Category Archives: 2017 Session

Opioid Overdoses in Fairfax County

Over the past ten years, overdoses from opioids have almost doubled in Fairfax County. There were a total of 103 fatal overdoses in 2016 alone. Opioid addiction is becoming a large issue for the state of Virginia and Fairfax County, and our House of Delegates has been working hard to try and combat this problem. My fellow Delegates and I have passed many new bills which will hopefully mend some of the problems with opioids. Two House Bills, HB 1453 and HB 1750, made naloxone, an emergency anti-opioid drug, more available for treatment uses. In addition, HB 2165 has created a system for prescribing all opioids electronically by 2020 which will hopefully cut down on drug abuse rates. Finally, in an effort to reduce spread of diseases transmitted by sharing needles, HB 2317 legalized syringe access programs. Virginia will continue to work towards eradicating this debilitating drug addiction.

New Criminal & Public Safety Laws

As of July 1, 2017, there are many new laws pertaining to rulings on Driving under the Influence and Driver’s Licenses, and it is important that everyone is informed about these changes. These laws provide more clarity on revocation or suspension of licenses including period of suspension and uses, punishments for repeated DUI’s, changes to refusal of blood or breath tests under implied consent, and alternative to loss of license with first time marijuana convictions

H.B.1525

Patron: Albo

Revocation or suspension of driver’s licenses; laws of other jurisdictions. If somebody is convicted of an offense which would cause their license to be immediately suspended or revoked, but they’re in a different jurisdiction, then the Commissioner of the DMV will make a decision based off of the other jurisdiction’s laws. This law also creates a process for anyone whose license was administratively revoked before July 1, 2017 to request a review of their revocation or suspension.  Provides that the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles is limited to reviewing the text of another jurisdiction’s law when determining whether a person’s driver’s license should be administratively revoked or suspended as a result of such person’s conviction in the other jurisdiction for an offense substantially similar to an offense under the law of the Commonwealth that requires revocation or suspension of a person’s driver’s license. The bill also provides that if the Commissioner cannot reasonably determine from the text of the other jurisdiction’s law whether such law is substantially similar to the law of the Commonwealth, the Commissioner may, if available, review a certified copy of the final order of the person’s conviction in the other jurisdiction. The bill also establishes a process for any person whose driver’s license was administratively revoked or suspended prior to July 1, 2017, on the basis of a conviction in another jurisdiction to request a review of such revocation or suspension. The provisions of the act do not apply to any disqualification of eligibility to operate a commercial motor vehicle imposed by the Commissioner pursuant to the Virginia Commercial Driver’s License Act.

H.B. 1622

Patron: Collins

Driving commercial vehicle while intoxicated; penalties. This law makes the penalties for DUI and commercial DUI the same while also increasing the minimum sentencing for repeated offenses or offenses committed while transporting minors. Harmonizes the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) and commercial DUI. The bill imposes a $250 mandatory minimum fine for a first offense of commercial DUI and mandatory minimum sentences of five days if the person’s blood alcohol level was at least 0.15 and 10 days if the person’s blood alcohol level was more than 0.20. The bill increases from five to 20 days the mandatory minimum sentence for a second offense committed within five years, adds a 10-day mandatory minimum sentence for a second offense committed within five to 10 years, and imposes a $500 mandatory minimum fine for any second offense committed within a 10-year period. The bill also imposes additional mandatory minimum sentences for a second offense committed within 10 years of 10 days if the person’s blood alcohol level was at least 0.15 and 20 days if the person’s blood alcohol level was more than 0.20 as well as an additional $500 mandatory minimum fine. The bill raises the penalty for a third offense committed within 10 years from a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days, or 30 days if the three offenses were committed within five years, to a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days, or six months if the three offenses were committed within five years, and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000. The bill adds a penalty for a fourth or subsequent offense committed within a 10-year period that includes a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000. The bill also provides that a person convicted of commercial DUI after being convicted of certain felony DUI or DUI-related offenses is guilty of a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000. The bill also provides that the punishment for any person convicted of commercial DUI who was transporting a minor at the time of the offense shall include an additional mandatory minimum sentence of five days and an additional fine of at least $500 and no more than $1,000. Finally, the bill provides that the mandatory minimum punishments are cumulative and mandatory minimum sentences must be served consecutively.

H.B. 2051

Patron: Adams                                                         

Driver’s license; marijuana possession. Previously, first time offenders for possession of marijuana could go through steps to have their case dismissed as long as they had no further infractions for the next year, took a drug education class, and had their license suspended for 6 months. Instead of having their license suspended, this law allows them to perform 50 hours of community service as an alternative. Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver’s license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The bill provides that a court retains the discretion to suspend or revoke the driver’s license of a person placed on deferred disposition for simple possession of marijuana and must suspend or revoke for six months the driver’s license of such person who was operating a motor vehicle at the time of the offense. The bill also requires that such a person whose driver’s license is not suspended or revoked perform 50 hours of community service in addition to any community service ordered as part of the deferred disposition. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill.

