Summer 2021 Issue
By Mark Hickman
Commonwealth Strategy Group
The Psychiatric Society of Virginia (PSV) has named Delegate Steve Heretick as the 2021 PSV Legislator of the Year.
Delegate Heretick was the chief sponsor of major legislation in this year’s Virginia General Assembly Session that reforms prior authorization for mental health treatment, HB 2008. The bill prevents additional prior authorization on certain mental health treatment drugs, regardless if the drug is removed from the prescription drug formulary, after the initial prior authorization approval and the patient has been stable on the medication for three months. You can read the legislation here.
Delegate Heretick worked with Delegate Glenn Davis, a past Legislator of the Year and chief co-patron of the bill, to take up the mantle in the House of Delegates. Another past Legislator of the Year, Senator McPike, sponsored a companion bill in the Senate. Delegate Heretick worked closely with PSV and led negotiations with stakeholders that resulted in the strong compromise that passed unanimously and was signed into law. The bill was supported by several organizations, including PSV, the Medical Society of Virginia, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Virginia, Mental Health America – Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Virginia College of Emergency Physicians.
PSV has been a long-time advocate for prior authorization and step therapy reform to prevent disruptions to crucial mental health treatment for patients, who along with their physicians are often burdened with unreasonable prior authorization requirements. Unnecessary interruptions in mental treatment can lead to serious consequences. This year’s legislation is a significant victory for patients and providers, and we owe our gratitude to champions like Delegate Heretick.
Delegate Heretick has a long history of public service. He began elected office on the Portsmouth City Council. During his early career as an attorney with the US Department of Justice, he received the department’s Award for Public Service. Delegate Heretick is an attorney by trade but also went to medical school and holds a PhD, with a background in psychology.
In 2003 he was appointed to the Virginia Board of Medicine and reappointed the next year, when he was elected President of the Board of Medicine, the first non-physician in Virginia history to serve as President of the Board. He was reelected as President in 2008 and continued to serve until 2014 when his term expired. Delegate Heretick served as a Fellow of the Federation of State Medical Boards and then on the FSMB Foundation, ending his service in 2019.
Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2015, he represents the 79th District that encompasses parts of the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. He serves on the Committees on Labor & Commerce, Finance, Courts of Justice, and Counties Cities and Towns. He was recently elected Vice Chair of the Health Insurance Reform Commission.
PSV will host a reception to honor Delegate Heretick as part of the PSV Fall Meeting in Norfolk on September 24, 2021. We congratulate and thank Delegate Heretick as we name him the PSV Legislator of the Year in recognition of his dedication and leadership in enhancing mental health in the Commonwealth.
Virginia and its localities are expected to receive a total of approximately $13.8 billion from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. $7.2 billion will be Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, with
$4.29 billion to the state and the rest directly to localities. $6.6 billion will be passed through federal agencies in the form of specific grants, funds, and other sources, including an estimated $35.6 million to Virginia for the Mental Health Block Grant and $33.9 million for the Substance Use Block Grant, the additional funds for which will be available through September 30, 2025.
The General Assembly is expected to convene this summer to vote on how to spend the state allocation of the federal funding, and to appoint appellate judges.
To nominate the Republican candidates for the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General on the ballot this year, the Republican Party of Virginia held an unassembled convention on May 8 with thirty-nine voting sites throughout the state where pre-registered delegates could vote. While almost 60,000 voters registered, approximately 30,000 participated on May 8.
The convention used a ranked choice voting system, in which voters could list their candidate preferences in order for each office. If no candidate reached more than 50% as first choice, the candidate with the least votes was eliminated and votes were distributed to the next choice until someone reached more than 50%. The convention also assigned a set number of ballots per “unit” or locality, so each delegate’s vote was counted as a different worth depending on the voter’s jurisdiction. Below are the final results.
Glenn Younkin, of McLean, former CEO of private equity firm, Carlyle Group. Younkin won with 54.7% of the vote after six rounds and six other candidates were eliminated, including state Senator Amanda Chase and former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox.
Winsome Sears, a former Delegate from Portsmouth who now lives and runs a business in Winchester. Sears won with 54.4% of the vote after 5 rounds and 5 other candidates were eliminated, including Delegate Glenn Davis, who ran for the nomination last cycle, and former Delegate Tim Hugo, who was chairman of the House Republican Caucus.
Jason Miyares, an attorney and member of the House of Delegates representing Virginia Beach. Miyares won with 51.7% after three rounds and three other candidates were eliminated, including Chuck Smith who garnered 48.3% of the vote.
The statewide Democratic primary elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, as well as several House of Delegates seats, were held on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Certain Delegates running for statewide office also sought reelection to their House seats. Seventeen House incumbents – 14 Democrats and 3 Republicans – faced primary challengers.
Below is a recap of the contested races that resulted in new candidates, including races in which the incumbent was defeated, for the general election on November 2, 2021. Results are as of June 9, 2021 with 99% of precincts reporting; mail-in ballots can be counted through Friday, June 11.
Former Governor Terry McAuliffe easily won the five-candidate Democratic primary contest with 62% of the vote. Former Delegate Jennifer Carroll-Foy and state Senator Jennifer McClellan came in a distant second and third, respectively. Current Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Delegate Lee Carter finished in the low single digits.
Delegate Hala Ayala, from Woodbridge in Prince William County, defeated her closest rival, Delegate Sam Rasoul, with 37%. Delegate Ayala had resigned from her House seat to seek the nomination. Delegate Rasoul garnered 24% of the vote, with the rest of the candidates in the low double or single digits.
Current Attorney General Mark Herring defeated Delegate Jay Jones in a closer than expected race, 57 to 43%, respectively. Delegate Jones had declared his candidacy for Attorney General after Herring stated his intention to run for Governor, but Herring decided to withdraw from the gubernatorial race and run for a third term as Attorney General instead.
House of Delegates – Democratic Primaries
District 45 (Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria). Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Vice Mayor of the City of Alexandria, defeated incumbent Delegate Mark Levine, who also lost his bid for the Lt. Governor nomination.
District 50 (Prince William, Manassas). Small business owner and former attorney Michelle Maldonado defeated incumbent Delegate Lee Carter, who finished last in the nomination race for Governor.
District 79 (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth). Incumbent Delegate Steve Heretick lost in a three-way contest to community activist and organizer Nadarius Clark.
District 86 (Fairfax, Loudoun). In a close race, incumbent Delegate Ibrahim Samirah lost to Irene Shin, a nonprofit director.
House of Delegates – Republican Primaries
District 9 (Franklin, Henry, Patrick Counties). Attorney Wren Williams soundly defeated incumbent Delegate Charles Poindexter.
PsychMD Political Action Committee (PAC) is our profession’s voice in the political process. Contributing to the PAC is investing in your profession, patients, and high-quality care from psychiatrists. A strong and robust PAC demonstrates PSV’s leadership and investment in the political and policy process.
Your support is crucial to our advocacy success! We must be proactive and prepared. Contributions to the PAC will help raise the visibility and profile of psychiatrists, connect us to new and returning legislators, and continue to build productive relationships with key General Assembly members. As always, we continue to support members of the legislature who care about issues affecting our profession and our patients. We support both parties and their leadership through individual legislator and caucus events.
Please make your contribution now. PsychMD PAC helps raise our visibility among policymakers, connects us to new and returning legislators, and enables us to continue to build productive relationships with key General Assembly members and caucus leadership.
Given the tough issues and close elections we expect this year and next session, we ask that you contribute at least $250.
Thank you to all our contributors this year!
(as of 5/21/2021)
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September 24-25, 2021
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