Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Last 8 Days at the 2016 Virginia General Assembly Session

Back on Thursday January 21st my husband and I spent 2.5 hours at the Virginia General Assembly building. 

On Tuesday January 26th   we spent 3.5 hours there. 

On Wednesday January 27th we spent 13 hours there. 

And today Thursday January 28th we spent 2.5 hours at the Virginia General Assembly building. 

In those 4 days we scheduled and met with 17 Delegates (or their Legislative Assistant) and 3 Senators (or their Legislative Assistant) that’s 14.28% of the Virginia Legislature. 

On Wednesday January 27th there were two simultaneous Senate Committee meetings where one Bill needed to be amended and one bill need to be opposed. 

I’ve posted about the Bill(s) that needed to be opposed here and it’s gotten even worse so there is an action item. 

I’ve posted about the Bill that needed to be amended here and it was amended but it could be undone at any point before it heads to the House so I am continuing to monitor it. 

Mary Devoy

Action Item Against Virginia Senator Dick Blacks SB666 Passed the Senate Transportation Committee Yesterday and is Even Worse Now!

Deny those RSO's Everything!

Yesterday  SB666 passed the Senate Transportation Committee 12-0 even though a few members weren’t in the hearing when the discussion was held on the bill.  

Not only did the Bill pass but it was expanded to include numerous specialty license plates (too many to even provide a complete list of during the Committee) AND to give the DMV discretion to analyze and reject any combination of letters and numbers for an RSO’s vehicle that the DMV believes could have anything to do with children. 

As of today SB666 is on the “uncontested list” (no one voted against it) and it will arrive to the Senate Chamber in a Block Vote where NO discussion or debate will be held and SB666 deserves serious discussion. 

SB666 needs to be removed from the block vote and to do that I need you to contact Senators asking them to debate the merits of this Bill on the floor of the Senate.  

Please Email every Virginia Senator (see below list) TODAY! 

First ask them to remove it from the Block Vote so it can be discussed. 

Second tell them why this Bill should NOT be passed, to vote "Nay"!

SB86 Patroned by Virginia Senator Tom Garrett was Amended During Yesterdays Senate Courts of Justice Committee Hearing with a Start Date

Yesterday after a 7+ hour Committee hearing, it was still going on when we left right before 9PM SB86 was FINALLY amended with a start date of July 1, 2016 only because I remained in the room if I had gone home this date was not going to be added by the patron. 

So this is very good news for anyone who was previously convicted of this statute when it was a misdemeanor, if it actually does become a felony this coming July. 

There is a House version of this Bill to0 (HB1317-Delegate Ben Cline) an identical bill in each chamber is called “Companion Bills”. 

Since the Senate inserted the date into SB86, the only way the Senate will accept the House Bill when it reaches the Senate after Cross-Over Day is for it to be conformed identically to how SB86 was at the time of the final Senate vote. This means I probably won’t bother fighting with the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub Committee members who would just refuse to add a start date, it will get added in the Senate down the line. 

BUT….I will keep an eye on SB86 to make sure the date isn’t removed prior to the final vote in the Senate, which is always a possibility. 

Thank you all for sending those email’s and making those phone calls. 

The Senate Courts of Justice knew when I stood to insist on a start date that I hadn’t been the only one making this request, they had been hearing from all of you prior to yesterday.