cheryl.zando@gmail.com's blog

This is the final week of the 2018 General Assembly Session.  As of Tuesday evening, we have passed about 750 bills, with another 175 pending.  The Budget conferees have not yet reached an agreement to bridge the approximately $600 million gap between the House and Senate Budgets, primarily due to their disagreement over Medicaid Expansion. Seven of my bills have passed both the Senate and the House and now await action by the Governor.

We are in the final week of the 2018 Session. So far we have passed about 750 bills, with another 175 pending.  The Budget conferees have not yet reached an agreement to bridge the approximately $600 million gap between the House and Senate Budgets, primarily due to their disagreement over Medicaid Expansion.

Last week the House and Senate adopted their amendments to the 2018 - 2020 biennial budget introduced by Governor McAuliffe on December 18, 2017.  The two budgets are about $600 million apart.  The key difference between the two budgets is Medicaid expansion.

Last week, the Senate and House each passed their proposed amendments to the Biennial Budget introduced by the Governor.  
 
The key difference between the two budgets is Medicaid expansion. The House budget extends health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who need it by expanding Medicaid and accepting more than $3 billion in federal funding to do so. The House budget also directs the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to apply to the federal government for a waiver that imposes work requirements for certain Medicaid recipients.

In addition to my legislative activities, being a member of the General Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to serve on, and now Chair the Virginia General Assembly’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission.  Created in 1992 to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King, the Commission continues his work through educational, historical and cultural programs, public policy analysis, and public discourse on contemporary issues.  

Now that we have crossed the mid-point of the 2018 General Assembly Session, bills are quickly finding their way to the Governor's office.  On Friday, I was honored to join Senators Bill Stanley and Lynwood Lewis, and Delegate Charles Poindexter in Patrick County for Governor Northam's first bill signing. SB 866 (Stanley) and HB 175(Poindexter) extend the license for Pioneer Community Hospital in order to facilitate efforts to find an operator to reopen the hospital and offer local residents better access to critical health services. 

We have reached the halfway point of the 2018 General Assembly Session, known as “Crossover.”  Tuesday was the last day for the House and Senate to complete work on their own bills. On Wednesday, they began hearing bills that passed the other body.  We have just over three weeks left to address nearly 2,000 pending bills. 

This week I’d like to highlight SB 181 (Stanley), which I co-sponsored, to repeal Virginia’s law mandating automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to pay fines and court costs, which passed the Senate last week 33-6. 

Today is "Crossover," the midway point of the Session where the House and Senate must complete work on their bills.  You can follow my bills and their progress through the General Assembly on the LIS website, and you can read a summary of all of my 2018 legislation and view committee hearings for each on my website

I am eager to hear from you on issues you care about. To share your views on legislation, contact my office at (804) 698-7509 or district09@senate.virginia.gov. You can also stop by my office in the Pocahontas Building at 900 East Main Street. My offices are located in E512.

Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry.  Yet many communities in the commonwealth do not have enough places to purchase healthy, affordable food as a wide variety of factors have led supermarkets to disinvest from lower-income areas across the commonwealth, creating a public health crisis. 

As we enter the last full week of committee meetings before crossover, the days at the General Assembly are getting longer. In this update, I report on my legislationi, the bills that have passed the Senate that I co-sponsored, and the call to action issued by African American women legislators, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and other leaders.

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