Since Crossover, we are happy to see the bills we support continuing to move through the legislative process. With just two weeks left in session, we’ll continue to support these bills and push for them to pass both chambers of the General Assembly. Here’s where we ended up at the end of this week.
SB1339, the Foster Care Omnibus bill patroned by Senator Reeves, has been assigned to House Appropriations HHR Subcommittee. This bill still has to pass that subcommittee, the full House Appropriations committee and the full House. This bill incorporates many of the recommendations of the JLARC report that was released in December on the state of our foster care system.
HB1730, the credit freeze bill patroned by Delegate Brewer, has been referred to Senate Commerce & Labor. It will have to pass that committee, Senate Finance committee and the full Senate. Similarly, SB1253, the Senate bill that mirrors HB1730, patroned by Senator Reeves, has been referred to House Appropriations. It will have to pass House Appropriations and the full House. Since these bills are identical and passed their respective chambers of origin, we anticipate these passing.
The Family First Preventive Services Act Statutory Alignment bills have all passed out of committee. These include HB2014, patroned by Delegate Peace, and SB1678 and SB1679, patroned by Senator Mason. SB1678 has been read a second time on the House floor but SB1679, which has a fiscal impact, has been rereferred to House Appropriations and will have to pass that committee before making it to the House floor for a vote.
HB2350, the college tuition bill patroned by Delegate Miyares, has been assigned to Senate Education & Health, Higher Education subcommittee. It will have to pass subcommittee, full Education & Health committee and the full Senate.
In addition to these bills, we also attended the second Foster Care Caucus meeting. Secretary of Health and Human Resources Gena Boyle Berger presented to the caucus on trauma informed care for children in foster care. The caucus meeting had a great turnout with many of our partners and stakeholders in the room to advocate for children in foster care. We are excited to see the momentum of the kick-off of the Foster Care Caucus early this session continue throughout this session and are hopeful the momentum will continue into future sessions.
We will continue to advocate for these bills over the final two weeks of session. Thank you to all of the legislators who are committed to making positive change for children in foster care and youth who have aged out of foster care!
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