Wednesday, February 17, marked the halfway point of the 2016 General Assembly Session, commonly known as Crossover. Moving forward, the House will only consider bills passed by the Senate and the Senate will deliberate bills from the House.
During the first half of this year’s session the house has been laser focused on introducing and passing legislation that fosters private-sector economic growth, promotes a positive pro-business climate, and protects small business through regulatory reform. Below are a small sampling of these bills.
HB 66 will encourage workforce training in high-demand fields by establishing a grant program to cover part of the cost for tuition, textbooks, and training for students seeking certification.
HB 884 will encourage businesses in Virginia to invest in major capital projects to expand their research and development efforts, which will create new jobs and attract highly skilled employees to the Commonwealth.
Part of the reason Virginia is known as a great place to do business is our strong right to work law. This year HJ 2 passed the house for the second time. In November it will be up to you, the voter, to decide to enshrine our right to work laws into the Constitution of the Commonwealth.
In addition to passing legislation that fosters economic growth in Virginia, we also passed a major bipartisan agreement to protect Virginia’s Second Amendment Rights. The agreement was divided into three bills.
HB 1163 will grant universal concealed carry reciprocity for Virginia citizens.
HB 1386 requires state police to be available at all gun shows to perform voluntary back ground checks for private sales.
HB 1391 prohibits individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm.
Finally, the house passed several pieces of legislation to improve Virginia’s access to affordable healthcare.
HB 59 and HB 193 would reform Virginia’s archaic Certificate of Public Need commonly known as COPN. COPN reform will encourage competition among our healthcare providers which will lead to an increase in access to care, reduced costs, and promote innovation.
HB 825 will establish a pilot program to allow military medics to transfer their skills learned during their time in the service to the private sector.
HB 310 alleviates regulations for mobile dental clinics to help reach a greater number of the underserved in rural communities.
To track the progress of these pieces of legislation or any other, please visit www.lis.virginia.gov.
As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at [email protected] or by calling (804) 698-1027.