Senator Jill Vogel

Pregnancy Resource Centers: A Winning Reversal Of Fortune At The General Assembly

At the beginning of this year’s General Assembly session, pregnancy resource centers were in the crosshairs of the abortion industry. From a press conference releasing a now debunked report about PRCs, to legislation that would have burdened them with unnecessary regulations, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia must have thought they were well on their way to putting their competition out of business. What a difference a few weeks — and the truth — makes.

Yesterday, instead of finalizing anti-PRC legislation, the House (HJ 435) and Senate (SJ 265) passed identical resolutions honoring the work of pregnancy resource centers across the commonwealth. This took place despite a frantic effort by NARAL to derail the resolutions (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). The resolutions were introduced at the request of The Family Foundation.

Earlier this session, the anti-PRC legislation was defeated in House and Senate sub-committees, with the Senate patron, Dr. Ralph Northam (D-6, Norfolk), actually asking for his own bill (SB 188) to be defeated. This happened in a sub-committee meeting, that he chaired, where the truth about the work of PRCs was presented through personal testimonies from young women who received support from PRCs in their time of need.

The Family Foundation was honored to work with so many great PRC directors who serve women and families in crisis each and every day. (Click here to read more about the battle in this Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star op-ed.) We especially thank Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) and Delegate Chris Stolle, MD (R-83, Virginia Beach) for introducing these commending resolutions on behalf of Virginia's pregnancy resource centers.

Virginia's PRCs are grateful, too. Below is a letter we received from one center after the news the two resolutions were passed:

Thank you so much for all your work on the front lines for family values in Virginia. We continue to thank God for you all. The help and guidance that you and the FF team provided to the Virginia Directors in mid January was deeply appreciated. Weren't we all amazed by the miraculous ways in which God moved in the Health subcommittee on January 26, 2010. I truly will never forget that day!!!!

News from the Family Foundation this morning regarding the resolutions honoring the work of PRC's across the Commonwealth, requested by the FF and passed in both House and Senate yesterday, has truly been humbling in light of all you have already done for us. Thank you so much for your partnership in standing for life in the Commonwealth of Virginia and for the tremendous work that you do both in session season and out. May God continue to bless you all.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Interview: Senator Jill Vogel, Part 2

Yesterday, we posted part one of a two part interview with Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester). The questions focused on SB 417, the Virginia Health Care Freedom bill she patroned, and which is on its way to Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature. The bill preserves the freedom of Virginians from federal mandates to buy health insurance. Today, we ask Senator Vogel about state spending and the budget, de-funding Planned Parenthood and eliminating the state corporate income tax. FamilyFoundationBlog: Will the General Assembly eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood this year? It was so close two years ago, but now we have a pro-life governor. How will having a pro-life governor affect this particular budget policy getting approved?

Senator Jill Vogel: I hope so. I introduced a budget amendment on the Senate side that would de-fund Planned Parenthood. But in the Democratic controlled Senate it is more of an uphill battle. No question, having a pro-life Governor makes a difference and no doubt, it is a razor thin vote in the Senate.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Over a period of about 10 years, state government spending nearly doubled. Will the Virginia Senate take advantage of the budget gap now to not just make cuts to programs, which still leaves them in place to grow again in the future, but make permanent changes that eliminate government involvement entirely where government truly is not needed so as to put a brake on future state government growth?

Senator Jill Vogel: I think that this awful economy and terrible budget environment has a silver lining. We have the leverage to make changes in the size and structure of government that will bring long terms savings and shrink the size of government.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Every year we see the governor and General Assembly pass targeted tax credits to create jobs or "invest" in business recruitment funding to lure businesses to Virginia. Instead of spending taxpayer money and quibbling over targeted tax credits that are not broadly based and how much to fund — and what to name — the Governor's Opportunity Fund, why not cut or eliminate corporate taxes? They are the biggest hindrance to job creation. Corporate taxes need to be looked at as a business expense. If a CEO knew he could move to Virginia where his company would pay no corporate tax, and his company could then realize a bigger profit, that would lure many more times the businesses to Virginia than any targeted incentive. Should the General Assembly and Governor McDonnell be so bold as to support Delegate Bob Purkey's HB 119?

Senator Jill Vogel: I support the bill and you have said it better than I could. Targeted tax breaks may solve a short term, narrow objective. But let’s be practical and consider that a broader perspective, where we address the issue of corporate taxes head on, brings substantial long term benefit and would be a real game changer when businesses out of Virginia decide where they want to invest.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Senator Vogel, thanks a million for your time and your insights into this year's session. Thank you also for your constant support for family values and limited, constitutional government. We look forward to a productive and successful session in advancing these shared principles.

Senator Jill Vogel: Thank you so much for the questions. It is a great honor to get to serve my district in the Senate. I take my responsibility seriously and I appreciate the opportunity to partner with you on so many issues that matter to my district. Take care and stay in touch.

Interview: Senator Jill Vogel, Part 1

Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) is in her first term in the Virginia Senate. She is a rising star in the Republican Party of Virgina, let alone in the GOP caucus, and already has led on a number of issues, becoming an effective voice for conservatism in the very liberal Senate. She sits on the General Laws and Technology, Privileges and Elections, and Rehabilitation and Social Services Committees. This year, she was one of three patrons of Senate legislation that protects Virginians from the increasingly long arm and outright girth of the federal government over states and individuals in the area of health care. Her bill, SB 417, with the others, shocked liberals across the state by passing the Democrat controlled Senate and now is on the way to Governor Bob McDonnell's desk for his signature, which will make Virginia the first state to protect itself from ObamaCare. We originally scheduled this interview for one part, but Senator Vogel gave such informative replies, we decided to break it up. So, here, in part one, we ask her about her Health Care Freedom legislation. In part two, we'll cover the state budget and spending, the economic benefit of eliminating corporate taxes, and de-funding Planned Parenthood.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Senator Vogel, thank you very much for spending time with us and answering these questions. They cover a broad range of topics of interest to our readers. As we have just passed "Crossover," we very much look forward to your answers and insights as to what is happening in the General Assembly. Are you ready for some questions?

Senator Jill Vogel: I am ready and I am happy to have an opportunity to be with you. Also, before we begin I should tell you how grateful I am for all that The Family Foundation does to provide support and encouragement on the bills that I have carried. It is a huge help.

With crossover behind us, this is a perfect opportunity to take stock of where we are and for me to answer some questions about progress in the Senate this year. It has been an intense session, but with the help of the newly elected Governor we have made some significant headway on issues affecting jobs and the economy as well as a long list of other issues that are priorities for us.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Thank you for those kind words. That's very high praise. Now, question one: You are one of the leaders in Health Care Freedom legislation to protect Virginians from the federal government's reach into our personal health care decisions. Why did you take on this issue?

Senator Vogel: I took this on because it is time that our state legislature acted on this subject — both to protect our citizens and to reinforce that what the federal government is currently attempting to do with health care is not only bad public policy, but it is unconstitutional.

My bill is simple. It makes it illegal to impose insurance mandates on the citizens of the Commonwealth and forecloses the kinds of mandates that government run health care would dictate. Frankly, never in the history of this country has the federal government attempted such a power grab and I have an obligation to the citizens that I represent to prevent Congress from usurping the authority for decisions that are clearly left to individuals and the states under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Such a scheme by the federal government will never survive a Constitutional challenge and Virginia’s legislation sets us up for that challenge. The United States Supreme Court has never expanded the 10th Amendment or the Commerce Clause or any other category to reach the regulation of the purchase of a private product. We can incentivize certain behavior, we can tie certain requirements to certain funding or other contingencies, but a flat out mandate of this nature is a clear violation of the Constitution.

Other state legislatures around the nation have taken up the charge as well and, at this count, I think more than 38 states are considering similar measures. The point is that states are the breeding ground of innovation and competition for new ideas and solutions about health care should be left to the states. I am proud to say that yesterday marked the passage of the legislation in both the House and Senate of Virginia, bringing us national attention as the first state legislature to fully pass the measure.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Were you prepared for the heated barrage of questions and, quite frankly, the rude treatment from one of your liberal colleagues in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee? Also, tell us about the close vote in the committee — did it surprise you that it even got reported? How much work went in to convincing Senators Colgan and Puckett to crossover?

