Public Comments for 01/29/2021 Appropriations
HB1750 - Dairy Producer Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program; established.
Last Name: Bayer Organization: Muhlenberg Lutheran Church Locality: Harriosnburg

As a person of Faith it is my calling to support these areas of concern and I ask you to consider how important these issues are and to vote to approve them!

Last Name: Johnson Organization: Leesburg Animal Park Locality: Leesburg

Dear Delagates, I am writing to OPPOSE HB2109. My name is Shirley Johnson and I own and operate Leesburg Animal Park in Leesburg. We are a small, privately owned zoo in Loudoun County. This bill would add a veterinarian as an "expert" regarding "companion animals". The problem is the definition of "companion animals" in the State of Virginia includes most zoo animals! How is a veterinarian trained in dogs or cats, able to competantly give expert advice on say Ring-tailed lemurs or White-handed gibbons? This is analogous to having a dentist give advice regarding heart surgery! I believe the best solution is to redefine "companion animals" to exclude exotic animals from this definition. Another solution is to have an animal advisory group to the Committee comprised of a person from various animal groups. This would give much more accurate information to the Committee. Thank you!

Last Name: Riddell Organization: Virginia Cattlemen's Association Locality: Louisa

Thank you Chairman Plum My name is Jim Riddell with the Virginia Cattlemen's Association representing thousands of cattle producers across Virginia. We ask you to support HB 1750 for our 442 dairies remaining in Va. 30 family dairies went our of business in 2020. This bill is a win-win for everyone. Its helps Va.'s dairy farmers stay in business, increases Nutrient Management plans and helps to protect our environment. Thank you for your support. Jim Riddell Virginia Cattlemen's Association * 25,000 family farms cattle operations

Last Name: Riddell Organization: Virginia Cattlemen's Association Locality: Mineral

Madame Chairwoman and members: I am Jim Riddell with the Va. Cattlemen's Association. We thank you for your support of House Bill 1750, Virginia agriculture and our dairy farmers. There are only 425 dairies remaining in Va. This is a win-win for everyone- It helps Va. dairy farmers while increasing Nutrient Management Plans, and protecting the environment. Thank you for your support. Jim Riddell Virginia Cattlemen's Association * 25,000 family farms cattle operations

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

Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) stands in support of HB 1750 & HB 2030. We hope that the subcommittee members will support each of these pieces of legislation.

HB1763 - Tax credit; agricultural best management practices.
Last Name: Bayer Organization: Muhlenberg Lutheran Church Locality: Harriosnburg

As a person of Faith it is my calling to support these areas of concern and I ask you to consider how important these issues are and to vote to approve them!

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

On behalf of Virginia Conservation Network's 150 organizational members statewide, I wish to communicate VCN's full support of Delegate Wilt's HB1763. Case for SUPPORT: http://www.vcnva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HB1763-Ag-BMPs-tax-credit-talking-points.pdf

Last Name: Kent Locality: Great Falls

I am writing to ask your support for HB 1763, “Tax credit; agricultural best management practices,” by Delegate Wilt. As a landscape photographer I am often photographing scenes of the Potomac River and its tributaries and I believe it is important to protect the river from pollution. To accomplish this goal, partners from many different sectors are essential, including Virginia’s important agriculture sector. The implementation of “best management practices” is an important means to curb pollution and improve water quality. Nevertheless, actions like stream-side fencing and riparian buffers of trees and shrubs can be a costly endeavor which can be a barrier to these efforts. This bill increases the amount available through tax credits to farmers for implementing water quality improvement practices approved by the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, practices that tend to also lead to increased herd-health and farm productivity. So, in my view this bill is win-win-win for farmers, our water and our local agriculture economy. Therefore, I urge you to recommend it for reporting and will vote for its passage when it reaches the House Floor.

HB1776 - Education, Board of; temporary extension of certain teachers' licenses.
Last Name: Beyer Locality: WillIamsburg

I support the notion that schools should be open 5 days a week immediately or the districts should be defunded. Taxpayer money is being wasted. CARES money is being misappropriated. Please help stop the madness and send our kids back now!

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

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

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

Last Name: Riddle Organization: Virginia Education Association Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Education Association (VEA) supports HB 1776 and we urge the committee to favorably report HB 1776. Thank you.

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

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents is in strong support of HB 1776. The COVID-19 crisis has made it extremely difficult for teachers to meet these requirement as schools have gone from virtual to in-person and back. Thank you, Dr. Tom Smith VASS

HB1796 - License plates, special; removes fee for issuance to Va. National Guard retirees.
Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

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

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

Last Name: Czaplicki Organization: Virginia National Guard Association, Inc. Locality: Fredericksburg

On behalf of the nearly 10,000 brave men and women serving the Virginia National Guard, I proudly support this legislation as it provides an essential benefit to those Virginians who have faithfully served the Commonwealth of Virginia for over 20 years.

HB1895 - Fines and costs; accrual of interest, deferral or installment payment agreements.
Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

Chairperson and Members of the Committee, I strongly support HB1895. Thank you.

Last Name: Tharpe Organization: Friends of Guest House Locality: City of Alexandria

How much do you owe for fines/fees? “I owe $2848.” For what? What is your restitution for? “[Owes restitution] for using my parents’ bank account.” How did you restitution impact you? “They told me I have two years to pay it and if I don’t pay it I go back to jail. If I miss a payment, the judge said he will lock me up. It’s hard with the environment right now (COVID-19). I’m a convicted felon trying to get back on my feet and it’s hard to make payments, when I’m trying to figure out how to live on my own and everything else. I don’t think it’s fair because you have to pay interest and even if you’re in jail you still have to pay interest.”

Last Name: Royal Organization: Friends of Guest House Locality: City of Alexandria

How much do you owe for fines/fees? “A little over 600.” For what? What is your restitution for? “Lawyer fees. Court fees. Originally, it was $1600. When I got out, I used my stimulus to pay $1000 of it.” How did you restitution impact you? “Well. It sucked. It wasn’t good, when you’re coming home you don’t have anything. You don’t have a job or car, where I’m from we don’t even have buses. Am I supposed to uber? They expect you to pay it, when you don’t even have a job to pay it. Or have the money to pay for shoes for a job. If it wasn’t for the stimulus, I would probably still owe 1600 to the courts. It’s a terrible feeling, you already took my freedom- it was my fault. I looked at it like I paid my dues, but I have to pay this money to the court. I worked 7 days a week in the jail, almost 10 hours a day but didn’t get paid anything to do that. How did you expect me to pay court fees when I got out.” Jurisdiction Fauquier county

Last Name: Frankel Organization: Friends of Guest House Locality: City of Alexandria

How much fines/fees do you owe? “Approximately $4000, the judge decided to not add interest to my restitution.” For what? “I stole my aunt’s jewelry worth $175 from a pawn shop. My aunt didn’t press charges against me since I was family, but the commonwealth did. She got most of her jewelry back from the pawn shop. My uncle appraised the worth of some of the jewelry and the judge decided that I had to pay approximately $4000 as my restitution.” How did restitution impact you? “I was in disbelief regarding the amount. We should have been able to come to an agreement and it wasn’t fair. She got the jewelries back and I feel awful that I did it, but I can’t take it back. If I didn’t have to pay that money, I would have been able to give my husband the money to pay for the apartment and get my children back from foster care. Knowing that I owe that amount which could be used to do a lot of things, it’s stressful because this is a huge amount for someone who just got out of jail and no income.”

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

Last Name: VICCELLIO Organization: The Fountain Fund Locality: Charlottesville

This is Erika Viccellio with the Fountain Fund and I'm speaking on behalf of HB1895. We provide low interest loans, financial education, credit building and community support to formerly incarcerated people. People come to us once released from incarceration and often to get help with court debt. Most aren't aware they can apply to have interest waived and when they see the process they give up on it. The law was established in 2016 to waive interest while incarcerated and I would submit that the interest that formerly incarcerated people have paid since the law was established would more than cover the one time expense to change the software to automate the process.

Last Name: Longenecker (OES/Supreme Court) Organization: Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) at the Supreme Court of Virginia Locality: Richmond, VA (office)

We have been advised that an amendment is going to be requested by the patron in House Courts this afternoon (1/20). There was an amendment to the bill adopted in the Criminal subcommittee on Friday (1/15) that addressed our concerns with the bill as introduced, and as such, I had not planned to speak to this bill in House Courts. The proposed amendment cannot be implemented without additional resources and a delayed effective date. It appears to us that there will be an impact on already understaffed district court clerks’ offices and a large cost to makes changes to our electronic case management and financial systems required to implement the bill. We will need resources for both district court clerks and for various electronic systems. As it requires an interface, local and regional jails and DOC will likely have costs associated with developing the interface on their end. We will also need a delayed enactment date, but as we have just received the proposed amendment, we have not yet been able to determine the necessary delayed enactment date.

Last Name: Tolbert Organization: The Fountain Fund Locality: Charlottesville

Thank you madam chairwoman and members of this committee. My name is Martez Tolbert I am the client partner Navigator at the Fountain Fund Charlottesville Virginia I am here to testify in support of this bill. All reforms on this bill are important and needed but I am going to focus on the automatic waiver because I personally been through the waiver process, and because of that experiences is why I suggested the change in this bill to delegate Hudson Basically, I used Google to figure it all out!! Yes Google. I also had to call and email a few people to figure out how to get the various forms I needed. It was definitely NOT straight-forward and there was no ONE resource that explained the whole thing. Someone has to be very motivated and have a fair amount of time to figure it out and see it through. First I had to look at the Virginia Code to see what the law is. The statute mentions a Certification form. Then I had to figure out where to get that. And of course the Certification form has to be an original, notarized version! So then I had to call and email the VDOC folks to get a Certification form. The statute says the person "may move" the court to get the interest waived. I then, had to figure out how to do that. Do I literally have to file a motion? Call the clerks office? Eventually with assistance, I got the forms, filled them out, and then had to send them, with a letter, to the courts. I had to send a separate set of forms to each court (Charlottesville City and Albemarle County, fines in both). I had to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with each set so they would send the notarized form back to me! Now Imagine having to do this process for EVERY Fountain Fund client that comes before me. It would be such a waste of limited resources. As I told the Wall Street Journal when they did a story about this a few months ago. This is a financial burden and nightmare for returning citizens. Thank you again for your time,, and I urge you to vote yes on this bill.

Last Name: Sullivan Locality: Chesterfield

I am a nurse practitioner at The Daily Planet and have witnessed firsthand the disparity in our justice system and the unrealistic and burdensome requirements it places on many folks who are just trying to get better or improve their lives after making mistakes. We make it near impossible at times for this to happen by adding more financial hardships to people already in financial hardship. I highly recommend we make good on our promise to reform the justice system to where it delivers fair and equal justice and actually helps folks themselves reform. This bill is a good start.

Last Name: Kelly Organization: MPAC Locality: Baltimore

CURRENT VIRGINIA LAW prohibits arrest or prosecution of certain drug-related offenses only to an individual who seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for himself or another individual or who is experiencing an overdose when another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for him. HB 1821 expands these protections to include prohibiting arrest and prosecution of other individuals, acting in good faith, who render medical assistance during an overdose. This bill will allow individuals who need assistance with advocating for special services for treatment versus being incarcerated and not getting the help that is needed. The system needs to understand that information and knowledge of resources about overdose awareness is vital to the community at large.

Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

I wholeheartedly agree with this bill. It is difficult for those who are poor to keep up with court fines.

HB1912 - Child support payments; juvenile in custody of or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Last Name: Hassan Taylor Organization: Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America Locality: York

I want to give my support of HD1912. RISE for Youth is one of the community partners Moms Demand Action works closely with to understand the intersections of childhood trauma and gun violence. The Department of Juvenile Justice has moved the majority of these youth, who are 70% Black youth, out to an area of VA that makes it impossible for their families to visit or participate in any sort of trauma counseling. We put already impoverished parents in the outrageous position to pay the state to incarcerate their children. We must stop causing further stress and harm to these children and their families. Ending this child support is a giant step in the right direction. Thank you!

Last Name: Cornelius Organization: myself Locality: McDowell

The current collection of "Child Support" from parents is not to support children at all, it is a tax on parents who are already paying taxes to the state of Virginia to maintain a correction system. And if this so called child support was going to support incarcerated children in any way, it wouldn't be such a blow to parents, but according to the comptroller for the Department of Juvenile Justice, these funds collected just go into the general coffers of DJJ. In 2018, the allocated budget for DJJ was $214M; the amount collected from parents that year was .02 percent of the total DJJ budget, which in essence is budget dust. But while those funds are budget dust to DJJ, they have a huge impact on low income families who have already had their child taken from them. The economic and social impact of these collected funds is detrimental to these families. The way in which these funds are determined for each family is also completely unfair; the table used to determine the amount of funds a family has to pay is based on the same table used to determine child support after parents divorce. But when parents divorce, only one parent has to pay so that the child can live with the other parent in a way in which they were accustomed to before the divorce. The incarcerated youth child support is collected from both parents as if they were the supporting parent. When I pointed this out to our juvenile judge for this area, not only was she not aware that parents were being charged this "tax", but she stated that this beyond double taxation, it was more like quadruple taxation. My final point on this matter was that in one of the Governor's initial press conference after the shut down of the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated that during the economic conditions caused by the pandemic, that parents already struggling to get by should not have to pay these funds, and he was going to work to make that happen, yet those families are still paying each month. It is time for the legislature to act to get help families today and in the future.

Last Name: Silcox Organization: RISE for Youth Locality: Richmond

RISE for Youth supports this bill and urges the committee to act favorably on HB 1912. It is truly outrageous that our Commonwealth charges families to incarcerate their children. We already know that Black and brown youth are disproportionately impacted by our criminal justice system and this financial burden, which is then placed disproportionately on Black and brown families, exacerbates the racial wealth gap and places a tremendous strain on families at an already difficult time. We must end this appalling practice.

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

Families with youth under the age of 18 must pay child support to the Department of Juvenile Justice when they are in juvenile prison. However, these parents have no control over the quality of services their child receives while in prison. Research shows that financial obligations in the juvenile system increase youth recidivism, and black youth in Virginia are four times as likely to be detained as white youth. Virginia has the chance to join a growing number of states passing legislation eliminating the requirement that parents pay child support when their children are incarcerated.

HB1963 - Funding local health departments; cooperative local health budget, report.
Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

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

Last Name: Wright Locality: Glen Allen

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

HB1985 - Workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for COVID-19.
Last Name: Kreeb Locality: Berryville, VA

I am a nurse working on my local hospital's HIRU (High Intensity Respiratory Unit for non-intubated covid patients). My home med-surg unit was temporarily shut down in November due to a covid outbreak in staff and patients. When my home unit resumed services, it was at 50% capacity due in part to our unit staff being floated to the HIRU and in part because another unit took over half our beds so a second HIRU could be formed. Another med-surg unit closed to provide staff to that new HIRU. Hospital-wise, all RNs and CNAs were told they could be expected to staff the HIRU at some point, and recently even non-clinical staff have been redeployed to serve as gophers on the covid units. The re-deployed staff don't enter patient rooms--though they do hand supplies into the rooms--and the hospital will not provide them N95 masks. We still have an N95 shortage and on HIRU units are required to wear the same N95 for three consecutive 12-hr shifts; this is an improvement over last summer when nurses wore a single N95 for 30 days before the N95 was reprocessed and then worn for another 30 days. My hospital does not provide or allow nurses on non-covid units to wear N95s, nor are we allowed to provide our own N95s. It is not uncommon to admit patients to the HIRU from a non-covid unit, sometimes days after they've been unknowingly infecting staff. Many types of patients are not routinely covid-tested, and no staff is routinely tested. Despite my direct care for covid patients, my employer has never qualified me to be tested, and if I choose to be tested by an outside provider, I am not allowed to work until the test results negative. I have received both doses of the vaccine. To the best of my knowledge, no employees in my health system receives any additional pay or compensation for working directly with covid patients. The effects of covid reach much further than the covid units. All staff are exposed to covid in a variety of ways, such as being infected on the job, being floated to new areas, taking on additional patient responsibilities/loads, and working extra shifts--not to mention the compromises forced by our constant concern that at any point we might be infected and might infect our family. On the HIRU, I average hours a day in a closed room in close proximity to each of my patients. In order to conserve PPE, we take a team approach and cluster care. I assess my patients, obtain and administer meds, draw blood, monitor telemetry and pulse ox, titrate oxygen, coordinate with the entire health care team, and schedule/carry-out zoom calls with family or call them with updates. Yet when I'm in the room I also get vitals, check blood sugar, turn and feed patients, brush their hair and teeth, change linens and gowns, assist them to the chair or bathroom, change briefs, bathe them on the spot if they're soiled, mop their floors, clean the toilet/bedside commode, and empty the trash and linens. We also frequently clean touchpoints outside patient rooms. Health care workers undergo a tremendous risk to provide care for covid-positive patients. Data support a higher infection rate in health care workers. We serve our community and work exhaustively for the health and well-being of the public. If there are negative health ramifications from doing our job, we should be afforded the benefit of Workers' Comp.

Last Name: Robert Rapaport Organization: Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission Locality: Virginia Beach

I am available to answer questions as a subject matter expert for Workers' Compensation.

Last Name: Wetherall Organization: Virginia Nurses Association Locality: Greene

I am a Registered Nurse with 35 years experience. I usually work 40 hours a week. Because of the increase in inpatients with COVID-19 infections, I have been working mandatory overtime. My work with patients is up close and personal. Even with PPE, I am more at risk of contracting COVID-19 than any other profession or work. I cannot maintain a social distance of six feet when I am getting a patient out of bed, when I am changing a wound dressing, when I am auscultating lungs, a heart or an abdomen. I spend more time with patients than any other person in the hospital. I sometimes spend up to two hours with one patient at one time and more if that patient has had a change in condition. I cannot work behind glass or by Zoom. Patients come to hospital for nursing care, assessment, observation and education. I keep patients safe by watching and observing trends. I am the sentinel. We are working short staffed as the COVID patients take more nurses. That increases the nurse to patient ratio that I have to work with. On top of that, I volunteered to administer vaccines at UVA. I have given COVID-19 vaccines to staff and the public. Nurses do vital and important work. I appreciate the hand clapping and thanks but my work is misunderstood. I want support and protection. I am part of a serious, expert profession that is not subordinate to, but colleagues of medical doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapist sand other healthcare professions. When everyone else has gone, or does not come to work in a snow storm, I am there. When housekeeping and catering do not turn up, I am there. I already work in difficult conditions and long before COVID-19. I care for patients with many infectious diseases, I worked for many months without a properly fitting N95 mask as the correct one for me was not available. I now have to wear a respirator that is extraordinarily uncomfortable and slips when I sweat. And you sweat when you work hard. That is what I do. I urge those in opposition to work one hour in my shoes, never mind 12-14 hours for 3 three days in a row. But you won't, because that puts you at risk and we do not allow visitors in order to protect our patients.

