We are now in the heart of the 2012 General Assembly Session. With bills now moving from committee to the House floor, we are working hard considering bills filed by our colleagues and advancing legislation we have introduced.
Improving Care for the Intellectually Disabled
This week, Virginia moved 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. ID waivers fund 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.
For more on the topic, visit: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1103
House Republicans Unveil K-12 Education Reform Measures
House Republicans, working with Governor McDonnell, are committed to giving every child in the Commonwealth the opportunity to receive a top-quality education. On Monday, the House Republican Caucus held a press conference where we highlighted our K-12 education reforms designed to improve education in Virginia. One reform would permit businesses to sponsor educational improvement scholarships for lower income children – particularly those in underserved areas of the Commonwealth. Another reform would allow any institution of higher education in Virginia to operate a college partnership laboratory school. The last reform would replace current teacher contracts with performance-based contracts. These and other announced reforms, along with Governor McDonnell’s proposed investment of an additional $492 million in our schools, will give our teachers the additional resources and tools needed to provide the top-quality education our children deserve and ensure the solvency of the teacher retirement fund.
Below is a link to provide more info on the topic: http://www.vahousegop.com/2012/01/house-republican-caucus-unveils-k-12-public-education-agenda-for-the-2012-session/
Progress of my bills
Last week, three of my bills passed on the house floor and will now move over to the Senate for consideration. They are as follows:
HB 34 – Advertising within highway limits. Allows the Commissioner of Highways to enter into agreements with any local governing body authorizing local law-enforcement agencies or other local governmental entities to act as agents of the Commissioner regarding unlawful advertising on highways and collection of penalties and costs.
This bill passed unanimously in the House on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Now it will be reviewed by the Senate!
HB 896- Alcoholic beverage control; operation of government stores. Removes the current limitations on the operation of government stores on Sunday and authorizes the ABC Board to determine which such stores shall be open on Sunday and their hours of operation.
This bill passed the House with a vote of 69 in favor and 29 against.
HB 897– Virginia Child Protection Accountability System. Requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to report information about sentences imposed in cases involving certain criminal violations and requires each circuit court, general district court, juvenile and domestic relations district court, and magistrate to report information about petitions for emergency and preliminary removal and protective orders filed with the court to the Virginia Child Protection Accountability System.
This bill passed unanimously in the House on Thursday, January 26, 2012.
If you’d like to see all of the bills that I introduced this session, please visit my website www.davealbo.org and click on the icon “Link to Dave’s Bills”.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me while I’m in Richmond. You can reach me at our office number, (804) 698-1042, or at my house email, firstname.lastname@example.org.