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OFFICIALS DISCUSS FISCAL CHALLENGES AHEAD OF '19 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

By JUSTIN FAULCONER, Amherst New Era Progress

The outlook of Virginia’s economy and its trickle-down effect on Amherst County, unfunded state mandates and education spending were among various topics county and school officials discussed with two local state legislators last Tuesday. Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, and Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg, who both represent Amherst County in the Virginia General Assembly, met jointly with the board of supervisors and school board last week.

VaNews November 30, 2018



VIRGINIA STILL LOOKING FOR WAYS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia is using contracts with local mental health agencies to set a standard of care, but availability and variety of services vary widely across communities. “How do we fix the variation? It still depends on where your ZIP code is,” asked Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg, during a meeting of a legislative work group studying reforms to the structure and funding of mental health services. In essence it is the same question the group has been asking since its formation in 2014, said Sen. Creigh Deeds, whose family tragedy set the process in motion.

VaNews July 17, 2018



VIRGINIA MEASURES SEEK TO BREAK DOWN BARRIERS FOR SHARING GOVERNMENT DATA

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The expansion of Virginia’s Medicaid program was big news this year, but Gov. Ralph Northam ceremonially signed two bills on Monday that the General Assembly passed quietly. The measures could help extend health coverage to uninsured Virginians and coordinate care for people addicted to opioids.

VaNews June 19, 2018



LOCAL LEGISLATORS LOOK BACK ON GA SESSION

By JOHN BARNHART, Bedford Bulletin (Paywall for all articles)

“What an interesting year,” commented State Senator Steve Newman. Newman was speaking at the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast, Tuesday. The Chamber normally holds this event in April, but there was a major item from this year’s legislative session that has not been wrapped up yet — the state’s biennial budget.

VaNews May 4, 2018



BUSINESS LAW-WRITERS NAVIGATE CONFLICTING INVESTMENTS, INTERESTS

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Most members of the state legislative panel that can kill or approve the rules for banks, insurers and utilities have investments in those industries. But while consumer advocates complain the two committees are too close to business, and grumble about members’ interests and the campaign donations they receive, legislators insist they are not influenced. Political scientists say the real cost is likely public trust.

VaNews April 17, 2018



LYNCHBURG-AREA LEGISLATORS BRIEF BUSINESS PEOPLE ON NEW BILLS POST-GENERAL ASSEMBLY

By RACHAEL SMITH, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Just a few months after visiting Lynchburg to answer questions about politics, education and the economy ahead of the General Assembly, Virginia legislators returned to the Hill City to give their thoughts on the most recent session. Sen. Steve Newman, R-Bedford County; Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg; Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg; and Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, spoke at the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance’s Pancakes & Politics Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast

VaNews March 28, 2018



BUDGET NEGOTIATING TEAMS SET AS VIRGINIA SENATE NAMES CONFEREES

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The lineups are finally set for the budget playoffs to begin. On Wednesday, the Senate named its seven members on the conference committee to negotiate a bridge over what Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, has described as a $600 million “chasm” between its budget proposal and the one adopted by the House of Delegates.

VaNews March 1, 2018



GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPLITS OVER MEDICAID EXPANSION

By REEMA AMIN AND DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The House of Delegates and state Senate set themselves up Thursday for a multibillion-dollar budget battle over health insurance for low-income Virginians and hundreds of millions of dollars of other state spending. The House of Delegates broke with four years of strong opposition to Medicaid expansion in a budget that includes a version. The vote split the once-overwhelming and unified Republican caucus into two, while Democrats united, despite some members’ earlier reservations about imposing conditions on Medicaid recipients.

VaNews February 23, 2018



BILLS ALLOWING HEAVIER TRUCKS ON VA. INTERSTATES ADVANCE

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are considering bills that would allow the state to participate in any federal pilot program that would allow heavier trucks on interstates. The bills, introduced by Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson, and Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg, have passed committees and are being considered by each chamber, but at least two Valley legislators aren’t fully sold on the idea.

VaNews February 13, 2018



LYNCHBURG-AREA LEGISLATORS EYE BUDGET AS NEXT FRONT IN FIGHT TO KEEP CVTC OPEN

By MARGARET CARMEL, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

While the package of bills proposed by Lynchburg-area legislators in both chambers to keep Central Virginia Training Center open has an uncertain future, all eyes are on upcoming budget deliberations where the fight to keep the facility’s doors open will continue.

VaNews February 7, 2018