Friday, November 29, 2013

Two 2014 Virginia General Assembly Pages to Keep an Eye On

In anticipation of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session I have created two pages (on the right side of the screen) in the Directory.

The 2014 Legislation page will be updated weekly for now and then as the session begins updates will increase to daily.

The 2014 Committee page is based on the information available from the 2013 session plus knowing who ran for re-election in November and what the results of that election were (Obenshain / Herring still pending due to recount). Then there is the separate issue of the 3 Districts (Northam, Obenshain OR Herring and Ware) upcoming Special Elections that have yet to be held and only one District (Ware) has been scheduled by Governor McDonnell. So the Committee page will probably not be updated again until mid-January when the official 2104 Committee lists are released by the Speaker of the House. 

Mary Devoy

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Richmond, Virginia December 12, 2013: A Vigil for the Wrongfully Convicted and Actually Innocent

A Vigil for the “Wrongfully Convicted and Actually Innocent" to be held from 8:30 am to 9:30 am on December 12 at the Capitol Square Bell Tower (900 Bank St, Richmond, VA 23219). 

After the Vigil ends participants will walk around the General Assembly Building, Old City Hall, the Governor’s Office (Patrick Henry Bldg.), past the Governor’s Mansion, and back to Capitol Square, where some us will attend meetings at the General Assembly Building being held that day while others prepare for a press conference and film screening.

At 12 noon, a press conference (limited access) will be held in the House Briefing Room (first floor of the General Assembly Bldg. adjacent to House Room C). Delegate Joe Morrissey has set the press conference from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm to discuss the work that has been done thus far to advance the Writ of Actual Innocence in Virginia and what is upcoming for the 2014 Legislative Session. (Check the Media Guide: Virginia General Assembly for details on obtaining press passes.) 

Immediately following the press conference (1:00 pm) a screening of the documentary film, Target of Opportunity: The US Navy SEALS and the Murder of Jennifer Evans, from JD Leete, is planned (location TBA) with a follow-up panel and Q & A session. The filmmaker, JD Leete, will be participating in this and other screenings and panel discussions being scheduled for that week. 

Numerous organizations, AdvoCare, The Dustin Turner Coalition for Justice, Virginian’s for Judicial Reform (VJR), Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (R.I.H.D.), Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), Plea for Justice Program, Working Narratives/Nation Inside, and Golden Badge are coming together for the "Vigil for the Wrongfully Convicted and Actually Innocent" and other events.
While this Vigil, as well as other events during that day and week, are planned in Virginia to address the seriously antiquated laws protecting (or not protecting) from the wrongful conviction of innocent persons and the slow transformation over the past decade or so of these laws; it is our hope that organizations nationwide will lend their support by listing themselves and perhaps even conducting events of their own. Of course, we would love to have as many participants as possible in Richmond on December 12th.

For more information contact

Teens Who Sext in Virginia Could Face Child Pornography Charges that Carry Mandatory Minimum Sentences and a Lifetime of Registration as a Violent Sex Offender

Shelby Brown and WTVR, 

I watched your story on Virginia teens sexting and facing criminal charges this morning. 

Over the years I have found 3-5 cases in Virginia that prosecution was being pursued and when the media got a hold of the case the charges were either dropped or a plea to a lesser charge was made not requiring lifetime registration as a Sex Offender. 

This is an issue I have been working on for more than 5 years and I made a statement back in 2009 to the Virginia State Crime Commission about it. 

Crime Panel Refuses to Call for Measure to Curb Sexting, December 16, 2009:   

The VSCC Crime Commission ended the September 16, 2009 meeting with the summary that the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s are using good judgment when it comes to prosecuting “sexting” cases. 

I told the Commission members at the December 2009 meeting that sexting Legislation needed to be proposed at the upcoming 2010 General Assembly session, in addition to educating Virginia’s teens and young adults of the dangers of “Sexting”. Not only should the juvenile’s that send and receive these photos and videos be exempt from prosecution but their 18, 19 and 20 year old boyfriends and girlfriends should also be free of erroneous prosecution. They voted not to proceed with legislation. 

The only bill since then to be proposed at a session has been, and it failed 

Requiring a teen or young adult to register as a sex offender for sending or receiving a photo only does one thing: it undermines the Sex Offender registry. 

As a society we want to encourage the healthy sexual development of our teenagers. But there is a difference between kids being kids and kids doing criminal things. And while certain acts and behaviors may legally qualify as crimes, are we really acting in our children's best interest by prosecuting them and subjecting them to the harsh consequences of the criminal justice system? No. 

