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Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Virginia General Assembly Begins in 3 Days Are You Ready?


On Wednesday January 14th the 2015 Virginia General Assembly session begins in Richmond, VA. 

The bills have been rolling in (posted on LIS) and they will continue to until January 26th (deadline is the 23rd but that is for the Legislator to get it to Legislative Services, not for Legislative Services to post it in LIS for us to read). 

I have already posted Action Items against numerous bills that we know about: 

HB1353 and SB934 –AKA Robby’s Rule:
·         January 7, 2015
·         January 1, 2015
·         December 2, 2014 

HB1366 A Parents Private Petition Hearing to Participate in Their Child’s Education Being Publicized and Open to the Public:
·         January 1, 2015
·         December 4, 2014 

HB1503Residency Restrictions and Contact with Victim Becomes a Felony with No consideration of Family Members, Rehabilitation, Restorative Justice, Housing Needs or Homeownership:
·         January 5, 2015 

HB1526Criminalizing 13, 14, 15 16 and 17 year olds “Chat”
·         January 11, 2015 

If you have not taken action on the four above bills yet, please do today because there will be more bills with action items to come.

When you send an email to your Delegate and Senator, stick to one issue/bill don't bulk multiple bills into one email even if they are all by the same patron. Keep it simple, factual and short. Adding a personal story or experience (not too long or too much detail) is always good. Also be sure to list the bill number in your Subject line and advise them you are a constituent from their district in the body of your email.
 

Action Item for Virginia Delegate Mark Berg’s Bill HB1526, Criminalizing 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds “Chat” AND for the Younger Ones it Will be a Felony!

 
HB1526 titled Children; use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses, penalty is patroned by “2nd session” Delegate Mark J. Berg , I have a nagging feeling this bill is not solely Dr. Berg’s creation but given to him from a more senior Virginia House GOP member (perhaps multiple members) for him to patron it because in odd years (2015, 2017, 2019, etc) House members are limited to a 15 bill maximum 

Summary of HB1526:
Provides that a person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is at least 13 years of age but younger than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit certain sexual acts is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if such person is at least three years older than the child. The bill also provides that a person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is younger than 13 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit certain sexual acts is guilty of a Class 5 felony. 

Full Text of HB1526: 
F. Any person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is at least 13 years of age but younger than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit any of the activities listed in subsection C if the person is at least three years older than the child is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

G. Any person under 18 years of age who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is younger than 13 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit any of the activities listed in subsection C is guilty of a Class 5 felony. 

OK, first let me say this. I would NOT oppose a law to criminalize 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 year olds from soliciting a child for sexual purposes. But I do NOT believe in ICAC units “Sex Sting” scams using entrapment methods against any citizen they should ALL be eliminated. 

Now onto the serious issues with Virginia Bill HB1515. 

Per section F of the bill:
  1. If a 13 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 16 year, 1 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  2. If a 13 year, 6 month old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 16 year, 7 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  3. If a 14 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 17 year, 1 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
  4. If a 14 year, 6 month old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 17 year, 7 month or older teen per this bill the older teen has committed a Misdemeanor.
Per section G of the bill:
  1. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with another 12 year old per this bill the 12 year old who initiated the “sex talk” has committed a Felony.
  2. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 13 year old per this bill the older teen has committed a Felony.
  3. If a 12 year old chats, texts or emails about possible sexual encounters with a 14 year old per this bill the older teen has committed a Felony.
  4. And so on……….