This bill is identical to S.B. 1091 Patron: Ebbin, Stanley

H.B. 2231

Patron: Miller

Ignition interlock; duration; installation. This law clarifies that the number of days where someone is required to have an ignition interlock is calculated from the day the court issues him a restricted license, and this count is paused between expiration of the court issued license and the issuance of a new license by the DMV. Provides that the period of time during which a person is (i) prohibited from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system or (ii) required to have an ignition interlock system installed on each motor vehicle owned by or registered to him is calculated from the date the court issues him a restricted license. The bill further provides that this period of time is tolled upon the expiration of the restricted license issued by the court until such time as the person is issued a restricted license by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

H.B. 2327

Patron: Collins

DUI; implied consent; refusal of blood or breath tests. With this bill, there are no longer any criminal penalties if you wish to refuse a blood test for alcohol of drugs, but a breath test is still required especially for repeat offenders as it is now a Class 1 misdemeanor to refuse a breath test within 10 years of a prior offense. In addition, the bill states that the court will now assume that people who have consumed alcohol are aware that alcohol impairs their ability to operate a vehicle. Eliminates the criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a blood test to determine the alcohol or drug content of a defendant’s blood upon arrest for a DUI-related offense under the law on implied consent. The bill also increases to a Class 1 misdemeanor the criminal penalty for refusing to submit to a breath test under the law on implied consent for an offense committed within 10 years of a prior offense of refusal or of another DUI-related offense. The bill also extends to blood tests performed by the Department of Forensic Science pursuant to a search warrant the rebuttable presumption that a person is intoxicated based on the person’s blood alcohol level demonstrated by such tests. The bill also provides that an application for a search warrant to perform a blood test on a person suspected of committing a DUI-related offense shall be given priority over other matters pending before the judge or magistrate. Finally, the bill establishes a rebuttable presumption applicable in a civil case for punitive damages for injuries caused by an intoxicated driver that a person who has consumed alcohol knew or should have known that his ability to drive was or would be impaired by such consumption. This bill is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016). The bill contains an emergency clause.

H.B. 2467

Patron: Bell, Robert B.

Driving on a suspended or revoked license; period of suspension. This law clarifies that the additional suspension period for driving on a suspended license will run at the same time as the current suspension period. Provides that any driver’s license suspension imposed upon a person for the failure to pay court-ordered fines and costs shall run concurrently with any other period of license suspension, revocation, or forfeiture imposed upon such person. The bill also provides that in the event that a person whose license has been suspended for the failure to pay court-ordered fines and costs is convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license, the additional period of license suspension imposed as a result of that conviction runs concurrently with the underlying suspension for the failure to pay court-ordered fines and costs. Under current law, such additional suspension period does not commence until the expiration of the previous suspension or revocation.

S.B. 817

Patron: Surovell

Restricted driver’s license; purposes. Adds travel to and from a job interview to the list of purposes for the issuance of a restricted driver’s license. The bill provides that a person issued a restricted driver’s license for this purpose is required to maintain on his person written proof from the prospective employer of the date, time, and location of the job interview.

Crime

Since July 1st, 2017, there have been new laws enacted which either alter and redefine punishments for pre-existing laws or make new actions illegal. These laws have a wide variety, ranging from malicious activation of fire alarms to computer trespassing. In order to make sure everyone is staying up to date, I’ve provided a full list of the new laws with explanations below.

H.B. 1404

Patron: Cole                                                             

Activation of fire alarms; reimbursement of expenses; penalty. If a person activates a fire alarm maliciously and not for an emergency they will be prosecuted and fined. Removes the condition that a building must be for public use in order for the Class 1 misdemeanor for maliciously activating a building’s fire alarm to apply. The bill authorizes any locality to provide by ordinance that a person convicted of maliciously activating a fire alarm shall be liable for the reasonable expense in responding to such a fire alarm. Current law allows such an ordinance to impose liability for the reasonable expense of an emergency response to an imitation version of a weapon of terrorism, fire bomb, other explosive device, bomb threat, or incitement of a bomb threat. The bill increases the maximum amount that a locality or volunteer emergency medical services agency may recover under such an ordinance from $1,000 to $2,500.

This bill is identical to S.B. 1054 Patron: Stuart

H.B. 1485

Patron: Bell, Richard P.

Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children; penalty. Sex offenders will now be limited to certain areas where they may live. Includes in the list of certain sex offenses that prohibit a person convicted of such offenses from being or residing in proximity to schools and certain other property where children congregate or from working on school property any offense similar to such offenses under the laws of any foreign country or political subdivision thereof or the United States or any political subdivision thereof. The prohibition regarding residing in proximity to a school that is predicated upon an offense similar to any offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof, only applies to residences established on and after July 1, 2017.

H.B. 1493

Patron: Hope

Definition of sales draft; credit card offenses; penalty. If a person purchases a valuable good or service with a person’s credit card without permission they will be convicted of forgery. Includes within the definition of “sales draft,” with regard to offenses relating to credit cards, the electronic form evidencing a purchase of goods, services, or a thing of value. A person convicted of forgery of such a sales draft is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

H.B. 1815

Patron: Yancey

Computer trespass; government computers and computers used for public utilities; penalty. A person who uses a public computer to trespass will now be charged with a Class 6 felony. Increases the Class 1 misdemeanor computer trespass crimes to a Class 6 felony if the computer affected is one that is exclusively for the use of, or used by or for, the Commonwealth, a local government within the Commonwealth, or certain public utilities.

