96th District, Virginia House of Delegates                                           February 9 , 2018

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Contact Delegate Pogge

Richmond Office 
New address!
Pocahontas Building
Room E403
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-698-1096
Fax: 804-786-6310
Legislative Aide
Amanda Batten
This week brought a welcome milestone in the 2018 General Assembly session: the halfway mark. We now have less than thirty days remaining in this year's sixty day session. Next week will bring crossover, the date by which the House and the Senate must complete all work on their respective bills. As of today, there are relatively few bills remaining to be heard in committee; however, our House floor sessions are increasingly lengthy. Following are updates on a number of legislative priorities.
Tax increases defeated (again!)
There is no way to sugarcoat reality: Democrats seem intent on raising taxes this year. Last week my Republican House colleagues successfully defeated bills to reinstate the death tax, impose a tax on hotel stays, and implement a tax on streaming services. This week Senate Democrats presented legislation to impose a tax on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft . Although the tax proposal was removed, we clearly must remain vigilant in our opposition to tax increases. 
Cutting red tape
Bureaucratic red tape is undeniably frustrating. Over-regulation is intrusive, and it stymies the creation of good-paying jobs for Virginians. Earlier this week, House Republicans reached an agreement with Governor Northam to establish a regulatory reform pilot program. The goal is to reduce and/or streamline regulatory requirements by 25% over the next three years. My colleague Delegate Michael Webert developed the concept for this program, and I look forward to seeing the removal of barriers restricting healthy development and job creation.
Update: practical solutions to everyday issues
In my first session newsletter, I highlighted a number of commonsense bills addressing issues of concern to Virginians. I am pleased that all of these bills passed the House and will now be heard in the Senate. Links to the legislation are below:
  • House Bill 1 protects student information from being obtained by outside groups. Unbeknownst to students, political activist organizations and campaigns were using FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to access private information, such as cell phone numbers.
  • House Bill 2 allows armed forces service members' spouses who have a valid out-of-state teaching license (with full credentials and without deficiencies) to enjoy licensure reciprocity in Virginia. 
  • House Bill 3 provides certainty for high school students (enrolled in qualifying dual enrollment courses) that higher education institutions will accept their credits.
2018 legislative survey
A number of surveys were returned by mail this week, and we are tabulating final results. The survey responses will be posted on my website next week, and a link will be provided in my Week 6 newsletter. Also, if you are a resident of the 96th District who completed a survey, you will receive a written update in the mail. Stay tuned!
HB676: services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing
As chair of Virginia Disability Commission, I've had the privilege of learning about issues that adversely effect individuals (and their families) coping with disabilities. Over the past two years, I've prioritized ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing children are linguistically prepared for school. This year my House Bill 676 establishes a fourteen-member advisory committee tasked with reviewing the current services available to children (birth through school age) who have hearing loss.

Citizen advisory committee members include three parents of deaf/hard of hearing children, three language experts, and three representatives from the medical community. The three language experts will consist of professionals in American Sign Language, Listening and Spoken Language, and Cued Speech/Language. Likewise, the three parent members will represent each of the aforementioned languages. Also serving on the advisory committee are five representatives from various state agencies, including the Department of Education.

I believe this legislation is a step in the right direction to ensure that children with hearing loss have the tools required for educational success. An article on the legislation is available online HERE.
Visitors in Richmond
Thank you to all who visited Richmond this week on behalf of the following organizations:
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Jamestown Yorktown Foundation
  • NASA
  • VersAbility
A special thanks to Reverend Morris Randall, Sr. of Ephesus Baptist Church (pictured below). I've had the opportunity to work with Reverend Randall in support of  Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency's Project Discovery, and I was honored that he accepted my invitation to offer Monday's invocation in the House of Delegates.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance with any state-related matter or agency. I may be reached via email at DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 804-698-1096. 

Have a great weekend!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate