Virginia Legislation Matters

Examples of Proposed Bills, Constitutional Amendments, and Budget Initiatives
Rejected by the Virginia Legislature in 2017

Civil Rights

•  SB 783 (Sen. Ebbin, D-30 / Del.s Kory, D-35, Levine, D-45) would have prohibited discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Would have codified for state and local government employment current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.

Legislative history:  passed the Senate.  House General Laws subcommittee #4 [Chair: Hodges, R-98] failed to recommend reporting.

Criminal Justice

•  HB 1522 / SB 1348 (Del. Leftwich, R-78 / Sen. Favola, D-31) would have provided that a defendant in a capital case who had a severe mental illness at the time of the offense would not be eligible for the death penalty.

House legislative history: Courts of Justice Subcommittee on Criminal Law [Chair: Bell, R-58] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  SB 816 (Surovell, D-36) would have raised Virginia’s threshold for felony larceny from $200 (lowest in the nation) to $500.

Legislative history: passed the Senate.  House Courts Of Justice subcommittee on Criminal Law [Chair: Bell, R-58] recommended passing by indefinitely by voice vote.  This means the bill was not reported and could not be brought back before the committee in the same session.  NOTE:  This bill has been introduced eight times and passed out of the Senate several times, but it has not succeeded in the House of delegates.

•  HB 1862 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have provided that a driver’s license cannot be suspended for a person convicted of any violation of the law who fails or refuses to provide for immediate payment of fines or costs.  After 90 days of non-payment, a court would have been permitted to provide additional time for payment, reduce the amount of each payment, assign community service, or waive the unpaid portion in whole or in part.

Legislative history:  Courts Of Justice Subcommittee on Criminal Law [Chair: Bell, R-58] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

Economic Justice

•  HB 2126 (Mark Levine, D-45) would have entitled individuals to a family and medical leave insurance not to exceed 60 qualified caregiving days a year.

Legislative history:  House Commerce & Labor subcommittee #2 [Chair:  Hugo, R-40] recommended passing by indefinitely by voice vote.  This means the bill was not reported and could not be brought back before the committee in the same sessio

•  HB 1771 (Kenneth R. Plum, D-36) would have increased the minimum wage from the federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour effective Jan 1, 2018, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); provided for biannual adjustments after January 1, 2020 to reflect annual consumer price index increases; and provided that the Virginia minimum wage applied to persons covered by the FLSA.

Legislative history:  House Commerce & Labor subcommittee #2 [Chair: Hugo, R-40] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

Education

•  HB 2363 (Roslyn Tyler, D-75) would have added to the stated goal of the Commonwealth for teacher compensation that its public school teachers be compensated at a rate that is competitive with the national average teacher salary.

Legislative history:  House Education subcommittee on Education Innovation [Chair: Greason, R-32] recommended striking from the docket by a voice vote.  [According to one definition, this means the patron decided not to move the bill forward.]

•  HB 1857 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have declared eligible for in-state tuition any individual with Virginia income tax returns for at least three years, who (a) attended a VA high school at least three years or achieved certain other educational attainments, or (b) had applied or intended to apply for permanent residency when eligible. The bill also prohibited any student eligible for in-state tuition as a result of approval under any federal deferred action program (such as DACA) from being deemed ineligible for in-state tuition due to elimination or modification of the program.

•  HB 2344 (Kaye Kory, D-38) would have also declared individuals granted DACA status eligible for in-state tuition.

Legislative history:  HB 1857 tabled in Education Committee [Chair: Landes, R-25] by voice vote.  HB 2344 tabled in Higher Education Subcommittee [Chair: Cox, R-66] of Appropriations Committee, by voice vote.

•  HB 1535 (Richard P. Bell, R-20) would have provided that no student should receive a long term suspension or expulsion for disruptive behavior, unless such behavior involves intentional physical injury or credible threat of physical injury to another person.

Legislative history:  Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education [Chair: Bell, R-20] recommended laying on the table by voice vote.

