VPLC’s 2022 Legislative Priorities
Click through the menu below to learn more about our priorities for the 2022 General Assembly session.
- Drive down upcoming electric utility costs through better regulatory tools. Support continued efforts to reduce costs for utility customers and work toward greater balance between the need for consistent energy access and the need to protect consumers' finances. (HB 839)
- Fair access to appeals in eviction cases. Allow the court to waive high fees so that low-income tenants have access to an appeal like all other civil cases and eliminate the dismissal of appeals without a hearing. (SB 474/HB 614)
- Safe and Healthy Homes Act: Enact a warranty of habitability defense to nonpayment of rent, allowing tenants to raise unsafe or unhealthy conditions as a defense to nonpayment of rent as long as they gave the landlord notice of the condition. Learn more here. (SB 284)
- Community enforcement of health and safety rental housing laws to help tenants living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions who lack the means to enforce their rights. Empower cities, counties, and towns to file suit against slumlords to force compliance with the health and safety standards of the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act. Learn more here. (HB 802/SB 43)
- Keep the 14-day pay or quit notice requirement: Allowing residential tenants 14 days to pay rent after receiving a late notice, rather than five days as required pre-pandemic, helps more tenants avoid eviction and provides rental and late fees income to landlords without payment of court and lawyer fees. (HB 803)
- Learn More: Other Housing Advocacy Fact Sheets
- Court oversight of foster care placements to ensure decisions made are in the best interests of the child.
- Give relatives of children in foster care an opportunity to appeal the denial of foster placement.
- Create two pilot parent representation centers to increase access to justice for parents, improving outcomes for children in foster care.
- Overview of child welfare priorities for 2022.
- Support SB 396: Court issues relating to foster care. Learn more.
- Support SB 307 and HB 716: Right of appeal for relative foster parents. Learn more.
- HHR Budget Priorities
- Promote bills that support victims’ access to services and fight bills that infringe on victims’ rights (such as SB 174, Senator Peake’s bill, which unconstitutionally imposes restrictions on victims in the very protective orders designed to protect them from abuse, and HB 69, Delegate Davis’ bill, which diminishes longstanding “Best Interests of the Child” factors judges must consider in making custody and visitation decisions).
- Learn More: Other Domestic and Sexual Violence Fact Sheets
- VPLC Opposes SB 174 as Unconstitutional and Dangerous for Victims of Violence
- VPLC Opposes HB 69
- VPLC Supports SB 494, Bill to Clarify Employer Size and S/L Language in the Virginia Human Rights Act. Learn more here. (SB 494)
- Support SB 270 and HB 1049: Establish meaningfully accessible language services at all state agencies to all Virginians. (SB 270, HB 1049)
- Improve immigrants’ access to healthcare by creating a state-funded Medicaid-like program to cover children who are ineligible for Medicaid based on their immigration status.
- Streamline Medicaid processes by removing administrative barriers that keep low-income children from getting coverage.
- Reduce Marketplace costs through increased funding. Oppose any larger role for non-ACA compliant health plans (such as Association Health Plans), which are risky for consumers and undermine the ACA risk pool.
- Improve language access in hospital charity care programs.
- Learn more:
- Increase access to SNAP by allowing incarcerated individuals to apply for SNAP prior to their release so they have access to SNAP and education and training programs upon release. Learn more here. (HB 1270)
- Strengthen cash assistance for children living in poverty by repealing full family sanctions within TANF, which take away assistance to the entire family if the parent doesn’t meet TANF’s work or other requirements. Learn more here. (HB 1158)
- HHR Budget Priorities
- Improve nursing home conditions through increased staffing ratios, particularly for Medicaid nursing homes, which have the lowest rates of staffing in Virginia.
- Guardianship reform: Increase access to the public guardian program and change the role of court-appointed guardians ad litem to increase use of less restrictive options when feasible. Learn more here. (HB 623)
- Protect Virginia's vulnerable adults from unlawful eviction from assisted living facilities. Learn more here. (SB 40)
- HHR Budget Priorities
PDF Version: VPLC’s 2022 Legislative Priorities
HOW TO FOLLOW THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION
You can find legislation at Virginia’s Legislative Information System’s (LIS) database. You can search this legislation by entering the bill number (e.g., 5051) or by searching a keyword (e.g., eviction). Once you find the legislation, you will find the bill’s sponsor(s) and a summary of the bill’s language. You will also find which committee the bill has been referred to (e.g., referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology). You can track the progress of each bill as it moves through the legislative process.
CLICK HERE to access the 2022 LIS database now.
FINDING A COMMITTEE
Once you find where legislation has been referred, you can find when that committee is meeting on the Session Meeting List. Once you know when your committee is convening, be prepared to stream the meeting at the “Virginia Senate Live Stream Video” page or the “Virginia House of Delegates Video Streaming” page. Once the time of your committee is scheduled to start, it will be viewable under the heading entitled “upcoming events.” To stream the event, click “view event.”
CLICK HERE to access the Senate streaming page.
CLICK HERE to access the House streaming page.