron - This bill adds information about perinatal anxiety to the types of information which each licensed nurse midwife, licensed midwife, or hospital providing maternity care must provide to each maternity patient and, if present, the father of the infant and other relevant family members or caretakers. Every expectant mother deserves to receive the absolute best care possible, and this piece of legislation aims to do so.
Naloxone; expands list of individuals who may dispense (HB 2158)
Co-Patron - Our region is continually expanding resources to address the opioid epidemic in our community, but more needs to be done at the legislative level. Along with my colleagues I was happy to champion HB 2158, expanding the list of individuals who may dispense Naloxone, a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. I am happy to report that the Governor has signed the bill and it is effective July 1, 2019. Progress was made and we must continue to fight for the necessary resources to combat this crisis.
Equality in the Commonwealth
Rules of the House of Delegates; consideration of SJR ratifying an amendment to U.S. Constitution (HR 274)
Chief Patron - The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a provision that would guarantee women protection under the law. Congress initially passed the ERA in 1972, and Virginia is the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. This session I proposed a rules change that would bring the bi-partisan Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) resolution from the Senate to a full House floor vote. This was an extraordinary measure for an extraordinary situation. The Equal Rights Amendment is a bipartisan issue, with the support of over 80% of Virginians, and it is far past time for our voices to be heard.
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Equity in Education
College and Career Readiness Steering Committee; Secretary of Education to establish (HB 2520)
Chief Patron - We must prepare our students to enter the workforce. I introduced this bill to establish a College and Career Readiness Steering Committee to develop and oversee implementation of a strategic plan for ensuring that all students in the Commonwealth, particularly subgroups who historically have been underserved, graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. I was not deterred when my bill was stalled in Committee, and instead I am now working with the Department of Education to report on progress the Commonwealth has made (to date) on school equity.
Establishes STEAM Education Fund (HB 2780)
Chief Patron - It is increasingly important that our children have the opportunity to excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). These young people eventually become adults who can enter the workforce with a strong understanding of skillsets in STEAM. I brought a bill to the House, and was proud to have high school students testify on behalf of it, to create a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) Education Fund.
Free public elementary and secondary education; eligibility criteria (HB 2297)
Chief Co-Patron – A proud graduate of Prince William County public schools, and the mother of two Prince William County public school graduates, I know the importance of access to a free public education. I signed on as Chief Co-Patron to Delegate Simon’s bill (HB 2297) to ensure that every person of school age be deemed to reside in a school division for the purpose of eligibility for free public elementary and secondary education.
School Breakfast Program/National School Lunch Program; school boards to determine eligibility (HB 2400)
Chief Co-Patron - Access to basic nutrition should never be a barrier to getting a good education. Therefore, we should make it easier, not harder, for families to apply for free or reduced school meals. Working with Delegate Roem to champion HB 2400 and its passage in the House was a great first step in the right direction, providing both a web-based and paper application process making it easier for families to access this information.
School safety procedures; emergency situations, annual training (HB 1732)
Co-Patron – No child or educator should enter a school in fear for their own safety. I co-patroned this bill to require each school board develop training on safety procedures in the event of an emergency situation on school property. The bill requires such training to be delivered to each student and employee in each school at least once each school year.
Virginia Retirement System; part-time public-school teachers, report (HJ 679)
Chief Patron - I carried HJ 679, requesting the Virginia Retirement System to study the impact of permitting part-time public-school teachers to participate in a retirement plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System. Health care credit and eligibility would help establish economic policies that incent teachers to return to the profession. Especially if there are currently licensed teachers who would return to the profession part-time if they were eligible for VRS benefits. Our children are our future, and we should always do our best to recruit and retain the very best educators for our communities.
Fighting for families
Kinship foster care; notice to relatives (HB 2758)
Chief Co-Patron – The proud mom of an adopted daughter, I sponsored this bill to ensure that next of kin are notified when a child is going to be placed in foster care, so they can be aware of opportunities to take over guardianship.