Mary Devoy

Monday, November 25, 2013

December 2, 2013 Virginia State Crime Commission Meeting Agenda

The third and final Virginia State Crime Commission meeting for 2013 is being held next Monday December 2, 2013 at 10AM. 

The agenda was released via email today (but as of this post it was not available on-line yet), it is below. 

I previously posted the Tuesday, September 3, 2013 agenda plus the two statements that I made during that meeting. 

I previously posted the Thursday November 14, 2013 agenda plus the one statement that I made during that meeting. 

This December meeting is where the VSCC members vote on all the proposals that have been made at the earlier meetings. Legislation has been drafted and will be discussed at next Monday’s meeting and then the members will vote if the drafted legislation should be patroned and submitted at the upcoming 2014 Virginia General Assembly session or not. 

Any proposals that are moved onto the G.A. session must make it through the process of a bill becoming a law so a vote at the December 2nd meeting just means the VSCC members have studied the proposal and approve of it. 


Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr., Chair 

Brennan Center for Justice: Proposal- Reforming Funding to Reduce Mass Incarceration

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant (JAG) funding is the “carrot” that U.S. Congress/ SMART Office use to “entice” the 50 States to become Federal Adam Walsh Act /SORNA certified. States that don’t become AWA/SORNA certified lose 10% of their yearly Byrne Grant (as a punishment).

  • National Criminal Justice Association JAG Facts
  • Virginia’s Byrne Grant information can be found here , here  and here . 
The Brennan Center proposal would recast the federal government’s $352 million Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, by changing the measures used to determine success of its grants. It reflects a broader proposed shift in criminal justice programs at all levels of government. The proposal could be implemented without legislation by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The JAG program was launched nearly three decades ago at the height of the crime wave. As such, its performance measures center on questions about the quantity of arrests and prosecutions. Although funding levels are not based on rates of arrests and prosecutions, interviews with over 100 state and local officials and recipients found that many grant recipients interpreted the performance measure questions as indicating how they should focus their activity. 

The Brennan Center’s new; more robust performance measures would better record how effective grant recipients are at reducing crime in their state or locality.  

Read full press release and report below. 


Brennan Center for Justice
New Proposal: Reforming Funding to Reduce Mass Incarceration
By Inimai M. Chettiar, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Nicole Fortier and Timothy Ross
November 22, 2013

New York, NY – A leading law and policy institute unveiled a new proposal to reform the federal government’s largest criminal justice funding program. The Brennan Center for Justice's new proposal, Reforming Funding to Reduce Mass Incarceration, sets out a plan to link federal grant money to modern criminal justice goals – as a tool to promote innovative crime-reduction policies nationwide.

Read the full report click here. Read the press release here. Read the executive summary here.

The proposal, dubbed by the authors “Success-Oriented Funding,” would recast the federal government’s $352 million Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, by changing the measures used to determine success of its grants. It reflects a broader proposed shift in criminal justice programs at all levels of government. The proposal could be implemented without legislation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Funding what works and demanding success is critical, especially given the stakes in criminal justice policy. This report marks an important step toward implementing this funding approach in Washington and beyond,” said Peter Orszag, former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, who wrote the proposal’s foreword.

The Center proposes major changes to the program’s “performance measures”, which are used to track a grant recipient’s use of the funds. The proposal notes:

Current measures inadvertently incentivize unwise policy choices. Federal officials ask states to report the number of arrests, but not whether the crime rate dropped. They measure the amount of cocaine seized, but not whether arrestees were screened for drug addiction. They tally the number of cases prosecuted, but not whether prosecutors reduced the number of petty crime offenders sent to prison. In short, today’s JAG performance measures fail to show whether the programs it funds have achieved “success”: improving public safety without needless social costs.

“What gets measured gets done,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center and one of the report’s authors. “Criminal justice funding should reflect what works. Too often, today, it is on autopilot. This proposal reflects an innovative new wave of law enforcement priorities that already have begun to transform policy. That is the way to keep streets safe, while reducing mass incarceration.”

Success-Oriented Funding would hold grant recipients accountable for what they do with the money they receive. By implementing direct links between funding and proven results, the government can ensure the criminal justice system is achieving goals while not increasing unintended social costs or widening the pipeline to prison.

Are You Finding the Information You are Looking For? It’s All Here.