H.B. 1921

Patron: Robinson                                                     

Assault and battery; health care providers; penalty. If a health care provider is assaulted while performing his duties in the hospital or other emergency care facility will be punished to a higher extent. Expands the penalty for battery against a health care provider who is engaged in the performance of his duties to apply in hospitals or in emergency rooms on the premises of any clinic or other facility rendering emergency care. Under current law, the penalties only apply to a battery against an emergency health care provider. The bill requires the Department of Health to work with stakeholder groups to develop guidelines regarding the publication of penalties for battery on a health care provider and for the training of health care professionals and providers in violence prevention programs.

This bill is identical to S.B. 973 Patrons: Sturtevant, Dunnavant

H.B. 2350

Patron: Minchew

Use of electronic device to trespass; peeping into dwelling or occupied building; penalty.

It is now a Class 1 misdemeanor to use an electronic device to spy into an occupied building or to enter into ones property to spy. Punishes as a Class 1 misdemeanor the use of an electronic device to enter the property of another to secretly or furtively peep or spy or attempt to peep or spy into a dwelling or occupied building located on such property, unless such use occurs pursuant to a lawful criminal investigation.

H.B. 2410

Patron: Gilbert                                                         

Providing support to terrorist organizations; penalty. If a person knowingly provides information for a group or individual whose main objective is to perform an act of terrorism, they will now be guilty of a Class 3 felony. If a person or persons were harmed or killed as a result of the information it will then be treated as a Class 2 felony. Provides that any person who knowingly provides any material support to an individual or organization whose primary objective is to commit an act of terrorism and does so with the intent to further such objective is guilty of a Class 3 felony. If the provision of such material support results in the death of any person, the penalty is increased to a Class 2 felony. The bill also expands the definition of an act of terrorism to include an act committed outside the Commonwealth that would meet the definition of an act of violence if such act was committed within the Commonwealth.

This bill is identical to S.B. 1154 Patron: Reeves

S.B. 1060

Patron: Black

Female genital mutilation; criminal penalty and civil action. If a person knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates a female minors labia major, labia minora, or clitoris it will be viewed as a class 1 misdemeanor. This will be a Class 1 misdemeanor for the parent or guardian to consent to the circumcision and to the one who does the act of removing the female genitalia. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor, for any person to knowingly circumcise, excise, or infibulate the labia major, labia minora, or clitoris of a minor. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a minor to consent to such circumcision, excision, or infibulation.  The bill also makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a minor to knowingly remove or cause or permit the removal of such minor from the Commonwealth for the purposes of performing such circumcision, excision, or infibulation. The bill also provides a civil cause of action for any person injured by such circumcision, excision, or infibulation.  The bill also provides that any of these offenses shall be a separate and distinct offense and shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute.

Traffic

There are some new laws which went into effect on July 1, 2017 in regard to traffic, and I wanted to make sure that everyone is up to date on these issues. The new laws are mainly targeted towards driving violations while on the highway, but one of them allows a possible second chance for those who have committed a minor violation.

H.B.2201

Patron: O’Quinn

Failure to drive on right side of highways or observe traffic lanes; penalties. This law outlines the new fine for driving on the wrong side of the highway or not observing traffic lanes. Sets the fine for failing to drive on the right side of highways or failing to observe traffic lanes at $100. Under current law, any such failure is punishable by a fine of no more than $250.

S.B. 1021

Patron: Barker

Failure to obey highway sign; driver stopped on highway shoulder to sleep or rest; prepayable offense. Stopping on the side of the highway to rest will result in a fine which you don’t need to go to court for, but if you’re parked in a dangerous position then you will be required to attend court. Provides that a violation of a highway sign where a driver has parked or stopped his vehicle on the shoulder of the highway in order to sleep or rest is a prepayable offense unless such vehicle is parked or stopped in such manner as to impede or render dangerous the shoulder or other portion of the highway.

S.B. 1276

Patron: McDougle

Dismissal of certain traffic violations for proof of compliance with law. This law allows a court to dismiss a variety of violations, which are listed below, if the violator provides proof of compliance on or before their court appearance and the court chooses to do so. Provides that a court may, in its discretion, dismiss a violation for failure to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of change of address, for failing to register, title, or properly display license plates, for failure to pay local licensing fees or taxes, for failure to have certain safety equipment or having unsafe or defective equipment, or for improper tinting, if such a person can prove to the court compliance with the law on or before the court date and payment of court fee.

 

Virginia Ends the Fiscal Year with a Budget Surplus

We learned last week that Virginia ended the fiscal year with a $132 million budget surplus. This is the direct result of the Republican-led General Assembly’s conservative budgeting and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. While Washington deals with massive debts and deficits, Virginia has produced five budget surpluses totaling over $2 billion.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy. We faced a $1.5 billion deficit earlier this year. We made tough decisions and adopted conservative budget amendments to keep spending in check and balance our budget. But we were also able to fund the core functions of government like K-12 education and public safety, providing a pay raise to teachers, state police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Our surplus may be great news, but we also have to be cautious about the future. Virginia’s economy is struggling. We continue to lag behind the national recovery, and many people have traded higher paying jobs for lower paying ones. That means we must continue to be conservative and responsible with our budgeting.

