Sunday, February 9, 2014

Session Update and Our Legislative Survey!




As I have written about in years past, this coming Wednesday marks 'Crossover" in the General Assembly.  "Crossover" is the day that all the bills that were passed in the House are sent to the Senate and vice versa.  Although the number of bills has decreased significantly, the debates will get longer and the budget discussions will start to get more depth.


First, I'd like to make sure that you've seen our 2014 Legislative Survey, which can be found here.  As your elected representative, I take my responsibility to work FOR YOU very seriously.  To do so, I need to hear directly from you about the issues that are impacting your family and community. I hope you will take a moment to complete our survey!


            One of the big topics that was discussed this week was the implementation of President Obama's "Affordable (not so affordable) Care Act" (ACA) which is having a very real impact here in the Commonwealth. As a partner in a small business, Delegate Scott received a notice from his insurance company last week saying that his small group insurance plan is no longer available, due to the Affordable Care Act. The most similar plan being offered costs 69% more than his previous plan.


For those of you who make light of Republicans' arguments against the ACA and expansion of Obama's plan here in Virginia, I would ask you to take a moment and watch my seat mate Delegate Ed Scott's speech on this subject. He has a real world experience to share and you should see it.


Indeed, this very week we heard more bad news about the takeover of our healthcare by the Obama Administration. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report stating that the new healthcare law will kill roughly 2.5 million jobs in the next decade. The CBO finds that bad idea provides disincentives to work and those employees who would otherwise rely on a job for health insurance will quit working, reduce their hours or stop looking for employment because of new health benefits available under the ACA. This figure is substantially larger than originally projected.


The CBO report also projected deficits will cost $1 trillion more than originally estimated over the next decade because of slower economic growth.  Instead of adding $6.3 trillion in debt from 2014 to 2023, the government will add $7.3 trillion.


Unfortunately, this report shows that the Obama plan to take over the nation's healthcare is going to cut into the labor supply, hurt the economy, and cause higher deficits. This is another example of why Virginia must approach Medicaid expansion based on facts and fiscal responsibility. We cannot rely on faulty promises with good intentions.


In other areas, I was able to advance these pieces of legislation, which we will vote on early this coming week:


HB 731 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act; liability for employment discrimination.  This bill provides that when a government employee is discriminated against (harassed, threatened with adverse consequences, or wrongfully fired) by an abusive supervisor, that the employee can take that supervisor to court along with the government.  Believe it or not, some government supervisors have tried to silence government employees with threats who come forward with reports of fraud and waste.  This will insure that when the employee takes action in court and wins, not only will the government have to pay up, but also the abusive supervisor.


HB 730 Public Safety, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, Secretaries of; transfer of certain powers. This bill realigns the duties of the Secretary of Public Safety as the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security and reassigns duties currently assigned to Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security relating to homeland security.  The bill realigns the duties of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security as the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.  This bill implements the findings of a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report I set in motion two years ago relating to improvements to Virginia's homeland security activities.  Sadly, we have some major gaps in our emergency management planning here in Virginia and this bill will address them.  For me, public safety is a very big deal and I want to ensure that our Commonwealth is ready for both natural and man-made disasters.  This bill will definitely help and is one of the most important measures I have undertaken in 13 years.  I am very happy that it is moving forward.


We also have a ton of bills we will deal with on the floor this week that I will include in my "crossover" report (the halfway mark of the Session) next week.


            As always, our door is always open- if you have any questions about what we are working on in Richmond, please feel free to email us at or call us at (804) 698-1031.



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Friends of Scott Lingamfelter | P.O. Box 7175 | Woodbridge | VA | 22195

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