Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Virginia General Assembly 60-Day Session Begins in Richmond, Virginia

Today at 12noon the 2016 Virginia General Assembly 60-Day session convenes. 

Yesterday I was at the G.A. building meeting a few of the 18 newly-elected Virginia Legislators and I’ll be returning later this week. 

I was not the only advocate getting a jump start....... one of the Virginia State Police G.A Legislative Liaisons was also visiting offices yesterday. A bill just posted on the 11th that I believe the VSP asked for to counter one of our “good” bills, that’s OK. 

As of the typing of this post I am watching more 45 Bills you can see them on my public profile at Richmond Sunlight. Of those 45 Bills approximately 20 of them are “Sex Offender” bills. More than 4 of the “Sex Offender” Bills add additional convictions to the requirement to register as a public Sex Offender in Virginia and only one has a start sate which means all the others would be applied retroactively if not amended. And the one with a start date could be amended to remove the date. So the Virginians who would be directly affected by these proposals don’t even know that their lives could be destroyed if these Bills become law because today they aren't an RSO. Then there are the Bills with new restrictions for current and future Sex Offenders including a retroactive increase from Non-Violent to Violent making them "lifers" with no opportunity to petition for removal. 

Also in the mix of Bills are extending the statute of limitations, allowing hearsay in court and changing the age to marry from 16 with parental consent to 18 years of age. And that’s just since yesterday there will be much, much more to come.

I am updating the 2016 GA Proposed Bills/Legislation page one to two times a day now. As soon as the Virginia Speaker of the House announces the Committee assignments I will be able to finalize the 2016 GA House and Senate Committee Members page Update Committee page was finalized on 01/14 @5:30AM.

Every hour new bills are posted on the Virginia General Assembly LIS site and then Richmond Sunlight picks them up 30-90 minutes later. The deadline for Virginia Delegates and Senators to file Bills is January 22nd so bills could still be posting online through Monday 25th. 

If you missed my earlier post on Getting Ready for the 2016 Virginia Session including the options available for Tracking Bills go here 

I will begin posting Action Items for readers to contact their one Delegate and one Senator in their Richmond offices. 

Please, please take action on the Bills to oppose they are much more important than the Bills to support. Holding back the tide of harsher restrictions and a bigger (not smarter) registry is goal #1! Getting laws repealed is almost impossible but stopping them from passing in the first place is possible!  

Thank you for your support. 

Mary Devoy 

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