Monday, January 9, 2017

Action Item: Oppose Virginia Residency Restriction & Loitering Bills SB1072-Senator Creigh Deeds and HB1485-Delegates Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn

As I expected a Companion Bill to Delegate Dickie Bell’s HB1485 has posted in LIS SB1072 by Senator Creigh Deeds. 

Senator Deed’s version adds " includes any similar offense under the laws of any foreign country or any political subdivision thereof, any Native American tribe or band that is recognized by federal law, or the United States or any political subdivision thereof  to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residency) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working). 

Whereas Delegate Dickie Bell & Israel O'Quinn’s version adds “shall include any offense under the law of any other jurisdiction that is substantially similar to §§ 18.2-370.2 (Loitering), §§ 18.2-370.3 (Residing) AND §§ 18.2-370.4 (Working).

The Senate version does not have a start date of July 1, 2017 as Delegate Bell’s does which was completely unnecessary to begin with but neither of the Bills have a conviction date of July 1, 2017. So as written both versions would be applied retroactively by the Virginia State Police. 

Which would mean because of  the changes being proposed to 18.2-370.3 some Virginians who are currently residing in a registered location that is legal would be committing a felony as of July 1, 2017 and would need to move immediately or worse they might become homeless/transient.  

Over the last 8 years I have shared countless studies and reports with every Virginia Legislator that all conclude residency restrictions are nothing more than feel-good laws that instead of making our communities safer put citizens at risk of unregistered, unstable and /or transient RSO’s.  

It’s 2017 and we still have Virginia Legislators whom have chosen to ignore years of data that I’ve made sure they know about and instead they continue to promote baseless, fear-mongering, hate-driven and punitive laws. 

I am opposing both versions (House and Senate) of these Bills that contain anything to do with 18.2-370.2 and 18.2-370.3 .I do not oppose the proposal to change 18.2-370.4 , I understand and agree with ONLY that part of these two Bills. 

Please Email or call your one Virginia Delegate and your one Virginia Senator this Wednesday (January 11, 2017) the first day of session in Richmond, VA and ask them to Vote ‘No’ on both HB1485 and SB1072 as long as §§18.2-370.2  and §§ 18.2-370.3 remain in the Bill. Plus remind them ANY Virginia RSO Bill should have a conviction date of the upcoming July 1st otherwise we are proposing and passing laws that are being retroactively applied by the Virginia State Police and that is a violation of ex post facto (the Constitution).  

And if your Delegate is Dickie Bell or Israel O'Quinn and your Senator is Creigh Deeds ask them to remove the loitering and residency portions to their Bills. 
Virginia deserves laws that are data-driven not fear and hate driven!

Thank you! 

Mary Devoy