Home Virginia Politics Bills Listed as “Failed” Might Not Really Have “Failed,” But Some Really...

Bills Listed as “Failed” Might Not Really Have “Failed,” But Some Really Have – and Richly Deserved to “Fail”

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The Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) is a great resource, and I encourage everyone to check it out regularly for the status of (thousands of pieces of) legislation introduced this General Assembly session. Having said that, I do find one thing a bit confusing – namely, that LIS has a category called “Bill List: Failed,” which includes bills as “failed” that have actually not really failed.

For instance, some of these bills were actually incorporated into other bills that are moving ahead, such as SB39 by Sen. John Edwards (repealing statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriage and civil unions), which was incorporated into Sen. Adam Ebbin’s SB17, a bill on the same subject that was reported 9-5 from the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 15. Or take SJ5, an Equal Rights Amendment bill by Sen. Dick Saslaw, which is listed as “Failed,” even though it was incorporated into SJ1 by Sen. Jennifer McClellan, which just passed the State Senate in an historic vote the other day. There are also SB879 by Sen. Mamie Locke and SB696 by Sen. Monty Mason, bills to allow no-excuse absentee voting, both of which are listed as “Failed,” even though they were incorporated into SB111 by Sen. Janet Howell, a bill that appears to be moving rapidly towards passage.

There are several more examples like that, but you get the idea. Then there are bills that actually have failed, for various reasons, either because they were defeated in committee (e.g., HB730, on third-party settlement organizations, by Del. Vivian Watts – failed to report from House Finance Committee), were “stricken from the calendar” (e.g., HB545, on inclusionary housing, by Del. Betsy Carr), or were “stricken at request of patron” (e.g., SB104 by Sen. Barbara Favola, providing “that a minor shall be deemed an adult for the purpose of consenting to medical or health services related to receiving vaccinations and immunizations,” which was stricken at Favola’s request for whatever reason).

On a pleasant note, by the way, it’s great to see far-right Sen. Amanda Chase (R)’s bills prominent on the “Failed” list. That includes Chase’s SB132, on teaching the Bible in public schools, “passed by indefinitely” in Senate Education and Health Committee; and her SB174, breaking up Virginia’s electoral votes, “passed by indefinitely” on a bipartisan 12-3 vote. Presumably, most of Chase’s other bills, such as one providing “that no funds shall be appropriated for the employment of any member of the Governor’s personal security staff if the Governor takes any action to deny law-abiding citizens of the Commonwealth their right to carry, possess, or transport a firearm,” will also be on the “Failed” list shortly, along with reams of other godawful legislation by Republicans. At that point, presumably, House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R) will whine about Democrats moving too *quickly*, not too *slowly*. LOL