Last week, the Virginia General Assembly passed the mid-way point of the 2020 session. Known as Crossover, some bill decisions have been made, some are still being discussed, and many have died.
Two bills BIAV has been advocating for are still very much alive and stand a good chance of becoming law; these are:
A bill that would require brain injury training for all crisis first responders. Learn more here
A bill that would permit someone (with a doctors note) to designate on their Drivers’ License they have a brain injury, in hopes of avoiding any issues with a law officer if they were ever stopped. Learn more here
As for the budget, we are not going to get the $6.5 million we asked for. The budget proposed by the House doesn’t include any money for brain injury, while the budget proposed by the Senate had:
$1.5 million for state funded community based brain injury programs (339 #1s), and
$450,000 to conduct a project to increase hospital compliance with best-practice acute care treatment guidelines for severe adult and pediatric TBI in order to reduce death, improve recovery and reduce long-term care costs (296#1s).
Your advocacy lead to these victories, and we need to ask you to write one more letter or make one more phone call. We hope you’ll join us in voicing your support for keeping at least $1.5 million in the state budget for community based brain injury services and supports.
Budget Conferees are being named; these are legislators from the House and Senate who will work together to reach a compromise between the two versions of the budget. We need to make sure the money for brain injury services and support stays in there!
Click here for a template you can use for a letter (emailed or faxed) or a phone call to a legislator.
- Del Luke Torian: email@example.com; 804-698-1052
- Del Mark Sickles: firstname.lastname@example.org; 804-698-1043
- Del Betsy Carr: email@example.com; 804-698-1069
- Del David Bulova: firstname.lastname@example.org; 804-698-1037
- Del Barry Knight email@example.com; 804-698-1081
- Del Kirk Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org; 804-698-1066
- Del Rosalyn Tyler: email@example.com; 804-698-1075
- Janet D. Howell (D-District 32) firstname.lastname@example.org (804) 698-7532
- Richard L. Saslaw(D-District 35) email@example.com (804) 698-7535
- Thomas K. Norment,(R-District 3) firstname.lastname@example.org (804) 698-7503
- Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-District 24) email@example.com (804) 698-7524
- Louise Lucas(D-District 18) firstname.lastname@example.org (804) 698-7518
- George L. Barker(D-District 39) email@example.com (804) 698-7539
- Mamie E. Locke(D-District 2) firstname.lastname@example.org (804) 698-7502
Senate fax number : (804) 698-7651
You can always reach out to legislators through their social media channels. If you do, remember to follow us and tag us in your posts!
Here's the social media messaging and hashtags we'll be using:
28,000. That’s the number of Virginians who sustain brain injuries every year! It’s time to prioritize Brain Injury funding! #BIAwareness #BIFundingMatters #braininjury
Here's some graphics you can download for posts:
We have put together some resources to help you better understand the issues and how you can become more involved!
- Self Advocacy is so important! Read these tips on how to be a more effective advocate for yourself.
- This great self-advocacy article is from the Brain Injury Association of Maryland
- Learn more about advocacy following brain injury in this article.