Author Archive

Lack of data and cooperation cloud view jail vendor contracts

December 16, 2022


By Michael Pope

But Republican Delegate Amanda Batten says some sheriffs and regional jail directors failed to hand over the documents. “The state has a responsibility to people who are in the care of the state to make sure that they are not overpaying for services and goods that are essential to their wellbeing, and it’s frustrating that we didn’t get all the data we needed.”

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Nickel and Dimed Behind Bars

December 6, 2022

Alexandria Gazette Packet

By Michael Pope

Lawmakers take a look at fines and fees charged to inmates at jails across Virginia.

“It’s frustrating that we didn’t get all the data we needed and more importantly members of the work group didn’t have access to that data,” said Del. Amanda Batten (R-96), a member of the work group and chairwoman of the relevant subcommittee in the House of Delegates. “The state has a responsibility to people who are in the care of the state to make sure that they are not overpaying for services and goods that are essential to their wellbeing.”

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Speaker Ryan Fecteau and Delegate Amanda Batten discuss future of political leadership

October 28, 2022

The Cavalier Daily

By Mimi Lamarre

The Center for Politics discussed young adults’ political involvement and issues facing local politicians Tuesday night at an event featuring Virginia Delegate Amanda Batten and Ryan Fecteau, speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. The event was moderated by Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics and professor of politics.

The conversation began with an introduction by Carah Ong Whaley, academic program officer of the Center for Politics. Whaley described the disproportionate representation of older Americans in Politics.

In contrast, Sabato asked Fecteau and Batten about their experience as young politicians and their original interest in politics.

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Delegate Amanda Batten elected Vice Chair of Senate Bill 581 workgroup

August 30, 2022

Contact: Lauren Keiser | (757) 741-8866

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Delegate Amanda Batten (R⎯James City County) was elected Vice Chair of the workgroup designated via Senate Bill 581 (SB581). This workgroup will review the proposed partial or total abatement of fees charged to inmates housed in local and regional correctional facilities. By December 1, 2022, the workgroup will delineate its research and recommendations to the leadership of the House Committee on Public Safety and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services.

Presently, these fees cover such costs exacted by educational, work, and rehabilitative programs; telephone usage; commissary items and services; electronic visitation programs; and inmate work release programs.

“While it’s important to keep inmates’ often limited funds in mind, these fees are also vital for correctional facilities to maintain operations and provide rehabilitation, educational, and other services for those serving time. I am optimistic that this workgroup can evaluate a path forward to lessen costs on inmates without increasing the financial burden on correctional facilities and their surrounding localities. These are important services that contribute to the ability of incarcerated individuals to reenter their communities as functioning citizens ready to improve their lives after serving their time,” stated Delegate Batten.

Delegate Amanda Batten represents the 96th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. The 96th District includes portions of James City and York Counties. Batten is currently serving her second term in the Virginia House of Delegates and is a member of the following House Committees: Education, Commerce & Energy, Public Safety, and Rules.

New Laws to Make Licensing Process Smoother

July 8, 2022

The Kensington Victoria Dispatch

By Staff Report

As a result of the 2022 General Assembly session, three new laws make the licensing process smoother through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and its partner on sites by expanding commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing providers, removing the wait time and fee for retesting and extending the validity of the CDL skills test certification.

CDL testing change. DMV currently certifies government third parties to enable these organizations to conduct the CDL skills test for the applicants they employ or train on-site saving them a trip to DMV. under the new law, these certified third-party testers also will be able to test people enrolled in a CDL training course offered by a community college or those employed or trained by another government entity, such as a local school system. This change offers more options for CDL testing, particularly for high-demand school bus driver positions. (House Bill 530, patroned by Del. Amanda Batten; House Bill 1146, patroned by Del. Robert Bell; and Senate Bill 301, patroned by Sen. Creigh Deeds)…

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Delegate Amanda Batten joins Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees

May 3, 2022

Peninsula Chronicle

By Brandy Centolanza

JAMES CITY-Virginia Delegate Amanda Batten was recently appointment to serve on the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees oversees the operations of two of the Historic Triangle’s living history museums, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The announcement of Batten’s appointment was made on May 2.

“I am honored to join the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation as a trustee and to support the foundation’s goal of providing educational living history experiences,” Delegate Batten said in a release.

“As major tourist attractions and archaeological sites, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown provide memorable learning opportunities that enable visitors to understand the early development of our commonwealth and country. I look forward to working with my fellow members of the Board of Trustees to further the foundation’s mission to promote awareness of the history and legacy of the settlers at Jamestown and the patriots at Yorktown.”

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Delegate Amanda Batten leads ten bills through the House of Delegates, keeping campaign promises

February 17, 2022

Contact: Lauren Keiser | (757) 741-8866

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Amanda Batten (R⎯James City County) successfully carried ten bills through the House of Delegates prior to the passage deadline for bills that originated in their respective chambers. The legislation focused on pragmatic policies to help victims of human trafficking and to address concerns surrounding learning loss, mental health care, election integrity, and school bus driver shortages.

