Through the General Assembly website, citizens can track the status of any pending legislation.
The General Assembly also offers a toll-free hotline during its annual legislative session that provides citizens with the opportunity to express their views on the issues before the General Assembly. The hotline makes it possible for vital information to the members of the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia concerning public opinion on matters before the General Assembly.
The number for the toll-free hotline is: 1-800-889-0229. Callers in the Richmond area may dial: 225-4973.
During each legislative workday, the hotline receives calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Calls are answered by hotline operators who request the constituent to provide a name and address, a geographic location or legislative district, the designated legislator(s) to receive the constituent's message and the issue on which the constituent is expressing his or her opinion. The operators record the messages and forward the information to the legislators for their review. If the caller seeks additional information concerning legislation or wishes to speak directly with the legislator, the operator will provide the appropriate telephone number.
Dear Members & Friends,
Regulations for the enforcement of SB1381 are being developed by the Department of Agriculture. As you will recall, SB1381 passed by an overwhelming majority to ensure that private shelters have as their purpose finding permanent, adoptive homes for animals. A 30-day comment period was conducted in Oct/Nov and many of you commented in support of the VFHS position that the regulations include at least a 50% save rate as a metric for ensuring that a private shelter demonstrates a commitment to adopting out animals. Upon reviewing all the public comments submitted (which we obtained by a FOIA request), a significant majority of individuals and organizations supported that metric. At the March 23rd meeting of the VDACS Board, Dr Carolynn Bissett presented draft regulations which had no metric and, in fact, would do nothing to ensure the intent of SB1381. You can see the proposed regulations at the end of this newsletter. Four VFHS members were present to testify to the VDACS Board in favor of metrics: Robin Robertson Starr and Tabitha Frizzell Treloar of the Richmond SPCA, Molly Armus of Alley Cat Allies and Debra Griggs, VFHS President. No one testified in favor of the draft regulations as presented. Nonetheless, the VDACS Board passed these draft regulations, but there are several steps before final regulations are approved. Please stay tuned on how we will need your help to ensure that adequate regulations are in place.