These past few weeks have been hectic. Not only did we wrap up the most productive and progressive session in Virginia History, we also entered into uncharted territory with a health crisis none of us have seen in our lifetimes.
Happy Friday! We have made it through another week, staying safe and getting ready for today’s changes as Northern Virginia carefully moves into a new way of living. Look for safe events, openings, and new programs happening around town with this transition to the Governor’s Phase One, Forward Virginia Plan.
In the middle of this horrific pandemic, yesterday was the last day for the Governor to address the remaining bills in front of him. In addition to the newsletter I sent out earlier about the Virginia Values Act, below are a few more significant bills I expect to become law on July 1, 2020. I introduced these bills, and my outstanding staff and the Governor’s remarkable staff burned the midnight oil to complete the work.
While I know that much of the news lately is filled with bleak COVID-19 information and rising death tolls, I want to share some positive news that happened only a short bit ago.
The past two weeks in Richmond have been very busy as we continue to pass bills through the committee process to the House floor. This week, we achieved a landmark victory in the fight against the discrimination of LGBTQ people. Under current Virginia law, LGBTQ people can be fired from their jobs, denied housing, or refused service at a restaurant, shop, or doctor’s office. I introduced HB 1663 to modernize existing laws to protect LGBTQ Virginians from discrimination in employment, housing, access to credit, and public accomodations.
We gaveled into session on January 8th, the 2020 General Assembly session is up and running in full gear. The first Democratic House of Delegates majority in over two decades began its work by considering measures that have broad public support but have been bottled up in committee for years. The first resolution considered in this “long” 60-day session was the Equal Rights Amendment--Virginia becoming the 38th state to ratify on a vote of 59-41.
Happy National Voter Registration Day! To participate in Election Day in Virginia on November 5, you must register to vote by October 15. Below are some helpful tips:
- You can check your voter registration information here.
This past week, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), re-instated the blue and yelllow rail service and opened all of the stations along each line. To my commuters who have survied the summer: thank you for your patience. I hope the new facilities are visually appealing as well as safer. As a frequent rider, I am happy to have service back!
The following stations have reopened after the platform reconstruction project and updates to metro facilities: Braddock Rd, King Street, Van Dorn St, Franconia-Springfield, Esienhower Ave and Huntington.
The 2020 House of Delegates Page Program application has gone LIVE on the “Capitol Classroom” section of the Virginia General Assembly website. It also will be featured for the next three months there as well as on the scrolling Virginia General Assembly home page highlighting various “news worthy” happenings around Capitol Square.
The 2020 House Page application is accessible here - https://capclass.virginiageneralassembly.gov/PagePrograms/PagePrograms.html