Are you searching the web for Sex Offender related National Articles, Proposed Legislation, Legal Restrictions and Regulations, Real Recidivism Rates, Books and Studies by Experts in the Field, Recent Findings with the Static-99 Assessment Tool, How Much Virginia DOC Spends on Sex Offenders or that they use the STABLE-2007 and the ACUTE-2007 for assessment or the Expected Growth of the VCBR over in next 5 Years.  

Stop looking, It’s all here!
Some days you’ll find new posts on the home page of this blog, some days you won’t. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new here.  

Almost daily I load new articles in the articles page 

If you are looking for an old article and can’t find it, I probably moved it to the archived page. 

Some weeks I add new books, studies and reports in the books and studies page (including a Virginia section near the bottom of the page, lots of information available there). 

Every once in a while I make edits to the restrictions and regulations page to make it easier for everyone to stay complaint so keep an eye on this page. 

One of the Top 10 most popular posts on this blog is, What Are The Laws Restricting Registered Sex Offenders From Traveling Across the U.S. or Internationally? Obviously this is information folks across the U.S. (per the blog stats) are looking for and are finding it right here. 

Very soon before the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session begins in January I will add a G.A. page which will be updated almost daily. 

Are You Ready for 2014 General Assembly? 

The VSP Monitoring Report page will also get updated in the next few weeks with the new 2014 report that comes out the first week of January. I will then adjust the 5 years of growth chart with the new numbers from the 2014 report and the new percentage of female offenders that I finally found without any help from the VSP.

Do you know what AWA and SORNA are? 

Do you know what states have ruled portions of AWA or portions of their registries as unconstitutional? 

Do you know that Virginia is in a very small minority of States that foolishly, publically shame Employers who hire RSO’s?

Do You know How a Bill Becomes a Law in Virginia? 

Do you know what Federal Bills are being proposed and voted on by our Federal Legislators in Washington, D.C.? 

Do you know who your State Representatives are? How about your Federal Representatives? You can find out by clicking the links. 

I spend a lot of time making sure this site is informative and current and I hope everyone who visits it finds something new each visit. Sometimes the search box works and sometimes it doesn’t I do my best to add the best “tags” to posts and pages but there is a limited number of characters allowed. 

In just 21 weeks this bog has received more than 7,600 page views from across the world (per the blog stats), proving that this blog was desperately needed not just for Virginians but for RSO’s everywhere.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Arthur Delaney: David Vitter's Food Stamp Felon Ban Would Barely Save Any Money

For those of you who have been following this blog since it began in July you know there are multiple Farm Bills banning those convicted of sexual crimes from receiving Food Stamps /SNAP benefits  and they are high on my priority list. All the different bill versions, originated with the "Vitter Amendment".

Here are those posts 

October 23, 2013:
October 12, 2013:
September 20, 2013:
July 3, 2013:           

Yesterday an article about the hateful Vitter amendment was published and I wanted to share it with all of you, see below.

Mary Devoy 

David Vitter's Food Stamp Felon Ban Would Barely Save Any Money
By Arthur Delaney   November 21, 2013

WASHINGTON -- When Sen. David Vitter introduced legislation banning convicted rapists, murderers and pedophiles from receiving food stamps, the Louisiana Republican suggested convicts had soaked the system for millions.  

But just how much in food stamps is currently going to these felons? This week the Congressional Budget Office has an answer: not too much, at least in the grand scheme of food stamp spending.

The CBO says that banning the cons Vitter wants banned would reduce Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program spending by just $5 million next year, or six-tenths of a percent of overall SNAP spending. The budget office isn't sure if Vitter meant to ban people who have already been convicted of those crimes or only new convicts going forward. The latter option, which House Republicans included in their separate food stamp legislation, would save $21 million over the standard 10-year budget window, or slightly more than two-tenths of a percent of $764 billion in projected SNAP spending.
Vitter suggested that more money would be saved when he promoted his measure. In a press release, Vitter's office said Louisiana sent more than $1 million worth of food stamps to incarcerated criminals in just two years, which would be about 4 percent of state benefits distributed in that time period 

But Vitter's legislation doesn't address the problem pointed out in his press release. Federal law already bans prisoners from receiving SNAP benefits. His amendment, meanwhile, would ban convicts even after they've served their time, since it requires food stamp applicants to certify in writing that they've never been convicted of the listed felonies. The senator hasn't explained why he thinks ex-cons shouldn't get food stamps.  

