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Peace Progress
May 2012
Message from Chris

Since the end of the regular session and during this special session on the budget, my colleagues and I committed to telling the true story about our successful General Assembly session to the people of Virginia. As a result, I have participated in town halls across the district and attended numerous civic and business organizations with a simple goal: to dialogue. While the social issues were only 2% of the legislation but 100% of the headlines, by listening to my constituents, I learned that the number one issue remains the economy and jobs.

peace speaks
Del. Peace shares a session overview at the recent New Kent Town Hall

It was also the top focus of our session. Virginia can be proud it is the Best State for Business in America and the Top State in Which to Make a Living in 2012 by We can all take pride in Virginia's unemployment rate which has fallen to 5.7%, the lowest rate in 3 years and the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast. We can celebrate making the government more efficient and effective by restructuring state government and providing much needed or "credit positive" reforms to the state employee pension system. Moreover, since 2010, over 754 economic development deals have closed and at least 154,000 more Virginians have the good-paying jobs they need to support their families. But the truth is that approximately 250,000 Virginians are still unemployed. So the work must continue in the private sector where jobs are created as well as in the legislature where we can protect and promote a positive business climate for sustained prosperity. 


This Session we focused on a growth agenda for Virginia's families. The Governor styled it the "Greatest Opportunity: Jobs and Economic Legislative Agenda" by focusing on access to capital and increasing economic development coordination.

Peace and Toman
Peace speaks with a King William resident

This session we created a small business investor grant program, extended the Acceleration of the Major Business Facility Jobs Tax Credit, extended the sunset date for investments that qualify for the capital gains income tax subtraction, amended the VA Economic Development Partnership board composition to include the Secretaries of Agriculture and Forestry and Technology and created economic development grant program targeted specifically at agricultural and forestry operations so important to our district. Where we have success we want to grow it and where we see shortcomings we want to fix it with common sense free market solutions. 


Great turn out for the New Kent Town Hall

This year I was proud to receive an "A" rating from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for my efforts on these items and others that impact your business and family. This personal superlative accompanies my recent NFIB endorsement and previous recognition as a Retail Merchant legislator of the year. To those of you who have supported me I thank you for the honor I have to represent you and fight on your behalf for a strong economic climate and a better Virginia. 



Oral Chemotherapy Bill: Peace is Fighting Cancer, Helping Patients Recover and Creating Greater Access to Health Care

On Monday at the Massey Cancer Center, Governor Robert F. McDonnell signed an important measure into law. House Bill 1273, patroned by Delegate Christopher K. Peace, will provide better access to life-extending oral chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients in Virginia was signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell. "Oral chemotherapies are often the best - and many times the only - treatment option available for cancer patients," said Sheri Coombs Lambert, Executive Director for the Virginia Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). "This new law, signed by Governor Bob McDonnell, will make these critical treatments more affordable for patients, and we thank Senator Jill Vogel and Delegate Chris Peace for putting this important issue before the General Assembly."


Speaking about the legislation, Governor McDonnell said, "The legislation signed today expands Virginia's support for advancing the life-saving cancer research at institutions like VCU Massey Cancer Center," said Governor McDonnell. 

Gov Peace Oral Chemo
Governor signs Peace's bill at the Massey Cancer Center


"While we can celebrate that more and more Virginians are surviving cancer today because of the work of cancer organizations like Massey, we must continue to work to find a cure. With the Commonwealth's support, that important work will continue and expand."


Without mandating specific out-of-pocket costs for patients, the new law requires insurance plans to use consistent criteria when establishing co-payments for cancer medications, whether the treatments are administered orally or through intravenous injection (IV). Currently, intravenous (IV) chemotherapy drugs administered at a hospital or clinic are typically bundled as a medical benefit under a patient's health insurance plan, requiring a simple co-pay.   However, many oral drugs are defined under a patient's pharmacy benefit and frequently require much higher out-of-pocket costs for patients. The new law should result in more consistent patient access to cancer medicines.


Oral Chemo Stakeholders
Oral Chemotherapy Stakeholders group, including New Kent residents Bill O'Keefe and Amy Patterson

Governor Announces Planning Grant Awards As A Result of Peace Education Reform Measure

- College Lab Partnerships Now Provide Educational Options at the

Commonwealth's Private Colleges & Universities-


Building upon my successful legislation in 2010, I successfully patroned a second phase of the Governor's "Opportunity to Learn" legislation in 2012 with House Bill 765 to allow for private institutions of higher education in Virginia to operate a college partnership laboratory school.


