Many of you have contacted me about your snow concerns and we have been working with VDOT to raise attention to missed neighborhoods or other clean-up. According to VDOT, most subdivision streets should be at least passable (one lane where a rear-wheel vehicle can operate), though I have gotten reports that many roads are in better shape. They will continue to work on snow removal throughout the week and I will continue to advocate on your behalf. That being said, please take caution when driving even on roads that look clear. Black ice is a major concern throughout the region. Metrobus will operate on all lines though using slight route detours to avoid hazardous conditions. Metrorail will operate on all lines though possibly with fewer cars on certain trains, except that Rush Plus on the Yellow will not run. MetroAccess will operate, however depending on the conditions may be curb-to-curb rather than door-to-door.
Visit my Facebook page to see a few photos from the week
As you are also aware, school has been canceled for the entire week. This leaves our most vulnerable students without access to food they normally receive each day at school. With some ingenuity and persistence, yesterday, volunteers were able to deliver backpack meals, including $10 Giant gift cards to over 60 children who attend Hutchison Elementary.
McLean Bible Church generously donated the Giant gift cards. The principal, Ray Lonnett, and assistant principal, Leigh Allen-Hughes, put on their UPS hats to deliver each bundle to each child's home.
It was good day. Although, it was a drop in the bucket. As one of our constituents said to me when sharing this update last night, “there has to be a more sustainable and reliable source of nutrition for these children.”
Legislative Update - Working Together to Get Things Done
Great news for our volunteer first responders! Yesterday we moved one step closer to allowing localities to extend mental health treatment and counseling to our volunteer firefighters and EMTs who often face the same level of stress as our professional first responders. This is a widely supported bill with bipartisan support. It will move on to the full Counties, Cities and Towns committee and I expect passage by the full General Assembly.
Last week I introduced a bill before the Civil Courts Subcommittee that would have eliminated a now-defunct agency representative to the Forensic Science Board and replaced it with a representative from a victims’ advocate group. This board directs the policy for forensic science practices throughout the state. The chair and several members of the subcommittee disagreed with my proposal and laid the bill aside (this is a nice way of saying they are killing the bill). Knowing the Forensic Science Board was still left with an incomplete board, I worked to understand the concerns of the Subcommittee members and the agency representatives, and together we found consensus by identifying another appropriate fit for the board. The new proposal adds the director of the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services to the Forensic Science Board. Yesterday, the Subcommittee chair agreed to take my bill back off the table to consider the amended proposal. This time it received unanimous support and now it’s on its way up to the full committee. As I was presenting the bill before the subcommittee, the chairman let me know how unusual it is to have the opportunity to bring a bill back after laying it on the table. I appreciate the willingness of the chairman to give the bill a second chance!
I’m glad to report that both of these pieces were accomplished in a bipartisan way.
Visiting the Capitol
While the General Assembly is in session, feel free to stop by my Richmond office in room 715 of the General Assembly Building. Be sure to keep an eye on the day’s schedule, which can be found at the GA’s website, and also call at 804-698-1086 to get on my calendar.
If you have a matter that concerns state government, contact my Richmond office during session at 804-698-1086 or send an email to DelJBoysko@house.virginia.gov. Even if it’s with another government level, we can help you get connected with the appropriate person.