[Note:  VEA opposed this bill because of lack of resources.]

Energy and the Environment

•  HB 1465 (Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, D-48) would have directed the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to report annually on the status of efforts to reduce electrical energy consumption by retail customers, in line with goals adopted in 2007.

Legislative history:  House Commerce & Labor Special Subcommittee on Energy [Chair: Kilgore, R-1] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 1800 (David Toscano, D-57) would have authorized retail energy consumers to own and operate electrical generating facilities under third party power purchase agreements for renewable energy.

Legislative history:  House Commerce & Labor Special Subcommittee on Energy [Chair: Kilgore, R-1] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 2112/SB 1208 (Del. Mark Keam, D-35/Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-33) would have required the State Corporation Commission to adopt rules under which community renewable projects are authorized to operate.  A community renewable project is a solar or wind-powered electric generation facility with a capacity of not more than 20 megawatts that is operated subject to requirements that the electricity generated by the facility belongs to the project’s subscribers.

Legislative history:  House Commerce & Labor Special Subcommittee on Energy [Chair Kilgore, R-1] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 1859 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have directed the Department of Environmental Quality to publish and update annually a list of non-Federally managed hazardous waste sites.

Legislative history:  House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Subcommittee on the Chesapeake [Chair: Tony Wilt, R-26] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 1860 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have directed the State Water Control Board to regulate above ground storage tanks that are used to contain hazardous substances other than oil.

Legislative history:  House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Subcommittee on the Chesapeake [Chair: Tony Wilt, R-26] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 1870 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have required any person who discharges deleterious substances into state waters to give notice to the State Water Control Board in addition to the Department of Environmental Quality (the only body to which reporting is currently required by law).  Also would have required the Board or Department to give discharge information to local radio and television stations as well as newspapers as soon as practicable.

Legislative history:  House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Subcommittee on the Chesapeake [Chair: Tony Wilt, R-26] failed to recommend reporting.

Government Transparency

•  HB 1446 (Marcus Simon, D-53)  would have provided that excess funds from an election campaign are used only for transfer to later campaigns, charitable donations, or compensation for ordinary non-reimbursed expenses related to the elective office.  Would have prohibited the conversion of excess contributions to personal use.

Legislative history:  House Privileges & Elections Subcommittee on Campaigns [Chair: Nick Rush, R-7] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

Health and Human Services

•  Medicaid expansion, Item 306 of Governor’s budget proposal.  The portion of this item authorizing expansion was rejected in the House of Delegates on a party line vote.  The Governor attempted to veto portions of this item in the budget bill (HB1500) as it passed the legislature (without Medicaid expansion).  The Keeper of the Rolls ruled the Governor could not strike down portions of an item while approving others.

Members that voted to block Medicaid expansion: Minchew (R-10), Yost (R-12), R. Marshall (R-13), Villanueva (R-21), Lingamfelter (R-31), Greason  (R- 32), Hugo (R-40), J. Miller (R-50), R. Anderson (R- 51), LeMunyon (R-67), Loupassi  (R- 68) O’Bannon (R-73), Yancey (R- 94), Bloxom (R-100).

•  HB 2186 / SB 1549 (Del. Jennifer Boysko, D-86 / Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-33) would have repealed abortion restrictions, including ultrasound, and ensured that abortion care, like all medical care in Virginia, is driven by evidence-based standards  supported by medical personnel.

Legislative history:  Left in House Committee: Courts of Justice [Chair: Albo, R-42] (without action).

•  SB 877 / HB 1563 (Sen. Barbara Favola / Del. Kaye Kory, D-38) would have repealed Virginia’s clinic shutdown statute and ensured that no abortion provider in Virginia will be shut down unless that provider poses a bona fide threat to public health.

House legislative history:  House Health, Welfare, & Institutions  Subcommittee #3 [Chair: Richard Bell, R-20] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 2295 (Delores McQuinn, D-70) would have created a private right of action for employees that have been discharged by their employer for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions regardless of the number of persons employed by employer.