I feel that laboratory schools allow local divisions to offer greater opportunities for innovative instruction and assessment methods - customizing and improving the educational experience for all of our students. Providing educational options through utilizing the strengths and talents at the Commonwealth's colleges and universities are necessary steps toward assuring academic success for our youngest citizens.


The Governor announced the winners of the first round of planning grant awards for such ventures. These awards will enable colleges and universities in Virginia to team with approved teacher-preparation programs in an effort to establish college partnership laboratory schools throughout the Commonwealth. With this legislation and subsequent awards, partnerships will be established between Virginia's higher educational institutions and K-12 public divisions, increasing choices for K-12 students statewide.


The winners of the 2012 Virginia College/University Partnership Laboratory School Application Planning Grants are:


*George Mason University ($145,500)


*James Madison University ($228,000)


*Longwood University ($86,000)


*Virginia State University ($140,000)


Eligible applicants were public institutions of higher education that operate a teacher education program approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Administered by the Office of the Secretary of Education, the planning grants are designed to enhance teacher education and training as part of the Governor's "Opportunity to Learn" agenda to improve K-12 education and will provide more flexibility, innovation and autonomy outside the traditional public school system.


A College Partnership Laboratory School is a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious school established by a public institution of higher education operating in the Commonwealth which maintains and operates a teacher education program approved by the Board of Education. Virginia currently has 14 approved sites including but not limited to James Madison University, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and George Mason University. Lab partnerships offer options and innovation for all Virginia school children, but especially those who are disadvantaged or at-risk.

Governor McDonnell Seeks to Curb Tuition Increases with Targeted Investments in Higher Education

Governor's Higher Education Package Provides $230 Million in New State Funds for Higher Education

Governor Writes: "I remain very concerned about the affordability of post-secondary education for the young people of Virginia.....I need your leadership now in holding down in-state tuition and fee increases."


RICHMOND - Following General Assembly passage of a biennial budget that provides over $230 million in new funding for Virginia's higher education system, Governor Bob McDonnell is urging college presidents and boards to voluntarily endeavor to keep in-state tuition increases for the upcoming fall semester and beyond to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index. The Governor is committed to ensuring that every available higher education dollar goes to furthering academic opportunities at state-supported colleges and universities. The Governor made the request in a conference call with school officials in March, and again in a formal letter sent Friday. The average in-state tuition increase for the 2011-2012 school year in Virginia was 9.7%. The Consumer Price Index for the last 12 months, non-seasonally adjusted, was 2.7%. Virginia's colleges and universities are currently determining tuition rates for the upcoming school year. Already the University of Virginia has announced a tuition increase of 3.7%, the lowest increase since 2001-2002.


In the letter, the Governor writes: "...I remain very concerned about the affordability of post-secondary education for the young people of Virginia. As I conveyed to you during our recent conference call, I need your leadership now in holding down in-state tuition and fee increases. During the last decade, Virginia students experienced on average, double-digit tuition increases annually. This trend is unacceptable and cannot continue. I, therefore, ask that you endeavor to keep in-state tuition increases for the fall semester and beyond to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, because we cannot let dramatic price increases be a deterrent to higher education for all qualified and motivated Virginians.


We know in Virginia that 58% of students graduate with an average of over $23,000 in debt according to the Project on Student Debt. I heard directly from hundreds of students earlier this year and received petitions from thousands more prior to the session as part of Virginia21's "What's Your Number?" campaign focusing on reducing student debt. We must do everything we can to control operating costs, limit tuition increases, and reinvest state general fund dollars in our colleges and universities to reduce the amount of student borrowing. It is simply unsustainable for more of our young people to be saddled with decades of debt, which can impede their access to the cherished American Dream.


My introduced budget provided over $100 million in new operating funding for each year of the next biennium for higher education institutions. I also included $10 million in years FY 12, FY 13, and FY 14 to eliminate the reduction to higher education held in Central Appropriations since the 2010 legislative session. The significant total funding increase of close to $250 million was proposed despite modest state revenue gains, which meant setting priorities. The Budget finally passed on Wednesday generally supports my proposals by investing $230 million in new money into higher education, and I applaud the General Assembly for its partnership in this effort. I've just begun reviewing the budget in greater detail and may consider changes through executive amendments to clarify and strengthen these critical initiatives....


We recognize that your institutions have not fully recovered from the reductions which began in 2007, but together we must continue to find internal operating efficiencies and implement best practices to educate more students in a more cost effective manner. It is my plan to continue to make new investments in higher education in future budgets as the economy improves. The more higher education institutions moderate in-state tuition and fee growth, the more likely it will be that I can secure additional state funding from the legislature. Keeping a lid on tuition increases is in the best interest of our students and families, as well as the future of our Commonwealth."