Last Name: Haebler Organization: Virginia Nurses Association Locality: Arlington

I am a registered nurse of 50 years and have never witnessed anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. It has had a devastating impact on so many, and particularly those nurses and other health care personnel who work tirelessly every day to care for those afflicted with the virus. Throughout my career, we have also experienced a nursing shortage, regionally. We can't afford to not take care of those who are caring for others. Show that YOU care and please support HB 1985. Thank you. Respectfully, Janet Haebler MSN RN

Last Name: Matthews, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN Organization: Service to Humanity Locality: Hayes

I am a Professor Emerita from Shenandoah University and up until five years ago, practice clinically in a rural hospital. I have been overwhelmed at the tragedy before us with COVID-19 crisis and the burden on the healthcare system and healthcare personnel. These professionals place themselves in harms way and often did not/do not have the personal protective equipment or the TIME to exercise every precaution to prevent contracting the disease since the staffing is inadequate for the demands and needs of the patients. Please provide workers' compensation to the healthcare workers if they contract COVID-19. God bless each of them for their fearless battle against this invisible foe. Support HB 1985

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

Last Name: Bloodworth Locality: Woodbridge

Please support our front-line workers, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles.

Last Name: Rice Locality: Greene

This is very necessary legislation for all front line workers.

Last Name: Shea Locality: Williamsburg, James City County

I am a retired nurse. My younger colleagues caregiving up time and families to care for COVID-19 patients. Please support HR-1985 and support those people who are giving everything to care for those in need. Thank you.

Last Name: Jarrard-Mahayni Locality: Richmond

As a nurse care manager for Bon Secours Mercy Hospital employees- I see first hand how many front line healthcare workers are effected financially by COVID-19 illness. And the lack of compensation specially for those who have prolonged recovery. This effects not only those who require inpatient admissions, but also those who are managed in the outpatient setting requiring cardiology, pulmonology, neurology visits in addition to their primary care physicians. Co-insurance, copayments add up for many and there is no compensation or deductions as there is no distinction between work and community exposure. For my patients they use vacation time for one week and then are placed on short term disability which is only 60% of their pay. Please support our front line workers by showing their risks are compensated!

Last Name: Custis Locality: Prince George

Hello I am writing in support of HB 1978 workers compensation for COVID-19. As a registered nurse currently working in a ambulatory clinic with the Active Duty population myself and co-workers are put at greater risk for exposure to patients who have COVID. Since the Pandemic last year we have had multiple cases within our clinics put staff at risk and reducing the work force due to staff having to quarantine or isolate. While my counterparts in the hospital settings are feeling more of the impact from COVID-19. This impacts you not only physically but mentally. Having to choose between who gets a bed or not. Who gets one of the fr vents and who doesn’t. There will be long term affects from that healthcare workers like myself will have even after the pandemic.

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

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

Last Name: Derby Locality: Augusta County

Pre-Covid I was an inpatient surgical nurse. When the pandemic arrived, my unit was converted to a Covid unit and my life was instantly changed. I'm sure you're aware that we had to learn as we went through this pandemic. Recommended treatments, medications, and prevention were ever changing as the world as a whole tried to figure out how to tackle this. As a nurse I have spent the last 11 months on a rollercoaster. The elation of making inroads in care was quickly doused by the increasing stress brought on by patient loss, understaffing, stress of low PPE supplies, and having to deal with people in our lives outside of the hospital promising us this thing is "just a hoax". We tackled this head on as professionals do. With no increase in pay, but often an increase in required extra shifts, we have done our best to be the best we can for our patients. We do all we can to keep ourselves and our families safe. We distance from our loved ones, wear our masks on our days off, and strip down outside of our homes in 30 degree weather so we're not bringing scrub inside. We put ourselves on the line to help other people. We walk into the Covid unit every day with as much courage and positivity as we can. I have been coughed on, urinated on, and vomited on. We are screened before each shift because contracting Covid under these work condition is a very real possibility. I would be much safer staying home. It is for this reason that essential frontline workers should be covered under workman's comp in the event that they test positive for Covid. Healthcare workers, EMTs, police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, and teachers required to do in person classes should all have this benefit available to them. I urge you to vote for this cause. We'll be paying attention. Thank you for taking the time to read my comments.

Last Name: Book Locality: Staunton

To Whom This May Concern: I am a nurse. I have been a nurse for the past 20 years. Early in my career I worked in critical care as a Neuro ICU nurse. Then, for 13 years I worked as a civilian medevac/flight nurse. For the past 3 years I have had my boots on the ground in a community hospital Emergency Dept. COVID is crushing nurses. Hospital administrators are crushing nurses. The past 10 months have been brutal but the weeks post Thanksgiving are devastating. Hospitals focus on low volumes and ignore the high acuity. There is no support for floor nurses. My administrators leave at 14L30 every day. Not once have they donned PPE and cared for a critical ill COVID patient. Our "heroes" have zero protection if they catch COVID. You are forced to use your accrued paid time off (your vacation time). There are no protections for those that daily put their lives at risk to care for others. Everyday we gear up, have unsafe patient ratios, risk our lives, risk our licenses due to staffing and risk taking this virus home to our families. Everyday we are the ones grasping the hands of the dying listening to them struggle to breathe, listening to patients beg us to save them and beg us to tell their families they love them. Of course, due to the hypoxia they can only utter 1-2 words at a time. We are the ones doing CPR on bodies that are rotting on ventilators because families won't make their loved one a DNR. We are the ones using our own phones to FaceTime with families so that they can say goodbye. We are the ones trying to hold it all together for our patients, our colleagues and our families-but who is there for us? No one to be quite frank. Instead we are screamed at and threatened with violence daily in the ER because families won't accept the visitation policy. We are asked to do more with less-putting our licenses on the line-and we are asked to do CPR, pronounce a patient, bag their body and then check in the next patient. And in between clean and decon the COVID room because there is no one to help with that either. And let's not forget that we are getting 1 mask per week. But we are "heroes." What I know for sure is that the burnout crisis, and the providers that will permanently leave healthcare because of the COVID pandemic and how we are treated by our facilities, may be an even greater crisis than the one we face right now. Simple assurances to protect the health and safety of those on the front line would make a significant impact. Speaking from the heart-if things don't change & if support is not given to the frontline workers think about who is going to care for your loved one-not me, not my friends, not my colleagues. We will have left the profession. The "hushed" secret in this pandemic is the horrific treatment of the bedside provider by hospitals and corporations and quite frankly our elected officials. I am begging you to please do something. Protect those at the bedside before there is no one left at the bedside

Last Name: Gregory Hancock Locality: Richmond

On Dec. 2, I started to get sick but never thought it was Covid 19 as a nurse we never take care of ourselves like we do our patients. On Dec. 4 I tested positive for Covid and immediately started to quarantine because my son has chronic asthma and my mother is over 75. While isolating I progressively got worse and on Dec. 10 I was bought to the ER with low saturations. The physician did an x-ray and told me I had Covid pneumonia. I asked the physician if I could have any antibiotics and was told it was nothing he could give me accept something for my cough. I was told if my symptoms got worse to return to the ER. I was sent home to die. I asked my mother to go to the store and buy me a pulse oximeter. On Dec. 13 I was back in the ER symptoms worse and barely able to breath. I felt like I was drowning and the same physician who sent me home was my doctor. When he saw me he just looked like he couldn't believe how bad I had gotten in 3 days. The next thing I know I had another doctor and was being admitted to the hospital for hypoxia and Covid pneumonia. My story goes on and fortunate after a week in the hospital I was able to go home but that feeling that you are going to die to wishing you just would die was real for me and as a nurse I know that Covid patients are suffering everyday and they don't know to go out and buy a pulse oximeter so that they can monitor their oxygen levels so that when they are sent home they actually can see they are getting worse and know to go back to the hospital. I was fortunate but many are not over 400,000 people have died from Covid and something needs to be done. This is just a portion of my story and I am happy to speak to anyone who would like to hear the rest.

Last Name: Bergum Locality: Moseley

I am a nurse on the ICU at VCU MCV, a COVID Unit from the beginning. This is a common sense legislation. Please support us, who have fought for Virginians since the beginning of this pandemic. We put ourselves and our families in harms way every day to save lives in the community. This virus is more contagious and deadly than anything in generations. People are dying from it on my unit every week. We have received no compensation, extra staffing, or rewards of any kind. Please care for those of us that contract this disease while fighting for all of us. Thank You Ry Bergum RN BSN VCU Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit

Last Name: Joseph Locality: Midlothian

Hi, I would like to pass the Covid-19 workers compensation presumption law which is HB 1985 Hurst. I am a Critical care nurse working in Veterans Hospital. We have many of our employees who had affected by covid in our unit as well as in our hospital. Actually there was an outbreak of Covid- 19 in one of the unit because of unidentified covid patients. In the beginning of this pandemic, not all the patients were not tested because of the uaavailability of diagnostic kits and many of our nurses got this disease from patients who were undaignosed as covid in the first place. They still suffer from the affer effect of it. In my experience as a critical care nurse , if the patient is being coded or going to fall, we risk our lives and our families lives in order to save the patient. During the code event we wont get enough time to use all the Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) before entering the patients room. Our ultimate goal is to save the patients life even if risk our own health. That is a nurse's Conscience. Many of our nurses are physically, mentally and emotionally affected by this pandemic. So far we have not recieved any compensatory pay or benefits. I would like the congress to pass the law for all the employees working in covid situation should get the benefit of complensation. Thank you

Last Name: Karabin Locality: Midlothian

I am a nurse working at a local hospital in the Richmond area. While my children attend daycare, the school is diligent about social distancing, mask wearing, and handwashing. I, too, am diligent about these behaviors. I came down with COVID in the beginning of this month, and I believe I contracted the virus in the hospital. My entire family became infected, including my four year old and my six year old. My husband was affected the worst. Additionally, I missed two weeks of work as a result. I believe that Workers Compensation should cover the time that I, and anyone else that likely contracted the illness in their line of work, especially front-line workers, missed and any medical expenses that occur as a result of my illness. Thank you.

Last Name: Aubrey Chigwada Organization: DHRM Locality: Richmond

Here to answer any questions on behalf of DHRM.

Last Name: Matthews Organization: VCU Psychiatric NP student Locality: Henrico

I support the worker's compensation for COVID- 19. There are a lot of workers that are struggling to pay their bills because of illness or a dependent being ill which makes them have to lose wages because of it. Most of these workers have lost income because of their spouse dying or being ill from COVID-19. I support worker's compensation, please pay the workers while they adjust to changes in their lives.

Last Name: Miller Locality: Giles

I am a RN at Carilion Giles Community Hospital and work in the SCU with Covid-19 patients. Unfortunately, I have cared for those suffering and gasping for air with no family or clergy at their side. Nurses and CNA's have been the one's holding the hands of those taking their last breath. Many staff on our unit have contracted Covid-19, requiring extended days off work. Carilion no longer pays for time off r/t Covid-19. They assume either outside exposure or that the staff member was not wearing the PPE properly. This is unacceptable! Health care workers should not have to go into financial distress due to the fact of willingly caring for Covid-19 patients. Please support this bill and health care workers. Thank you! Patricia Miller, BSN, RN, CCRN, FNP-S

Last Name: Coles Locality: Roanoke

My former husband, the father of my child died on January 15, 2021. He would have turned 60 today. He was exposed at his place of employment. He received a text message on Sunday night December 13, 2020 informing him that one of his co-worker's had tested positive. He started feeling bad later that week, went to the ED on Monday 12/21/2020 and never came home. My daughter just moved back to the area with her son to be closer to us and is now having to bury her father. Her 3 year old son keeps asking where his granddaddy is. This is awful! Employer's who do not test or mandate strict precautions need to be responsible and Worker's Compensation should cover these expenses.

Last Name: Bryant Organization: n/a; employed at a Hospital in the Metro Richmond area Locality: Louisa

Last Spring, I contracted Covid-19 while directly working on a inpatient Covid-19 unit. This was not my normal area of employment at the Hospital. I have been a Registered Nurse for 24 years. I normally work in a Outpatient Surgery Center on the Hospital's campus. However, since elective surgeries were shut down, I needed to work to provide for my family. So, I went to a inpatient Hospital unit directly working with Covid-19 patients that were positive and being ruled out. After a month of working on that unit where I had to re-use supplies on a consistent basis I acquired Covid-19 and was very ill. I have asthma which is controlled and has been for quite some time and was probably in the best shape of my life. But I am here to tell you that this virus knocked me down. At times I could not even walk up my stairs to get to my bedroom, I had to figure out how to breathe and survive. At one point I had to go to the ER for severe chest pressure. Also, my Husband who has multiple sclerosis also got the virus from me. He was actually sicker than me and even longer than me. However, his employer which is a bank took care of him from the start enacting emergency leave for a minimum of 2 weeks and instructed him he would have it for 7 weeks at a minimum. You ask how do I know I gave it to him? He works from home because of his multiple sclerosis. I want you to imagine that you have kids, just like my girls who were 11 and 13 at the time, They in addition to my Louisa Neighborhood/community and my Church, Hopeful Baptist provided meals, checked on us constantly, provided groceries, took our trash to the dump, fed our chickens, mowed our lawn and countless other tasks that needed to get done. My children were the ones who poured our ginger-ale, made our jello, got us popsicles and soup just so we could stay hydrated. Recently, I went to a Workmen's Compensation Hearing and presented my case, I am currently waiting on the decision. Although I was paid in full, I went because no one knows what the future holds for Covid-19 survivors and I contracted this virus while employed! I feel strongly about this because my Dad died early from getting Asbestos at his place of employment so many years ago and it took multiple people to stand up for themselves in a court of law. I am hoping as Legislators that you take a moment to process if I was your daughter or loved one, what would you want for them. I almost gave my life taking care of others with no concern for myself. Again, I want you to hear I almost died from this virus while helping and caring for others who needed my expertise and care at their time of need!!!! I would love to share more but I currently am working and only had a few moments to write this, that's how important I feel about it!!! So please I would have been more than willing to appear in person had I known about this hearing.

Last Name: Whitehead Organization: Carilion Clinic Locality: Roanoke

Please support the COVID-19 workers compensation presumption legislation. As an APRN caring for COVID patients and seeing the impact of COVID on my colleagues, nurses need this legislation. We need to care for the caregivers/nurses. We need to be supported for our work and dedication to caring for these patients.

Last Name: Corum Locality: Arlington, VA

As a nurse, I think that it is critically important that those working with covid patients have access to worker's compensation coverage when they become exposed to or infected by covid as a consequence of their job caring for sick and dying patients. We ask healthcare providers to serve their communities, month after month. The least we can do is ensure that they have some minimal degree of financial protection if they become ill as a consequence of this work serving their communities. I encourage support of this legislation.

Last Name: Taylor-Lewis Organization: Centra Health Locality: Amherst

Dear honorable representatives of the house subcommittee L&C I am both a doctorally prepared advance practice nurse in the hospital and in an outpt facilty owned by the same health care system. I was exposed and diagnosised with COVID from my work exposure as it was wide spread to many of us. I have been proud of how my employer has executed a plan to take care of patients. However, I have been more than concerned about the care of employees. In brief, I found out accidentally that I had been exposed at a work related wide spread exposure, which impacted my exposure to those in my "circle" (put my 90 year old mother at risk, my daughter tested +; my grandkids them missed 2 weeks of traditional school), had to find my own testing center, and had to use my limited PTO (new to this position) for my time off. I know of many non health care businesses that are taking better care of their employees, covering testing, time off etc., than our own health care systems. Yet everyday, we get up and put our health and the health of our loved ones at risk. We need your support! Dr. Rosie Taylor-Lewis, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP, PMHNP-BC

Last Name: anderson Locality: spotsylvania

I have been caring for COVID-19 positive patients since it's arrival to our county in a critical care setting. During my typical shift, at least four of my five patients will be COVID-19 positive. The patients I care for are weak, confused and anxious. They are medically fragile and code quickly. I have always volunteered to take these patients knowing that I have increased risk. I spend much of my twelve hour shift in PPE, trying to provide quality care to scared people. I sit at the beside and hold hands to comfort my patients because of their panic attacks and isolation. I have to run into rooms to keep patients from falling because they removed their oxygen and have become confused. I have helped with CPR on patients that are only later confirmed to be COVID-19 positive . PPE gowns and gloves rip, masks slip during care and anxious patients grab at PPE as they cough in our faces. We reuse PPE. Cohort studies report frontline HCWs have a significantly increased risk of COVID-19 infection. For persons working in a healthcare setting, COVID-19 is an occupational disease, and should be compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. We should not have to prove contact as it is nearly impossible.

Last Name: Zimmerman Locality: Bassett, va

My name is Holly Zimmerman; I have been working as an RN for 34 years. It is the only job I know. When I got sick with COVID-19 on July 27, 2020, I had seizures and a severe respiratory infection. I subsequently developed long-haul syndrome with cognitive deficits and vision changes. I have been so weak I require physical therapy due to frequent falls. Among a multitude of other symptoms. Since I contracted COVID-19 at work, I was not able to collect Unemployment or Workman's compensation due to the CARES act. This translates to 6 months of absolutely NO income. I have been living off my 401K and receiving public assistance. I am in the process of selling my car. COVID-19 has ruined my life as I knew it. My neurologist doesn't think I will be able to return to nursing at the bedside due to cognitive losses. I also have changes in my heart function. I get frustrated because I miss my patients. Nursing is all I ever wanted to do. In my opinion and through research, the CARES act was TO quickly created. By excluding healthcare providers, a situation has been created that has destroyed many healthcare workers financially. No one could predict there would be long-term consequences from COVID-19 or that so many would lose everything, including their life. Passage of HB 1985 will help thousands regain what they lost a financial future.

