Public Comments for 01/25/2021 Appropriations
HB1893 - New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority; creation of authority in Planning District 4.
Last Name: Lowe Locality: Ruschlikon

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Last Name: Campblin Locality: Fairfax

This is a great proposal to help increase mobility options in western/rural virginia.

Last Name: Melvin Organization: Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Locality: Richmond

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, on behalf of the members of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association I would like to take a moment to impart our support for HB1893. We believe this measure will help spur additional tourism to Southwest Virginia, and urge you to support it.

Last Name: Hager-Smith Organization: Town of Blacksburg Locality: Blacksburg

Trying again -- -Mike Barber's code is 983298 -- Can I get into a waiting room?

Last Name: Hager-Smith Organization: Town Locality: Blacksburg

I have no code and can't apparently get on

Last Name: Durkin Organization: Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Roanoke

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce strongly supports this initiative to increase the prevalence of passenger rail in Virginia's Blue Ridge Region. Passenger rail is one more tool that can be used to alleviate traffic pressures, as well as provide a new link to Amazon HQ2 and Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus in northern Virginia.

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

Virginians for High Speed Rail supports this legislation and hopes that it advances.

HB1925 - Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program; established, report.
Last Name: Morrow Locality: McLean

I strongly support bill HB1925, which will establish a Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund. Awards grants on a competitive basis to support wind, solar, or geothermal projects sited on formerly mined lands or brownfields. One provision requires that no state funds will be spent on the program unless the budget overrides, ensuring that Virginia can pursue federal funding without impacting the budget. This bill will also encourage renewable energy development on previously disturbed land rather than high-value agricultural and forest lands. Brownfields are generally 10-40% more expensive to develop than greenfields. This bill will create opportunities in Southwest Virginia and other communities with brownfields to ensure they share in the benefits of a clean energy transition. Many companies have committed to powering their operations with 100% clean energy. Programs to help make RE development more affordable in brownfield-impacted communities will help ensure these areas can attract new businesses. Also, many farmers work land they do not own. 39% of farmed land is rented and 70% of farm lease agreements are renewed annually. This creates a situation in which a tenant farmer could lose their livelihood if a landlord decides to switch to a long-term land lease to large-scale solar developers. Incentivizing solar developers to build on mined land and brownfields may help reduce the pressure to fragment economically and ecologically valuable forests and may help keep tenant farmers in business.

Last Name: Lang Organization: Virginia Democracy Forward; We of Action Locality: Arlington

While HB2034 is directly for the benefit of energy consumers in SW Virginia, I strongly support it even though I live in Arlington. This Bill ensures that customers such as municipalities and public schools can enter into Power Purchase Agreements to access renewable energy. This access is already available to those of us within Dominion's territory but it needs to extend statewide. This will help lower the carbon footprint of these customers and that directly helps me. Thanks, Annette Lang, Arlington.

Last Name: Lang Organization: Virginia Democracy Forward; We of Action Locality: Arlington

Please pass HB1925, referred to as the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program. Having done environmental enforcement work for my career as a lawyer in the Department of Justice, I saw firsthand what a difference it made to communities to have their brownfields moved from unproductive and unsightly eyesores to productive use. So much needs to be done in this area. The grants awarded would be on a competitive basis and would support wind, solar, or geothermal projects on formerly mined lands or brownfields. No state funds will be spent on the program unless the budget overrides. Its passage will allow VA to pursue federal funding without impacting the budget. Thanks. Annette Lang, Arlington

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

On behalf of our 150 conservation member organizations across the Commonwealth, Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) supports HB1925. Case for support: http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HB1925-Brownfields-Act-Talking-Points.pdf

Last Name: Eaton Locality: Honaker

I think this is a great idea and a great opportunity to provide jobs and a new way to get tax dollars to our dying county’s. As a Solar installer I get the joy of showing people how to not only save money but give them a piece of mind that they own their own power! Solar is on the rise and more jobs are needed in the coal county’s, to see this go through would be a huge opportunity to SWVA! I would love to see them flat strip mines put to use and provide free solar energy to our communities! God bless.

Last Name: Browning Locality: Dickenson County, Clintwood

I am writing in support of HB 1925, specifically for the coalfield communities of far southwestern Virginia where there has been a long history of neglect and abuse of both human and natural resources. This bill will take a step toward correcting past mistakes, but only if you agree to work together in a bipartisan manner for the good and well being of present and future generations of all Virginians. This bill would give incentives for development of solar energy on abandoned mine land, and take a critical step toward helping communities use this land in a sustainable, beneficial way. All natural processes on planet Earth are driven directly, or indirectly, by sunlight. Only 40 minutes of sunlight striking the United States generates as much energy as burning all fossil fuels combined for an entire year. Using energy from the sun, the driver of all life on Earth, is simply a no-brainer. Solar energy is not practical for all locations in complex, three-dimensional terrain, where sunlight becomes limited by surrounding topography. The exception, in most cases, being surface-mined land which typically leaves behind elevated, open areas which are well-exposed to incoming solar energy. HB 1925 would help target this land and give incentives for its reclamation and long-term use in a sustainable manner, helping coalfield communities make the vital transition to renewable energy. I ask you to please support HB 1925. Thank you.

Last Name: White Locality: PENNINGTON GAP

As a Southwest VA native and an electrical engineer, I can clearly see how incentivizing companies to develop brownfield sites for alternative energy production can positively impact our regional and state economy. While I live in VA, I work in TN, as do many engineers and skilled technicians I know. Furthermore, I see many VA natives move to TN because of better job opportunities. This needs to stop - we need talent grown in VA to stay in VA - to strengthen our communities and economy. My area of VA has been greatly impacted by the world's transition away from fossil fuels. The future is in renewables, and we have the land (plenty of brownfield sites abandoned either directly or indirectly due to mine closures) and the talent to foster this area of economic growth. I humbly ask that you consider passing the bill to incentivize brownfield site development, thereby allowing Southwest VA to have the opportunity to continue to be an energy producing region with ample job opportunities. I know that I, personally, would love to be able to both live and work in the state, and region, I love. Thank you.

Last Name: Cummins Organization: Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and Appalachian Voices Locality: Clintwood

As the Commonwealth transitions away from fossil fuels, we need to ensure that all Virginians have the chance to benefit from the new clean energy economy through cost savings, jobs, and tax revenue. This bill ensures that disadvantaged communities left with the environmental hazards of coal mining and abandoned industrial sites have an opportunity to benefit from renewable energy, incentivizing developers to bring new life to brownfield sites throughout the state which may otherwise be left abandoned and dangerous. Lastly, this program will help to maximize the amount of renewable energy that occurs on previously developed sites in order to preserve farmland and forestland. On behalf of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and Appalachian Voices, I ask you to support this bill.

Last Name: Barnes Organization: Appalachian Voices and the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia Locality: Big Stone Gap

Support HB 1925: As the Commonwealth transitions away from fossil fuels, we need to ensure that all Virginians have the chance to benefit from the new clean energy economy through cost savings, jobs, and tax revenue. This bill ensures that disadvantaged communities left with the environmental hazards of coal mining and abandoned industrial sites have an opportunity to benefit from renewable energy, incentivizing developers to bring new life to brownfield sites throughout the state which may otherwise be left abandoned and dangerous. The program developed by this bill would infuse reclamation and rehabilitation dollars into these communities, making communities safer and healthier. Lastly, this program will help to maximize the amount of renewable energy that occurs on previously developed sites in order to preserve farmland and forestland. On behalf of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and Appalachian Voices, we ask you to support this bill.

