Sunday, February 2, 2014

Update: Has SB442 Died in Senate Finance or is it Still Viable? If it Did Die What is the Real Reason?

February 3, 2014 Alert: 

It appears SB442 is not officially “dead”!
SB442 is scheduled to be heard by Senate Finance on Tuesday February 4, 2014 in the morning. 


Original Post:

Below is an update about SB442 from the patrons Facebook page dated January 31, 2014 that appears to have more recent information than LIS has on the bill , he claims the bill has died. 

For anyone who needs to catch up on past posts about SB442 go to these links,, . 

I do not oppose SB442, all I was asking for is a start date of July 1, 2014 because otherwise I believe it would be applied by the Virginia State Police retroactively to currently registered Non-Violent offenders.  

Why do I believe this? 2006 and 2008 the VSP retroactively reclassified Non-Violent Offenders to Violent with similar bills that became law that did NOT note this step would occur and the bills also did not have start dates.
So beginning at the 2009 G.A. session if a similar proposal came before the House or Senate I would ask for a start date to be added to avoid a retroactive reclassification and for the last 5 session start dates have been added to these bills by the Senate. AND until THIS year the Senate has always done so, until SB442 was debated on January 27, 2014 when there was significant push-back to my insistence of adding a start date to avoid retroactive reclassifications. At first I wondered why they are fighting this suggestion in 2014 when they’ve had no issues previously. 

For the last week I have been working behind the scenes trying to get the VSP to answer a one simple and very direct question. 

“If SB442 does not have a start date of 2014 added and it does becomes law on July 1st, will the VSP retroactively re-classify those who were previously convicted under it when it was a misdemeanor and who are currently classified as Non-Violent  to Violent”.

If this was done these Virginians would become “Lifers” on the Virginia Registry and it would increase their re-registration from once per year to every 90 days, plus it denies them Due Process. 

The VSP would not answer “yes” or “no” but only “It is the policy of this Department not to comment on pending legislation”.
Now with the news from Senator Garrett’s Facebook page on the recent developments of SB442 being killed in Finance on Friday January 31 I am wondering if the entire bill died because of me publically pointing out the reclassifications that were done back in 2006 and 2008 by the VSP might have been done without legal justification.  

I haven’t had time to research this issue thoroughly as I have been attending to other bills but I am beginning to suspect that 9.1-902 was not amended back in 2006 and 2008. Legislative Services told me this year (for the first time ever) that a start date should never  be needed in a bill including SB442 because if reclassifications were to legitimately occur first changes MUST be submitted in the bill to 9.1-902 as well. I do not believe that back in 2006 or 2008 changes were made to 9.1-902 in the bills that became law and resulted in mass re-classification. Nor was a start date included. So for the last 6 session (2009-2014) I have been routinely asking for start dates to be added to bills to avoid this ever happening again and they have done it, until now. 

I believe it may be because this year someone in authority has taken the time to do the research that I have not had the time to do and they’ve determined that the 2006 and 2008 re-classifications were done without the proper changes to 9.1-902 which means those people should not have been reclassified, but were. 

If my hunch is correct, this is a huge error on the States part and could result in a large legal challenge. But they would need to figure out how to approach this issue and having a new bill like SB442 proceeding through the Legislature without a date and without any changes to 9.1-902 couldn’t reclassify RSO’s but if they don’t do it in 2014 how could they justify it having been done back in 2006 and 2008? They couldn’t, legally. SB442 no matter how it passes and is applied would hurt the 2006 and 2008 argument either way with or without a date. 

So what needs to be done until they can come up with a game plan, kill SB442 for 2014? This is my belief, I could be wrong.