Week 3: What’s on the docket?

Week 3: What’s on the docket?
Third Week at the General Assembly: What’s Coming Up?
Week 3: What’s on the docket?
Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Newsletter
Monday January 20, 2020

MLK Day, one of only two school holidays during the General Assembly session, is when citizens can take their kids to Richmond to watch our state government at work. It is also the day that pro-gun groups have chosen make their lobby day every year. This year those groups have joined with national white supremacist and terrorist groups and are threatening violence and unrest. As a result, the Governor has banned guns from the entire Capitol complex, most events have been cancelled, and many legislative and government offices are closed, with staff working remotely.

Despite this threat, the legislative work goes on. Here are a handful of bills that will be heard this week:

Legislative Update

Criminal justice bills on the dockets Monday
  • Senate Judiciary meets early Monday morning. The docket is light, but does include SB947 (Saslaw-SD35) to automatically expunge police and court records for those acquitted or whose charges are dismissed. 
  • Senate Local Government meets Monday 9am, with SB803 (Morrissey-SD16) to change compensation formula for Commonwealth’s Attorneys offices, to remove some of the disincentives for finding ways to protect public safety that don’t increase incarceration.
  • House Courts of Justice committee and the Criminal Justice Subcommittee were scheduled to meet Monday, but those meetings have been cancelled.
Bills to address climate change
  • Senate Local Government meets Monday at 8am. Will consider plastic bag and styrofoam container tax and ban bills SB193 (Favola-SD31), SB198 (Locke-SD02), 
  • Senate Commerce and Labor meets Monday after session and will hear SB94 (Favola-31), which would update Virgina’s Energy Plan (gives guidance to all agencies on discretionary activities) to reflect need to transition quickly to carbon-free energy.
  • Several bills defining/affirming the role of nuclear energy in Virginia’s energy plans are on the docket in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday–SB817 and SB828 (Lewis-SD06), and SB549 (Newman-SD23).

…and more bills to watch
  • Employee Rights: SB295 (Marsden-SD37) being heard in Senate Commerce and Labor Monday after session, would require employers to provide to employees upon hiring in writing terms of employment and copy of photo ID of employer.
  • Rural broadband: SB536 (Edwards-SD21) provides grant money from Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to install broadband in rural areas.
  • Reckless driving: Two bills–HB885 (Sickles-HD43) and HB1374 (Campbell-HD06) to increase the speed at which you can be charged with reckless driving from 80 to 85 will be heard Monday at 4pm in House Transportation Motor Vehicles Subcommittee.
  • Felony voting rights restoration: Senate Privileges and Elections meets Tuesday after adjournment and will take up a constitutional amendment to restore felon voting rights by general law–SJR14 (Deeds, SD25). 
  • Reproductive freedom: Also on the Senate Privileges and Elections docket is a constitutional amendment SJR2 (Saslaw-SD35) to add reproductive freedom (“That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the enjoyment of life and liberty and shall not be denied or infringed upon unless justified by a compelling interest of the Commonwealth and achieved by the least restrictive means”) to the Virginia Bill of Rights.
  • Absentee Voting: House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee will meet at 7am Tuesday to take up no-excuse absentee voting bills HB1 (Herring-HD46), HB25 (Lindsey-HD90), and HB209 (Murphy-HD34); as well as postage-paid return envelope for absentee ballots, HB220 (Krizek-HD44); and later acceptance of military overseas absentee ballots HB191 (Cole-HD28) and HB203 (Tran-HD42).
  • Firearms: The House Public Safety Firearms subcommittee meets Tuesday at 8:30, but no docket is available yet.

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

facebook twitter website