Public Comments for 02/07/2022 Appropriations - Transportation and Public Safety Subcommittee
HB749 - Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund; purpose, guidelines.
Last Name: Kipley Organization: Virginia is for Children Locality: Powhatan

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and committee members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 16 and thank you, Delegate Fowler, for your work updating our state’s Safe Haven law. We, Virginia is for Children (an advocacy group for the lives of vulnerable children in our state), are following the Safe Haven law efforts and are fully supportive of the extension to thirty days of age for infant relinquishment. This is a reasonable, standard amount of time for a mom/parent to conclude that they cannot parent their baby OR, change their mind and decide they can parent their baby. Such a significant, life-altering decision does not need to be rushed or hurried. We know that moms who have just given birth, especially those who are alone, need time to recover physically and emotionally. Moms can experience postpartum depression after the birth of child, this typically occurs within the first 1-3 weeks after birth, parents can be in desperate situations- experiencing homelessness, abuse, addiction and need time to get help. Twenty-one states are now at thirty days for age of relinquishment. Utah just extended their law to thirty days in February, 2020 and approved funding for safe haven law awareness. Extending this law can potentially save more infants from abuse, neglect, and abandonment and give parents the time they need to make important decisions. We hope the committee will approve the extension and consider providing state funding for safe haven law awareness and promotion of safe haven locations or “safe baby sites”. Not enough parents are informed about the law’s existence and the process involved. Our group is especially interested in a state funded, DSS promoted, 24-hour confidential, crisis hotline that would provide intervention and support for women in crisis pregnancies and struggling parents, so that they can get the help they need to parent their baby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee members for your time and for the opportunity to voice our support of this bill. Sincerely, Leah Kipley VA is for Children

Last Name: Fox Organization: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Locality: Albemarle County

I'm a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and I support this bill.

HB857 - Virginia National Guard; institutions of higher education, issuance of tuition grants.
No Comments Available
HB989 - Jails, local; Department of Corrections shall compensate for cost of incarceration.
Last Name: Flynn Organization: Virginia Municipal League Locality: Quinton

Mark Flynn, on behalf of the Virginia Municipal League. The League supports delegate Runion's bill and asks the subcommittee to support the legislation. The bill creates an equitable funding for local costs of housing persons convicted of felonies in the state system. Thank you.

Last Name: Huber Organization: Alleghany County Locality: Pulaski County

Dear Public Safety House Sub-Committee Members, I am writing to support passage of HB989. Alleghany County and our neighboring localities face a very serious situation regarding state responsible inmates. In FY2021 Alleghany County spent $673,050 to house inmates in other facilities with our overflow being directly attributable to state-responsible inmates. Over the past three years this situation has cost the County $1,557,090.78. We specifically ask that the Commonwealth fully reimburse localities for the cost of housing inmates that are the responsibility of the Commonwealth. The current lack of financial responsibility by the State is a backdoor way of balancing this portion of the state budget on the backs of local governments. By simply not transferring state-responsible inmates into the state prison system, the Commonwealth is severely affecting local budgets. This added cost is significant, uncontrollable and unpredictable. We sincerely hope that the General Assembly will address this problem in the current legislative session considering the State's current inflow of substantial financial resources. HB 989 is a major step in the right direction and we encourage its adoption. Please let me know of anything we can do to assist you in considering this matter. Sincerely, Pete Huber Interim Alleghany County Administrator Cell 540 440-0308

HB1053 - Correctional facilities, local; fees associated with inmates.
Last Name: Tina Organization: Pathway Homes Consumer Board Locality: Alexandria

Just like to be heard about the bills thank u

Last Name: Halasz Organization: City of Lexington Locality: Lexington

It is a continuing financial burden to localities to be asked to house state responsible inmates without receiving full compensation from the state. Our localities have long understood that state beds in correctional facilities may not always be readily available. We are glad to afford the state the opportunity to place inmates in our facilities, but we must be fully compensated for our actual costs - the same costs we pay for the daily care of an inmate. By making our communities absorb this expense, you effectively prevent us from investing these dollars in education, law enforcement, fire & rescue, streets and other infrastructure, etc, Just do what is fair by you local partners and service providers & with a budget flush with excess revenues - send some of it here!

HB1332 - Correctional facility; intentionally covering, removing, etc., a security camera, penalty.
Last Name: Britt Organization: private citizen Locality: Portsmouth

I am in support of HB 1332 because the safety of all staff must be a top priority. Offenders in correctional facilities commit infractions on a continual basis with little or no administrative consequences are issued to offenders which can possibly deter them from interrupting the effective operations of the correctional facility (whether it's jail or prison). There are situations in which correctional officers work at their post and the essential security equipment that is provided for them barely work or don't work at all. Offenders should be held accountable for tampering with security equipment regardless of their security level. For this reason, please support HB 1332. Thank you, constituents.

Last Name: Mapes Organization: Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Locality: Virginia Beach

Surveillance cameras inside the facility are critical to deterring, investigating, and prosecuting criminal activity, such as assault, tampering with other security devices, and introduction and use of contraband, inside the jail. Inmates cover the cameras to hide assaults or other criminal activity. Often, video surveillance is the only tool to identify assailants as victims may be unable or unwilling to do so. Video surveillance is a key piece of evidence during prosecution. For these reasons, I ask that you support HB1332.

End of Comments