Hi Everybody. I'm just going to give it a couple of minutes for people to get onboard.
We'll go ahead and get started. So good afternoon. I hope you're having a nice Sunday. I wanted to reach out after Reconvene, since we've closed out the session and give you maybe just a reasonable synopsis of what happened and kind of how it played out. I'm going to start by going over my bills and we've got open schools, obviously.Thank you. First of all, to everybody for all of your help. The governor signed that bill and he did not amend it, which is good and bad. I would have liked him to add an emergency clause. I still have parents by the dozens reaching out to me, telling me that they didn't get a chance to re- select in person education from a survey that was taken last fall when things were very different. I have other parents that are saying their kids are doing remote learning in the classroom with a Proctor. We still have several school divisions that don't really have any in-person. But what that bill is going to do is give us a starting point for you to have standing in the eyes of the law if the state and your school division does not open up schools. I noticed to my surprise Fairfax County. I saw an article the other day that Fairfax is going to open their summer school five days a week. So July 1st will make a difference. In some cases Fairfax has been one of the most challenging counties in Virginia with opening schools. So that is in play and look for updates on that. We hope to be able to find a way, we may be working with another organization, but find a way to bring in some lawyers to give you an idea of what your legal standing is. Because the other thing I'm hearing from parents is that many school divisions are saying that law really doesn't mean five days a week and be assured it does. So we may need to be ready to act because sometimes you change law by legislating, and sometimes you change law by seeking advice from the court.
So we'll look at that.
Other things. Of course the vaccination administration bill was signed early during the legislative process and that has been put into action. I myself have signed up and volunteered. You can too, you don't have to be a clinical person. You can volunteer for crowd control, but we are doing much better on vaccinations, now that we have a workforce. They still need more. So we need to inspire more people to volunteer, but we are really chipping away at getting those vaccinations done. I have reports that I've seen that say 70% in some of the highest risk groups. And then we need to start having conversations about why it's safe and wise to get the vaccine, because some people had the opportunity to get and have chosen not to, and so hopefully with education and inspiration, we can cover that.
Other things. There are a few bills of mine that the governor did not sign. I don't understand that strategy, but they became law anyway, because they were passed by both houses and he didn't veto them. And those are important things. That is the reconstruction of special education in Virginia. And we were able to do an incredibly comprehensive pairing of bills and budget amendments to make sure every child in Virginia can succeed. And if they have a challenge to that success, we can give them the services and provide them the additional support they need so that they can learn. There's so many things that interfere with learning and we want to make sure all of our kids have a chance to learn, because again, education is the ticket to the American dream.
We have outdoor refreshment areas. That's where a place like Scott's Addition or out in s]Short Pump, they can actually create an outdoor area where you can wander, buy a drink to-go, see a band and kind of have a community outdoor event. I think we recognized during COVID that being outdoors was both a safer way to interact, but also too, people liked it. So this bill will give localities the opportunity to develop guidelines that are approved by ABC, so that they're safe, and just give us a little bit of a different business opportunity for some of our small businesses and restaurants, etcetera.