ICYMI: Breaking down barriers to success
(Arlington, VA)—Today, Michael Monrroy, Coalitions Director for The LIBRE Initiative – Virginia, and JC Hernandez, State Director for Americans for Prosperity – Virginia, penned an op-ed in The Virginian Pilot reflecting on Virginia’s 2019 legislative session. Read the entire article here.
Below are excerpts from the piece:
The 2019 legislative session included some notable victories for the people of the commonwealth, proving that, even in a divided government, progress is possible. But on other issues, important work remains to make Virginia an even better place to live and work.
The legislature unanimously passed and Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law a measure that will make it easier for Virginians to seek medical care via their smartphones and computers. According to the American Telemedicine Association, as many as 15 million patients were using telehealth services by 2015. The new law will make getting medical attention — especially for those living in rural communities — more affordable, more convenient and less time-consuming.
Lawmakers in Richmond came up short in passing a bipartisan bill that would have ended the counterintuitive practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of people unable to quickly pay off their court debts and fees. The practice, in place for years, disproportionately harms low-income Virginians who have little to no savings and need a reliable mode of transportation to get to and from work.
Lawmakers once again took a pass on repealing or reforming the state’s Certificate of Public Need law, which makes it more difficult for health care providers to expand their services. Before a hospital can add beds or an imaging facility can add an MRI, they must get permission from the state — and that often means having their competitors lobbying to stop them. That drives up costs and literally puts lives at risk.
Our two organizations are seeing more and more Virginians, from all walks of life, helping to break down barriers that block the path to prosperity and success. We stand committed to work with any state legislator of any political party who shares that vision.
For interviews with a representative from the LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4433