It’s not even mid December yet, and there’s already been a load of horrible legislation introduced in the Virginia General Assembly. A few that jumped out at me are as follows. Note that they’re all by Republican’ts, and note that basically none of them require any further explanation to understand why they’re so horrible.
Rights of unborn children. Provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.
Just like Mississippi!*HB 2 by “Sideshow Bob” Marshall:
Dulles Metrorail Project. Prohibits use of state funds for Phase II of the Dulles Metrorail Project if the Project is subject to a project labor agreement, the policies and bylaws of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority do not permit public access to MWAA’s meetings and records as provided in Virginia’s FOIA, or the Project is not subject to audit by VDOT or the Auditor of Public Accounts.
The Republican war on working people continues.
Lots more of “teh crazy” on the flip.
Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); taking or damaging of private property; public use. Provides for a referendum at the November 6, 2012, election to approve or reject an amendment eliminating the General Assembly’s authority to define a public use for which private property may be taken or damaged and providing that no private property shall be taken or damaged for a public use without just compensation to the property owner and that only so much of the property as is necessary to achieve the public use is taken or damaged.
This one’s opposed for good reason by many large localities, including Fairfax, Arlington, and the Virginia Municipal League.*SB 1 by Stephen Martin:
Voter identification requirements; provisional ballots. Eliminates the provision that allows a voter to sign a sworn statement that he is the named registered voter he claims to be in lieu of showing identification and provides instead for the voter to cast a provisional ballot if he cannot provide a required form of identification. The bill also provides that, in order to determine whether a person who cast a provisional ballot is a qualified voter, an electoral board may rely on a faxed copy of a person’s identification. The bill also removes a Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card from the list of forms of identification that a voter can present to demonstrate that he is a qualified voter.
The Republican war on voting continues.*HB 19 by Terry Kilgore:
Individual income tax deduction for certain purchases from space flight entities. Provides an individual income tax deduction in the amount paid for a prepaid contract entered into with a commercial space flight entity to place the taxpayer’s cremated remains in earth or lunar orbit. The deduction shall not exceed $8,000 in total and shall not exceed $2,500 in any one tax year. The bill is effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, but before January 1, 2021.
The only question with this one is, cui bono?*HB 23 by Mark Cole:
Sales and use tax revenue dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund. Increases the amount of sales and use tax revenue dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund from an amount generated by a 0.5 percent tax rate under current law to an amount generated by a one percent tax rate, phased in by a 0.1 percent increase each year for five years, or over a longer period of time if there is a lack of growth in general fund revenues.
Brilliant – no new revenue stream for transportation, so raid the General Fund instead, which means more cuts to health care, education, public safety, etc.*HB 27 by “Sideshow Bob” Marshall:
Residential energy efficiency standards. Exempts any residential building or manufactured home in Virginia from being subject to federal legislation relating to residential energy efficiency standards if such building complies with the Statewide Uniform Building Code. Except to the extent required by the Statewide Building Code, the owner of such building or home cannot be required by the federal government to (i) have an energy efficiency analysis conducted on his residence, (ii) have his residence meet federal energy efficiency standards, (iii) participate in a building performance labeling program, (iv) make modifications to the residence in accordance with federal legislation, or (v) post a label showing the energy efficiency of his home prior to its sale. The bill also prohibits any state agency from assisting any federal agency in the implementation of global warming or climate change legislation.
The Republican war on the environment continues. This one’s particularly crazy, as “cap and trade” was a conservative idea in the first place, and regardless it was defeated in 2009 and is highly unlikely to return anytime soon.