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64 Good Bills Killed by Virginia Republicans; This Exemplifies Why We Need a Democratic-Controlled General Assembly

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There were a lot of excellent bills – and many bad ones as well – introduced in the Virginia General Assembly this session.  Here are 64 good bills, mostly introduced by Democrats, that have been killed – overwhelmingly by Republicans – so far this session (note: yesterday was the key “crossover day” — “the last day for a bill to pass out of the chamber in which it was introduced and move forward for consideration in the opposite chamber”). Note that this is only a very partial list, as Republicans killed or pushed off until 2019 many, many more excellent pieces of legislation. Let me know what you think I should add to this list…

P.S. Just imagine if Democrats controlled the General Assembly and most, if not all, of these bills passed and were signed into law by Gov. Northam? This would be such a better state in so many ways, it’s incredible to even think about. And the ONLY thing stopping this, basically, is Republicans. So…you know what you need to do in 2019! 🙂

  1. Del. Marcus Simon’s HB 5, which would have prohibited the personal use of campaign contributions, was “prohibited” by the GOP-controlled House Privileges and Elections Committee.
  2. Del. Marcus Simon’s HB 75, which would have repealed “the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions,” was “prohibited” by Republicans in the House Rules Committee.
  3. Del. Marcus Simon’s HB 100, which would have eliminated the ability to keep execution drug makers secret, was “executed” – bad pun, I know – by Republicans in House Courts Subcommittee.
  4. Del. Marcus Simon’s HB 1155 (“Exempts generators that are not organized as a public service company and that provide electric energy from renewable energy to retail customers under certain power purchase agreements from being defined as a public utility or a supplier”) was killed by House Commerce and Labor Subcommittee Republicans
  5. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HJ 5, which would have prohibited partisan redistricting, was redistricted out of existence by the Republican-controlled House Privileges and Elections Committee.
  6. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HJ 21, which would have established “the seven-member Virginia Redistricting Commission (the Commission) to redraw congressional and General Assembly district boundaries after each decennial census,” was “de-commissioned” (get it?) by the GOP-controlled House Privileges and Elections Committee.
  7. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 32, which would have “include[d] within the definition of ‘hate crime’ a criminal act committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification and requires the reporting of the commission of such crime to the State Police,” was “Passed by Indefinitely” (PBI’ed/killed) by Republicans in House Courts.
  8. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 54 (“Establishes, beginning in taxable year 2018, a tax credit for renewable energy property placed in service”), was placed OUT of service by Republicans in a House Finance Subcommittee.
  9. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 74, which would have allowed “any registered voter to vote early in any election in which he is qualified to vote without providing a reason or making prior application for an absentee ballot,” was PBI’ed (aka, killed) by Republicans in House Privileges and Elections.
  10. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 54, which would have established, “beginning in taxable year 2018, a tax credit for renewable energy property placed in service,” was PBI’ed by Republicans in House Finance Subcommittee.
  11. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB191, which would have added “to the list of acceptable forms of voter identification a valid student photo identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in any other state or territory of the United States”) considered not “acceptable” by House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee Republicans.
  12. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 198, which would have created “a procedure by which an attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a circuit court judge for a warrant to remove firearms from a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others,” was PBI’ed by Republicans in House Privileges and Elections.
  13. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 421 (“Exempts the owner of a multi-family residential building from regulation as a public utility in connection with its sale of renewable electric energy generated from a facility on or adjacent to the building to the building’s occupants or for use in the building’s common areas”) was electrocuted by House Commerce and Labor Subcommittee Republicans.
  14. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 435 (“Electric utilities; mandatory renewable portfolio standard”) was “mandated” out of existence by anti-solar/anti-wind Republicans in House Commerce and Labor.
  15. Del. Rip Sullivan’s HB 963 (“Requires investor-owned electric utilities, cooperative electric utilities, and investor-owned natural gas distribution utilities to meet incremental annual energy efficiency goals”) was very “efficiently” – but wrongly! – killed by House Commerce and Labor Subcommittee Republicans.
  16. Del. David Reid’s HB 469 (“Establishes for taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2018, a tax credit in the amount of 10 percent of the purchase or lease price of an electric vehicle”) apparently did not “electrify” House Finance Subcommittee Republicans.
  17. Del. Paul Krizek’s HD 8 (“Public procurement; agreements with labor organizations”), was not even “labored” over before being summarily killed by Republicans in House Rules.
  18. Del. Paul Krizek’s HB 47 (“Payday Lending Prohibition Act”) was PBI’ed by Republicans in House Commerce & Labor.