Last Name: Nawaz Organization: yyyy Locality: McLean

Dear Delegate, Please support HB1925. This bill establishes a Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund, and will award grants on a competitive basis to support wind, solar, or geothermal projects sited on formerly mined lands or brownfields (which are generally 10-40% more expensive to develop than greenfields). Please note that the bill includes provision that no state funds will be spent on the program unless the budget overrides; its passage will ensure that Virginia can pursue federal funding without impacting the budget. This bill will encourage RE development on previously disturbed land rather than high-value agricultural and forest lands. It will create job opportunities in SW Virginia and other communities with brownfields to ensure they share in the benefits of a clean energy transition. Many companies have committed to powering their operations with 100% clean energy. Programs to help make RE development more affordable in brownfield-impacted communities will help ensure these areas can attract new businesses. Also, many farmers work land they do not own. 39% of farmed land is rented and 70% of farm lease agreements are renewed annually. This creates a situation in which a tenant farmer could lose their livelihood if a landlord decides to switch to a long-term land lease to large-scale solar developers. Incentivizing solar developers to build on mined land and brownfields may help reduce the pressure to fragment economically and ecologically valuable forests and may help keep tenant farmers in business. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Kathleen Nawaz

Last Name: Clewett Organization: Lewinsville Faith in Action Locality: Falls Church

Lewinsville Faith in Action respectfully urges the members of the Committee to support HB1925. Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program This bill will facilitate the development of wind, solar, or geothermal projects on formerly mined lands or brownfields, and allow the pursuit of federal funding to assist such projects. This is beneficial because many forward-looking companies have committed to using 100% clean energy, and programs that help make renewable energy development more affordable in brownfield-impacted communities will help those areas attract new businesses. This desirable result is less likely without this bill, since brownfields are more expensive to develop than agricultural and forest lands. HB 1925 will also help small farmers who rent their land. Incentivizing solar developers to build on mined land and brownfields may help reduce the pressure to fragment economically and ecologically valuable forests and may help keep small tenant farmers in business. HB 1925 is a creative and equitable approach toward facilitating the transition to a clean-energy economy in a way that will leave no Virginians behind, and we urge the Committee to support it.

Last Name: Holmes Organization: Piedmont Environmental Council Locality: Culpeper

The Piedmont Environmental Council supports HB1925. Siting solar on brownfields and previously mined lands reduces pressure on greenfield development, maximizing the benefits of solar while reducing impact to our forests and farms.

Last Name: Fleming Organization: Conservatives for Clean Energy Locality: Wake - NC

Dear Chairman Sullivan and members of the committee, I am writing in support of HB1925, patroned by Delegate Terry Kilgore, to establish the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund. Delegate Kilgore has been a great advocate for Southwest Virginia on matters related to energy, including his leadership on efforts to support new jobs and economic growth through the expansion of clean energy opportunities. Our polling research indicates that more than 70% of voters want to put more emphasis on solar energy in Virginia. Both wind and solar energy enjoy overwhelming support from voters across the political spectrum and in all regions of the Commonwealth. For years, policy makers have talked about streamlining permitting and making it easier to locate new renewable facilities on previously used coal mines and other brownfields. Delegate Kilgore’s proposal takes an important step toward this goal by helping to address the additional costs that often come with locating these facilities in unconventional areas. While the cost of renewable energy has declined and is competitive with other types of generation, the infrastructure required to locate facilities in these areas can be cost prohibitive. Importantly, this bill seeks to leverage available federal funding to operationalize the program. Virginia families and businesses are demanding more and more renewable energy, and significant land will be required to meet that growing demand. This legislation will have a meaningful impact on reducing the pressure to locate more of these facilities in areas that compete with agriculture land or even residential development. Conservatives for Clean Energy strongly supports this legislation and hopes it will be the will of the committee to report the bill. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Mark Fleming CEO, Conservatives for Clean Energy

Last Name: Chelsea Barnes Organization: Appalachian Voices and the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia Locality: Wise County

Support HB 1925: As the Commonwealth transitions away from fossil fuels, we need to ensure that all Virginians have the chance to benefit from the new clean energy economy through cost savings, jobs, and tax revenue. This bill ensures that disadvantaged communities left with the environmental hazards of coal mining and abandoned industrial sites have an opportunity to benefit from renewable energy, incentivizing developers to bring new life to brownfield sites throughout the state which may otherwise be left abandoned and dangerous. The program developed by this bill would infuse reclamation and rehabilitation dollars into these communities, making communities safer and healthier. Lastly, this program will help to maximize the amount of renewable energy that occurs on previously developed sites in order to preserve farmland and forestland. On behalf of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and Appalachian Voices, we ask you to support this bill. Support HB 2034: For more than three years, schools and local governments in the coalfield region including Wise, Lee, and Dickenson counties have been blocked from installing solar on seven schools and local government buildings due to utilities blocking the use of Power Purchase Agreements. These solar projects would save our local governments millions of dollars over the life of the projects. In Southwest Virginia, schools have only been able to install 22 kilowatts of solar energy, while access to PPAs in Eastern and Northern Virginia has led to over 34,000 kilowatts for solar-powered schools. It is crucial that this bill be enacted in order to help our local governments save money during these unprecedented times. On behalf of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and Appalachian Voices, we ask you to support this bill.

Last Name: Lewis Organization: The Nature Conservancy Locality: Charlottesville

The Nature Conservancy supports HB 1925. The environmental benefit of solar energy depends in part on how it is sited. Solar sited on previously-disturbed land, such as mined lands, landfills, and rooftops, brings additional value to that land. Incentivizing development of large-scale solar on mined lands and brownfields can reduce the pressure to convert valuable forests and farmland into utility-scale solar generators. Southwest Virginia, the region that is directly experiencing the economic impacts associated with the decline in fossil fuels, is not yet experiencing the economic benefits that renewable energy is providing in other regions. Over 71,000 acres of land in Southwest Virginia have been affected by coal mining. Renewable energy development is an ideal option for repurposing some of these lands. However, these sites are generally more expensive to develop, and renewable energy companies are likely to continue to avoid them unless the General Assembly creates specific incentives. The Brownfield & Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program creates a fund for grants to developers who site renewable energy on mined land and brownfields. The grants would offset some of or all the added expense of building on these lands, making these projects cost-competitive with projects built in more conventional locations. Because this fund and grant program would support the development of renewable energy on previously disturbed land, and because it would incentivize development of renewable energy in Southwest Virginia, we ask you to support HB 1925. Signed, Lena Lewis Energy and Climate Policy Manager The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter

Last Name: Bushnell Locality: Virginia Beach

I am asking for your support for HB1925 which will encourage energy development on formerly disturbed areas instead of agricultural or forested lands. It will also create opportunities in Southwest Virginia and other communities with brownfields to help them share in the benefits of a clean energy transition. Brownfields are more expensive to develop than greenfields; this will provide incentive and assistance. I would love to see more solar and wind farms, but not if they are going to cut down trees or use needed farm land! It makes sense to utilize brownfields. Please provide the needed leadership to bring Virginia into a cleaner, healthier future.

Last Name: manweiler Locality: washington

I ask the both these bills pass as written. I believe they will further our progress towards a sustainable energy system in as virginia and nationally

Last Name: Davis Locality: Washington County

I support the bill by Kilgore and the bill by Hurst - people and schools in Virginia deserve better access to renewable energy!

