Public Comments for 01/22/2021 Rules - Studies Subcommittee
HB1959 - Medication abandonment and increasing patient medication adherence; options for reducing rates.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bennett Locality: Orange

I support the bills that I have selected. Thank you.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Yoder Locality: Fairfax county

Medicines should be affordable!!!!

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HB2271 - Universal health care; Joint Commission on Health Care to study options for financing.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Shively Locality: Pittsylvania

No universal health care will cause too much debt and change out social security? I’ve worked my whole life and feel I deserve that money I have put in. Universal health care will break out infrastructure bad set the debt level even higher.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support these three bills. I believe a study to definitely suggest how best the Commonwealth of Virginia can get money out of politics is key to our raising ourselves up from the 10% worst states with respect to campaign contributions, with only 4 states more corrupted by money in politics than us. This is why I feel we need Del. Bulova's HJ526. I support Del. Samirah's HB2271. Having lived in Québec, Canada (just like our new Vice President), which is a Medicaid for all system with a Canadian Federal Grant, I can say the system works and works very well. I think that a Medicaid for Some system is the perfect one for Virginia to showcase as an option to the rest of the states, as a better solution than the drastic Medicare for all Federal bureaucracy. Samirah's bill would study just what a Public Option (Medicaid for Some) would look like. After all, it's what Obamacare, the ACA, should have been. Let's do what the Federal Government could not: Medicaid for Some: you have a Public Option. Finally, I support McNamara's HJ541. Daylight Savings is a joke. There is no reason to shift the clock twice a year and it causes less productive workers for an entire week after the time changes, injuring our economy. Arizona has no daylight savings, and Virginia would do well to follow, and lead the charge to eliminating Daylight Savings across the entire Eastern Seaboard. We literally spend 7 months in Summer Time, and only 5 in Standard Time. I hope this study will look into all possibilities including moving Virginia to Central Time permanently, just go into Summer Time in March, and never leave it. That would be my dream but I look forward to what this study will find.

HJ522 - Staffing levels, employment conditions, and compensation at DOC; continued study, appropriations.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Jones Organization: CWA-NCPSO Locality: Henrico

HJ 522 Establishes a Joint Committee of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions; the House Committee on Public Safety; the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services to study staffing levels, employment conditions, and compensation at the Virginia Department of Corrections. The resolution directs the joint committee to conclude its work by November 30, 2021 and to report its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The National Coalition of Public Safety Officers in Virginia represents Correctional Officers and knows firsthand that this committee is desperately needed. We are asking for your support of this much needed study.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Kirk Jones Organization: CWA-NCPSO Locality: Henrico

The men and women who work as correctional officers in Virginia's DOC facilities, providing essential public safety services, work in situations many of us cannot envisage must less would perform ourselves. Their challenges are in need of review and assistance. This bill, HJ 522, would continue the needed study the General Assembly authorized last year. We forward to your support of this bill.

HJ526 - Comprehensive campaign finance reform; joint subcommittee to study.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Spitz Organization: Progressive Democrats of America- Virginia Locality: Fairfax County

We urgently need campaign finance reform in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We need campaign finance limitations which 45 of the 50 states have so that no one has outsized influence over candidates for the General Assembly or for statewide office so that we the people know that our representatives are not bought by special interests. We need to ban corporate donations. We need to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, not a government of the corporations for the corporations and by the lobbyists.

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support HJ526. I hope studying campaign finance will lead to positive change in the 2022 legislative year. We need an omnibus result which can be submitted as a package and then we need to demand the speaker makes this a priority! We can't let the watched fund the watchmen with their influence. We can't let corporations control our political system. We need to fix this, and let this be the last study. We know what happened with Gov. Wilder's study. This time, make it permanent!

Last Name: Morgan Organization: American Promise/MoneyOutVA Locality: Alexandria

Testimony Supporting HR526, “Establishing a joint subcommittee to study comprehensive campaign finance reform ” My name is Nancy Morgan, the coordinator of the VA chapter of American Promise and we support this bill. 30 years ago a Gov Wilder Commission recommended that Virginia introduce campaign finance limitations. In 2021, we are only1 of 5 (soon to be 4) states with no campaign finance limitations. Meanwhile, for years, campaign finance bills have been introduced in the General Assembly and had no hearings, while election spending in Virginia has been soaring, reaching $121 million in 2019. We support the idea of this study but want more than just an executive report which might sit on the shelves for another 30 years. We would like the study to result in a package of legislative-ready bills for consideration by the 2022 GA session. These bills should be vetted with legislators prior to the next session and the package should address not only limitations, but “state of the art” disclosure bills, options for implementing public funding for elections and a budget and plan for ensuring effective monitoring and enforcement. We shared Del Bulova’s bill with the Campaign Legal Center and our group worked with them to come up with some improvements to the study which we shared with the Delegate. The CLC expressed a willingness to work with this Commission to come up with good legislation. We support the study proposal as long as there is something other than just recommendations in a report. We all hope that this isn’t simply a means of “kicking the can down the road” because that isn’t acceptable to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Boyd Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Arlington

Thank you Mr. Chairman for this opportunity to testify in support of HJ 526 on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. My name is Janet Boyd. I am the Director of Voter Services and chair the League’s Campaign Finance Issue Group. The League has long supported legislation that protects representative democracy from distortions created by unrestricted campaign contributions. Delegate Bulova’s bill, which provides rules for a comprehensive study, is a valuable first step that could lead to a strong, new campaign finance system for Virginia. Currently, Virginia’s campaign finance laws are inadequate. We are behind the 22 states that already prohibit all corporations from contributing to political campaigns. Only 5 states, including Virginia, have no restrictions on any campaign contributions. We are encouraged by the deadline in this bill that would require the study to be completed later this year, in time for its recommendations to be considered in the General Assembly’s 2022 Regular Session. If passed, we urge the Rules Committee to watch the organization of the Joint Subcommittee, including quick selection of its members, to ensure this end-of-year deadline is met. Additionally, we support the bill’s comprehensive outline for the study. We recognize that all parts of campaign financing should be considered together to ensure that a truly trustworthy system is in place for Virginia. Should the bill be enacted, the League of Women Voters is committed to support and assist the Joint Subcommittee in completing this study. We urge you to pass HJ 526.

Last Name: Morgan Organization: American Promise/MoneyOut VA Locality: Alexandria

My name is Nancy Morgan, the coordinator of the VA chapter of American Promise and we support this bill. 30 years ago a Gov Wilder Commission recommended that Virginia introduce campaign finance limitations. In 2021, we are only1 of 5 (soon to be 4) states with no campaign finance limitations. Meanwhile, for years, campaign finance bills have been introduced in the General Assembly and had no hearings, while election spending in Virginia has been soaring, reaching $121 million in 2019. We support the idea of this study but want more than just an executive report which might sit on the shelves for another 30 years. We would like the study to result in a package of legislative-ready bills for consideration by the 2022 GA session. These bills should be vetted with legislators prior to the next session and the package should address not only limitations, but “state of the art” disclosure bills, options for implementing public funding for elections and a budget and plan for ensuring effective monitoring and enforcement. We shared Del Bulova’s bill with the Campaign Legal Center and our group worked with them to come up with some improvements to the study which we shared with the Delegate. The CLC expressed a willingness to work with this Commission to come up with good legislation. We support the study proposal as long as there is something other than just recommendations in a report. We all hope that this isn’t simply a means of “kicking the can down the road” because that isn’t acceptable to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Below are some technical suggestions to consider when implementing the study. II. Structure of the committee 1) Appointments: ○ Two members from the House and Senate should be members of the P&E committees, and/or legislators who have introduced CFR reform bills, since they are the most aware of the challenges of passing legislation on this topic. ○ There should be parity between legislators and non-legislative citizen members and they should be appointed by the Speaker with consultation from the Chair of the House P&E committee. II. Meetings-line 55. “Shall Be limited to four “in person” meetings for the ….2021 interim. III. Transparency: ● There needs to be public access to the deliberations and results; perhaps organize hearings to get input from the general public. ● Legislative feedback should feature into the study. This could come from a survey/questionnaire to Virginia lawmakers requesting their input for the study (issues, concerns, questions to be addressed by the study). ● The meeting schedule should include intermediate mileposts for publicly available presentation of progress reports so that members of the legislature may provide ongoing feedback and direction to the study.

Last Name: Greenaway Locality: Caroline

HJ526 - I support Del. Bulova's bill proposing a joint committee to study comprehensive campaign finance reform. Virginia is one of only four states that has no campaign finance limitations of any kind. As a result, the cost of campaigns in Virginia has skyrocketed. Already, 46 other states have tested various campaign funding limitations and they have passed judicial review. Further, concerns that limiting campaign donations will cause Dark Money to fuel campaigns have been dealt with by a number of states through a combination of enhanced disclosure and enforcement. Finally, the scenario of the self-funding candidate who has the ability to influence the outcome of the race has also been successfully dealt with in a number of other states. A study will de-mystify campaign finance limitations and provide the opportunity to utilize best practices from other states to make strong recommendations for campaign finance reforms and greater campaign funding transparency. Citizen participation in these studies will allow for a robust and thorough discussion of the issues surrounding the lack of campaign finance limitations in Virginia which can no longer be ignored. HJ569 - I support Del. Jones proposal to call request the Department of Forestry convene a stakeholder advisory group to study and evaluate enabling statutes for local ordinances related to the preservation, planting, and replacement of trees during the land development process. In 2019, I relocated from Prince William County to Caroline County. Part of the reason for my relocation was because a developer was allowed to destroy several hundred trees in an area of wetlands that bordered my property in a clearly riparian area less than a quarter mile from the Occoquan River. The trees had acted as an important buffer for storm water runoff that kept my community from facing serious flooding issues during the extremely wet year of 2018. Despite initially being told that the developer had not been granted a permit by the Commonwealth to build on that land because they were wetlands, I subsequently learned that the developer had promised to "plant trees in another area" in exchange for building on that site. It was clear to me and the Virginia government scientists that those wetlands were an established part of the Potomac watershed and should have been preserved, but clearly, they were powerless to enforce that upon the developer. I have subsequently worked with the Department of Forestry at my new property. For situations like the one I am describing, they should have had a role in negotiating how this critical wetland area was handled. Instead, the Commonwealth of Virginia lost hundreds of established trees that will be replaced by whatever the developer can find on sale with no guarantee that the replacement trees will survive, a net loss towards our committed goal to plant 25,000,000 trees by 2025.

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support these three bills. I believe a study to definitely suggest how best the Commonwealth of Virginia can get money out of politics is key to our raising ourselves up from the 10% worst states with respect to campaign contributions, with only 4 states more corrupted by money in politics than us. This is why I feel we need Del. Bulova's HJ526. I support Del. Samirah's HB2271. Having lived in Québec, Canada (just like our new Vice President), which is a Medicaid for all system with a Canadian Federal Grant, I can say the system works and works very well. I think that a Medicaid for Some system is the perfect one for Virginia to showcase as an option to the rest of the states, as a better solution than the drastic Medicare for all Federal bureaucracy. Samirah's bill would study just what a Public Option (Medicaid for Some) would look like. After all, it's what Obamacare, the ACA, should have been. Let's do what the Federal Government could not: Medicaid for Some: you have a Public Option. Finally, I support McNamara's HJ541. Daylight Savings is a joke. There is no reason to shift the clock twice a year and it causes less productive workers for an entire week after the time changes, injuring our economy. Arizona has no daylight savings, and Virginia would do well to follow, and lead the charge to eliminating Daylight Savings across the entire Eastern Seaboard. We literally spend 7 months in Summer Time, and only 5 in Standard Time. I hope this study will look into all possibilities including moving Virginia to Central Time permanently, just go into Summer Time in March, and never leave it. That would be my dream but I look forward to what this study will find.

Last Name: Coady Locality: Vienna

This is an important bill that would provide a first step to restoring our local Virginia ecosystem. It will have economic benefits e.g. species like English ivy destroy trees in Virginia costing homeowners and taxpayers real money for tree removal due to the damage that causes. Other invasive are crowding out native plants and causing real harm to the environment. We need a simple common sense action that removes these foreign species from the nurseries. Consumers typically have limited knowledge of these plants and would likely not purchase them if they were more informed. Please support this bill.

HJ527 - Invasive plant species; DCR, et al., to study the sale and use of species.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Calvert Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Charlottesville

VIrginia Conservation Network (VCN) is in full support of HJ527. Case description: http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HJ527-Invasive-Species-Talking-Points.pdf

Last Name: Sheldon Organization: The Nature Conservancy Locality: Richmond

The Nature Conservancy supports HJ527, requesting a study of the sale and use of invasive plant species. With lands under our care across the entire Commonwealth, our stewardship staff are familiar with how difficult and time consuming it is to remove invasive species and restore native plants and habitat. We hope this study will help move towards lessening that burden and the negative impacts of invasive plants and encourage the Committee to support the resolution.

