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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Update: Virginia Bill SB1072- Requested by the Virginia State Police and Patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds is Dead for 2017!


Dear Readers, Followers and/or Supporters, 

Today in the Full Senate Finance Committee meeting I was thrilled to watch SB1072 which came at the request of Virginia State Police (I personally think from Lt. Kennon Hook) and Patroned by Senator Creigh Deeds died by being “Passed by Indefinitely”. 

Now officially it was decided to “PBI” SB1072 by the Senate Finance Public Safety Sub-Committee when the Bill was heard back on January 25th, in a meeting I did not attend. But Senate Finance Sub-Committees wait to bring their decisions to the Full Senate Committee before any votes, amendments or decisions are posted in LIS. 

The decision to PBI SB1072 sadly was NOT because Residency Restrictions and Loitering Laws have all been proven to be baseless, feel-good laws that actually make society less safe. 

It was NOT because the Virginia State Police seemed 100% fine with retroactively making compliant RSO’s homeless by originally proposing a Bill they had full intention of applying retroactively OR that they then continued to refuse to fix until I stood up in Senate Courts of Justice Committee back on January 16th and made the issue public which then led to an amendment of a grandfather-clause. 

And finally today’s PBI of  SB1072 was NOT because the VSP refuses to notify those who will be affected retroactively by the proposed change in the Loitering portion of the Bill even though I offered up 2 reasonable options to Senator Deeds, Lt. Hook and the Senate Courts of Justice Committee that were ignored which meant they were ALL 100% OK with intentionally setting up Virginians who had confirmed years ago what their legal obligations as RSO were and changing the rules of the game in 2017. 

No SB1072 was PBI’d today per the Public Safety Sub-Committee Char Senator McDougle because a decision was made that no NEW money would be spent on creating new crimes or initiatives for 2017 so that money could be directed towards the deficit within the Virginia State Police for salaries, hiring and training. A goal that I do agree with the VSP needs to fill the large number of vacancies and they also need to pay their people much better than local authorities do. 

So while I’m thrilled to see SB1072 die, it died for the wrong reasons and will most likely be back at the 2018 or 2019 sessions. 

What does this mean for the companion Bill HB1485- Patroned by Delegate’s Dickie Bell / Scott Lingamfelter / Isreal O’Quinn? Well it means it will NOT be heard in House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee tomorrow (the next to last Criminal-Sub meeting before Cross-Over Day) because the Senate will not approve it even if it made its way through the House. So unless the Patron is stubborn and wants to just “make-a-point” by pushing the Bill through the House knowing it will be PBI’d in the Senate HB1485 will just “die-on-the-vine” with no action being taken for 2017. 

Thank you all for your phone calls and email’s to House and Senate members against SB1072 / HB1485. 

If any similar Bills are proposed at future Virginia General Assembly sessions that could result in RSO’s homes becoming felonies OR would be implemented with no advance notification to the RSO’s its being applied to retroactively, I will oppose them! 

We need laws in Virginia that are data-driven and that don’t intentionally set citizens up for failure not to mention laws that violate ex post facto. 

On a side note, many of you may have noticed the GA page has not been updated in a while I apologize. If I do not have to attend a VA GA Committee meeting tomorrow I will be able to update that page tomorrow morning. 

Thank you for your support! 

Mary Davye Devoy