Last Name: Shearer Organization: eNRG - Energizing Renewable Growth in Holston Valley Locality: Emory

I support Del. Kilgore's bill to turn coal brownfields into BRIGHTfields, harvesting solar energy and jobs at a utility scale. Our coal mining communities need help jumpstarting this energy job transition. We need to restore the land to productive purposes and people to hope in new employment sectors. The coalfields can be powering Virginia once again. Rees Shearer

Last Name: Turner Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Richmond

HB1925 is necessary to encourage renewable energy development on previously disturbed areas rather than on Virginia’s high-value agricultural and forest lands, and to create opportunities in Southwest Virginia and other communities with brownfields to ensure they share in the benefits of a clean energy transition. HB2034 ensures nonjurisdictional customers in SW Virginia, which includes municipalities and public schools, can enter into power purchase agreements to access renewable energy. This opportunity already exists explicitly for nonjurisdictional customers in Dominion territory, and it is important to ensure existing policy is consistent throughout the Commonwealth. This bill does NOT increase or change the caps.

Last Name: Shippee Organization: Sierra Club VA Locality: Henrico

HB1925 will help the people of Southwest Virginia as the region transitions from a coal-production-based to the renewable energy-based economy. HB2034 provides needed clarification that both non-jurisdictional and jurisdictional electricity customers throughout Virginia are eligible to participate in third-party power purchase arrangements.

HB1950 - Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team; Va. Department of Health, et al., to establish, report.
Last Name: Sutton-EL Organization: Birth In Color RVA Locality: Midlothian

Black women babies are 9x more likely to die during the during pregnancy and first 12 months of birth. No one knows why or has implemented systems to research. This is a very important bill. No reason black women are dealing with issues of maternal mortality and infant mortality rates that are extremely higher than other races.

Last Name: Stewart Locality: Richmond

The day I had been waiting so patiently for will never come. I can’t stop thinking had I requested more work or ultrasounds to be done, my baby girl would still be here. I beat myself daily and don’t know if this pain and void will ever leave. It was a Saturday, I noticed my baby not moving as much, I contacted my doula, she instructed it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I went to the ER. Initially they had trouble finding a heartbeat but they did and my baby’s heart was doing fine. They kept me on the monitor for about 30 minutes and said everything is fine and I’m free to go. I contacted my doula to express that movement still wasn’t like normal and is there anything else they normally do. She said you can ask if they will do an ultrasound to ensure everything fine or if they have another test that can provide more clarity for my nerves. Dr. Instructed I’m just overthinking and baby has a strong heartbeat so it’s no need. I said okay I have a doctors appointment on Monday anyway I can have them check. Fast forward Monday is hear and I’m at my OB for a checkup she goes to find a heartbeat and just like that it’s never comes. I’m terrified crying yelling and loss for words when I’m told there is no heartbeat and we need to run tests to see if there is anything at all. Nope nothing can be done. I’m 36 weeks and my baby girl is no longer hear. For weeks I’m reviewing everything over again and I’m looking at the autopsy report no reason is given. No one knows what happened. I go through phases of blaming myself to blaming my husband. I’m healthy, wealthy, college educated, and I made all of my prenatal appointments but my baby is still not hear. I can’t even be happy for my friends who are expecting because my baby is no longer here without an explanation I will never see her wiggle her toes and even gaze into her eyes. 26, African American, and afraid to get pregnant again. Please support this bill. Chelsea Stewart Richmond, Virginia

Last Name: Henrickson Locality: Sterling

Establish a review team to study and improve outcomes for fetal and infant mortality (currently exists, but needs dedicated funds and structures to operate effectively) Virginia Needs to Review and Study Fetal and Infant Mortality The U.S. has one of the best healthcare systems in the world—and yet our fetal and infant mortality rate is unacceptably high. Within the U.S., Virginia ranks 21st, which demonstrates the need to study and improve in this area in the Commonwealth. Black women are 9 times more likely to lose a pregnancy than white women. It is imperative that this division along racial lines also be addressed. In order to do that, we must understand the factors that put women of color at substantially greater risk of losing a pregnancy. A Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (“FIMR”) Team would use an integrated, multidisciplinary, community-based approach to study all of the elements and circumstances that contribute to fetal and infant mortality. FIMR includes action-oriented processes to improve services, systems, and resources for women, infants, and families. These improvements are crucial if we are to address these problems. For all of the above reasons, I strongly support HB 1950.

Last Name: Gotwalt Locality: Fairfax

My name is Rebecca Gotwalt and my [Senator/Delegate] is Chap Petersen/Karrie Delaney. Currently the Commonwealth is undeserved in many areas of reproductive healthcare. When I was young I was shamed and threatened by a Giles County Health employee for requesting a check up and birth control. After that failure, I fell pregnant and had to come up with what seemed an impossible amount of money and travel more than 120 miles round trip to obtain my abortion. If something as simple as birth control and abortion are so difficult to obtain, what chance do Virginians have who want to complete a healthy pregnancy? Maternal, fetal and infant mortality must be addressed – with an emphasis on the health of Black and brown families that have death rates up to nine times that of their white counterparts. Please support HB 1950 and move Virginia forward in our quest to provide quality reproductive healthcare for all.

Last Name: Wright Locality: Glen Allen

I am for nurse practitioner to be able to practice without a doctor being there

HB1995 - Rare Disease Council and Rare Disease Council Fund; created, report.
Last Name: Monaco Organization: National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Locality: Prince William County

Rare disease patients in Virginia face unique challenges every day, from obtaining an accurate diagnosis and accessing medical specialists with knowledge of their condition, to battling for fair insurance coverage of their treatment and care. As the mother of two children with a rare disease, I can certainly relate to some of these unique challenges. My son Stephen was born with a rare metabolic disorder called isovaleric acidemia detectable with newborn screening. Due to lack of expanded newborn screening, his disorder was not diagnosed until he was 3 ½ years old resulting in a traumatic brain injury and multiple complex medical issues. Thanks to knowledge gained from Stephen, my daughter was diagnosed with the same disorder before birth. Her early diagnosis enabled her to receive immediate treatment for her high school this year and go on to college. Since their diagnosis, we have faced various challenges over the years. Finding a pharmacy to fill their prescriptions for the medications to treat their disorder has been difficult. There have been hurdles in obtaining their medical formula and receiving insurance coverage for it. The current pandemic poises new problems. They are definitely in the high-risk category keeping them primarily at home and no access to the vaccine in our county. I am the primary caregiver for Stephen, but do not fall into a prioritized category for the vaccine. These are just a few examples of struggles we and others in the rare disease community across the Commonwealth face on a daily basis and are left to find solutions on our own. The Virginia Rare Disease Advisory Council would help address the challenges faced by rare disease patients, their families and their caregivers by providing a forum for stakeholders across the state to analyze the needs of the rare disease community and make recommendations on how to improve public policy. To date, sixteen states (Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia) have created a Rare Disease Advisory Council and proven that it is an effective way to ensure better government engagement and action on issues of importance to the rare disease community. I urge you to vote in support of HB 1995 and help Virginia become the 17th state to enact an RDAC. Thank you.

