Feb 05, 2018

Greetings From Richmond: Week 4

I am happy to share some of the highlights of our fourth week of the session. We are getting closer to “crossover” on February 13. This is the deadline this session for each chamber to finish voting on their bills that originated in their respective chambers. As such, the pace that we are presenting our bills and budget amendments for consideration is picking up.

Please reach out to my office if you have any questions or concerns about legislative matters, need assistance with a state agency, or have recommendations for commendations. You can email me at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov or call me at 804-698-1042.

Cheers, Kathy

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Legislative Updates

I fully presented five bills this past week. HB 1060 and HB 1263 would have made it easier for Virginians and local municipalities to use renewable energy, such as solar, to power their homes and buildings. Using renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it can also help grow our economy. Unfortunately, both bills failed with a 6-4 vote along partisan lines. I appreciated support from the Sierra Club, Virginia Conservation Network, Ecocycling, Virginia Catholic Conference, and League of Conservation Voters on these efforts.

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HB 1461 would have established the Office of Immigrant Assistance to help immigrants eligible for citizenship connect to local resources to assist them in the naturalization process. The Office would have also informed immigrants of fraudulent activities, like notario fraud, and health epidemics. I’m thankful to the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, New Virginia Majority, NAKASEC, Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, NOVA Friends of Refugees, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood of Virginia, Virginia Catholic Conference, and others for supporting this bill. Unfortunately, the bill died on a 4-2 vote along partisan lines. I will continue to fight for a welcoming and inclusive Virginia where all have opportunities to thrive.

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HB 1462 would have required state contractors to inform and train their employees on their sexual harassment policies. Through the #MeToo movement, so many women have come forward with their experiences about being sexually harassed at work, in public, and in their private lives. It is incumbent upon us to act now to combat this issue. I am grateful to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Action Alliance for supporting my bill and recognizing that educating employees about their employer's sexual harassment policy is an important step. Although my bill failed with a 5-2 vote along partisan lines, I remain committed to advocating for women and making sure our workspaces are safe places.

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HB 1111  establishes a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Education Fund. This Fund would leverage public-private partnerships to award competitive grants to eligible public K-12 schools in the Commonwealth. Technology is changing industries across Virginia, and STEAM job opportunities continue to grow. We must ensure our children are exposed to and have hands-on experience in these fields. I am excited this bill received unanimous bipartisan support from the Science and Technology Committee, and it will now be heard in the Appropriations committee. Many thanks to the high school students who travelled to Richmond, the Virginia PTA, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Virginia Education Association for their support of this bill.

Visits from Constituents

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This week, I was grateful to see many constituents who came to Richmond to advocate for issues they care about deeply. My staff and I met with constituents and members of the Northern Virginia PTA, SEIU 512, AFL-CIO, the United Methodist Church, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater DC, the Northern Virginia Realtors Association, and others. We discussed a wide range of issues, including: the continued need to strengthen our public education system, expanding access to health care including Medicaid, reforming our criminal justice system, increasing worker protections and overtime for home health aides, ensuring our areas of worship are safe from gun violence, and creating an inclusive community.

Thank you also to constituents that have reached out to us via phone, email, and our constituent survey. I am greatly appreciative of your time and help to inform my work in the  House of Delegates.

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This Saturday, I joined Supervisor Dan Storck and other local elected officials at the 31st Annual Mt. Vernon Town Hall. It was great to see some of our neighbors from the 42nd District.

Upcoming Events

I look forward to seeing you and hope you will join me at upcoming in-district Town Halls:

  • Saturday, February 10 at 9:30 am - 11:00 am, Town Hall with Senator George Barker, West Springfield Elementary School, 6802 Deland Drive, Springfield, VA 22152

  • Saturday, February 17 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, Braddock District Town Hall with elected officials at Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032

  • Saturday, February 17 at 2:00pm - 3:30 pm, Town Hall with Senator Scott Surovell, South County Middle School, 8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079