Tax season has begun!

As of now, you may file your 2018 federal and state tax returns. Keep in mind that the Senate has yet to pass legislation to bring the Commonwealth’s taxation system in conformity with the Internal Revenue Code. Once this is accomplished, the Tax Department can begin processing tax returns. Hopefully by the time you are reading this article, both the House and Senate will have reached an agreement on how Virginia will conform our state tax laws to the new Internal Revenue Tax Code. Needless to say, we are all feeling the stress of reaching consensus on this important issue.

This 45 day Session is moving fast. February has just begun and we are expected to have all of our work completed by February 24th. The Legislature is working to finalize amendments to the budget and get our remaining Senate bills passed through committee and voted on. We will continue to review policy solutions aimed at creating better learning environments for children in schools across the Commonwealth. Two of my bills, which I carried for Governor Northam, are centered on exactly this. SB1195 seeks to establish a task force to create statewide infrastructure to support localities interested in improving the sustainability, implementation, and quality of School Based Health Centers across the Commonwealth. This bill has passed the Senate. The second bill (SB1406), which reported out of committee last week, would reduce the counselor to student ratio in accordance with the nationally recognized best practices levels. I believe that this legislation is a step towards ensuring that unaddressed mental and physical health conditions are not negatively impacting the ability of our youth to succeed.

Last Monday, advocates from healthcare and insurance industries flocked to the Capitol to discuss this week’s hot button issue of “balanced billing”. The “balance billing” issue arises when patients seek emergency services at a hospital in their insurers’ network and receive a separate bill from a provider. Because the provider is not in network and hasn't agreed with the insurer on the fee for their services, the emergency care isn't covered on an in-network basis and the separate charges are billed to the patient. Virginia’s healthcare and insurance industries have been working together with legislators to determine ways to protect patients from surprise billings. The desired solution would guarantee that patients are no longer required to pay anything other than their regular insurance premiums and copayments. Of the various bills proposed to address this issue, I’ve signed on as a patron to Senator Glen Sturtevant’s (R) bill SB1173, as it appears most favorable of the bills presented.

A few weeks ago, the Commerce & Labor Sub-Committee, of which I am a member, heard from patrons of several coal ash bills and voted to merge the 3-Senate bills into one. The merged bill, SB1355, determines how coal ash is to be disposed of without harm to Virginians and how much this process will cost utility customers. The merged bill is supported by Virginia’s environmental interest groups, the industry groups, Governor Northam and his administration, as well as the 4 Chief Patrons of the bill: Senator Frank Wagner (R), Senator Scott Surovell (D), Senator Amanda Chase(R) and Senator Rosalyn Dance(D). This bill passed through committee and will be voted on the floor this week.

Last week, I presented SJ 287 in committee. SJ 287 designates August 16th as the day to acknowledge the life and work of Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker—the former pastor of my church, Gillfield Baptist, in Petersburg. Dr. Walker was an esteemed American civil rights leader. He served as a key strategist behind the civil rights protests that would shift the hearts and attitudes of our nation and propel this country forward on the path to respect, human dignity, and equality. SJ 287 has passed out of the Senate Rules Committee and will be heard on the Senate floor this week.

We were pleased to welcome many visitors to the Capitol last week, which included a very special visit from my sisters in red for Delta day! As a member of this Sorority, I am always filled with pride to see my sisters continue on with strong representation for social action. I was also very pleased to meet with representatives of 4-H and the many advocates representing the Virginia Education Association.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions or concerns related to the 2019 General Assembly session. We can be reached by phone at 804-698-7516 or by email at district16@senate.virginia.gov. You may also contact us about scheduling a visit to the Capitol during the General Assembly session.

 

Sincerely,

Rosalyn R. Dance
Senator, Sixteenth Senate District
Virginia State Senate

 

[The 16th Senate District includes Chesterfield County (Part), Prince George County (Part), Richmond City (Part), Petersburg City (All), Dinwiddie County (Part), Hopewell City (All)]

Senator Dance’s office to there to help.

Please feel free to reach out to her office for any reason whatsoever, and stay tuned for future updates!  To receive a copy of this newsletter, please let her office know.

Official e-mail:  district16@senate.virginia.gov
Political e-mail:  danceforsenate@gmail.com
District Phone:  804-862-2922
Capitol Phone:  804-698-7616

Mailing Address:  PO Box 2584 Petersburg, VA, 23804

Copyright © 2018 Dance for Senate, All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We're here to help.

Please feel free to reach out to our office for any reason whatsoever, and stay tuned for future updates!

 

 

Official e-mail: district16@senate.virginia.gov

Political e-mail: danceforsenate@gmail.com

District Phone: 804-862-2922

Capitol Phone: 804-698-7616

 

Copyright © 2018 Dance for Senate, All Rights Reserved.

 

Our mailing address is:

Mailing Address: PO Box 2584 Petersburg, VA, 23804

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