As we close the first month of the 2020 General Assembly session, we have already made historic progress. Our new majority is leading with an eye to Virginia’s future; rolling back outdated laws and replacing them with strong anti-discrimination, public safety, voting rights and workers’ rights legislation. In the House Appropriations Committee, we are crafting a forward-looking budget that will include a pay raise for teachers, strong investment in our public universities, and a Public Defenders Office in Prince William County.
I am proud to be the Patron ofHouse Bill 1249, the Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act, which passed out of the subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Protection this Thursday. This bill will grant additional legal protections for residents of mobile home parks, who can be particularly vulnerable to landlord abuses, evictions, and cycles of housing instability. Trailer parks are the largest segment of non-subsidized affordable housing in the country but are increasingly being sold and bulldozed to allow for new development. Residents might own their homes but not the ground they are on. Therefore, when a park is sold, its residents may face eviction without time or ability to move their homes.
My bill guarantees mobile home owners facing eviction the right to rent, sell, or move their homes, and adequate time to do so. This bill also gives mobile home residents whose park is being sold the chance to negotiate for community ownership. The Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act is supported by both the Virginia Poverty Law Center and the Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association. It now moves to the General Laws committee for recommendation to the full House of Delegates.
Another bill of mine passed out of subcommittee and full committee on Friday. House Bill 1495 will allow retired law enforcement officers to work full-time as school resource officers without giving up their retirement benefit. I introduced this bill in response to feedback from the Prince William County School Board. Retired law enforcement officers are in high demand by both local school divisions and the private sector, but are currently limited to part-time workin our schools to avoid the loss of theirretirement income. This bill will allow our public schools to be competitive whenrecruiting retired law enforcement personnel toimprove school security.
I am a co-patron of two bills being carried by two of my fellow Delegates from Prince William County: House Bill 898 from Delegate Elizabeth Guzman and House Bill 55 from Delegate Lee Carter. HB898 would guarantee paid sick leave to public and private employees. HB55 would legally recognize worker co-ops as a category of cooperative associations. These are two strong, pro-worker proposals that I am proud to support.
Interview with Vice Chair Sickles
This week Delegate Mark Sickles and I were interviewed by Woody Evans on VCTA Cable Reports. As Chair and Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, we discussed the process of developing the state budget, Virginia’s strong economy, our AAA bond rating, among other topics. Residents of Prince William County may have seen the segment on your local cable news station. The full video is also available online.
I appreciate your ongoing support and encourage you to contact me if you have questions, comments or concerns about the 2020 General Assembly session.