What’s the Worst Bill in Richmond? You make the call!


    It’s time again for Richmond’s favorite reality show, WORST BILL EVER!  Excited Republican state Delegates and Senators are lining up today to try to pass the weirdest, dumbest, most cynical or just plain revolting legislation. Make sure to vote in the poll at the end of this post for the bill you think deserves the prize.

    This round’s contenders include:

    – Del. Bob Marshall’s “Funny Money” bill (HJ 590) — Sideshow Bob is the Rocky Balboa of freaky legislation, and he never fails to disappoint. This worthy contender, to study whether Virginia should print its own currency, is one for the ages — I encourage you to read it in full, while enjoying such lines as “WHEREAS, many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future…” Needless to say, this bill has been approved in subcommittee.

    – Del. Marshall’s “Cold, Dead Hands” bill (HB 2340), which would prohibit state employees from helping to enforce new Federal gun laws. Whaditellya? Like Michael Jordan, Sideshow Bob never just takes one shot at the basket. Of course, this bill is too mild for our friends at the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition, who point out that it fails to include a provision to arrest Federal officials who themselves try to enforce Federal laws. Well, good point, but Rome wasn’t brutally massacred in a day. This bill, needless to say, has been reported out of committee.  

    – Sen. Watkins’ “Make Virginia Glow” bill (SB1353) to open the floodgates to uranium mining in the wet, heavily populated state of Virginia.  This bill bravely ignores the opposition of Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Virginians and North Carolinians in the area that would be subject to the risk of radioactively contaminated lakes and streams.  As the Simpsons’ Montgomery Burns would say, “Eeeexxxxxceellent!”  This bill has the added advantage of the support of Democratic Senate leader Dick Saslaw, proving that being bought by industry can be a sacred bipartisan value.  For some reason, this legislation has not yet made it out of committee.  Step it up, people!

    – Sen. Watkins’ now-famous “Panda Burger” redistricting bill (now HB 259), so named for the honor it received of being honored by Stephen Colbert in his Alpha Dog of the Week feature.  This bill to change district lines without the burdens of Constitutional authority, consent from the Democrats who run half the Senate, hearings, etc., has of course passed the Senate and is awaiting House action and potential signature by Governor Bob McDonnell, who continues to keep that option open, saying

    There’s a lot of bills that I get that I might not like the way it was done, that I don’t like the way they were amended and so forth…But my job when I get a bill is not to look at the process, it’s to look at the bill on the merits.”

    Yeah, only wimps care about stuff like Constitutional, democratic process!

    I apologize for cutting off the list at this point, knowing that there are many other worthy contenders out there.  Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments section. We truly have here an embarrassment of riches.  Or…maybe just an embarrassment?

    Where Are You on a 1-10 Scale: Doomed to Super Optimistic

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    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I picked Panda Burger simply because it further destroys the concept of democratic, representative government, making Virginia captive for the foreseeable future to veto-proof General Assemblies. Funny Money is so stupid that it is laughable. Cold Dead Hands is further proof that “Nullification” Bob Marshall is deranged, and the people who continually elect him to public office need to look at themselves, too. I don’t think Make Virginia Glow can get out of the Senate (at least I hope not).

    • pontoon

      pick just one.  They all make a the Commonwealth a laughing stock.  It is pathetic to have legislators who put forth such bills.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      If your yardstick is the physical survival of us all in the SE region, open pit uranium mining is the worst.

      But if your yardstick measures the survival of democratic (little d) representation, then the Panda Burger Gerrymander is your bill. It is the most outrageous gerrymander in a 12 month period, when NC gave VA serious contention with a ludicrous and monumentally unfair gerrymander. It is also outrageous and the worst ever, even in light of previous rigging that shipped former Sen. (and my favorite VA pol ever) Madison Marye’s district hundreds of miles away.

      If your yardstick is our economic survival, then Sideshow Bob’s currency bill is a laughable and thus frightening way to protect our economy. He also disqualifies himself from serious contention for anything and respect for anything (but he already lost respect anyway).

      And finally, if your measure is personal safety and security of our persons, the “cold dead hands” bill is your bill. And this bill is likely so unconstitutional as to also be laughable.  And laughable is not desirable when the subject is so serious.  

      PS I know this is a tangent, but…If your yardstick were the worst voter decision ever, it would probably be the 9th Congressional District of Virginia electing someone who did not even live in the district (Morgan Griffith).  What a complete joke the evidently dominant voters are in the 9th. Not referring to the D’s here.  Griffith will never actually represent the 9th. He could have helped (or influenced those who drew) the lines anywhere (and thus put himself in the 9th before) prior to his running, but he didn’t.  He could have had some prior loyalty to the 9th, but he didn’t. And now they have elected him twice. For shame, all R’s and supposed I’s of the 9th. If Griffith rises to a place where he can do more harm, then double shame.You were used and you were had.

    • That the Governor’s transportation proposal doesn’t even enter into the discussion is just a small indication of how disgusting the Richmond legislative process is.

      What about his concept which basically says

      – Let’s make climate-related pollution worse

      – Let’s increase pollutants that worsen VA health

      – Let’s encourage non-Virginians to use VA roads to buy cheaper gasoline, thus damaging the roads, worsening pollution, and not providing the Commonwealth funds

      – Let’s make people buying milk and clothing pay more to pay for roads

      – Let’s penalize people who spend more to buy fuel-efficient vehicles and thus are contributing to solutions

      – Let’s make it more profitable for gas station owners while penalizing stores across the state by making their goods more expensive

      – Let’s move away from a basic concept of user fees

      – Let’s be destructive rather than seeking real solutions

      – Let’s reward Grand Oil Party supporters and penalize Democratic Party supporters

      _ Let’s ..

      Or, what about eliminating the mediocre and poorly executed Renewable Portfolio Standard rather than improving it?

      What about …???