Last Name: Uwamaliya Locality: USA

Please support HB1985

Last Name: Wilson Locality: Fairfax, VA

As a nurse on a COVID-19 unit, I saw patients struggling for every breath. One patient was on the unit for almost 2 months while we supported his oxygenation. He needed high-flow nasal cannula and an oxygen mask most of that time. When he eventually left the unit, it was to get a lung transplant because the scarring from his battle with COVID had damaged his own lungs too badly. Our protective masks have to be so tight, they are leaving marks on our faces for hours after our shifts end. This has become the new normal but we should not settle for this world that COVID has made for us. We should not become complacent with the lives lost or scarred forever.

Last Name: Taylor Locality: SUFFOLK

As a frontline nurse in a busy Newport News Emergency Department, I contracted the COVID -19 virus and was denied to return to work for 14 days, with no pay unless I wanted to use my hard-earned vacation time. I should not have to use vacation time to cover living expenses (bills, gas, insurance) when I put myself on the frontlines to save lives. A workman's compensation presumption legislation will alleviate the burden of meeting my needs for wages, associated medical and ongoing care expenses, disability benefits, and funeral assistance. Please support HB 1985!!

Last Name: Rhodes Organization: Virginia Association of Vol Rescue Squads, VA Ambulance Association, VA of Governmental EMS Administrators', Regional Directors Group Locality: Henrico

Mr. Chairman Thank you for allowing me to present these comments concerning HB 1985 concerning COVID 19. This bill is quite different than all of the rest of the bills you will be seeing as it only relates to Health Care Providers. This bill does nothing for firefighters, EMS providers and so forth. The code section referenced , 8.01-581.1 which defines "Health Care Providers", it does not relate EMS providers. Even though a reference is made to emergency medical attendant or technician, these are not the providers that are in 32.1-111. EMS providers are under the Department of Health and not Health Professions. Therefore the organizations that I represent are OPPOSED to this piece of legislation. Thank you for the opportunity to provide these written comments.

HB1987 - Telemedicine; coverage of telehealth services by an insurer, etc.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Chesterfield

HB1915- Children are the future. Teachers care for our future and should be paid in a way that reflects the sentiment that we care for the future of our country. HB1987- This should be allowed for mental health especially. Many mental health in-person appointments are missed because someone’s mental illness keeps them from leaving the house or the person doesn’t have childcare at the time where they need to make the appointment. Telehealth will help with accessibility.

Last Name: Hanken Organization: Virginia Poverty Law Center Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Poverty Law Center strongly supports HB 1987 which extends and clarifies Medicaid telehealth services and remote monitoring of many health conditions. During this horrible COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia (and the U.S.) has gained new appreciation for the value of tele-medicine. Both providers and patients have benefited from easier access to medical care and improved monitoring of chronic conditions. The Medicaid program has fully participated in authorizing more telehealth during the pandemic. HB 1987 builds upon this experience and maintains valuable telehealth services to Medicaid enrollees. I have two concerns about the FIS for HB 1987. The estimated costs to DMAS appear inflated because (1) the FIS seems to count all telehealth services as ADDITIONAL services, rather than replacements for appointments and services that would normally occur; and (2) the FIS doesn't consider any cost benefits or reduced hospital/ED services which are very likely to result from better access and monitoring through telehealth. Thank you for supporting HB 1987. Jill Hanken, VPLC Health Attorney

Last Name: Shinn Organization: Virginia Community Healthcare Association Locality: Chesterfield

We support this bill. Extending the use of telhealth in Virginia will benefit those with chronic conditions that live in our underserved communities. It can also reduce hospitalizations and other health care costs by helping to control conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Last Name: Rheuban Organization: Virginia Telehealth Network and UVA Locality: Charlottesville

Chairman Sickles, members of the Subcommittee, good morning. I am Dr Karen Rheuban, Director of the UVA Center for Telehealth and board chair of the Virginia Telehealth Network. Thank for the opportunity to speak to HB1987, which directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to cover remote patient monitoring services for priority, high risk, high cost patients and conditions. Remote patient monitoring programs improve patient outcomes, and lower the cost of care. I would respectfully like to address the fiscal impact statement prepared by the Department of Planning and Budget. UVA began our remote monitoring program in 2014. Based on our prior data, and the first 6 months of FY 21, we anticipate monitoring approximately 6200 high risk patients this year. For those monitored patients with the conditions identified in this bill, we project a reduction of 25,034 hospital bed days. These reductions result from hospital admissions and readmissions avoided and shortened length of stay. With an average total cost per bed day of $2015 for low case mix index patients, we conservatively project cost savings across all payers of $50,443,510 in FY21. In addition, our data demonstrated a reduction in emergency department visits for our monitored patients by 14%. One additional note for consideration as it relates to the costs of remote patient monitoring: many patients only require 30 days of monitoring, others only 3 months, rather than as projected, all patients for a full year. Medicare has covered remote patient monitoring for a broad range of conditions since 2018. We urge the committee to consider this additional information, particularly regarding cost savings to the Medicaid program, when considering the true fiscal impact of HB1987. Thank you.

Last Name: Grammer Locality: Roanoke

My name is Stephen Grammer, from Roanoke. I encourage you to pass HB1987 and HB2124. HB1987 would allow people who without transportation easier access to being able to communicate with their primary doctors. This also would be cost-effective, due to the fact that people will not have to get ambulances going to hospitals over non-emergency situations. HB2124 would allow people with disabilities to get treatment for COVID. We are on a very low-budget, and can not afford to pay out of pocket for treatment. Again, I encourage you to support HB2124 and HB1987. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Mims Organization: Hims & Hers Locality: San Francisco, California

January 20, 2021 Chair Mark Sickles Health Welfare and Institutions Committee Virginia General Assembly 1000 Bank St Richmond, VA 23219 RE: HB 1987--Physical Office Location Amendment to Conduct Telehealth Chair Sickles and Member of the Committee, On behalf of Hims & Hers, a direct-to-consumer digital health company, we urge you to preserve access to healthcare treatment for thousands of Virginians by removing language recently added to HB 1987 that would require a physical office or relationship with a practice” in order to conduct telehealth in the Commonwealth. This onerous and unnecessary language will have a chilling effect on direct-to-consumer health platforms like Hims that are providing care to thousands of Virginia residents during a global pandemic but do not have a physical location. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we encourage, not curtail telehealth usage, and reduce nonessential, face-to-face encounters between patients and healthcare workers while maintaining the highest quality of care. At Hims & Hers, we connect patients to licensed healthcare providers for medical consultations and treatment across all 50 states. Our platform is powered by virtual care, without an in-person visit, which is a care delivery model that has been embraced by state legislatures, hospitals, healthcare providers and patients across the country. Since our launch in 2017, we’ve powered more than two million digital healthcare visits across a variety of conditions, ranging from sexual health to psychiatric health. In response to the pandemic, Hims & Hers has incorporated access to additional telemedicine offerings, including primary care services, mental health support groups, and access to at-home COVID-19 testing kits. We believe providers should always be held to the highest standard of care regardless of the mode of delivery, and that is why providers on our platform are licensed, highly-credentialed, and held to evidence-based clinical standards. Our executive team and board of directors are composed of some of the most experienced minds in healthcare, like Dr. Toby Cosgrove, former CEO and current Executive Advisor of the renowned Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Patrick Carroll, our Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the former CMO of Walgreens. We recognize that telehealth is not an appropriate mode of care delivery for all conditions, and that is why we rely on licensed providers to make those determinations and refer patients to the appropriate healthcare systems and platforms. However, the current proposed physical location requirement in HB 1987 would effectively ban Hims and other direct-to-consumer digital health platforms from providing care in the Commonwealth. This is especially troubling for those in underserved areas, where telehealth is a lifeline for receiving quality care. We hope that you will remove this language from the bill, and ensure that quality care is preserved for thousands of Virginia residents. Sincerely, April Mims VP of Public Policy Hims & Hers, Inc cc: Vice Chair Rasoul, Committee Members, and Clerk Rushawna Senior

Last Name: Shinn Organization: Virginia Community Healthcare Association Locality: Henrico

To the Members of the Committee: On behalf of the Virginia Community Healthcare Association and the 155 community health center sites across the Commonwealth that serve over 355,000 Virginians in medically underserved communities, we ask for support for House Bill 1987. Remote Monitoring Services would be invaluable in monitoring the health conditions of some patients, particularly those recently released from a hospital setting. In North Carolina, a pilot program conduced several years ago in a community health center led to significantly reduced A1C numbers in diabetic patients. For cardiac patients, one can cerrtainly see the benefit of having remote monitoring at home after having stents, or having a heart attack. On the last paragraph on audio only services – this has been an important part of delivery of services in medically underserved areas that have limited access to internet broadband services. In some parts of the Commonwealth, video is not available due to limited bandwidth. Although not mentioned in the bill, I would ask the committee to remember that when a health provider does provide services by audio only, they bring to bear their full knowledge. Reimbursement for audio only services should be at a full and regular rate, not a discounted rate, as the services of the provider requires their full abilities. Thank you, Rick Shinn - Director of Government Affairs Virginia Community Healthcare Association

Last Name: Katie Boyle Organization: Virginia Association of Counties Locality: Richmond, VA

VACo supports this legislation in keeping with our long-standing position in favor of the use of telemedicine to provide long-distance clinical care, patient and professional education, and public health, as well as support for flexibility in the delivery of these services.

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 want to express our support for HB1987. The ability to provide and be reimbursed for behavioral health services delivered via telehealth and telephone has been absolutely critical to our members as they have worked to meet the needs of Virginia's most vulnerable residents. We applaud DMAS, DBHDS and DMAS for their quick action to develop the regulatory framework within which services could be provided early in the pandemic and in close coordination with providers. We support efforts to continue to allow use and reimbursement for telehealth and telephonic delivery of services where appropriate throughout the duration of the current public health crisis and beyond it. Thanks to Del. Adams for introducing this bill and for her commitment to identifying how telehealth can continue to be leveraged to increase access to quality healthcare services for all Virginia residents. The VACBP also supports HB2197, which would create a workgroup to evaluate and provide recommendations for the permanent use of virtual supports and assistive technology for the ID/DD population in Virginia. We believe that such an effort that is collaborative and inclusive will yield valuable insight that can guide future policy in this space. Thanks to Del. Runion for introducing this bill.

Last Name: Gonzalez Organization: Teladoc Health Locality: Richmond

Teladoc Health would like to register our concerns with amendments to House Bill 1987. Recognized as the world leader in virtual care, Teladoc Health directly delivers millions of medical visits across 175 countries each year through the Teladoc Health Medical Group and enables millions of patient and provider touchpoints for thousands of hospitals, health systems and physician practices globally. Specifically, we strongly oppose the amendment to Section 54.1-3303 B. As written, the bill would require that a Virginia-licensed health care provider practicing using telemedicine and prescribing Schedule II–V controlled substances also have a physical office practice in the Commonwealth or an immediately contiguous jurisdiction. This provision has no clinical basis and is an arbitrary restriction to Virginia-licensed practitioners who treat patients using remote technology. The clinical guidelines for telehealth and telemedicine are anchored in standard of care, and the Commonwealth should maintain such standards and continue to tie state policy to federal restrictions on prescribing controlled substances. A requirement for a physical practice in Virginia or an immediately contiguous jurisdiction is an artifact of “old thinking” and would gut the ability of telehealth to deliver access to affordable quality health care. This bill fails to acknowledge the capacities of technological innovations in medicine. Today there is no other state with such an antiquated requirement in statute or regulation. Federal law (Ryan Haight Online Consumer Protection Act of 2008) already imposes rules around the prescription of controlled substances (Schedules II–V). This is simply bad public policy and ill-advised. Simply stated, the standard of care should dictate whether or not a prior physical examination of the patient is required prior to diagnosis and treatment of the patient, including prescribing Schedule II–V controlled substances. After the establishment of the valid professional relationship and treatment in accordance with the standard of care, geographic restrictions on follow-on care are arbitrary. We are very appreciative of the hard work that has gone into this legislation and respectfully request the sub-committee reject the proposed amendment. Thank you for your consideration. We are happy to answer any questions.

Last Name: Zebley Organization: American Telemedicine Association Locality: Arlington

On behalf of the ATA and the 400 organizations we represent, I am writing to express concerns about an amendment made to HB 1987 in §54.1-3303 (B). In its revised form, HB 1987 would create unnecessary and impractical barriers to the establishment of telehealth services across Virginia, limiting practitioners’ ability to prescribe vital medications to their patients throughout the state based on arbitrary geographic restrictions. Currently, the bill would place geographic restrictions that determine the practitioners who can provide prescriptions to their patients, the language reading: “To prescribe a Schedule II through V controlled substance utilizing telemedicine, prescribers must maintain and practice or maintain a relationship with a practitioner at a physical office practice in the Commonwealth or in an immediately contiguous jurisdiction in order to unsure availability for an in-person examination when required by the standard of care.” In mandating the existence of a physical presence for practitioners to prescribe Schedule II through V controlled substances, the language establishes an arbitrary geographical barrier that would limit Virginians’ access to the prescriptions they need to lead healthy lives. When applied to real-world scenarios, the requirement proposed in this amendment is not practical in protecting Virginians’ safety or ensuring their access to accessible and high-quality care. If this bill were passed with the amended language, a Virginia citizen located in Alexandria could legally receive a prescription from a provider in Memphis, Tennessee (as Tennessee shares a border with Virginia), 881 miles away. However, a practitioner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just 146 miles away from that same citizen, could not prescribe this patient’s medication simply because Pennsylvania does not border Virginia. Moreover, this language is not needed because if an in-person examination is needed to meet the standard of care for prescribing, then the practitioner would already be violating the standard by using telehealth technology to do so - regardless of whether they have a physical office or a relationship with a practitioner in Virginia or a “contiguous jurisdiction.” Simply put, there is no overlap between when a practitioner can use telehealth to prescribe medication and when an in-person exam is needed to prescribe, making this proposed amendment unneeded. Finally, the language also is likely in violation of the 10th Amendment. While the 10th Amendment gives broad discretion to states to regulate the health, welfare, and safety of its citizens, it still cannot “arbitrarily” or “capriciously” violate the Commerce Clause when doing so. The requirements imposed by this bill certainly would legally violate the Commerce Clause by limiting an out-of-state practitioners’ ability to practice medicine in Virginia despite the fact that they are licensed to practice there. The ATA applauds other aspects of HB 1987 which guarantee that nothing shall preclude coverage of telehealth services by insurers, including those services which involve remote patient monitoring. However, the ATA strongly objects to the amended language, and we believe that passing House Bill 1987 in its current form would be a step backward for patients and practitioners in the Commonwealth. We urge you and all of your colleagues to strike the amended language in §54.1-3303 (B) before considering the approval of this bill.

Last Name: Knotts Organization: Americans for Prosperity Virginia Locality: Henrico

It is essential to address the demand for healthcare in a practical way - and these proposals are safe, evidence based, and needed. HB1987: Reimbursement for remote patient monitoring is proven to improve quality of care, lower readmissions, and lower travel and treatment costs. Remote patient monitoring is an essential benefit that allows patients to leave the hospital and get the same quality of care at home. For high risk pregnancies, it can cost as little as $26 a day to provide this service with higher convenience, better care, and keeps a hospital bed open for someone else who might need it more. Compare that to a $5,000 a day stay in the hospital with lower convenience, higher costs, and lower satisfaction. The Governor wisely removed reimbursement barriers to providers to offer this service to those suffering COVID-19 with great results. Virginians deserve access to this benefit and remote patient monitoring needs to be reimbursed immediately. HB1737: Nurse practitioners have safely served their communities with 2 years experience during the pandemic, and states across the country already allow for them to practice with the scope of practice with less restrictions that we have in Virginia. We need frontline healthcare workers practicing to their full capability and this reform achieves that safely. HB1747 / hb1817 : Enabling providers s to practice to their full capability is essential. Nurse practitioners deserve the opportunity be certified and practice according to their skills and education. This common-sense reform helps front line care providers to be more efficient and useful in serving in care deserts. In the same way, we should better leverage physician assistants in the field who could do more but are restricted by regulatory barriers. HB1769: Virginia law, unfortunately, puts walls between patients who are seeking care from licensed providers beyond our state lines. The commonwealth of Virginia does not care if a patient gets in the car and travels to another state to get treatment from an outstanding provider, but if a Virginia gets on the information highway, it can lead to criminal charges who is merely offering care to a Virginian in need of it. When the law was written, a phone was tethered to the kitchen wall. Today, our phones are supercomputers that can provide detailed healthcare information to a doctor in real-time. Our laws are still looking backwards in healthcare - not forward. Patient behavior is seeking better care with more convenience. This bill removes barriers between patients and providers across the country.

HB1989 - Public health emergency; emergency medical services agencies, real-time access to information.
Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

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

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

Last Name: Rhodes Organization: Virginia Association of Vol Rescue Squads, VA Ambulance Association, VA of Governmental EMS Administrators', Regional Directors Group Locality: Henrico

Representing many groups of the EMS community I have heard horror stories from providers who have responded to calls for patients whom the providers have no idea what the problem is. There is a need to know what the problem or illness is prior to arriving or even leaving their headquarters in order to get the PPE on and be ready. We appreciate Del. Aird for submitting this bill in order to assist the EMS providers across the state.

HB2007 - Prescription drugs; price transparency, definitions.
Last Name: Gewanter Locality: Richmond City

I support the VPLC comment pointing out the removal of any consumer benefits from the current version. While it is important to learn more about the factors behind drug pricing and costs, it is just as critical that all Virginians can see some direct and immediate benefits at the same time.

