From Progress VA:
At Crossover, Activists Celebrate as Progressive Policy Victories Sail Through Both Chambers
Richmond, Virginia—At crossover, it is clear that the hard work progressive activists have been doing for years is finally paying off. Legislation to expand access to abortion, make voting easier for busy families, increase the minimum wage, prevent gun violence, ensure immigrants have access to drivers licenses, prohibit discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community, give localities the power to remove confederate monuments if they choose, and many more have all passed both the House of Delegates and State Senate. These bills will now crossover to be passed by the opposite chamber before heading to the Governor’s desk.
“This legislative session proves that elections matter. Voters made it clear in November that this is the change they want to see, and we’re thrilled that the hard work activists have been doing for years is finally paying off,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “We all want to live in a Commonwealth where families can work hard and live with dignity, and the bills that are passing on everything from abortion access to gun violence prevention to increasing the minimum wage will go a long way towards making that a reality for all of us.”
- The House and Senate passed the Reproductive Health Protection Act (SB733 and HB980) which would remove burdensome restrictions on abortion access, including the unconstitutional TRAP regulations.
- HB395 would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour so that people don’t have to work two or even three jobs just to make ends meet.
- HB10 and SB77, the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, tackle the student loan debt crisis by protecting borrowers from unscrupulous loan servicers and ensuring that loan servicers provide accurate information to borrowers.
- SB935 and HB1547 ensure that immigrants who live here and want to attend Virginia colleges and universities are able to do so at the in-state tuition rate.
- HB1211 allows immigrants to get drivers licenses so that they can get to work and to school safely.
Gun Violence Prevention
- HB2 and SB70 require universal background checks before someone can purchase a firearm.
- HB674 and SB240 are bills that will allow for an extreme risk protection order.
- Both of these measures are popular, commonsense solutions that will help keep dangerous weapons away from people who might pose a risk to themselves or others.
Criminal Justice Reform
- HB995 and SB788 increase the larceny threshold to $1000 so that one mistake doesn’t brand someone a felon for life.
- HB386 and SB245 ban conversion therapy for minors. Conversion therapy not only doesn’t work, but it is also dangerous and puts LGBTQ children at risk.
- The Virginia Values Act, SB868 and HB1663 will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, and banking. No one should be punished for who they love, who they are, or what they look like and now that will be a reality for all of us.
- HB235 and SB219 allow for automatic voter registration for all eligible voters.
- HB108 and SB601 make Election Day a holiday so hardworking families don’t have to figure out how to fit in voting around their work schedules.
- HB1 and SB111 allow voters to vote any time in the 45 days prior to an election to vote absentee without needing to have an excuse.