Legislative Agenda

VACOLAO’s 2021 Legislative Agenda – Virginia General Assembly

FINANCIAL AID FOR ELEGIBLE IN-STATE TUITION STUDENTS REGARLESS OF THEIR LEGAL STATUS (SB 1387 – Senator Boysko and Hashmi. HB 2123, Delegate Lopez. Provides that students who meet the criteria in the Code of Virginia that determines eligibility for in-state tuition regardless of their citizenship or immigration status shall also be deemed to be domiciled in the Commonwealth. The bill also provides that all such students shall be afforded the same educational benefits, including access to state financial assistance programs, as any other individual who is eligible for in-state tuition. The bill has a delayed effective date of August 1, 2022 and directs the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in coordination with institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, to promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of the bill.

PROTECT PRIVACY INFORMATION OF DPC Beneficiaries. (HB 2163 – Delegate Tran) Department of Motor Vehicles; privileged information. Limits the release of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) privileged information to government entities and law-enforcement agencies for the purpose of civil immigration enforcement unless (i) the subject of the information provides consent or (ii) the requesting agency presents a lawful judicial order, judicial subpoena, or judicial warrant. The bill requires the DMV to notify the subject of the request that such a request was made and the identity of the entity that made the request. The bill requires any entity receiving privileged information from the DMV to enter into a written agreement with the DMV prior to such release of such information and prohibits any entity from rereleasing any such DMV information to any third party unless explicitly permitted to do so in the entity’s agreement with the DMV. The bill contains requirements for any such written agreement between the DMV and the Department of State Police.

IDENTIFICATION PRIVILEDGE CARD (HB2138 – Delegate Guzman) . Authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue identification privilege cards to applicants who do not meet the citizenship or legal presence requirements for a special identification card or a limited-duration special identification card and have reported income from Virginia sources or been claimed as a dependent on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months. The bill provides that identification privilege cards shall be treated as special identification cards unless otherwise provided in the Code of Virginia. The bill limits the release of certain information stored by the Department. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2022.

Extend Medicaid/FAMIS MOMS prenatal coverage to undocumented women who meet all other non-immigration eligibility criteria.

Clarify that Medicaid “Emergency Services” specifically cover COVID-19 screening, testing, and all related treatment.

Increase the age limit from 19 to 21 of “legally residing” immigrant children to qualify for Medicaid and FAMIS   

To see full agenda, please click HERE. This list will be updated according to the bills that VACOLAO will be approving:

VACOLAO Legislative Agenda (As of January 27, 2016)

Driving Authorization for Immigrants in Virginia

VACOLAO supports granting driving authorization to immigrants in Virginia, like other states such as Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico. This would allow legal motor vehicle operation by immigrants living in Virginia, ensuring they go meet proper safety regulations and insurance requirements. This would create a safer environment and help these families go about their daily lives in a legal, safe manner. (SB 390 Surovell, HB 695 Kory, HB 987 Lopez, Bloxom 1316).

Quality of Life for Hourly Wage Earners

VACOLAO supports any effort to enhance the quality of life for the lowest-paid laborers in society, namely through raising the minimum wage (SB 129 Edwards, SB 88 Marsden).

Medicaid Expansion

VACOLAO supports Medicaid Expansion to Virginians who are legal residents with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level. While Latinos comprise only about 9% of Virginians, nearly 20% of them are uninsured. Medicaid Expansion closes the coverage gap brought on by failure to implement the full range of reforms included in the ACA by ensuring that all Virginians have access to quality preventative healthcare services.  Ultimately, Medicaid Expansion is good for Virginia because it creates and preserves healthcare jobs, provides a large portion of Virginians with the healthcare they need, and brings Virginia tax dollars back to Virginia. (HB797 Plum)

VACOLAO supports the Governor’s Biannual 2016-2018 budget that includes Medicaid Expansion.

Fair Treatment of Workers

VACOLAO supports any effort to help ensure that all workers are compensated accurately, and that employers who willfully defraud or refuse to pay their workers are punished. (SB 342 Ebbin) Additionally, VACOLAO supports any effort to help workers in hazardous industries, such as asbestos removal, with fair notification of rights and responsibilities in English and Spanish (SB 305 Ebbin).

Human Trafficking

VACOLAO supports any efforts to curb, reduce, assist the victims of, and punish the perpetrators of Human Trafficking in Virginia. (SB 131 Edwards, HJ 104 Leftwich, SJ 24 Edwards, SB 180 Edwards, SB 135 Edwards, SB 133 Edwards, HB 681 Leftwich)

Voter ID

VACOLAO supports any effort to eliminate potential disenfranchisement at the polls, in this case expanding acceptable forms of identification required to vote in Virginia (HB 32 Sullivan, SB 69 Wexton).

SB 69 Wexton was reported from Priveleges and Elections and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Discrimination in the Workplace

VACOLAO supports any legislation that prohibits discrimination in the workplace, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, or any other factor. (SB 12 Ebbin, SB 221 McEachin, HB 179 Kory, SB 221 McClellan).

VACOLAO opposes legislation that provides a loophole for employers to discriminate on the basis of any factor, including sexual orientation or gender identity. (HB 385 Marshall, HB 77 Marshall, HB 397 LaRock)


VACOLAO supports legislation that would create a neutral, nonpartisan redistricting process to end gerrymandering and make legislative districts in Virginia fair and compact. Gerrymandering distorts the electoral process, undermines democracy, and renders legislative elections a meaningless exercise. (HB 553 Minchew, HB 26 Sullivan, HB 303 Rasoul, HB 247 Ward, HJ 96 Plum, HJ 93 Carr, HJ 117 J. Bell, SB 59 Howell, SB 191 Miller, SB 31 Lucas, SJ 68 Barker, SJ 60 Deeds). Unfortunately, SJ 68 and SJ 60 were continued to Session 2017, rather than taken up this year.

Fair Treatment of Immigrant Students

VACOLAO supports any effort to assist non-native English speakers in successfully completing their high school education, in this instance by allowing an English language learning assessment to replace the 11th Grade English SOL requirements. (HB 241 Lingamfelter, HB 573 Kory, HB 936 Toscano, HB 694 Kory, SB 548 Barker, SB 538 Ebbin)

Assistance to Refugees Fleeing Conflict Zones

VACOLAO opposes any effort to deny refugees’ asylum or assistance as required by international law. (HB 852 Hugo, HB 494 Marshall, HJ 124 Hugo, SB 270 Garrett)