Subject: Week 8 Update from Richmond!

Dear Friends,

This is the final scheduled week of the 2018 Virginia General Assembly Session. At this time, there is not consensus on the state’s biennial budget. This is our only constitutional duty to accomplish while in Richmond. House and Senate budget conferees are working through the $600 million differences between the two versions of the budget right now, much of which is health care related. I am honored that Speaker of the House Kirk Cox designated me as one of the six House budget conferees. As always, I will continue to represent the values and priorities of the people of central Virginia as we seek to responsibly fund the core essential functions of state government for all Virginians..

Again, I am grateful for your confidence and look forward to participating in a legislative process that produces good public policy that benefits our district and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

All The Best,

Delegate T. Scott Garrett M.D.

Photo of the Week

It was exciting to host students from the Liberty University School of Aeronautics for winning the prestigous Loening Award, presented to the outstanding collegiate aviation program in the country.

Active Duty and Veteran

Friendly Laws

This week, I would like to share with you some of the positive things the General Assembly is doing for veterans and active military personnel.

There are a little over 115,000 active duty and reserve members of the military residing in Virginia. And it is estimated that approximately 781,000 veterans call Virginia home. They’ve served in every conflict since World War II, represent all branches of the military, and come from all walks of life.

The General Assembly is proud of Virginia’s strong military heritage and we do our best to honor our military members in any way we can.

Military Medics & Corpsmen Program

A bill sitting on the Governor’s desk right now (House Bill 915) addresses the “Military Medics & Corpsmen Program.” This award-winning initiative was initially adopted as a two-year pilot program by the General Assembly, providing transitioning service members and recently discharged veterans who served as Medics and Corpsmen with a path to a career and civilian credentials. This year, we are looking to make this a permanent program in Virginia. If you are six to twelve months pre/post discharge and an Army 68W, Navy or Coast Guard Corpsman or a United States Air Force Medical Technician, you may be able to use your hard-earned, and at times battle-tested, clinical skills and education to fast-track a job and credentials in civilian health care. Participating health care systems in Virginia provide employment under the supervision of a physician (or podiatrist) and educational opportunities all while the Medics and Corpsmen obtain their civilian medical credentials. If you would like more information on this important program, email

Veteran's Identification

Often veterans need to provide proof of service to receive special offers and recognition. Currently, Virginia has a separate veteran’s identification card for that purpose. This year, the General Assembly passed a law (House Bill 737) eliminating the separate veteran’s identification card and creating an indicator to be placed on a veteran’s driver’s license, permit, or identification card, if the veteran requests the emblem and provides proof of veteran’s status. This should allow our veterans the ability to prove their veteran’s status without having to carry a separate identification card.

Tax Exempt Property Constitutional Amendment

Currently in the Constitution of Virginia, property owned by a husband or wife of a veteran who has a 100% service-connected disability or the surviving spouse of a veteran is tax exempt. However, the way the Constitution is worded, the spouse is not allowed to move out of that residence without losing their tax-exempt status. Many times, a surviving spouse wants to move closer to their extended family. So, this General Assembly passed a proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution, clarifying that the state tax exemption may be retained even if the residence changes, as long as the individual remains in Virginia. This amendment must be approved by voters during the November 2018 general election. So, watch for that amendment when you go to the polls later this year!

Purple Heart State

In 2016, the General Assembly designated Virginia as a “Purple Heart State,” reflecting Virginia’s admiration and utmost gratitude for all veterans and active duty service members who have paid the high price of freedom by leaving their families and communities and placing themselves in harm’s way by selflessly serving their country. This year, we passed legislation (Senate Bill 847) directing the Virginia Department of Transportation to place signs along certain highways in our state, reflecting this important distinction. We want everyone to know that Virginia supports our military service members. Our area of Central Virginia already has many Purple Heart communities and universities. This will only grow that presence!

District Visitors

Interns from my office in Lynchburg came over to see the General Assembly in action.

Amanda Farris from Lynchburg came to see me to talk about the value of music therapy.

This is just a sampling of our guests from the week. Thanks to everyone who visited from home this week! Seeing friends and neighbors while here in Richmond makes my week a lot brighter!

Paid and Authorized by Friends of Scott Garrett