Home Virginia Politics Short List of Bills Gov. McAulffe Should Amend or Veto

Short List of Bills Gov. McAulffe Should Amend or Veto

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With the Virginia General Assembly (mercifully) done for 2015, I thought I’d list a few bills that are awaiting action by Gov. McAulife. Note that the following is just a short list, I’m sure there are a LOT more bills that Gov. McAuliffe should amend or veto. Also note that a ton of progressive legislation died in subcommittee, or in conference committee, or wherever, many times without even a recorded vote. That’s a topic for another diary…

HB 1318 Absentee ballots; photo identification required for submission of application. : Was opposed by almost every Democrat, and for good reason. This is simply a bill aimed at making it more difficult for people to vote, for absolutely no good reason, other than the mythical “voter fraud” the Republicans keep talking about, but never providing evidence it actually exists. Recommendation: VETO

HB 1400 Budget Bill: How aggressive does Gov. McAuliffe want to be in improving a bill, that as Del. Scott Surovell explained, does “not include enough money for pre-kindergarten programs, teacher raises or health care for the mentally ill.” Nor does it expand Medicaid, of course. Recommendation: AMEND or VETO

HB 1752 SOL; Bd. of Education prohibited from adopting revisions that implement Common Core State Standards: 15 Democrats voted against this in the State Senate, and two others (Dance and Puller) likely would have, but they were not present for the vote. Bottom line, this is a crazy bill by a far-right-wing legislator (Dave LaRock) and should be deep-sixed by Gov. McAuliffe. Recommendation: VETO

lots more on the “flip”

SB 1237 Senate districts; adjustments: This incumbent protection bill by Bryce Reeves has been excoriated by newspaper editorial boards, and for good reason, as a proposal that mocks democracy in Virginia. Recommendation: VETO

HB 324 Virginia Virtual School; established, report, effective date.: Basically every Democrat voted against this horrible idea from our pals at ALEC. For more on how bad this is, check out Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine. Recommendation: VETO

HB 1626 Students receiving home instruction; participation in public school interscholastic programs: Almost every Democrat voted against the so-called “Tebow Bill.” As Sen. Chap Petersen explained: “there are consequences in life, when you make decisions. If you choose not to attend the local high school, there is a consequence – you don’t get to play for its team. That only makes sense; especially when you consider that high school athletes have class attendance and grade requirements.” Recommenation: VETO

HB 1879 Coalfield employment enhancement; coal tax credits: Unless we want a dead planet, we should not be subsidizing this environment-killing fuel. Period. Recommendation: VETO

SB 948 Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information: Why on earth would we not want to require that “information on concealed handgun permittees in the Virginia Criminal Information Network shall not be shared with law enforcement in states that do not have reciprocity agreements with Virginia for the carrying of concealed handguns?” Stupid. Recommendation: VETO

SB 1349 Electric utility regulation; suspension of regulatory reviews of utility earnings: This one needs to be heavily amended, as per the suggestions laid out here (e.g., “include MANDATORY renewable energy portfolio standards for Virginia-only solar energy generation as you promised during your campaign, and provisions authorizing community solar projects and power purchase agreements through third-party financing of rooftop solar, then send the bill back with those provisions”). Recommendation: Heavily AMEND UPDATE: Unfortunately, it looks like McAuliffe went ahead and signed this deeply flawed bill without amending it. Very disappointing.

HB 1608 Local government; prohibits practices that would require contractors to provide benefits: So, instead of raising the minimum wage this year, we’re actually going to effectively lower wages for some people — by taking away a right localities already have and use? Crazy. Recommendation: VETO

SB 1424 Conflicts of Interests Act, State & Local Government, & General Assembly, etc.; ethics reforms: The ethics “reform” legislation passed this session was simply a bad joke, a charade, a non-serious attempt to make it SEEM like they did something on badly-needed ethics reform in Virginia, but actually do nothing. As Del. Scott Surovell explains: “lthough the bill lowered Virginia’s gift cap to $100, it deleted the $250 aggregate gift cap, so now elected officials can accept an unlimited number of gifts under $100 from the same donor. The also bill lacks a real enforcement mechanism.  There are no mandatory audits. There is no independent ethics commission and the new ethics committee has no subpoena power.  Stronger ethics laws are essentially meaningless if they cannot be enforced.” Recommendation: HEAVILY AMEND or VETO this garbage

As I said, this is just a short list, so please feel free to add more in the comments section, and I might add them to the main diary. Thanks!

  • cville voter

    This is part of the campus sexual assault package, so it’s politically sensitive. But I think the Governor could easily justify requesting this be amended. This is the bill which requires a “prominent notation” on students’ transcripts if they have been suspended or expelled for any code of conduct violation.

    Trouble is, it doesn’t qualify what kinds of violations. Earlier versions restricted it to offenses which would also be crimes under the Virginia Code, or sex offenses which are federally reportable under the Clery Act, but the final version does not. This is entirely because the bill was sloppily amended in conference committee on the very last day of session, last Friday 2/27.

    Virginia public universities already mostly provide this notation. Private colleges might not, but private colleges also have much less of a constitutional obligation to provide accused students due process. Furthermore, they have considerable latitude, as long as they are not arbitrary or capricious about enforcement, to define acts which would be accepted in society at large as conduct offenses.

    It’s deeply ironic that the bill was inspired by Jesse Matthew’s transcript from Liberty, in which they did not warn that he had committed a sexual assault, because it is Liberty which is best known for a wide variety of arbitrary conduct offenses. Liberty is known to expel gay students. Liberty will expel you if you’ve had an abortion. This bill could force a young woman who’s had an abortion to explain that extremely private matter to any other college she applies to.

    I am very disappointed in the sloppy work of the conference committee, and I’ve contacted my delegate Toscano, who was on this committee, to express my displeasure already. I’d really appreciate it if members of the conference committee who realize the mistake they’ve made here contact the governor and ask him to send the bill back, so they can amend it to include some version of the narrowing language which previously passed the House and Senate.