Advocacy Update for Feb 3–Feb 9

This is your third weekly update to our VA NOW General Assembly action! Thank you to those who got active last week on reproductive justice, domestic violence and stalking, and human trafficking! To remind you, we have asked all of our all star GA volunteers (yes, that’s YOU!) to commit to the following:

  • Writing at least two emails to committees you are interested in following, one in Jan and one in Feb
  • To try to make it out to a committee meeting when legislation is being voted on OR (more realistically) send an email to your selected committees when you are alerted that bills are being voted on.
  • To attend an advocacy day to gain more experience with the legislative process

So, what’s up this week??

This week is VA NOW and the League of Women Voters’ Lobby Day! Please join us this WED, Feb 5th anytime between 7:30-3:30pm! What’s the itinerary and where are we meeting?

RSVP and questions (including about carpooling and parking), contact Marj Signer at legislativevp@vanow.org.
Also, our Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1463049330583693/
Place: General Assembly Building, Ninth & Grace Streets, Richmond
7:30- 8:00  Coffee/ Breakfast  (Sixth Floor Cafeteria)
8:00- 8:30  Women’s Reproductive Health Caucus  (Third Floor East Conference Room)
8:30-9:30  Women’s Round Table – hear from legislators  (Third Floor West Conference Room)
9:30- 10:00  Get briefing on issues from NOW lobby team
10:00- 11:30  Visit legislators (you can make an appointment ahead of time to see your own delegate or senator or join our NOW Team)
11:30  Walk over to the Capitol and line up for entry to House or Senate Gallery
Noon:  Wait to be introduced from the Floor
12:30- 1:00 Walk to Tobacco Company for lunch and networking with other organizations
2:00  Walk to Library of Virginia
2:30-3:30  Attend program on Women of Virginia at the Library
3:30 Drive home or return to General Assembly Building for legislative committee meetings

Second, I have linked our VA NOW bill sheets for the week (click here and here). Every week they are updated, as some of the legislation we are monitoring dies or gets passed by indefinitely in committee. Remember, we are tracking bills related to the following topics–

  • Family Health
  • Community Safety
  • Social and Economic Equity
  • Civil and Human Rights

Third, you will see an updated committee tracking document, which is how you can find out where legislation you are interested in currently is! Since we will only be sending out an email/post once a week, please be sure you  take a minute, two or three times a week, to check the docket of the committees your bills are in and see if you should send out an email or not. Links to all dockets are in the committee tracking document.

What we recommend taking action on this week: (below the fold)

Access to birth control and abortion—
 (all in either House Courts of Justice or House Commerce and Labor)
Support HB 546 Abortion; optional ultrasound.
Support HB 547 Ultrasound prior to abortion; physician civil penalty
Support HB 565 Birth control; definition.
Support HB 1056 Abortion; informed consent
Support HB 1186 Health insurance; essential health benefits, abortion coverage
Oppose HB 18 Health insurance; health care plan that includes contraception coverage, etc.
Oppose HB 19 Health insurance; contraception coverage if subscriber or enrollee requests such coverage.
Oppose HB 20 Health insurance; no health insurance plan is required to include contraception coverage
Oppose HB 98 Abortions; sex-selective, penalty
 
Preventing domestic violence and stalking—
 (House Courts of Justice)
 
Support HB 1226 Stalking; penalty**
**Newly elected Delegate Sam Rasoul specifically patroned HB 1226 at the request of VA NOW!! Let’s give him extra support by reaching out to committee members in House Courts of Justice!**
 Support HB 48 Firearms; possession following conviction of certain crimes, penalty
Support HB 1233 Address Confidentiality Program; victims of stalking eligible for Program.
 
Reducing Poverty: Payday Loans—
(Senate Commerce and Labor)
Support SB 157 Payday loans; permitted interest.
Support SB 164 Payday loans; permitted interest

The link to all standing committees in the General Assembly: http://lis.virginia.gov/141/com/COM.HTM

If you end up misplacing any documents, like our fact sheets, please note you can always check out our VA NOW website to stay updated and informed on the issues. The direct link is here:  http://vanow.org/represent/vanow-in-action . 

And always remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to talk about any piece of legislation we are monitoring, do not hesitate to contact me directly! Please have a wonderful week and talk with you soon!

Vicki Yeroian, BSW
Statewide Director of Lobbying, VA NOW
lobbyingdirector@vanow.org

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