November Update

Sent 11/22/2021

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you and your family are safe and well as we prepare for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Instead of slowing down, I’m gearing up for the 2022 legislative session, which begins January 12th. Bills are already being filed, which you can find and track here.

There is a lot going on, and in this newsletter, I have updates about: 

  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
  • Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee Annual Meeting
  • Redistricting 
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Open Enrollment for Healthcare Exchange and Medicaid 

THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

Last week, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This significant legislation provides much-needed investment to rebuild America’s infrastructure, boost the economy, and create jobs. The Act is a huge boost for Virginia, which will receive:

  • $7 billion in federal aid for highways and $537 million for bridge replacement and repairs; 
  • $1.2 billion to modernize public transportation; 
  • $106 million to expand electronic vehicle charging infrastructure; 
  • Over $100 million to provide broadband coverage, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it; 
  • $738 million to clean up Virginia’s drinking water and replace lead pipes;  and
  • $386 million to modernize Virginia’s airport infrastructure. 

For more information on how The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Virginia, read here.


SENATE FINANCE & APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ANNUAL MEETING

Last week, the Senate gathered in Roanoke for the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee Annual Meeting. We received updates on the U.S. and Virginia economic outlook, a report on Virginia’s budget, panel discussions on the future of work and the workforce, strategies for rural economic development, and presentations on education, health and human resource budget issues to be addressed in the upcoming biennial budget. You can find presentations from the retreat here.


REDISTRICTING UPDATE

As you’ve likely heard, the Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to approve new congressional and state legislative maps as required by the state constitutional amendment passed last year. As a result, the Virginia Supreme Court will now draw the lines. On Friday, the Court appointed two special masters to draw the lines, one from a list submitted by Democratic legislative leaders, and one from a list submitted by Republican legislative leaders. The special masters have until December 20, 2021 to submit proposed maps to the Court for approval. 

You can follow the latest on the Court’s redistricting proceedings, including Court Orders, and public comments submitted to the Court here. The public, including elected officials, may participate in the Court’s redistricting deliberations through submitting written comments in the form of a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Virginia and reference the Rules and Procedures for Implementing the Requirements of Article II, Section 6-A. All public comments must be sent to [email protected] and must be germane to the topic of Virginia redistricting.


COVID-19 VACCINES

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine boosters for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 to all individuals 18 years of age and older.

Earlier this month, the CDC expanded its recommendation for Covid-19 vaccines to include children 5 to 11 years old.
 

To find out the nearest location where you or your child can receive a first dose, second dose, or booster shot for the COVID vaccine, visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/


Open Enrollment for Healthcare Exchange and Medicaid

November 1st marked the start of open enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment ends December 15th for coverage starting January 1st and January 15th for coverage starting February 1st. Under the American Rescue Plan, you may be able to get more savings and lower costs, as more people than ever qualify for subsidies and/or tax credits.

Go to http://HealthCare.gov to shop for coverage or update existing coverage. 

You can see if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the Marketplace or under Virginia’s expanded Medicaid program. Open enrollment for Medicaid ends January 15, 2022. You can visit coverva.org to learn more about eligibility and enrollment in Medicaid. 


I wish you and your family a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. My office will be closed November 24-26th for the holiday, but we will be checking voicemail and email periodically. As always, if you have questions or need assistance we can be reached by emailing [email protected] or by calling (804) 698-7509. 

Thank you,

Jenn McClellan

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