Senator Vogel: I knew that the issue would be controversial and politically charged and I think the slim margin of the vote made it that much more tense. I was surprised that the bill passed in a committee with such a large Democratic majority on the committee and that merely reinforces that this is not a partisan issue. Also, it was not a hard sell with Senators Colgan and Puckett, whose votes very much reflect the mood of their districts.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Were you surprised at the big margin the Health Care bills passed in the Senate given the liberal control of that chamber? Have you seen an issue like this before that has so galvanized such a large number of people from all across the political spectrum?

Senator Vogel: Once it passed committee, I was less surprised at the amount of bipartisan support in the full Senate. Again, those numbers just reinforce that these concerns about health care are compelling to people across the political spectrum. No matter what, Virginians don’t believe in a one size fits all health care solution that subjects them to the dictates of a federal bureaucracy that manages health care.

LATER TODAY: Interview With Senator Jill Vogel!

Later today, we will have another interview with a big name in Virginia politics: Senator Jill Vogel, (R-27, Winchester). She joins Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who last week participated in a live interview with questions taken from readers (see here); and Dr. Bob Holsworth, Virginia's nationally known and respected political analyst, which we posted in two parts: Tuesday (here) and Wednesday (here). If you don't know Senator Vogel, you should: She's a rising star in Virginia politics and an effective voice for conservatism in the very liberal Senate. She has quickly risen to one of that chamber’s leaders on a number of issues. She is the only Republican woman in the Senate and has carried important legislation for us in the past, such as safety bills for unregulated abortion centers. This year, she is one of the leaders of the soon-to-be-signed-into-law Health Care Freedom legislation that exempts Virginia and Virginians from individual federal government health care mandates.

We look forward to hosting Senator Vogel and hope you check back later today. We are sure you will find the interview informative and insightful.

Senate Health Care Freedom Bills Advance To House Floor, Last Step Before Governor's Signature

Here's an update on Health Care Freedom legislation: The three Senate bills — SB 283, SB 311 and SB 417 — passed in historic fashion by the Senate last week, all passed by 16-5 bi-partisan margins in the House Commerce and Labor Committee around 3:30 today. (These bills originally were listed on the committee agenda last week, but were carried over to today. The vote most likely will be 17-5 as one pro-10th Amendment delegate was not there, but delegates are allowed to vote after committee as long as it doesn't afect the outcome.) The Senate bills are patroned by Senators Fred Qualye (R-13, Suffolk), Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), respectively. All three bills proceed to the House floor tomorrow and face a projected key vote Thursday. House passage is very much expected, but nothing should be left to chance. Contact your delegate (here) or, to learn who your delegate is, click here. If passed by the House, the bill goes to Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature.

In other words, establishing a 10th Amendment wall around Virginia against the encroachment of federal bureaucrats is within a very short grasp — much quicker and without the huge dust-up most anticipated — making Virginia the first state to do so! The Old Dominion, leading for liberty, again.

That founding principle, ingrained but ignored for so long, that the states and the people, are the sovereigns of this country and commonwealth, may soon have the weight of law in Virginia. Where the central government has no stated role, the people have natural rights to make decisions for themselves. That is the essence of constitutionally guaranteed limited government — government does not grant rights nor issues commands. It secures rights and guards freedom. There's a rebirth of that now and, as during freedom's birth at the Founding, it's finding its bearings in Virginia.

BREAKING NEWS: SB 311 And SB 417 Also Pass Virginia Senate!

The two identical bills to SB 283SB 311 and SB 417 — also passed just seconds ago, by identical 23-17 margins. At first glance, the six vote margin is surprisingly large. More details to come. SB 417 is patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) and SB 311 is patroned by Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield).

Big Senate Vote Monday! Contact Your Senator!