Last Name: Spring Locality: Williamsburg

I’m very concerned that invasive plant species are crowding out our native plants which are necessary to support our native plant species and wildlife. On Route 199 between Monticello and Longhill roads there used to be native dogwoods and redbuds blooming in the spring. In the last few years that area has been entirely overtaken by invasive Bradford pears which are choking out all other species. Likewise running bamboo has been and is continuing to be an invasive nuisance choking out all native plants in its wake. Please consider legislation to ban the sale and planting of invasive species such as Bradford pears, as has already been done in some localities across the nation. Also consider legislation to require barriers around invasive species such as running bamboo sufficient to prevent its spread into neighboring properties. Thank you for your attention to and efforts to protect our native Virginian plants and wildlife through your study of this issue. I look forward to seeing legislation put forward to address these issues which are so important to prevent the continuing spread of invasive plant species. Keep up the good work!

Last Name: Carroll Organization: Arlington County Locality: Arlington County

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments in support of HJ 527, regarding a study about the sale and use of invasive species. The spread of non-native invasive plants is one of the most serious threats to native plant communities and to maintaining biologically diverse ecosystems in Virginia. Over half of Arlington County’s natural lands remain severely impacted by invasive plants, even after a decade of management. Arlington’s Invasive Species program was created in 2002 after concerned citizens advocated for the development of a coordinated program to help control invasive plants through public education and volunteer efforts. For almost a decade, the Arlington County Board has committed $100,000 per year to manage invasive plants in areas of high biodiversity, and spends an average of an additional $125,000 per year on management in other areas, making the total $225,000. These costs do not include staff time, as well over 1,000 hours of annual volunteer time at county-led events. While some of this time and funding is spent controlling invasives that are either not commercially available or are listed as noxious weeds, the great bulk of the invasive species being managed in Arlington County are still for sale commercially. These include Japanese Barberry, Wintercreeper, Chinese Wisteria and Burning Bush, to name just a few. Of particular concern to us are commercially available species that are just beginning to spread aggressively into our parks but have not - not yet – become as prevalent, such as Yellow Archangel, Chameleon Plant, and Black Fountain Grass. Preventing them from becoming established will require less herbicide use in the future, and save time and money in the long run in Arlington and elsewhere in the state of Virginia. Promoting the use of native plants would also be a benefit to Arlington parks and our general environment. Our beautiful native plants are a valuable part of Virginia’s heritage. They are the foundation of intact ecological communities and are critical to supporting robust and diverse wildlife populations. Native plants serve as host plants for butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinators, and the insects that feed on them are the food source for 96% of nestling land birds, including our state bird, the Cardinal. Native plants are inherently better adapted to local conditions so require fewer resources to maintain, as well. Arlington County offers its support to work with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other interested parties, including members of the nursery industry, to strengthen the regulation of invasive plants and promote the sale of native plants in Virginia, in a manner that considers both ecological benefits and long term economic benefits and costs. We appreciate your consideration of this important legislation and hope that you will support it.

Last Name: Latasa Locality: Fairfax County

Please support HJ527. Noxious exotic invasive plant species are prevalent throughout forested areas of Virginia, crowding out our own treasured native flora. Virginia certainly does not need to add to this growing problem by continuing to permit the distribution of these species. Nearly all noxious exotic invasive species are planted for purely ornamental purposes and could readily be substituted by native or non-invasive species. Let's keep Virginia forests Virginian.

Last Name: Spring Locality: Williamsburg

I’m very concerned that invasive plant species are crowding out our native plants which are necessary to support our native plant species and wildlife. On Route 199 between Monticello and Longhill roads there used to be native dogwoods and redbuds blooming in the spring. In the last few years that area has been entirely overtaken by invasive Bradford pears which are choking out all other species. Likewise running bamboo has been and is continuing to be an invasive nuisance choking out all native plants in its wake. Please consider legislation to ban the sale and planting of invasive species such as Bradford pears, as has already been done in some localities across the nation. Also consider legislation to require barriers around invasive species such as running bamboo sufficient to prevent its spread into neighboring properties. Thank you for your attention to and efforts to protect our native Virginian plants and wildlife through your study of this issue. I look forward to seeing legislation put forward to address these issues which are so important to prevent the continuing spread of invasive plant species. Keep up the good work!

Last Name: Garland Organization: Friends of Accotink Creek Locality: Vienna

Friends of Accotink Creek SUPPORTS Delegate Bulova's/Senator Marsden's joint resolution to mandate a study to explore options for phasing out the sale and propagation of invasive plants in Va. Invasive plants are a disaster. They displace our native flora and provide zero value to birds and pollinators. Given the harm invasive plants do, it is curious that they are readily available for sale where they often escape the confines of where they are planted. The proposed study group will make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate the sale and use of invasive species and promote the sale and use of our native species. The study will also find out how much counties in Virginia spend on controlling invasive plants, how much do property owners spend on getting rid of their invasive plants, and how many hours of volunteer labor is involved pulling them. All this data-gathering is vital if Va wants to make any headway tackling our infestations of invasive plants.

Last Name: Killius Organization: James River Association Locality: Richmond

The James River Association appreciates the opportunity to register our support for HJ527, requesting a study of the sale and use of invasive plant species. As part of the James River Park System Invasive Task Force, our staff and volunteers understand the long and difficult task of removing invasive species and restoring native plants and habitats to Richmond's cherished park system. We thank the patron for bringing forward this important discussion and we urge the Committee to support the resolution.

Last Name: Willing Organization: Virginia Native Plants Society Locality: Woodbridge

Invasive plants have come to dominate the once beautiful piedmont landscapes of northern Virginia. They are indicative of human development, loss of biodiversity, and reduced food security. The nursery trade has an ethical obligation and moral imperative to cease the sales of non-native invasive plants. The Commonwealth of Virginia must incentivize the nursery industry to sell native plants and cease the sale of invasives. In just three years of removing invasives and planting natives on our 1 acre property in a suburban community, we have witnessed first hand a dramatic increase in bird and insect diversity and population. Monarchs not only visit, but raise caterpillars on our milkweeds. Bluebirds and Carolina wrens nest in our trees and shrubs. Hummingbirds feed on our native flowers and vines. Native bees and pollinators are flourishing on our property, strengthening our local food security. Invasives not only destroy our biodiversity, they destroy our ecological heritage. We can, and must, do more. - Adrian Willing. Father, husband, Christian, sailor, and native plants enthusiast.

Last Name: Calvert Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Charlottesville

Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) supports HJ527, and is appreciative of Delegate Bulova’s patronage of this important study. Our 150 partner organizations respectfully request that the subcommittee vote in support. http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HJ527-Invasive-Species-Talking-Points.pdf

Last Name: Mays Locality: Nelson

Dear Sirs, I am commenting here along with a letter recently sent to members of the committee in support of HB527. I am a full time farmer in Nelson County. Our land has been negatively impacted by invasive species for many years. First there was multiflora rose then kudzu . Each of these have forever changed the landscape into which thy were introduced. I have battled these species as long as I can remember. Then came Japanese Stiltgrass, Perilla Mint and now the worst one Fountain grass. None of these species are native to Virginia. These species are non-native aggressive invasives of the worst kind. As you probably know by now there are countless others negatively affecting the beautiful state of Virginia. Controlling invasive species is an overwhelming burden on landowners. It can seriously affect productivity of farmlands and our forests. Some of these invasives are being grown and sold in the nursery industry here in Virginia. They are also being sold into Virginia from nurseries out of state. Whereas we cannot hope to eradicate all the invasive species being proliferated onto our landscape I strongly urge you to support this legislative effort to study the impact of removing invasive species from sale in Virginia. This would be a giant step forward in preserving our native landscape. Protecting our private farmland and forest from invasives is just as important as protecting our parks, scenic areas, and national forests. We in this generation owe it to our children and grandchildren to ensure our native species are protected from the threats that invasive species present to the land and to our wildlife. Personally I will spend the rest of my life battling invasive species on my farm and continuing to support efforts to slow the spread of these outside invaders onto the landscape. Please join with me and many other concerned stakeholders in supporting HB527. William Mays

Last Name: Parker Locality: Oakton

I’m urging any action possible, starting with a study and hopefully ending with the banning of the sale of non-native invasive species in the state. Many people WANT to plant more native species, but it’s really hard to know what are benign non-natives and what are invasive when touring a garden center. This study is a good start.

Last Name: Newberry Locality: Oakton

Please support this bill. I have spent many hours on my property and volunteering on park land removing invasive plant species. One of the more frustrating aspects of my work is to see the continued planting of plants we know invade our natural areas. While the spread of invasive plant species can be slowed through lots of hard work, the best time to push back invasive species is before they are planted.

Last Name: Murawih Locality: Fairfax County

I support this study. Invasive species are taking over our parks, farms, and forests. The consequences on the entire ecosystem and wildlife are immense.

Last Name: Mongeon Locality: Stafford

Please support the restriction of the sales of invasive. They cause economic and ecological damage and are frequently used simply because they are promoted. This will change when native plants are recognized for their contributions and the benefits are made more evident to the consumer.

Last Name: Conley Organization: Cedar Grove HOA Locality: Fairfax county

As a long time resident of Fairfax County I am saddened to see that we are unable to control the large quantity of invasive species of plants that are having a huge negative impact on the flora and fauna of our ecosystem. Removing these plants from being sold from nurseries doesn’t mean that there will be a loss of income but rather that the plants in question would be replaced similar types of native plants. Please give this serious attention so that we call all start to do something proactive to improve all the communities in which we all live. Thank You, Gail Conley

Last Name: Garland Organization: Friends of Accotink Creek Locality: Vienna

Please support Delegate Bulova's invasive study resolution. Invasive plants are taking over our parklands and streams, displacing our native plants and killing trees. It is illogical government policy to permit sales of plants whose removal, once they invade wild habitats, taxpayers then have to fund. Removing invasives is not risk-free and has high opportunity costs for volunteers. English ivy, Japanese pachysandra, running bamboo, Asian privets, Asian wisterias, Japanese barberry (banned in West Va and other states)clematis terniflora, Japanese knotweed, winged burning bush (sterile cultivars now available) wintercreeper(banned in Maryland), Chinese silvergrass, common periwinkle, Callery pear, and many other invasive exotics for sale throughout the Commonwealth often escape our yards and infest natural areas where they can become almost impossible to eradicate. Bulova's resolution won't ban any sales, but it does mandate a thorough, year-long study of the problem. Such a study is a good start and deserves bipartisan support. Red America , Blue America, most of us appreciate trees and don't want to see them strangled by invasive plants.

Last Name: Allerton Locality: Oakton

I felt my friend clear invasive species from the park on several occasions. They choke out natural species and take away from the health and beauty of the natural green spaces. Like so many things it is easy for these invasive species to find their way and get a foothold in nearly impossible to stop the stranglehold they wage on the other plants, many of whom help the natural wildlife as well. These invasive plants impact the symbiotic relationship between Flora and Fauna in our beautiful green spaces and it is 1000 times harder to reclaim them once these invasive species have been allowed dominion.

Last Name: Prante Locality: Fairfax

I'm an IMA (Invasive Management Area) lead for Fairfax County which means I have an area of county parkland which I hold volunteer days to pull invasive plants. I've been doing this for 5 years pulling weeds/shrubs/trees every weekend at least during spring/fall and some days throughout the year. We've hardly made a dent. My hope is to educate the volunteers to at least pull invasive plants from their own yard. Once you learn about invasive plants, you can't help but notice them as you drive around the county and see the destruction it has done to our woodlands and areas along the highways. Then you go to the nurseries and see the same plants for sale. The buyers are innocent in their purchases I believe when they purchase and plants these plants in their yards. We need to ban the sale of these plants to at least not make the problem worse. I also spend much of my leisure time also pulling invasive plants in my own yard. These plants have escaped cultivation and the issue needs to be addressed to take back our native vegetation for our pollinators, birds and all wildlife.

Last Name: Abraham Organization: Member VNPS, Sierra Club Locality: Springfield

Please give limit on Invasives’ Sale & Use in VA -ASAP! We approach climate “tipping point” by Macro & Micro means; without habitat, extinction means bye-bye, with humans being the next canary in our “coal-mine. “ We live in a compensatory resource equilibrium of which we have continued to obliterate songbirds, insects, and habitat. We can not afford to continue without facing feedback loops of climate change with incalculable loss. I have worked plant sales as recently as the start of “Covid Spring” in Burke, and sadly English Ivy was sold. I walk along Pohick creek and see work for many more hands than I know willing to help, needed for removal of invasives mentioned before my comment- to our detriment! We must not add more. Thank you.

