February 11, 2019
I am excited to share updates from my fourth week in Richmond with you. Thank you to my constituents that responded to my 2019 legislative survey; your input gives me important insight as I represent our community. As always, if there is anything my office can do to help you please do not hesitate to email me at DelKTran@house.virginia.gov or call 804-698-1042.
House Bill 2494, which I refer to as the Religious Identity Protection Bill, passed unanimously out of of the General Laws full committee. This bill would prohibit Virginia state agencies from disseminating data about individuals’ religious beliefs and affiliations to the federal government if the federal government is going to use it to create a religious database. I appreciate the support of organizations like the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society, and the Family Foundation.
House Bill 2493 passed out of the full Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee unanimously. This legislation will expand access to oral healthcare and previously passed unanimously out of subcommittee. I look forward to continuing to work with Virginia Dental Hygienist Association and Virginia Dental Association to pass this bill.
House Bill 2792 passed the full Commerce and Labor Committee with strong bipartisan support. This legislation will fight climate change and save taxpayer money by creating a pilot program for counties, cities, and towns to use green energy and get credit for excess energy they generate. Thanks to the Virginia Association of Counties and others for supporting this bill.
The subcommittee chairman agreed to request the issues raised in House Bill 2463 to be studied through the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. This bill would have shifted the burden of proof to schools during due process hearings under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I introduced this bill at the request of constituents, and I appreciated they came to testify during the hearing. I have heard from other parents in the 42nd District and Virginia who noted this bill would help create a level playing field for them when they advocate for their children in special education.
The subcommittee chairman agreed to request the Department of Health Professions to study the issues raised by House Joint Resolution 682. To expand access to healthcare, this resolution builds on my experience in immigration advocacy and workforce development by calling on the Department of Health Professions to assess how we can tap into physicians living in Virginia but trained outside the United States to address shortages of physicians in rural and underserved areas of the Commonwealth. I look forward to working with the Department to conduct this study.
House Bill 2774 was defeated on a party line vote in Privileges and Elections Subcommittee #2. This legislation would have ensured that all Virginians, regardless of English language abilities, are able to participate in our democracy by voting. Our democracy is strong when all citizens engage in our electoral process and I will continue to fight to break down barriers to voting.
Below are some of the budget amendments I presented to the House Appropriations Committee:
330#4h would provide funding for the Lifespan Respite Voucher Program. I introduced this amendment at the request of a constituent who asked that I help find resources to help family caregivers take needed respite from the ongoing care they provide loved ones.
303#13H would provide funding to overtime pay for home health aides whose care for our loved ones allows them to be at home rather than in institutional care. I am grateful to work with members of SEIU Virginia 512 on this budget amendment.
355#1h would provide funding for a program through the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired that provides low vision services to those in need in our Commonwealth.
377#2h would provide funding to remove a derelict barge in the Belmont Bay in the 42nd District that was washed into the Bay during Hurricane Isabel.
374#5h would provide funding for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. This Memorial will be located at the Occoquan Regional Park in the 42nd District and will honor the women suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote.
I enjoyed meeting with constituents and members of the Northern Virginia District PTA to talk about ways to strengthen public education. They expressed their support and gratitude for House Bill 2463, which would help families with students with disabilities, and I look forward to working with them and others to make progress on this important issue.
It was a pleasure to talk to members and constituents of the Virginia Education Association and Fairfax Education Association who were in Richmond for the Educators March. I have and will continue to fight for our public schools to ensure our educators are paid fairly and all children have the opportunity to thrive.
I had a great meeting with SEIU Virginia 512 to talk about many issues affecting working families, including the need to raise the minimum wage so Virginia families can get ahead in life.