Last Name: Ross Organization: National Organization for Rare Disorders Locality: Arlington

On behalf of the 1-in-10 individuals in Virginia with one of the approximately 7,000 known rare diseases, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) thanks you for putting House Bill 1995(HB1995) on the Appropriations - Health and Human Resources Subcommittee’s agenda. HB1995 establishes a Rare Disease Advisory Council (RDAC), which if passed, would help to give a voice to the rare disease community within Virginia’s state government. NORD urges you to vote in support of HB1995 and swiftly move it out of your committee. NORD is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. We are committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and patient services. Rare diseases are present across a broad spectrum of medical conditions. For example, there are more than 500 types of rare cancers and all forms of pediatric cancer are rare. For patients suffering from these and numerous other rare conditions, it can take several years to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Further, only a handful of rare diseases are well-understood, with most not receiving sufficient attention or funding for research. Creating an RDAC in Virginia will give rare disease patients a unified voice in Virginia ’s state government, helping to provide educational awareness and make recommendations to elected officials and other state leaders on how rare diseases are handled and treated in the state. From providing information on the diagnostic journey, to making recommendations on state programs such as newborn screening, the council will serve as a tremendous opportunity for important decision-makers in Virginia to better understand and meet the needs of their constituents. Since this council would include broad participation from the different health care sectors present in Virginia, it will also serve as an educational resource to all stakeholders about the ways rare disease patients interact with our health care system. In creating this council, Virginia will be joining sixteen other states (Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia) who have already enacted similar legislation in support of their rare disease community. Once again, on behalf of the Virginia rare disease community, we thank you for putting HB1995 on the Appropriations - Health and Human Resources Subcommittee’s agenda and urge its swift passage. For any questions, please feel free to contact Annissa Reed via email at areed@rarediseases.org. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Ross Organization: National Organization for Rare Disorders Locality: Arlington

Dear Chairman Sickles and Members of the House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee: On behalf of the 1-in-10 individuals in Virginia with one of the approximately 7,000 known rare diseases, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) thanks you for putting House Bill 1995(HB1995) on the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee’s agenda. HB1995 establishes a Rare Disease Advisory Council (RDAC), which if passed, would help to give a voice to the rare disease community within Virginia’s state government. NORD urges you to vote in support of HB1995 and swiftly move it out of your committee. NORD is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. We are committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and patient services. Rare diseases are present across a broad spectrum of medical conditions. For example, there are more than 500 types of rare cancers and all forms of pediatric cancer are rare. For patients suffering from these and numerous other rare conditions, it can take several years to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Further, only a handful of rare diseases are well-understood, with most not receiving sufficient attention or funding for research. Creating an RDAC in Virginia will give rare disease patients a unified voice in Virginia ’s state government, helping to provide educational awareness and make recommendations to elected officials and other state leaders on how rare diseases are handled and treated in the state. From providing information on the diagnostic journey, to making recommendations on state programs such as newborn screening, the council will serve as a tremendous opportunity for important decision-makers in Virginia to better understand and meet the needs of their constituents. Since this council would include broad participation from the different health care sectors present in Virginia, it will also serve as an educational resource to all stakeholders about the ways rare disease patients interact with our health care system. In creating this council, Virginia will be joining sixteen other states (Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia) who have already enacted similar legislation in support of their rare disease community. Once again, on behalf of the Virginia rare disease community, we thank you for putting HB1995 on the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee’s agenda and urge its swift passage. For any questions, please feel free to contact Annissa Reed via email at areed@rarediseases.org. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Heidi Ross Annissa Reed Director of Policy State Policy Manager, Eastern Region National Organization for Rare Disorders National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Name: Wright Locality: Glen Allen

I am for nurse practitioner to be able to practice without a doctor being there

HB2001 - State and local buildings, certain; building standards.
Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). While imperfect, the substitute bill being offered today adds to the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The substitute adds forward-looking EV ready infrastructure. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. The sub also requires agencies to reporting on several building outcomes as a one-time step to providing important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. We do urge replacing the phase “obtain prior written approval from” on page 2, line 39 with “notify” as it should not be burdensome for a state project to build exemplary buildings exceeding the standard. We see this state buildings part of the sub as a first step toward improving the state high performing building program to enable the state to make bigger gains in utility cost savings as well as improve resilience. In the near future, updating the VEES standard, which relies on a 2012 code, is essential, as well as adding resilience features. A more robust reporting program integrated with state benchmarking is also a critical next step for accountability and continuous improvement. The substitute bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. With technical support from state agencies, local governments could benefit from green building. Recognizing that some local governments in Virginia do, and others do not currently use green building, the sub bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the sub provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's sub bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the substitute bill as better than existing law, and ask the subcommittee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Leyen Organization: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, we SUPPORT HB2001 and thank Delegate Helmer for bringing this bill forward. The transportation sector is responsible for 48% of carbon emissions in Virginia, Gas & diesel vehicle emissions also greatly harm air quality and public health. This bill affords the Commonwealth and its localities an opportunity to lead on transportation electrification by making prudent public investments in charging infrastructure that will encourage private sector engagement. Tackling energy waste and emissions also requires that when we build, we do so mindful of the lifecycle costs and environmental impact of projects constructed with taxpayer dollars. This bill provides agencies, institutions, and localities with the chance to adopt building standards that improve energy efficiency, decrease carbon emissions, and save money. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Harnish Organization: Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, I am writing in favor of Delegate Helmer's HB2001. This bill, if passed, will improve the building performance standards for state-owned public buildings while also setting a building performance metric for locality-owned public buildings. We appreciate the delegate's willingness to work with us and our members to make changes to the original version. We hope it is the committee's will to pass HB 2001. Sincerely, Chelsea Harnish Executive Director VA Energy Efficiency Council

Last Name: Smith Organization: Virginia Association of School Superintendents Locality: Palmyra

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents feels that if this bill applies to school boards , then it could significantly increase the potential cost of construction and renovation of school buildings. This particularly true for small and rural schools. Thank you, Dr. Tom Smith VASS

Last Name: Gerena Organization: Drive Electric RVA Locality: Chesterfield County

My name is Charles Gerena and I am a Chesterfield County resident and proud owner of an electric vehicle since January 2014. I consider myself to be very fortunate. Thanks to my income and the fact that I own a home, I have been able to reap the benefits of transportation electrification. My Nissan LEAF emits no pollution, making the air around me cleaner, even when I’m sitting in traffic. I have saved money on maintenance from all of the fan belts and spark plugs and other parts in an internal combustion engine that I haven’t had to replace. I have saved money on fuel since electricity is far cheaper than gasoline and less volatile. And, most importantly, I have done my part to save the planet from the worst effects of climate change. That is why I am asking you to help broaden the benefits of transportation electrification to state and local governments. HB 2001 would ensure that major construction and renovation projects undertaken with taxpayers’ money can meet future fleet electrification, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction goals established through legislation (like the Virginia Clean Economy Act) and executive action (like the Virginia Energy Plan). Such “future proofing” is often cheaper than retrofitting buildings to meet such goals, especially when it comes to the installation of charging infrastructure. In addition to the benefits I have already mentioned, fleet electrification would be in Virginia’s best interest because it would increase consumer awareness of EV technology as government workers interact with the general public. It would also get more drivers behind the wheels of EVs, essentially creating an on-going test drive program. Some local governments may tell you that this bill amounts to an “unfunded mandate.” The state can decide for themselves how they want to spend their revenue, but why should cities and counties be required to install charging infrastructure? If a local government can’t afford to install charging stations right away, its representatives can opt for putting in the conduit and wiring to install stations later. If they can’t afford that level of “EV readiness,” they can apply for an exemption from the bill’s requirements. Regardless, making the installation of such infrastructure the default consideration for a major construction or renovation project will make it more likely to happen in the first place. Some fleet operators never consider electrification because no one talks about it. In sum, I ask that the subcommittee vote to move HB 2001 to the full committee for consideration. Thank you for your time, and thank you for all that you do on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Last Name: Jackson Locality: North Chesterfield

Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

Last Name: Kish Organization: Sierra Club Locality: Richmond

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter supports HB2001.

Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). Delegate Helmer's bill strengthens the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The bill as passed out of subcommittee clarifies the requirements, adds forward-looking zero emission vehicle and EV-ready infrastructure, and allows (not requires) state agencies to include resilience and on-site energy features on their projects. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. Importantly the sub also provides for periodic reporting on implementation outcomes, which will yield important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. The bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. Technical support from state agencies will be essential to help all local governments understand, apply, and benefit from green building. Recognizing that some local governments in Virginia do not currently use green building, the bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. These aspects of the proposed program could weaken the outcomes but are intended to allow local governments flexibility and stronger standards could be added by amendment in the future. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the bill provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard and alleviates them of any reporting or other burden. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the bill and ask the committee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Kent Locality: Great Falls

Dear Members of the Committee: I am writing to request the Committee favorably report HB 2001 Building standards for certain state and local buildings. Many steps are needed to address the issue of carbon emissions, a serious challenge facing this state in the next decade. Actions need to be taken now, and this bill provides a specific opportunity to take one of those steps. HB 2001 addresses an important component of reducing carbon emissions: the expansion of electric vehicle ownership. Transportation causes almost half of Virginia’s CO2 emissions, and 70% of that amount comes from personal vehicles alone, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Owners of Electric vehicles, however, need access to charging stations. This bill supports that need. Therefore, I request that you move this bill forward. Thank you.

Last Name: Beardsley Organization: U.S. Green Building Council Locality: Fairfax County

State buildings are a key element of the Commonwealth's infrastructure. By applying high-performing building standards to its buildings, the state can provide better quality, healthier, and more resilient spaces, conserve energy and water, reduce associated GHG emissions, and reduce utility costs. Virginia has embraced green building, with the Commonwealth recognized in the Top 10 States for LEED-certified buildings in the most recent year announced (#7 in 2019). Delegate Helmer's bill strengthens the current law, the High Performing Building Act, in several key ways. The substitute bill being offered today clarifies the requirements, adds forward-looking zero emission vehicle and EV-ready infrastructure, and allows (not requires) state agencies to include resilience and on-site energy features on their projects. The sub also provides a documented and accountable exemption process. Importantly the sub also provides for periodic reporting on implementation outcomes, providing important information to help the Commonwealth continue to improve its building performance. The substitute bill also expands the high performing building program to local governments. With technical support from state agencies, local governments could benefit from green building. Recognizing that local governments in Virginia do not currently use green building, the sub bill provides an exemption process in the control of the local government (e.g., state approval is not required), and also allows an easier option for buildings between 5,000 and 20,000 s.f. For jurisdictions with their own high performing building program, the sub provides for the use of local programs that exceed the bill's standards in lieu of the state standard. Nonetheless, we understand that some local governments will be concerned about an additional requirement and perceived cost. We encourage the state to provide ample education, technical assistance, and case studies to support local government in implementing green building. We note additionally that some Federal stimulus proposals include funding for local governments for school construction, and include green building, and the program in today's sub bill would help position for that Federal program should it pass into law. We support the substitute bill and ask the subcommittee to advance it as offered. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Mester Organization: City of Falls Church local government Locality: County of Fairfax

HB2001: On behalf of City Council I wanted to advise you of concerns the City of Falls Church (CFC) has regarding HB2001 Procurement Bill related to design certain buildings and renovations with Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards. CFC has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability from stormwater to energy. CFC has adopted WMCOG’s GHG emission reduction goals and has adopted LEED Silver with Energy Star ratings for all public facilities. The recently renovated City Hall was just awarded LEED Silver and the Public Library current project score card indicates Silver as well. The just open new high school is net zero ready. That said we do believe the choice of standards should be locally determined, new standards such as these should go thru the normal building code development and review and design/construction state mandates such, even for such a worthy goal should be funded by the state. On a final note many localities, including CFC, would have to hire an outside consultant to conduct the requires exception cost analysis. Thank you for the consideration of these points. Cindy L. Mester, ICMA-CM Deputy City Manager 300 Park Avenue, Suite 203E Falls Church, VA 22046 phone: 703-248-5042 (TTY 711) cell: 571-641-5586 email: cmester@fallschurchva.gov

Last Name: Godfrey Organization: Virginia Advanced Energy Economy Locality: Reston

Va. AEE SUPPORTS passage of HB. 1811. This smart legislation will help to ensure that the Commonwealth's government procures energy- and water-efficient products, helping save taxpayers money while supporting Virginia's energy efficiency industry. Va. AEE supports the underlying intent of HB. 2001 and the work the patron has done with stakeholders to continue refining this bill in order to ensure it achieves its objectives. We encourage the subcommittee to pass the legislation and look forward to working with the patron to ensure it garners broad support as it moves towards passage in the full Chamber.

Last Name: Meren Organization: Fairfax County Public Schools Locality: Fairfax County

I support this legislation and it is in line with the Fairfax County Public Schools Legislative Program: “The Fairfax County School Board supports efforts to reduce the County’s greenhouse gas emissions and operational demand for energy through efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and education; state incentives, opportunities, and targeted goals for the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency; and net-zero construction; and removing existing barriers to such efforts.” (Legislative Program, Item I 1) Thank you, Melanie Meren Member, Fairfax County School Board, Hunter Mill district

HB2068 - Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program; established.
Last Name: Calvert Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Charlottesville

On behalf of our 150 partner organizations across the Commonwealth, Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) requests the General Assembly’s full support of Delegate Rasoul’s HB 2068. Case for SUPPORT: http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HB2068-Food-and-Farming-Grant.pdf

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

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

Last Name: Haggard Locality: Henrico

I am in favor of Delegate Rasoul's grant bill and Delegate Filler-Corns food charity fund. These both seem great for farmers and the community as a whole.

Last Name: Costantino Organization: Virginia Foodshed Capital Locality: Richmond

My name is Francesca Costantino. I am a board member of VA Foodshed Capital, and represent a coalition of farmers, advocates, and environmentalists. I support HB 2068 (to establish a Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program) and HB 2203 (to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program). These two bills 1) address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure, and 2) help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products for food aid, while building farm livelihoods. For HB 2068, please consider amendments to: 1) remove the cap on maximum grant amount; and 2) to add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Kuhn Locality: Albemarle

Dear subcommittee members, I am a concerned citizen who believes that building a local food network based on sustainable agriculture is good for local economies, promotes healthful eating, and provides resilience when distribution chains are interrupted. Regenerative agricultural practices also help store carbon and contribute to carbon reduction goals. This year during the pandemic, the Charlottesville area was blessed with several farmers markets, operated by pre-order and drive-through pick-up, that enabled us to access farm fresh produce. I was grateful for this resource, and relied on it heavily. A non-profit organization, Local Food Hub, operated a couple of these markets, and provided “Farmacy Shares” of locally raised food to families in need. I hope you will support the growth and development of resources like these across the state. I ask you to support the following bills, which will promote local agriculture and the distribution of farm products to needy families: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. Please consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Respectfully submitted Beth Kuhn Charlottesville area

Last Name: Gagnon Locality: Williamsburg

My name is Abram Gagnon, Williamsburg resident: This is to ask you to support a bill that addresses climate change, builds a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalizes rural communities, and increases food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. We are seeking your support on HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. We ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. Thank you for your consideration. Abram Gagnon Williamsburg

Last Name: Campblin Organization: Green New Deal VA Coalition Locality: Fairfax

The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted the vulnerabilities in our food supply chain and demonstrated the importance of maintaining strong local food systems. We witnessed our local farmers struggle to make ends meet, while communities experience food shortages. HB2068 is intended to help address this disparity. HB2068 will help to expand community infrastructure to support more local food production, as well as sustainable agriculture. Using regenerative agricultural practices will not only promote resiliency and sustainability but will also contribute to economic development and jobs, while improving food access for our communities. Our small/ mid size farmers are extremely important to Virginia’s health, economy, and environment which is why I ask that you support this bill and vote yes.