Last Name: Massa Locality: Fairfax

Understanding the sale and planting of invasive plants is critical to the ecological health of our region. Restricting the sale of non-native invasive plants such as English Ivy would save countless volunteer hours and tax dollars, improve ecological health, and prevent new occurrences in areas where there are efforts to eliminate these plants.

Last Name: Martin Organization: Friends of Little Hunting Creek Locality: Fairfax County

Friends of Little Hunting Creek supports HJ527, which will initiate a study to examine ways to address the problems caused by invasive exotic plants which overwhelm our natural areas, destroying trees, displacing native vegetation, and degrading wildlife habitat. Little Hunting Creek is a tidal tributary of the Potomac River that flows through the historical boundaries of George Washington’s estate. Many areas along Little Hunting Creek are invaded and degraded by English ivy, wintercreeper, privet, and other exotic invasives. Friends of Little Hunting Creek volunteers have spent hours trying to eradicate them, so far with limited success. Despite the fact that these plants cannot be contained where they are planted, but inevitably invade neighboring yards and nearby natural areas, they are widely sold, without restrictions or guidance, by retail and wholesale nurseries. Not only are they environmentally harmful, but after just a few years these hideous plants create a nearly impenetrable overgrown jungle inhospitable to both humans and wildlife, that destroys the environmental beauty of natural areas like our tidal creek. Many (such as Japanese barberry, English ivy) provide habitat hospitable to rats, mosquitoes, and ticks. Please vote for HJ527. Betsy Martin (President, Friends of Little Hunting Creek, Alexandria Virginia 22308)

Last Name: Pradas Locality: Oakton

I have spent literally thousands of volunteer hours pulling, digging, and cutting invasive plants in Fairfax County Parks. I have worked with hundreds of volunteers - and yet there are still so many parks overrun with invasive plants. It would be so nice if the county would control the sales of these plants which should mitigate the problem of the plants escaping from yards and into our parks. Please pass bill number HJ527. Thank you for your efforts.

Last Name: Vehrs Organization: Virginia Native Plant Society Locality: Prince William

The Virginia Native Plant Society, a statewide conservation organization of nearly 2000 paying members, heartily supports House Joint Resolution HJ 527 for a study of the impacts of the sale and use of invasive plant species in our Commonwealth. Our tag line is Conserving Wild Flowers and Wild Places. We have a Facebook following of more than 20,000, and our Virginia Native Plant Society Facebook Group has 8700 members. Invasive species are detrimental to our natural environment, and our members and volunteers spend time and money combatting their spread. Finding them for sale in their local garden centers is demoralizing for these volunteers and demeaning of their efforts. Led by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the study group will include other state agencies, conservation nonprofits such as the Virginia Native Plant Society, and industry representatives. The study group will make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate the sale and use of invasive species and promote the sale and use of our native species. Invasive plants are plants that originate from outside a region and cause damage to the environment, economy, and/or human health after their introduction to a new region. Landscaping with invasive plants causes economic and environmental damage and impinges on the rights of neighbors on whose properties the plants encroach. Virginia taxpayers, state agencies, and local governments are spending substantial amounts of money per year on the removal of invasive plants, many of which are still for sale in the industry, thereby compounding the problem. The proposed study will investigate the financial burden of controlling invasives on taxpayers and private citizens, the impacts on the nursery trade industry if invasive plants are banned from sale, and potential strategies for phasing out the sale of invasive plant species in the Commonwealth. On behalf of all our members and followers, please support HJ 527. Thank you. Nancy Vehrs, President Virginia Native Plant Society 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 Boyce, VA 22620 www.vnps.org

Last Name: Wilson Locality: Oakton

PLEASE vote in favor for this bill that mandates a one-year study of the sale of invasive plants in Virginia that identifies measures to reduce and eliminate their use and promote the use of native plants in the commonwealth. The threat posed by invasive plants is real and growing worse. Invasive plants are not only displacing native plants, but also contributing to a more insidious decline of all the other organisms (insects, birds, etc.) that depend on our native plants for their sustenance. Efforts are urgently needed to reduce the sale of invasive plants and, just as importantly, promote the use of non-invasive, native plants. Virginia natives are just as lovely as the invasive plants they replace, with the added benefit of helping restore ecosystem functions upon which we all depend. The Invasive Plant Species study is an important initial step along this path to a better future.

Last Name: Akey Locality: City of Charlottesville

Invasive plant species are a big problem for Virginia. Invasive plant species are most often introduced through the horticulture industry. Some of the worst invasive plants today are commonly propagated by nurseries and sold at retail outlets throughout the commonwealth. Invasive plant harm our native ecosystems and their control is expensive to landowners, homeowners, farmers, corporations, utilities, and public agencies. We live in Charlottesville and have personally dealt with invasive species on our properties. Invasive vines and trees have overrun these properties. We have spent countless hours of our time and several thousand dollars removing and controlling these plants. Invasive plants also are detrimental to our local ecosystems disrupting important interactions between native plants and animals. Invasive plants offer nothing to native caterpillars, birds, or wildlife in terms of food. Research shows that invasive plants actually harm native wildlife and contribute to reductions in populations. There are PLENTY of suitable native trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials to be used in the landscaping instead of invasive plants. It is time to get invasive plants out of the horticultural trade in Virginia. You are likely to hear many strong and LOUD voices against this resolution. Those voices are the ones profiting from propagating and selling invasive plants in Virginia. Consider this. The time, energy, and financial burden placed on private citizens, corporations, farmers, utility and road ROW managers, public parks and forests, homeowners, HOA's, and state and local governments are essentially subsidizing an industry who now knowingly produce invasives that are detrimental to ecological and economic health. We support HJ 527.

Last Name: Mizell Organization: Blue Ridge PRISM Locality: Whitehall

Blue Ridge Partnership for Invasive Species Management (PRISM) supports HJ NO. 527 which was introduced by Delegate David Bulova and is before this committee. Our non-profit organization is dedicated to reducing the impact of invasive species in the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and across the state representing 2,000 individuals who are concerned about invasive plants. PRISM has developed invasive plant species oriented trainings and related outreach materials to assist landowners in managing invasive plants infesting their back yards, fields, and farms. Working directly with landowners, farmers, suburban/urban homeowners, natural areas managers, HOA’s, ecologists, and researchers, PRISM understands firsthand the threats invasive species pose to Virginia’s ecosystems and to the economic well-being of individuals, corporations, utilities, and our public agencies. Thousands of people hours and millions of dollars are spent each year controlling and managing these harmful plants on both public and private lands. Many of the most detrimental invasive plant species to Virginia have been innocuously introduced though the horticultural industry. Commonly sold landscaping plants with names like heavenly bamboo, English ivy, and Japanese barberry escape from landscaping into Virginia’s most precious natural areas like the Blue Ridge Mountains. Invasive vines like Oriental bittersweet overtake and choke mighty oaks. Shrubs like autumn olive and grasses like Japanese stiltgrass outcompete native shrubs and ground cover disrupting vital ecological interactions between native plants and animals. Invasive plants contribute little to Virginia's native insects and wildlife while taking up space in our forests and causing ecological and economic harm. We are now just beginning to fully understand and see the negative ecological and economic effects of these species. Blue Ridge PRISM fully supports this important legislation and stands ready to answer any question(s) you or the committee may have about the threats invasive plants pose to Virginia. You may contact PRISM at anytime by email, info@blueridgeprism.org. Respectfully, Roderick S. Walker President, Blue Ridge PRISM, Inc.

Last Name: Walker Locality: Albemarle

PLEASE support this bill!! This is a huge problem and needs to be fixed. I spend at least $30,000 each year to protect my Blue Ridge forest from the onslaught of invasive plants. It is outrageous that some of the plants I am battling are still being sold to the public for landscaping. The public generally has no idea that these plants escape and cause problems across the landscape. This is not just a problem of non-native plants replacing our native plants. Most of these non-native plants are largely sterile in terms of the local food webs, meaning that we also have declining numbers of wildlife of all kinds.

Last Name: Knudson Locality: Norfolk

Just as legislators have a responsibility to enact laws protecting our air and water, they too have a duty to protect our native flora and ecological communities from the negative impacts invasive species pose to our landscapes. Businesses and industries cannot pollute without regard to their negative actions nor should nurseries be able to profit off sales of invasive plants without regard to their negative impact. The financial and labor costs to remediate the damage, when even possible, is unfairly borne on individuals, organizations, and taxpayers. Of the thousands of plants sold through the nursery trade, a small fraction are a threat to the environment. Most shoppers would not purchase them if they knew how harmful they are. The nurseries must do the responsible thing by not propagating these plants as it is impossible for all the consumers to know how each of these plants can behave in the environment. And because it is unreasonable to expect all the nurseries to know how each of the plants they grow can behave in the environment, they should be guided by the recommendations of a body comprised of experts in multiple fields with knowledge of and experience in invasive plant ecology.

Last Name: Boyd Locality: Portsmouth

When someone buys and plants an invasive plant they have not made a decision for themselves, but also for their neighbors- also for the neighbors of their neighbors- for the plants and animals on their property and far beyond it. When they purchase an invasive plant, they have not made a purchase for themselves, but placed a cost over 10 times on their neighbors through taxes, labor, and lost wages- and an immeasurable cost of burden on the health of the environment we share. Mostly this is done unknowingly, but the damage is real and it is great. Over 700,000 ha/year of the U.S. wildlife habitat is lost to invasive plants, most are known to have been introduced for horticultural use by nurseries, botanical gardens, and individuals. Our current state law, the Noxious Weed Law, allows the growth and sale known invasive species and strictly preventing regulation if someone is making money form them. The nurseries that grow and sell these plants want to share beauty and make an honest wage, but their industry is subsidized by the much higher cost borne by the people of Virginia and beyond. We must act quickly and decisively and not be slowed down by calculating if the precise harm of selling invasive plants is 10x, 203x, or 1050x the price they sell for. This resolution is, frankly, more than generous to nurseries and the VA Agribusiness Council. The science is clear that we pay far more than the price of the invasive plants in the damage they cause. The science is clear on the plants that are known to be harmful. The passing of this legislation is an act of mercy for taxpayers, and a path to liberating the rights of citizens being infringed upon by the suffocating spread of invasive plants. I am an environmental biologist and volunteer with local environmental nonprofits whose lands are smothered with invasive plants beyond reasonable control. For the love of our people and our home, I ask that you keep teeth in this legislation and act quickly. We are not separate from our environment, and we must steward it wisely.

Last Name: Isbell Organization: Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Locality: Alexandria, VA

I am writing on behalf of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail about HJ527. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to maintain and improve the Mount Vernon Trail and it's surroundings in the George Washington Memorial Parkway. We spend a significant amount volunteer hours each year removing invasive plants that kill native trees and plants, crowding out food sources for Virginia's native wild life. Removal of these plants is costly both in time and resources that our volunteers could devote to improving the trail and park for the 1.5 million people that use it annually. Nearly every plant that is invasive is commonly sold and planted in Virginia. Each of these plants has a similar native species that could be grown and sold commercially. Sadly, the current availability of these invasive plants means that Virginia residents will continue to unknowingly plant species that cause enormous ecological damage. HJ527 is likely to be a significant important step to preserving Virginia's natural resources.

Last Name: VanDurick Locality: Fairfax County

PLEASE vote in favor of this legislation that will help guide Virginia in controlling the sale of invasive plants! Make our Virginia horticultural industry responsible for its actions. They should not be selling invasive species of plants. These plants will continue to quickly choke out a thriving, healthy enviromment of plant diversity! I support mandating a study that will explore options for phasing out the propagation and sale of invasive plants in Virginia’s horticultural industry. If passed, this will be a big step forward in the fight against invasive plants!

HJ529 - Apprenticeship training programs; DOLI to study the future need for programs.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Hughes Locality: Massanutten

Yes, racist Byrd statue removed Yes, end daylight savings time Apprentice programs are important

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Avery Organization: Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council Locality: Hampton

I am a retired electrician and member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1340 in Newport News. I support this resolution to study future apprenticeship needs. Virginia must take all steps available to prepare for an expected increase in infrastructure construction, especially in light of President Biden's expressed intention to promote spending for long-delayed improvements. We must ensure our workforce is up to the challenge, so our Commonwealth remains a desirable place for businesses to develop.

Last Name: Ascher Organization: Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades/United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Locality: Baltimore, MD

On behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades Association and our over 8600 members and families from United Association locals across Virginia, I ask you to Support HJ 529. In the construction industry, apprenticeship programs are the best way to train the next generation of workers. This study would let us learn the best apprentice training practices and train the next generation of construction workers. It will also help us understand the best way to develop a diverse group of workers and bring these top-notch training programs to more people and build the future workforce. This new generation of construction workers will need to build the infrastructure necessary to take us into the 22nd century and beyond.

