Contact your legislators now

Published 7:36 pm Saturday, February 17, 2018

Crossover happened in the General Assembly last week, and approximately 40 percent of the bills that have been introduced are still alive and have a chance of becoming law.

That means now is a great time to contact your legislators and let them know your opinion on the bills they will soon be considering.

Here’s just a small sampling of the bills that are still alive:

  • Medical Marijuana: HB 1251 would allow wider certification for medical marijuana usage, and increases the amount of medical marijuana dispensed by providers from a 30-day to 90-day supply.
  • Energy conservation: SB 894 would establish the Virginia Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund. It would give no-interest loans to public institutions for energy conservation and efficiency projects. Its passage comes after several bills focused on expanding solar energy and capping carbon dioxide emissions in the commonwealth failed in the House and Senate.
  • Criminal justice: HB 1550 and SB 105 aim to raise the threshold for grand larceny from $200 to $500. The new limit would keep people who steal amounts under it from being branded as felons. The current threshold, implemented in 1980, is one of the lowest in the country.
  • Health care: HB 338 could open the door to Medicaid expansion in Virginia — an issue championed by Democrats but historically opposed by Republicans. The bill, which outlines work requirements for Medicaid recipients, made it through the House in the final days before crossover.
  • Government transparency: SB 592 would prohibit the personal use of any campaign funds. Candidates guilty of converting campaign assets for personal use would be forced to repay the amount exploited to the State Board of Elections and could face additional fines.
  • Prisons: Under HB 83, correctional facilities would have to ensure that female inmates have free access to feminine hygiene products. The bill comes less than a year after Congress passed similar legislation for federal prisons.
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If you have strong feelings about these or any other bill that is still alive, contact your legislator. Suffolk legislators are the following:

  • Delegate Emily Brewer
  • Delegate Cliff Hayes
  • Delegate Matthew James
  • Delegate Chris Jones
  • Sen. John Cosgrove
  • Sen. Louise Lucas
  • Sen. Monty Mason
  • Sen. Tommy Norment

Contact information, and information on the bills still alive, can be found at virginiageneralassembly.gov.