Last Name: Hanken Organization: Virginia Poverty Law Center Locality: Richmond City

Support Drug Transparency AND Lower Drug Costs for Consumers AMEND HB 2007 to restore a basic rebate-pass-through for consumers! HB 2007 is a significant FIRST STEP to require more drug pricing transparency from insurance plans, pharmacy benefits managers, and pharmacy manufacturers. However, there is NO FIRST STEP in the bill to protect consumers from exorbitant drug costs, EVEN WHEN INSURERS AND THEIR PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGERS RECEIVE REBATES AND OTHER PRICE CONCESSIONS FROM MANUFACTURERS. HB 2007 only requires PBMs to give insurance plans an OPTION to pass through rebates. (see, lines 528-530) . The Virginia Poverty Law Center and many disease groups, whose members must have extremely expensive specialty drugs, believe an option isn’t good enough. The original bill REQUIRED a simple rebate pass-through for consumers. The following amendments are needed: Line 491 – delete “Option for rebates” and insert “Rebates” Line 528 - after “B” delete remainder of lines 528-530 and insert “An enrollee's defined cost sharing for each prescription drug shall be calculated at the point of sale based on a price that is reduced by an amount equal to at least 80 percent of all rebates received, or to be received, in connection with the dispensing or administration of the prescription drug.” This original language should be restored to give consumer some price relief while the state collects data and learns more about the very complex world of prescription prices and costs. Future reforms should be based on that data. Thank you. Jill Hanken, VPLC Health Attorney

Last Name: Snider Organization: AARP Virginia Locality: Richmond City

Del. Sickles and Members of the Committee, AARP Virginia remains neutral on HB2007 due to inclusion of language on which we have no applicable policy. However, on the language directly related to price transparency beginning on line 330 of the current draft, we acknowledge a marked improvement on lines 491-492 in the initial price threshold for brand names and biologics being set at $100/year. Thank you for for your work on this issue. Respectfully submitted, Natalie Snider AARP Virginia State Advocacy Director 804-344-3063 nsnider@aarp.org

Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

Last Name: Snider Organization: AARP Virginia Locality: Richmond City

Del. Hope and members of the committee, AARP Virginia thanks Del. Sickles and the co-patrons of HB2007 for their efforts to bring transparency to the prescription drug pricing supply chain. As the bill is currently written, however, there are several sections where AARP has no applicable policy, so we will remain neutral in our position. As Del. Sickles has shared that this bill is a "work in progress", AARP Virginia respectfully recommends that the non-reporting penalty be increased to $15,000 per day and the 3-year reporting threshold be set at 40%. Prescription drug price transparency is an important foundational building block for other reforms, such as affordability boards, bulk purchasing, and other efforts. AARP Virginia is committed to this issue and will continue to work for meaningful reforms. Respectfully submitted, Natalie Snider AARP Virginia State Advocacy Director 804-344-3063 nsnider@aarp.org

Last Name: Wright Locality: Glen Allen

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

HB2035 - Virginia Initiative for Education and Work; participants, modifies Full Employment Program.
Last Name: Golden Organization: Virginia Department of Social Services Locality: City of Richmond, VA

HB 2035 is an administration bill and has the strong support of the Virginia Department of Social Services. The Full Employment Program provides employer subsidies for hiring and training TANF recipients. There are several areas in the Full Employment Program, which if addressed, will greatly improve it. 1) The current employer stipend is too low and does not attract employers. 2) TANF recipients are reluctant to participate because they lose their TANF benefits. 3) Case managers are reluctant to assign participants to the program because people that do not receive a TANF payment are excluded from the calculation of the state’s work participation rate. In other words, staff do not receive “credit” for these placements. 4) Case managers find it difficult to devote the time necessary to recruit employers. This legislation addresses all of these issues by increasing the employer stipend, allowing the participant to retain TANF benefits, and including funding for two job developer positions. Funding for this bill is included in Governor Northam’s introduced budget. I urge you to support HB 2035 and make the Full Employment Program a more effective tool to obtain employment opportunities for TANF recipients. Mark L. Golden TANF Program Manager Virginia Department of Social Services mark.golden@dss.virginia.gov

Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

HB2065 - Produce Rx Program; Dept. of Social Services, et al., to develop a plan for a 3-yr. pilot Program.
Last Name: Randolph Locality: Chesterfield

Thank you to the committee, my name is Shaddai R. from Richmond, Virginia. I am here to encourage you to.. 1. Increase the allocation of tax revenue towards the reinvestment fund from 30% to 70% because anything less than a majority of the revenues is disingenuous to the priorities of the bill. 2. Allocate 50% of all licenses towards Virginia social equity license holders as no other licenses are required to be owned by Virginia residents. 3. Add another tier of license, micro-business licenses, so that smaller applicants can enter with unique integration privileges. 4. Do not add any new crimes nor criminalize another generation of youth because of a fake war on drugs

Last Name: Jackson Organization: Marijuana Justice Locality: North Chesterfield

I am a constituent of the 7th district but I feel it is necessary to work together to protect the younger members of our society and stop the criminalization of the Hispanic and African American communities. Rules must be stated clearly now so we are better prepared to face a future when marijuana is officially legalized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please increase the reinvestment from 30% to 70% for new companies and entrepreneurs. Make sure the new market is equitable and accessible to all not just large corporations.

Last Name: Lamar Locality: Midlothian

The Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Virginia Nurses Association strongly supports Delegate McQuinn's efforts around food access and security to improve the health of all Virginians. We hope the General Assembly will support this legislation. COVID-19 has increased Virginia's food insecurity rate from 9.9% to 13.1%. Numerous studies have demonstrated correlation between food insecurity and poor health outcomes, particularly higher levels of chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, arthritis, COPN and CKD. Similar programs in other states have demonstrated efficacy for increasing participants' consumption of fruits and vegetables.

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

Virginia First Cities' 16 older, core city members are supportive of HB2065 and all investments to ensure our cities and citizens have access to thriving, sustainable food options. Delegate McQuinn's bill will help remove barriers and costs of access to healthy foods so that no one has to experience food insecurity.

Last Name: Phillips, Rufus Organization: Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics Locality: Henrico

On behalf of our 57 free clinic members located throughout the Commonwealth, including 11 clinics are also Medicaid, providers, the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics supports HB2065. Our clinic members serve over 60,000 vulnerable Virginians each year, many of whom suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and would benefit from improved access to healthier foods. Our clinics that currently offer food pharmacy programs similar to the Produce Rx Program pilot proposed in HB2065 have experienced positive outcomes from these programs with their patients, including lower blood sugar levels, weight loss, and lower blood pressure readings, and in some cases a decreased level of need for prescription medications to address certain conditions. Based on this positive experience our clinics are having with their food pharmacy efforts, we strongly believe the proposed Produce Rx Program pilot will yield improved health outcomes for the Medicaid patients who participate in it, help to decrease the need for prescription medicines among these same patients, and ultimately reduce the overall cost of their care.

Last Name: Laura Bateman Organization: VIRGINIA FIRST CITIES COALITION Locality: City of Richmond

Virginia First Cities' 16 older, core city members are supportive of HB2065 and all investments to ensure our cities and citizen have access to thriving, sustainable food options. Delegate McQuinn's bill will help remove barriers and costs of access to healthy foods so that no one has to experience food insecurity.

HB2069 - License plates, special; cost of plates for recipients of military decorations.
Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

HB2075 - Jefferson Davis Highway; renames any section of U.S. Route 1 to "Emancipation Highway."
Last Name: Meadows Locality: Chester

As a lifelong Chesterfield resident, I oppose this bill as it already has an alternative name in Route 1. Many residents and those visiting already reference "Jefferson Davis Highway" as Route 1. I believe it might serve best to use our states resources elsewhere.

Last Name: Smith Locality: Reston

Its time to remove all traces of memorializing the Confederacy -- the great shame on Virginia starting in 1619 and culminating in the insurrection in 1861 is a forever stain on Virginia We should not continue compounding our immoral beginnings with naming our infrastructure after those who were perpetrators of this ignominy. Its not erasing history to remove names and statuary that is in place to "honor" the dishonorable. Write the story clearly in our text books. Introduce these people there and make sure to mention that Virginians' fought against the union in support of slavery and lost. I fully support renaming Jefferson Davis Highway. I like the proposed name; but would be satisfied with any name other than someone who fought for slavery or owned slaves -- anyone.

HB2110 - Pretrial data collection; VCSC to collect and disseminate on an annual basis.
Last Name: Diggs Organization: Virginial Community Criminal Justice Association Locality: Williamsburg

We (Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association) are in support of HB1945 and SB2110. Improving data transparency will lead to improved outcomes. Any efforts made to link all criminal justice agencies in data sharing, definitions, and data collected will improve the entire criminal justice system and allow for a more evidence based approach to criminal justice.

Last Name: Carew Organization: Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association Locality: Charlottesville

I am writing in support of this legislation to improve transparency and pretrial system outcomes. Improved data system linkages and cross system analysis will allow for system and jurisdiction level outcome measurement and opportunities for improvement.

HB2113 - Criminal records; establishes a process for automatic expungement, etc., report.
Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

Madam Chairman and Members of the Committee, Our justice system is broken. The Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution not only abolished slavery and indentured servitude, but created a different kind of evil when it allowed this inhumane treatment as punishment for a crime that a person has been duly convicted. History has shown us that the same people who owned slaves and indentured servants were allowed to become lawmakers and the mentality of these lawmakers were to keep slavery and indentured servitude alive. Their intent, which has survived for over 400 years, was to keep former slaves, people of color, and poor whites bound with invisible chains. Chains that would prevent them from becoming a living, breathing, acceptable part of society. Chains that have extended to their descendants. This has been shown by the continued mass incarceration of the poor because of laws that have been and are continually enacted for the purpose of preventing then from obtaining (1) freedom, (2) a good reputation, (3) a good education, (4) a good job, (5) the right to vote, (6) good housing, (7) hope, etc. We must break this bondage immediately. It is not right. Expungement should automatically occur upon their release. They have served their time. Some have been falsely accused and convicted. Some have been excessively jailed because their crime was being to poor to pay court fines and penalties. Some have been convicted because they were addicted to drugs, instead of being sent to treatment that they need. Some have suffered sexual or physical abuse in their life. Some suffer from mental illness. An eight year waiting period not only keeps them, but their families bound.

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

The League of Women Voters of Virginia supports HB 2113. The League believes that no person or group should suffer legal, economic, or administrative discrimination, and we support social and economic justice. Expungement is essential to ensuring that our system of government provides justice to the people that provides an opportunity for a dignified path forward. Given the disproportionate incarceration of minority group members in the Commonwealth, failure to provide for expungement has a disproportionate impact on Black and brown voters who have historically suffered discrimination in Virginia. We support this bill.

Last Name: Tucker Locality: Albemarle

I'm writing to urge your support for HB 2113, which seeks to establish a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed.​ Passage of this legislation will make it so hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized and disenfranchised by the collateral consequences of an arrest record for an incident that is no longer a crime. Virginians do not deserve for the rest of their life to be derailed because of an erroneous marijuana conviction that would not have been prosecuted today. Please support the passage of HB 2113.

Last Name: Tucker Locality: Albemarle

I'm writing to urge your support for HB 2113, which seeks to establish a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed.​ Passage of this legislation will make it so hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized and disenfranchised by the collateral consequences of an arrest record for an incident that is no longer a crime. Virginians do not deserve for the rest of their life to be derailed because of an erroneous marijuana conviction that would not have been prosecuted today. This is an equity issue and needs to be addressed. Thank you. Please support the passage of SB 1372 and HB 2113.

Last Name: Gula Organization: Emgage Action Locality: Fairfax County

Automatic expungement is an accessibility issue. It shifts the burden away from the individual and ensures that all who qualify can have their records cleared, regardless of income or access to an attorney. Between filing costs and legal fees, clearing one's record can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the jurisdiction. This is also important with reentering society. This can be a large hinderance in moving forward in life. For example, 9-10 employers use background checks, 4-5 landlords and 2-3 colleges/universities, all use background checks. These are all examples of basic needs folks need to reestablish themselves in society.

Last Name: Pannabecker Organization: VA NAACP, Virginia Organizing Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

I am writing to urge you to support the passing of House Bill 2113. HB2113 establishes a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been dismissed. Legislation such as this will prove to be overwhelmingly beneficial for those who have been wrongly convicted. I, along with the Virginia State Conference NAACP and Virginia Organizing, believe that there should be no additional barriers to obtaining automatic expungement once an individual qualifies: no court fees, no attorney fees, no hearings. Automatic expungement should be just that, automatic. Historically, Black and Brown communities make up a disproportionate amount of convictions and have been subject to mass incarceration by laws and enforcement that has been deeply rooted in systematic racism. Automatic expungement is a necessary step Virginia must take if it wishes to correct its discriminatory past. If an individual is wrongly convicted of a crime, it is the duty of the state to correct its mistake, which is why I’m joining the Virginia State Conference NAACP and Virginia Organizing in asking you to support this essential piece of legislation. Thank you for considering my views.

Last Name: Fox Organization: NAACP member Locality: Alexandria

Please support this reasonable bill that establishes a fair process for expunging records of people whose offenses were dismissed. This bill will have a large economic benefit for people trying to access good employment, housing, credit: and the opportunities they gain, to rebuild their lives, will economically benefit society as a whole.

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: VSC NAACP Locality: Hampton

VSC NAACP support HB 2113 and 2147

Last Name: Pannabecker Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

I am writing to urge you to support the passing of House Bill 2113 during the Courts of Justice Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. HB2113 establishes a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been dismissed. Legislation such as this will prove to be overwhelmingly beneficial for those who have been wrongly convicted. I, along with the Virginia State Conference NAACP, believe that there should be no additional barriers to obtaining automatic expungement once an individual qualifies: no court fees, no attorney fees, no hearings. Automatic expungement should be just that, automatic. Historically, Black and Brown communities make up a disproportionate amount of convictions and have been subject to mass incarceration by laws and enforcement that has been deeply rooted in systematic racism. Automatic expungement is a necessary step Virginia must take if it wishes to correct its discriminatory past. If an individual is wrongly convicted of a crime, it is the duty of the state to correct its mistake, which is why I’m joining the Virginia State Conference NAACP in asking you to support this essential piece of legislation. Thank you for considering my views.

Last Name: Fortune Organization: Virginia State Conference NAACP Locality: Caroline

There should be no additional barriers to obtaining automatic expungement once an individual qualifies: no court fees, no attorney fees, no hearings. Automatic expungement should be just that, automatic. Historically, Black and Brown communities make up a disproportionate amount of convictions and have been subject to mass incarceration by laws and enforcement that has been deeply rooted in systematic racism. Automatic expungement is a necessary step Virginia must take if it wishes to correct its discriminatory past. If an individual is wrongly convicted of a crime, it is the duty of the state to correct its mistake.

Last Name: Colemon Organization: NAACP Locality: Waynesboro

We are in support of the Bill HB2113 for automatic expungement of criminal records for those who have been wrongfully convicted because the the human thing to do and the responsibility of the state to correct it.

Last Name: Campblin Organization: VSC NAACP Locality: Fairfax

I support this bill because there should be no additional barriers to obtaining automatic expungement once an individual qualifies: no court fees, no attorney fees, no hearings. Automatic expungement should be just that, automatic. Historically, Black and Brown communities make up a disproportionate amount of convictions and have been subject to mass incarceration by laws and enforcement that has been deeply rooted in systematic racism. Automatic expungement is a necessary step Virginia must take if it wishes to correct its discriminatory past. If an individual is wrongly convicted of a crime, it is the duty of the state to correct its mistake.

Last Name: N/A Locality: Hanover County

For a person charged with an offense of 18.2-250, which is no longer class 1 misdemeanor, and the offense was dismissed, the automatic expungement should not carry an 8 year long wait period along with other offenses that are still a crime. A person who has gone through over 2,000.00 in fines, court costs, ASAP fees, probation, attorney fees, and 74 hours of community service as an 18 year old college freshman who made one bad decision just a few months before this act was decriminalized, with no automobile and limited resources, should not be also continue to be penalized by having diminished employment opportunities exactly at the outset of their young professional career upon graduation from college, especially for an act that is now considered to no longer be a crime. 8 years is a long time to continue to be punished for something that is no longer a crime, and which was also dismissed in this case. Expungement, and in this case, also Record Destruction should be executed immediately. There is no reason an 8 year wait should occur for this young person or in cases such as these who had a case dismissed for an act that is no longer a crime. Any records such as fingerprints should not be able to be kept in the Central Criminal Records Exchange, NCIC, or VCIN for this act, which was dismissed, and is not a crime. The records should be destroyed pursuant to 19.2-76.1.

Last Name: Morrison Locality: Danville

Hello, I am writing in support of legislation to pave the way for expungement reform. In 2013 I was charged and subsequently convicted of Grand Larceny at 18 years old when the threshold amount was still $200. I was caught with $242 worth of goods from a local Wal-Mart along with someone who I now realize was sabotaging my life, & had the theft been properly divided, it would have only been simple larceny. Representatives are now pushing bills to raise the threshold to $2000, and it has already been raised previously. In the year 2021, I am now a thriving student of Danville Community College's Precision Machining program with a 3.8 GPA, a member of the Technical Honor Society, and I have been placed on the president's honor list multiple times. I am also a graduate of the Industrial Technician certificate program in 2014, after my conviction, which led to me obtaining employment at Danville IKEA, where I was prestigious in my employment and eventually became a critical component in the quality department with plenty of references. Since the conviction, I have had zero criminal offenses, and have no intention of ever committing a crime again, even to the degree of traffic infractions, I am very respectful of the law. In addition, I have also petitioned and successfully had my civil rights restored, followed by my firearms rights. I also have a conceal carry permit, which is a prestigious right in itself that displays respect for the law. I now volunteer heavily, picking up trash at local parks, and I consider myself a political moderate/independent. I see the criminal justice system can work, but I also see that it needs tweaking in our Commonwealth. I am asking that you support any bills which will assist in the expungement of my record, and please voice my concerns & if needed even share this email with legislators. I feel it is imperative to society that we allow people such as myself who have paid reparations ten-fold, to be fully accepted back into society via employeement that requires background checks. Thank you, god bless

Last Name: Scott Locality: Alexandria

Good afternoon elected officials, When I was eighteen years old I was convicted of credit card theft and forgery, not knowing it was a felony, my mother and I agreed to a plea deal that would alter my life for three decades. I am currently 50 years old, I have NO other convictions however I am unable to apply for certain jobs, pursue certain opportunities regardless of how hard I've worked to turn my life around. I have two bachelors, a master's degree, and recently earned my doctorate degree only to realize because of the felony I received when I was eighteen, my degrees don't matter. I am still a convicted felon, who has to struggle to feed his family. It is my sincere prayer that the senators would agree to automatically expunge felony records and send the bill to the governor so I and others like me can be outstanding citizens, providers to their families and examples to others who may have made a foolish mistake as a kid.

Last Name: Mahaney Locality: Midlothian

My son might still be alive if there had been no penalty for timely reporting of an overdose. The girl he was living with was fearful she would be in jeopardy if she did not first 'clean up' before calling 911. This delay cost him his life. Death Penalty - our judicial system is so flawed that there is no way to know with absolute certainty if a person is guilty. Aside from that, we are not empowered to take another's life as a 'just' punishment. Sentence modification needs to remain in the hand of the judge PERIOD. They have the most detailed information about pending cases and are less encumbered with 'red tape'. Suicide is not a 'crime' it's a mental health issue. Record expungement - give people a better chance to be reintegrated into society.