That also means we must continue to remain laser focused on strengthening our economy. It’s becoming clear to me that the McAuliffe/Northam approach to economic development might attract a lot of headlines, but it’s not creating the solid economic growth we need. Over the next few months, I look forward to sharing how Republicans will grow our economy to help Virginia families and businesses.

Delegate Dave Albo Announces His Retirement After 24 Years in the House of Delegates

Next to marrying Rita and adopting Ben, serving the people of West Springfield, Fairfax Station, South County, Mason Neck, and Mount Vernon has been the greatest honor of my life. I grew up here and did what I could for 24 years to keep our neighborhoods the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

After much thought, I have decided not to seek reelection to the House of Delegates this coming November. While I still enjoy the job and love the public service, I can no longer afford to take 80+ days a year off work to serve in the General Assembly. In addition, I don’t have a monopoly on all the good ideas – there are lots of very capable public servants living in my district who can do a great job. It’s not “my seat,” it is the people of our neighborhoods’ seat, and I am sure there is someone out there who would like to serve.

Many do not realize that I hold George Washington’s and George Mason’s seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Wow – I got to do the same job as these Founding Fathers! I started out as an intern in 1986. I was first elected in 1993, and have had the honor of serving as Chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee for the past 12 years. This has enabled me to do lots of great things to help people. Nothing great is achieved alone, so don’t think I take sole credit for these, but I would humbly say that I played a lead role in bills which accomplished the following:

  • Authored the Northern Virginia sections of the 2013 Transportation Act that raises money for roads and rail with the iron clad guarantee that it stays in NOVA
  • Closed literally hundreds of loopholes in the DUI and criminal laws to keep people safe
  • Helped build South County High School
  • Wrote most of the laws to fight gangs
  • Preserved thousands of acres of open space
  • Made certain types of abuse of companion animals a felony
  • Closed the loophole that allowed the VA Tech killer to acquire a gun
  • Helped people with mental health problems by establishing Mandated Outpatient Treatment
  • Allowed oil derived from Marijuana to be used to treat intractable epilepsy
  • Rewrote Virginia’s adoption laws to make it easier for children to be adopted
  • Following 9/11 when 10 of my constituents were incinerated in the Pentagon, I passed the first law in the U.S. to require legal presence in Virginia to obtain a Driver’s License, and passed Virginia’s Anti-Terrorism law which gave police new legal tools to catch terrorists and apply the death penalty for terrorism
  • Massively increased punishments on child molesters
  • Modernized Virginia’s Computer Crimes Act
  • Co-created Judicial Performance Evaluation system
  • Required all people arrested for a crime to be checked for immigration status
  • Two little things that we all liked: Banned commercial truck parking on our Fairfax County residential streets, and banned signs on the sides of our streets and in the medians
  • While it was not my bill, I wrote the language that bans smoking in restaurants
  • Changed the word “which” to “that” in the speeding code — just checking to see if you are actually reading this. Thought it might be too boring. And yes, I actually did change “which” to “that.” If you really want to be bored, e-mail me and I will explain it!

For a full list of legislation I have sponsored, visit my website: www.davealbo.org

George Washington started our long history of the “citizen-legislator” when he declined to run for another term as President so he could return to being a regular citizen. He went back to Mount Vernon to be a farmer. Likewise, I will continue my career as a criminal and traffic defense attorney. I look forward to transitioning my House of Delegates office to the new public servant who is elected to serve.

Again, it has been one of the greatest privileges to serve our neighborhood, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.

Best Regards,

David B. Albo

Final Week of Session 2017

Tomorrow marks the end of Session 2017. It’s hard to believe that seven weeks have already gone by! Here is a picture of our office in the House Chamber: img_0155

You can see our Crossover Update on the blog here: https://delegatedavealbo.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/2017-crossover-update/

We had a lot of students visit the office on Monday to see the artwork that they created and graciously lent to us to hang in the office.

During Session on Monday, Speaker Howell announced his retirement. He will not be running for re-election in this coming election cycle. Speaker Howell has served as a Delegate for 29 years, and as Speaker for 14 years. He was an outstanding leader and legislator, and I am grateful for his years of public service. Below is a video of my remarks honoring the Speaker:

Also on Monday, I introduced HR 351 honoring my constituent, Ginny Thrasher. Ms. Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics. Her first place finish in Women’s 10-meter air rifle set an Olympic record, shooting 208.0 in the final. We are so proud of our WSHS graduate for representing the US!

Unfortunately, she could not be with us in the capitol at the time due to NCAA rules, but she did watch via the live House feed from West Virginia University where she studies biomedical engineering. Below is my introduction of HR 351 recognizing Ms. Thrasher on her great accomplishments:

On Tuesday, we honored Col. Edward Shames on the House floor. Col. Shames was a Lieutenant in World War II, jumped into Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, liberated Dachau concentration camp, and took a bottle of cognac from Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest.” If this story sounds familiar, it’s because he and his “Easy Company” were depicted in Band of Brothers.

