I am excited to report that my bill, HB 256, was passed out of the Criminal Law Subcommittee on Wednesday night! The bill will prevent children from being charged with disorderly conduct for behavioral issues that are better handled within the school system. This bill is one of two pieces of legislation I am sponsoring that strive to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.
Additionally, HB 1004 made it out of committee as well! HB 1004 prevents individuals subject to permanent protective order from having access to firearms, passed through the Public Safety Committee on Friday morning. This bill marks a step in the right direction toward achieving common-sense gun safety laws that ensure the safety of our Commonwealth.
Finally, HB 789, a bill on which I am a co-patron, passed through the Labor and Commerce committee. This bill, introduced by Delegate Lamont Bagby, helps to protect borrowers by capping interest rates and fees on payday loans, car title loans, and open-end credit lines. I was proud to vote yea to protect the consumers that rely upon these loans and thank Delegate Bagby for his hard work on this important issue.
Budget Amendments and Other Legislation
Budget amendments were presented to the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday! I’m carrying several budget amendments to fund capital projects at our local universities, assist our social services workers, and support the fantastic work done by Soundscapes in Newport News. Final decisions on budget amendments are still a little ways off, but you can stay informed on what the Appropriations Committee is up to by checking here.
Congratulations to Delegate Elizabeth Guzman for the success of her juvenile justice reform bill! HB 477, which increases the age at which a juvenile is tried as an adult from 14 to 16, passed out of the Criminal Law Subcommittee unanimously. This is a major step forward for juvenile justice reform in the Commonwealth.
Visitors of the Week!
Every week is a good one in the General Assembly, but what really makes for a great experience is the meaningful visits from the fantastic groups and individuals from home.
I also had the pleasure of visiting with two incredible groups that work to provide crucial services to our community and our Commonwealth. On Wednesday, I was visited by friends from the Newport News Healthy Families Program (pictured left). I am beyond grateful for the work they do to provide home-visiting services to families in our district. I also had the pleasure of meeting with Voices for Virginia’s Children (pictured right) on Thursday, a hardworking group dedicated to improving the lives of Virginia’s children through policy reform.
Coming up next week…
Our SANE Coordinator bill, HB 475, will be up in committee next week! Survivors of sexual assault deserve the best care possible and shouldn’t have to travel and wait for hours before they receive it. Through the creation of the Coordinator position, we will ensure that the Commonwealth is doing more to support survivors.
HB 257 will also be in committee next week. Like HB 256, HB 257 is focused on reducing the flow of children into the criminal justice system. The bill allows school administrators to use their best judgement when deciding how to handle disciplinary matters.
And, of course, hundreds of bills will be introduced and voted on. It’s sure to be an exciting week!
Thank you all for reading this week’s updates! I look forward to providing more updates in the exciting weeks to come.
Delegate Michael P. Mullin
Member, House of Delegates