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Friday, February 10, 2017

Action Item HB1485 Scheduled to be Heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday February 13 at 8:00AM


02/13/17 10:00AM Update: 

Within the first 4 minutes of this mornings Senate Courts of Justice Committee all similar and Companion Bills were addressed by the Chairman with no speakers/testimony being heard.
 
This included HB1485 it was amended to conform (match) what the Senate Committee had previously done to SB1072 , a grandfather-clause was added for residences established prior to July 1, 2017 this way no ones current residence becomes a felony this July.  

Then the Courts Committee sent HB1485 to the Senate Finance Committee, that’s where SB1072 “died” last month. Let’s pray the same happens to HB1485 and this is all over for 2017. 

Mary
 

Original Post:

Virginia Bill HB1485 –Delegates Dickie Bell/ Scott Lingamfelter/ Israel O’Quinn is scheduled to be heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday February 13 at 8:00AM. 

This is the LAST opportunity in the Virginia General Assembly process for the public to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ the Bill. 

Before Monday morning please call or email the members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (contact information is below) and ask them to either “kill” HB1485 as they previously did with SB1072 (the same proposal) that came before them in January OR add 2 amendments. 

Here is a sample email for anyone who needs it:
 

Subject Line: Monday’s Senate Courts of Justice Meeting HB1485
 

Dear Virginia Courts of Justice Senators, 

My name is _________ and I am contacting you because HB1485-Dickie Bell/ Scott Lingamfelter/ Israel O’Quinn is on your Monday February 13th docket. 

HB1485 is the House version of SB1072 that ‘died’ in Senate Finance back on January 31, two steps that the House failed to take with this Bill. I hope the Senate Courts of Justice Committee will take the same action with HB1485 on Monday but if not please continue reading. 

There are serious issues with HB1485 that could be corrected with two simple amendments. 

As currently drafted HB1485 the State Police will retroactively apply the loitering, the residency and the employment changes. The employment portion is reasonable but the other two sections are not and will result in arbitrary felonies for citizens who have no intent of committing a crime. 

Issue #1: 

18.2-370.3. Sex offenses prohibiting residing in proximity to children 

If a conviction-date of July 1, 2017 OR a grandfather-clause for residences established prior to Jul 1, 2017 is NOT added to HB1485 the State Police will apply it retroactively which means  some citizen’s current homes will become felonies on July 1, 2017 and they will become homeless. 
 

A homeless, jobless “Sex Offender” is more likely to commit a new offense (creating new victims) than a Sex Offender who is stable with a roof over their head and the support of their family. Chasing compliant Registered Sex Offenders out of their homes does not make our communities safer but in fact makes them less safe. 

Please add one of these two clauses to HB1485. 

Issue #2: 

18.2-370.2 Sex offenses prohibiting proximity (loitering) to children 

If a conviction-date of July 1, 2017 is NOT added to HB1485 the State Police will apply it retroactively affecting Virginians who moved here 5, 10 and 15 years ago. When they relocated to the Commonwealth years ago they previously verified where they could and could not legally “loiter” but with this Bill the rules-of-the-game are changing. 

Without ANY notice of this change in law that specifically includes them, the State is setting them up for an arbitrary felony. Please add one of these two amendments to HB1485 before it leaves Committee to prevent such a situation from occurring. 

That the State Police will notify all affected Registered Sex Offenders of the change in law that prohibits them from loitering w/ in 100ft via certified mail (as-is done with re-registrations) 30 days PRIOR to the law taking effect on July 1, 2017 OR A start date of January 1, 2018 is added  w/ the knowledge that between July 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018 those Offenders who are affected will register with the State Police at least once if not twice within that 6 month period and in that time-frame the VSP will be sure to get the Offenders signature that they have been notified of the new law that they will be obligated to abide by. 

If Virginia’s Trespassing Law requires posted signage OR prior notification for it to be a crime, then so should our Loitering Law. 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration on these two very important amendments. 

Sincerely,
 
________________


2017- Senate Courts of Justice Committee
 
Party
Email
Richmond, VA. During Session
Chairman-            Mark Obenshain     *Also on VSCC 
R
804-698-7526
Ben Chafin
R
804-698-7538
Creigh Deeds
D
804-698-7525
John Edwards
D
804-698-7521
Janet Howell                       *Also on VSCC
D
804-698-7532
L. Louise Lucas
D
804-698-7518
Ryan McDougle
R
804-698-7504
Thomas “Tommy” Norment                          *Also on VSCC  
R
804-698-7503
Mark Peake
R
804-698-7522
Chap Petersen
D
804-698-7534
Bryce Reeves              *Also on VSCC
*Also on VCSC
R
804-698-7517
Richard Saslaw
D
804-698-7535
William Stanley
R
804-698-7520
Richard Stuart
R
804-698-7528
Glen Sturtevant
R
804-698-7510