We have been visited by Super Bowl Winners, Olympic Gold Medalists, the Queen of England, the Vice President, and actual rock stars – but the enthusiastic standing ovation by all 100 members of the House of Delegates for Col. Shames was bigger than what these famous people received, and deservedly so.

col-shames-2

2017 Crossover Update

                             ENCOURAGING JOB GROWTH                                 

Virginia is still a leading job creator in the United States, and ranks in the top 10 in the country for:

  • “Best State for Business” by Forbes Magazine
  • “Best States to Make a Living” by Business Insider and Money-Rates.com
  • “The Top States for Higher Education” by com
  • “The K-12 Achievement Index” by Educational Week and Quality Counts
  • “NAEP Combined Proficiency Rate: 4th and 8th Grade Reading and Math” by Educational Week and Quality Counts

More importantly, we have lowered our unemployment rate by 2.5% between 2012 (6.9%) and 2017 (4.4%) and have the 8th lowest combined state and local tax burden in the country!

However, things are not all roses and puppy dogs.  For decades, the economy in Northern Virginia has benefited from Federal Government spending, but with the recent cuts and the sequestration, our once invincible economy is starting to stammer.  Currently, Fairfax County has a 0% growth rate.  This is a big problem.  In order to create more jobs and increase economic growth, we need to reduce our dependency on the Federal Government and diversify our NOVA economy.  For this reason, I have invested a great deal of time in helping Fairfax INOVA start their Translational Medicine Institute right here in Fairfax County.  The institute combines gene mapping, massive computing power, and clinical trials to develop medications based on a person’s individual DNA code.  Personalized medicine could be an economic game changer.  I even took an online class to further my knowledge on genetics and DNA!  By making our County a national leader in the field of genetics, I hope to make Fairfax County the world’s center for personalized medicine, and therefore create an economic engine in NOVA for years to come.

DELEGATE ALBO’S BILLS

Getting Our Kids into VA Universities:

HB 1410 – Educational institutions, certain; designation of governing boards. (Albo Chief Patron) For years, I have been working with a bipartisan group of Delegates to make colleges more affordable and accessible to our Virginia students.  My HB 1410 does three things.  First, it creates a study so that colleges can eventually stop using tuition from one Virginia student to provide financial aid for another student.  This practice is unfair to students working a job after classes to pay their way through school, and to parents who are working hard to provide for their kids.  Their hard earned money should be used solely for their education or their child’s education.  Second, it creates an incentive for colleges to have at least 70% in-state student enrollment rates, and requires any tuition earned from out-of-state students over the 30% limit be used to lower in-state tuition.  Lastly, it mandates the Board of Visitors to complete training to remind them that their duty is primarily to the people of Virginia.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Protecting Our Environment:

HB 1423 – Potomac River Watershed; DEQ to identify owner of any combined sewer overflow outfall, etc. (Albo Chief Patron) This bill would direct the DEQ to identify the owner of any combined sewer overflow outfall that gets into the Potomac River Watershed and to determine how the owner can bring the outfall into compliance with Virginia law, the federal Clean Water Act, and the policy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  My idea was incorporated into Delegate Lingamfelter’s HB 2383.

Albo voted “YES”. HB 2383 passed the House.

Helping Families Going Through Divorces:

HB 1456 – Custody and visitation orders; use of term parenting time. (Albo Chief Patron) I have seen many divorce cases argued in court, and know that it must be a stressful time for parents and children.  This bill provides that the court, in its discretion and in referring to a parent, may use the phrase “parenting time” as synonymous with the term “visitation” in a custody or visitation order.  The option to use the term “parenting time” would ensure that no one parent is made to feel less important than another during this already difficult time.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House and the Senate.

Developing Our Area’s Culture and Arts:

HB 1486 – Arts and cultural districts. (Albo Chief Patron) This bill would allow two or more localities to join together to create an arts and cultural district.  We are trying to combine the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center with the events and art in Occoquan with this legislation.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Protecting Your Purchases:

HB 1825 – Rights to resell tickets; civil penalty. (Albo Chief Patron) As a citizen legislator, I bring my own experiences with me to the House of Delegates.  This past year, I splurged on two tickets to see Iron Maiden, only to learn that they conflicted with my family’s vacation.  Because of the restrictions on ticket resale imposed by Ticketmaster, I couldn’t resell the tickets, had to miss the show, and lost my money.  This bill would end those restrictions.  Under HB 1825, any ticket vendor would be prohibited from imposing any rules that would create a substantial obstacle to the ticket holder’s resale of the ticket.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

_________________________________________________________

OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST

EDUCATION

Making Sure Virginians are Running our Virginia Schools:
HB 1402 –  Higher educational institutions, public; certain positions require residency of the Commonwealth.
This bill would require each chairman, vice-chairman, rector, and vice-rector of public Virginia colleges to be a Virginia resident.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Helping Our Students Grow in the Computer Science Field:

HB 1663 – Computer Science for All Virginia Students Advisory Committee, etc.; established. Through the establishment of a public-private partnership, this bill encourages and helps fund computer science training and professional development for public school teachers throughout Virginia.  HB 1663 works to improve computer literacy for children and adults in public schools across the Commonwealth.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Keeping Parents Informed About Their Kids’ Education:

HB 2191 – School boards; procedures; sexually explicit instructional materials or related academic activities. (Albo Chief Co-Patron) I co-authored this bill, because parents should have all the information available when it comes to their kids’ education.  This bill would require schools to notify parents when students are required to read sexually explicit material and to offer an alternative reading if it is requested.  The bill would not ban any books from schools, it would simply notify parents if a reading has sexually explicit content.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

VA COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

My aforementioned HB 1410 is intended to increase the number of in-state slots, but some schools are already moving in the right direction!  Virginia Tech added 507 in-state slots for the 2016-2017 school year.  The University of Virginia added 843 in-state slots in the last five years, increasing its percentage of in-state students from 67.2% to 69%.  James Madison University increased its percentage of in-state students from 72.2% in 2012 to 74.5% this year.  Some schools have been lacking, though, as William and Mary only added 103 in-state slots over the last five years.  I am glad to see that most of our universities are supporting our Virginia students, but there is more work to be done!

K-12 EDUCATION

Funding for our Schools:

The House proposed budget for July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 delivers $21,871,425 MORE to Fairfax County Public Schools.  That is an increase of over $115 per student.  Over the past five years we have delivered $353/student/year more to our Fairfax County Public Schools!

HEALTHCARE

Providing Women’s Healthcare:

HB 2267 – Health benefit plans; coverage for hormonal contraceptives. (Albo Co-Patron) This bill states that health plans that provide hormonal contraceptives must provide a 12-month supply to the patient.  It does not mandate that it all be provided at once, but that women have annual access to this healthcare.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Monitoring Opioid Prescriptions:

HB 1885 – Prescription of opioids; limits. This is one of the bills put forward to combat the opioid epidemic in Virginia.  The epidemic is partly enabled by the difficulty in tracking and monitoring prescriptions.  This bill would require a prescriber registered with the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to request information about a patient from the PMP before prescribing them any opioids.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House and the Senate.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND TRANSPORTATION

Enforcing Federal Immigration Law:

HB 1468 – Compliance with detainers; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This bill would prohibit a jail or law enforcement agency from releasing a person who is incarcerated and is an illegal alien when the jail has already received a lawful detainer order from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  This legislation would simply ensure that our state agencies comply with existing federal law.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House and the Senate.

Prosecuting Drunk Drivers:

HB 2327 – DUI; implied consent; refusal of blood or breath tests. This bill was offered in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that ruled that criminal penalties for refusing a blood alcohol content test for a DUI was unconstitutional.  HB 2327 changes the penalties associated with refusal for repeat DUI offenders to make it constitutional.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Protecting Virginians from Fraud:

HB 2417 – Department of Medical Assistance Services; fraud prevention; prepayment analytics. (Albo Co-Patron) HB 2417 creates a computer monitoring system aimed at reducing fraud with payments made through the state program for medical assistance.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Combatting Terrorism in Virginia:

HB 2410 – Providing support to terrorist organizations; penalty. Our code previously lacked provisions that specifically punished those associated with terrorism when the actual act of terror occurred outside of Virginia.  Under this bill, any person who knowingly aids a terrorist organization will be guilty of a Class 3 felony.  If the assistance results in someone’s death, that charge is increased to a Class 2 felony.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

Keeping Our Kids Safe from Sex Offenders:

HB 1485 – Sex offenses prohibiting proximity to children; penalty. (Albo Co-Patron) In order to protect our children, this bill prohibits those who have been convicted of sex offenses in other states or foreign countries from residing or being in places where children frequent.  The bill applies to anyone who has been convicted of an offense that is similar to the any of the offenses qualified as sex offenses in Virginia.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

LOCAL NEWS

Commemorating Women’s Right to Vote:

HB 2348 – Women’s Right to Vote, Commission for the Commemoration of the Centennial of; established. (Albo Co-Patron) This bill creates a commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.  2017 marks 100 years since the turning point of the Suffrage Movement.  The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will be built in Occoquan Regional Park, where the Occoquan Workhouse was located.  Scores of suffragists were unjustly imprisoned in the Workhouse.  The national memorial will educate, inspire, and give people the opportunity to reflect.  My grandmother was a suffragette, and I remember her telling me stories about it when I was a kid.  This bill will help to commemorate her and all the women who fought for their right to vote.

Albo voted “YES.” The bill passed the House.

WSHS Renovation Begins:

West Springfield High School is in the midst of a renovation.  Drive by when you get a chance to see the progress on the building!

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I know this was a lot of information, but we have accomplished a lot so far in Richmond.  Please contact me by email at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov, or by phone at (703) 451-3555 with any questions or concerns.  You can also view updates on my blog, www.delegatedavealbo.wordpress.com.  After all, my job is not to do what I want to do, but rather, to do what you want!

Sixth Week of Session 2017

We are finishing up our second to last week in Richmond, so I have been working hard in committee meetings and on the floor to discuss and vote on legislation.

This week I introduced HR 386, which commended my constituent, Eddie Garretson, for his contributions to the 42nd District and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Eddie started a non-profit called Eddies Club, Inc. that offers a variety of activities to disabled kids, teens and young adults. Eddie’s Club manages Springfield Challenger Baseball, which is a division of West Springfield Little League for children with special needs.