Last Name: Mehta Locality: Arlington County

This statement is in strong support of HB2068-Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program, introduced by Chief Patron Delegate Sam Rasoul. Agriculture continues to be Virginia’s largest private industry by far, seeing an economic impact of over $70 billion annually and with jobs totaling close to 350,000. HB2068 is not just a smart agriculture bill, but also a strong labor policy. It holds the potential to strengthen thousands of local Virginia farms at a time when small businesses are fighting to compete with bloated taxpayer-subsidized corporate agro-industrial companies that participate in worker exploitation and destruction of our environment through unsustainable farming practices. Delegate Rasoul’s HB2068 would incentivize local food and farming initiatives with critical startup funds up to $25,000 needed to sustain their efforts during and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where we are seeing Great Depression-era levels of hunger and food insecurity, this is exactly the type of legislation we need to empower local food justice efforts and prioritize small independent Virginian farms over corporate agribusiness that are destroying our planet with harmful unsustainable farming practices. On HB2068 I urge you to consider two amendments to the existing bill: 1. To remove cap on maximum grant amount and 2. Add language to secure all grant funds for small independent farming business and prohibit any grant funds from being distributed to corporate agribusinesses. I urge the subcommittee to pass these amendments and pass HB2068 to uplift Virginia’s local food and farming infrastructure for non-corporate independent farms. — Karishma Mehta Preschool teacher for VA HD-49

Last Name: Furgurson Organization: Real Local RVA Locality: Richmond

My Name is Beth Furgurson, and I am the Executive Director of Real Local RVA. Real Local is a membership organization dedicated to building a more collaborative and networked local food community in Richmond and our surrounding area. Our mission is to educate, support and raise awareness of the local food movement and choices in the Greater Richmond area. We have 118 members representing a variety of small businesses within the local food system. Our members include farmers, farmers markets, independent grocery stores, value added producers, restaurants, breweries, colleges, nonprofits and distributors. We support sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities. On behalf of our members, I urge you to support HB 2068. I am constantly hearing from our farmers and producers the challenges they face with distribution, aggregation and marketing of their products. Investing in and allocating money to our local food system is one of the most important steps we can make towards building stronger communities, something I think we learned the hard way over this past year. With agriculture situated as Virginia’s largest private industry and an economic impact of over $70 billion annually we believe it is an important sector of the economy to invest in. We request amendments to the existing bill text to: 1) remove the cap on maximum grant amount; and 2) to add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. Thank you for your consideration. Beth Furgurson beth@reallocalrva.com

Last Name: Hamilton Locality: Fairfax

I would like to express my support for both of these important bills. HB2068 and HB2203 are critical steps to both support local farms and food businesses and increase food access for thousands of Virginians.

Last Name: Kelsey Organization: Green New Deal Virginia Locality: Richmond

Thank you to the members of the committee who have co-patroned this legislation and those who supported this bill last legislative session. I would like to express our strong support for this bill. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. Thank you.

Last Name: Bateman Organization: Virginia First Cities Coalition Locality: City of Richmond

The Virginia First Cities Coalition and our 16 member cities urge your support for Del. Rasoul's bill. Our urban, core cities have consistently supported healthy food financing and investments to ensure our cities and citizens have access to thriving, sustainable food options. In addition, we are working very hard to connect our community small businesses and infrastructure development. Delegate Rasoul's bill is a very positive step in this regard.

Last Name: Miller Locality: Richmond

As we work strongly this session to limit the contribution to the environment of transportation emissions, we must work equally hard to support those systems that can sequester carbon. That means our agricultural and forestry assets. As a member of RVALocal, a group committed to the support of local food systems and local eating, and as a supporter of Virginia Foodshed Capital, an organization also devoted to providing support to small Virginia food producers, I urge you to support Del Rasoul's bill 2068. As a physician, I routinely prescribe more fruits and vegetables and eating local and pesticide free. The citizens need you to support local food.

Last Name: Costa Organization: The Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative (VAYCC) Locality: Roanoke

Dear Delegates, My name is Tallulah Costa, I am a 17-year-old resident of Roanoke, Virginia (24015), and I am the Policy Director of the Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative - a youth-run organization committed to climate action and justice. Today, I am asking you to support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. My organization and I are seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you so much for your consideration. Please know that when you support bills like these, you are investing in my future and the futures of all the young people across the Commonwealth. Please don't let us down. Kindly, Tallulah Costa Roanoke, Virginia 24015 540-798-7416

Last Name: Costantino Organization: Virginia Grassroots Coalition Locality: Richmond

I am working with a coalition of farmers, local food and sustainable agriculture advocates, and environmentalists to promote sustainable local food systems. Please support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and helping Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations: HB 2068 to establish the Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program and HB 2203 to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. For HB 2068, please consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. Below is a summary of the changes we would like to see in the final bill for HB 2068: 1. Remove the cap on maximum grant amount (or if there must be a cap, increase it dramatically, to at least $200K) 2. Add additional language to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture, as well as to underserved communities, both rural and urban. 3. Add some definitions for clarity: - add "community" to infrastructure - add a definition of preference "given to communities where there is a general lack of such infrastructure and/or underserved communities and/or environmental justice communities" - define the terms used in this targeting language, including sustainable agriculture, community infrastructure, environmental justice community, and underserved community. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Calin Locality: Springfield

This is in support of two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. We are seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you for your consideration. Leon Calin leoncalin@hotmail.com

Last Name: Malone Locality: Blacksburg

Dear Delegates, This is to ask you to support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. I am seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you for your consideration. Morgan Malone morganfaemalone@gmail.com Blacksburg, VA

Last Name: Whitfield Locality: Blacksburg, VA

I am a resident of Blacksburg and writing to express my support for HB 2068 and HB 2203. Support and development of local agriculture enhances food security, builds the local economy, improves nutrient content of foods available and lessens climate impact from shipping foods long distances. All of these issues are important in our rural Montgomery County. I ask that you please vote in favor of these bills. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Ware Organization: N/a Locality: Tappahannock

As a citizen who lives in the state and on the Rappahannock river and has seen the impact of poor stewardship, I ask that the General Assembly support these bills.

HB2092 - DBHDS; background checks, persons providing contractual services.
Last Name: Bowles Organization: Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Locality: Goochland

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services strongly supports this agency bill to extend background check and central registry requirements to contracted staff providing direct care services, oftentimes alone, to individuals receiving DBHDS licensed services.

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

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

Last Name: Carlin Organization: VACBP -- Va Association of Community-Based Providers Locality: Virginia Beach

On behalf of the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers (VACBP), the largest association of private-sector providers of community-based behavioral health services to Virginia's Medicaid population, I urge you to vote yes on HB 1874. The VACBP supports efforts to identify and provide services to individuals committed to local correction facilities in a timely manner. We also strongly support the ability for private-sector providers to partner with correction facilities to help meet the behavioral health needs of those in their facilities. Thanks to Del. Coyner for introducing this legislation. The VACBP also supports HB 2092, which will ensure all providing direct patient services, including those contracting with a provider and those employed by a temp agency used by a provider. Thanks to Del. Willett for introducing this bill.