  19. Del. Mark Levine’s HB 39 (“Establishes a procedure by which a local alternative minimum wage may be imposed in any locality”) was left to die in House Commerce and Labor.
  20. Del. Mark Levine’s HB 41 (“Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty”) was, er, shot down by NRA-controlled Republicans in House Militia, Police, and Public (Lack of) Safety.
  21. Del. Mark Levine’s HB 137 (“Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes; affirmative defense for treatment of cancer”), was snuffed out in House Courts.
  22. Sen. Janet Howell’s SB 65 (“Presidential candidates; federal tax returns and state income tax returns required for ballot access”) was not “returned” by Republicans in Senate Privileges and Elections.
  23. Sen. Janet Howell’s SB 136 (“Absentee voting; no-excuse in-person available 21 days prior to election”) was kicked into 2019 – “no excuses” for this – by Senate Privileges and Elections.
  24. Del. Jeffrey Bourne’s HB 43 (“Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty”) was not “reported” by House Courts Subcommittee.
  25. Del. Charniele Herring’s HB 57 (“Absentee voting; no excuse”) was PBI’ed by the GOP in P&E (Privileges and Elections).
  26. Sen. Scott Surovell’s SB 74 (“Expands the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all communications unless the device is specifically designed to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner”) was driven off the road in Senate Courts of Justice.
  27. Sen. Scott Surovell’s SB 87 (“Careless driving; cause of injury to vulnerable road user”) crashed and burned thanks to Republicans in Senate Transportation.
  28. Sen. Scott Surovell’s SB 88 (“Prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle from using a bicycle lane to pass or attempt to pass another vehicle”) was run over by a Republican-driven car in Senate Transportation.
  29. Sen. Scott Surovell’s SJ 4 (“Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution that was proposed by Congress in 1972”) was defeated by a bunch of Republican men in Senate Rules.
  30. Del. Delores McQuinn’s HB 67 (“Provides that no employer may discharge any employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation”) was stillborn (really bad pun alert!) in the GOP-controlled House General Laws Committee.
  31. Del. Delores McQuinn’s HJ 15 (“Requests the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to study use of community gardens as a method of eliminating food deserts in the Commonwealth”) was left to die in the desert by House Rules Republicans.
  32. Del. John Bell’s HB 58 (“Requires any state agency that installs, replaces, or maintains an outdoor lighting fixture to use LEDs instead of traditional incandescent light bulbs when installing new outdoor lighting fixtures or replacing nonfunctioning bulbs on existing outdoor lighting fixtures…”) went dark in a House Appropriations Subcommittee.
  33. Del. John Bell’s HB 91 (“Removes the option for concealed handgun permit applicants to demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing an electronic, video, or online course conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor”) was incompetently PBI’ed by Republicans in House Militia, Police and Public Safety.
  34. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 1 (“Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty”) was “bumped off” (ugh) in Senate Finance.
  35. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 2 (“Provides that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty of such act is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years”) apparently was too much of a “loaded” (groan) topic for Senate Justice Committee Republicans.
  36. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 3 (“Repeals the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions…”) was “annulled” (yeah, stop the bad puns already!) in Senate Courts of (In)Justice.
  37. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 4 (“Entitles a person who will be age 65 or older on the day of an election to vote by absentee ballot in that election”) is going to die of old age at this rate; thanks Republicans!
  38. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 5 (“Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers”) failed to report from Senate Courts of (In)Justice.
  39. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB 111 (“Decriminalizes simple marijuana possession”) was dis-possessed by the GOP-controlled Senate Courts of (In)Justice Committee.
  40. Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SJ 8 (“Permits a Governor elected in 2021 and thereafter to succeed himself in office”) was not permitted to succeed, at least not this year, by Senate Privileges and Elections.
  41. Del. Kaye Kory’s HB 14 (“Requires a public animal shelter to wait three days before euthanizing a dog or cat when a person has notified the shelter of his intent to adopt or take custody of the particular animal”) was, er, “put down” by House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.
  42. Del. Kaye Kory’s HJ 2 (“Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution that was proposed by Congress in 1972”) was not ratified by Republicans in House Privileges and Elections.
  43. Del. Kaye Kory’s HB 33 (“Allows the State Corporation Commission, in its consideration of an application for approval of an electrical generating facility, to consider environmental effects not expressly governed by a permit or expressly considered by a permitting authority, including carbon emissions and the overall impacts of new and existing facilities on the health and welfare of the residents of the Commonwealth”) was considered and rejected by anti-environment House Commerce and Labor Republicans.
  44. Del. Kaye Kory’s HB 21 (“Requires health benefit plans to cover the costs of specified health care services, drugs, devices, products, and procedures related to reproductive health”) was PBI’ed by a bunch of House Commerce and Labor Republican men who have no business telling women what they can/can’t do with THEIR BODIES.