Read the Governor's full letter here:

Points of Interest
Marc Weiss Hanover Workforce Awards and Forum  


Celebrating and Promoting Excellence in Workforce Development May 22, 2012


As the fabric of work evolves, the key strategic component for any business is the quality of its workforce. The Marc Weiss Hanover Workforce Awards & Forum presented by the Hanover Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber will focus on the workforce needs of small to mid-sized businesses and connect them to the resources they need to find, attract, train, retain, and optimize skilled employees.


We need your help! A key component of the program this year will be the introduction of the Marc Weiss Hanover Workforce Awards recognition. The Hanover Business Council is seeking nominations to recognize Hanover organizations that have achieved success in areas such as recruiting, hiring, retaining, training, incorporating innovative workplace environments, or other strategies that has enabled the organization to excel in the development of an effective, world-class workforce. Winners will be recognized in both small and large organization categories on May 22, 2012 at the Marc Weiss Hanover Workforce Awards and Forum.    


For additional information, please contact Debbie Jackson, Program Manager, Hanover Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber at either or (804) 783-9316.  


Hanover Youth Summer Program sign-up begins


Registration for the popular Youth Summer Program offered by Hanover Parks & Recreation began on Tuesday, April 17, at 6 a.m. There will be three sessions at 10 elementary schools and three middle schools this summer, with the first session beginning on June 25. Camp runs Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Extended Camp available at some locations). For more information visit


SCC's Bureau of Insurance Advises Virginians Regarding Insurance Coverage for Earthquakes


RICHMOND - When shopping for homeowners insurance, earthquake coverage is probably not the first thing that comes to mind for most Virginians. However, last summer's 5.8-magnitude earthquake in central Virginia, and the numerous aftershocks that have followed, serve as a reminder that they can, and do, happen here.


The State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians that damage from earthquakes is excluded under homeowners policies unless coverage for earthquake-related damage has been purchased as an addition to their homeowners insurance policy. Not every insurance company offers earthquake coverage, but many do. Consumers should review their policies to determine if they want to purchase this added protection.

Legislation enacted by the 2012 Virginia General Assembly will require greater disclosure by insurance companies that offer new or renewal fire insurance policies that exclude coverage for earthquake damage. The new law, which applies to policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2013, requires companies that exclude coverage for earthquakes to provide a written notice that conspicuously states that earthquake coverage is excluded unless purchased by endorsement. The notice also must state that if earthquake insurance is otherwise available from the insurer, information regarding earthquake insurance may be obtained from the insurer or agent. Virginia homeowners insurance policyholders who do not have earthquake insurance will receive the notice with their policy when it comes up for renewal in 2013.


Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham encourages Virginia homeowners to review their policies carefully to fully understand any coverage limitations or exclusions, and to contact their insurance agents or companies for information relating to earthquake coverage and the rates for specific policies. Earthquake insurance rates vary depending on the insurance company and the home's building construction.


Homeowners should review the coverage provisions of these policies, paying particular attention to the way the earthquake deductible applies. Earthquake deductibles are usually expressed as a percentage rather than a flat dollar amount. In Virginia, these deductibles generally range from two percent to 15 percent of the policy limit. Thus, a two percent deductible on a house insured for $100,000 would be $2,000.


Cars, trucks and other vehicles are covered for quake damage by the comprehensive portion of vehicle insurance, which is optional. This coverage also protects vehicles against such things as floods, wind damage, and theft.


For more information, contact the Bureau of Insurance Property and Casualty Division in Richmond at (804) 371-9185 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit the Bureau's website at . Consumers who are deaf or who are hearing or speech impaired may call through the SCC's Telecommunications Device for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDD) at (804) 371-9206.


The SCC is located in the Tyler Building at 1300 East Main Street in downtown Richmond. Normal business hours are from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Correspondence may be mailed to the Bureau of Insurance at P.O. Box 1157, Richmond, VA 23218.  

Contact Me

My office takes the responsibility of serving seriously.  My staff is available during the week to assist you with your concerns; I am also readily available.  I encourage you to contact us.  Please continue to contact me whenever you have concerns or issues of importance to our community and the Commonwealth. 



I may be reached at:


Capitol Office:
PO Box 406
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: 804-698-1097

Fax: 804-698-6797


District Office:

PO Box 819
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Phone: 804-730-3737


In This Issue
Message from Chris
Oral Chemotherapy
Governor Announces Planning Grants
Governor McDonnell seeks to curb tuition
Points of Interest
Contact Me
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