Legislative history:  House General Laws Subcommittee #4 [Chair: Keith Hodges, R-98] recommended striking from the docket by a voice vote.  [According to one definition, this means the patron decided not to move the bill forward.]

Gun Control

•  HB 1864 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have provided that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly authorize a child age 4 or under to use a firearm or pneumatic gun.

Legislative history:  House Militia, Police and Public Safety

Subcommittee #1 [Chair: Thomas Wright Jr., R-61] recommended laying on the table by a voice vote.

•  HB 1865 (Alfonso Lopez, D-49) would have increased the time from 1 day to 5 days for the State Police to complete the background check for the purchase of a gun.

Legislative history:  Left in House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 [Chair: Thomas Wright Jr., R-61] without action.

• HB 2044 (Kathleen Murphy, D-34) would have provided that it is a class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order to possess a firearm for more than 24 hours after being served the order.

Legislative history:  Left in House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 [Chair: Thomas Wright Jr., R-61]without action.

Voting and Redistricting

•  HJ 581 (Rip Sullivan, D-48) would have provided criteria for drawing state electoral districts, directing that districts maintain respect for political boundaries, population, racial and ethnic fairness, contiguity, compactness, and communities of interest.  Use of political data or election results would have been prohibited.

Legislative history:  Proposed constitutional amendment (required for redistricting changes). Privileges & Elections / Constitutional Subcommittee [Chair: Hugo, R-40] recommended laying on the table.  Subcommittee Chair Tim Hugo [R-40], Vice Chair Jackson Miller [R-50], and Delegates Randy Minchew [R-10], and Mark Cole [R-88] voted to lay the bill on the table.  Delegates Jason Miyares [R-82], Joseph Lindsay [D-90], and Marcia “Cia” Price [D-95] voted against.

•  HJ 763 (R. Steven Landes, R-25) would have prohibited any electoral district from being drawn to favor or disfavor any political party, incumbent legislator, member of Congress, or other individual or entity.

Legislative history: Proposed constitutional amendment (required for redistricting changes). Privileges & Elections / Constitutional Subcommittee [Chair: Hugo, R-40] recommended laying on the table.

Subcommittee Chair Tim Hugo [R-40], Vice Chair Jackson Miller [R-50], and Delegates Randy Minchew [R-10], and Mark Cole [R-88] voted to lay the bill on the table.  Delegates Jason Miyares [R-82], Joseph Lindsay [D-90], and Cia Price [D-95] voted against.

•  HB 1462 (Rip Sullivan, D-48) –would have permitted valid student photo IDs to include IDs issued by another state or territory of the U.S.

Legislative history:  House Privileges & Elections / Constitutional Subcommittee [Chair: Hugo, R-40] recommended passing by indefinitely by voice vote.  This means the bill was not reported and could not be brought back before the committee in the same session.

•  HB 1631 (Rip Sullivan, D-48)/HB 2091 (Kaye Kory, D-38) would have allowed early voting without requiring qualified voters to provide a reason or request an absentee ballot in advance, unless voting by mail.  Would have allowed early voting from 21 days before a general election until the Saturday before the election.    (Currently, 32 states have similar laws.)

Legislative history:  HB 1631: House Privileges & Elections Subcommittee on Elections [Chair: Ransone, R-99] recommended passing by indefinitely by voice vote.  This means the bill was not reported and could not be brought back before the committee in the same session.  HB 2091: House Privileges & Elections Subcommittee on Elections [Chair: Ransone, R-99] recommended striking from the docket by voice vote.

•  HB 2088 (Charniele Herring, D-46) would have provided that, unless consent is withheld, the information of a U.S. citizen aged 18 years or older, conducting a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) transaction, would be transmitted automatically by the DMV to the Department of Elections for the updating of voter registration information.

Legislative history:  House Privileges & Elections Subcommittee on Elections [Chair: Ransone, R-99] recommended striking from the docket by voice vote.

 

 

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