  45. Sen. William Stanley’s SB 32 (“Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain by 2020 an Animal Cruelty Conviction List that shall be available to the public on the website of the Department of State Police”) was cruelly continued into 2019 by the Senate Finance Committee.
  46. Del. Tony Wilt’s HB 93 (”Authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue temporary driver’s licenses, permits, and special identification cards to aliens who present documentary evidence of a pending or approved application to be paroled into the United States”) was not “permitted” (groan) out of the (GOP-controlled) House Transportation Committee.
  47. Sen. Louise Lucas’ SJ 5 (“Authorizes the General Assembly to provide by law for the restoration of civil rights for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies who have completed service of their sentences…”) was “sentenced” (heh) to another year sitting in the General Assembly – cruel and unusual? – before being considered again.
  48. Sen. Barbara Favola’s SB 40 (“Raises the threshold amount of marijuana subject to the offense of distribution or possession with intent to distribute from one-half ounce to one ounce”) — not sure what Senate Courts of (In)Justice Republicans were smoking when they rejected this bill.
  49. Sen. Barbara Favola’s SB 41 (“Requires employers with a sick leave program to allow an employee to use his sick leave for the care of an immediate family member”) took ill in the GOP-controlled Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
  50. Sen. John Edwards’ SB 58 (“Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020”) was deep-sixed by Senate Commerce and Labor Republicans, none of whom deserve a raise.
  51. Sen. John Edwards’ SB 82 (“Allows an otherwise eligible agricultural customer-generator to participate in an electric utility’s net energy metering program if it is to be served by multiple meters located on one parcel or on multiple parcels”) was “continued” to 2019 for no good reason I’m aware of.
  52. Sen. John Edwards’ SB 313 (“Authorizes the establishment of community solar generation facilities, which are required to be owned by a subscriber organization that has at least 10 subscribers”) was put off for consideration for another year, for absolutely no good reason that I’m aware of.
  53. Sen. John Edwards’ SB 311 (” Requires the State Corporation Commission to establish standards for the operation of community solar gardens.”), was also put off until 2019 for absolutely no good reason.
  54. Del. Sam Rasoul’s HB 96 (“Provides that the transitional rate period for Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion) will conclude on December 31, 2018, and its next biennial review will be conducted in 2019”) was defeated by Dominion’s Republican pals in House Commerce and Labor.
  55. Del. Sam Rasoul’s HB 159 (“Requires each local school board to implement a comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12 that is consistent with the family life education Standards of Learning or curriculum guidelines developed by the Board of Education”) was killed by clearly uneducated Republicans in the House Education Committee.
  56. Del. Mark Keam’s HB 392 (“Declares that it is in the public interest for the electrical supply of the Commonwealth to include at least 10 percent electricity derived from sunlight from facilities located in the Commonwealth”) was not allowed to see the light of day by Republicans in Commerce and Labor Subcommittee.
  57. Del. Kathy Tran’s HB 1060 (“Repeals the provision that caps the amount of the aggregate rated generating capacity of renewable generating facilities eligible for a net energy metering standard contract or tariff at one percent of each utility’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year”) was killed by anti-clean-energy Republicans in House Commerce and Labor Subcommittee. Yes, these subcommittees are a curse.
  58. Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy’s HB 113 (“Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny”) — THIS is the bill that should have passed, but of course Republicans want to make it easier to ruin people’s lives, because that’s how they roll…
  59. Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy’s HB 182 (“Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to require the closure by July 1, 2022, of any coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundment located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed”) was “impounded” for another year by House Commerce and Labor.
  60. Sen. Mamie Locke’s SB 133 (“Provides that a woman seeking an abortion may waive in writing any requirement establishing a mandatory time period or mandating that a physician provide to or review with the woman specific information or materials before an abortion may be performed”) was, uh, aborted by Senate Education and Health Republican men.
  61. Sen. Mamie Locke’s SJ 9 (“Establishes that the sole qualifications to vote in the Commonwealth are United States citizenship, being at least 18 years of age, residency in the Commonwealth, and registration to vote in accordance with requirements set out in the Constitution of Virginia…The bill removes from current constitutional qualifications to vote not having been convicted of a felony and not having been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent”) was continued to 2019 by Senate Privileges and Elections, for no good reason I’m aware of.
  62. Del. Cheryl Turpin’s HB 265 (“Extends from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the time at which polls close on election day”) was shut down by House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee Republicans.
  63. Sen. Lynwood Lewis’ SB 696 (“Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act”) by PBI’ed by climate-science-denying Republican know-nothings in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources.
  64. Del. Patrick Hope’s HB 363 (“Prohibits any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with any person under 18 years of age”) was killed by Republicans in the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.