“Last fall, I campaigned to get students back in the classroom, bolster mental health care, restore confidence in our elections, and allow taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass these legislative priorities into law so we can ensure a bright future for our Commonwealth,” stated Delegate Batten.


HB526 allows non-Virginia students who are in the Commonwealth as a result of being a victim of human trafficking to be eligible for in-state tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities.

HB528 requires any individual or organization that sends an unrequested absentee ballot application to a registered voter to include instructions on how to complete and submit the application. Additionally, it will require a statement that the application is not sent by any state or local government official or agency and disallow information pre-population on the application.

HB530 addresses the bus driver shortage by authorizing governmental entities such as community colleges certified as third party testers to test and train drivers employed by another governmental entity or enrolled in a commercial driver training course.

HB537 expands telemedicine by allowing specific health care workers who hold an active, unrestricted license in another state to provide continuity of care for Virginia patients, provided that there is an existing practitioner-patient relationship.

HB539 requires Virginia public colleges and universities to include a disclosure to applicants that certain criminal offenses may disqualify applicants from pursuing a specific course of study or residing in on-campus housing.

HB542 reclassifies assistant registrars as deputy registrars.

HB544 allows voters to opt-in to a photo ID requirement individually.

HB936 removes the sunset clause for the sales tax exemption on gold, silver, and platinum bullion and legal tender coins and ends the restriction that only purchases over $1,000 are tax exempt.

HB1093 gives local school boards the option to require a cultural competency evaluation and training for teachers after holding a public hearing before electing to make that requirement. Currently, the law requires cultural competence training and does not include reference to public hearings on this matter.

HB1272 requires each school board to offer in-person instruction to public school students and makes masks optional for students based on the decisions of their respective parents or guardians.

Delegate Amanda Batten represents the 96th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. The 96th District includes portions of James City and York Counties. Batten is currently serving her second term in the Virginia House of Delegates and is a member of the following House Committees: Education, Commerce & Energy, Public Safety, and Rules.

House Republicans Pass Opt-In Voter ID Legislation

February 3, 2022

Contact: J. Garren Shipley | (540) 333-0436

Richmond, VA – The House of Delegates today passed House Bill 544, allowing voters to secure their own ballots with opt-in photo ID. Under this legislation, voters will be able to tell registrars that their ballot is to be given only to someone who shows photo ID.

“Requiring a photo ID to vote is not only common sense, it’s popular. Some 80 percent of Americans support it,” said House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. Making photo ID opt-in gives Virginians who want it an extra layer of security for their ballots. House Bill 544 will help us ensure trust in our elections.”

“While universal photo ID would be preferable, allowing Virginians to opt-in to photo ID will give concerned voters another reassurance that their ballot is secure, and that they and only they will be the ones who cast their vote,” said Del. Amanda Batten, R-James City County, the bill’s patron. “It’s a common-sense, no-cost way to build trust.”

Delegate Batten elected Chairwoman of House Republican Caucus and selected as member of the Commerce and Energy, Education, Public Safety, and Rules Committees

January 13, 2022

Contact: Lauren Keiser | (757) 741-8866

Richmond, VA – Delegate Amanda Batten was unanimously elected by House Republicans to serve as Chair of the House Republican Caucus. Additionally, she received committee assignments for the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly. Batten will serve on the following House committees: Commerce & Energy, Education, Public Safety, and Rules.

Considering the robust, tourism-centric economy in Batten’s Historic Triangle-based district, she will bring an important perspective to legislation that passes through the Commerce and Energy Committee. As a member of the Education Committee, Batten will review all legislation pertaining to higher, K-12, and early childhood education. Batten’s service on the Public Safety Committee will allow her to prioritize the security of all Virginians. Given Batten’s decade of working in the General Assembly, as an aide and now a member, she will work in the Rules Committee to establish procedure as well as review proposed studies and constitutional amendments.

“As a second-term legislator, I am grateful for the trust that my House Republican colleagues placed in me by electing me to chair our caucus. In 2021, Virginians made clear that they prefer a message of hope and positivity – one that expands options for our kids’ education, keeps businesses open and thriving, and maintains victims’ rights and the public’s well-being. House Republicans share these concerns and are keen to affect changes to alleviate those concerns.”

“I am honored to serve on these committees, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to provide input on legislation that will affect the residents of our community. Service on these committees enables me to offer direct input about issues that are important to the citizens of York and James City Counties. The economy, education, and public safety are top priorities of my constituents, and I look forward to representing their interests in Richmond,” Batten said.

Del. Amanda Batten defeats Downey in 96th House District

November 3, 2021

Daily Press

By Peter Dujardin

Del. Amanda Batten won re-election Tuesday, defeating Dr. Mark Downey, a local pediatrician, in the 96th District.

Batten, a Republican, was winning 55.8% to 44% with 25 of 27 precincts reporting, according to partial results from the Virginia Department of Elections. She had 25,383 votes to Downey’s 20,039 as of Wednesday morning.

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