Virginia Voice Feb. 26, 2018
Released: Friday, March 02, 2018
VAIB| Virginia Voice
February 26, 2018
I recently received a phone call related to the work of VAIB and realized this caller thought I spent most of my time in Washington, DC. This is far from the truth! I may spend a few days each year visiting our legislators in Congress, but the primary focus of VAIB is and has been Virginia.
What does my work involve? Let me give an overview of what I do. About twenty-five percent of my work is at the Virginia General Assembly and in other state government meetings. But that can be misleading, since I devote the months of January and February only to the General Assembly. Forty percent of my time involves visiting churches and other church-related meetings with my wife Carol to give updates and seek support from churches. This involves up to thirty weekends during the months of March through November. The yearly conference takes ten percent of my time. Other duties include writing monthly update letters, maintaining financial records, creating the annual budget, preparing for four steering committee meetings, and other day-to-day office activities. Fortunately, Carol helps by checking emails, updating church records, making bank deposits, calling pastors to schedule meetings, and working on the yearly conference.
I hope this gives you a better idea of what keeps us busy, and how you can pray for us.
General Assembly Update
By and large this has been a successful year. The General Assembly has now passed the halfway point of their legislative session, and I’m excited that VAIB played a vital role in seeing thirty critical bills stopped! I was honored to testify on your behalf, urging delegates and senators to stand with VAIB. Thankfully, only a few bills of concern are moving forward, such as HB1609 (Del. Webert), a horse racing bill that would expand gambling. This bill passed the House 79-21 and is now in a Senate committee. I’m still following a number of other bills to ensure no harmful changes result. You can see more bills on the website at http://vaib.org/education/legislative-update/. This session will end on Saturday, March 10, with veto session on Wednesday, April 18.
I continue to work on the issue of religious exempt day cares, and fortunately, HB873 (Del. Orrock) is moving forward. It passed the House with strong support and has passed the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee. Soon it will be in the Senate! This bill will allow religious exempt day cares to continue with state background checks if the federal government amends its guidelines. VAIB believes background checks are an important tool for protecting children, but VAIB also wants to protect churches from unnecessary government intrusion. If you have any questions regarding upcoming background checks, please call my office.
Christian Schools and 529 Plans
Last year Congress made changes to 529 Savings Plans to allow these funds to be used for qualified K-12 education costs. Funds invested in these accounts grow free from federal taxes, and Virginians also receive a state tax deduction for contributions up to a certain amount. For more information, click here or go to https://www.virginia529.com/news/an-added-benefit-529-funds-can-now-be-used-for-k-12-tuition/?cat=35.
If you haven’t already, please stop by and visit me at the General Assembly. Everyone who has come leaves with a sense of thankfulness that VAIB is here and an understanding of how to better pray. Thank you for praying for and standing with VAIB.
Carol continues to gradually regain her strength. She has some follow-up doctor appointments and hopes to get more insights going forward. Your prayers for her are also appreciated.
Your voice for Christian liberties,
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