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Friday, February 13, 2015

Open Government? SB1074 Never Went to House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee OR Full Committee for Public Comment and it Yet it Was Sent to the House Floor and Passed Today 92-3

 
How could Robby's Rule SB1074 http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB1074 by-pass the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee all together? 

It went to House Appropriations even though it has almost no cost and then it went directly to the House floor for a vote,  it passed the House today 92-3. 

Breakdown by Delegate: 

YEAS--Adams, Albo, Anderson, Austin, BaCote, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Berg, Bloxom, Bulova, Byron, Campbell, Carr, Cline, Cole, Cox, Davis, DeSteph, Edmunds, Fariss, Farrell, Filler-Corn, Futrell, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Herring, Hester, Hodges, Hugo, Ingram, James, Joannou, Jones, Keam, Kilgore, Knight, Krupicka, Landes, LaRock, Leftwich, LeMunyon, Lindsey, Lingamfelter, Lopez, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Mason, Massie, McClellan, McQuinn, Miller, Minchew, Morefield, Morris, Morrissey, Murphy, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pillion, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Preston, Ramadan, Robinson, Rush, Rust, Scott, Sickles, Simon, Spruill, Stolle, Sullivan, Taylor, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Villanueva, Ward, Ware, Watts, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Mr. Speaker--92 

NAYS--Hope, Rasoul, Surovell--3 

ABSTENTIONS--0 

NOT VOTING--Fowler, Kory, Ransone, Webert, Yost--5 

SB1074 should have gone to House Courts of Justice Committee BEFORE Appropriations so the public could speak 'for' or 'against' it and it never did! 

This isn't open government! 

Now, SB1074 heads to Governor Terry McAulliffe to be signed into law, amended or vetoed. 

Please email the Governor asking him not to sign SB1074 (Robby’s Rule) into law. He can either veto it or take no action at all allowing it to die. https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governors-office/ 

Mary

Robby’s Rule (HB1353-Ramadan and SB1074-McDougle/Wexton) Continues a Historical Trend in America of Bad Legislation Named After a Victim; So No Virginia Lawmaker Would Dare Question or Vote Against it.

 
 
HB1353  AKA “Robby’s Rule” which passed through the Virginia House with a vote of 93 Yeas – 6 Nays 

Breakdown by Delegate: 

YEAS--Adams, Albo, Anderson, Austin, BaCote, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Berg, Bloxom, Bulova, Byron, Campbell, Carr, Cline, Cole, Cox, Davis, DeSteph, Edmunds, Fariss, Farrell, Filler-Corn, Fowler, Futrell, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Herring, Hester, Hodges, Hugo, Ingram, James, Joannou, Jones, Keam, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, LaRock, Leftwich, LeMunyon, Lindsey, Lingamfelter, Lopez, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Mason, Massie, McClellan, McQuinn, Miller, Minchew, Morefield, Morris, Morrissey, Murphy, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pillion, Plum, Pogge, Poindexter, Preston, Ramadan, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Rust, Scott, Sickles, Simon, Spruill, Stolle, Taylor, Torian, Tyler, Villanueva, Ward, Ware, Watts, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Yost, Mr. Speaker--93 

NAYS--Hope, Kory, Krupicka, Rasoul, Sullivan, Surovell--6. 

ABSTENTIONS--0.  

NOT VOTING--Toscano--1 

 …. is scheduled to be heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee this coming Monday February 16th (President’s Day) at 8AM. 

This will be the last time public comment will be heard on HB1353. 

I wrote an editorial on the two (House and Senate) versions of Robby’s Rule 2015 last week and sent it to every Virginia newspaper; none of them chose to run it. 

So I’m posting it here today.
 
Mary
 

Legislators in America have known for a very long time that if they name a bill (proposed legislation) after a victim of a crime to memorialize them, that it’s almost guaranteed to become law. 

We’ve had the Jacob Wetterling Act, the Adam Walsh Act, Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, Dru’s Law and  Chelsea’s Law  just to name a few. Then there are Amber Alerts and Code Adam for lost children in stores.  