Last Name: Skelly Organization: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 666 Locality: Richmond

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on this Resolution. As the elected representative of the over 1600 members and retirees of IBEW Local 666 I am writing in support of this resolution. This country and Commonwealth has a lack of skilled trades people and apprenticeships are a long standing tradition to develop the next generation of skilled workers by passing down knowledge from hand to hand. The average age of electricians is 47 years old, as many are nearing retirement and not enough are taking up the trades for the next generation. To ensure Virginia is at the leading edge of competitiveness we need to ensure we are training the next generation of workers and apprenticeships are the model to most effectively make that happen. Our apprenticeship invests over $1 million each year in training our workforce for today and the future. We would like to see Virginia be a leader and find the best methods to invest in our future workforce! Thank you, Charles Skelly Business Manager IBEW Local 666

Last Name: Begolly Organization: Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 110 Locality: Virginia Beach

We at Local 110 are in support of these bills. We are in support of the study on HJ561. This study will show how a licensed construction worker has been trained efficiently and educated as to how to properly and safely build a quality, more cost effective project that will last. Policing of these licenses could also potentially reveal how unlicensed contractors are operating in the state of Virginia.

Last Name: Masterson Organization: Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 110 Apprenticeship Program Locality: Chesapeake

My name is Steve Masterson. I am a former apprentice (1991-1996) for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 110. I have been a member here for over 28 years and I now have the privilege to run our Apprenticeship Program. I have been the Apprenticeship Coordinator for over 10 years. We have been utilizing apprenticeship programs for over 126 years now. As an organization we believe that an apprenticeship program is the best way to get the appropriate training to be a knowledgeable and prosperous Journeyperson. I am not familiar with any other type of educational program that allows the student to earn as they learn. This is a big deal because they can provide for themselves while they are obtaining their education. Most institutions have a general workload to obtain the proper certifications that make it almost impossible to maintain a decent job to pay their bills and apply the proper amount of energy into their studies. With an apprenticeship program the student can focus on their studies while making enough to cover their costs of living. We bring in people that have no prior knowledge of our trade and in five years they are making a fair wage with great benefits. Apprenticeship Instructors are critical in this process. We've realized that if you teach a Plumber/Pipefitter how to teach, the end product is much more reliable than trying to educate a teacher(by trade) Plumbing and Pipefitting and expecting the same results. It is also extremely important to have a Government entity to regulate these programs. I do not believe in the "in house apprenticeship program", where a company has total control of the employee/student because they can manipulate the system to cheat customers and students. Having the Department of Labor and Industry watching over apprenticeship programs keeps everyone honest and sets a standard that should be abided by any apprenticeship program. If I can assist with any other thoughts or be a part of round tables to discuss this further I can be reached at (757)-237-6143 or by email at lu110tc@uanet.org. I wholesomely agree with the need for programs like this that are the backbone of a great economy to our great country. Take care and be safe. Thank you.

Last Name: Biondi Organization: Washington DC Joint Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee Serving VA, DC, and MD Locality: Annapolis

On HJ561: I am Chris Biondi, Training Director of Apprentices for Plumbers Local 5. We train apprentice plumbers to graduate our program as licensed journeypersons in Virginia. We plumbers protect the health of the nation and proper, strict licensing requirements ensure that only the most educated, qualified persons are able to be trusted with the day to day responsibility of keeping Virginia water safe for consumption while removing contaminated water from homes and workplaces. I don't know that current licensing regulations are or are not sufficient, but I do know that no jurisdiction we serve should lighten existing regulations. That would likely be a dangerous step in the wrong direction. On HJ529: While not based in Virginia my apprenticeship program serves Virginia. The mission of the Washington, D.C. Joint Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee is to develop a highly trained workforce through education and hands-on skills training from new apprentice development to continued ongoing training opportunities for Journeypersons. While providing our contractors a workforce recognized in all of North America through our international presence with the United Association, as we build a greener future while protecting the health of the nation together. We create part of the highly skilled labor workforce which serves the VA, DC, and MD construction industry. We teach green initiatives like rainwater harvesting. Our apprentices represent the diversity of the areas we serve. We grow and adapt in changing times, while adhering to a strong curriculum and rigorous training program. Regulated Apprenticeships like ours provide a strong personal and financial future for everyone who completes them, but very often for those with the fewest options. Our apprentices have medical benefits, retirement savings, a pension, and earn a living wage. All of these are hard to come by, especially together, in the modern American employment landscape. Regulated Apprenticeship programs, if championed and supported by Virginia, will continue to serve and benefit Virginia and Virginians along with the entire region.

Last Name: Killeen Organization: SMART Local Union 100 Locality: 184 E. Belt Blvd Richmond, VA 23224

Dear Delegate, SMART Local 100 and our members fully support studies HJ529 and HJ561 for the betterment of working people in the great state of Virginia. Sincerely, Thomas Killeen Bus. Rep./Legislative Dir. SMART Local Union 100 Cell 443.784.9718

HJ530 - Controlled substances; VSCC to study decriminalization of possession, etc.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Knight Locality: Chesapeake

Please release those convicted of simple possession and offer them community service instead. I've been to Amsterdam. Liberalize drug laws do not degrade the safety of citizens. We should learn from them.

Last Name: Legge Organization: reclassify.org Locality: Culpeper

I support HJ530. This bill only directs the Crime Commission to study our drug policy and does not change any laws.Major changes in drug policy should be carefully considered not rushed through in a brief legislative session. But it should be clear that a punitive-centered approach has caused far more problems than it has helped. The main thing people look at is mention of decriminalization of drugs. That was done in Portugal in 2001 and they now have less than 1/50 of the US OD death rate. With less crime and spending. Oregon is trying something similar. At the least, we should be considering alternatives to the disastrous policies we used in the past 100 years. 

Last Name: Bell Locality: Roanoke

HB1789 I support political audits HB 1990 I support Criminal Justice HB 2208 I DO NOT support statue removal, you have too many mixed feelings on this issue and by continuing removal of said statues, you isolate a percentage of the populations beliefs which is MUCH larger than you think..The ideal solution is simple...If you want to remove ANY statue, You either remove ALL or none... HJ 516 Yes I do 100% support becoming a part of the convention of states, I am well aware of this bill... HJ 530 I fully support decriminalization of certain substances hence marijuana and any other low level form of narcotic substance, I support this on both state and FEDERAL level... HJ549 I do not support this, we need to open the doors of truth to the people first, I have a panel of 36 worldwide doctors condemning WHO for dishonesty about Covid, and the fact it has a temperate design of Dec through April ... HJ573 At this point I 100% support that any vaccine be voluntary only....It is injustice to require immunization Wheres too much static as to whether this is a truly harmful pandemic or just a politically motivated stunt to incite fear.... HR237 I will support holding anyone responsible who is guilty of this Covid Conspiracy and to where it began and by who it originated even if it was a Harvard shipped virus, keep it open to hold only those accountable that truly are the guilty HR 238 I do NOT support The American People decide who gets appointed and where and THIS needs to be changed....

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ531 - Interstate Medical Licensure Compact; Joint Com. on Health Care to study advisability of joining.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Cashman Organization: none Locality: Fairfax Station, Fairfax County

I am Brigadier General Jeff Cashman. My family and I live in Fairfax Station, now in our 16th year as a residents of Virginia’s 40th district. When I completed my 32-year career of military service, I became a commercial airline pilot and flew trips out the Virginia’s Regan National Airport. I say "flew," because a year ago, a blood clot blocked an artery in my neck and killed a part of my brain. It left me unable to focus my eyes, unable to walk and lacking enough cognitive energy to make it through a day. Recovering from this stroke, regaining the quality of life I enjoyed with my wife and 2 teenage kids and ultimately returning to work depends on the success of an intensive program of therapy designed to train new parts of my brain to replace the functions formerly done by the dead spot. I began that therapy in February, 2020 – just weeks after the stroke. Such therapy is most effective when done soonest after a brain injury. The exceptional effort I made to access care early at the National Rehab Hospital in Washington DC was handsomely rewarded when the Coronavirus quarantine forced most outpatient care to transition to telemedicine. The relationship I had built in person with my therapists translated well to video consults and my treatment continued…briefly. That victory was short lived when several members of my care team explained that they were licensed in DC and Maryland but not Virginia. I offered to ride into their jurisdictions and connect by video from there, but they declined, wary of appearing to game state licensing rules. So my treatment was compromised as I was forced to sacrifice continuity of care and re-start therapy with providers licensed in Virginia. Under our current system, the place where I receive my mail was more meaningful than were I was actually sitting when treated by telemedicine. You might think Virginia’s current policy achieves the desirable goal of driving Virginia patients to Virginia providers, but I report that getting access to care from providers within the network of my federal health insurance and licensed in Virginia became a time consuming and occasionally unsolvable exercise – even in densely populated Northern Virginia. You might also think that the current proliferation of telemedicine is a temporary moment in history and the story I tell here won’t be relevant by this time next year. I remind you that in the weeks after my stroke I was unable to walk and for months after was unable to drive. Had telemedicine been widely available before the pandemic, it would have been hugely valuable to me and would have been my first choice of treatment options. When this pandemic ends, we must not walk back the innovations we’ve made in access to telemedicine. Passing HJ 531 to study the feasibility of Virginia joining the widely subscribed Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is the absolute least this House of Delegates can do to support the health care needs of Virginians. I urge you to act quickly. You’re already about a year late to need.

HJ536 - Remote sales and use tax distribution to localities; JLARC to study.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Shively Locality: Pittsylvania

No universal health care will cause too much debt and change out social security? I’ve worked my whole life and feel I deserve that money I have put in. Universal health care will break out infrastructure bad set the debt level even higher.

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ541 - Daylight saving time; Secretary of Commerce and Trade to study the effects on the Commonwealth.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Jennings Locality: Fredericksburg

Our Constitution us our law of the land and without it we are a third world nation. It should be defended to the max and any that are against our Democracy should be excorted to the border. Racism in America is reversed, grant you there are bigots but not only white. Blacks are burning rioting and murdering their own and calling it because of white privilege??? They are allowing their slave masters(that they vote for) to keep them in a a Socialist poverty. Set the clock to one time and forget it. If I have to be somewhere it doesn't matter if the Sun is up or down I go.

Last Name: Jennings Locality: Fredericksburg

Our Constitution us our law of the land and without it we are a third world nation. It should be defended to the max and any that are against our Democracy should be excorted to the border. Racism in America is reversed, grant you there are bigots but not only white. Blacks are burning rioting and murdering their own and calling it because of white privilege??? They are allowing their slave masters(that they vote for) to keep them in a a Socialist poverty. Set the clock to one time and forget it. If I have to be somewhere it doesn't matter if the Sun is up or down I go.

Last Name: Mooers Locality: Ruther Glen

I fully support stopping Daylight Savings, it is an antiquated practice that was needed before modern technology and only serves to disrupt our Cascadian rhythms.

Last Name: Bennett Locality: Orange

I support the bills that I have selected. Thank you.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Hughes Locality: Massanutten

Yes, racist Byrd statue removed Yes, end daylight savings time Apprentice programs are important

Last Name: Cartoski Organization: Self Locality: Spotsylvania

I support a COS

Last Name: Washburn Locality: Roanoke

In my opinion, daylight savings time has outlived it's usefulness and most people would be content to never have to spring forward or fall back again.

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Sheehan Locality: Burke

I support Bill HJ541. Daylight Savings time is no longer necessary. From my own personal experience of mental health during the darker days as well as the effects to my body clock to say nothing of my kids body clock, it’s time to leave time alone!

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support these three bills. I believe a study to definitely suggest how best the Commonwealth of Virginia can get money out of politics is key to our raising ourselves up from the 10% worst states with respect to campaign contributions, with only 4 states more corrupted by money in politics than us. This is why I feel we need Del. Bulova's HJ526. I support Del. Samirah's HB2271. Having lived in Québec, Canada (just like our new Vice President), which is a Medicaid for all system with a Canadian Federal Grant, I can say the system works and works very well. I think that a Medicaid for Some system is the perfect one for Virginia to showcase as an option to the rest of the states, as a better solution than the drastic Medicare for all Federal bureaucracy. Samirah's bill would study just what a Public Option (Medicaid for Some) would look like. After all, it's what Obamacare, the ACA, should have been. Let's do what the Federal Government could not: Medicaid for Some: you have a Public Option. Finally, I support McNamara's HJ541. Daylight Savings is a joke. There is no reason to shift the clock twice a year and it causes less productive workers for an entire week after the time changes, injuring our economy. Arizona has no daylight savings, and Virginia would do well to follow, and lead the charge to eliminating Daylight Savings across the entire Eastern Seaboard. We literally spend 7 months in Summer Time, and only 5 in Standard Time. I hope this study will look into all possibilities including moving Virginia to Central Time permanently, just go into Summer Time in March, and never leave it. That would be my dream but I look forward to what this study will find.

