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Mid-Session Report from the General Assembly

We’re halfway through this session of the General Assembly and thought now would be a good time to pause and update you on what’s made it through each chamber. Today is crossover day – that means that after today the House can only consider bills that originated in the Senate and vice versa, the Senate can only consider bills that originated in the House. If a House bill did not get passed by the House, it is dead and won’t move any farther in the process. Similarly if a Senate bill did not get passed in the Senate, it is dead and won’t move any farther in the process.

Here’s a list of relevant bills that have made it out of the first chamber and will have to pass the other chamber and be signed into law by the Governor.

Credit Freeze Bills: HB1730, patroned by Delegate Brewer, requiring LDSS to freeze the credit of children in foster care has passed the House unanimously. It will now move on to be considered by the Senate. Similarly, SB1253, patroned by Senator Reeves, which does the same thing as HB1730, has passed the Senate unanimously and will move on to be considered by the House. Since both chambers have considered this bill, just under different bill numbers and both chambers included funding in the budget, we are hopeful that this will pass and become law this year.

Foster Care Omnibus Bill: SB1339, patroned by Senator Reeves, is the Foster Care Omnibus bill that incorporates many of the recommendations from the JLARC report on the state of the foster care system. This has passed the Senate unanimously and been included in the Senate’s budget. This bill now has to pass through the House and be funded in the finalized budget. We are hopeful the enthusiasm for this bill in the Senate will be mirrored in the House.

Family First Preventive Services Act Statutory Alignment Bills: HB2014, patroned by Delegate Peace and SB 1678 and SB1679, patroned by Senator Mason, all bring Virginia’s code in alignment with federal law to allow Virginia to implement Family First Preventive Services Act. This will allow Virginia to access federal funds to provide services that will prevent children from entering foster care. HB2014 passed the house and SB1678 and SB1679 both passed the Senate. The Senate will now have to consider HB2014 and the House will have to consider SB1678 and SB1679 but we are hopeful all three of these will be passed and enacted into law.

College Tuition for Youth Who Aged Out of Foster Care Bill: HB2350, patroned by Delegate Miyares, would require all public institutions of higher education to provide grants for tuition for youth who have aged out of foster care. This bill will now be considered by the Senate and would then have to be signed by the Governor before becoming law.

Thank you to all of the legislators who have supported these pieces of legislation. We hope that this momentum will continue and we will see some positive policy changes come out of this session. Register below to get email alerts as we post new updates on news from the General Assembly!