2022 Virginia Legislation Priorities 

  • Ensure publicly funded recovery residence referrals are earmarked for certified recovery residences


  • Increase funding to NGO Evidence-Based Lived-Experience service providers to close consumer access gaps and increase length of recovery support service engagements 


  • Deweaponize current legislative (zoning) barriers to Certified Recovery Housing operators     


  • Barrier Crime, Marijuana Sentences and Voting Rights Reviews


  • Increased Lived-Experience Representation on Opioid Abatement & Marijuana advisory boards 


  • Specified funding percentages to NGO Evidence-Based Lived-Experience SUD Recovery Services Providers from Opioid Abatement funds & Marijuana Tax revenues                  

Advocacy Resources

Who are my legislators?

Virginia Senate (“click” on your Senator for their E-mail address)

Virginia House of Delegates

Legislative Information System

Tracking The General Assembly

And here are the proposed bills to support these efforts:

  • HB130 Patron Cherry | Voting Rights Referendum


Provides for a referendum at the November 8, 2022, general election to approve or reject an amendment that would provide for the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth, revise the qualifications of voters so that a person convicted of a felony is not entitled to vote during his period of incarceration but is automatically invested with the right to vote upon release from incarceration, and update the existing prohibition on voting by persons found to be mentally incompetent to instead apply to persons who have been found to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.

  • HB277 Patrons Coyner & Morrissey | SB622 Patron Favola | Recovery residences; disclosure to potential residents that residence is certified.

Requires every person who operates a recovery residence to disclose to potential residents whether the recovery residence is a certified recovery residence and that no health care provider or behavioral health service provider who receives public funds or state agency shall refer a person with substance abuse disorder to a recovery residence unless the recovery residence has been certified by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (the Department) in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (the Board). The bill also provides that credentialing agencies by which the Board may require accreditation or in which the Board may require membership shall administer credentialing and certification programs in accordance with standards of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences; requires the Board to adopt regulations requiring each certified recovery residence include one or more resident or nonresident staff persons who is employed by the provider for compensation and who is responsible for oversight or management of the recovery residence; and requires the Department to provide, for each certified recovery residence included on the list maintained on the Department’s website the level of support provided by the certified recovery residence. The bill also provides that certified recovery residences shall constitute residential occupancy by a single family for zoning purposes, regardless of the number of persons residing in the certified recovery residence, and exempts certified recovery residences from the provisions of the Virginia Landlord and Tenant Act.

  • HB280 Patron Coyner | Marijuana-related offenses; modification of sentence.

Creates a process by which persons convicted of certain felony marijuana-related offenses committed prior to July 1, 2021, who remain incarcerated or on community supervision on July 1, 2022, may receive an automatic hearing to consider modification of such person's sentence. The provisions of this bill sunset on July 1, 2024.


  • HB301 Patron Freitas | Cannabis Control Authority; membership criteria for Board members, allocation of revenues.


Requires that one member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (the Board) be a person who has recovered from a substance use disorder and is not employed by a government entity. The bill increases from 21 to 25 the number of members on the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council and requires that four members be persons who have recovered from a substance use disorder and are not employed by a government entity. The bill requires that 40 percent of the Board's net profits distributed to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services be allocated to private certified recovery residences that provide low-cost evidence-based substance use disorder treatment and recovery services and satisfy certain other requirements set forth in the bill.


  • HB318 Patron Freitas | Peer Recovery Support Fund


Would establish the Peer Recovery Support Fund to provide payment for the cost of peer-to-peer substance abuse recovery support services provided by individuals other than state or local government employees. The bill requires that 10 percent of the net profits of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority derived from the sale of marijuana be appropriated to the Fund in the general appropriation act. The bill also directs the Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to develop regulations setting forth criteria for payments for peer-to-peer substance abuse recovery support services provided by individuals other than state or local government employees from the Fund.


  • HB326 Patron Freitas | Opioid Abatement Authority and Fund; increases membership of board of directors.


Would increase from 11 to 15 the number of members of the board of directors of the Opioid Abatement Authority by increasing from one to five the representatives of the addiction and recovery community. The bill also delineates the allocation of the unrestricted portion of deposits to the Opioid Abatement Fund.

  • HB420 Patron Delaney | Opioid-related emergencies; evidence-based best practices in the emergency department.


Requires hospitals to establish and implement policies and protocols consistent with evidence-based best practices for opioid-related emergencies in the emergency department published and regularly updated by the Department of Health.  *** Request an amendment that “opioid” be changed to “all substance use emergencies” ***


  • HB805 Patron Price | Barrier crimes; eliminates certain crimes from the definition…


Eliminates certain crimes from the definition of "barrier crime" and requires the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Board of Education, the State Board of Health, and the State Board of Social Services to each adopt regulations that develop and implement a waiver process for individuals who have been convicted of a barrier crime and who serve in a position or seek to serve in a position with any qualified entity subject to the regulations of the board. The bill eliminates current exceptions and time limit mandates, as such information is required to be set out in each agency's waiver process. The bill sets out information to be included in the regulations of the individual boards. The bill also directs the Departments of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Education, Health, and Social Services to each publish information about the agency's waiver process in an easily accessible format on a website maintained by the department. (Please “click here” to read this proposed bill in entirety)

Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data, from 1/1/17/ to 12/31/20, analyzed in the chart/graph below shows a continued increase in statewide overdose incidents each year.  Looking more closely, in January of 2017, it shows a non-alcohol overdose incident response level of 750.  In December of 2020, this was now a little over a 1,000, representing a 33% increase.  Whatever, and however our Commonwealth is addressing substance use disorder (SUD) is quite simply not effective.