HJ542 - Transit equity and modernization; Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study.
Last Name: Florek Locality: Henrico

I support this bill. I live in a food desert close to the Virginia Capitol and the lack of public transportation negatively impacts my access to fresh food. I support an increased focus on equity in public transportation and encourage an expansion and electrification of our current mass transit transportation network.

Last Name: Mathena Organization: VIPLf Locality: Virginia Beach

Please support this resolution. The state of Virginia needs this study in order to update its transportation model.

Last Name: Yoder Locality: Chesapeake

I urge you to support the Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542). Transit accessibility challenges often disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. We can re-invest and rebuild a transportation system that is safe, clean, widely accessible and increases economic and social mobility for riders, especially in communities of color and low-income communities. I encourage you to also support the Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542) because I believe we have a moral obligation to protect our neighbors, especially the vulnerable.

Last Name: campblin Organization: Virginia State Conference NAACP Locality: fairfax

Public transportation is important part to creating a comprehensive, fair and affordable transportation system in Virginia. It can help to alleviate traffic congestion, while increasing access to jobs, medical services, education and recreational activities. This study will provide a needs assessment and develop solutions to improve accessibility, improve safety, as well as transit electrification. We strongly support this bill.

Last Name: Johnston Organization: Virginia Interfaith Power and Light Locality: Richmond

I urge you to support the Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542). Transit accessibility challenges often disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. We can re-invest and rebuild a transportation system that is safe, clean, widely accessible and increases economic and social mobility for riders, especially in communities of color and low-income communities. I encourage you to also support the Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542) because I believe we have a moral obligation to protect our neighbors, especially the vulnerable."

Last Name: Bonney Locality: Williamsburg

Honorable Senators and Delegates: I urge you to take all steps necessary to move this legislation forward so that a study of transportation equity and modernization can occur. Public transportation in the Commonwealth is the life blood of economic and personal development of its citizens and the businesses they support. An in-depth study would provide the necessary information to enable an equitable and efficient use of public resources to develop transportation systems.

Last Name: Jemaine Organization: CCAN Action Fund Locality: glen allen

HJ 542 This study would require the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to conduct a needs assessment of transit systems to identify whether systems are equipped with necessities such as: Benches Shelters Real-time arrival signs Integrated payment systems Dedicated bus lanes Transit electrification infrastructure This assessment will help shape a strategy for investment of future moneys and ensure that we are creating robust, resilient, equitable transit systems.

Last Name: Guthrie Organization: Virginia Transit Association Locality: Richmond

From Lisa Guthrie, Executive Director of the Virginia Transit Association: Delegate McQuinn's resolution is priority legislation for us this session. It is a vehicle to examine where we are positioned to go with public transit in the future. Thank you for allowing me to share more details in my comments below. Summary of HJ542: The Department of Rail and Public Transportation is requested to study transit equity and modernization over the next two years. Key takeaways: • DRPT, with the cooperation of all transit agencies that receive state transit grant funding, shall complete a study of transit accessibility, adequacy of transit infrastructure, implementation of emerging technology, transit safety, and transit system engagement. • There is an accompanying budget amendment for this study for $500,000. (442#4h) Background: VTA has been pleased to work in collaboration with DRPT and the nonprofit community to promote this forward-looking study that will improve transit services and ensure equity in access. In addition to collecting new data and information, sources for the study will include existing data: • Transit asset management plans • Transit development plans • Transit strategic plans • Public transportation agency safety plans • Corridor studies • Geographic information systems “Buckets” of items to examine: • Transit Accessibility • Adequacy of Transit Infrastructure • Transit Electrification • Implementation of Emerging Technology • Safety • System Engagement (Governance, Workforce, Underserved Rider Representation) Position: VTA strongly supports this legislation and encourages its passage.

Last Name: Zweerink Organization: RVA Rapid Transit Locality: Richmond

I am urging you to support HJ 542 for transit equity and modernization. Since 1980, the VA transportation sector has produced more carbon pollution than the electric power sector. Additionally, particulate matter from vehicles disproportionately affects communities of color and attributes to severe health problems. Clean, accesible public transport would greatly benefit low-income communities. This bill calls for a study to examine how to best modernize transportation and improve funding. This could greatly improve the connectedness of our community, increase economic opportunities for those in low-income neighborhoods, and improve our environmental health.

Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Stephens Locality: City of Richmond

I am hoping that this study passes so that transportation throughout the state of VA can be improved and made more equitable. Finally the Jeff Davis Highway has a route that extends out past Chippenham Pkwy. But where else can Chesterfield folks ride? I have a friend who lives on the north end of Richmond and she commutes back and forth to work each day to the Southside on Hull St. It takes her 90 minutes each way and 2 transfers!!! I have a friend who lives in Roanoke and they have very few options to get to DC or to Richmond using public transportation. The Southwest part of Virginia is totally isolated. We don't need huge busses for all the routes. Mini vans and mini busses could be used for less frequented routes to save on fuel. This study is also very important to help us fight climate change! Covid 19 has certainly proven beyond a reasonable doubt that air pollution is significantly affected by the amount of automobile traffic on our roads. Folks need to be able to use public transit easily and cheaply to make it attractive to get out of their cars. Please pass this study!

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Guthrie Organization: Virginia Transit Association Locality: Richmond

Legislative Summary - HJR 542 DRPT to Study Transit Equity and Modernization Patron: Delegate McQuinn Committee: House Rules Summary of legislation: The Department of Rail and Public Transportation is requested to study transit equity and modernization over the next two years. Key takeaways: • DRPT, with the cooperation of all transit agencies that receive state transit grant funding, shall complete a study of transit accessibility, adequacy of transit infrastructure, implementation of emerging technology, transit safety, and transit system engagement. Background: VTA has been pleased to work in collaboration with DRPT and the nonprofit community to promote this forward-looking study that will improve transit services and ensure equity in access. In addition to collecting new data and information, sources for the study will include existing data: • Transit asset management plans • Transit development plans • Transit strategic plans • Public transportation agency safety plans • Corridor studies • Geographic information systems “Buckets” of items to examine: • Transit Accessibility • Adequacy of Transit Infrastructure • Transit Electrification • Implementation of Emerging Technology • Safety • System Engagement (Governance, Workforce, Underserved Rider Representation) Position: VTA strongly supports this legislation and encourages its enactment.

Last Name: Jones Organization: Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Locality: Highland Springs

On a long list of struggles, VA’s historically racist public transportation system still remains. Although there aren’t segregated bus seats or train cars, affording fares for public transportation, its public health consequences, and being able to use it to access opportunity and jobs remain problematic. We need to address An economic and racial segregation of transportation that continues today. In history we see that in many cases, once Black people were allowed to sit wherever they wanted on the bus, unfortunately more affluent, White passengers decided to abandon buses completely, in favor of private cars, except in the densest cities. Inequitable transportation planning profoundly shapes the quality of life, health, economic and social opportunities for low-income communities and communities of color. There are not enough clean, affordable, accessible, and reliable transportation options available. Transportation means more than we may believe upon first thought. It dictates where we go and how we live our lives. By choosing not to invest in the communities who use public transportation the most, what are we saying? Va’s current status is not enough and modernizing our transportation is not an option, it is a must. As we move to a cleaner economy and cleaner transit options, we have arrived at an indisputable opportunity to restructure the inequitable structure, technology, and the culture of Virginians Public transportation.

Last Name: Pollard Organization: Southern Environmental Law Center Locality: Chesterfield

The Southern Environmental Law Center strongly supports HJ542, which calls on the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study transit equity and modernization in the Commonwealth. As the General Assembly has repeatedly recognized, public transit is a critical component of our state, regional, and local transportation networks. Transit provides a host of important benefits—including health, economic, environmental, and equity benefits. From access to jobs, educational opportunities and health services to reduced pollution to community development, transit is essential throughout the Commonwealth. And the current pandemic has underscored how necessary transit is for our essential workforce. The bottom line is that transit can provide clean, affordable, accessible, and reliable transportation options to all Virginians. However, it is also abundantly clear that our transit systems need significant improvement to significantly increase and enhance the benefits they provide. The study proposed by HJ542 will produce information necessary to understand the current situation and form the basis for action, by examining transit accessibility, adequacy of transit infrastructure, transit electrification, implementation of emerging technology, transit safety, and transit system engagement. Of particular importance, the study will emphasize transit services and engagement opportunities for underserved and underrepresented communities. Please pass HJ542. Thank you.

Last Name: Reveley Organization: RVA Rapid Transit Locality: Henrico

RVA Rapid Transit strongly supports HJ542. We are an organization dedicated to educating and advocating for regional public transportation across metro Richmond. This DRPT study would benefit the Richmond region and transit systems throughout the state, by highlighting the needs and opportunities for enhancing our transit networks and bolstering the significant and inclusive economic, environmental, and social benefits they bring. Thank you for your consideration. Grace and Peace.

Last Name: Schwartz Organization: Coalition for Smarter Growth Locality: City of Richmond

HJ542 - McQuinn - Support The Coalition for Smarter Growth strongly supports HJ542, a study of transit equity and modernization in the Commonwealth. The pandemic has shown how critical transit, particularly bus transit, is to our essential workforce. Access to transit is critical for access to jobs and opportunity, and for community economic development. It is just as essential in rural areas as it is in urban and suburban communities. Yet, we know that in many parts of our state, our transit systems do not provide sufficient service to our essential workforce, low-income communities, and the elderly and disabled; and that the infrastructure is often inadequate. Bus stops lack benches and shelters, information systems can be improved. There is also much to do including engaging community members and riders. We need to start by having a clear understanding of the system needs and whether we are adequately serving our population. This study will provide that information. Thank you.

Last Name: Kelly Harris-Braxton Organization: Virginia First Cities Coalition Locality: City of Richmond

SUPPORT/HJ 542 - The Virginia First Cities Coalition supports a two year study of transit equity and modernization in the Commonwealth.

Last Name: Griffin Organization: New Virginia Majority Locality: Richmond

New Virginia Majority Supports HJ542: For many working-class families, immigrant communities, and people-of-color in Virginia, access to public transit is vital for maintaining employment, attaining education, reaching essential businesses, and receiving routine or emergency health and public services. In addition to decarbonizing transportation, which is one the largest contributors to carbon emissions and toxic street-level air pollution, identifying how the state can modernize our public transit system can improve the cost of transit, quality of affordable housing, transit service accessibility, street safety, environmental pollution, and the public health impact of transportation for transit riders and residents across the Commonwealth. Lastly, modernizing our transit system is vital to bridging existing racial and economic inequities when it comes to accessing economic opportunity. We thank the Delegate and we encourage the committee to vote in support of this legislation. Thank you. Tyneshia Griffin, the Environmental Policy Research Analyst at New Virginia Majority.

Last Name: Plaugher Organization: Virginians for High Speed Rail Locality: Henrico

Virginians for High Speed Rail supports this study and respectfully asks that it pass.

Last Name: Guthrie Organization: Virginia Transit Association Locality: Richmond, VA 23219

Legislative Summary - HJR 542 DRPT to Study Transit Equity and Modernization Patron: Delegate McQuinn Committee: House Rules; Studies Sub Summary of legislation: The Department of Rail and Public Transportation is requested to study transit equity and modernization over the next two years. Key takeaways: • DRPT, with the cooperation of all transit agencies that receive state transit grant funding, shall complete a study of transit accessibility, adequacy of transit infrastructure, implementation of emerging technology, transit safety, and transit system engagement. Background: VTA has been pleased to work in collaboration with DRPT and the nonprofit community to promote this forward-looking study that will improve transit services and ensure equity in access. In addition to collecting new data and information, sources for the study will include existing data: • Transit asset management plans • Transit development plans • Transit strategic plans • Public transportation agency safety plans • Corridor studies • Geographic information systems “Buckets” of items to examine: • Transit Accessibility • Adequacy of Transit Infrastructure • Transit Electrification • Implementation of Emerging Technology • Safety • System Engagement (Governance, Workforce, Underserved Rider Representation) Position: VTA strongly supports this legislation and encourages its enactment.