Federal law currently bans convicted drug felons from SNAP, but most states waive the prohibition. They'd have no such flexibility to waive Vitter's proposal. On a similar front, House Republicans want to give states new power to require food stamp recipients to submit to drug tests. Democrats say they don't like the idea, but aren't making a huge fuss about it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Action Alert on Federal Bill S1666: Healthcare Privacy and Anti-Fraud Act. Senator Marco Rubio: Perpetuating a False Assumption Plus Making it Less Likely for Felons to EVER be Hired for ANY Job.

See article below for details. 

Everyone should contact their U.S. Congress member and U.S. Senator(s) and ask them to vote “NO” on S1666. 

Please call, email or write your Virginia Congressional Representative today! 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy 

Ex-convicts should not be stigmatized into unemployment
Barring people with criminal records from certain jobs is unproductive and unjust
By Sadhbh Walshe - November 20, 2013

On Nov. 6, during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had something of an "aha" moment as he grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Cornyn forced Sebelius to admit that because there is no federal requirement for ACA navigators — the paid counselors who are responsible for guiding people through the often confusing enrollment process — to undergo criminal background checks, it was possible that felons could be hired to help run the program. Wasting no time, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the following day introduced legislation that would prohibit anyone with a felony or, in some cases, just a misdemeanor conviction from even applying for a navigator job.  S1666. 

At first glance, this might seem like a sensible measure. "Keeping criminals out of our health care" would certainly make for a great sound bite. If Rubio's Healthcare Privacy and Anti-Fraud Act becomes law and yet another job category is closed off to those with criminal records, the senator will no doubt declare it a victory for public safety. In truth, however, it would be anything but that. 

There are so many people who fall into the ex-convict category that it is neither practical nor wise to try to prevent them en masse from applying for certain types of jobs. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that there are a whopping 65 million Americans with criminal records. To put that number in context, it amounts to nearly 30 percent of working-age adults. Yes, you read that correctly: 30 percent. 

Among that 30 percent, there are a handful of murderers, rapists and serial con artists who would perhaps not be best suited to a job as an "Obamacare" navigator. Lumped with them, however, is a considerably larger number of people who have been busted for something as trivial as smoking a joint or failing to pay a library fine. In other words, in a category this large and diverse, there is room for nuance. Imposing sweeping bans that would prevent (PDF) some 65 million people from applying for certain jobs — regardless of how trivial their crime may have been or how many decades have passed since they fell afoul of the law — does little to enhance public safety and a lot to do just the opposite. 

Every year, some 650,000 people are released from prison, and (at least in part) because of the sometimes insurmountable barriers these former convicts face in securing employment and housing, up to two-thirds of them are likely to be rearrested within three years. These dismal recidivism rates have led to a growing recognition among criminal justice advocates, embodied by the Ban the Box campaign, that making it next to impossible for a felon to find a secure job is counterproductive at best and downright foolish at worst. 

The campaign, which was started in 2004 by All of Us or None, a civil rights initiative created by formerly incarcerated people and their families, is making a nationwide push for legislation to ban the check box on job application forms that a person with a felony or misdemeanor conviction is required to mark. The idea is not to keep employers from ever finding out about job candidates’ criminal records but simply to give those people a chance to be judged on their skills and qualifications before being judged (and typically rejected) for the convictions they are trying to put behind them. Ban-the-box policies do not prohibit employers from ever conducting criminal background checks. As Madeline Neighly, a staff attorney with NELP, explained, "Ban-the-box laws simply remove the question from initial job applications, and many prohibit inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history until they have been deemed otherwise qualified or a conditional offer of employment has been given." 

Action Alert for Federal Bill HR3502: Originally Titled, Addressing Victims Rights and Negatively Affecting Certain Sex Offenders, Renamed Nicole’s Law of 2013 - Sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith

HR3502 is sponsored by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith who over the years has been the author of multiple versions International Megan’s Law restricting the Passports and International travel of all Registered Sex Offenders. Recently he inserted an IML amendment into a totally unrelated Embassy Operations and Security bill, HR2848. 

HR3502 "To encourage States to expand the protections offered to victims of sex offenses who are not in a familiar or dating relationship with the perpetrators of such offenses." 

eAdvocate has done a summary on this new bill HR3502 here, and I completely agree with his conclusion everyone should contact their U.S. Congress member and U.S. Senator(s) and ask them to vote “NO” on HR 3502. 

