July 1 Legislative Update

During the 2020 legislative session, we saw over 3,600 pieces of legislation introduced between the House of Delegates and the Senate. I personally introduced 22 bills, 4 joint resolutions, and 8 resolutions. I am proud to say that regardless of full Democrat control, 10 of my bills, 3 of my joint resolutions, and 7 of my resolutions passed both houses and were signed by the Governor.

A lot of legislation passed quickly through committee meetings along party lines without careful, cautious deliberation and debate. When it came time for me to vote on legislation that was not good for Virginia, I built consensus and killed everything I could. I amended anything I couldn't kill. And, I spoke out against anything that I couldn't amend or kill.

I was very pleased that several programs that I initiated with previous legislation over the past five years were expanded because of the ongoing strong support for the program. Those include the Perinatal Quality Collaborative, Literacy Lab and school behaviorists.

July 1 is when new laws take effect in Virginia. Here is a breakdown of new laws including my legislation and my concerns for Virginia as we move forward.

Legislative Successes

SB 1026/HB 1506 | After this bill passed out of the Senate with the support of 38 of 40 senators, this bill was killed for political reasons in a House committee on a party line vote. I was able to amend the house version of the bill HB1506 to reflect my priorities. Never giving up is an important part of legislative success.

SB 185 | This is an expansion on the past work to allow patient access to CBD and THC-A. SB185 will allow nursing homes and assisted living facility staff members to dispense medical cannabis to residents that have a valid certification and registration.

SB 186 | This bill enables children with intellectual or developmental disabilities to access age and developmentally appropriate family life education.

SB 365 | SB365 reforms the current credentialing process for health care providers. It’s one simple way we can adapt the system to be more efficient, cut costs and improve access to care.