This is scheduled to be the last week of session (unless it needs to be extended). Of over 2,800 bills introduced, nearly 1,000 have passed (only 14 signed by the Governor, 1 vetoed), and 1,200 died. That leaves over 600 bills that need to be dealt with this week, so these will be long days in Richmond!
Here’s where things stand on major policies:
“Informed consent” bill killed. [HB212, Greenhalgh-HD85]
All repeals of new voting laws blocked–same-day voter registration, no voter photo ID, drop-boxes, no excuse absentee voting, permanent absentee list.
Only bill passed: changing reporting of deaths to registrar to weekly from monthly. [SB211, Kiggans-SD7]
Automatic voting rights restoration constitutional amendment [SJ1, Locke-SD2] blocked by House GOP. One final chance this Wednesday, with a vote on resolution [HR72, Simon-HD53] to change rules to allow the amendment to come to the floor for a vote.
Details of grocery and menstrual products tax repeal [SB451, Boysko-SD33; and HB90, McNamara-HD8] are still being worked out. The big bone of contention is over whether local school districts and transportation funding are made whole for the loss of revenues from eliminating the tax.
One-time rebates to taxpayers are in both House and Senate budgets, and are likely to occur, although there are differences over the dollar amount.
Still to be negotiated is whether to increase the standard deduction. The House budget and the Governor’s budget would double it, stripping $2.1 billion from revenues. At least one Democratic senator favors increasing it. SB7, Petersen-SD34, to double it, was continued in Senate Finance.
Gun Violence Prevention:
All repeals of new gun violence prevention laws blocked–Red Flag law, requirement to report lost/stolen firearm, local option for ordinances restricting firearms in public buildings/spaces, one handgun purchase a month limit,
Ban on sale/possession of untraceable ghost gun kits [HB399, Simon-HD53; and SB310, Ebbin-SD30] was killed by House GOP.
Charter school bills were killed. [HB356, Tata-HD82; SB125, Obenshain-SD22; SB608, Suetterlein-SD19; SB635, Chase-SD11]
Most bills restricting what teachers can teach, “divisive concepts” bills, library censorship bills killed. Exception: SB656, Dunnavant-SD12 requiring parental notification and providing alternative materials any time “sexually-explicit” content will be taught.
Still pending is SB598, Pillion-SD40 to expand lab schools beyond teacher education to partnering with businesses to teach desired skills. It’s scheduled for Monday’s House Education committee, but time is running short to pass the House.
Football Stadium Authority:
The bill that would help Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder sell bonds to build a new stadium in Northern Virginia (and pay them back using a break on future state taxes) seems almost certain to pass, with differences between House [HB1353, Knight-HD81] and Senate [SB727, Saslaw-SD35] versions being worked out in conference, but large vote margins in both chambers.
Possession of small amounts of marijuana remains legal, with no serious attempt to repeal that. However, legislation to create regulated retail markets so that Virginia business-owners could benefit from the legalization and Virginia could regulate the quality and benefit from taxation, failed. [SB391, Ebbin-SD30]
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