2023 VA General Assembly Session
Overview of 2023 Legislative Priorities & How You Can Effectively Advocate with Us
Several autism advocacy organizations across Virginia have joined together to form the Virginia Autism Advocacy Alliance (VAAA), including the Virginia Autism Project (VAP), Commonwealth Autism Services, Autism Societies (Central Virginia, Northern Virginia & Tidewater), Charlottesville Region Autism Action Group (CRAAG), Autism Speaks, and others.
Our goal is to improve services and strengthen protections for autistic individuals. We strive to unify the voice of the autism community and integrate legislation in a coordinated manner.
We support the DD System Transformation Agenda, Presented by the Arc of Virginia & vaACCSES. This strong agenda seeks to transform Virginia’s System into a more effective and efficient system by building provider capacity and workforce, funding more waivers, and building long-term sustainability into our system. There are several items on this agenda that work towards these goals and improve our system.
Budget Item Updates: Feb 5, 2023
After weeks of advocating with key legislators, both the House and Senate released their budgets on February 5. The chart below (thank you to The Arc of Virginia for compiling this data!) outlines our funding agenda and indicates which items were included in each chamber’s budget. We are pleased that both reports included several items we advocated for, especially the 1,100 new waiver slots, but we recognize that significantly more advocacy efforts are needed to enhance services for our autism community.
Updates on Bills:
We supported The Arc of Virginia’s three bills they introduced this year — at Crossover, two have passed both the House and Senate and one is still pending in the House.
Additional information on ALL of the bills and budget items we supported, tracked, or advocated against are outlined in the below video.
Autism Advocacy Day:
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Another successful Autism Advocacy Day in the books!
On January 31, the ASCV joined forces with several other autism organizations from across Virginia for the 2023 Autism Advocacy Day at the VA General Assembly. Thank you to the 63 participants who joined us for over 30 appointments with legislators & staff! Your voices & stories went a long way!
Join Us! How you can effectively advocate:
- Visit this site frequently to stay up-to-date on bills related to our legislative agenda. COMING SOON: Watch our series of 10 minutes videos to learn how you can effectively advocate and receive overviews on current legislation impacting our autism community.
- Visit Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) to search and track bills that are important to you. Familiarize yourself with the details and status of each, and be sure to check back in regularly to track.
- Testify in committee hearings. Please let us know if there’s an item you’d like to speak to, and we will do our best to notify you as soon as the committee meeting is announced. Virtual testimony is allowed!
- Visit the Who’s My Legislator website and enter your address to find your Delegate and Senator. Reach out to your Delegate and Senator via phone or email to request their support of specific bills, including WHY issues are so important to you. Before you reach out, be sure to note if your legislator is already a Patron of the bill so you can either thank them or request their support.
- Participate in 2023 Autism Advocacy Day on Tuesday January 31st at the General Assembly to meet with your legislators and be part of a powerful day to make our voices heard!
ASCV’s Approach to Advocacy:
The ASCV team is dedicated to sharing information with our families and educating policymakers on current priorities that impact our local autism community. The ASCV is proud to represent a very diverse community of individuals across the entire autism spectrum and their families. We strive to empower autistic individuals and their families to advocate for the best possible services and support structures for themselves and/or their loved ones. Our team is committed to our ASCV Options Policy, and we believe that successful programs and services vary depending on individuals’ level of support needs.
We believe that effectively advocating at local, state, and national levels is imperative to improving services and strengthening protections. This requires unifying the voice of the autism community and integrating legislation priorities across federal, state, and local levels in a coordinated manner. Thank you for joining our efforts!