Last Name: Fidura Organization: Virginia Network of Private Providers. Inc Locality: Richmond

We will support the bill as introduced; DBHDS worked with us to address the greatest of our concerns and reduced the potentially devastating impact on the providers of developmental disability services to a manageable level. Especially in these difficult times, providers have used staffing agencies to supplement already depleted staffing when self-isolation/quarantine was required. And as vacancies become more difficult to fill especially with increasing competition driven by the minimum wage increases, staffing agencies will be critical. We would, however, discourage providers who use contract staff for “direct care” roles to be cautious about the potential misclassification of employees. We also note that the provisions added to §37.2-416 (private providers) and §37.2-506 (CSBs & BHA) were not added to §37.2-314 (DBHDS operated facilities)

Last Name: Fidura Organization: Virginia Network of Private Providers, Inc. Locality: Statewide

We will support the bill as introduced; DBHDS worked with us to address the greatest of our concerns and reduced the potentially devastating impact on the providers of developmental disability services to a manageable level. Especially in these difficult times, providers have used staffing agencies to supplement already depleted staffing when self-isolation/quarantine was required. And as vacancies become more difficult to fill especially with increasing competition driven by the minimum wage increases, staffing agencies will be critical. We would, however, discourage providers who use contract staff for “direct care” roles to be cautious about the potential misclassification of employees. We also note that the provisions added to §37.2-416 (private providers) and §37.2-506 (CSBs & BHA) were not added to §37.2-314 (DBHDS operated facilities)

HB2101 - GO Virginia Grants; matching funds, repeals sunset provision.
No Comments Available
HB2111 - Maternal Health Data and Quality Measures, Task Force on; established, report.
Last Name: Lamar Organization: Virginia Nurses Association Locality: Midlothian

The Virginia Nurses Association strongly supports HB2111 and appreciates the inclusion of nursing in the membership of the task force. We look forward to continuing this important work.

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

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

Last Name: Edwards Organization: Voices for Virginia's Children Locality: Henrico

Voices for Virginia's Children, on behalf of the Racial Truth & Reconciliation VA coalition with over 400 members, is supportive of HB2111. In 2019, Virginia Mercury reported that Black women in VA were 3 times more likely to die after giving birth than a white woman, a disparity Gov. Northam made a goal to eliminate by 2025. In order to do so, we must identify and evaluate disparities in existence in order to combat them through equitable policy responses. COVID-19 has especially highlighted the disparities that contribute to poor health outcomes and further impact marginalized communities. This policy is a step in the right direction in improving maternal health and birth outcomes. Thank you, Del. Herring for championing this bill.

HB2177 - Capital outlay plan; updates plan, repeals existing 6-year capital outlay for project to be funded.
Last Name: Davenport Organization: Virginia Community College System Locality: Hanover

Staff from the Virginia Community College System are available to answer any questions on the projects listed in lines 81-87 of HB 2177. The VCCS is currently in preliminary discussions with Norfolk Public Schools, the City of Norfolk, and the Greater Norfolk Corporation on the feasibility of the proposed CTE and Workforce Center in line 85 of the bill. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 29.

Last Name: Flores Organization: Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam Locality: Chesterfield

Mr. Chairman, members, and staff, The Administration supports this annual update to the Commonwealth's Capital Outlay Plan. Respectfully, Joe Flores, Deputy Secretary of Finance

Last Name: Jackson Locality: North Chesterfield

Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

HB2187 - Recurrent Flooding Resiliency, Commonwealth Center; study topics to manage water quality, etc.
Last Name: Ross Organization: Virginia Interfaith Center Locality: Springfield

As climate change wreaks havoc on our world, it is increasingly obvious that our own actions and lifestyles have highly impacted and worsened the natural phenomenon of climate shifting. As a citizen of Springfield, it is utterly imperative that we seek alternate sources of energy, continue recycling, and provide healthy climate actions for future generations of all economic, racial, and other marginalized communities. The churches of Virginia have joined to raise our prayers and our voices to see that we treat our planet with the respect it deserves, and ensure a healthy life for all those to come. Please vote YES on HB 2074 and other initiatives that work to preserve our community so that many may enjoy it for decades of our future. Dixie Ross 7704C Lexton Place Springfield, VA 22152

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

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

HB2203 - Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program and Fund; established and created.
Last Name: Ross Organization: Virginia Interfaith Center Locality: Springfield

As climate change wreaks havoc on our world, it is increasingly obvious that our own actions and lifestyles have highly impacted and worsened the natural phenomenon of climate shifting. As a citizen of Springfield, it is utterly imperative that we seek alternate sources of energy, continue recycling, and provide healthy climate actions for future generations of all economic, racial, and other marginalized communities. The churches of Virginia have joined to raise our prayers and our voices to see that we treat our planet with the respect it deserves, and ensure a healthy life for all those to come. Please vote YES on HB 2074 and other initiatives that work to preserve our community so that many may enjoy it for decades of our future. Dixie Ross 7704C Lexton Place Springfield, VA 22152

Last Name: McDonald Organization: Virginia Association of Counties Locality: Richmond

VACo is proud to support this bill. It will provide greater food access to our local communities while directly assisting our local/regional foodbanks and local farmers.

Last Name: Ellis Organization: The Greater Good Initiative Locality: Fairfax

My name is Jacob Ellis, and I am the Co-Director of Economic Policy at the The Greater Good Initiative, a youth-led policy think tank that writes and advocates for research-driven policies across the nation and Commonwealth and we do support the bill. When our organization was founded nearly one year ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we devised a policy plan called the Tax Relief for Agriculture Industries in Need Act, or TRAIN as we called it. Our focus was directed towards the supply and demand issues between food banks and farmers, respectively. What we were witnessing at the beginning of the pandemic, and what we have still witnessed even 10 months later, is that farmers were dumping excess supply while food banks were being overrun by newfound demand. This was especially apparent in population centers like Hampton Roads. H.B. 2203 offers an immediate and feasible solution to the problem we were originally investigating months ago. Aside from the overwhelming support of the farming community and food banks, another notable point of this bill is that the funding is supported by $600,000 already allocated in this year’s budget bill. Per the Fiscal Impact Sheet, the Fund’s administration costs will be absorbed in current resources, making financial burden a non-issue. Senator Hashmi and her staff, the patrons of [the companion of this bill] S.B. 1188, have been incredibly supportive of our organization and policies, and we sincerely appreciate it. The Greater Good Initiative, representing many of the Commonwealth’s youth, fully support this bill and hopes that it is the pleasure of this committee and the body at-large to pass this bill. Thank you for your time.

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

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

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

Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) is proud to support HB2203.

Last Name: McDonald Organization: Virginia Association of Counties Locality: Richmond

VACo is proud to support HB 2203.

Last Name: Haggard Locality: Henrico

I am in favor of Delegate Rasoul's grant bill and Delegate Filler-Corns food charity fund. These both seem great for farmers and the community as a whole.

