VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report 1/12/2012

January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report

NVRC Note: We are attaching the report compiled by Leslie Prince on 1/12/12 in this email, and an edited version of the information below. NVRC rarely sends attachments to its e-news readers, but we want to encourage those interested in receiving the VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report attachments to subscribe directly with VDDHH by contacting Leslie.Prince@vddhh.virginia.gov

Leslie Prince of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is again providing VDDHH Legislative Updates with information on bills that the agency has identified which may impact this agency or persons who are deaf or hard of hearing in Virginia. The tracking report is attached as a WORD document.

The 2012 General Assembly will consider at least two bills of significance to Virginians who are deaf or hard of hearing:

House Bill 218 (HB218 – the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights) introduced by Delegate Bell of Staunton

The Governor’s bill proposing to create a new agency which includes the programs and services of VDDHH, the Department of Aging, the Department of Rehabilitative Services and Adult Protective Services (there is no bill number for this one yet but there is a resolution – House Joint Resolution 49 – related to it). Leslie is working with Committee Operations to get information about the provision of interpreter services for committee meetings and other activities during the General Assembly. She should be able to provide more information on this for you in the next day or so.

Leslie’s Instructions and Tips:

The Virginia General Assembly home page (http://legis.state.va.us/) also provides some excellent information to help you participate in the process, including a FAQ about bills (http://legis.state.va.us/1_cit_guide/faq_bill_info.html).

If you are interested in the activities of the General Assembly, particularly in relation to VDDHH or deaf and hard of hearing Virginians, I encourage you to visit the Legislative Information System’s (LIS) web site ( http://lis.virginia.gov/) and consider signing up for the Lobbyist-in-a-Box service (http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm) where you can track up to 5 bills for no cost. One feature of the LIS is very helpful in understanding what changes a bill includes. Since many bills are actually making changes to existing laws, it is sometimes hard to know what the bill is changing. In the past (and still), any new language in the bill would be written in italics and any language to be deleted would be struckthrough. Now, when you view a bill, you can click “Hilite” in the upper right hand corner of the page and the new language will be highlighted and deleted language will be struckthrough (appearing in red strikethrough). This will really help on the many bills which include reference to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or VDDHH but do not necessarily affect the agency or consumers.

As bills of interest to this agency come up in the General Assembly, I may send out an e-mail request for your comments. Please get those comments to me as quickly as possible. When VDDHH does an analysis on a bill for the Secretary’s office, we only have 24 hours to submit our comments on the bill.

Please feel free to share this information with others who might be interested. I will be happy to add people to my distribution list but I would prefer if the request for the add came from the individual (I do not like to send people unsolicited e-mails on a daily basis.) Also, if you are aware of pending legislation that you feel should be included in this update, please let me know. I try to catch all related bills but I certainly may miss one now and then!

<<VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report for Interested Parties 1 12 12.docx>>

The VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report includes the following information:

o The Bill Number – this is linked to the Bill Summary Page on the Legislative Information Page. The Bill Summary page includes a brief description of the bill, any action that has been taken, and a link to the actual bill language.

o The Patron of the Bill – this is linked to the contact information for the Delegate or the Senator who has introduced the bill.

o A Summary of the purpose of the bill.

o Any additional information or action VDDHH has taken in relation to the bill.

o The Committee the bill is assigned to – this is linked to the information page for that committee. On the committee page, you will see links for the agendas and dockets for the committees – this is how you can find out exactly when a bill is scheduled to be discussed in the committee. You can also check on subcommittee information from this page. Most bills will be assigned to a subcommittee for initial discussion.

o The Bill Status – the latest action on the bill or any upcoming meetings related to the bill.

The 2012 Session of the Virginia General Assembly will be a long (60-day) session. The session opened January 11, 2012 and is scheduled to adjourn on March 10th. The last day for members to introduce bills will be January 20th.

Again this year, the budget will be a primary focus of the legislative session. The House Appropriations Committee (http://hac.virginia.gov/ ) and the Senate Finance Committee (http://sfc.virginia.gov/ ) will consider the Governor’s Proposed Budget and recommendations for budget amendments from Delegates and Senators. I will provide more information on the budget as it relates to VDDHH in my next report.

Leslie Hutcheson Prince

VDDHH Policy and Planning Manager