Home Virginia Politics Excellent Legislation Introduced to Date for the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session

Excellent Legislation Introduced to Date for the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session

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The 2019 Virginia General Assembly begins on January 9, unfortunately with Republicans still in control – albeit by small margins – of both the House (51-49) and Senate (21-19). Given Republican control, it’s unlikely we’ll see much if any truly progressive, pro-clean-energy or pro-environment legislation make it through. Instead, I see the 2019 session as a chance to demonstrate why it’s so important that Virginia voters give Democrats control of both chambers when they vote next November. Basically, if you want excellent legislation like the following bills – all of which have been “pre filed,” leading up to session – to be signed into law in the next couple years, we’ll need a Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate and a Democratic Speaker of the House of Delegates starting in January 2020. (Note: there will be many, many more bills – good, bad and ugly – filed between now and January 2019; stay tuned for updates…)

  • HB 1647 (Introduced by Del. Jeffrey Bourne): “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory housing practice for any person…To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, or familial status…To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in the connection therewith to any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, or familial status…”
  • HB 1644 (Introduced by Del. Jeffrey Bourne): “Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).”
  • HB 1641 (Introduced by Del. Charniele Herring): “Permits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code.”
  • SB 1035 (Introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke): “Permits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code.”
  • HB 1635 (Introduced by Del. Sam Rasoul): “Establishes a moratorium, effective January 1, 2020, on approval by any state agency or political subdivision of any approval required for (i) electric generating facilities that generate fossil fuel energy through the combustion of a fossil fuel resource; (ii) import or export terminals for fossil fuel resources; (iii) certain maintenance activities relating to an import or export terminal for a fossil fuel resource; (iv) gathering lines or pipelines for the transport of any fossil fuel resource that requires the use of eminent domain on private property; (v) certain maintenance activities relating to such gathering lines or pipelines; (vi) refineries of a fossil fuel resource; and (vii) exploration for any type of fossil fuel, unless preempted by applicable federal law. The measure also requires that at least 80 percent of the electricity sold by a retail electric supplier in calendar years 2028 through 2035 be generated from clean energy resources. In calendar year 2036 and every calendar year thereafter, all of the electricity sold by a retail electric supplier is required to be generated from clean energy resources. “
  • HB 1634 (Introduced by Del. James Edmunds): “Authorizes counties and cities to impose an additional local sales and use tax at a rate as determined by the governing body, if initiated by a resolution of the local governing body and approved by the voters at a referendum. Revenue from the tax shall be used solely for capital projects for the construction or improvement of schools.”
  • SB 1034 (Introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke): “Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
  • HB 1625 (Introduced by Del. Robert Orrock, Sr.): “Provides that the definition of ‘adequate shelter’ includes the provision of shelter that protects the animal from exposure to heat or cold. Current law requires such shelter to protect the animal from the adverse effects of heat or cold.”
  • SB 1025 (Introduced by Sen. Lionell Spruill): “The bill provides that a tether meets the requirement that an animal be given adequate space if the tether is four times the length of the animal or 15 feet in length, whichever is greater, and does not cause injury or pain, weigh more than one-tenth of the animal’s body weight, or have weights or heavy objects attached to it. Current law provides that the tether be three times the length of the animal. The bill exempts agricultural animals from existing provisions related to tethering. The bill also authorizes any locality to adopt ordinances that parallel and make more stringent the state law regarding the care of companion animals.”
  • HJ 584 (Introduced by Del. Mark Keam): “Permits a Governor elected in 2021 and thereafter to succeed himself in office. The amendment allows two four-year terms (either in succession or not in succession) but prohibits election to a third term. Service for more than two years of a partial term counts as service for one term.”
  • HJ 583 (Introduced by Del. Jeion Ward): “Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was proposed by Congress in 1972. The joint resolution advocates the position that the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment remains viable and may be ratified notwithstanding the expiration of the 10-year ratification period set out in the resolving clause, as amended, in the proposal adopted by Congress.”
  • HJ 579 (Introduced by Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy): “Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was proposed by Congress in 1972. The joint resolution advocates the position that the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment remains viable and may be ratified notwithstanding the expiration of the 10-year ratification period set out in the resolving clause, as amended, in the proposal adopted by Congress.”
  • HB 1616 (Introduced by Del. “Buddy” Fowler, Jr.): “Adds maliciously shooting, stabbing, wounding, or otherwise causing bodily injury to or administering poison to any animal used or trained by a law-enforcement agency, regional jail, or the Department of Corrections to the list of felonies for which a separate penalty is prescribed if a firearm is used during the commission of the offense.”
  • HJ 582 (Introduced by Del. Steve Heretick): “Establishes the Virginia Redistricting Commission to redraw congressional and General Assembly district boundaries after each decennial census…The standards to govern redistricting plans include the current constitutional standards on population equality, compactness, and contiguity and additional standards to minimize splits of localities and to prohibit consideration of incumbency and political data.”
  • SB 1011 (Introduced by Sen. William Stanley): “Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish within the Department of State Police by July 1, 2022, an Animal Cruelty Conviction List that is available to the public on the website of the Department of State Police. The list shall include the names of persons convicted on or after July 1, 2019, of a felony violation of the prohibition against cruelty to animals; animal fighting; maiming, killing, or poisoning an animal; or killing or injuring a police animal.”