HB2117 - Children's Services Act; funds expended special education programs.
Last Name: Carter Melin Organization: My child with Autism who has been served by the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) and the Children's Services Act (CSA) Locality: Norfolk, Virginia

I am providing vehement objection to any and all funding of House Bill 2117 for the Children's Services Act (CSA). I have four and a half years of personal experience including dispute with this law involving my 17 year old child, who has Autism. This law puts funding, decisions, and authority in the hands of the Community Policy Management Teams, the Family Assessment Planning Teams, and the City Councils and County Boards of Supervisors. This is a clear and flagrant misrepresentation of Special Education, as the educators do not administer the law. The only Special Education Law in the United States recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States is the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). All legal record for the child is contained by IDEA. All Due Process hearings are contained within IDEA. By creating the CSA, Virginia has artificially defined a group of IDEA children, and has discriminated against them by informing parents that somehow this different and unequal law is official and necessary. Nothing could be farther from the truth. IDEA serves the most severely disabled children in Virginia, the least severely disabled, and an infinite range in between. The CSA, including HB 2117 is being misrepresented to parents because it is only beneficial to the schools and corporations in the Private Special Education industry and not ultimately to the child. This results in extraordinary burden of cost on taxpayers, as there is the unnecessary CSA administration. In Norfolk, the contracted CSA private schools are more than $50,000 per year, while there are other private special education schools in the state and region which have much lower tuition. But the highest tyranny is not the cost. The worst of it is that the highest executive authority for the IDEA in the commonwealth of Virginia for Special Education, VDOE Assistant Superintendent Dr. Samantha Hollins, is being subverted by the Virginia House, Senate, Governor, Attorney General, and Taxpayers, because the entire State Government believes other agencies should have her funds and authority through the CSA. As I stated I have been in a dispute with the CSA, and this is because my child was contracted and placed by a CSA committee to a private special education school licensed by the VDOE. This school utilizes restraint and seclusion, has a seclusion room, no outdoor playground, and is designated as being able to take sex offenders, severe maladaptive behavior children, psychotic children, juvenile offenders and many other scary designations. Would you want that to happen to your children??? Financially, it is extraordinarily easy for Virginia to fix this problem. Step one is shut down the CSA, step two is put the education funding into the State Education Agency (SEA) and Local Education Agency (LEA) under the IDEA. Then, my local School board, Special Education department and IEP team would have the money and the authority to fund private or public school for special education with the IEP team. HB2117 denies Equal access to IDEA, partially defunds all IDEA agencies by competing for scarce state funds and provides the FAPT, which is not admissible in IDEA due process decisions. There is no legal reason for the CSA to exist, so you shouldn't fund it. It hurts children by segregating them out of district, where the typical peers and opportunities are no longer available. You simply don't need two laws to serve one child.

Last Name: Milling Organization: The Arc of Virginia, disAbility Law Center, NAMI Virginia and CA Human Services (with permission) Locality: Richmond

On behalf of The Arc of Virginia, disAbility Law Center, NAMI Virginia and CA Human Services: Summary Statement: We must oppose both HB 2117 & SB 1313 in their current form, and have proposed a viable amendment to patrons to address the strong concerns over continued inequity. Virginia already demonstrates it’s belief that CSA State funds should pay for additional services needed for students with more complex needs. Unfortunately, the bills as written continue to reinforce the inequitable requirement that in order for a student with complex needs to have their additional services funded, they must be willing to be segregated. Facts Regarding OPPOSITION We are not proposing the implementation of JLARC Recommendation #4, this session. We strongly believe, as written, HB 2117 & SB 1313 may result in an unsuccessful implementation of JLARC Recommendation #3. We are not proposing anything that cuts off funding to private day schools. We no longer oppose the 12-month cap for a transition period, a time in which funding in both public and private day schools may be necessary, we understand the need for that cap. We are opposed only based on the lack of CSA funding for ongoing post-transition services necessary for a student’s success in the public school system. Facts Regarding Post Transition Services Proposal As proposed, ongoing POST Transition Services would be limited ONLY to that Student AND ONLY for those services identified during the Transition Period as necessary for that child’s success in public school ---- eliminating any concerns about CSA funds going into the general budget of any public school division. Ongoing services after transition do NOT add to Virginia’s costs over what would have been spent had the child not transitioned out of private day school back to their public school. If a student’s needs could be met by the existing funding in public schools, that student would/should not have been placed in a private day school in the first place -- therefore demonstrating the need for ongoing funding for services after transition. Why this position on the legislation is necessary: It is collectively our strong opinion that, without ensuring ongoing availability of funding for this specific student population after transition, Virginia is putting students, families, and our local school divisions at a disadvantage -- and very likely setting them up for failure. Additionally, the unsuccessful implementation of JLARC Recommendation #3 puts at risk any future implementation of other recommendations -- and implementing those additional recommendations should be something towards which all stakeholders are actively working. Thank you, with permission of those organizations listed, Tonya Milling Executive Director of The Arc of Virginia

Last Name: Hopkins Locality: Roanoke

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children, and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward. I am curious if it actually affects any of the legislators deciding this personally like it does my family? Or my friends’ families? Do you have to decide to put every ounce of self-respect you have as a human being in the pit of your gut to beg, literally beg the public school system to help your child communicate? Y’all can get tied up in schematics of who has what in whose bill. Why this one?! It actually benefits the students not the public school, CSA, not the ARC. Which bill actually has parent support? Genuine parent support? This one! We already have a stacked dispute resolution system that the school districts have a 97% win ratio. It is, almost, what is the point to even ask y’all to do anything anymore if you don’t listen to the people you are supposed to represent? Y’all are more worried about keeping your funders happy than the people that voted to put you in the office you have. Anyone with a bad comment about this bill isn’t a parent. They are with the schools, or special interest groups to get the money. That is telling, isn't it!? Remember your decision today actually impacts real families especially mine. I urge you, also, to vote for Senator Mason’s Children Services Act, S.B. 1313, and keep funding at the state level for private day schools that serve the special needs community. Virginia’s most vulnerable children and families must be protected. questions: emhopi@msn.com

Last Name: Asip Organization: The Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE) Locality: Powhatan

Thank you Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, I am the Policy and Legislative Chair of the Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE). Our more than 400 members work directly with local CSA offices in addressing special education placements in private school settings as well as serving our 164,000 students with disabilities in our public schools through participation in IEP meetings. We appreciate Del. VanValkenburg's addressing JLARC recommendations included in HB2117. VCASE has long advocated the flexibility of CSA funds that could be used not only to assist students in transitioning back to public from private placements but also and more critically needed to intervene with CSA-funded services BEFORE consideration of private placement. We believe that elements in Sen. Sutterlein's bill including our recommendation for enhanced services to provide students services to keep them in the least restrictive environment of the public schools PRIOR to expensive private school placements. We do not require a year of study by a work group to replicate CSA funding flexibility that was permissible and effective back in 2010. We appreciate the work Del. VanValkenburg and Sen. Mason have done in response to our suggestions. Thank you! Mike Asip

Last Name: Niznik Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Bedford county

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son Kingsley needs BRAAC because he can not do virtual learning with his disability and attention span. He can not be in public school as well. He can only be helped one on one with his serves BRAAC is highly trained to give him.

Last Name: Brandon Organization: BRACC Locality: Nathalie

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son twin boys needs BRAAC because they are stage 3 autistic. The public schools could not help them. Since being at BRAAC my boys can get the therapies they need. Since being at this school I have seen drastic improvements. This school has been a life saver for my boys.

Last Name: Morris Locality: Virginia Beach, VA

My son Ethan is not a neurotypical child. He has a severe form of autism. He is 11 years old. He cannot speak, and while very intelligent, he has trouble interacting in the world in the way a “typical” child is able. He doesn’t live in a world that makes sense to him in the same way it does to you or I. His world, while it may be the same that you and I share, is quite different. Entropy and chaos replace for him that which control and order reside in ours. Alienation and loneliness stalk him, even in a room of those who love him, since he cannot express his thoughts or feelings to them, not they to him, in any effectual way. Respite is found in behaviors that other children label as “odd” or “weird”. Flapping of his hands, or bouncing on a yoga ball with more dexterity than most gymnasts, replace “normal” childhood activities like playing video games with friends or having a sleepover. My son in the care of the wonderful professionals at Plan Bee Academy and has made more progress than we thought he could. His use of a device to communicate has improved greatly, his behaviors have decreased, his aptitude more fully realized. Its not been without hard work on his part, but with far greater volumes of effort from the staff. They teach the hardest of our little ones. Those that others have long since abandoned and given up on as “not worth it”, or “incapable”. Each tiny progress is another of Ethan’s victory songs, lifted up by the voices of those who have struggled alongside of him every step of the way. His mother and I sat in tiny chairs, in a crowded auditorium last winter, and watched him ring a tiny little jingle bell, on a very chaotic, gorgeously full stage of his classmates, just staring out into the audience with this brilliant luminescence of joy beaming from him. Most parents would have been laughing at the discombobulation of the kids, or winced at the cacophony of a dozen little angelic voices with no semblance of harmony, but not us. We cried. Not pretty little tears, or delicately hidden sniffled weepings. No, full on crying, lost in the warmth of his smile, and the totally off-rhythm shaking of a bell to music we couldn’t even hear. Because for one instant, he wasn’t an autistic kid, he was just a kid. And while he may still never have a sleepover or a best friend to share his secrets with, in that moment he was with his classmates, the closest thing he has ever had to friends, on that stage. A kid, who for the first time in his life got to be in a Christmas “play”. That moment, for him, and for us, represents so plainly what places like Plan Bee are all about. They aren’t about helping “Autistic” kids, or making “Special Needs” childrens’ futures brighter. They aren’t, because they don’t see them that way. Places like that, and people like them work every day to make our childrens’ lives better and futures brighter because………..they are KIDS, and they deserve the chance for a better life, no matter its degree.

Last Name: Beheler Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Botetourt County

"I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son needs BRAAC because he was removed from by the public school system due to behaviors and they couldn’t educate him. Since attending BRAAC, my son has been able to learn at a his own pace and not get overwhelmed in large classroom. He has trained staff to help him navigate obstacles and teach him in his own unique learning style. He has made great strides both academically and behaviorally. During the summer, he was able to return to school because BRAAC knew the challenges these children face with routine changes. It negatively affects every aspect of his life not having a structured daily routine. Public schools still aren’t able to offer 5 days a week locally. Without this private day school, I am certain that my son would be in a residential facility. BRAAC provides so much more than an education. Public schools aren’t capable of providing my son his unique educational and social needs. Grateful for private day schools, Amanda Beheler

Last Name: Elechi Organization: BLUE RIDGE AUTISM AND ACHIEVEMENT CENTER ( BRAAC) Locality: ROANOKE COUNTY

My name is Uchenna Elechi, I am a Physical Therapist and the mother of a 20 year old man on the Autism Spectrum. We live in Roanoke County. I am writing to SUPPORT HB2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, and protections for all Children and transitions.. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is therefore a great step forward. In 2003 at the age of 3 my son Chukie was diagnosed with Autism. We got the diagnosis and quickly realized that there was no help, no plan and no quick fix for what ails our son. We were advised to get him into the Roanoke county preschool which we did. To their credit, his first classroom teacher and Aide loved him , but didn’t know how to help him; more so with 11 other kids in the classroom. And so our son spent much of his school day restrained in a “ high chair”. After many agonizing months of searching for help for our son who at this age was completely non verbal, did not make eye contact, appeared to be unaware of self, lacked the ability to interact with us or his peers, and was prone to fits of outbursts and tantrums we heard about BRAAC! AND WHAT A LIFE SAVER THAT HAS BEEN. In the 16 years since then, Chukie has benefited tremendously from the intense one on one ABA therapies he has received and continues to receive. He has been taught things as simple as making a thumbs up 👍🏾 sign , to writing his name, appropriate social behaviors ,interactions with others and self regulation albeit with prompts as needed; He continues to work on communication with the help of a speech augmentation device, as well as on building skills that hopefully will help him to transition out of school soon, allow him secure supported employment and exist as a productive member of his community. I therefore implore you to please support this HOUSE BILL 2117 . Thank you for taking the time to read this, Uchenna Elechi.

Last Name: Ingerson Locality: Roanoke County

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son/daughter needs BRAAC because in 2010, my family was in crisis. At the time, our three-year old with autism (and a severe intellectual ability), Kaedan, was in a public school preschool program. His behaviors grew worse and out of control. Kaedan urinated and defecated on our floors. He stripped both at home and in public (Yes, he has been naked in Kroger). He screamed so loud we wore ear plugs. He woke at night, jumped on the floors loudly, and kicked holes in the walls. He bit family members frequently. Frankly, my wife and I were tired, frustrated, isolated, desperate, and losing it mentally. The public school had no answers. Our saving grace was BRAAC. They trained us in applied behavior analysis. They worked with our son intensely. They committed to programming a public school simply can never match (and I say that as a public school secondary teacher). He quickly became potty-trained. He learned language to express his needs. His behaviors improved. I urge you to vote for Senator Mason’s Children Services Act, S.B. 1313, and keep funding at the state level for private day schools that serve the special needs community. Virginia’s most vulnerable children and families must be protected. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to speak with you (540-915-0604). Sincerely, Mark L. Ingerson 4609 Great Glen Drive Salem, Va 24153

Last Name: Crush Organization: Blue Ridge Autism Achievement Center Locality: Vinton

I support HB2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships. Protection for ALL children and transitions. My son needs BRAAC because he is on the autism spectrum and requires 1:1 throughout his day. He has behaviors daily that BRAAC staff know how to handle and keep him safe. He is in a safe nurturing environment with well trained and qualified staff who know how to met his individual needs and provide family support as well. Thank you The Crush Family

Last Name: Firebaugh Organization: BRAAC and Special Ed Day Schools Locality: Roanoke

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My brother NEEDS BRAAC and I know all families feel this way about their special education day schools. At BRAAC they understand my brothers needs. They understand his communication device and how to show him how to use it to reduce his frustrations. BRAAC understand when a 12 year old is still working on toilet training. BRAAC understands how to reduce self injurious behavior. BRAAC understands how important the team approach is to my brothers success with his activities of daily living. Please vote for this bill so my brother can remain in an educational environment that meets his unique, individualized, educational and behavioral needs. In order for him to be successful he needs to continue to participate in an intensive autism program with highly trained staff and receive 1:1 intensive ABA in a year round school... as do all of the children that are thriving in this type of school. Please support HB2117

Last Name: Miller Organization: BRAAC and Special Ed Day Schools Locality: Roanoke

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! If you do not have a child with the needs of an intensive educational program like the BRAAC offers, then I would ask you to take my word for it and support this bill. This is a REAL NEED in our community! My son is nonverbal and uses a communication device to speak. His ability to communicate needs to be strengthened in order for him to have meaningful dialog with his peers and adults in school, at home and in the community. My son also has self injurious behaviors that need intervention and also he needs help working on his activities of daily living. The BRAAC offers him the services he needs so he can continue to receive the intensive behavior plan simultaneously, in order to meet his needs and work towards accomplishing these goals. My sons school is filled with children just like him that need the support of BRAAC and these kids and our families need YOUR support of passing this bill.

Last Name: Keith Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Buena vista

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My daughter needs BRAAC because not only does she love Braac Roanoke and the technicians she is with. She has made progress that many doctors believed was not possible. She has really opened up and is starting to speak because of her technicians at school take the time to really get to know her and understand her. Without a school like Braac I fear she will be back in public school where she set for an entire school year not making progress where they did not have high hopes or expectations for her. So she was essentially taught that she could escape school because they never had her comply with instructions. Because this behavior was reinforced in public school...it continued into the hope. It became dangerous to take my daughter anywhere and she could not interact with her baby brother because she would not comply with instructions. Now that she is at Braac she is flourishing...she is able to be in public. Her behavior is more compliant. She is learning to play with others. Her future looks brighter with Braac in our forefront. PLEASE help us to make sure her future is still bright.

Last Name: Whitesell Locality: Campbell

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! Our daughter needs BRAAC because it is the only option that provides a FAPE given her unique needs. Our daughter failed to make meaningful progress, and in fact REGRESSED, in the public school setting in both academic and life skills over a three year period. Although our daughter could read and speak, she lacked the ability to use her language skills functionally, and to demonstrate understanding of appropriate behaviors. The public school discontinued autism consultation and therapies even as her abilities declined. Upon the recommendation of multiple developmental specialists, we explored more intensive educational settings. BRAAC was able to meet our daughter's unique needs and to increase her functional communication skills greatly, despite the sudden onset of intractable epilepsy just prior to enrollment. BRAAC met our daughter where she was and developed a truly INDIVIDUALIZED educational plan for her, instead of trying to make her fit into a one size fits all program that did not provide the one on one instruction that she required. While we believe that the public school is making progress to meet the needs of more students than in decades past, it is not capable of meeting the highly specialized needs of some students with autism, and some other educational needs. BRAAC provides one on one instruction with highly trained staff that develop and implement a program for our daughter, tracks her progress, and regularly modifies and fine tunes the program based on progress and interpretation of data. Furthermore, parents are provided with multiple avenues to be involved in a meaningful manner, which will provide the greatest chance of transfer of learned skills and behaviors. For our daughter, it included gathering relevant medical updates during frequent meetings, and tracking behavior, skill progress, and medical events when medications were changed. This was especially helpful when seizures climbed to over 100 per day at one point. Safety measures were put in place and we were able to have clear data when medications had an adverse or positive effect on learning. Finally, BRAAC provided in-home and in-community training for our daughter with us to address real life challenges. In the community, I was frequently unable to take our daughter into many settings with a reasonable degree of safety. She would scream, scratch, hit, and throw herself down, sometimes near sharp shelves or when crossing parking lots. I struggled with her unbuckling and moving around in the car to hit younger siblings. There were multiple occasions where I had to pull off the side of a busy highway to get her under control. BRAAC developed plans with us for situations like those, and also routines for home such as a morning routine that would help address her inappropriate behaviors that were causing her to be late for school. BRAAC sent staff to observe the mornings at home, developed and implemented a plan. Then staff trained and observed us implementing the plan, and made adjustments until we had a successfully working plan that greatly decreased the frequency and duration of problem behaviors, and insured that Caroline got to school on time. In conclusion, schools like BRAAC provide a critical service to meet the needs of certain students.

