Education Interest Group Meeting!
Are you passionate about education? Are you looking for ways to support our schools and students? Join the VA-BLOC Education Interest Group!! Public policy on Education impacts the intellectual, emotional, and physical well-being of our youth and their futures! Let’s talk about how you can impact that policy to help our youth!
Monday, March 20th at 7pm
VA BLOC Headquarters
1006 Settlers Landing Road, Suite N, Hampton, VA
Come out and let’s work together to make sure our youth have what they need to be on a path for success.
Email Cameron to RSVP or for any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Rights Legislation Update!
Thank you all for participating in our letter writing campaign! Each and every postcard you filled out got into the hands of a legislator that needed to see it! As you know, we were fighting for the proposed legislation below:
We were urging a YES vote, in support of:
-HB2314: Virginia Personnel Act; equal pay for equal work; policy of the Commonwealth.
-SB1080: Equal Pay irrespective of sex
Both of these bills spoke against the disparity that women face when they enter their perspective careers and their salaries are already at least 20% less than those of their male colleagues, and this gap exponentially increases for Black and Latino women. Unfortunately, neither bill was passed during this session. HB2314 was not passed out of House Subcommittee #4 of the General Laws Committee. SB1080 was killed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Thank you again for all of your emails, phone calls, postcards and advocacy during the session! Although we may not have received the results we wanted, our efforts did not go unnoticed! We will continue to fight for Women’s Rights!
As we gear up for an extremely important state election in November, we must remember that our elected officials essentially work for us. They are making laws and constitutional amendments that directly affect our way of life here in the Commonwealth. If you are passionate about something, reach out to them and let your voice be heard!
If you are interested in working with the Women’s Rights initiative with VA-BLOC, please contact Alex at AWheeler@newvirginiamajority.org.
Your voices were heard with our letter writing campaign! Thank you for participating! Here is an update on the legislation mentioned in our mail pieces.
We urged a “NO” vote for:
SB1373 – Group homes; written notice prior to issuance of license – This bill was originally passed by the Senate Local Government committee but then was reconsidered and was left in the committee with no further action, effectively killing the bill.
We urged a “YES” vote for:
SB1020 – Registration of peer recovery specialists and qualified mental health professionals by the Board of Counseling – This bill passed both the House and Senate and has been sent to Governor McAuliffe for action by March 27, 2017. If he signs it, it will be come law on July 1, 2017.
SB933 – Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) training; jail officers; mental health first aid – This bill was incorporated into SB940 below.
SB940 – Mental health screening of prisoners at local correctional facilities – This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was sent to the House. The House Courts of Justice Committee reported the bill and referred it to Appropriations unanimously. It was then killed by the Public Safety subcommittee of the House Appropriations committee and no further action was taken. This means that the bill was not funded in the budget.
Thank you for all of your phone calls, emails, and postcards on behalf on a few key bills that will/would have helped reform our mental health policies. Though the General Assembly failed to pass some of our bills, we are encouraged by your advocacy about our mental health policies and initiatives! Stay tuned for the next steps!
If you are interested in working with the Mental Health Reform Organizers, please contact Simone at SSibley@newvirginiamajority.org
Here is an update on the bills we supported in our letter writing campaign for Criminal Justice Reform!
We urged support for:
*SB1047 – Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Training standards; community engaged policing: Passed the Senate, but left in the House’s Appropriations committee, meaning this bill was killed in the Public Safety Subcommittee and no further action was taken.
*SB1064 – Mental health awareness training; law enforcement officers, firefighters, etc.: Passed the Senate, but left in the House’s Courts of Justice committee, meaning the bill was killed by the Mental Health Subcommittee and no further action was taken.
*SB1442 Prisioners; mental health screening at local correctional facilities. Passed the Senate, but left in the House’s Appropriations committee, meaning the bill was killed by the Public Safety Subcommittee and no further action was taken.
Though we did not get the intended outcomes, we will continue to fight! We want to thank you for participating in our letter writing campaign and making sure your voices were heard on this important issue! Please stay connected as there will be more advocacy opportunities!
If you are interested in joining the Criminal Justice Reform Organizers, please contact Darius at DSwift@VA-BLOC.org.
Are you passionate about education? Are you looking ways to support our schools and students? Join the VA-BLOC Education Interest Group!!
We will be meeting Monday, March 13, 2017 at 7pm at the VA-BLOC Office (1006-N Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA). Please email Cameron email@example.com to RSVP!
Education Legislation Update
We want to provide an update on some of the bills you all signed letters for during our letter writing campaign. Here is an update for the following Education bills:
We urged a “no” vote for:
- HB1392 (security officers carry firearms): passed the House and Senate. Governor McAuliffe has until March 27th to act on it. He can sign it, veto it, or send it back to the General Assembly with recommendations. He could also not act on it which would make the bill law on July 1st.
We urged a “yes” vote for:
- HB1924 (guidelines for alternatives to suspension): Passed the House and Senate, signed by the Governor 2/23/17 and will go into effect July 1, 2017.
- HB1552 (notification of career and technical training programs): Passed the House and Senate, signed by the Governor 2/20/17 and will go into effect July 1, 2017.
Thank you very much for participating in our letter writing campaign and making sure your voices were heard on these key issues! This is only the beginning! Stay tuned for more advocacy opportunities!