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Updates from the Campaign Trail

Tuesday, July 21
– Legislative forum to tackle behaviorial health, disability services issues

Monday, July 20
– House Democratic candidates to discuss health care in Waynesboro
– Deeds releases economic plan

Tuesday, July 21
Legislative forum to tackle behaviorial health, disability services issues

“Services in a Time of Drought” is the theme for the fourth annual legislative function open free to the public, Augusta Health Community Care Building, 5:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. Light refreshments will be available. ARC of Augusta, Augusta Medical Center, Mental Health America of Augusta, and Valley Community Services Board sponsor the event.

Sponsoring representatives state that the purpose of the forum is to discuss the behavioral health and disability services necessary to fulfill the community’s needs. Dr. Don Lewis, Valley Community Services Board Executive Director, will be the moderator for the evening. Partnership representatives from Augusta Medical Center, ARC, Mental Health America of Augusta, and Valley Community Services Board will make presentations. The local Virginia General Assembly candidates for the fall elections will address the current state of behavioral health, disability services issues during the forum. The public may also ask them questions regarding these issues.

“The MHA-A strives to collaborate with legislators and other mental health advocacy groups to eliminate disparities in behavioral health services and to promote access to care, stated Ms. Jane Desper, MHA-A Board Member and Public Policy Chair. This legislative forum involving candidates for public office, advocates, consumers, caregivers, interested citizens and service providers brings all of these groups together to learn about the mental health partnership needs in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County.”

Augusta Medical Center is pleased to be a sponsor for the legislative forum to discuss the mental health successes and needs of our community. As part of a network of providers caring for those in need of behavioral health treatment AMC sees a responsibility to educate the legislators to the needs of our community. Because a large part of mental health care relies on legislative oversight and funding, it is important to provide opportunities for dialogue and education between providers of care and those in positions to influence the future and better meet the needs in a way that results in favorable outcomes for individuals in our community.

The Arc of Augusta greatly appreciates the strong support and commitment shown by the Governor and the General Assembly last year.  Many individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities and their families received supports and services through their efforts.  Virginia should continue to look to the future and develop a multi-year plan to ensure that the needs of ALL individuals with disabilities continue to be met at an adequate level. 

Partnerships are critical to the success of community treatment. Partnerships between the consumer, their family, private hospitals, the advocacy groups and the community services board result in effective treatment in these tough economic times. Valley Community Services Board is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event. Leadership by our state government is critical to the welfare and safety of all individuals with disabilities. 


Monday, July 20
House Democratic candidates to discuss health care in Waynesboro

Democratic Party House of Delegates candidates Erik Curren, Gene Hart and Greg Marrow are leading a community forum on health care, “First, Do No Harm,” on Wednesday, July 22, from 7-9 p.m. at the Waynesboro Public Library, Meeting Room A.

Curren is running for the open seat in the 20th House District. Hart is challenging incumbent Republican Del. Matt Lohr in the 26th District. Marrow is challenging incumbent Republican Del. Steve Landes in the 25th.

The event is open to the public.


Deeds releases economic plan

Democratic candidate for governor Creigh Deeds today announced a comprehensive plan to create jobs and renew Virginia’s economy through targeted tax cuts for small businesses, innovative partnerships to generate new jobs in the alternative energy industry, creative initiatives to jump-start an economic recovery in rural regions, as well as a commonsense approach to finally solve Virginia’s statewide transportation challenges through responsible, bipartisan leadership.

In addition, the Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy targets additional resources to worker training and education, including a health care option for the temporarily unemployed and new tools to help responsible homeowners avoid foreclosure. It also commits to expand access to broadband and wireless communications to the entire state.

“Our plan will jump-start our economy, create jobs, reduce taxes on small businesses and position Virginia to succeed and win in a new economy once we recover from this challenging time,” Deeds said. “This plan also provides targeted resources to help families facing unemployment, workers in need of job training, and students interested in high-wage, high-demand jobs.”

Deeds unveiled the proposal during a visit to downtown Roanoke’s State & City Building, the first building in the Roanoke and New River Valleys to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED®) certification. It is one of the first buildings in Virginia to combine LEED-certification and historic preservation.

Deeds was accompanied by U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, who won high marks during his 2002-06 term as Virginia Governor for his focus on increasing educational and economic opportunities across the Commonwealth.

“Virginia led the nation in telecom in the 1980s, we helped lead the Internet revolution during the 1990s, and I firmly believe that the next generation of jobs and wealth will be found in the ‘green’ economy,” Senator Warner said. “Creigh has put together a road map that allows Virginia to grasp that opportunity and take advantage of all of those possibilities if we prepare Virginians to take a leadership role in the alternative energy field.”

The Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy builds on efforts of Warner and Governor Timothy M. Kaine, which led to the Commonwealth’s distinction as the nation’s Best State for Business [Forbes & CNBC]. It also includes bold initiatives to cut the cost of state government, identifying and implementing additional accountability measures and efficiencies to enhance citizen access to government services to extend Virginia’s hard-won reputation as the country’s Best Managed State [Governing Magazine & The Pew Charitable Trusts].

The Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy focuses on four key programs:

Immediate solutions for small business owners, homeowners, and workers:
· Give tax credits to businesses that create jobs.
· Help unemployed workers purchase emergency health insurance.
· Double the Governor’s Opportunity Fund and put $10 million into job training.
· Create a Rural Business Fund to provide loans to small businesses in distressed areas.
· Cut red tape in the small business permitting process.
· Increase state contracting for small, women and minority-owned (SWAM) businesses.
· Finish the last mile of broadband by 2013.
· Offer loan guarantees for Virginia community college students.
· Provide grants to community colleges to expand nursing programs.
· Boost investments in the tourism industry.

Strategies for making Virginia a leader in green energy industries:
· Build a Virtual Energy Research Triangle to coordinate R&D in green energy industries.
· Set a mandatory renewable standard of 15 percent by 2020 and 22 percent by 2025.
· Fund weatherization projects that help low-income Virginians save on their energy bills.

An innovative statewide transportation plan:
·Work with the General Assembly and local stakeholders to design and implement a long-term, statewide, multi-modal transportation proposal in his first year as Governor.
· Bring high-speed rail, and expand traditional freight and passenger rail.
· Reduce rush-hour traffic through telecommuting and flextime tax credits.
· Promote smarter land use planning.
· Strengthen oversight of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
· Invest in the port and work with military contractors and the Navy.
· Expand road and rails projects in Southwest and Southside.
· Ease congestion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

A plan to make state government leaner and more efficient:
· Name an Efficiency Improvement Director from the business community
· Require state government to purchase drugs in bulk to save money.
· Promote energy savings in state facilities.
· Institute competitive bidding for durable medical equipment purchases.
· Streamline consumer services to maximize efficiency.
· Create a state employee workforce plan.
· Conduct an unclaimed property auction.

Complete details on the Deeds plan can be found at

augusta free press
augusta free press