2023 Virginia General Session Wrap-Up
Virginia's General Assembly session ended on February 25. However, lawmakers are still negotiating updates to the state budget. The budget is crucial because it funds the agencies and programs that serve Virginians. Virginia Health Catalyst’s budget priorities include:
- $100,000 in general funds and $100,000 in nongeneral funds to study the costs and benefits of adding a Community Health Worker benefit to Virginia’s Medicaid program;
- $428,271 in general funds and $694,772 in nongeneral funds to improve Medicaid members’ access to dental care; and
- $3,373,581 in general funds to draw down $91,864,181 in federal Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
Despite not finishing work on a budget, the General Assembly passed several bills that Catalyst staff are monitoring. These include:
- HB 2251: Directs the Department of Health Professions to convene a work group to examine the viability of a licensure by endorsement pathway for dentists and dental hygienists. The purpose of this bill is to strengthen the oral health workforce.
- HB 1375: Prohibits individual and small group health plans from varying premiums based on tobacco use. The purpose of this bill is to improve access to insurance and tobacco cessation services among tobacco users.
- HB 1940: Requires the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to issue a reciprocal license for waterworks and wastewater works operators licensed in another state as fulfillment of qualifications for licensure in Virginia. The purpose of this bill is to increase the number of waterworks and wastewater works operators.
- HB 2189: Directs the State Water Control Board to adopt regulations that require certain industrial users of publicly owned treatment works to test and report waste streams for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) prior to and after using such items. The purpose of this bill is to identify and address potential PFAS contaminations in the drinking water more quickly.
These bills are awaiting the Governor’s signature or veto. Catalyst will continue to monitor the status of these bills and the state budget.