Last Name: Hoyle Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Roanoke

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions.  This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son needs Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) in Roanoke. Matthew attended public schools for four academic years, from age 3 to age 7. He was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum at age 6. He was identified as being “twice exceptional” during testing but his education suffered because of the public school’s inability to provide the supports he needed.  During his time in public school he was repeatedly physically restrained, put in a “calm room”, (closet with mats on the wall and floor), removed from general education classes and left to watch YouTube videos by himself, excluded from class events, false ABA practices were used by Instructional Aides with no training which escalated behaviors and caused mental anguish. Despite numerous IEP meetings, hiring an Educational Advocate, providing proof the data was incorrect and his IEP was not being followed nothing was done. He showed PTSD symptoms related to school. By the end of 2018-19 school year no place would accept him for summer childcare and I had to take FMLA unpaid leave. His escalations had us fearing inpatient treatment might be the only option. Out of desperation we withdrew him from public school and enrolled him privately at BRAAC in the fall of 2019. Within only a few months the aggression drastically reduced, he wanted to attend school, and was excelling academically. BRAAC provides parent classes where we learned what ABA should look like and how it works when used by trained certified staff.  Now in our second year at BRAAC he is testing at least one grade level above his grade in all subjects, is learning to advocate for himself and how to use coping strategies. Our play therapist and child psychologist have praised BRAAC’s ability to combine ABA with a trauma informed approach due to his childhood trauma prior to our adoption of him. We have been able to reduce the amount of medications being taken and Matthew is now, at just shy of age 9, receiving an education that meets his needs, has a community of friends and supports, and we are confident in his successful transition, when the time is right in the future, to a school system to earn his diploma.  Our school and other special education day schools are needed to educate these students with unique educational and behavioral needs. Please feel free to contact me with questions at 540-529-5246.

Last Name: Mason Locality: Roanoke City

I support HB 2117, which supports collaboration, partnerships, and protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations, and this is a great step forward! My son attends the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) in Roanoke County. He has multiple diagnoses and special education needs, and the public school district, through the IEP process, has determined they cannot provide him with the services he needs, and thus supports his placement at BRAAC (since the 2017-18 academic year and every year since). The highly trained educators at BRAAC have helped him advance his academic skills, but they are able to do so at HIS level and adjust as he masters skills, rather than at grade level. They are also helping him develop his social and vocational skills. He has overcome an inability to sleep because he loves to go to school now instead of dreading it like he did when he attended public school. At BRAAC, he is included in all activities, rather than excluded due to behaviors that teachers can't manage in crowded classrooms, as happened daily in the public schools. He is learning to manage his behaviors as well as his relationships with peers and adults. I could go on and on. Really, I can't overstate it. My son's attendance at BRAAC has been life-changing in so many positive ways that will impact what he can achieve--and there are similar stories from other parents, some of whom may get a chance to speak with you today. Please support HB 2117. My son needs BRAAC because, by the public school district's own determination, the public schools cannot provide what he needs. BRAAC can and does! In fact, the highly trained staff at BRAAC are providing my son with intensive, evidenced-based instruction and services that are making a tremendous impact on his abilities, knowledge and skills, and in turn, they have boosted his overall well being, both now and into his future.

Last Name: RIDDLE Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Roanoke

Mu husband and I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and is a great step forward! My son needs the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) because he is considered to be on the profound end of the autism spectrum. He is 15 years old and is not able to speak any words. He communicates solely though sign language, gestures, and his communication device. He requires intensive 1 on 1 assistance and teaching due to his high level needs and behavioral issues. BRAAC has been a lifesaver for our son and for our family!

Last Name: Atkinson Organization: BRAAC Locality: Roanoke

I support HB 2117 which supports collaboration, partnerships, protections for ALL children and transitions. This bill supports the JLARC recommendations and this is a great step forward! My son, Noah, attends BRAAC and has had academic and social success all because of the BRAAC staff giving him the guidance he needed. Noah was refusing to even get out of the car when he was attending public school. On the days he did attend school he was either being suspended or spending time in a padded room because staff did not know what to do with him. It was pure torture and heartbreak UNTIL he was able to attend BRAAC. He needs private day and he deserves to be able to access the kind of education he NEEDS. I hate to even think of where he would be and where our family would be had he not been able to attend BRAAC. They do GREAT things and they deserve every penny they can get and support from everyone in the education field.

Last Name: Medovich Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: MONETA

My son was diagnosed with autism just prior to his 3rd birthday. He was completely non-verbal. We had to strongly advocate for placement in a specialized school, and it was the most appropriate decision we could make for him. Specialized placement provided a learning environment that encouraged intensive skill acquisition. Every child has unique learning challenges that can not always be met in a student's home district. If we had not advocated for this, we would have lost a precious window of opportunity for skill acquisition in his early intervention. Special needs students, particularly students with autism, need that intensive intervention. By doing this early and intensive intervention, as well as specialized learning environment, he excelled in expressive language, social skills, as well as job readiness and other academic areas. Today, he is 29 years old, and lives in a regular apartment in downtown Roanoke. He has been on his own for 6 years. Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center and other specialized day schools provide unique environments for learning, and have programs and staff not typically available in a public schools. It is important for this bill to be considered for the future of special needs students. Thank you!

Last Name: Henderson Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Roanoke county

I am writing on behalf of House Bill 2117. I am not the parent or caretaker of a child/ adult with disabilities or Autism but I am involved in the daily operation of a private school serving this population. I can tell you without hesitation that our school like many private schools take that responsibility very seriously. The students who attend BRAAC are the priority period. This includes the facility designed to meet their needs, qualified staff who receive continuous training, parent training on -going, equipment updates, supplies for educational and academics needs, care and maintenance of our facility community awareness and more. The Administration of our organization develops fund raisers continuously in order to support the school, the students and scholarships for our program. The personal attention we give to the students and their families is often key to our success and doing that to the degree we do is difficult for public systems with tight budgets and large enrollments. Our private setting which is entirely set up for the students we serve gives the students individual attention , protection and trained therapists from the time they arrive until the time they leave each day. We also provide therapists who go to their homes to assist the student and their family which is also key. This is what we do and because this is our only mission as a Private School, we are able to put all our efforts and energies into each individual challenge, each individual student on a daily basis. Funding Private Schools such as BRAAC not only meets the needs of the population we serve but it supports the community and the public schools in our community and surrounding counties. We have proven to be a good neighbor. Please listen to the parents of children who feel they have been lost in the public system. Please know we serve a very special purpose in our community and yes those funds are very much needed to continue what has been proven to be a successful Private School. Thank you for your consideration of House Bill 2117. With Respect, Lucy Henderson do

Last Name: Schrepf Organization: BRAAC Locality: Rockbridge

Hello, Please Pass and support Delegate VanValkenburg's House Bill 2117! This bill enables private schools such as BRAAC to receive the funding they need to provide individual instruction to their students. My family is forever changed because of the support and kindness they have showed my family. Students who receive BRAAC’s services need a safe place to learn and be themselves. My son’s life will be forever changed because of the individualized education BRAAC has given him. Nicholas was diagnosed with Autism at age two and was unable to speak or communicate his needs. He often became frustrated and would hurt himself and potentially others if his behavior got out of control. Because of the individualized instruction that BRAAC provides, Nicholas is now able to communicate and be a valued member of his community. I want other families to experience this remarkable experience by allowing their children the opportunity to receive BRAAC support. Please support Bill 2117 so that BRAAC can continue to help children in our community. Best Regards, Brittany Schrepf

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

While the Virginia Association of School Superintendents supports parts of this bill, we feel that it should include prevention services as well as transition services. We also feel that rthe tranostion services should last longer than 12 months. Thank you, Dr. Tom Smith VASS

Last Name: Brown Organization: BRAAC Locality: Lynchburg

Before working at BRAAC I worked as a Registered Behavior Technician for a local ABA therapy company. We provided in home and clinic therapy. My clients who had autism and intellectual disabilities all went to public school and we’re not receiving the care they needed. I had a client who was non verbal and we were tracking 9 different problem behaviors within 15 minutes, including intense self injurious behaviors. She was 10 years old and put in a 5th grade special needs classroom, she was also integrated with the regular class and asked to read books and do multiplication. She was also bullied by the other students who would throw food and milk on her. Public schools are not fit to handle children like this. BRAAC focuses on stopping those problem behaviors as well as educating students using ABA methods. I had to go through intense training before starting my job at BRAAC, I am so thankful that I can use those skills I was taught to help the kids at BRAAC. It’s so amazing being there seeing these children’s lives changed for the better and I truly wish all schools would operate like BRAAC because so many lives would be changed. Cutting funding for BRAAC would devastate families and children.

Last Name: Leonard Organization: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center Locality: Blue Ridge

Please support HB 2117, which works towards partnerships and collaboration with educators for high needs children, including public schools and the hard working non-profit special education day schools, who give their all to help the most vulnerable. Although we appreciate the desire to save the state money, we parents of children with severe disabilities understand that the highly specialized educational interventions during their school years IS the answer to saving the state money. The costs of specialized care for ADULTS are astronomical when their aging parents can no longer care for them! This bill DOES encompass the JLARC recommendations for the CSA study. I am the founder of Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Centers, and the mother of a special needs son, for which this school was built. This is a quote from one of the families we serve: "In 2010, my family was in crisis. At the time, our three-year old with autism (and a severe intellectual ability), Kaedan, was in a public school preschool program. His behaviors grew worse and out of control. Kaedan urinated and defecated on our floors. He stripped both at home and in public (Yes, he has been naked in Kroger). He screamed so loud we wore ear plugs. He woke at night, jumped on the floors loudly, and kicked holes in the walls. He bit family members frequently. Frankly, my wife and I were tired, frustrated, isolated, desperate, and losing it mentally. The public school had no answers. Our saving grace was BRAAC." Hundreds of similar stories can be repeated. The cost of special education day schools ARE expensive because our staff is charged with eliminating the behaviors Kaeden exhibited, then teaching them to shower independently, toilet themselves, read, write, tell time, manage money, prepare food, communicate their wants and needs, wash their clothes....the list goes on and on. Then we teach them a specific skill so that one day they can be employed. And after that we teach them to load/unload a dishwasher, cook easy meals, manipulate water so they do not get scalded when showering, make purchases at the grocery store, not walk out in the street in front of cars, how to safely take medication....again, the list goes on. I guess the gist of what I am saying is that we teach EVERYTHING! And the state will not save money in the long run! My son will live in his community thanks to schools like BRAAC. BRAAC has 65 children on our waitlist. Public schools will not be able to do what we do. Will public school employees stand beside a shower while they teach, step-by step, every day, a seventeen year old boy how to wash his body? Or will they continue to scoop up clothing soiled with feces, balled up and thrown in a plastic Food Lion bag to be sent home for the parent to take care of and not clean the soiled legs of the student then complain about how bad he "stinks"? (true story). Will they continue to call our children "ankle-biters," with whom they are thankful to get rid of? God Bless the ARC, but they do NOT represent the children with the most severe needs, such as the ones our schools take care of, and the examples I just gave. We have a long way to go to work TOGETHER for the needs of very special children who require the highest level of training for many years to become like my son, for whom the school was started: He is now employed by Mission Barbecue and working towards living semi-independently in his own place. He has community! Support HB 2117!

Last Name: Asip Organization: Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE) Locality: Powhatan

I am the Policy and Legislative Chair of the Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE). Our more than 400 members work directly with local CSA offices in addressing special education placements in private school settings as well as serving our students in our public schools through participation in IEP meetings. VCASE generally supports the efforts that have come before the General Assembly to provide flexibility with the use of CSA funds to support public services for students who may otherwise need private school placements. We appreciate Del. Van Valkenburg addressing JLARC recommendations included in HB2117. I do have some suggestions that I have already provided to Del. Van Valkenburg and Sen. Mason (SB1313) with additional info below: 1. HB2117 addresses only the intervening (transition) services AFTER a private placement. We also support CSA funding and services that intervene in public school settings BEFORE private school placement to avert a costly private school placement. This bill should be merged with other bills before the GA that advocate for preventative public services IN ADDITION TO intervening services to support transition from private back to public schools. 2. I suggest changing the term "transition" and "transitional" to "intervening" or some other nomenclature. Transition services are a discrete set of regulated IEP processes and services to assist students with postsecondary planning. This would avoid any confusion by practitioners. 3. I agree that a one year term of CSA funded intervening services is appropriate, but that an IEP team could continue those services even without CSA funding. This part of the bill should focus on the funding stream, not appear to require specific IEP driven services. 4. I suggest a less prescriptive set of services in the bill. The IEP team (in most cases involving public and private school participants) determines the intensive services a student may need. Any list could be seen as prescriptive. 5. I suggest the last sentence (lines 53-55) would more appropriately read: "In addition, pool funds may be utilized for local agencies to contract with a private school education program provider in the public school." Current wording that asserts that the "best transition" includes contracting with private providers is overly prescriptive and may not be accurate in all circumstances. 6. Regarding lines 16 and 17, the JLARC recommended that the Commonwealth "prohibit the use of state funds for any private day school tuition payments to schools that are not licensed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) .." The language in lines 16 and 17 should be explicit with this prohibition. 6. There is a fiscal impact in establishing a Work Group addressing the several JLARC recommendations. I would be glad to discuss any questions you may have. I can be reached at 757-927-0588. Dr. Mike Asip

HB2129 - Chesapeake Bay; wastewater treatment, Enhanced Nutrient Removal Certainty Program established.
Last Name: Pomeroy Organization: VAMWA (Va Assn of Municipal Wastewater Agencies) Locality: Henrico

VAMWA (Va Assn of Municipal Wastewater Agencies) supports HB 2129, which is a carefully structured program to carry out the wastewater component of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The bill calls on the top nutrient reduction performers in VA's Bay restoration program -- municipal clean water utilities -- to do extra to help the Commonwealth meet statewide goals in 2025, while other sectors continue working on their original 2010 TMDL obligations. Although the bill imposes a large list of requirements on municipal facilities, it is more cost-effective (State WQIF and Local shares) than the original WIP approach that might otherwise be mandated through a pending DEQ rulemaking and VAMWA strongly supports this compromise over the WIP as originally envisioned. As in earlier Bay TMDL phases, critical to implementing this bill (or the more costly pending regulations the bill would supersede) is for State WQIF appropriations over the next 5 years to continue to keep pace and match progress under the necessary engineering and construction contracts. Currently the HB 2129 approach is an estimated estimated 5-year (CY2021 - CY2025) $800M effort with associated State WQIF share of $300M per existing WQIF statutory formulas. Peak construction and related spending is expected CY2023-2025. Thank you for the General Assembly's rock-solid 24-year history of fully funding the Point Source WQIF on the same schedule as the underlying engineering and construction contracts for these multi-year treatment upgrade projects for Bay purposes.

Last Name: Bryant Organization: Virginia Municipal League Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Municipal Leagues supports HB 2129. The bill affected nearly 30 wastewater facilities, many of which are owned by towns and cities. The bill provides greater planning and budgeting certainty as well as greater certainty in pollution-reduction targets. The bill is a much more cost-effective approach -- calculated to be at least $173 million less expensive -- than proposed in the Watershed Implementation Plant Phase III. HB 2129 will continue ensuring that Virginia meets its 2025 WIP3 Chesapeake Bay obligations in the wastewater sector.

Last Name: Bryant Organization: Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Association Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Waster and Wastewater Authorities Association -- represented dozens of public service authorities -- supports HB 2129. The bill affected nearly 30 wastewater facilities, many of which are owned by authorities. The bill provides greater planning and budgeting certainty as well as greater certainty in pollution-reduction targets. The bill is a much more cost-effective approach than proposed in the Watershed Implementation Plant Phase III.

Last Name: Sanner Organization: CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION Locality: Henrico

Good afternoon, Chairman Plum and members of the committee. I am Peggy Sanner, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Executive Director. Thank you for the opportunity to speak about HB 2129. I thank Del Lopez for patroning this important bill which addresses next steps in upgrading Virginia’s wwtp program to help Virginia meet its Bay commitments. His legislative and environmental leadership has been invaluable. I also thank Del Bulova whose deep and long term engagement in these issues has also been indispensable. As always, we have appreciated the opportunity to work with our partners Chris Pomeroy at VAMWA and Preston Bryant for VML. And I would be deeply remiss if I did not mention the Administration and especially the ww staff at DEQ on whose tireless expert assistance this whole enterprise rests. As stated, the bill will ensure Virginia’s wastewater program will meet some important pollution reduction goals set out in the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan – a result we surely applaud. But—without stepping away from the compromise reflected in the current bill -- what the bill does not do is also important. 1. The bill does not require the level of improvements necessary for Virginia to overcome looming pollution reduction shortfalls from other sectors. Progress in stemming polluted runoff that reaches waterways from developed lands hovers between flat and negative. And, frankly, Virginia has never funded our agriculture programs at the level necessary to meet that sector’s goals. While the Clean Water Act and Virginia’s State Water Control Law embody the principle and provide the tools to eliminate pollution from wwtp and other point sources to achieve clean water, this bill will significantly limit the extent to which Virginia can rely on achievable WWTP reductions to fill that gap. 2. Equally important, this bill does not take advantage of obvious and achievable opportunities to meet that shortfall. Unlike the plan first introduced in the Phase III WIP in 2019, and -- unlike the comprehensive plan currently before the State Water Control Board for approval -- this bill requires no new pollution reductions from several large facilities discharging to the James and York Rivers – even though their current rates of discharge are substantially higher than from facilities along the Potomac and Rappahannock. The ongoing pollution levels from these facilities and—frankly, the lack of water quality equity for Virginians downstream – cause us great concern. 3. Yes, the bill includes a few measures in a nod to those concerns. Notably, it provides that 3 James River facilities could be required to reduce their nitrogen pollution loads in the future. But such reductions are deeply contingent, limited in scope, and, in any event, would not come to fruition for 15 years. That is a long time to wait for clean water equity. With all that, I close by asking - in muted tones -- to support this bill. But I also ask that you continue to strengthen this program and the related water quality programs for stormwater and agriculture that, in sum, have made Virginia a national leader in Bay restoration. We cannot become complacent, recognizing that this work will only become more difficult due to pressures from needed development but also due to challenges arising from climate change. Thank you.

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

VACo is pleased to support HB 2129 and is grateful to the patron and all of the other stakeholders for their hard work on this important legislation.