Last Name: Crane Locality: Henrico

I’m reaching out to you today to support an important bill that will invest in much needed improvements for people who rely on good transit. I hope that after reading, you will take a moment to share your thoughts with me. Public transit is a vital service and many people depend on this essential for for mobility. Transit is also a large part of equitable growth of communities in Virginia. I have the privilege and convenience of driving, which is important as I don't have any options for public transit from my home to work in Downtown Richmond. But for several reasons, related to personal health, protecting clean air, connection to communities, sustainable growth of our communities and our environment, I would like to have the option of public transit for the majority of my day to day needs. Too many transportation systems in the Commonwealth lack the necessary infrastructure to provide essential public transit needs. This house resolution HR542, would direct the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to conduct a transit modernization needs study. This would include an audit of a full array of transit necessities that today often aren’t in place for riders - including benches, shelters, real-time arrival signs, GPS technology to live-track buses, Integrated payment systems, dedicated bus lanes, infrastructure for electric buses, and more. Through HR 542 transit providers would have data and understanding to improve transit accessibility, adequacy of transit infrastructure, implementation of emerging technology, transit safety, and public engagement. Getting people out of cars and using public transportation is one of the best ways to cut pollution and carbon emissions from transportation. In order to make public transit in the Commonwealth a world-class transportation system, we must analyze equity issues as we focus on improvements, increased efficiency, and modernization. By conducting this modernization needs assessment now, we could create a better understanding of what riders need and the investments required to create a more mobile and resilient transportation systems throughout Virginia. Please support HR 542 during the 2021 legislative session when this legislation is before you.

Last Name: Bryant Organization: self Locality: Arliington

I am your constituent and a person of faith and conscience. I urge you to support the Human Right to Water Resolution (HJ 538) and Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542). Water and transit accessibility challenges often disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. I encourage you to also support the Human Right to Water Resolution (HJ 538) and Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542) because I believe we have a moral obligation to protect our neighbors, especially the vulnerable."

Last Name: Naser Organization: Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Locality: Alexandria

As a person of faith and conscience, I urge you to support the Human Right to Water Resolution (HJ 538) and Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542). Water and transit accessibility challenges often disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. I encourage you to also support the Human Right to Water Resolution (HJ 538) and Transit Equity and Modernization Study (HJ 542) because I believe we have a moral obligation to protect our neighbors, especially the vulnerable."

Last Name: Johnston Organization: Virginia Interfaith Power and Light Locality: Richmond

Since 1980 in Virginia, the transportation sector has produced more carbon pollution than the electric power sector. Virginia needs a study to examine how to modernize transportation and improve transit funding and services for current riders as well as for the future. As a person of faith, I encourage you to support the equity in public transportation and modernization study because transportation is a justice issue. There is a connection between transportation, equity, and the fight for racial justice. This study is crucial in achieving equitable and modern public transportation that doesn’t damage our common home and creates thriving communities.

Last Name: Johnson Organization: VA Interfaith Center Public Policy member Locality: Richmond City

Climate change is an existential crisis. The transportation sector accounts for about 48% of carbon emissions. Additionally, a safe, widely accessible, frequent public transportation system increases social mobility for riders, especially in communities of color and low-income communities, giving them opportunities to access education, jobs, and all the things communities offer to not just live but thrive. Please support and pass this bill that will provide vital information needed for modernizing our transportation system.

HJ543 - National service; Department of Social Services to study ways to increase participation.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ545 - Infertility treatment; Health Insurance Reform Commission to study mandating insurance coverage.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Cohen Coblenz Organization: Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Locality: Arlington

Hello. My name is Randi Cohen Coblenz and I am the Washington Advocacy Chair and on the Board of the Greater Washington Area Region of Hadassah. Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States and supports two hospitals in Jerusalem – including Hadassah Ein Kerem, which has one of Israel’s leading IVF units. We have over 300,000 members supporters across the country – including over 4,000 in Virginia. Hadassah proudly supports legislation to expand access to infertility treatment and fertility preservation in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we’ve previously urged the Health Insurance Reform Commission to move that legislation forward. I’m speaking before you today to show Hadassah’s unwavering support for HJ 545, which directs HIRC to study insurance coverage for infertility treatment and fertility preservation this year, so that the legislation can move ahead without further delay. I care deeply about this important legislation that would help my fellow Virginians who are struggling to build and grown their families. 1 in 8 couples – and as many as 1 in 6 Jewish couples according to the Jewish Fertility Foundation – report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Some conditions that cause infertility are more prevalent in the Jewish community and a higher incidence of genetic mutations also increase the Jewish community’s need for IVF with preimplantation genetic testing. With 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women carrying the BRCA mutation that increases risk for breast and ovarian cancer — especially at a young age — fertility preservation is an important issue for me and the Jewish community. Removal and freezing generally must happen quickly, forcing patients without available financing to forgo treatment or take on debt in addition to all their other medical costs. We’re deeply proud that Hadassah physicians have been at the vanguard of infertility treatments for decades – including fertility preservation and the use of preimplantation genetic testing. In the US, through our reConceiving Infertility initiative, we’re raising awareness, confronting taboos, driving policy change and empowering patients to advocate for their health while expanding the definition of family. For too long, infertility and the struggles toward parenthood have been topics of hushed conversations and quiet suffering – in part because treatment is not considered standard care. Treatment for infertility – whether it’s medication, IVF or surgery – is too often paid out of pocket. And nobody should assume massive debt to treat a disease in America. Currently, 19 states have infertility coverage laws (10 include coverage for fertility preservation) which were enacted with strong bipartisan support. As proven in other states, IVF insurance decreases the chance of multiple births, and lowering multiple births decreases overall health care costs and results in healthier babies and healthier moms. Hadassah Greater Washington and Hadassah Southern Seaboard Regions thank Delegate Helmer and endorse his House Joint Resolution 545 – urging the committee to swiftly pass the resolution. Unfortunately for many patients, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled their dreams of growing their families. It’s essential that the Health Insurance Reform Commission issue its findings and recommendations by the start of the 2022 session so this critical legislation can move forward.

Last Name: Howe Locality: Richmond - VCU Alum

The day after I finished my junior year at VCU School of the Arts , I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Scary. After it was removed a few weeks later, I was told it was cancer stage III, and I should have radiation and chemotherapy. Really scary. At the Massey Cancer Center, my oncologist told me the chemotherapy treatment I was to be given makes some patients infertile, and no-one can tell ahead of time who will or won’t be effected. DEVASTATED. I was 21. I love children. I wanted to have some of my own someday. Dr Malkin gave me hope for many decades of quality living, then dashed it by possibly taking motherhood away. But my hope was restored when I was referred to a fertility clinic and told I was a good candidate for egg banking - but it had to be before the chemo started which meant I had to have the egg banking procedure started within 48 hours. Some people told me insurance never covers it, customer help line at the insurance company said it was covered if it was medically necessary. About $12,000. I risked going ahead to protect my chance to have a baby. But then the insurance company denied my claim - over and over citing I do not have coverage for IVF. But I have learned that IVF and egg banking are entirely different, totally unrelated medical procedures. IVF is a choice to overcome any one of numerous diseases or malfunctioning parts of the body,, caused by a variety of sources. Some under the patients control, many not. And egg harvesting to protect a women of child bearing age from never having her own genetically related baby because totally out of her control, there is a potential side effect from taking the very medicine to keep her alive in order she may have a life and have a family. But the insurance company lumps the two together as IVF and denies any benefit. That chemo gave me a couple side effects, one that put me in the VCU hospital for several days. The insurance company paid a benefit , 100%, for that side effect, and it must have cost way more than $12,000, without a single question. But it would not pay a benefit to overcome another side effect the chemo also causes - potential loss of ability to produce a healthy egg that can be impregnated. I support HJ545 to have Health Insurance Reform Commission t study infertility issues and so discover if one is medically induced side effect that should already be covered as medically necessary to protect the person from loss of motherhood from being damaged as a side effect and the other as a mitigating treatment to overcome an existing condition that the patient may or may not have had control over and then mandating insurance coverage as appropriate for the separate medical natures identified.

Last Name: ASRM Organization: American Society for Reproductive Medicine Locality: DC

On behalf of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), I am writing to express support for HJ545. ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization of nearly 8,000 professionals dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. Distinguished members of ASRM include obstetricians and gynecologists, urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, mental health professionals and others. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body’s most basic functions: the conception of children. Infertility is recognized as a disease by our medical societies, as well as the American Medical Association and the WHO. In the United States, infertility affects about 7.3 million women and their partners, or about 12 percent of the reproductive-age population. Due to the myriad of causes of infertility, the numerous implications of the disease, and the devastating effect of the diagnosis, it is vitally important that policymakers work to make combating infertility a priority. As the medical specialists who present treatment options for patients and perform procedures during what is often an emotional time for them, we recognize how important a means to addressing their medical condition can be for those hoping to build their families. Regrettably, insurance coverage for infertility treatments has a spotty history. A growing number of states have enacted legislation to require coverage of infertility services. It continues to be proven that these services are the appropriate standard of medical care and have been for over four decades. IVF is required to treat some forms of infertility and is also the standard of care when less invasive forms of treatment have proven unsuccessful. This legislation would also preserves fertility options for those likely to face infertility due to a medical diagnosis that is likely to affect the reproductive organs or processes. As the medical professionals that treat these patients, we know how devastating this diagnosis is for most. The good news is that with advances in medical treatment, many diseases once thought fatal or chronic, such as cancer, are now treated and cured more than 85% of the time. However, the very treatment that saves lives also routinely costs both young men and women the potential of biological children. For a person in their childbearing years, particularly those who have not already had children, however grateful one is for their life; they are also devastated by the death of this dream of a family. Thank you to Del. Helmer for introducing this legislation and opening this important dialogue about access to care for infertility treatments. We urge Members of the House Rules-Studies Subcommittee to consider a study on this important piece of legislation to make way for family building opportunities for patients facing infertility.

Last Name: Seigman Organization: Hadassah Locality: BURKE

Support for HJ 545, which directs HIRC to study insurance coverage for infertility treatment and fertility preservation this year. It’s essential that the Health Insurance Reform Commission issue its findings and recommendations by the start of the 2022 session so this critical legislation can move forward. 1 in 8 couples – and as many as 1 in 6 Jewish couples – report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. With 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women carrying the BRCA mutation that increases risk for breast and ovarian cancer — especially at a young age — fertility preservation is an important issue for me and the Jewish community. Treatment for infertility is too often paid out of pocket and nobody should assume massive debt to treat a disease in America.

Last Name: Moorhead Locality: Arlington

I am writing in favor of HJ545 - Helmer. If you had told me 2 years ago that I would have a beautiful and healthy 9 month old baby today, I would have cried. I would have wept because I was so full of infertility treatment hormones all I could do was cry. And I would have cried because that eventuality seemed so unlikely and so out of reach. And I'm far from alone. This is the story for so many of my friends, many of whom are Virginia residents like me. With no insurance coverage for infertility treatments, we pay out of pocket for just a chance at making a family. We spend thousands of dollars for endless injections, invasive procedures, and phone calls from the fertility clinic telling us it didn't work this time. My husband and I spent $9,000 in our fertility journey. We didn't expect to have the funds readily available--until my husband's grandmother died and left us money in her will. She never got to meet her great-grandson, but she gave us the gift of being able to continue treatments until he arrived. That's not how medical care should be funded. We were extremely fortunate to be able to afford IUI, but medical care should not be attainable only because of such a personal loss. I don't want other women to need tens of thousands of dollars in the bank in order to have a family. Please insure women like me. And do it before more women give up on their dream because they can't afford medical care.

Last Name: Walker Locality: Arlington, VA

My name is Symone Walker, and I conceived my son through IVF. I am writing in support of HJ 545, which directs HIRC to study insurance coverage for infertility treatment and fertility preservation this year. It’s essential that the Health Insurance Reform Commission issue its findings and recommendations by the start of the 2022 session so this critical legislation can move forward. One in eight couples report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. I am represented in this statistic. I had difficulty getting pregnant and sustaining a pregnancy. I was the only one in my family to suffer in this way. While I am grateful and blessed that as a federal employee, I had health insurance that covered infertility treatment, it only covered 50% which still left me substantially in debt after multiple procedures, which piled up on top of my student loans, leaving us in a mountain of debt before our baby was born.. I am also in a high-risk category for cancer based on my family history and it is only by God's grace that I wasn't faced with cancer treatments prior to or during my infertility treatments. Treatment for infertility is too often paid out of pocket and nobody should assume massive debt to treat a disease in America.

