Feb 12, 2018
Greetings from Richmond: Week 5
The 5th week of session was both informative and busy as the pace picked-up to meet the “crossover” deadline, when each chamber has to finish voting on its own bills.
I sent out a survey specifically to gather thoughts on HB 1558, also known as “The Rate Freeze Bill.” Many thanks to those of you that shared your feedback on the issues related to repealing the Dominion rate freeze and other topics that are important to you via email, phone calls, and visits. I am greatly appreciative of your time and help to inform my work in the House of Delegates.
Please continue to let me know 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.
I presented five bills and three budget amendments during this week. HB 1061 updates the Virginia code so that it uses accurate and more inclusive terminology in regards to the Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s (DBVI) staff, programs and services. DBVI has two work sites at Ft. Belvoir, located in the 42nd District, and I am glad to have an opportunity to partner with them on this bill. This bill received unanimous bipartisan support in committee - hooray!
HB 1279 and HB 1463 would have assisted active duty military members and veterans reach their career potential by giving them academic credit for military training at public four year higher educational institutions. While both bills died, a request has been made to the Chairman of the House Education Committee to study these important issues. I thank the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce for their support, and I look forward to working with the Department of Education, the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, the Department of Veterans Services, institutions of higher education, veteran service organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure we continue to honor our veterans and active duty military members.
HB 1058 would have created a pilot program to give active duty service members and Virginia National Guard Members who are stationed overseas the option of voting electronically in a safe and secure manner. Thank you to the Military Officers Association of America for supporting this legislation.
HB 1111 would have established a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Education Fund. This fund would have leveraged public-private partnerships to award competitive grants to eligible public K-12 schools. Previously, this bill received unanimous bipartisan support from the Science and Technology Committee. Unfortunately, the bill died in the Appropriations Committee with a 5-3 vote along partisan lines. I would like to thank all of the high school students who traveled to Richmond, the Virginia PTA, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Virginia Education Association for supporting this bill.
I also presented three budget amendments. Two proposed to use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding for programs to support the successful transition of TANF recipients to self-sufficiency. The last budget amendment would provide funding to pay home health workers overtime in the first fiscal year of the biennial budget. Thank you to SEIU 512, Social Action Linking Together, and Virginia Catholic Conference for supporting these amendments. The proposed budget will be released in a few days, and I hope these three amendments to help working families are accepted.
Visits from Constituents
I am grateful to see so many constituents come to Richmond to advocate for issues they deeply care about. My staff and I met with constituents and members of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, Healthy Families Fairfax, Moms Demand Action, Equality Virginia, Americans for Prosperity, and more. We discussed many issues, including: economic development strategies for our community, common sense solutions to end gun violence, protecting LGBTQ rights, Medicaid expansion, using public funds to build professional sports facilities, nonpartisan redistricting reform, and breaking down barriers to voting.
Town Hall with Senator George Barker
On Saturday, I held an in-district town hall with Senator George Barker. I am thankful to all who attended to hear about an update about the legislative session and to dialogue about issues facing our community.
Lastly, this weekend, I was happy to celebrate Tet, the Lunar New Year, with the Vietnamese American community in Northern Virginia. Happy New Year - Chuc Mung Nam.Moi!
I look forward to seeing you and hope you will join me at upcoming in-district Town Halls:
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