State ISSUES –2016
Action Alert! Where are we in the Legislative Process
Updated Highlights of SALT 2016 Sponsored bills. Please contact your Delegate and Senator to communicate your support for SALT priorities.
Watch for SALT ALERTS AS THESE BILLS COME-UP FOR A VOTE IN COMMITTEE AND SUBCOMMITTEE.
SALT Legislative Proposals/Patron’s Updates—February 5, 2016 --
Legislative Session Continues: We are officially four weeks into this long session. With subcommittee and committee meetings, hours meeting with legislators. this session has proved to be quite eventful.
1. SALT proposals/issues—TANF (Welfare Reform) needs to be reformed--
Del. Kaye Kory — HB 1129 - TANF Increase –Indexing with Budget Amendment Item 342 #5h – Tabled (defeated) on a voice vote in Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
Del. Paul Krizek -- HB 1184 – 10% TANF Increase – Budget Amendment Item 342 #1h - Tabled (defeated) on a voice vote - Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
2. Non-Supplantation – --
Sen. George Barker --- Budget Amendment Item 342 #4s—TANF Caseload and Expenditure Report
Del. Lopez – HB 990 -- Non-Supplantation - Use TANF Block Grant Funds for TANF Core Purposes -– Tabled (defeated) without reason on a voice vote in (HWI) Health Welfare& Institutions SubCommittee #3.
Del. Mark Sickles---HB 1028 Non-Supplantation -- House: Subcommittee (defeated) recommends laying on the table by voice vote
3. Provide Assistance for Foster Care Youth to Attend College— Del. Kathleen Murphy --- Budget Amendment only -- Item # 346 #2h
4. Phone Commission fairness for prisoners and their families — SB 322 – Sen. Ebbin – (Passed Senate 37-2; Now to the House)**
Phone Commission fairness for prisoners and their families -- HB 91— Del. Hope - Recommended laying on the table by Public Safety Committee
5. Ban the Box—Sen. Dance SB 335 - Passed the Senate (26-14)**
Ban the Box -- Betsy Carr HB 530 –assigned to HouseGeneral Laws Committee #4 -- failed in General Laws SubCommittee on a 3Y–4N vote - 1 R voted with us.
6. Child Support Pass through to family; not government/Income disregard @ $200---Budget Amendment -- Item 342 #3h --Del. Mark Sickles
7. Virginia Back to School Supplies and Clothing Allowance for kids in deepest poverty (TANF)—Budget Amendment only -- 348 #6h -- Del. Scott Lingamfelter
8. TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban — HB 828 by Del. Luke Torian——Item 342 #2h(HWI #3 Laid on the table)
TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban -- HB 992 by Del. Lopez—Item 342 #4h--(Reported out of HWI #3 (5Y –0N) Unanimously)**
TANF Ban Opt Out/Lifting the Life-Time Ban - Sen. Favola SB 635- (Defeated on a tie vote (7Y–7N) in Rehab & Soc. Servs. Committee)
9. Count Remedial Ed Toward Welfare Work Requirement—Del. Lopez – HB 991- (Supported Unanimously in HWI #3)**
10. Reform Locality Groupings for TANF Programs – Den. Bill Stanley –Item 342 #2s
11. Support Foster Futures - SB 436 - Sen. Favola-**(Passed Rehab & Soc. Servs. Committee UNANIMOUSLY; Now referred to Sen. Finance)**
Provide Assistance to Foster Care Youth to Attend College - Sen. Favola Item 342 #2s-
TANF Workforce Training in Community Colleges - Sen. Favola Item 342 #6s
Community College Great Expectation –Sen Favola Item 342 #7s
12. Minimum Wage –SB 668 –Sen. Favola – (defeated) Passed by Indefinitely (PBI) - 21Y-3N in Commerce and Labor Committee
13. Tell your Delegate to oppose a return to the electric chair! The Courts of Justice Committee in the House of Delegates passed HB 815 by Del. Jackson Miller on vote of 11 to 6. This legislation now goes to the House floor for debate and a final vote.
14. Two House of Delegates bills were introduced to expand coverage. Del. Kenneth Plum, VA36, introduced a bill to expand Medicaid: HB797, which was tabled. Del. J. Randall Minchew, VA10, submitted a bill that would create a Virginia Health Care Access Fund, but would not expand Medicaid: HB1204, which waspulled by Del Minchew prior to introduction
March 15th 2016 marked the conclusion of the 2016 General Assembly Session -- SALT highlights.
SALT General Assembly Outcomes:
- SALT Victory! Increases TANF benefits by 2.5% passed. The very First TANF increase since 2000 –it took 15 years! The prior increase was in 1985---it took 15 years too!
- Provides a $100 per student back to-school benefit by Sen. Colgan and Del. Lingamfelter defeated.
- Ends lifetime ban on TANF recipiency for people with drug related felonies. Passed by the Senate and then defeated by a most unusual vote to reconsider by Senate.
- SALT Victory! BILL DEFEATED! SALT worked in coalition with VADP and VCC. House rejected bill to keep execution drugs secret! The House of Delegates voted 56-42 to defeat a measure that would have shrouded Virginia's lethal injection process in secrecy.
Medicaid Expansion Legislation
The 2015 General Assembly session may be over, but one big problem remains: lawmakers still refuse to close the health care coverage gap. A favorite smokescreen is the claim that Medicaid needs to be reformed before it can be expanded. However, this claim neglects the fact that recent Medicaid reforms are not only in place in Virginia, but are exceeding expectations. --The Commonwealth Institute
The Virginia Senate Finance Committee and House of Delegates Appropriations Committee chose to exclude Medicaid expansion from the budget and instead, they want to increase state General Fund dollars to free clinics and community health centers. However, we believe Medicaid expansion would enhance the entire health care delivery system in Virginia and is a better solution.
Virginians are already paying for Medicaid expansion through our federal tax dollars. Since our state lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid, we are losing that money. We are disappointed that our lawmakers are ignoring the basic needs of 400,000 people, most of whom are employed taxpayers in the Commonwealth.
Keep advocating for a real solution for those 400,000 Virginians because the people of the Commonwealth deserve better.
Breaking News! VIRGINIA GOVERNOR McAuliffe BANS THE BOX WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER
Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 41, which reforms state hiring practices by removing questions regarding criminal history from employment applications. The Order makes clear that criminal history shall not be a determining factor in employment decisions, unless an individual’s criminal history bears specific relation to the job for which they are being considered. “In a new Virginia economy, people who make mistakes and pay the price should be welcomed back into society and given the opportunity to succeed,” Governor McAuliffe said about the Order.
As you know, “Ban the Box” legislation was a top SALT priority during the 2015 General Assembly session. SALT & VA-CURE partner made a compelling case for “Ban the Box”: "Formerly incarcerated individuals shouldn’t face a life sentence of no job prospects and no opportunities to better themselves just because they have served time in prison. These new (“Ban the Box”) laws will help them get back on their feet, contribute to their communities and keep one offense from becoming a life-long barrier.”
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