Category Archives: 2017 Session

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.

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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!

                                               ________________________________

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

Third Week of 2017 Session

It has been a busy week! A lot has happened in the office and during session over the past five days. I have been working hard to represent you well.

Next week is crossover, which is when the bills will switch bodies. 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.

Legislative Updates

Some of my bills are still being discussed in committee, but some of them were read during session and voted on this week. You can follow the status of all of my bills by clicking here.

Several of my bills passed the house this week!

On Wednesday, HB 1486 passed the house on its third reading unopposed. The bill would allow that arts and cultural districts may be created jointly by two or more localities.

On Thursday, HB 1456 passed the house on its third reading unopposed. The bill changes the use of the word “visitation” to “parenting time” in cases involving custody or visitation of a child. The use of this term helps families going through a divorce and makes sure that no one in the process feels like any less of a parent.

Also this week my bill, HB 1825, was heard on the House floor. The summary of the bill as introduced is as follows:

HB 1825: Rights to resell tickets; civil penalty. Prohibits any person that issues tickets for admission to any sporting event, theatrical production, lecture, motion picture screening, or any other event open to the public for which tickets are ordinarily sold from issuing the ticket solely through a delivery method that substantially prevents the ticket purchaser from lawfully reselling the ticket on the Internet ticketing platform of the ticket purchaser’s choice. The measure also prohibits a person from being penalized, discriminated against, or denied admission to an event solely on the basis that the person resold a ticket, or purchased a resold ticket, on a specific Internet ticketing platform. A person violating these prohibitions is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000.

Popes Head Interchange

I was excited to hear this week that VDOT listened to my request to widen the parkway between 29 and 123 (the Popes Head interchange). The design process is underway and a Board action secured funding for the preliminary engineering. VDOT will implement the project.

We are nearly halfway done, as crossover is next week. I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the rest 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

Second Week of 2017 Session

We hung artwork from elementary schools in my district around the office this week. Thank you to the art students that created these beautiful pieces for us! We are excited to have some color on our white walls!

Legislative Updates

All fifteen of my bills have been assigned to a committee and sub-committee, and are being discussed there. You can see the committees that they have been referred to, and follow the status of all of my bills by clicking here.

This week, my bills HB 1456, HB 1486 and HB 1526, passed in their respective subcommittees. The summaries of the bills as introduced are as follows:

HB 1456: Custody and visitation orders; use of term parenting time. Provides that at the request of a parent to such case or proceeding, the court shall use the phrase “parenting time” instead of the term “visitation.” The bill does not apply to any case or proceeding where a court has found a history of family abuse or sexual abuse or has otherwise found that a child subject to the case or proceeding is an abused or neglected child.

HB 1486: Arts and cultural districts. Provides that arts and cultural districts may be created jointly by two or more localities.

HB 1526: Alcoholic beverage control; mixed beverage performing arts facility license. 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.

The Richmond Times Dispatch wrote an article about my bill, HB 1825. The bill protects consumers’ rights by making it illegal for companies issuing tickets to inhibit purchasers from reselling tickets. You can read the Richmond Times Dispatch article here, and the full text of the bill here.

Things will get crazy next week, as all the bills have to be voted on by February 4th.

UVA to increase in-state slots

On Tuesday, the University of Virginia announced two of their new efforts to make the school more accessible for Virginia residents.

The first of their efforts was the authorization of the “Cornerstone Grant,” which expands UVA’s financial aid program for qualifying, full time Virginia students from middle income families.

Starting this fall, first and second-year Virginians from families earning less than $125,000 (who do not receive grants or scholarships from other sources) will be eligible to receive a $2,000 Cornerstone Grant. Qualifying third-year students will be eligible to receive a $1,000 grant.

The board also announced that they would be increasing enrollment for Virginians, and that half of the 100 new slots would go to first-year students. The remaining half of the slots will go to a variety of students, including transfers, distance learners and first-year students starting in the spring or summer.

While UVA still has too many out of state students, I am pleased that they have responded to the pressure we have been putting on them and continue to add more in-state slots. The recently added 100 in-state slots will make total of approximately 1,000 new in-state slots over the past 5 years.

The 2016-2017 incoming class at UVA was made up of 66.9 percent of in-state students and 33.1 percent of out-of-state students. This announcement, which will make attendance at UVA more financially attainable and will increase the number of slots for Virginians, is a step in the right direction. You can read the full text of the news release here.

This session, I am the chief patron of HB 1410, which would require that at least 75 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled must be Virginia residents. The full text of the bill is as follows:

HB 1410: Certain educational institutions; designation of governing boards; financial assistance; enrollment. Renames as boards of trustees the boards of visitors of certain educational institutions in the Commonwealth, including baccalaureate public institutions of higher education. The bill prohibits public institutions of higher education from using (i) tuition revenue from any Virginia student to provide financial assistance to any Virginia student or non-Virginia student and (ii) more than five percent of tuition revenue from non-Virginia students to provide financial assistance to non-Virginia students. The bill also requires the governing board of each public institution of higher education, except the Virginia Military Institute, Norfolk State University, and Virginia State University, to ensure that at least 75 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled at the institution have established domicile in the Commonwealth. The bill requires the governing boards of public institutions that do not meet such 75 percent threshold to submit to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia a plan to incrementally increase enrolled undergraduate Virginia students each academic year to ensure compliance no later than the 2020-2021 academic year.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and is currently being discussed in the Higher Education subcommittee. If you would like to track the progress of the bill, just click on the “Track Legislation” link and then type the bill number (HB1410).

Student Debt in Virginia

There’s no question that student debt affects a significant number of Virginians each year. Beyond increasing an individual’s financial burden, student debt negatively impacts the Virginia economy. According to studies conducted in the past three years, people with student debt are less likely to buy a home, start a new business, or save for retirement.

Below are some graphics that depict some of the impact of student debt, as well as information on the tuition increases in recent years. Virginia universities must work to decrease the amount of debt for their graduates. I’m working hard to introduce and sponsor bills that would alleviate student debt by reducing tuition for Virginia students.

student-debt-1student-debt-2student-debt-3student-debt-4

Legislators Tour Improved Roads

On January 5th, a group of legislators had the opportunity to witness the lasting effects of HB 2313 on a bus tour through Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. The bill, which I supported, has funneled more than $1.2 billion into transportation improvement projects in the Northern Virginia region since its passage in 2013. During the tour, members of the General Assembly climbed aboard a bus and did a “rolling” tour of the revamped roads.

Fairfax County alone has received an estimated $274 million in new transportation funds as a direct result of HB 2313. Many of Northern Virginia projects that have benefited from the revenue may be familiar to my constituents. The Fairfax Connector added new bus bays, allowing for quicker bus maintenance and bus storage. The I-66 “Outside the Beltway” project, which expands the highway to three general lanes, and two express lanes, could not have been begun nor completed without the financial support from HB 2313. HB 2313 has assisted in the expanding Route 28 from 2 to 6 lanes, a project expected to be completed in summer of 2017. The increased number of lanes is expected to postiviely affect the experience of nearly 125,000 drivers a day. Now it is widening Rolling Road.

HB 2313, the result of bipartisan cooperation, has also led to transjurisdictional transportation partnerships, encouraging Northern Virginia districts to work together to ease the burden on commuters. More broadly, the bus tour demonstrated how HB 2313 established a cohesive strategy for transportation, which is crucial for Northern Virginia moving forward.