On Monday, the Virginia Senate will debate and vote on SB 283 (Senator Fred Quayle, R-13, Suffolk), SB 311 (Senator Steve Martin, R-11, Chesterfield), and SB 417 (Senator Jill Vogel, R-27, Winchester), three bills that will protect Virginians from being forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance. All three are worded exactly the same. The bill made it to the floor earlier this week when the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee unexpectedly passed it 8-7. Democrat Senators Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell) and Charles Colgan (D-29, Manassas) voted with the six committee Republicans. The debate is expected to be intense and widely watched. It also will be close. If the two Democrats hold their votes, it could come down to a tie, with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling breaking the tie.

Don’t let this rare chance at a major victory in the Virginia Senate go to waste! If you want Virginia to protect itself from the federal government’s reach into our personal health care decisions and protect us from the force of the federal government to make us buy insurance — an unprecedented act in the history of our nation — you must contact your senator and ask him or her to support these bills. (If you don't know who he or she is, click here.)

If any of the bills pass the high hurdle of the Senate, it certainly will receive a warm reception in the House. If either Senator Puckett or Senator Colgan represents you, thank them for their courageous committee votes and encourage them to stay strong on the Senate floor on Monday.

There's more great news about bills designed to assert Virginia’s sovereignty and resist federal intrusion into our health care decisions: Thursday, Sub-committee 2 of the House Commerce and Labor Committee voted by an 8-2 margin to report HB 10, The Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, to the full committee. The bill is patroned by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Prince William). Its day in full committee is not yet determined.

Campaign Special Quote Of The Day

Our Quote of the Day normally is reserved for General Assembly session (during which there are too many to post). But tonight at Richmond International Airport, at the GOP ticket's second-to-last stop on its final fly through tour, attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli again stole the show, earning himself yet more ink.

You know the Democrats are desperate for help when they even fly Tim Kaine into Virginia to campaign for them!

Fun aside, and there was much of it, the event was serious, with exhortations to not let up over the next 24 hours. Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling joined Senator Cuccinelli in asking the crowd of about 300 to do the blocking for them, to be the boots on the ground, to continue calling and e-mailing and Facebooking and Twittering friends, family, neighbors and colleagues; to man the polls tomorrow and give people rides to vote; to knock on doors and volunteer. Still lots to be done was the message. Taking nothing for granted, these men, not after eight years in the desert.

There were two surprises: Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) emceed the event and Jeanine McDonnell, the Republican's eldest daughter and Iraq War vet (Army Lt., platoon leader), who first starred in the campaign as the his designated introducer and later in a campaign ad, sang the national anthem. What a great voice! Tomorrow night, she and the McDonnell family hope to be singing another song.  

As Crossover Approaches, It's All To Play For

Tuesday is "crossover" day in the General Assembly, the day when work on bills from their respective chambers must be complete. The past two weeks have been long and intense, as you have been able to tell by reading this blog and by the number of e-mail alerts you've received. (If you don't receive our e-mail alerts, you should. They are informative, fun, fast and have received critical acclaim. People tell us that when they read them, they feel as if they were in the committee room. Click here to sign up.)   Several bills in The Family Foundation's bill profile were acted on recently. Here's an update:

SB 1270: Abortion Center Licensing Requirement (Support)

This legislation, introduced by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), would have required abortion centers to become licensed, have life-saving equipment in their facilities and submit to one yearly inspection. It was drafted to make abortion centers safer for the women who visit them. In fact, the original bill had numerous regulations, many of which pro-abortion activists claim are onerous and designed put these centers out of business. Anticipating this argument, Senator Vogel stripped down the bill to the three simple requirements listed above.

The fact is that there are several types of medical facilities that are much less invassive, such as podiatry centers; and altogether different types of facilities, such as puppy mills, that have much tougher regulations. Furthermore, all medical disciplines and specialities have oversight by peer review boards, with the notable exception of abortionists.

Finally, the pro-abortion side traditionally argues that the Board of Medicine regulates Virginia's abortion clinics. Fine. Senator Vogel presented SJ 276, which the Senate passed unanimously last year, that slams the Board of Medicine, citing a 1999 JLARC report, that discovered "the Board of Medicine  took too long to resolve cases, did not adequately protect the public from substandard practice by doctors, and did not handle medical malpractice cases adequately," among other charges. When confronted with its hypocrisy and the truth, the pro-abortion side did the only thing it could do — ignore it.