Last Name: Reinecke Organization: Alliance for Fertility Preservation Locality: Lafayette, CA

I am Joyce Reinecke, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation (AFP), a national nonprofit dedicated to improving information about and access to fertility preservation services for cancer patients. The AFP supports HJ 545 which would direct HIRC to study insurance coverage for fertility preservation and infertility treatments for Virginians. Life-saving cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can cause infertility. From our experience with cancer patients and survivors, we know that the loss of the ability to have children after cancer can be as devastating as the diagnosis of cancer itself. A desire to have children can even lead patients to accept less efficacious treatment or to stop treatments like tamoxifen early. But this side effect of treatment can be addressed through the use of reproductive technology. Fertility preservation techniques such as egg and sperm banking are now viewed as a standard part of cancer care by all of the relevant medical societies. They remain out of reach for many, however, due to high out-of-pocket costs. Insurance coverage would help provide more equitable access to these procedures, allowing patients to focus on their cancer while maintaining hope for their life after cancer. Over the past three years, ten states have enacted laws to provide this coverage, including Delaware and Maryland; we respectfully ask for Virginia to do the same. Thank you for your consideration of this issue,

Last Name: Campbell Organization: RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association Locality: McLean

Across the political spectrum from New York to Arkansas, 19 states provide benefits for fertility treatment – some for decades, including Maryland, which passed the first infertility insurance law in the country in 1985. These states recognize that infertility is a disease -- as do the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization -- and should be covered by private insurance like other diseases. Studies show states that cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) – now considered the standard of care for many infertility cases – have better outcomes for both mother and child and achieve long-term health care savings. Similarly, fertility preservation is widely accepted as the standard of care for patients diagnosed with cancer during their reproductive years. Since 2017, 10 states have passed laws requiring insurance coverage for fertility preservation; without it, patients often choose less effective medical treatments, which can lead to worse , and more costly, results if their cancer is not cured or treated properly. It is important to note that Virginia led the way in pioneering IVF. The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine had the first IVF program in the United States and the first IVF baby born in this country in 1981. Virginia is also home to one of the largest and most successful fertility clinics in the country, Shady Grove Fertility, with nine offices across Virginia. They attract patients from across the U.S., yet this nationally renowned care remains out of reach for many in the Commonwealth who lack infertility insurance. 1 in 8 struggle with infertility, yet only 1 in 4 get the treatment needed to overcome infertility. Cost is the #1 barrier to care. The average cost of an IVF cycle in the United States is $15,000. A recent survey found that women (25-34 years old) accrued $30,000 of debt on average after undergoing fertility treatment. Such costs put fertility treatment out of reach for many, and especially those in the Black and Hispanic community, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation Report on Coverage and Use of Fertility Services in the U.S. The HIRC study is an important first step to help hardworking families in Virginia get access to necessary fertility treatments. It will show that in other states where there is insurance coverage, the impact on insurance premiums is nominal and there will be long-term health care savings because states with IVF insurance have lower rates of multiple births than states without IVF coverage. In fact, a 2014 study by Eastern Virginia Medical School’s renowned physician, Dr. Howard Jones, Jr, estimated that the national savings from fewer multiple births would be over $6 billion a year. As noted earlier, Maryland requires individual and group insurance policies in the state to cover IVF and fertility preservation. This puts Virginia at a competitive disadvantage with reproductive age residents, many of whom can easily move to Maryland to gain more attractive fertility care benefits. Colorado is the most recent state to pass an infertility insurance law; Governor Jared Polis wrote upon signing The Colorado Building Families Act into law in April 2020, “The bill will help families have children in the wake of COVD-19 and is important for our state's future economic success." Virginia families deserve these same opportunities.

Last Name: Woody Organization: Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America Locality: Martinsville

I join with other Hadassah women to support HJ 545; it is essential that the Health Insurance Reform Commission issue its findings and recommendations by the start of the 2022 legislative session can move forward. 1 in 8 couples, including a couple in my own family, report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Treatment for infertility is too often paid paid out of pocket and no one should have to assume massive debt, or worse, be unable to have a family due to the high cost of infertility treatment.

Last Name: Alexander Organization: citizen Locality: Charlottesville, VA 22901

Support for HJ 545, which directs HIRC to study insurance coverage for infertility treatment and fertility preservation this year. It’s essential that the Health Insurance Reform Commission issue its findings and recommendations by the start of the 2022 session so this critical legislation can move forward. 1 in 8 couples report trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Many Ashkenazi Jewish women carry the BRCA mutation that increases risk for breast and ovarian cancer — especially at a young age. Fertility preservation is an important issue for me and the Jewish community. Treatment for infertility is too often paid out of pocket and nobody should assume massive debt to treat a disease in America. Our birthrate in this country is declining. We should support reproductive health and fertility assistance to maintain a vibrant society.

Last Name: Johnston-MacAnanny Organization: Shady Grove Fertility, Richmond (SGF) Locality: Glen Allen, Virginia

I am Erika Johnston-MacAnanny, MD, FACOG currently serving as the medical director for SGF Richmond. I support further discussion and review of HJ545 (Helmer) in support of consideration of funding for infertility services and fertility preservation services for patients in the commonwealth of Virginia. Many other states in the union provide state mandated coverage of such services for their residents and Virginia should be no different. Infertility is a medical condition as defined by the American Medical Association and American Society for Reproductive Medicine and therefore insurance coverage and access to fertility care and fertility preservation services should be treated no differently than routine medical care. Virginia lags behind other progressive states in it's inclusion of such services for its hardworking, tax paying residents. This limitation on coverage makes fertility services cost prohibitive for many of its residents and therefore is an issue of equity, social justice and social divide. Our leaders in the Commonwealth should aim to correct this social divide with passing legislation in support of mandated insurance coverage for fertility services and fertility preservation services for VA residents. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns and I appreciate your consideration of this equity issue. Respectfully submitted, Erika Johnston-MacAnanny, MD

Last Name: Rojas Duran Locality: Boteourt County

As a current IVF patient, it is critical that we move forward and require fertility coverage in the state of Virginia. So many couples and families are unable to pursue fertility treatments due to a lack of coverage and the high cost of treatment. I am currently working two jobs, a full-time public high school teacher by day and a part-time barista at Starbucks in order to have insurance coverage to do IVF. I have been very grateful to work for Starbucks and have the coverage to pursue fertility treatments that would be otherwise impossible due to financial strain. Infertility is not only a financial battle but also a mental, physical, and emotional battle. By removing the financial battle, it allows relief to come so that the focus can be on the treatment and success of treatment. By allowing fertility coverage, it will also allow women to take charge of their own bodies and health. As a patient with endometriosis, I can access more treatments that can help relieve the endless symptoms. By giving us access to fertility coverage, you also give us access to the medications and treatment to improve our health and wellbeing. Thank you for looking further into coverage that impacts so many of your constituents. Our futures depend on you!

Last Name: Moring Organization: Resolve Locality: Virginia Beach

I think everyone acknowledges the financial toll infertility can have on a family. I have spent $30,000 so far last year and will spend the equivalent this year since I am yet to have success due to disease that is not treatable and unpreventable. But what I think most people do not understand is the emotional toll it can take on those suffering. It is the most isolating and painful thing I have ever had to deal with as a woman. I am excluded from conversations with my peers because I can't contribute to conversations reminiscing about pregnancy, child birth, or parenting. Without the help of fertility treatments, I would be excluded from experiencing a life event which is a huge part of being a women. Without the help of fertility treatments, I deny my partner from being part of the birth of their child and being a parent. The weight of these repercussions of my disease and the consequences of being infertile, outside even the financial stress, is incredibly painful to bear. Being a childless women I hear frequent comments such as "You're so lucky you dont have kids and have to deal with _____________". I have to suppress the urge to say, "I am paying thousands and thousands of dollars, giving myself hundreds of shot, and going through countless invasive procedures to deal with that!" Or "Why don't you just adopt?" How is that an equivalent to feeling your child kick for the first time inside your body or giving birth to your child and watching them take their first breath? Why do you think it is ok for thousands of people to be denied those privileges or at least denied them unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars? Treatment for the other symptoms of my disease, pain management, mental health care, repeated surgeries, etc. are all covered, so why not provide treatment for my symptom of the loss of my fertility. A symptom that is causing me more pain physically, mentally and financially. You might not be able to fix the physical pain by providing fertility coverage, but you could ease the metal and financial pain of thousands by providing coverage.

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Salem

Money shouldn't keep Virginians from having a family any more than it should stand in the way of life saving treatments. But, it does for the 1 in 8 couples facing infertility. I was lucky. After 8 years and borrowing from our home equity, we ended up paying close to $50,000 to treat my immunological issue that caused recurrent miscarriages. If money hadn't been such a sticking point and taken us a while to raise, I could have better treated my problem with more advanced, tailored treatments sooner and saved my husband and I a lot of heartache and grieving. Some of my friends absolutely can't afford treatment. Infertility is a disease and there are safe, effective treatments available. I want more Virginians to have access to those treatments and render "financial infertilty" null with health care coverage. Please pass this bill to at least consider this and study it so that a determination can be made. This is the first of many necessary step to support Virginia families.

Last Name: Denny Locality: Arlington

At 28 years old I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. We were about to start trying for our 2nd child when I was diagnosed. Because of my type of cancer I can no longer carry a pregnancy and our only option for another biological child was through surrogacy. When we started fertility treatments I was blown away by the amount of couples in the waiting room. And I was also blown away that my health insurance EXCLUDED fertility coverage. I have very good county government employee health insurance so I was really surprised by this. Infertility is a health diagnosis that should be included in our health insurance the same way my cancer treatments were. We are fortunate to have been able to pay out of pocket for egg retrievals, IVF and testing to have our son via surrogate. But insurance excluding fertility treatments is precluding so many families of the children they desperately ache for. And for families like mine, the timing to go through fertility treatments could be hinged on our cancer treatments. We had one chance to do an egg retrieval before I started chemo. We needed to come up with thousands of dollars with very short notice due to insurance excluding fertility treatments. This is unreasonable and impossible for a lot of families. There are thousands of others like our family in Virginia who are asking for our health insurance to cover a devastating health condition. Thank you for reading our story. K. Denny Arlington, VA

HJ549 - COVID-19; JLARC to study the impact on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Jensen Organization: Queen of Virginia skills (QVS) contrition to COVID 19 Locality: Loudoun

Queen of Virginia skills has contributed $140 million to the state of Virginia. It needs to be renewed for another year regulation and taxation of the skill games in Virginia.

Last Name: Bell Locality: Roanoke

HB1789 I support political audits HB 1990 I support Criminal Justice HB 2208 I DO NOT support statue removal, you have too many mixed feelings on this issue and by continuing removal of said statues, you isolate a percentage of the populations beliefs which is MUCH larger than you think..The ideal solution is simple...If you want to remove ANY statue, You either remove ALL or none... HJ 516 Yes I do 100% support becoming a part of the convention of states, I am well aware of this bill... HJ 530 I fully support decriminalization of certain substances hence marijuana and any other low level form of narcotic substance, I support this on both state and FEDERAL level... HJ549 I do not support this, we need to open the doors of truth to the people first, I have a panel of 36 worldwide doctors condemning WHO for dishonesty about Covid, and the fact it has a temperate design of Dec through April ... HJ573 At this point I 100% support that any vaccine be voluntary only....It is injustice to require immunization Wheres too much static as to whether this is a truly harmful pandemic or just a politically motivated stunt to incite fear.... HR237 I will support holding anyone responsible who is guilty of this Covid Conspiracy and to where it began and by who it originated even if it was a Harvard shipped virus, keep it open to hold only those accountable that truly are the guilty HR 238 I do NOT support The American People decide who gets appointed and where and THIS needs to be changed....

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Alexander Organization: Virginia PTA Locality: Loudoun

Virginia PTA supports the JLARC study as proposed by HJ549 to determine the impact COVID 19 has had on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees. Over the past year our children have faced an unprecedented and unplanned for interruption in their formal education due to COVID-19. While many school divisions were able to support a rapid shift to on-line learning, others found themselves without the basic connectivity tools needed to maintain a robust educational program. Additionally, the aging state of our school buildings, chronic overcrowding and different standards for school nurses and support staff combined with staffing shortages resulted in a direct reliance on local governments to meet the educational needs of their students in the best way they were able to. Consequently, students across the Commonwealth have had radically different learning opportunities over the past year as some schools returned for full or partial in-person instruction while others still only have access to four days of virtual education. While we commend the efforts of students, parents and staff for rising to meet the challenge, we know that these disparate approaches to education rise from historic underfunding of education staffing and infrastructure. It’s imperative that the shortfall in current resources as well as the long-term projected needs of our students be documented to ensure adequate funding and programs are developed to address pandemic learning loss and the historic lack of equitable resources.

HJ552 - Recurrent inland and urban flooding across the Commonwealth; joint subcommittee to study.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ560 - Pharmaceutical distribution payment system; Secretary of HHR to convene a work group to examine.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ561 - Construction trades; joint subcommittee to study occupational licensing laws.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Hughes Locality: Massanutten

Yes, racist Byrd statue removed Yes, end daylight savings time Apprentice programs are important

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Avery Organization: Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council Locality: Hampton

I am a retired electrician and member of International brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1340 in Newport News. I support this resolution to study the current licensing laws for construction trades. We must prepare as well as possible to meet the challenges of the imminent push on infrastructure projects, as President Biden has signaled. Much of this work will be in industries that require advanced training in safe and efficient work methods, because they are inherently dangerous. Licensing is one of the easiest ways available to enforce an adequate set of standards when backed up with authorized inspections.