Below is a video of my introduction of Eddie on the House floor. We were glad to have Eddie and his family members, as well as one of the original members of Eddie’s Club, in Richmond for his recognition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-VnNRFbKjI

The scheduled end date for session is next Saturday, February 25, so in the coming week I will be working hard to get my bills passed and to vote on the Senate bills that make it to the House floor.

FBI Headquarters Consolidation Project

Earlier this week, the GSA hosted a transportation update meeting about the FBI Headquarters Consolidation Project, and I wanted to share some of the meeting’s highlights with you.

The purpose of this meeting was to share information from the GSA’s study on how relocating the FBI to Springfield would affect current transportation in our community. For those of you who don’t know, Springfield is being considered as a possible location for the FBI’s new headquarters – the other two options are in Greenbelt and Landover, Maryland. The final decision on whether the FBI headquarters will move to Springfield is going to be announced sometime in April, and the construction is expected to be completed by 2027. If Springfield is selected as the location, this project is going to have a big impact on transportation in our community.

The image below is a model of the proposed construction site boundary. As you can see, this project would require work on Loisdale Road, Franconia Springfield Parkway, and Amherst Avenue. All of the colored dots labeled with a letter indicate intersections that would also require construction, involving either lengthening or widening of the roads.

fbi-headquarters-map

These were some of the key points from this week’s transportation update meeting that I thought were important to share with you. If you would like to read more about the project, you can go to www.gsa.gov/fbihqconsolidation

While the impact on transportation is uncomfortable, getting the FBI Headquarters here, in my opinion, can save Springfield. Those of us who have lived here for a long time have seen the deterioration of Central Springfield – empty and run down stores, increasing crime, etc. When the NGA moved into Saratoga and brought 8,000 of the highest paying jobs the Federal Government offers, all of the sudden, parts of Central Springfield began to clean up. Buildings got renovated and new stores popped up. Even the Springfield Mall (now Town Center) got a huge face lift. If the FBI relocates to this area, Central Springfield will become a high quality neighborhood once again. The economic impact of this facility will be immense, and lead to new businesses, new entertainment venues, and the clearing out of run down eyesores.

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office during the last week of session. I value the feedback you provide as it helps me to a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)-698-1042. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveAlboVA

Links of Interest:

My Web Site: www.DaveAlbo.org

Legislative information system: http://www.lis.virginia.gov

Live session video and archived session videos: http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

Fifth Week of Session 2017

This week was an exciting one! It started off on Monday with visits from many of the wonderful artists who lent me their artwork to display in my office during session. They stopped by my office at the General Assembly, spent some time in the Capitol, and watched some of session from the gallery.

Updates

On Tuesday, HB 1410, HB 1487, HB 2359, HB 2360, and HB 2366 passed the House. They are now being discussed in Senate committees. Some of the bills are explained below. To read the rest of the bills, and to follow all of my other legislation, please click here.

HB 1410: Educational institutions, baccalaureate public; enrollment of non-Virginia students. The bill prohibits the annual enrollment of full-time equivalent undergraduate non-Virginia students from exceeding 30 percent of the total annual enrollment of full-time equivalent undergraduate students. If a school exceeds a 30 percent cap with tuition revenue from such students they must use any remaining tuition revenue from such students to lower in equal amounts the rate of tuition and fees charged to each undergraduate Virginia student. The bill also declares that the governing board of each public institution of higher education has a duty to the Commonwealth and its citizens. HB 1410 was assigned to the Senate Committee on Education and Health.

HB 1487: Maximum number of circuit court judges; 19th Judicial Circuit. The bill reduces the maximum number of circuit court judges in the 19th Judicial Circuit from 15 to 14. HB 1487 was referred to the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice.

HB 2360: Virginia Information Technologies Agency; procurement of information technology. The bill requires the Chief Information Officer of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency to develop policies, standards, and guidelines that require that any contract for information technology entered into by the Commonwealth’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches and independent agencies require compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations pertaining to information security and privacy. HB 2360 was referred to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

On Wednesday, HB 1456 passed the Senate. HB 1456 provides that the court, in its discretion and as to a parent, may use the phrase “parenting time” to be synonymous with the term “visitation” in a custody or visitation order.

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the rest of session! We have about three weeks left. I value the feedback you provide as it helps me to a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)-698-1042. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveAlboVA

Links of Interest:

My Web Site: www.DaveAlbo.org

Legislative information system: http://www.lis.virginia.gov

Live session video and archived session videos: http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

 

The 2017 Proposed Budget

The Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on a proposed two-year state budget this Thursday, February 9. The budget is fiscally conservative, responsible, and balanced. General spending, adjusted for inflation and population, has decreased by 5% over the past 10 years. The budget prioritizes public safety, primary education, economic development, combating domestic violence, healthcare, and wage increases for state employees. In keeping with the conservative principles from the House of Delegates, the Budget does not include any fee or tax increases. The budget manages to promote funding for core government programs while expanding transparency for government’s economic development.

Education

The Budget invests in primary and second education, funneling nearly $15 million to education for grades K-12. It also includes funding to make college more affordable for all Virginians, and prioritizes in-state students.

Public Safety

$1.5 million is allocated to programs that support victims of Domestic Violence, including preventative measures. It also raises the salaries of the Virginia State Police and provides adjustments for the salaries of Capitol Police and in sheriff’s offices and regional jails.

