Message from Glen
We’ve had an exciting week at the General Assembly! After Crossover on Tuesday, the Senate has begun to consider bills introduced by members of the House of Delegates. We are preparing for a busy week ahead as well, beginning with the Senate Budget proposal being published on Sunday evening.
It was a great privilege to have the family of State Police Lieutenant Jay Cullen with us this week to celebrate his life, incredible service, and to honor his sacrifice for the Commonwealth.
I am proud to report that several of my bills are now being considered by the House of Delegates after receiving widespread support. Focusing on making public education better for all students, increasing college affordability for Virginia students and families, and creating an innovative program to match students with employers in high demand fields for paid apprenticeships, this Session has been very successful so far.
I am also working to make government more accountable and transparent, and my bills to require the posting of government check registers online and to require all elected legislators to receive sexual harassment training passed the Senate and are awaiting hearings in House committees.
After many committee meetings, Senator Stanley and I were also able to gain enough support to pass our bill to prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for maximum pain experiments on companion animals. You can read more on this topic regarding abusive and unnecessary research practices by clicking here.
Affordable and quality healthcare continues to be a top priority. We are advancing commonsense solutions focused on lowering the cost of health premiums and reducing the cost of healthcare. With affordability a top priority, we approved several bills that will increase insurance choices for small businesses and their employees, expand lower-cost healthcare coverage options in the individual market, and increase the number of waivers for intellectually and developmentally disabled Virginians.
As part of the healthcare reform package, I introduced legislation to make all Virginians eligible to purchase more affordable, low cost catastrophic healthcare plans. Currently, these lower cost plans are only available to those under 30 or who qualify for a hardship waiver from the federal government. According to the Bureau of Insurance, the average premium for a 21 year old for this plan is just $167 and includes coverage of essential health benefits and preventative care. In many cases, this is a policy that folks can actually afford while still providing general care and security in the event of a medical emergency.
As always, we greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with constituents and hope that you will consider visiting the Capitol during Session. I encourage you to keep in touch on matters of importance to you and our shared community by emailing me email@example.com or calling 804-698-7510.
Saint Gertrude High School students visited the Capitol to meet with Richmond area legislators with their teachers Amy Pickral and Jenny Watkins.
Thea Ramirez of Adoption-Share joined us to discuss the Family Match Program. We worked together on a budget amendment this year to create a partnership with the Department of Social Services to use innovative technologies for better adoption outcomes.
I had a great discussion with Dominion Energy Virginia employees from our community about increasing energy efficiency and reliability.
Constituents from the Virginia Association of Health Underwriters stopped by to discuss issues impacting healthcare and better choices for insurance coverage for our community.
I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with physicians from the Richmond Academy of Medicine.
It was an honor to be named Legislator of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies at their 50th year celebration. Congrats to all this year's outstanding winners!
In the News
"Virginia Seeks to Expand Mental Health Services" –WCVE PBS, 2-16-18
“Here's where key legislation stands at the session's midpoint” – Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2-14-18
"Virginia Senate unanimously approves Richmond school facilities bill" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2-12-18
"Senate approves bill to give Richmond businesses tax credits for employing city students" - Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2-5-18
"Richmond Public Schools Referendum Advances to Senate Floor" - WCVE PBS, 2-7-18
"Richmond lawmakers submit bills to help high school students, businesses" - Richmond Free Press, 2-1-18
“Businesses may get tax credits to train high school students” – Virginia Business, 1-23-18
“Virginia Lawmaker Calls for Crypto Impact Study” – Coindesk, 1-23-18
Free Financial Aid Services for Students and Families
Students in Chesterfield, Powhatan, and Richmond can receive free professional advising on how to pay for college, technical training, or other education after high school. College affordability continues to be one of my top priorities, and I hope that you will take advantage of GRASP Advisory Services to help plan and budget for post-high school studies.
GRASP services help ensure that any student who wishes to pursue college or technical education after high school can do so regardless of financial circumstances. Students can arrange for a private, one-on-one session with a GRASP Advisor through their high school counseling office, and their parents are encouraged to attend.
GRASP Advisors help students prepare and submit the FAFSA (the required application to be awarded financial aid), compare financial aid offer letters, apply for scholarships, and fulfill admission requirements. “She really kept me posted and on track with what I needed to turn in and when, as well as helped me do my FAFSA start to finish,” one Chesterfield County student recently remarked about their advisor, “She also printed out and handed me scholarship information that I would not have known about otherwise.”
Last school year, 2,592 students from 24 high schools in Chesterfield, Powhatan, and Richmond benefitted from GRASP’s individual financial aid advising. GRASP also awarded $107,250 in direct scholarships to students from these schools.
To learn more about these services or find an upcoming financial aid event in your area, visit the GRASP website at www.grasp4va.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.