Last Name: Witherington Locality: palmyra

Virginians deserve to breathe clean air. Unfortunately, pollution from vehicles is killing almost the same number of Virginians that die every year in traffic accidents - pollution that hits low-income neighborhoods and communities of color the hardest. While the General Assembly has prioritized acting to address climate change in recent years, cutting back power plant emissions and prioritizing clean energy, emissions from the transportation sector still make up almost half of our state's carbon footprint, with most of this coming from gas- or diesel-powered passenger vehicles. This is why the legislature must act in 2021 to protect public health and address the climate crisis by working to secure a cleaner transportation future. I urge you to support House Bill 1965 and adopt a Clean Cars Standard in Virginia as a first step toward a cleaner, more equitable transportation system in the Commonwealth. Under this program, Virginians will have more access to and greater incentive to purchase Low Emission Vehicles and Zero Emission Vehicles - vehicles that are in high demand but short supply right now as they're being sent predominately to other states with standards in place already. Over time, auto dealers will have to stock cleaner cars, which in turn will help protect public health and the environment by driving down pollution, and save Virginians thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle. The climate crisis won't go away without years of hard work. If we fail to act now, we'll only fall further behind. I urge you to prioritize climate action in 2021 by supporting House Bill 1965. Thanks, Allen.

Last Name: schutt Locality: henrico va

We need more clean fuel vehicles in VA. Please help support them.

Last Name: Sanner Organization: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Locality: Henrico

CBF supports this bill conditioned on seeing the final amendments we expect to be made by Wednesday.

HB2163 - Motor Vehicles, Department of; limits the release of privileged information to government entities.
Last Name: Monica Sarmiento Organization: Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights Locality: Alexandria, VA

Last year VACIR and its 39 member organizations supported driving privileges cards for undocumented Virginians. HB2163 is an extension of the dpc bill. HB2163 will protect DMV data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This bill will limit DMV data access to law enforcement unless they have a warrant, or have an emergency need to access data and can subsequently produce a warrant 48 hours after accessing the data. VACIR and its 39 member organizations endorse this bill. We urge you to stand with immigrant families once again and support HB2163 sponsored by Delegate Tran.

Last Name: Beatriz Amberman Organization: Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations Locality: Virginia Beach

Del. Tran's bill protects immigrants and all drivers personal information. It prevents discrimination and profiling by preventing the sale of data to 3rd party vendors and the targeting of Driver Priviledge Card holders. Government agencies can still obtain specific information for the sole purpose of administrating criminal justice, by using the appropriate channels, such as a judicial warrant or subpoena. Agencies receiving the data may use the information for the original reason the information was requested. This bill assures that Virginia continues to be an inclusive and welcoming community

Last Name: Beatriz Amberman Organization: Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations Locality: Virginia Beach

Del. Tran's bill protects immigrants and all drivers personal information. It prevents discrimination and profiling by preventing the sale of data to 3rd party vendors and the targeting of Driver Priviledge Card holders. Government agencies can still obtain specific information for the sole purpose of administrating criminal justice, by using the appropriate channels, such as a judicial warrant or subpoena. Agencies receiving the data may use the information for the original reason the information was requested. This bill assures that Virginia continues to be an inclusive and welcoming community

Last Name: Aranda-Yanoc Organization: Drive Virginia Forward (Statewide) Locality: Arlington

I write today in support of HB2163 that will limit the release of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) privileged information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). I am co-founder of the Drive Virginia Forward (DVF) coalition that has pushed for years for the passage of driver’s license legislation for Virginians who do not qualify for traditional licenses due to their immigration status. Thankfully such legislation passed in 2020 and went into effect on January 2, 2021. In preparation for the law’s implementation, we at DVF have worked to prepare thousands of applicants for the new process. We have seen the time and care they have devoted to get their paperwork in order, properly translated and pay Virginia state taxes. Some have even written to family in their countries of origin to obtain documents. They have also studied hard to learn Virginia driving and safety rules so that they are prepared for the road safety exams that will help ensure that they become safe Virginia drivers. They are doing all that is asked to become lawful Virginia drivers and are indeed grateful for the opportunity to do so. One individual expressed her relief that she no longer had to worry about whether or not her husband would return home when he left in the morning for work. That being said, applicants have expressed to us their concern about whether or not their personal information will be given over to ICE. It is for this reason that we urge the members of this committee to vote yes on HB2163. Tens of thousands of Virginians are doing all they can to follow Virginia law and be licensed drivers. It is unfair that doing so could make them vulnerable to ICE operations. We need to ensure that their information is protected.

Last Name: Johnston Organization: Experian Locality: Alexandria, VA

On behalf of Experian, I respectfully oppose the current version of HB 2163. Experian is a member of the Consumer Data Industry Association and our automotive business purchases motor vehicle registration information for recalls and vehicle history reports. We do not have any objection to the provisions of the bill related to immigration information or to access to information for the state police. We have been glad to work with Del. Tran to ensure that the personal information of Virginians continues to remain protected. It is our hope to develop mutually agreeable language.

Last Name: nicholls Locality: chesapeake

Why does the Democratic party want to stop information on illegal immigrants but wants to snoop on its own citizens?

Last Name: Ponciano Organization: Dream Mothers in Action Locality: Prince William County

Good morning my name is Alejandra Ponciano, I am one of the thousands who have benefited from obtaining my Drive Privelege Card, I am very grateful for your support and for having empathy for us, I have my Drive Privelege Card for a few days, believe me that I am very happy and I have seen this happiness in many people who have already done their process in the dmv. Now I feel part of this beautiful community that is Virginia, I feel the peace of being able to drive without fear of being stopped by a police officer, I just have to comply and you will respect the traffic rules. However, I am very concerned that ICE will have access to my information without having a court order and I know that several people in my community feel the same fear. I am a single mother, I have two daughters whose only support I am, one of whom is studying at Virginia Tech and I am very proud of her and my little girl who is in fifth grade and loves mathematics, I would not want to be separated from my family, it is which is why I support this bill from Delegate Kathy Tran to protect the information on the Drive privilege card

Last Name: Helm Organization: Kemper Consulting, on behalf of the Consumer Data Industry Asscociation Locality: Richmond, VA

We continue to work with the patron on this legislation. Some issues have been addressed but other issues remain. We are currently reviewing the latest draft of a substitute we received from the patron last night.

Last Name: Vandivere Locality: Fairfax County

Having read the summary of this bill, I am strongly in favor of it. Because it will prevent release, absent a valid judicial warrant, of information to immigration agents, those who are immigrants with regular driver licenses need no longer fear that immigration agents can use information to locate family members who might be undocumented. Moreover, with the bill passed last year allowing persons without proof of legal residence to obtain a "driver privilege" card, access to their information will now be protected as well. The consequence is that now both documented and undocumented immigrants may feel safer in taking part in services available to all residents, such as public education or the use of a library. Almost everywhere in Virginia the ability to drive legally is often needed to get to work. This bill, in combination with last year's Driver Privilege bill, should make life much less fraught with risk for all immigrants. I consider the consequences of this bill to make Virginia safer in several ways.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

What other country allows illegal behavior to be hidden from other governmental agencies, but yet wants to track their own law abiding citizens? HB 2015, HB 1800, SB 1100, HB 1876, HB 1884 do just that. According to https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/crime-committed-by-undocumented-aliens-is-a-real-issue/ar-BB1aaSA0, Additionally, 70 percent of the 27,494 known or suspected aliens in BOP custody had been convicted of non-immigration-related crimes, as had 39 percent of the 23, 580 known or suspected aliens in USMS custody. Is the state going to declare sovereign immunity when another Kate Steinle event happens?

Last Name: Illera Organization: VICPP Locality: Fairfax County

Congressman Tran, thank you for helping Virginia move forward with Driver's Privilege Cards. When I inquired with the state DMV about getting a driver's license for the woman who was caregiver for my partner who did not have mobility to drive, I learned she was ineligible because she did not have a green card. The caregiver, Mathilde, had rented an apartment so she could be closer to me and my partner. Had she stayed in D.C., or lived in Maryland, she could easily have obtained a driver's license; but not in Virginia. In any case, now the opportunity for a driver's license for Mathilde is on the horizon. HB 2163 needs to pass! Thank you so very much for your good work. Juanita Illera

Last Name: Isama Ortega Locality: Sterling VA

Thank you for supporting this proposal

Last Name: Kent Organization: ACLU People Power Fairfax Locality: Great Falls

HB 2163 Department of Motor Vehicles; limits on release of privileged information Support Who we are: ACLU People Power Fairfax is an independent grassroots organization that advocates for equal justice for all members of the community, including undocumented immigrants, regardless of race or ethnicity. Our primary goals are to end local and state government’s voluntary cooperation with ICE and to correct practices and policies that support systemic racism in our law enforcement. There are over 4,000 People Power volunteers in Fairfax. Our efforts reflect the views of our members, not necessarily those of the ACLU Virginia affiliate. Thanks to your efforts last year, starting January 1, 2021, undocumented immigrants are able to obtain Drivers Privilege Cards (DPCs) so that they can go to work or drive their children to the doctor. Unfortunately, as the law now stands, obtaining a DPC significantly increases the risk of deportation. Once individuals are in the DMV database, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is able to access their contact information. ICE has used driver’s license databases in other states, including Maryland and Georgia, to locate immigrants for deportation. It is unacceptable that the estimated 250,000 to 275,000 undocumented Virginians—and their family members who are often documented or citizens—must live with the fear that obtaining legal driving status increases their chances of being deported. Virginia should not be a party to ICE’s cruel separation of families, which traumatizes children, dramatically reduces family income and harms our economy. Please vote YES on Delegate Kathy Trans bill to protect the addresses and other locator information of Virginia’s immigrants from ICE’s cruel civil immigration enforcement machine.

Last Name: Alejandro Organization: ACLU People Power Fairfax Locality: FAIRFAX, VA

ACLU People Power Fairfax Supports HB 2163. ACLU People Power Fairfax is an independent grassroots organization that advocates for equal justice for all members of the community, including undocumented immigrants, regardless of race or ethnicity. Our primary goals are to end local and state government’s voluntary cooperation with ICE and to correct practices and policies that support systemic racism in law enforcement. There are over 4,000 People Power volunteers in Fairfax. Our efforts reflect the views of our members, not necessarily those of the ACLU Virginia affiliate. Thanks to your efforts last year, starting January 1, 2021, undocumented immigrants are able to obtain Drivers Privilege Cards (DPCs) so that they can go to work or drive their children to the doctor. Unfortunately, as the law now stands, obtaining a DPC significantly increases the risk of deportation. Once individuals are in the DMV database, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is able to access their contact information. ICE has used driver’s license databases in other states, including Maryland and Georgia, to locate immigrants for deportation. It is unacceptable that the estimated 250,000 to 275,000 undocumented Virginians—and their family members who are often documented or citizens—must live with the fear that obtaining legal driving status increases their chances of being deported. Virginia should not be a party to ICE’s cruel separation of families, which traumatizes children, dramatically reduces family income and harms our economy. In order to avoid discrimination and profiling, the DPC law provides privacy protection for source documents submitted to obtain the license as well as the DPC classification itself. There are no comparable guardrails for other personal information such as addresses and other locator information. Law enforcement and other permitted users of DMV data can access such information for all drivers, including DPC holders. Delegate Kathy Tran’s bill would correct this, by protecting the addresses and other locator information of Virginia’s immigrants from ICE’s cruel civil immigration enforcement machine. Delegate Tran’s privacy bill protects this information without impeding access to DMV data for criminal law enforcement, by requiring government agencies to obtain a judicial warrant, court order or judicial subpoena to obtain DMV data for the purpose of civil immigration enforcement. Please vote YES on HR 2163. Thank you, Diane Burkley Alejandro Lead Advocate ACLU People Power Fairfax aclupeoplepowerfairfax@gmail.com

HB2166 - Involuntary admission; provisions governing involuntary inpatient & mandatory outpatient treatment.
Last Name: Sharkey Organization: VOCAL Locality: Petersburg

Dear Members of the House Appropriations Committee, We are contacting you today in regards to HB2166, Patroned by Delegate Hope. HB2166 amends current processes of involuntary detainment and Mandatory Outpatient Treatment orders. As we voiced during the previous Committee and Subcommittee hearings, VOCAL and our membership of 2,000+ peer/consumers of Virginia's mental health care system, do not support the bill as written. From our perspective, there are two main reasons for our opposition. The first reason relates to HB2166's degradation of personal choice and person-centered care, through the removal of an individual's consent and commitment to the goals within the MOT order. The second reason for our opposition relates to concerns over the preparedness, or lack thereof, of our local communities to support the adherence to MOT orders. Specifically, the inequitable spread of local communities' infrastructure and funding, both of which are critically necessary to support an individual's efforts to comply. We encourage you all to read through the 2019 SAMHSA article "Civil Commitment and the Mental Health Care Continuum" (referenced below) prior to all Committee discussions of HB2166. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/civil-commitment-continuum-of-care.pdf Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this important matter.

Last Name: Jennifer Faison Organization: Virginia Association of Community Services Boards Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Association of Community Services Board (VACSB) has no position on this bill; however, the VACSB would anticipate putting forth a budget request in the 2022 session of the General Assembly in order to mitigate for the additional requirements beginning on line 290 in the introduced bill which reads "The community services board responsible for monitoring the person's progress and adherence to the comprehensive mandatory outpatient treatment plan shall report monthly, in writing, to the court regarding the person's and the community services board's compliance with the provisions of the comprehensive mandatory outpatient treatment plan described in clause (viii) of subsection G of § 37.2-817. " Most often, the MOT coordinator in a CSB is going to be a Certified Prescreening Clinician which means that individual, in addition to his/her duties as an MOT coordinator, is conducting emergency evaluations for the purposes of determining whether a request for a TDO is appropriate for an individual experience a psychiatric crisis. If that clinician is spending time organizing submitting paperwork for every individual on his or her MOT caseload, he or she will not be available to do prescreening evaluations. This means that another clinician will need to be paid overtime for coverage or perhaps, depending on the MOT caseload, an additional prescreening clinician will need to be hired. At a minimum, staffing patterns will need to be examined and supplemented in order to comply with these requirements. The VACSB plans to collect data regarding the impact of the legislation, should it pass, in order to support the budget request in 2022.

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: Gaylene LLC Locality: Hampton

VSC NAACP is in full support of HB 2166

Last Name: Randolph Locality: Chesterfield

Thank you to the committee, my name is Shaddai R. from Richmond, Virginia. I am here to encourage you to.. 1. Increase the allocation of tax revenue towards the reinvestment fund from 30% to 70% because anything less than a majority of the revenues is disingenuous to the priorities of the bill. 2. Allocate 50% of all licenses towards Virginia social equity license holders as no other licenses are required to be owned by Virginia residents. 3. Add another tier of license, micro-business licenses, so that smaller applicants can enter with unique integration privileges. 4. Do not add any new crimes nor criminalize another generation of youth because of a fake war on drugs

Last Name: Jackson Organization: Marijuana Justice Locality: North Chesterfield

I am a constituent of the 7th district but I feel it is necessary to work together to protect the younger members of our society and stop the criminalization of the Hispanic and African American communities. Rules must be stated clearly now so we are better prepared to face a future when marijuana is officially legalized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please increase the reinvestment from 30% to 70% for new companies and entrepreneurs. Make sure the new market is equitable and accessible to all not just large corporations.

Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

Last Name: Creekmore Organization: Various Locality: Henrico

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and independent forensic examiner for the court with many years of experience evaluating individuals with intermittent serious mental illness (Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Dual Diagnosis Disorder), it is my recommendation that special justices be granted broad judicial discretion to order an MOT order with or without consent under any proposed revision of 37.2-817 under conditions otherwise proposed in the revised Code. "One size does not fit all". Schizophrenia is a disorder that presents in varying ways, to varying degrees, at different stages of the illness and with widely varying prognoses-- usually determined by how early in the disease process effective antipsychotic medication can be prescribed and "adhered to"(John M. Kane, MD, RAISE Research Program). The same point might be made for most SMIs (Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc. ). Psychosis is also commonly a symptom in its acute manifestation that can present initially in many unrelated medical conditions that need to be competently and expertly assessed with rule out. There are many individuals with a history of recurring SMI and presenting to the special justice on a "green warrant" who, after a reasonable initial period of psychiatric stabilization and expert capacity assessment, could benefit from having the legal option to voluntarily consent to a court ordered MOT with periodic review and/or status hearings through the auspices of the CSBs that have the resources to properly implement such "legal clinics". These orograms can be customized according to the needs and resources of the individual and the community. There is something about "answering to a judge" that makes all involved in the proceeding take the whole process more seriously. Many individuals after years of "non-adherence" to treatment and/or failure to obtain appropriate services in the community might recognize that they require and would benefit from voluntary court supervision (particularly those with Dual Diagnoses). Where homelessness or incarceration may be the likely alternative consequence of their actions and choices, this might seem the "lesser of the available evils". Without appropriate judicial prudence, including a "choice" option for the individual whose civil liberty is vitally affected, however, the present incarnation of 37.2-817 may be at risk long-term of going the way of mandatory minimal criminal sentencing and other ill-conceived laws.

Last Name: Sharkey Locality: Petersburg

I can only support involuntary treatment orders when individuals meet the criteria for involuntary detainment (TDO/ECO criteria). In the current version of the bill, "1.b." the Pre-Authorization Step-down MOT option allows for individuals to be mandated to intensive, outpatient treatment, for up to 6 months, at a time when they no longer meet those criteria. I strongly feel that mandated treatments for individuals that do not currently meet criteria for emergency detainment is a threat to their civil rights. Furthermore, the success of mandatory outpatient treatments are contingent on the local communities' infrastructure (or lack thereof) of available public services. I fear that, while the Patron of the bill's community (Arlington) likely has the available services in place, there are countless communities, rural and/or lower socioeconomic, that simply do not currently have the needed services in place. The absence of these services, in my opinion, render the work on the MOT process significantly less impactful.

Last Name: Creekmore Organization: Various Locality: Henrico

As an independent examiner with over 15 years of experience providing independent TDO evaluations for special justices and the courts, I can tell you that safety-- that of the individual with serious mental illness, of family members. and of the community) always comes first in the preparation, execution, and disposition of these civil judicial hearings and cases. In the past, the large majority of the MOT orders have been for "Direct" MOT orders, not "step-down" MOT orders-- whether by advance order of the court or "de novo" MOT hearings and orders after physician approval for discharge. I am concerned that the present House Bill 2166 in its present form will not allow sufficient time under the current statutorily required 72 hour period limit (exclusive of weekends and holidays) in pre-hearing detention to be sufficient for the type of multidisciplinary capacity assessments and judicial deliberations proposed under 37.2-817 et seq. This bill, as proposed in most instances, as it applies at least to "Direct' MOT orders as an alternative to inpatient hospitalization, would allow at most 72 hours for the physician and independent examiner, and others, to accomplish the following: initial risk and capacity assessments, authorized family contacts, authorized medical records releases, initial treatment team reviews and follow-up pre-discharge MOT step-down treatment planning jointly conducted by the hospital and the CSB, and, where applicable, Psychiatric Advance Directive for legal review. Unless the proponents of this bill advocate committing all TDOs for inpatient psychiatric acute hospitalization initially for stabilization, capacity assessment, and extensive case management review, including MOT pre-discharge planning, I would strongly recommend and advocate for a voluntary option for MOT post-discharge planning for those individuals with SMIs who are "at risk" but who are not an imminent danger to self or others. I would also strongly advocate for extending the statutory pre-hearing TDO initial assessment period from 72 to 96 hours. There are many individuals who have been ECO'd or TDO'd by well-meaning family, clinicians, and law enforcement officers "out of an abundance of caution" who are not dangerous but who act or claim to be in order to obtain services that are not immediately available in the community. Often their families are desperate to obtain services. With In in red an extension of the TDO pre-assessment period from 72 to 96 hours, or longer, many of these individuals could be psychiatrically stabilized and diverted to community care safely with or without an MOT order. See Wanchek and Bonnie (2012 Psychiatric Services) for a research study that provide evidence-based findings supporting the cost-effectiveness of such an approach.

Last Name: Sharkey Locality: Petersburg

I am a social worker by training and a person in recovery from mental health challenges. I believe in the autonomy and choice of individuals to direct and control their recovery process. I recognize that without the investment from the individual, all behavioral health interventions will be destined to fall short. With that said, I disagree with HB2216's removal of the individuals consent/agreement requirement, within the MOT process. The consent of the individual should not be overruled, except in instances where a magistrate has ruled the individual lacks decisional capability. I also stand in opposition to the bill's significant extension of the time period for the mandated, intensive, outpatient, treatment order. The current lifespan of an MOT order lasts 90 days. HB2216 proposes to double that time period to 180 days. Individuals should be treated in the least restrictive settings--this intention of the recent reinvigoration for promoting the use of Mandatory Outpatient Treatments, is one I support. However, the community services and the individual's social supports MUST be in place in order for an MOT to be successful. I cannot speak for all of Virginia, but I can say that I highly doubt that Petersburg, VA has the current infrastructure of community services needed to support individuals working to adhere to MOT orders. Please listen to me and my fellow consumers on the ground and vote "nay" on HB2216. This is a complicated, technical piece of Virginia's Behavioral Healthcare system and a quick fix will not work.

HB2207 - Workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for COVID-19.
Last Name: Craddock Organization: National Coalition of Public Safety Officers, CWA Local 2201 Locality: Sandston

It is critical that you support HB2207. Our Corrections Officers work hard to provide a safe environment  for the offenders of the Commonwealth to serve their sentences and prepare them for a productive re-entry to society. They play a critical role in keeping our communities safe. If one of our Corrections Officers were to be unfortunate enough to contract this deadly virus in the line of duty, they shouldn't be burdened with the need to prove  they contracted the virus in the workplace. They deserve this protection due to the nature and environment in which they work while serving the citizens of Virginia. Thank you for your consideration and support. Charles (Bubba) Craddock President National Coalition of Public Safety Officers, CWA Local 2201

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

This bill will provide certain workers with the presumption of illness for their occupations from COVID-19. This legislation is needed for the uniformed corrections employees of Virginia's Department of Corrections. Correctional officers are often forced to come into contact with inmates that suffer from many infectious diseases. The closed environment of a correctional facility and responsibilities that officers have while on duty increase the risk of exposure that these officers have in becoming infected. We support reporting this bill and we ask for your vote in its favor. This bill will make a real difference for the men and women who work on these posts. Del. Jones' budget amendment is listed below. Thank-you.

Last Name: Simpson Organization: NCPSO of VA Locality: Roanoke

Our Union along with our Sister Local in Richmond represent Corrections Officers in the VA Department of Corrections at all facilities across Virginia. All law enforcement officers, corrections officers and emergency medical service personnel deserve to be protected with this presumption due to the immediate threat they all face from coming in contact with the virus daily. There have been tremendous numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks in the VA Correction Facilities since the outbreaks started in March of 2020. Virginia DOC staff and inmates are at great risk due to the confined and close housing environments, that exist at all these facilities. Please support HB2207 and show law enforcement, corrections officers and EMS Personnel that Virginia stands with them in the work they do every day. Chuck Simpson President NCPSO/CWA Local 2204 Roanoke VA

Last Name: Robert Rapaport Organization: Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission Locality: Virginia Beach

I am available to answer questions as a subject matter expert for Workers' Compensation.

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

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

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

Last Name: Aubrey Chigwada Organization: DHRM Locality: Richmond

Here to answer any questions on behalf of DHRM.

Last Name: Aubrey Chigwada Organization: DHRM Locality: Richmond

Answering questions related to Workers' Compensation Bills

Last Name: John Organization: Virginia Sheriffs Association Locality: Jones

The Virginia Sheriffs Association supports HB 2207. There are hundreds of COVID cases in Virginia’s Sheriff’s offices and one death of a deputy sheriff just last week. Deputy Sheriff’s in jails, on patrol and in our courts are exposed daily to this virus as a direct result of their profession.

Last Name: Simpson Organization: Communications Workers of America Locality: Roanoke

I recommend support of Delegate Jones bill. Working families in Virginia need to know they are protected when their essential jobs continue to make them susceptible to potentially contracting COVID-19. There should not be such an unprotected risk while they are working to provide for their families. We represent telecom employees who perform work each day in customer's homes and businesses. This puts them at risk for COVID-19 daily. We also represent Officers in the Virginia Department of Corrections, who are at extreme risk of contracting the virus because they work daily in enclosed areas with positive and potentially positive cases. As of today, there are active COVID-19 cases that include 704 offenders and 337 VADOC staff members across the commonwealth. Please join us and the working families of Virginia in supporting HB 2207.

Last Name: Wright Organization: Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Locality: Frederick

On behalf of the more than 9,000 Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, I rise in support of HB2207 and thank Delegate Jones, as well as Senator Vogel and Senator Saslaw for bringing this critically important legislation forward. Since the beginning of the pandemic Virginia’s firefighters and paramedics have been on the frontlines providing emergency medical care and transporting very sick patients with COVID-19 to the hospital. We do so in uncontrolled environments, requiring us to be in close proximity and for prolonged periods of time. Despite the best safety protocols and increased levels of PPE we are not immune to COVID-19 and the number of cases among those in uniform continues to rise. However Virginia’s Workers Compensation Act falls short of providing assurances that our firefighters and paramedics will be protected when they are infected with COVID-19 through an exposure to a sick patient. HB2207 has language at the request of our localities and insurance providers. • On lines 47 – 49, the legislation requires “a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19, an incubation period consistent with COVID-19, and signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that require medical treatment.” • Additionally, to curb the fiscal impact, language was added on lines 89-94 to establish a window for a COVID-19 diagnosis between March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2021 These men and women proudly serve our communities across Virginia everyday, it is imperative that our firefighters serving can access benefits that they valiantly deserve should they require medical care. Please support the bill, thank you!

HB2230 - Supported decision-making agreements; DBHDS to develop and implement a program, etc.
Last Name: Randolph Locality: Chesterfield

Thank you to the committee, my name is Shaddai R. from Richmond, Virginia. I am here to encourage you to.. 1. Increase the allocation of tax revenue towards the reinvestment fund from 30% to 70% because anything less than a majority of the revenues is disingenuous to the priorities of the bill. 2. Allocate 50% of all licenses towards Virginia social equity license holders as no other licenses are required to be owned by Virginia residents. 3. Add another tier of license, micro-business licenses, so that smaller applicants can enter with unique integration privileges. 4. Do not add any new crimes nor criminalize another generation of youth because of a fake war on drugs

Last Name: Jackson Organization: Marijuana Justice Locality: North Chesterfield

I am a constituent of the 7th district but I feel it is necessary to work together to protect the younger members of our society and stop the criminalization of the Hispanic and African American communities. Rules must be stated clearly now so we are better prepared to face a future when marijuana is officially legalized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please increase the reinvestment from 30% to 70% for new companies and entrepreneurs. Make sure the new market is equitable and accessible to all not just large corporations.

Last Name: Easter Organization: Elk Hill Locality: Fluvanna

As the Chief Operating Officer of Elk Hill, a non-profit that has provided TDT services since 2012, I would like to share some of our experiences with the MCOs and TDT. The MCO interpretations of DMAS TDT regulations create barriers to service with little clinical rationale. Mental health/behavioral interventions provided by the school are no longer considered previous mental health interventions, even when provided by LCSWs or LPCs. Some MCOs require that a child be at risk of out of home placement to qualify for TDT, even if the other two of three criteria for service have been met. Virginia’s focus on keeping children in their home make this an almost impossible criteria to meet. MCOs deny TDT services, recommending lower level services even when those services are unavailable in the child’s community. TDT was designed as an intervention for the most significant behavioral and mental health impairments yet MCOs are now denying children services because they’ve been in service too long. These are children with chronic mental health conditions which are not cured by TDT or other therapeutic intervention. Their conditions are managed through these services, just as diabetes may be managed through insulin. The idea that a health professional would deny a diabetic insulin because “they’ve been taking it too long” is absurd yet that is exactly what the MCOs are doing for children with severe mental health conditions. TDT is often the service that maintains these children in public schools rather than referring them to private day placements. More than 80% of Elk Hill’s initial service request authorizations (SRAs) are initially pended for more clinical information yet in almost every case, the information requested by reviewers was already included. Our clinicians have been told by MCO medical directors that their reviewers don’t have time to read the entire SRA . Our clinicians must then submit the requested information in writing again and the MCO has another three days to respond. MCO reviewers have recently started “bargaining” with units. We may have requested 140 units over a three- month period and the reviewer will offer 100 units, stating that if we don’t accept the 100 units, the request will be denied altogether and the family will have to go through the appeal process. DMAS oversight of the MCOs thus far has been largely ineffective. Between November 2019 and January 2020, my clinicians submitted 12 complaints regarding the MCOs to the established DMAS complaint e-mail with no response from DMAS, beyond an automatic reply receipt. In October 2020, I contacted DMAS acting behavioral health senior program advisor. She requested more data and more complaint forms. We submitted four of those complaint forms on October 13, 2020. To date, we have had one e-mail from an MCO representative who has since not responded to my clinician. Elk Hill spent over $150,000 in private donor funds in FY2019 to subsidize TDT services in the public schools. Our mission is helping children and we did not abandon those children as many of our for-profit counterparts did when the MCOs made the model economically unsustainable. Although we are a non-profit, we cannot sustain loss indefinitely. The reduction of TDT services is not in keeping with Virginia's earlier commitment to provide community based services to children. Respectfully submitted, Laura Easter, PhD, LPC Chief Operating Officer, Elk Hill

Last Name: Nadwodny Locality: Gainesville

Why would you force a vaccine when hyrdroechloraquin and other drugs heal people. CDC says 99.9% of people recover. Why are you using the tool of fear. What is in it for you. It’s being said that covid is just the first part of this bio weapon. The next part will kill those who were diagnosed with it. If you keep this up there won’t be any one to vote. Oh that’s right. Depopulation is part of the plan. You reap what you sow.

Last Name: Creekmore Organization: Various Locality: Henrico

Supported Decision Making (SDM) legal agreements should not be limited to ID/DD (Intellectually Disabled/Developmentally Delayed) individuals and their supporters alone. Serious consideration should be given by DBHDS in this bill to legal SDM agreements, negotiated between the Community Service Board (CSB), designated family advocates, and treatment providers, as "designated supporters", and individuals with SMIs (Serious Mental Illnesses, such as Schizophrenia Spectrum, Bipolar Spectrum). This could conceivably be as part of routine outpatient treatment planning and care or as part of the terms of a court-ordered "Mandatory Outpatient Treatment" (MOT) order. Such agreements would typically take the form of Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) negotiated by individuals with SMI judged mentally competent, as recommended by a qualified forensic physician or psychiatrist, to have sufficient mental capacity to understand and give informed consent, with support, to a PAD (binding mental health contract with or without Ulysses Clause). See Paul F. Stavis "The Nexum: A Modest Proposal for Self-Guardianship by Contract: A System of Advance Directives and Surrogate Committees-at-Large for the Intermittently Mentally Ill" Journal of Contemporary Health and Law Vol 15-1 for an example. (Proposed to the New York Legislature as a bill in 1999). Such SDM agreements in the form of a freely negotiated PAD could serve as one alternative to full or plenary guardianship orders for persons with SMIs or in transition through "limited guardianship" (in the form of a modified court order under 64.2-2009) in negotiating an SDM PAD agreement with the long-term goal of full restoration of the affected individual's full legal emancipation and civil rights. In a legally contested case, such a court order could be negotiated through legal mediation and entered by the court as a "consent agreement" by the parties.

HB2261 - License plates, special; removes fee for issuance to a member of the Virginia National Guard.
Last Name: Ashton Organization: Joint Leadership Council Locality: Fredericksburg

HB2261 - As a member of the Fleet Reserve Association and a member of the Joint Leadership Council representing over 250,000 Veterans in the Commonwealth. We support this bill. BACKGROUND:  Virginia currently offers a 50% reduction in cost for National Guard members to register up to 2 vehicles in the Commonwealth if they register them using Guard plates. These plates contain a logo indicating National Guard membership.  Requested change would be 1 free license plate and registration per household.  Those who currently have 2 registrations would be allowed to keep their 2 plates but all new registration requests would be limited to a single registration.  Currently less than 20% of Guard members opt to get the plates. DISCUSSION:  Further reducing the cost of license plates for National Guard members would incentivize more members to obtain the National Guard plates, which would in turn further highlight their contributions and awareness of the Guard members in our communities.

Last Name: Twyman Locality: Virginia Beach

Please consider putting these bills into effect.

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

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

Last Name: Czaplicki Organization: Virginia National Guard Association Locality: Fredericksburg

On behalf of the nearly 10,000 brave men and women serving the Virginia National Guard, I proudly support this legislation as it provides an essential benefit to those Virginians who have answered their community's call. The Commonwealth of Virginia relies heavily on the “hometown Guard” to support local and regional emergencies. Having strategically placed local and regional Readiness Centers and facilities throughout Virginia allows emergency response capabilities to be readily accessible to emergency managers. However, this also requires that servicemembers be assigned to these locations based off the capabilities requested at each of these locations. Additionally, as servicemembers gain proficiency and receive promotions, they may be required to report to duty stations well outside their reasonable commuting distance. The National Guard compensates servicemembers for official travel during periods of Annual Training and State Active Duty, but does not compensate them for traveling as part of routine drill. Currently, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles authorizes actively serving Virginia National Guard servicemembers reduced vehicle registration fees at a discounted rate of 50 percent for up to two vehicles and issues specialty "Virginia National Guard" plates. The full benefit of the current policy is not realized by our servicemembers with only one vehicle. Increasing the vehicle registration discount from 50 percent to 100 percent provides significant value to servicemembers, particularly those required to travel longer distances to attend training events. This would reduce the total number of vehicles authorized the discount from two to one, making this a cost neutral change for the government. Thank you for your continued leadership and support of the Commonwealth's Guardian.

Last Name: Ashton Organization: Joint Leadership Council Locality: Fredericksburg

BACKGROUND:  Virginia currently offers a 50% reduction in cost for National Guard members to register up to 2 vehicles in the Commonwealth if they register them using Guard plates. These plates contain a logo indicating National Guard membership.  Requested change would be 1 free license plate and registration per household.  Those who currently have 2 registrations would be allowed to keep their 2 plates but all new registration requests would be limited to a single registration.  Currently less than 20% of Guard members opt to get the plates. DISCUSSION:  Further reducing the cost of license plates for National Guard members would incentivize more members to obtain the National Guard plates, which would in turn further highlight their contributions and awareness of the Guard members in our communities. RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly further reduce the cost of license plates to recognize the service and commitment of our National Guard members. As a representative of the Fleet Reserve Association with approximately 4500 members in the Commonwealth to the JLC, we support this initiative.

HB2299 - Special education; training for school divisions on developing IEPs for children w/ disabilities.
Last Name: Asip Organization: Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE) Locality: Powhatan

Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, I am the Policy and Legislative Chair of the Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE). Our more than 400 members supervise the provision of services for the more than 164,000 Virginia students with disabilities in our public schools. VCASE supports Del. Carr's Bill that will address prorofessional development in the proper development of IEPs the plans that provide our students with needed special education services. A driving factor in the inconsistent quality of IEPs is the critical shaortage of special education teachers and the lack of training by general education and administartive members of IEP teams. We support funding that will assist localities in providing leadership in training, monitoring, and acountability for local divisions. We ask support for house Budget Amendment HB145#31h that initiates direct support for localities in the special education accountability and support. Thank you! Mike Asip

Last Name: Huerta Organization: Virginia Board for People with Disabiliities Locality: Richmond

The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities supports increased training on IEPs and monitoring of IEP sections, particularly around transition. In its 2017 Assessment on education, VBPD found the rate of students with disabilities served in segregated settings varies by school district, with the rate of students enrolled in special education doubling in certain districts. By implementing the increased monitoring recommended in the assessment and in JLARC reports, VDOE can better train and support school districts to increase their capacity to serve students with disabilities in general education settings. This is especially important in improving transition planning. The goal of Virginia’s education system is to prepare all students to transition to employment, higher education, or other meaningful participation in their communities. Both VBPD and JLARC found that school districts need more oversight, guidance and training in how to incorporate meaningful employment, post-secondary and other transition-related goals into transition planning and services. By providing adequate supports, school districts help students succeed into adulthood.

Last Name: Milling Organization: The Arc of Virginia Locality: Richmond

I recognize this is late, so just submitting for the record. HB 2238 - Strongly Support HB 2277 - Strongly Support HB 2299 - Strongly Support HB 2211 - Support HB 2117 - As written Strongly Oppose Thank you, Tonya Milling, Executive Director

HJ542 - Transit equity and modernization; Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study.
No Comments Available
End of Comments