Home Coronavirus Democratic-Controlled Virginia House of Delegates Passes Vital COVID Relief, Legislation to Protect...

Democratic-Controlled Virginia House of Delegates Passes Vital COVID Relief, Legislation to Protect Voting Rights

0
Advertisement

From the Virginia House Democratic Caucus:

 

House of Delegates Passes Vital COVID Relief

RICHMOND, VA—Today, three House Democrats’ bills designed to help Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic successfully passed the Virginia House of Delegates.

These pieces of legislation support a safe process for delivering absentee ballots, create stronger housing protections, and promote telehealth services in the Commonwealth. House Democrats identified COVID relief as a major Special Session priority.

Here are summaries of the COVID relief bills which passed today:

  • HB 5046 will clarify certain Code provisions related to telemedicine services and require the Department of Medical Assistance Services to continue reimbursing providers for Medicaid-covered telemedicine until July 1, 2021. Delegate Dawn Adams patroned this bill.
  • HB 5103 will fund safe and secure alternatives for Virginia voters to return absentee ballots during the upcoming 2020 General Election. Delegate Mark Sickles served as the patron.
  • HB 5115 will extend eviction and foreclosure continuance periods in court proceedings to more Virginians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegate Marcia Price sponsored this legislation.

The bill patrons and the House Democratic Majority Leader released the following statements:

“In a time where we must prioritize the public health of our citizens, this bill ensures no Virginian will be forced to choose between their well-being and the right to vote. I am grateful we can provide numerous options and flexibility for all voters in our communities,” said Del. Sickles of HB 5103, dealing with absentee voting. “It is critical that we work together so that everyone can cast a vote safely on November 3, or before.”

“The pandemic has exposed even further the work we have ahead of us for housing justice in the Commonwealth. HB 5115 is part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent evictions and foreclosures, especially during this health and economic crisis,” said Del. Price. “As we seek solutions for our state budget, we have to seek solutions for Virginia families as well.”

“Telemedicine access, enhanced by the Governor’s Executive Order, has been a lifeline for patients needing basic checkups, medication renewal, and mental health support during the pandemic,” said Del. Adams. “HB 5046 ensures that we continue access and reimbursement for these telemedicine services.”

“Looking out for the people of Virginia during times of crisis is one of our core responsibilities as legislators and public servants,” said House Democratic Majority Leader Charniele Herring. “House Democrats are working hard to figure out the right steps to take as we try to navigate the best path out of this pandemic together.”

House of Delegates Passes Legislation to Protect Voting Rights and Support Virginians Hurting from COVID-19 

RICHMOND, VA – The House of Delegates today passed legislation that will protect voting rights and prioritize support for Virginians during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The House passed bills that will protect housing security for individuals and families affected by COVID-19, improve transparency requirements for congregate-care facilities, increase access to vital telemedicine and protect mail-in absentee voting, among others. The House also passed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday.

“The House of Delegates is taking action to provide essential support for our Commonwealth’s families, workers and healthcare system,’ Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn said. “We have also taken steps today to ensure we protect Virginians’ sacred voting rights from interference – whether from a pandemic or the Postmaster General. There is nothing more vital to our democracy than the right to vote. Virginians deserve to have their voices heard this November.”

Bills passed in the House today…

Supporting Safe, Secure Voting:
HB 5103    Establishing ballot drop boxes, supporting pre-paid postage for absentee ballots and making it safer to vote by mail-in absentee ballot.

COVID-19 Relief:
HB 5041    Directing the Board of Health and Social Services to adopt regulations for voluntary electronic monitoring at nursing homes.

HB 5046    Advancing innovations in telehealth.

HB 5048    Mandating transparency requirements for congregate-care facilities during a public health emergency.

HB 5064    Providing rent repayment plan opportunities for tenants negatively impacted by COVID-19.

HB 5115     Protecting housing security for individuals and families negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Making Virginia More Equitable:
HB 5052    Codifying Juneteenth as an official holiday in the Commonwealth of Virginia.