Week 5 of the Virginia General Assembly Session is complete!
Happy Black History Month!
February has arrived! This month is recognized as Black History Month, which is a time to reflect on the contributions of African Americans and their history. As a descendant of enslaved Africans, I recognize that I am standing on their shoulders and that I am the fulfillment of their wildest dreams.
On Tuesday, February 4, I introduced my bill, HB1650, in the General Laws Open Government/Procurement Subcommittee. This bill establishes the Small Business Enhancement Program and codifies the provisions of Executive Order 35: Advancing Equity for Small, Women, Minority, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses in State Contracting.
The Subcomittee voted 6-Y,2-N.
On Wednesday, House Bill 392, passed on the House Floor! The vote was passed 81-Y,18-N.
This bill permits a school board to employ an individual who has been convicted of a felony or crime that does not involve sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse, or rape of a child, provided that in the case of a felony conviction, the individual has had his rights restored by the Governor.
Most often, school boards see candidates who have made poor choices during their late teens and early twenties. Most violations are related to felony drug possession, bad check charges, or shoplifting.
Currently, a person could be ELECTED to serve on the school board, but not work for that school board. This bill could address the shortage of otherwise qualified candidates for employment.
I had the pleasure of meeting some members of the Denbigh House.
The Denbigh House opened in 2005 in Newport News and became the first community based program for survivors of brain injury in the Hampton Roads Peninsula.
The Denbigh House has three work units such as communications, advocacy and outreach, and kitchen and maintenance. Through the structure of the work-ordered day and participation in the work units, individuals regain the work skills and behaviors necessary to return to work and develop independent living skills.
Students from Hampton University visited the Capitol for their Student Advocacy Day in the General Assembly.
I had the honor of introducing them on the House floor and getting a quick picture with them before heading to session!
Each Thursday morning, the Hampton Roads delegation meets to discuss certain topics that affect the Hampton Roads region. Last week, there was a lot of discussion about the way we can protect and grow the military presence in the region AND increasing transportation revenue so we can maintain and invest in our roads, bridges, tunnels, transit and passenger rail across the Commonwealth.
I received a warm welcome from a student ambassador, Kennedy DeCosta, from the Virginia 4-H Cabinet before heading to the House floor.
The week ended with my bill, HB395, passing in the Appropriations subcommittee and full committee meetings! Now, it will be heard on the House floor by next week!
This bill, HB395, increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2020; to $11 per hour effective July 1, 2021; to $13 per hour effective July 1, 2022; and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2023.
The following is a list of a few of the bills moving through the House of Delegates
HB 108 - designating Election Day as a state holiday in place of Lee-Jackson Day