Last Name: Ascher Organization: Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades/United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Locality: Baltimore, MD

On behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades Association and our over 8600 members and families from United Association locals across Virginia, I ask you to Support HJ 561. You wouldn’t hire an unlicensed Doctor; you wouldn’t hire an unlicensed lawyer, so why would you hire an unlicensed plumber or pipefitter. Licensing in the construction industry ensures that workers have an adequate understanding of building code and safety standards. This study will allow us to learn the best practices in licensing and what changes we need to make to the current licensing laws.

Last Name: Skelly Organization: International Brothjerhood of Electrical Workers Local 666 Locality: Richmond

I am a licensed electrician in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Business Manager of IBEW local 666. I represent 1600 electricians and their families in the Central Virginia area. I appreciate the opportunity to express our position on this issue and in the interest of time, I will keep my comments brief. We support HJ 561 to help ensure that the safety and quality of construction projects in Virginia are second to none. All to often, as an electrician I would work in a facility that another contractor had built or maintanined and find work that was not up to code, and often even dangerous. Virginia has licensing but no requirement for licensed people to perform work. This often ends in less than fully trained people installing service and construction projects. To hold a license means at least a basic knowledge of the trade someone practices. The code enforcement officials cannot possibly inspect every inch of every project so poor quality work can slip by. To ensure the safety of the public, the safety of other tradesworkers, and to ensure that consumers and business are getting the quality construction and maintenance work they pay for, we feel that the Commonwealth would be well served by reviewing the current laws on licensing and improving them. Thank you for your time, Charles Skelly

Last Name: Begolly Organization: Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 110 Locality: Virginia Beach

We at Local 110 are in support of these bills. We are in support of the study on HJ561. This study will show how a licensed construction worker has been trained efficiently and educated as to how to properly and safely build a quality, more cost effective project that will last. Policing of these licenses could also potentially reveal how unlicensed contractors are operating in the state of Virginia.

Last Name: Biondi Organization: Washington DC Joint Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee Serving VA, DC, and MD Locality: Annapolis

On HJ561: I am Chris Biondi, Training Director of Apprentices for Plumbers Local 5. We train apprentice plumbers to graduate our program as licensed journeypersons in Virginia. We plumbers protect the health of the nation and proper, strict licensing requirements ensure that only the most educated, qualified persons are able to be trusted with the day to day responsibility of keeping Virginia water safe for consumption while removing contaminated water from homes and workplaces. I don't know that current licensing regulations are or are not sufficient, but I do know that no jurisdiction we serve should lighten existing regulations. That would likely be a dangerous step in the wrong direction. On HJ529: While not based in Virginia my apprenticeship program serves Virginia. The mission of the Washington, D.C. Joint Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee is to develop a highly trained workforce through education and hands-on skills training from new apprentice development to continued ongoing training opportunities for Journeypersons. While providing our contractors a workforce recognized in all of North America through our international presence with the United Association, as we build a greener future while protecting the health of the nation together. We create part of the highly skilled labor workforce which serves the VA, DC, and MD construction industry. We teach green initiatives like rainwater harvesting. Our apprentices represent the diversity of the areas we serve. We grow and adapt in changing times, while adhering to a strong curriculum and rigorous training program. Regulated Apprenticeships like ours provide a strong personal and financial future for everyone who completes them, but very often for those with the fewest options. Our apprentices have medical benefits, retirement savings, a pension, and earn a living wage. All of these are hard to come by, especially together, in the modern American employment landscape. Regulated Apprenticeship programs, if championed and supported by Virginia, will continue to serve and benefit Virginia and Virginians along with the entire region.

Last Name: Killeen Organization: SMART Local Union 100 Locality: 184 E. Belt Blvd Richmond, VA 23224

Dear Delegate, SMART Local 100 and our members fully support studies HJ529 and HJ561 for the betterment of working people in the great state of Virginia. Sincerely, Thomas Killeen Bus. Rep./Legislative Dir. SMART Local Union 100 Cell 443.784.9718

HJ564 - Public records; FOIA Council to study whether FOIA should be amended to allow easier access.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Rhyne Organization: Virginia Coalition for Open Government Locality: Williamsburg

VCOG wholeheartedly supports this bill. The most common call or inquiry VCOG receives from the public and press has to do with charges. Often times they are exorbitant. Sometimes they aren't broken down in a way that the citizen knows what she's paying for. Sometimes there are thousands and thousands of repetitive emails to review, which takes up government time and costs the citizens lots of money. Sometimes employees charge at rates of over $60/hour. The system has develoved into one where citizens are often deterred from using it because of the cost. We don't know what the exact right solutions is, which is why this study would be so important, especially a study that brings together citizens, media, open government, local and state government, school districts and higher education.

HJ567 - Income tax, state; JLARC to study increasing the progressivity of Virginia's system.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HJ568 - Juvenile justice; prevention of girls who are victims of violence from entering system.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Hopkins Organization: Rights4Girls Locality: Washington, DC

Dear Chair Filler-Corn and committee members, my name is Cherice Hopkins, and I’m Senior Counsel at Rights4Girls, a human rights organization dedicated to defending the rights of vulnerable girls through advocacy, coalition-building, public awareness campaigns, research, and training and technical assistance. Over the past several years, we have worked to shed light on the widespread criminalization of survivors of gendered violence, particularly girls of color, through the publication of reports like The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story. As advocates who work at the intersection of race, gender, violence and systems reform, we strongly support HJ 568. Girls are often overlooked in critical conversations about justice reform. However, girls are not only impacted by the juvenile justice system, but they are often criminalized for their own victimization. Research shows that sexual abuse is a primary predictor of girls’ justice system involvement. We also know that many, if not most, girls in the juvenile justice system have experienced sexual or physical abuse prior to entering the system. Nationally, 73% of girls behind bars experienced sexual or physical abuse before entering the system, but in some states the rates are even higher. When we looked at these high rates of trauma together with the most common offenses for girls, it became clear that girls were being criminalized because of their abuse. The most common offenses for girls include the status offenses of running away and truancy—behaviors that are strongly correlated with trauma. The limited data available on girls in Virginia’s juvenile justice system suggests that Virginia girls are being impacted by the abuse to prison pipeline. For example, girls are overrepresented among status offenders (e.g., in 2017 girls comprised 61.5% of runaway complaints compared to boys who comprised 38.5%) and girls at the deepest end of the system had a higher percentage of traumatic experiences, mental health needs, and suicidal behaviors than boys. In addition, Black girls were significantly overrepresented amongst girls in the system. However, the scope of these racial disparities and the full impact of violence on the criminalization of girls in Virginia is unclear due to gaps in available data. These gaps include information on the trauma histories of girls who touch the system, pregnant and parenting girls, girls who are dually involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, conditions of confinement for girls, services made available to girls, and more. Uncovering this information is imperative to gaining a clear picture of girls’ justice system involvement and informing our response towards justice-involved youth. Without this information, girls, particularly girls of color, will not benefit from justice reform efforts as race and gender-neutral measures fail to account for their unique experiences and needs. Given that system-involved girls are so often survivors of child sexual abuse and violence, recognizing their needs is crucial. HJ 568 is critical in creating this shift in response by collecting much needed information to help inform and improve our response towards justice-involved youth. Thank you.

Last Name: Earp Organization: RAINN Locality: Owings

Good Morning Chairman Sickles, Honorable members of the Rules Committee, Studies Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today in support of House Joint Resolution 568. My name is Erin Earp, I’m the Legislative Policy Counsel for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and operates at Department of Defense SAFE Helpline. Through our hotlines, we serve over 35,000 survivors every month. Prior to joining RAINN, I was an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, for eight years. I served as a juvenile prosecutor and as a member of the Special Victim’s Unit, prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. I’m here today to express RAINN’s support for Resolution 568, which would direct the Virginia State Crime Commission to study ways to prevent girls who have experienced trauma entering the juvenile justice system. What we know is that black girls are disproportionately represented in Virginia’s juvenile justice system, comprising 23.5% of Virginia’s female youth population but accounting for 39.4% of female intake cases. We also know that girls are overrepresented among status offenders - for instance, of those charged with running away, 61.5% are girls, while only 38.5% are boys. Girls run away because of trauma and abuse experienced at home. This is an opportunity to identify that trauma and provide services, rather than punishment. Putting girls in jail for this behavior only exacerbates their trauma and begins the abuse to prison pipeline. We now need to know how many girls’ entering Virginia’s juvenile justice system, either for delinquency or status offenses, are presenting with trauma histories. Nationally, the rates of sexual abuse are four times higher for justice-involved girls than boys, and girls in the system are twice as likely as boys to report having experienced five or more forms of abuse and trauma. We also need to know how many of these girls are involved both with the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system. This information can then be used to develop policies that both ensure girls’ encountering the juvenile justice system are provided with the services and support they need, and to prevent girls from entering the juvenile justice system unnecessarily. I urge you to support House Joint Resolution 568 and thank you again for the opportunity to speak on this important issue.

HJ569 - Trees; Dept. of Forestry to study & evaluate enabling statutes for ordinances related to planting.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Shively Locality: Pittsylvania

No universal health care will cause too much debt and change out social security? I’ve worked my whole life and feel I deserve that money I have put in. Universal health care will break out infrastructure bad set the debt level even higher.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Greenaway Locality: Caroline

HJ526 - I support Del. Bulova's bill proposing a joint committee to study comprehensive campaign finance reform. Virginia is one of only four states that has no campaign finance limitations of any kind. As a result, the cost of campaigns in Virginia has skyrocketed. Already, 46 other states have tested various campaign funding limitations and they have passed judicial review. Further, concerns that limiting campaign donations will cause Dark Money to fuel campaigns have been dealt with by a number of states through a combination of enhanced disclosure and enforcement. Finally, the scenario of the self-funding candidate who has the ability to influence the outcome of the race has also been successfully dealt with in a number of other states. A study will de-mystify campaign finance limitations and provide the opportunity to utilize best practices from other states to make strong recommendations for campaign finance reforms and greater campaign funding transparency. Citizen participation in these studies will allow for a robust and thorough discussion of the issues surrounding the lack of campaign finance limitations in Virginia which can no longer be ignored. HJ569 - I support Del. Jones proposal to call request the Department of Forestry convene a stakeholder advisory group to study and evaluate enabling statutes for local ordinances related to the preservation, planting, and replacement of trees during the land development process. In 2019, I relocated from Prince William County to Caroline County. Part of the reason for my relocation was because a developer was allowed to destroy several hundred trees in an area of wetlands that bordered my property in a clearly riparian area less than a quarter mile from the Occoquan River. The trees had acted as an important buffer for storm water runoff that kept my community from facing serious flooding issues during the extremely wet year of 2018. Despite initially being told that the developer had not been granted a permit by the Commonwealth to build on that land because they were wetlands, I subsequently learned that the developer had promised to "plant trees in another area" in exchange for building on that site. It was clear to me and the Virginia government scientists that those wetlands were an established part of the Potomac watershed and should have been preserved, but clearly, they were powerless to enforce that upon the developer. I have subsequently worked with the Department of Forestry at my new property. For situations like the one I am describing, they should have had a role in negotiating how this critical wetland area was handled. Instead, the Commonwealth of Virginia lost hundreds of established trees that will be replaced by whatever the developer can find on sale with no guarantee that the replacement trees will survive, a net loss towards our committed goal to plant 25,000,000 trees by 2025.

HJ577 - Medicaid managed care organizations and provider networks; joint subcommittee to study oversight.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Shively Locality: Pittsylvania

No universal health care will cause too much debt and change out social security? I’ve worked my whole life and feel I deserve that money I have put in. Universal health care will break out infrastructure bad set the debt level even higher.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Dennis Locality: Buckingham

Exploratory drilling for gold in Virginia is happening as we speak, and went on for years without the knowledge of the local community. Commercial gold mining is extremely toxic and a threat to the health, water, and air of communities across Virginia, and is currently threatening Union Hill and Buckingham County, who already had to endure being targeted for the now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. House Bill 2213, which would establish a moratorium on permits for commercial gold mining until a study of all the dangers of gold mining is completed, is crucial to protect Virginia communities. I moved to Buckingham to get away from business and to live a peaceful life. After the pipeline was defeated, I thought my well water was safe and Buckingham's Board of Supervisor's again not listening to the people have now made it legal for core sampling instead of shutting down a company who was drilling illegally. Please help us stop them. Rhonda Dennis

HJ578 - Criminal justice, behavioral health, & other records; DBHDS to study feasibility of secure database.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Harris Organization: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Locality: Richmond

DBHDS appreciates the ability to study the issue outlined in HJ578 and develop recommendations with stakeholders. We are able to do this without a fiscal impact.

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

End of Comments