Danny's Desk: General Assembly News
Jan 21, 2014
  1. Baby News and Bills. We want to send a big welcome to a new little member of my neighboring 16th District. Congratulations to Delegate Les Adams and his wife, Melanie, on the birth of their new baby boy born January 16th. This is a very busy time for Delegate Adams and his family!

I want to let my constituents know that I have a bill, which if passed, should help more of our rural roads qualify for paving. HB1184 allows a locality to designate a street as a Rural Rustic Road, provided the street is located in a low-density development area and has an average daily traffic volume of no more than 1500 vehicles per day. The street or road may then be improved in accordance with reduced and flexible state standards. I appreciate the research and work that Supervisor Coy Harville and Assistant Pittsylvania County Administrator, Greg Sides, did for this bill.

Certainly another important issue in our area is workforce training. Senator Frank Ruff and I joined forces to introduce identical bills – one on the Senate side and mine on the House side. Senator Ruff put in SB 628 and I introduced HB 1225 that will establish the Community College Workforce Training Grant Program which encourages training for students to receive an industry-recognized certification or license in a field that is in demand in the region served by the community college. Any moneys left in the fund will carry over to the next year and not revert to the General Fund.

On another issue, I serve on the Commerce and Labor Committee and have been appointed as Chairman of the Special Workers Compensation Subcommittee. My subcommittee will meet February 4th and will hear the following bills, some of which might be of interest to you.

HB 52 (Webert) Workers' compensation insurance; use of experience rating, loss limitation not-at-fault accidents.  Directs the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to adopt regulations that establish standards for determining a loss limitation to be included in the calculation of workers' compensation insurance experience modifications when a motor vehicle accident is a not-at-fault motor vehicle accident.

HB 821 (Lopez) Workers' compensation; disease presumption; correctional officers. Adds correctional officers to the list of public safety employees who are entitled to a presumption that hypertension and heart disease and certain infectious diseases are occupational diseases compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

HB 946 (Hugo) Workers' compensation; fee schedule for medical care services; limitations; prompt payment. The Commission is directed to promulgate regulations establishing medical care fee schedules governing all medical care services rendered pursuant to the Act. The regulations implementing the schedules shall become effective on October 1, 2015.

HB 1017 (Kilgore) Workers' compensation; payment for medical services. Limits the liability of an employer for medical treatment provided to an injured person that is rendered by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant serving as an assistant-at-surgery to no more than 20 percent of the charge of the physician performing the surgery.

HB 1058 (Kilgore) Workers' compensation; payments for medical services. Requires that, for health care services rendered to a workers' compensation claimant on or after July 1, 2014, (i) the charge master used by a health care provider shall be the same charge master used by a health care provider when providing health care services to patients other than claimants;

HB 1083 (Ware, L) Workers' compensation; payment for medical services. Limits the liability of an employer for medical treatment provided to an injured person that is rendered by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant serving as an assistant-at-surgery to no more than 20 percent of the charge of the physician performing the surgery.

If you want to read or keep up with this and other Virginia legislation, you may go on line to: http://legis.virginia.gov/  As always, I hope that my 14th District constituents will let us know how you feel about the state issues that are before us.