After legislators adjourned February 24, Governor Northam set to work signing legislation into law, vetoing bills he opposed and proposing amendments to legislation and to the budget. The governor’s deadline to act was midnight March 26; his budget recommendations can be found here.
On April 3, legislators will be in session to consider the governor’s actions and proposals. Before April 3 is our opportunity to ask our legislators to support:
$1.5M in census funding: an accurate census is critical in assuring proper representation through redistricting and allocation of funds for public safety and other needed community resources. Governor Northam has declared April 1 to be Census Awareness Day; more info here.
Eliminating driver’s licenses suspensions for nonpayment of court fines and costs. The current practice targets the poor and can make it more difficult for them to get to work. They may be forced to have to choose between not providing for their families or breaking the law. Eliminating these suspensions will benefit more than 600,000 people. More info here.
$4M Virginia Housing Trust Fund. There is a national shortage of affordable housing and Virginia is not immune to the problem. Teachers, firefighters, restaurant workers, to name a few, are finding it more difficult to live where they work because housing is so expensive. We need these jobs in our communities and those working them need to have a place to live.
$17.7M in tax relief for low-income Virginians. This tax break will help approximately 150,000 people with annual incomes of less than $50,000.
Substitutes to Association Health Care plans HB1661HB2443SB1689. As passed, these bills left some Virginians vulnerable to becoming under-insured or being denied coverage based upon pre-existing conditions. The governor’s substitute bills assure more people can access health insurance. More info here.