Decisions like this should be left up to the States, the Prosecutors and the Judges involved in the individual cases. This should NOT be a Federal mandate! 

Please call, email or write your Virginia Congressional Representative today! 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

U.S. Profits from Baiting Viewers of Child Porn: Google and Microsoft Take Steps to Re-Program Search Engines to Block Child Porn Images in U.K. but Not in U.S.

Yesterday Google and Microsoft (which operates Bing and Yahoo search engines) announced that they will reprogram their search engines to block more than 100,000 unique terms / phrases associated with illegal child pornography.  When a term is searched that is associated to child abuse a clear warning message from Google and child safety organizations will appear explaining the consequences of the searcher’s actions and pointing them toward expert help. (See numerous articles below) 

This reprogram proposal to protect children, to stop them from being re-victimization by having their abuse viewed time-and-time-again is ONLY being implemented in Britain with future European countries to follow in the next 6 months. 

Why not in the United States?  

Why would Google U.S. and Microsoft U.S. not join in the prevention of illegal child pornography from being viewed, shared and distributed across the Internet? 

Some Americans may complain such action is censorship. 

Some may complain these filters will block legal materials from being accessed. 

But I believe the U.S. is not joining in on this initiative for one reason, MONEY. 

When it comes to criminal offenses, sexual offenses although a very small percentage of the overall crime rate are considered the most heinous and deserve the most severe punishment (according to Lawmakers and Victim’s Advocates). Even though the recidivism rate for sexual conviction is the second lowest of all crimes. 

Every year new laws are proposed and passed in the U.S., there are State laws (50 states) and there are Federal laws (Washington, D.C.). Some crimes can overlap and be charged as State and Federal, like with Child Pornography and Human Trafficking. Resulting in State and Federal Legislators attempting to out-do each other in proposing and passing harsher, longer and more expansive laws.

In 2013 for Virginia the #1 proposed bills was “Sex Offender” related bills, including Child Pornography. 

Funding for Victim’s Rights, Children Safety and Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforces /ICAC (including on-line sting operations) come from both State and Federal Departments. Every year new grants are created and funded to not just support these initiatives but to expand them. MONEY. 

Mandatory minimums aren’t just a problem with drug convictions but they are beyond excessive when it comes to sexual offenses. Currently viewing, possessing and distributing child pornography carry much harsher sentences than producing (being the person who physically abused the child), manufacturing and selling of child pornography. Mandatory minimums guarantee prison beds will be filled for a certain amount of time and right now the viewers outnumber the producers/ abusers. Keeping DOC employees (Prison, Probation, Parole) employed. MONEY. 

Crime Victim Compensation, Asset Forfeiture and Victim Restitution / Reparations are expanding and increasing every year in Child Pornography convictions, more than any other crime in the U.S. MONEY. 

If the U.S. Government really wanted to stop the distribution and viewing of child pornography on-line, the fastest and most effect path would be to find the owners of these websites, to shut-them down and to prosecute THEM, not their customers / members. 

Community of the Wrongly Accused: When children engage in sex, why are the boys charged but the girls aren't?

It’s a hypocritical, legal double standard and it happens in almost every state!


When children engage in sex, why are the boys charged but the girls aren't?

A disturbing story out of Milwaukee. An 18-year-old man is in jail, accused of raping and sexually molesting four high school girls. He admits to having sexual relations with them but says it was consensual. And he says the charges against him aren't fair: even though all the girls were under the age of consent when the alleged crimes happened, so was he. Yet he was charged and the girls weren't.

"And I'm engaging in sexual activity with students too young to give consent. Well, I was too young to give consent," he said Monday from jail. "So if I'm too young to give consent and they're too young to give consent, then who's the one who's supposed to take the blame for this?"

He says months went by after the alleged crimes happened, and he hadn't heard about a problem. After he turned 18, he says detectives showed up to arrest him at his work. He was fired. Walter says he's scared to be in jail, and he's worried that if he's guilty he'll have to register as a sex offender. And even if he's not guilty, the accusations will follow him for the rest of his life. He said he has been in jail for two weeks now and hasn't talked to an attorney yet.

Shades of Milton Academy, the infamous case out of Massachusetts several years ago. A 15-year-old girl engaged in group sex with five teenage boys in the boys’ locker room. They were 16. The boys, and only the boys, were expelled and charged with statutory rape, and the court ordered the boys to publicly apologize to the girl and her family, and to do community service.

Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and criminal defense lawyer whose daughter attended Milton Academy, said this:”This represents the most senseless use of prosecutorial discretion I’ve seen in a long time.” He added:”The idea that these youngsters should be branded rapists and the girl should be labeled a victim is preposterous.”

Read on only if you want to get your blood boiling. The 16-year-old boys read their apologies to the girl and her family, in open court, as part of their plea bargain. One boy read this: ”Not a day has passed since the incident that I don’t wish I had shown more respect for you, myself, and everyone involved. I understand that by taking part I put myself in a very dangerous situation with consequences none of us had dreamed of.” Another boy read this: ”Every day I am sorry, so sorry, for what happened. And every day I think of how hurt you must be and how upset your family must be. More than anything in the world I wish that I could turn back the clock. . . . All I can do at this point is truly and sincerely apologize for my actions and wish you happiness.”

The girl's family sat there stony-faced as the boys were publicly emasculated. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elizabeth Coast Says She’s Sorry for the False Sexual Accusation that Sent Jonathan Montgomery to a Virginia Prison Where He Spent 4 Years Before She Recanted and He Served the Full 7.5 Year Sentence

I recently posted about the one year anniversary of the false accusation being made pubic, the wrongful conviction and "conditional pardon" with release from prison of Jonathan Montgomery. 

This evening Elizabeth Coast who told the lie that sent this innocent man to prison, that took away any prospect of a bright future that includes (as of today) being forced to register as a sex offender tells WVEC she’s sorry and would like to apologize to Jonathan Montgomery in person. 

Coast wants to apologize in person to man she wrongly sent to prison, November 18, 2013
VIDEO EXTRA: Elizabeth Coast Interview Part 1
VIDEO EXTRA: Elizabeth Coast Interview Part 2

Woman who falsely accused man of sex crimes says she's sorry, November 18, 2013

Tomorrow Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will argue for Jonathan Montgomery’s innocence in his actual innocence case before the Court of Appeals of Virginia.  Virginia law does not allow courts to free convicted felons on the basis of alleged perjured testimony unless a court first evaluates whether the testimony was actually false a.k.a. Virginia’s 21-Day Rule. 

Hopefully Jonathan’s name will be cleared very soon and his requirement to register thrown out so he can finally have a life without the shame and fear that comes along with being an RSO.

Past Articles on the Recant of Coast and the Release of Montgomery for Anyone Who Isn't Familiar with the Case:

Proposed Bills for the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session Begin Posting Today and Continue on for the Next 9 Weeks

Recently I posted 
Which directs readers towards the options available to track bills during session, how to learn who your  State Delegate and State Senator are and their contact information. Also, that I will start a 2014 General Assembly Session page on this blog in the next few weeks and the options for receiving post notices from this blog.

Today, November 18, 2013 is the first day of prefiling for bills of the 2014 General Assembly session, I received the first of many LIS email’s this morning. 

Per the University of Virginia Office of State Governmental Relations page here are some other key dates for the Virginia 2014 General Assembly session. 

Monday, December 16 2013–          Governor presents Budget Bill
Wednesday, January 8 2014-          Prefiling ends at 10AM, Session convenes at 12PM
Friday, January 17 2014-                   Bill Cut-off (Last day to introduce / submit a bill to LIS)
Tuesday, February 11 2014-             Cross-Over Day, the half-way point of the yearly session. For a Bill  to continue through the session it has to have made it completely through the first Chamber by Cross-Over Day so that it can move on to the second chamber to start the process over again. Any bill that is still sitting in committee by Cross-Over Day has “died-on-the-vine” and is no more.
Saturday, March 8 2014-                  2014 Session Adjourns
Wednesday April 16 2014-               Reconvened Session is Held, (AKA “Veto” session) is held on the 6th Wednesday after session adjournment for bills the Governor amended or rejected. A Governors veto can be overridden with a 2/3 vote in both House and the Senate in a special session. 

From today until late on Friday January 17, 2014 proposed bills that could become law on July 1st will be posted on LIS and emailed out hourly to those who sign up for notifications.  

When new Co-Sponsor/Co-Patrons are added onto a bill there is no notification (you just have to remember to check the main page for that bill). Also additional Co-Sponsors don’t usually occur until after a bill has made it through the first committee hearing or even a vote in the first chamber. 

I will do my best to keep you up-to-date with alerts, updates, bullet points on opposing a bill and who to contact over the next 3.5 months. 

Mary Devoy