So, this bill, which seemed like a logical and bipartisan issue, failed in the Senate Education and Health Committee by a party line vote of 10-5. So much for "safe, legal and rare." Instead, in Virginia, abortion centers remain an exempted class, untouchable and protected by their overlords in the Senate. Read more about this issue here and see video of the Ed and Health hearing here.

SB 801: "Choose Life" License Plates (Support)

This legislation, from Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), not only would have created "Choose Life" license plates, but would have sent part of the proceeds from the plates to pregnancy resource centers around Virginia. The bill was debated in the Senate Transportation Committee. Of course, the opposition denounced the plates, claiming they are political in nature and out of the purview for recognition.

Even more infuriating, a family practitioner unashamedly attacked crisis pregnancy centers in her testimony. The bill died in committee by a vote of 6-6 with Senators Harry Blevins (R-14, Chesapeake) and John Watkins (R-10, Midlothian) abstaining. Senator Blevins was in the room up until just before the vote and then walked out — leaving a "proxy" vote of "abstain" behind.

HB 2579: Informed Consent, Ultrasound Requirement (Support)

Delegate Kathy Bryon's (R-22, Lynchburg) bill would require abortionists to take an ultrasound and allow the woman to view it if she desires before having an abortion. The Family Foundation supports this bill not only because it would give women medically accurate information to aid their decision making, but also with hopes that more women would choose life after clearly seeing that life inside them. The House Courts of Justice Committee reported this bill 15-6. It now goes to the House floor.   

HB 2634: Providing Information on Fetal Pain

Another informed consent bill, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), would require that a woman be told that her unborn child could feel pain during the abortion process and provide her with information on anesthesia for the child. Again, the House Courts of Justice Committee passed this bill 17-5, and the House will vote on it this week. See some of the sub-committee debate here.  

HB 1624, HB 1625, HB 1726, HB 2385, SB 945, SB 1247:  Legislation on "Sexual Orientation" (Oppose)

With homosexual rights advocates feeling emboldened by recent election victories, every effort has been made this legislative season to make sure that the term "sexual orientation" finds its way into Virginia code. It has been attempted in every form from group life insurance and housing discrimination, to making sure that it becomes a protected class under Virginia's human rights laws. Any incremental step they believe they can take, they will. Thankfully, we can report that all efforts to expand the homosexual agenda have failed thus far, with the exception of SB 945 (life insurance). 

These battles are far from over and other skirmishes over other issues undoubtedly will materialize. If ever it was all to play for, this year's second half is it.

Clinics Are Where You Go To Get Well

One thing that has always frustrated me about the life debate, especially during the General Assembly, is that pro-lifers sometimes concede the semantics to the pro-abortion side. Simple case: Each year we support legislation that would license abortion "clinics" — the only type "medical" facility that escapes such basic oversight, especially considering the importance of the situations in which women who visit them find themselves. I hate using the word "clinic" in conjunction with abortion. A clinic is where you go to get well — not to kill a baby. I've tried "facility" but that does not capture the graveness of the activities that go on in these buildings. Friday, in a meeting, someone hit it spot on: "centers," as in abortion centers, because that's exactly what they are; centers carrying the connotation of "mass scale" or "large" — a place where much rote assembly line acitvity goes on.  Using it already, people have caught on — the understanding is immediate. It conveys exactly the heinous nature of what takes place in these centers of destruction.

Which leads to this Thursday in the Senate Committee on Education and Health (see members here to contact), which happens to its last meeting before crossover, and which also happens to be Planned Parenthood's lobby day. Here is the great tradition the two have worked out: Save the pro-life bills for PP's day at the GAB and kill them all to appease the committee pro-abortion majority's biggest supporters. But that also happens to be The Family Foundation's virtual lobby day, and we hope you participate by contacting your senators and delegates about defunding Planned Parenthood and supporting pro-life legislation.

