This year’s version of the General Assembly has commenced and Governor Youngkin is promising tax cuts. Republicans are proposing a 15 week ban on abortion, while Democrats suggest additional gun safety measures, and some hope that the Commonwealth will take positive steps for mental health. Our Senator, Creigh Deeds, is in the middle of these debates. They include:
Virginia Democrats seek gun control after shootings; GOP skeptical
— Washington Post, January 13, 2022
Deeds introduced a bill to ban assault-style weapons, an effort to reduce the availability of so many of the weapons that have been used in mass shootings. S.B. 1382 would ban sales of such weapons manufactured after a certain date but would not confiscate guns already in circulation. It is part of a series of gun safety initiatives advanced by Senate Democrats. “From banning the sale of military style weapons, to stopping dangerous individuals from acquiring firearms, to common sense firearm safety storage laws,” explained Deeds, “Democrats are committed to making our communities safer.” To be sure, this could be a heavy lift and would undoubtedly face a Governor’s veto, but the continued numbers of mass shootings argues that efforts in this area should be redoubled.
Deeds is also leading the fight to improve our mental health system, proposing that staffing vacancies at community service boards are promptly filled, providers are adequately compensated, and Medicaid reimbursement rates increase so that those most in need can obtain the help they need. See Changes to Virginia’s behavioral health system will be a major focus of this year’s session — NPR One; January 10, 2023. The good news here is that the Governor included additional funding in his revised budget. It is not enough, and expect Deeds and others to push for more.
I’ll be doing everything that I can to ensure that in the 2023 legislative session we fix our broken mental health care system and fix it correctly.”
—Creigh Deeds, Richmond Times Dispatch
Utility Rate Reform
Finally, Senator Deeds continues his efforts to protect utility rate payers as we transition to the use of more renewables. While the Republicans are pushing to remove the Commonwealth from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a consortium of 11 states that has both reduced carbon emissions and provided millions of dollars to Virginia communities to protect against coastal flooding and other impacts of climate change, Deeds is a co-patron on a measure designed to prevent massive rate hikes and provide the State Corporation Commission with the tools to do so. Electric utility rate reform back on General Assembly agenda — Virginia Mercury, January 10, 2023.
The only way to protect the consumer is to ensure the monopoly is regulated,”
—Deeds stated at a recent press conference.