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2017-12-15

Southside Virginia Community College wants you!!  There is still time to register for classes and  apply for Financial Aid for the upcoming semester starting August 20.  Come by to see us...  Go to SVCC's Christanna Campus in Alberta or the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville or a location  in Emporia, Blackstone, Chase City, South Boston,  or South HIll for individual help or visit SVCC online at Southside.edu.  Now is the time, SVCC is the place!!!!!

2018 Inaugural Committee Leadership Announces Theme for the 73rd Inauguration: “The Way Ahead”

Alongside Theme, 2018 Inaugural Committee Launches Website and Logo

Virginians Can Receive Updates Online at vainauguration2018.com

Richmond -- Today, the 2018 Inaugural Committee announced the theme for the 73rd Virginia gubernatorial inauguration: “The Way Ahead.”

The Way Ahead articulates a vision for leading a Virginia with bipartisan, commonsense solutions that lifts up all of its people. Whether its taking advantage of new economic opportunities, finding oneself in serving others, or educating Virginia’s children with boundless potential, Governor-elect Northam believes the best way forward is by working together.

“The Way Ahead is a celebration of the prosperity possible through a unified Commonwealth honoring its diversity and inclusivity,” said Governor-elect Ralph Northam. “Our inauguration will launch an exciting new area of progress for all Virginians -- one in which commonsense solutions, service to others and boundless opportunities for our children’s future rises above all else. By working together as one Commonwealth, Virginians will come together during these troubling times for our country and lift each other up -- no matter who you are or where you’re from.”

Alongside the launch of the theme, the Inaugural Committee also released the logo and 2018 Inauguration website -- vainauguration2018.com -- which will include forthcoming details on events, logistics and ticketing information. 

The 2018 Inaugural logo was designed by Andy Lynne, a native of Ashland.

Government Avoids Shutdown but CHIP Families Still at Risk

By Alan Rodriguez Espinoza, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A stopgap measure designed to avoid a government shutdown includes a provision that will provide the Children’s Health Insurance Program with temporary funding for two weeks. But the program’s fate past Dec. 22 is still uncertain.

More than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women count on Virginia’s CHIP-funded program, the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program, for medical services. State officials began reaching out to their families on Tuesday, notifying them that FAMIS could be terminated on Jan. 31.

“We are hopeful that Congress will once again provide the funding to continue this program,” the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services told families in a letter. “However, because Congress has not acted yet, we need to let you know that there is a chance the FAMIS programs may have to shut down.”

CHIP is an extension of Medicaid that provides government-funded health insurance to children and pregnant women from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance.

Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize federal funding for CHIP.

The problem is “one of benign neglect,” Karen Remley, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a press release. “As efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act dominated the agenda in the Senate, needed attention to CHIP was lost.”

In a letter to the Virginia congressional delegation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “partisan infighting and dysfunction” in Congress have jeopardized the state’s CHIP-funded program. McAuliffe and other Democrats blame Republicans for the problem.

As of Dec. 1, McAuliffe estimated that more than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in Virginia depend on FAMIS to receive medical services such as immunizations, checkups and even surgeries and cancer treatments.

Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services estimates that nearly 1,200 of those children live in Richmond.

In response to McAuliffe, U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia Beach, said that “scaring families via press release is not helpful.”

“It is completely disingenuous to insinuate that I or any other member of the Virginia congressional delegation are ignoring reauthorization of this important program,” Taylor stated in a press release of his own. “In fact, the present delay is a result of a request by the minority party to further negotiations on offsets.”

U.S. senators including Virginia Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have expressed bipartisan support for the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act, or the KIDS Act of 2017. If ratified, it would extend federal funding for CHIP through the 2022 fiscal year.

“Sen. Warner recognizes it is essential that CHIP is reauthorized,” said Jonathan Uriarte, his deputy press secretary. “And the KIDS Act is an imperfect but needed compromise to continue funding these necessary health care services for children.”

But the KIDS Act does not specify where funding for CHIP would come from.

In early November, the House voted 242-174 to reauthorize CHIP under the Championing Healthy Kids Act. Democrats opposed the bill because it would cut more than $10 billion from public health and prevention programs funded by the Affordable Care Act and because it would raise Medicare fees for higher-income recipients.

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, said on the House floor that the Healthy Kids Act would extend CHIP “without adding to our country’s deficit.” On the other hand, Rep. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Richmond, said the bill is “loaded with poison pills that would undermine the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.”

According to the Department of Medical Assistance Services, CHIP in Virginia cost more than $304 million in fiscal year 2017, with most of the money coming from the federal government. McAuliffe said Virginia is expected to exhaust the federal funds by the end of January.

“Unless something changes … enrollment will be frozen Jan. 1,” McAuliffe stated. “By Jan. 31, Virginia will have insufficient federal funds to continue the program.”

The House and Senate must agree on a bill before it can be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

In Emporia City, Greensville County and Brunswick County CHIP serves 289 children. In Franklin City, Southampton County and Sussex County 263 children are served by the program.

“Where Did They Go?’

Where did all the colors go
One used to wear with pride
You used to see them everywhere
In the stands on either side.
 
The uniforms now on the field
Do no longer represent
True colors of your alma-mater
No matter where you went.
 
Yes it used to spur your ego
When you knew from where they came
They had beat you good for many years
But lately you’ve won some.
 
Now you let them see your colors
Which you proudly do display
Hoping when the game is through
A win might come your way.
 
Well who has changed the color code
I know no one asked me
When something serves so very many
Why can’t they let it be?
 
Roy E. Schepp
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