UPDATE #1: Here are a couple more, per an excellent suggestion in the comments section.  HB 932 by Del. Patrick Hope (“Provides that, in a county operating under the county manager plan of government, elections to nominate candidates for and to elect candidates to the board of supervisors may be conducted by instant runoff voting”) was killed by the GOP-controlled House of Delegates 51-49. Grrrr.  And HB 553 by Del. Nick Freitas (“Provides that members of the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and General Assembly and the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General shall be elected by ranked choice voting” — yeah, even a stopped clock is right twice a day! LOL) was killed in subcommittee.

  • RobertColgan

    “The most dangerous group the world has ever seen”
    Noam Chomsky’s somewhat understated attribution of Republicans engaging in RepublicanThink.
    Willful stupidity. Willful ignorance.

  • dave schutz

    “…Let me know what you think I should add to the list…” How about HB 932, for ranked choice voting in Arlington primaries and general elections, from Patrick Hope? And, if 553 for ranked choice in general elections around the state was co-patroned by R-Freitas and D-Rasoul, can it get an honorable mention?!

  • I believe these progressive bills of mine would also pass if we had a majority:

    HB40 – Paid Family Medical Leave
    HB140 – Universal Background Checks for Firearms
    HB401 – LGBT Non-Discrmination
    HB402 – Framework for Police Body Cameras
    HB404 – Prohibition of High-Interest Predatory Loans
    HB425 – Animal Cruelty
    HB701 – Require All Subcommittee Hearings to Recorded for the Public
    HB807 – Child Abuse and Domestic Violence to be Considered in Custody Cases
    HB814 – Allow Localities to Ban Firearms at Protests
    HB1100 – No Firearms for People Convicted of Domestic Violence

    • Great bills, thanks Mark!

  • Harry

    If Simons bill (HB5) prohibiting personal use of campaign funds, Del. Hugo (Prince William, Fairfax) would be dumpster diving for food scraps.