On November 23, I provided an update on proposed legislation – best and worst – introduced for consideration by the 2014 Virginia Assembly. On the “worst” side, we had Del. “Sideshow” Bob Marshall back yet again with his monomaniacal war on contraception. On the “best” side, we had Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Scott Surovell both introducing legislation to repeal the absurd $64 annual license tax on hybrid electric motor vehicles. Since then, lots more bills have been introduced. here are a few of the worst…and the best.
*Del. Barbara Comstock (R) has introduced HB 28, which would require “that by the start of the 2019-2020 academic year at least 75 percent of students admitted and enrolled at the institution are domiciled in Virginia.” Sorry, but that doesn’t solve any problems at all. Instead, how about putting resources into our public institutions of higher education? Of course, that would have to be paid for, and the Barbara Comstocks of the world don’t want to do that, so instead they introduce legislation like this. Lame.
*Del. “Sideshow” Bob Marshall (R) attempts to partially gut the last session’s bipartisan transportation bill via HB 40, which “[r]epeals the provision in the 2013 transportation funding bill (HB 2013) that will increase the motor fuels tax if the United States Congress has not enacted legislation granting the Commonwealth the authority to compel remote sellers to collect state and local retail sales and use tax for sales made in the Commonwealth by January 1, 2015.” Not helpful.
*Even worse, again by Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall, is HB 43, which “[p]rovides that agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, and employees thereof, shall not knowingly aid any employee or entity of the federal government (i) in the enforcement of federal firearms laws that take effect on or after December 1, 2013, or (ii) in the conduct or enforcement of a criminal background check related to any intrastate sale, loan, gift, or other transfer of a firearm between citizens of the Commonwealth.” WTF? Can we say “nullification?”
*Del. Mark Cole (R) has proposed HB 55, which would add “party affiliation to the information that an applicant is asked to provide when registering to vote,” but would simultaneously require that “all registered voters remain eligible to participate in the primary of a political party that chooses to nominate by primary.” Huh? You require party registration, but then force Republicans to allow Democrats (and vice versa) to participate in their party primaries? Why?
*Del. David Ramadan (R) has introduced HB 66, which requires school boards “to place a school resource officer in each public elementary and secondary school,” the cost of which is to be “paid from the Lottery Proceeds Fund.” The big problem here is that this will strip money away from public school education and transfer it to the school resource officers. If Ramadan wants school resource officers so much, he should propose a new source of revenue to pay for them. I know, what a concept.
*Sen. Janet Howell has introduced SB 3, which would “[allow] qualified voters to vote absentee in person without providing an excuse for not being able to vote in person on election day.” Good idea; let’s make voting easier not harder.
*Del.-elect Marcus Simon is off to a great start, having introduced a bunch of excellent legislation like HB 48 (“Prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member that results in serious bodily injury from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following his conviction.”); HB 76 (“Permits the representative or legal counsel of a person whose provisional vote is being considered to attend the meeting of the electoral board to determine the validity of that provisional vote, without requiring the person whose provisional vote is being considered to be in attendance.”); and HB 77 (“Requires the State Board of Elections to develop a pilot program for a vote-by-mail system for elections.”). Nice job.
*Del. Kaye Kory has introduced HJ 10, which “sets a goal of extending the availability of early childhood education so that the Virginia Preschool Initiative and Head Start together serve 50,000 children in the Commonwealth by 2019.” Kory also introduced HB 47 to repeal the $64 “annual license tax on hybrid electric motor vehicles that was first imposed beginning July 1, 2013.” Finally, Kory has introduced HB 59, which provides that a student is eligible for in-state tuition if he/she has “has provided an I-797 Approval Notice stating that he has been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Good stuff.
*Sen. Thomas Garrett (R) has introduced SJ 4, which “[p]ermits a Governor elected in 2017 and thereafter to succeed himself in office.” The one-term limit is ridiculous; let’s get rid of it ASAP!
*Del. Scott Surovell (D) has introduced HJ 11, which proposes “repeal of the constitutional amendment dealing with marriage that was approved by referendum at the November 2006 election.” Get this abomination out of our constitution!
*Del. Delores McQuinn (D) has introduced HB 61, which “[p]rohibits the sale of any rifle, shotgun, or assault rifle by a federally licensed firearms dealer to any out-of-state resident.” Why should Virginia be the gun-running capital of the East Coast? Reinstate one-handgun-a-month while you’re at it, too!
*Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall (R) actually seems to have a winner with HB 74, which “Establishes the Justice for Victims of Sterilization Act to provide compensation to persons involuntarily sterilized between 1924 and 1979.” Forcibly sterilizing people was an abomination, and I’d say it’s only fair to compensate them for what was done.
Anything that should be added or deleted from this list? Feel free to weigh in, as always, in the comments section!