Last week at the General Assembly!

Last week at the General Assembly!
Final week of the General Assembly coming up!
Last week for the General Assembly!
Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Newsletter
March 1, 2020

Monday is the last day for Committee work on bills, and the General Assembly is set to adjourn sine die (indefinitely) on Saturday, March 7. So we’re down to the wire on getting things wrapped up. Lots of bills have already been signed by the Governor or are on his desk; many more are in conference committees, with compromises between House and Senate versions being ironed out.

Check out the progress and what’s still to come:

Legislative Update

Governor Northam is getting to work!

Bills already signed into law:

  • HB278 (Hope-HD47) changes from mandatory to optional that the fee for an ankle monitor be paid by the offender/accused.  Fees can be from $5-20 per day.
  • HB1137 (Lopez-HD49) requires Social Services to keep track and publish statistics on those exempted from participating in the TANF-VIEW program for re-entering the workforce.
  • HB35 (Lindsey-HD90) allows someone sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed as a juvenile to petition for parole after serving at least 20 years. The Supreme Court has found that life without possibility of parole for juveniles is unconstitutional. (Virginia skirted this by having rarely-used geriatric parole.)
  • HB585 (Guzman-HD31) recommends all localities of a certain size incorporate into the next review of their comprehensive plan strategies to promote transit-oriented development. 
Bills in conference committees

These bills are being negotiated between the House and Senate:

  • HB29/HB30 (Torian-HD52) the budget bills contain numerous differences between House and Senate versions that need to be reconciled to create one document.
  • HB534/SB11 (Carr-HD69; Ebbin-SD30) plastic bag tax 
  • HB881/SB971 (Bulova-HD37; Howell-SD32) includes “games of skill” in illegal gambling laws.
  • HB972/SB2 (Herring-HD; Ebbin-SD30) decriminalizing possession of small amount of marijuana
  • HB1150 (Lopez-HD49) removing requirement to ask immigration status of those in custody or incarcerated at jails and prisons. (Senate version SB491 was killed in House subcommittee, but conference is necessary because Senate Judiciary committee adopted a substitute the House did not support.)
  • HB1414/SB890 (Filler-Corn-HD41; Saslaw-SD35) Transportation omnibus bill. The versions have differences in gas tax increases and other provisions.

…and more bills on the Governor’s desk
  • HB100/SB325 (Lindsey-HD90; Deeds-SD25) allows potential jurors to be told before trial what the sentencing range is, and asked whether they can sit impartially during the sentencing phase.
  • HB145/SB161 (Simon-HD53; Boysko-SD33) requires Board of Education to create, and school boards to adopt, a model policy for the treatment of transgender students that ensures a safe learning environment free from discrimination.
  • HB256 (Mullin-HD94; Bourne–HD71) to prevent children from being charged with disorderly conduct for behavior on school grounds or the bus. 
  • HB366/SB72 (Carroll-Foy-HD2; Surovell-SD36) creating a Public Defender’s Office for Prince William County.
  • HB874 (Bourne-HD71) banning the use of handheld communications devices while driving.
  • HB995/SB788 (Lindsey-HD90; Lopez-HD49; McClellan-SD9) increasing the felony larceny rate to $1000.
  • HB1042 (Herring-HD46) establishing the Environmental Justice Council.
  • HB1383 (Bulova-HD37) ending the ban on internet sales of Lottery tickets.
  • HB1514/SB50 (McQuinn-HD70; Spruill-SD5) preventing discrimination on the basis of hairstyles associated with race.
  • SB124/HB566 (Locke-SD2; Guzman-HD31) extending TANF eligibility to those with felony drug conviction records.

If any of the above bills are important to you, now is the time to contact your legislators and tell them how this bill affects you and your family. Contact information for Delegates and Senators can be found HERE; if you aren’t sure who represents you, put your address in HERE to find out.

Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Network

PO Box 2612, Merrifield
Virginia 22116-2612 United States

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