The Landes Letter: July 23, 2018

Friends,

 

I hope you are enjoying the summer! Although session has ended, we continue to work on ways to improve the Commonwealth. This summer I have visited Richmond to participate in meetings for the Virginia Commission on Youth, the Commission on Civic Education, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Standards of Learning Innovation and Reform Committee, and the Major Employment and Investment Commission.  I was pleased to join Governor Ralph Northam as he signed House Bill 1125 into law, helping to address the teacher shortage in Virginia. I enjoyed participating in the Shenandoah Valley Partnership’s Annual meeting and a tour of projects in the Valley with Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. Lastly, pre-filing for the 2019 General Assembly session began on July 19th, and I am looking forward to introducing bills for the 2019 session to help address the issues you care about most. The Division of Legislative Services has compiled In Due Course,” a summary of the bills enacted by the General Assembly in 2018. You may view that publication here.

 

2018 Champion of College Affordability

 

I was honored to be named a Champion of College Affordability by the Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust and appreciate their recognition of my efforts in the 2018 General Assembly session. I share the Partners for College Affordability’s commitment to college affordability and to seek solutions that promote transparency, accountability and affordability in Virginia’s public institutions. I was especially pleased with the enactment of House Bill 3, which will ensure that students who attempt to cut down on the cost of college by completing dual enrollment courses in High School will actually receive the credit they are due.

 

Dr. James Toscano, President of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, noted the group is  “proud to recognize…legislators for their dedication to promoting college affordability. As the rising cost of college continues to have a harmful effect on Virginia’s students and families, we need strong leaders who will take action to address the issue head on. Though not every bill introduced was successfully passed, we witnessed a watershed year in terms of the number of bills and creative approaches to addressing the problem. We want to thank these legislators for standing up for Virginia families by offering innovative solutions to address rising college costs and ease the burden of its lingering effects.”

 

Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving higher education affordability, transparency and quality. They give voice to the students and families who pay for the rising cost of college — but rarely have a seat at the policy-making table. They advocate for common sense policies and practices that will ensure that students graduate with less debt and are better equipped to make good on higher education’s promise of economic mobility. You can learn more about the organization at www.pcapt.org.

 

Fire and Rescue Visits

 

Last summer, I had the privilege of joining our law enforcement officers throughout the 25th District for meetings and ride-alongs that enabled me to learn more about the needs and issues affecting our law enforcement agencies. Beginning this week, I will be joining Fire and Rescue Departments in Albemarle, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties. I am looking forward to meeting with the brave men and women of our fire and rescue departments, who remain on call to respond to our needs. We can never appropriately express our gratitude to our first responders. I trust these visits will provide with insight so that we in the General Assembly may better understand the challenges faced by first responders and be better positioned to provide them with the resources necessary to successfully perform their vital services.

 

6th Annual Valley Business Summit

 

I hope all of you small business owners will be able to join us for the 6th Annual Valley Business Summit on Monday, August 13, 2018 at the Blue Ridge Community College, located at 1 College Lane in Weyers Cave. The Summit, which is once again being hosted by Delegates Dickie Bell, Ben Cline, Tony Wilt and me, begins at 1:00 p.m. and will conclude at 4:30 p.m. We are pleased to announce that Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni will be this year's keynote speaker. The Summit is a great opportunity to network and discuss small business issues with elected officials and members of the business community. Please check back here for updates or click here to register for this year's Summit.

 

National Hire a Veteran Day

 

This Wednesday is National Hire a Veteran Day. The freedom and security we enjoy everyday would not be possible without the service and sacrifice provided by our men and women in uniform. What better way to say thank you to these brave men and women than to hire one? Our veterans have tremendous knowledge and experience that can greatly benefit your business. If you are looking to hire new people this summer, I hope you will consider hiring a veteran!

 

Medicare Cards

 

Please be advised that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have finished mailing new Medicare cards to beneficiaries residing in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. It has been brought to the attention of CMS that a small portion of these beneficiaries has not received their cards. If you have not received your Medicare card, you can take the following actions in order to obtain new Medicare cards:
 
  • Sign into MyMedicare.gov to see if their card was mailed.  An official card can be printed from their account site. Beneficiaries can create an account if one is not currently established. 
 
  • Contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.  It is possible that a beneficiary may have to update his/her mailing address.

 

In the interim, you can continue to use your current Medicare card to obtain health care services until the new card is received. Additional information regarding the status of card mailings can be found on the Medicare.gov/NewCard website.

Parades & Lawn Parties

 

It's always a joy to see folks at parades and lawn parties. So far this summer, I've had the pleasure of walking in the Weyers Cave Firemen's Parade, the Grottoes Volunteer Firemen's Parade, and the Crozet and Staunton Independence Day Parades. This past weekend I joined in the Bridgewater Lawn Party and Parade with Rockingham Commissioner of the Revenue Lowell Barb, Clerk of Circuit Court Chaz Haywood, Delegate Ben Cline, and Delegate Tony Wilt (pictured below). If there is a lawn party or parade you'd like me to know about, please be sure to let me know!

 

 

In Case You Missed It

 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: How Virginia Changed the Process to Become a Teacher This Year

 

Augusta Free Press: Del. Steve Landes Honored for Work on College Affordability

 

The News Leader: Va. Natural History Museum's Goal is to Develop a Rich Experience for Visitors

 

The Winchester Star: Raft of New Laws Take Effect in Commonwealth

 

The News Virginian: New Laws Go Into Effect Today

 

The News Virginian: Thanks to All for Making Waynesboro Branch Possible

 

Augusta Free Press: Northam Signs Steve Landes Teacher Licensure Bill

 

The News Virginian: School Safety: No Easy Task

 

NBC 29: Safety and Security Improvements Coming to Waynesboro High School

 

The News Virginian: New Museum Planning Celebrated in Waynesboro

 

The News Virginian: Leaders Converge for Public Input on I-81

 

Daily News-Record: Officials Seek to Tackle Interstate Woes

 

WHSV: Blue Ridge Community College Gets $200,000 Grant for Cyber Security Program

 

Virginia First: Public Input Wanted on I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan

 

The Daily Press: Virginia Legislators Seek Lower Cost for College Savings Program

 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Lawmakers Pressure Head of College Savings Program to Bring Down Prepaid Tuition Costs

 

Augusta Free Press: Steve Landes Attends Virginia Commission on Youth, Commission on Civic Education Meetings

 

Contact Us

 

As always, my Legislative Director, Judy Wyatt, Communications Director, Will Wrobleski, and I are here to serve you. If you need help with a state government agency or issue, we can be reached by phone at 540.255.5335 or by email at steve@stevelandes.com. Our address is Post Office Box 12, Verona, Virginia 24482.

 

Please visit my website at www.stevelandes.com for my latest press releases and newsletters. Also, be sure to “like” my Facebook Fan Page or you can now follow me on Twitter @steve_landes by clicking the buttons below:

 

 

 

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

 

Sincerely,

Steve Landes

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