By Delegate Glenn Davis
While the federal government had been shut down, our State Capitol has been open and I continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Virginia remains open for business. This session, I have introduced fifteen bills and am the chief co-patron of seven others. This legislation covers a wide range of issues including advanced diplomas for high school vocational curricula, public charter schools, incentives for small businesses, increasing access to medical CBD treatments, health insurance protocols, and coverage for the treatment of autism. These are commonsense measures to move Virginia forward while ensuring no one gets left behind. They are consistent with my priorities as well as our shared Republican values.
House Bill 2126 forces more transparency and reasonableness when allowing an insurance company to override the treatment for serious diseases that are recommended by your doctor. Some of my
constituents have shared their personal stories with me over the years on how current step therapy protocols have adversely affected them. One woman with whom I spoke was unable to hold her
newborn child for over six months because of her rheumatoid arthritis. The drugs forced on her by the insurance company were not working, but new drugs prescribed by her doctor enabled her to finally
experience the joy of holding her baby daughter. Her doctor knew what would best treat her condition, but insurance would not cover the new treatment until more less expensive ones were attempted and
proven unsuccessful. While many of us faced with such emotional circumstances may want to eliminate step therapy altogether, the individuals who have come to me for help have not requested its elimination, but rather increased transparency and reasonableness in the process. The added transparency put forth by my bill is to ensure that there is not a conflict of interest when treatment drugs are chosen and that someone who has gone through a step therapy process once with certaindrugs would not be forced to go through the same failed treatment again because of a transition to anew health care provider.
I am sure many of you remember the Governor’s evacuation of certain flood zones in Hampton Roads during Hurricane Florence last year. The Commonwealth provided an online resource for residents to find out what flood zones they lived in, but Virginia’s outdated infrastructure crashed due to the large number of citizens trying to log on to review that information. Consequently, many Virginians were left unsure whether they were in the evacuated flood zone, potentially leaving them and their loved ones at risk. House Bill 2595, which I introduced this session, requires that the crucial information Virginians needed during a state of emergency be hosted on a cloud server infrastructure so that similar crashes never again occur. Timely information during an emergency is vital, which is why this legislation could
The film industry is beginning an innovation phase it has not seen since the invention of television. We have seen technological advance in the past. Black and white has changed to color and high definition has advanced to 4K, but now film is undergoing a new transformation which includes virtual reality and augmented reality technology. This has even transitioned into a significant portion of the gaming industry. Virginia has a chance to be at the forefront of this transformation and to create thousands of new jobs across the Commonwealth, attracting content creators including Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Fox as well as gaming developers such as Electronic Arts. My House Bill 2163 creates incentives for providers when undertaking multi-year, large-scale, content-creation projects, stimulating significant job creation and infrastructure development. Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams has given Virginia a tremendous opportunity to be a national leader in new media, should Virginia move in this direction.
With deliberations over step therapy requirements for affordable medication, implementation of a reliable cloud server infrastructure, and initiatives to help Virginia to become a national leader in film and new media, this has truly been a prolific session for the oldest deliberative democratic body in the New World, but there is always more work to be done. I look forward to coming back to the 84th District with great results at the conclusion of this General Assembly session.
Glenn Davis is Principal & Chief Visionary Officer of FH Strategies and represents the 84th District of Virginia Beach in the Virginia House of Delegates