Healthcare

Obama’s Medicaid expansion is not included in the proposed budget. Instead, the House decided to use $28.5 million to construct a better safety net, which includes funds for programs that assist, among others, substance abusers and the mentally ill.

Supporting State Employees

            The House is proud to support a 3% pay raise for state employees in the proposed budget, which is twice that which Governor McAuliffe proposed. It also proportions funds to assist in a statewide study on pension reform and retirement plans.

Transportation

            Transportation is funded by money directed specifically to transportation (e.g. gas tax, car titling tax, etc). You can look on my website at http://www.davealbo.org/ to see the projects that we are currently working on.

Overall, myself and the House of Delegates has the utmost confidence that this budget will responsibly increase spending and accountability in the most important areas of our government without taking more from the taxpayers.

Fourth Week of 2017 Session

The General Assembly and the Capitol were bustling this week. I enjoyed seeing many constituents. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hello!

I had a lot of legislative work to do as all of the bills must be voted on by Friday, February 3. All of the legislation that has passed the House will be read and voted on in the Senate, and all of the legislation that has passed the Senate will be read and voted on in the House – this is called crossover.

Visitors from the 42nd District

I enjoyed a visit from Nick Milroy, WSHS Alum, representing Virginia Tech. Nick and I talked about state funding for Higher Education and the fact that he was on the WSHS Swim Team, class of 2015, and I was on it in 1980!

dave-and-nick-milroy

A couple of visitors stopped by to see the wonderful artwork that we have on the walls! Check out the blog post from the second week of session to see the pictures all over my office in the General Assembly.

Legislative Updates

On Tuesday, HB 1825 passed the House on its third reading. The bill will prohibit ticket sale companies from implementing barriers for resale. You can read more about the bill in this Richmond Times Dispatch article, which includes an anecdote about my own experience with this issue.

On Wednesday, HB 1526 passed the House on its third reading. The bill revises the annual mixed beverage performing arts facility license to allow any person operating any performing arts facility to sell, on the dates of performances and one hour prior to any such performance and one hour after the conclusion of any performance, alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption in areas upon the licensed premises approved by the Board.

On Thursday, HB 1411 and HB 1525 passed the House on their third reading unopposed. You can read the bills as filed, as well as keep up with the rest of my legislation by clicking here.

HB 1410 – My original bill addressed three things:

  1. It makes sure that the Boards of Visitors know they are running the university on behalf of the PEOPLE of VA! When they make their decisions, they need to think about what parents and students want first, not what “academia” wants. The point here is that the Board of Visitors should not be empire building, but instead making sure tuition is affordable, there are slots for in state students, AND that they are to provide a top notch education.
  1. Schools say they need out-of-state students because they pay twice as much, and they need their money for running the school. Instead, we find that many schools take out-of-state tuition money and use it to fund other out-of-state students. Secondly, an infuriating policy that they have is taking in-state student tuition and using it for financial aid to other in-state students. Thus, when I paid $20,000 for a pre-paid tuition for my son, unbeknownst to me, some of the money I saved was NOT going to Ben, but rather going to some other student. It is even more maddening when you think about a student who is paying their own tuition and working to put themselves through school. Think about it, these students are working outside of class hours, not only to pay their own tuition, but to pay someone else’s tuition who is not working!
  1. Finally, it addresses the problem of UVA and W&M who have 69% and 66%, respectively, in-state students. These schools are Virginia schools — not the University of New Jersey at Charlottesville or College of New York at Williamsburg. My bill mandates that all schools must be at least 75% in state.  I have been working for years on this. Virginia Tech and JMU are at 74% now, and they have done a great job. UVA has added about 1000 slots, but are still have too few in-state slots.

What the amended bill does:

In this business, you have to compromise to accomplish things. I want to remind you that even though this is not 100% of what I want, it is the first time a bill on this topic has even gotten out of committee and to the House Floor. Here is what I have agreed to:

  1. Puts in Code that Boards of Visitors owe a duty to the people of Virginia and requires this in training.
  1. Creates a study to figure out a way for schools to limit or eliminate using tuition for financial aid. We had to study this because all schools have programmed tuition transfer into their budgets, and students with financial need would end up being kicked out of school if this passed immediately.
  1. Mandates a 70% in-state limit instead of a 75%. It does so through incentives rather than mandates. It says that for all schools who are above a 30% out-of-state ratio, any such student’s tuition above the cost of educating him MUST go to reducing tuition costs of in-state students. Maybe an example would help; If a school has 10,000 undergrads, they can have 3000 out-of-state students. But if they have 4000 out-of-state students, they must use the tuition from the extra 1,000 students to lower in-state students’ tuition costs. If out-of-state tuition is $24,000 and it costs $10,000 to educate that student, then the $14,000 profit must be used to lower the in-state students’ tuition. Basically, it takes the incentive out of any school going higher than 30% out of state, effectively capping out of state enrollment at 30%. While I wanted the cap at 25%, this is still a major accomplishment.

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the rest of session! We have about three weeks left. I value the feedback you provide as it helps me to a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)-698-1042. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaveAlboVA

Links of Interest:

My Web Site: www.DaveAlbo.org

Legislative information system: http://www.lis.virginia.gov

Live session video and archived session videos: http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3