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Northern Virginia group lobbies for dental care funding

Rosalind Helderman

About two-hundred yellow-shirted members of Northern Virginia houses of worship filled a room of the state capital Tuesday, pushing for more state funding for dental care for low-income adults. The activists represented the Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement. They were lobbying for the General Assembly to adopt the Senate's version of provisions dealing with dental care rather than those in the House's budget.

Virginia is one of a few states where the only dental care Medicaid covers is emergency care. Other than that, dental care is provided largely through free clinics and community health centers, which the House of Delegates has recommended be cut.

"We need someone who can step in and help," said Willie Jackson, 55, a Woodbridge resident who the organization helped get dentures after he lived for years with loose and painful teeth.

The group was just one of many advocacy groups that have been flocking to Richmond as lawmakers hit crunch time for finalizing the state budget. Tuesday morning, Voices for Virginia's Children lobbied for pre-kindergarten funding. Groups have been pushing for restoration of arts funding. Over the weekend, hundreds of parents and teachers lobbied for education funding.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 3, 2010; 7:10 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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