Last Name: McPhatter Organization: Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Locality: Amherst

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments. I am a registered dietitian with the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I manage a group of 13 renal dietitians for the University of Virginia where we care for over 900 people who are on dialysis in 13 facilities around Central Va. Food insecurity in the Commonwealth is a growing concern. In 2020 foodbanks experienced 41% increase in pounds of food served over 2019, just one year prior. One in ten people and 1 in 8 CHILDREN in VA face food insecurity. The problem is real and growing at an alarming rate. Ironically at the University of VA Dialysis program, we began a Food Pharmacy specifically for our dialysis patients in March 2020 with the help and support of the Blueridge Area Foodbank and a grant from Sentara health. While we knew the need was significant, we never imagined that we would send home over 600 bags of food to patients in our facility that is housed at the medical Center in the first 9 months. This month, we began our second site in Orange, Va and over 50% of those patients have needed and received help. Based on current usage, we will run out of funding by July 2021. HB2203 offers a reasonable opportunity for us to use the resources rich around the Commonwealth to potentially help extend this and similar program for its current users and expand to other centers and areas where the needs are just as great. There are many more examples and I am happy to provide more information if you have questions but I am sure we all agree that Nutrition in the cornerstone of treatment to many illnesses and to our overall wellbeing. An opportunity to help the growers who provide the most HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS fresh foods to our food banks and therefore helping our citizens improve the nutrition quality of their diet, is one we should not miss. Thank you. My cell phone is 434.485.1608 if you have questions or would like more information. Lesley McPhatter, MS, RDN, CSR

Last Name: McDonald Organization: Virginia Association of Counties Locality: Richmond

VACo is pleased to support HB 2203. This legislation is a simple, effective way to aid our local communities, further empower local and regional foodbanks, improve food access infrastructure, and assist our local farmers. This is especially true as the Commonwealth continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative is truly win-win in numerous ways, as is evidenced by the broad and diverse array of stakeholders in support of the bill. We are proud to support HB 2203, and we hope you vote in favor of this important legislation.

Last Name: Kuhn Locality: Albemarle

Dear subcommittee members, I am a concerned citizen who believes that building a local food network based on sustainable agriculture is good for local economies, promotes healthful eating, and provides resilience when distribution chains are interrupted. Regenerative agricultural practices also help store carbon and contribute to carbon reduction goals. This year during the pandemic, the Charlottesville area was blessed with several farmers markets, operated by pre-order and drive-through pick-up, that enabled us to access farm fresh produce. I was grateful for this resource, and relied on it heavily. A non-profit organization, Local Food Hub, operated a couple of these markets, and provided “Farmacy Shares” of locally raised food to families in need. I hope you will support the growth and development of resources like these across the state. I ask you to support the following bills, which will promote local agriculture and the distribution of farm products to needy families: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. Please consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Respectfully submitted Beth Kuhn Charlottesville area

Last Name: Coyle Organization: The Piedmont Environmental Council Locality: Warrenton

The Piedmont Environmental Council supports HB 2203. Over the past year, the pandemic has exposed significant vulnerabilities in our local food supply chain. Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, approximately 843,000 Virginians lacked access to affordable, healthy food. The pandemic has added an estimated 447,000 Virginians to that number. At the same time, small, family-owned farms are already operating on the edge of survival due to falling prices for their products, inability to access processing, and the continued growth of commercial-scale operations. Since March, with the help of private partners and community supporters, The Piedmont Environmental Council has provided 25,000 pounds of vegetables, over 30,000 gallons of fresh milk from local dairy farmers, and more than 11,000 pounds of local beef and pork to the food-insecure in our nine-county region in the Virginia Piedmont. That's more than 250,000 pounds of locally sourced products for local food banks, which has a very different impact on the local economy than shipping in 250,000 of food from somewhere else. We've been able to support tens of thousands of families in need at 24 food pantries in 9 counties as the demand on our food banks has never been higher. It is imperative that we improve our food supply infrastructure in the Commonwealth, and in doing so there is a need for flexible and rapid response to changing circumstances, whether the need for cold storage, processing packaging distribution, or planned expansion of farming. We believe that HB 2203 is a good first step to creating a food rescue infrastructure for Virginia’s farmers and food insecure residents, and we hope that it engenders a broader discussion regarding further necessary steps to address local food supply and food insecurity issues.

Last Name: Hamilton Locality: Fairfax

I would like to express my support for both of these important bills. HB2068 and HB2203 are critical steps to both support local farms and food businesses and increase food access for thousands of Virginians.

Last Name: Miller Locality: Richmond

As a many year supporter of FeedMore, I am aware of the pressing needs of our community to fight hunger this year. As a physician, I am concerned that much of what we provide does not meet current nutritional guidelines for fresh fruits and vegetables. I urge you to support HB 2203 to connect and support local food producers to those that are distributing food to our communities.

Last Name: Costa Organization: The Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative (VAYCC) Locality: Roanoke

Dear Delegates, My name is Tallulah Costa, I am a 17-year-old resident of Roanoke, Virginia (24015), and I am the Policy Director of the Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative - a youth-run organization committed to climate action and justice. Today, I am asking you to support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. My organization and I are seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you so much for your consideration. Please know that when you support bills like these, you are investing in my future and the futures of all the young people across the Commonwealth. Please don't let us down. Kindly, Tallulah Costa Roanoke, Virginia 24015 540-798-7416

Last Name: Costantino Organization: Virginia Grassroots Coalition Locality: Richmond

I am working with a coalition of farmers, local food and sustainable agriculture advocates, and environmentalists to promote sustainable local food systems. Please support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and helping Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations: HB 2068 to establish the Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program and HB 2203 to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. For HB 2068, please consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. Below is a summary of the changes we would like to see in the final bill for HB 2068: 1. Remove the cap on maximum grant amount (or if there must be a cap, increase it dramatically, to at least $200K) 2. Add additional language to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture, as well as to underserved communities, both rural and urban. 3. Add some definitions for clarity: - add "community" to infrastructure - add a definition of preference "given to communities where there is a general lack of such infrastructure and/or underserved communities and/or environmental justice communities" - define the terms used in this targeting language, including sustainable agriculture, community infrastructure, environmental justice community, and underserved community. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Calin Locality: Springfield

This is in support of two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of strong local food systems. Local food systems of small- and mid-sized farms using regenerative agricultural practices contribute to economic development and jobs, as well as resilience and sustainability, while increasing food access for the good health and nutrition of our communities. Helping Virginia farmers provide food to people who need it during a crisis builds farm livelihoods, while increasing food access, a win-win. We are seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you for your consideration. Leon Calin leoncalin@hotmail.com

Last Name: Malone Locality: Blacksburg

Dear Delegates, This is to ask you to support two bills that address climate change, build a resilient, sustainable local food system, revitalize rural communities, and increase food access by investing in community food and farm infrastructure and help Virginia farmers provide agricultural products to charitable food aid organizations. I am seeking your support for two bills: HB 2068 - Delegate Sam Rasoul’s bill for grants to establish a state-administered fund and grant program for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. For HB 2068, we ask that you consider amendments to the existing bill text to remove the cap on maximum grant amount and add additional language and definitions to establish criteria to target the grants to community infrastructure and sustainable agriculture. HB 2203 – Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill to establish the Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program for Virginia farmers and food producers to provide agriculture products to charitable food assistance organizations. Thank you for your consideration. Morgan Malone morganfaemalone@gmail.com Blacksburg, VA

Last Name: Whitfield Locality: Blacksburg, VA

I am a resident of Blacksburg and writing to express my support for HB 2068 and HB 2203. Support and development of local agriculture enhances food security, builds the local economy, improves nutrient content of foods available and lessens climate impact from shipping foods long distances. All of these issues are important in our rural Montgomery County. I ask that you please vote in favor of these bills. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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.

HJ578 - Criminal justice, behavioral health, & other records; DBHDS to study feasibility of secure database.
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