When a name is attached to a law it stirs up deep emotion of wanting to honor that victim, to honor their family members and it evokes mantras of “never again”, “if it saves one child” and “this is common sense legislation” claims and stances no lawmaker would ever argue against. To vote against a proposal bearing the name of a victim would be heartless, it would dishonor their memory and it would make the crime they suffered through meaningless.  

When a bill named after a victim is heard in House or Senate Committees one of two outcomes usually occur. 
 

Roanoke Times Editorial- Campbell: Sex Offender Bill Would Stir up Angry Mobs

 
 Somehow I missed this being posted on Roanoke Times yesterday! 

They edited down my original submission to meet the word count maximum, but it still came out great! 

Mary 
 

Campbell: Sex offender bill would stir up angry mobs, February 12, 2015/ February 15, 2015
By Mary Davye Devoy

HB1366 patroned by Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Marion, passed the House of Delegates recently, unanimously, with absolutely no discussion or debate and with very little notice by most Virginians. 

First some background on the issue. 

In Virginia, Registered Sex Offenders who are classified as violent (approximately 83 percent of the registry, so around 17,000 Virginians) are legally prohibited from being on school property during school hours or attending any school-sponsored event. 

Any violation is a felony.

Most Registered Sex Offenders are parents, and many of them are single without a spouse to assist in the day-to-day responsibilities. 

Parents who are RSOs can petition for a court order allowing them to be on school property and/or to attend school-sponsored functions. This makes it possible for them to drop off and pick up their children at school if riding a bus is not an option. It may also allow for them to attend their children’s recitals, plays, athletic games and graduation. 
 

HB1366 Pushed Tina to Finally Speak Up, Giving Her a Renewed Sense of Hope and Purpose. Her Voice and Your Voice Matters in Richmond Let the Delegates and Senators Hear You!

 
Dear Readers/Followers/Supporters, 

As I noted in the February 11, 2015 post, two readers from northern Virginia came to Richmond to speak against HB1366, both happened to be RSO’s and one is a female. 

Most Virginians don’t think about the 5% of the Virginia Registry that is female they assume all RSO’s are men. 

After the February 11th hearing I suggested to the female supporter if she felt the experience of coming to Richmond was a positive one she could write a little something about it and I would post it on the site and I wouldn’t use her name if she didn’t want me to. 

Well not only did she write something but she is ready to put her name on it. 

Its amazing how one small step towards reform by speaking out in a room full of people can give you that push to be more forthcoming and to want to do more for others who are in the same boat.

Below is Tina’s summary and takeaway from her February 11th experience in Richmond, I hope her words will inspire more of you to step out of the shadows and participate in reforming our Registry and in stopping legislation based on myth, hate and prejudice. 

Mary Devoy 

 

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, I traveled from my home in Fredericksburg and joined Mary Davye Devoy to speak against HB1366 in front of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. I was initially informed the contents of the bill through Mary’s blog, and I began following its progress daily. I was shocked and dismayed when this bill flew through the House unopposed by any delegate—how could they not see how unjust and harmful this bill is? How could they believe sex offenders’ hearings to enter school grounds should include the testimony of any random member of their community? Did they not see that the current system of clearance through the courts was not a broken process in need of amendment? How could they believe that any judge would allow on school grounds someone who poses a risk to children? 

I spent much of January and the start of February mulling the situation over in my mind, lamenting to my husband and to my friends that the Commonwealth of Virginia was merciless, that my life and well-being was expendable to these supposed representatives of the people. It’s my own fault, after all—I committed a sex offense, and this is simply part of my consequences. I deserve it. And even if this bill isn’t logical or just, they wouldn’t listen to me, anyway. I sacrificed my credibility when I committed my offense. And if I decided to speak up, I’d be losing what little anonymity I have. 

This whirlwind of self-defeating thought cannot be unique to me. I know that every sex offender who pays attention to the events of this modern day witch-hunt feels that dreadful mix of fear, anger, helplessness, and resignation. I feel it virtually every day, and it always leaves me crippled. Only this past Tuesday, when I read Mary’s call to action asking for support to oppose HB1366 in front of the Senate committee, a sense of duty stronger than that concoction took hold.