I hope you are enjoying your summer! As we approach the holiday weekend, I wanted to share a few items of interest with you. I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to join me as I participate in Independence Day Parades tomorrow in Crozet and in Staunton on Tuesday. More details are listed below.
This week I had the opportunity to join my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for a brief tour of central Virginia. On Wednesday, we visited the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington and King Family Vineyards in Crozet. Yesterday, we visited the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. The visit provided me and other Appropriation Committee members an opportunity to learn about regional needs and issues and receive updates on the Commonwealth’s investment of our taxpayer dollars. We appreciated learning about some of the great research being conducted at our institutions of higher learning and touring King Family Vineyards to learn firsthand about one of the 25th District's wineries. At UVA, we had briefings on activities at UVA's Medical Center, School of Medicine, including a briefing on the Focused Ultrasound Foundation research and then toured the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.
New Laws Taking Effect This Weekend
Hundreds of news laws that were passed by the General Assembly during the 2017 Session and signed into law by Governor McAuliffe will go into effect July 1, 2017. In Due Course is a selection of legislation passed by the 2017 Session of the General Assembly that is likely to affect the daily lives of the citizens of Virginia. The staff of the Division of Legislative Services prepares these summaries. The legislation included has been signed by the Governor and for the most part will go into effect on July 1, 2017. In Due Course may be viewed at http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/idc/idc17.html. Complete information on actions of the 2017 Session is available on the Legislative Information System, which may be viewed at http://lis.virginia.gov/.
Health Care Update
We all continue to follow progress of the health care legislation currently being considered by Congress. It is still too early to tell exactly what the final bill will look like and what it will mean for Virginia. As a member of the Joint Subcommittee for Health and Human Resources Oversight, I am following these developments with great interest. I hope we will get a bill that protects pre-existing conditions and ensures access to affordable care, but also gives flexibility to the states to lower premiums and provide better quality coverage. There is a long way to go in the legislative process, however, the bill as currently drafted will give states more flexibility to apply for waivers and design state-specific solutions. This includes flexibility to apply for waivers on essential health benefit standards and health insurance market rules.
The current plan eliminates funding for Medicaid expansion, but would grandfather states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which concerns me. It is unfair to responsible states like Virginia that opted against the Medicaid-expansion boondoggle. The plan would also establish a per-capita cap on spending for Medicaid, a sound policy that is poorly implemented. The plan punishes responsible states like Virginia that have kept Medicaid costs down. I encourage Congress to work on the bill to improve healthcare access, affordability and choice for all, and to help fiscally responsible states like Virginia. Senate Finance Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger and House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones wrote to U.S. Senate leaders noting that Virginia has been a prudent steward of Medicaid funding and should not be punished for that. You can read their letter here.
The Kaiser Family Foundation provided a side by side comparison of the Affordable Care Act, the American Health Care Act (House Version) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (Senate Version). You can view that comparison here.
Fourth of July Parades
This weekend, I'll be marching in the Crozet Independence Day Parade, which is tomorrow and on Tuesday, I'll be marching in Staunton's Fourth of July Parade. I hope you can join us at one or even both of these parades! If you are able to particpate, please contact my Campaign Manager Patrick Stott at (804) 385-6786 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on these parades is listed below:
Crozet Independence Day Parade
Saturday, July 1st, 5:00 PM (4:00 PM Line-up)
Crozet Elementary School
1407 Crozet Avenue, Crozet, VA 22932
(Parade ends at Claudius Crozet Park/Park Road)
Staunton 4th of July Parade
Tuesday, July 4th, 10:00 AM (9:15 AM Line-up)
Thornrose Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401
On July 11th, I'll be joined by the Speaker and Majority Leader Designees for a summer evening reception in Staunton. This is a great opportunity to get together with folks to talk politics, meet new people, and help support my campaign. I hope you'll be able to join us! For more information, please click here.
Delegate Landes' Summer Evening Reception
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Private Reception
6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. General Reception
1087 Hermitage Road, Staunton, Virginia 24401
For questions or to RSVP, please contact Will Wrobleski at
(603) 660-8811 or by email at Will@SteveLandes.com.
In Case You Missed It:
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 email@example.com. Our address is Post Office Box 12, Verona, Virginia 24482.
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Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.