2024 Session Week Five

We’re nearly at the halfway point of the session. “Crossover,” the day by which we have to finish acting on all House bills so they can be sent over to the Senate, is fast approaching. This week, I advanced several of my bills (all with bipartisan support), spoke at events, and of course, took meetings with my constituents from the 94th District. Let’s get into it!

Passing Our Bills

In just the last week, four of my bills passed the House, all of which had bipartisan support:

First, my HB 558 passed the House unanimously. This is a voter referendum to amend our constitution and close a loophole that excludes the spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty from receiving a property tax exemption. I discussed this bill more in-depth in last week’s letter, but since then, it was also featured in several news articles covering military-related legislation introduced by the Hampton Roads delegation:

You can read the article here.

HB 896 also received bipartisan support, passing on a 73 to 24 vote. This bill will protect social security recipients by making sure their social security income cannot be garnished to pay court fees and fines. 

Next we passed HB 862, my bill relating to grid-enhancing technology, which I discussed in last week’s newsletter. I picked up a number of Republican votes and I’m glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can agree on working together to make our electrical grid more efficient. 

Finally, my bill to protect healthcare workers, HB 861 passed on Thursday and picked up one Republican vote. This commonsense bill will prohibit firearms and other dangerous weapons in hospitals. Sentara came to me with this bill to help keep frontline healthcare workers safe. It is imperative that we protect the people who are caring for our sick and vulnerable.

Action for Affordable Energy

On Tuesday, I spoke at a breakfast sponsored by the Affordable Energy Coalition. This coalition includes organizations such as Sierra Club, Clean Virginia and Appalachian Voices. I shared information about three of my bills that will help lower energy bills and promote environmental resilience here in Virginia.

Engage Norfolk

Last Saturday, I attended Engage Norfolk, which has become a wonderful tradition in our City that brings together groups of all stripes and calls on our citizens to be involved in the future of our community.

Meetings with Community Leaders

As always, I met with many local advocacy groups and constituents this week to learn about their legislative priorities. 

A meeting with Virginia’s Civil Air Patrol, which focuses on aviation and leadership skills in young people.

Inspiring meeting with Norfolk State University’s NAACP members. Their futures are bright!

The ARC of Virginia stopped by my office to advocate for folks with developmental disabilities.

Great meeting with the Virginia Maritime Association. The 94th District is home to the Port of Virginia.

Opportunities in the 94th

  • Hope House Foundation is looking for volunteers for their annual St. Patrick’s Day block party. Volunteers will help with pouring beer, assisting event organizers, and cleaning up. You can sign up for a shift on their website.  

  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia is hosting a series of online workshops on managing your money and credit. The workshops are free and will occur the 1st Thursday of every month from 6 to 8pm on zoom. You can sign up to participate here.

  • The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk has opportunities available for roles in education & interpretation, administration & operations, and animal care & conservation. Volunteers must commit to at least 30 hours of service annually.  You can find more information here. 

As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your delegate. Stay tuned for more updates!


Phil Hernandez