Provided by Del. Hala Ayala’s Office
As legislative special session concludes, Delegate Hala Ayala announced that her legislative agenda supporting Virginia working families passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Her agenda focused on supporting the Commonwealth’s workers, women, and families during the COVID-19 pandemic and moving Virginia forward to a strong future as we recover from this crisis.
Ayala authored legislation to train state employees on public health and safety, study fetal and infant mortality rates in Virginia including racial disparities, expand access to broadband throughout the Commonwealth to help close the digital divide, create outdoor refreshments areas to help small businesses and localities recover from the pandemic, and remove the 30-day waiting period for auto insurance refunds to put more money back into the pockets of Virginians quicker.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown, our Commonwealth is facing an unprecedented crisis,” said Ayala. “More than 8,000 Virginians have died, and one in four Virginia businesses have closed during the pandemic. Virginians are hurting right now, and as someone who has struggled to make ends meet before, I understand that pain many are facing. I am grateful for Governor Northam’s leadership during this crisis, and I am thankful for my colleagues’ support for my legislation to protect Virginians, support workers, and help our small businesses recover.”
In addition to the bills passed, the General Assembly funded a study of Ayala’s paid family and medical leave bill in the conference budget, which is the first time that paid family and medical leave has been funded in the budget. Throughout the session, Ayala served as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Communications, Technology, and Innovation and as the Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic Caucus, where she was a critical leader in legalizing marijuana, passing automatic expungement, ensuring prescription drug price transparency, expanding access to abortion care, and implementing Governor Northam’s G3 jobs training program.