So, not so coincidentally, E&H will hear SB 1270, patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester). The bill will be amended and offer three simple requirements: A yearly inspection, life-saving equipment (which our lawmakers have in the GAB) and a registration/licensure of some type with an oversight agency. Let's see how those who claim to be for "safe, legal and rare," vote and if they think abortion centers should still claim exemption from the slightest of regulations, much less than what even podiatrists are subjected to. If they find excuses for defeating this, their cover, however, thin it is now, will be completely blown — as shattered as the term abortion "clinic."

Pastors Day At The Capitol: Restoring A Culture Of Life

Fresh off our large turnout of more than 250 grassroots Christian conservative activists at our annual lobby day yesterday, we have another day at the capitol: for pastors. It will be on February 5 and those attending will be treated to every bit the great lineup of speakers and lobbying opportunities with their senators and delegates.

The theme of Pastors Day At The Capitol is:

Restoring A Culture Of Life.

No coincidence, then, that February 5 is the same day as Planned Parenthood's lobby day.

Among the speakers confirmed are Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), who is carrying SB 1270, a bill to licence abortion facilities; Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg), the 2007 Family Foundation Legislator of the Year; and Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), who doubles as the co-chairman of the Virginia Conservative Caucus, a group of conservatives senators and delegates who shape alternative and innovative conservative proposals during the General Assembly.

Among the non-legislators slated to speak are the Rev. Bill Haywood and former Virginia State Police Chaplain Steve Lambert, one of the six who resigned rather than obey an order prohibiting prayer "in Jesus' name."

Please make your pastor aware of this unique opportunity. For more information, contact The Family Foundation of Virginia at 804-343-0010.

Lobby Day Review: Big Numbers Of Values Voters Show Up At The Capitol Today!

This was a strange one: Lobby Day and I had nary a thing to do with it. My first two sessions, 2006 and 2007, I was knee deep in planning and executing the event. Last year, not so much. This year, virtually nada. That's what happens when you're trying to put coalitions together in support of various bills. Somebody had to mind the store and work on our legislative initiatives, research and make lawmaker contacts. Still, it's pretty impressive to see more than 250 people, with yellow "I Vote Values" stickers enter Mr. Jefferson's capitol. More people than last year, even. Who said values voters no longer matter? Here's how the day went:

More than 250 people from around the commonwealth met in the capital city today to support traditional values in Virginia this legislative season.  They were energized by elected officials such as Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Centerville), and Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5, Independence), who spoke of the opportunities that currently exist to promote fundamental rights, such as chaplains being allowed to pray "in Jesus name," as well as seeing to it that Planned Parenthood doesn't continue to receive taxpayer funds.

These encouraging messages were followed by keynote speaker, Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, who affirmed the fact that by championing traditional values one also is championing the ideas believed in and sacrificed for by the constitutional framers. Attendees also heard from Adam Schaeffer (TQ Radio interview here) of the CATO Institute who addressed education freedom after also addressing the House Education Committee earlier in the morning.

After hearing from this great line up, citizens made their way to the Capitol where they observed both legislative bodies in action. While in the galleries and watching in other rooms they were introduced in the House of Delegates by Delegate Kenneth Alexander (D-89, Norfolk), who also is the new chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, and in the Senate, by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester).

Equipped and encouraged, these hundreds of grassroots conservative activists then went in small groups and met personally with more than half of the legislators in the General Assembly. Because of their efforts to make their voices heard we know that we will see victories in this year's General Assembly, and we are thankful for their time and commitment to traditional values.

Although you may not have been able to join us today, if you are reading this, you will have another opportunity to participate in a Family Foundation Lobby Day — on February 5 we will have a Virtual Lobby Day when we use the power of the Internet to promote our message. Continue to check back here and future e-mail alerts for more details as we make staying connected to your government and elected officials as easy as logging on and clicking a mouse. It may be short session, but we have a lot planned, both in person and online to make a significant impact on our elected officials. 

Speaking of which, pay close attention to our e-mail alerts throughout the session and be prepared to call, write and e-mail your legislators to remind them that Virginia is and should remain a great place to raise a family.