SB555 passed out of the House of Delegates’ Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee this morning with a resulting vote of 16 to 6.

What happens next?

After a bill passes out of committee, it either gets sent to the Finance/Appropriations Committee to address its fiscal impact or it goes directly to the House or Senate, in this case the House, floor to be voted on by the entire body. SB555 will be before the House for three consecutive days. Any Delegate who does not serve on the House’s Health, Welfare, and Institutions (HWI) Committee will have the opportunity to voice their concerns or support for the bill before a vote is taken on the third day.

NOW is the time to contact your Virginia Delegate if you support SB555, especially if they are not on the HWI Committee. You may find your legislator here if you are unsure who represents your district.

SB555 has triggered some fears for some of our legislators. Sometimes those fears are grounded in personal experience, sometimes they come from lack of information, sometimes they are valid. Talk to the legislators about what you know to be true regarding the importance of peer services and its impact on the peers receiving those services in Virginia. It is from those discussions that the legislators get more facts and can then have a more informed vote.

In the meantime, if you are pleased with the results of today’s vote, we encourage everyone to take a moment to thank the Delegates on the HWI Committee (members listed here) who voted in your favorable opinion of this bill. View the voting results here.

VOCAL heard from many legislators that they received numerous comments regarding this important piece of legislation. We would like to send a big thank you to all of our members that contacted legislators with their thoughts regarding SB555!


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