On Monday, we kicked off the week with Advocacy Day. Here’s a quick mid-week report on what’s been happening down at the General Assembly since then. We’ve continued to advocate for children in foster care and youth who age out and we’ve been excited to see some progress made already this week!
Last week, we reported that HB1883 passed the House Commerce & Labor committee. This week, it’s been read on the House floor and today was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates! This bill will prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against foster parents and youth with foster care experience – particularly focusing on car insurance for newly licensed youth. This bill came out of a study by the Commission on Youth on barriers that youth in foster care face when trying to obtain a driver’s license. This bill will still have to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor but we are thrilled that the House has taken this step to ensure protections for youth in foster care.
HB1730, carried by Delegate Brewer has also progressed this week. Delegate Brewer’s bill would require local departments of social services to freeze the credit of children and youth in foster care, preventing abuse and credit fraud. Current law requires credit checks for youth in foster care beginning at age 14 but this law, if passed, would prevent credit issues in the first place. This bill was passed unanimously by the House Commerce and Labor committee earlier this week and will now be heard in the House Appropriations committee.
It’s been a great week thus far and we’ll continue to advocate throughout the week and beyond. Stay tuned for more updates on legislation relating to foster care and adoption. And as always, a huge thank you to legislators and advocates who are working to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care and those who have aged out.