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Column: Looking Ahead Despite Disappointments

The 2012 General Assembly has passed “Crossover,” when each house must complete action on all of its legislation that is to "crossover" to the other body. Nine of my bills have passed the Senate and will now be considered by the House of Delegates:

  • Virginia Preschool Initiative Local Grant Program - SB 261

Would create a grant program to improve training for preschool educators, create and expand classrooms, and help ensure preschool education for the children of veterans.

  • Microenterprise Investment Grant Program - SB 262

Would create a grant program for individuals who make an investment in a microenterprise; including a “green” microenterprise, or one located in an underutilized business zone, up to $12,500.

  • Child Abuse - SB 265

Would add athletic coaches and directors to the list of persons required to report child abuse. (Passed Senate as part of SB 239.)

  • Prenatal Medical Coverage - SB 568

Would provide prenatal care to legal immigrant women, preventing extremely costly neonatal care for infants.

  • Solitary Confinement Study- SJ 93

Directs the Crime Commission to study the use of solitary confinement by the Department of Corrections.

  • Human Trafficking Information for Public Schools - SB 259

Would require the Board of Education to provide training materials for local school divisions on strategies to prevent human trafficking of students.

  • Asbestos Worker Safety - SB 482

Would require the Virginia Board for Asbestos Inspectors to administer, or supervise the applicant exam for an asbestos work license. Workers would be provided with written safety guidelines and instructions for reporting violations. Principals of firms that have been in violation would be prohibited from being principals of new asbestos remediation firms. (Senator Favola, Co-Sponsor)

  • Bicycle Safety - SB 264

Would forbid automobiles and trucks from following bicycles too closely.

  • Fairfax County School Board Elections- SB 581

Would allow the Fairfax County School Board to stagger the terms of their members.

While I am pleased with the progress of most of my legislation, I am disappointed that two bills in particular were defeated. My legislation prohibiting discrimination against foster and adoptive parents did not pass. In fact, a bill to specifically allow discrimination against applicants — including prospective LGBT parents passed. Another bill to outlaw discrimination in public employment was also defeated.

Disappointed, but not defeated, I will continue to stand up and fight for our progressive values.

If I can be of assistance with a state government matter please e-mail District30@Senate.Virginia.Gov or call 571-384-8957.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you in the Virginia Senate.

By Adam P. Ebbin

State Senator (D-30)