We are in the middle of the second to last week of General Assembly session and while we’ve made great progress, there is still a lot to be done! Here’s an update on where the relevant bills are in the process.
There’s great news on the credit freeze bills! HB1730, patroned by Delegate Brewer, and SB1253, patroned by Senator Mason have both passed Senate Finance and House Appropriations, respectively. HB1730 will have to pass the full Senate and SB1253 will have to pass the full House before going to the Governor to sign into law.
All three of the Family First Preventive Services Act Statutory Alignment bills continue to move through the legislative process. HB2014 and SB1679, patroned by Delegate Peace and Senator Mason respectively, are out of committee but the great news is that SB1678, patroned by Senator Mason, has passed both the House and Senate! These bills will set Virginia up to access federal funds to prevent foster care – something we’ve never been able to do before!
HB2350, patroned by Delegate Miyares, has also made further progress. This bill would require all four year higher education institutions to provide grants for tuition for youth who have aged out of foster care. Currently, youth who have aged out of foster care can attend community college tuition-free but this bill would expand that to four year colleges. This bill was passed by Senate Education and Health, Higher Education subcommittee and will go before full Education and Health committee before being presented on the Senate floor.
On the money side of things, the budget bills are in conference this week and conferees from both the House and Senate will be working together to create an agreed budget. We are hopeful that our bills that need funding, the Omnibus bill, the Family First Preventive Services Act Statutory Alignment and the Credit Freeze bills, will be included in the final budget.
SB1339, patroned by Senator Reeves, and known as the Omnibus bill, is in House Appropriations, Health and Human Resources, subcommittee. The subcommittee has decided to take no action on that bill while the budget conference is occurring.
We will keep you updated as bills continue to move through the process and the budget is negotiated. To stay up to date, register below to receive advocacy alerts as we post updates!