From the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus:
REPUBLICANS ON SENATE JUDICIARY REJECT POLICE REFORM
RICHMOND – Today, the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Senator Mamie E. Locke’s (D-Hampton) omnibus police reform measure, SB 5030, on a party line vote. They also stood united against Senator L. Louise Lucas’ (D-Portsmouth) SB 5024 and Senator Scott Surovell’s (D-Mount Vernon) SB 5032. Earlier in the day, the Republicans of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee rejected Senator Jennifer Boysko’s (D-Fairfax) SB 5034. All four bills were reported out of their respective committees and re-referred to Finance with unanimous Democratic support.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) said, “I was extremely disappointed with my Republican colleagues for their no votes today in committee. We have listened to the community, we have listened to advocates, we have listened to Commonwealth Attorneys, Sheriffs, Police Chiefs and the State Police. We have dedicated hundreds of hours talking to stakeholders and working these bills to get them to a place of consensus. I hope this division will not continue as we move forward and address 400 years’ of injustices and inequities that continue to permeate our justice system. We can no longer kick this can down the road.”
Senate Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Ad Hoc Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chair Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) said, “I cannot fathom how we were not able to get one Republican vote on these bills. We were intentional in casting a wide net and soliciting input from a wide range of stakeholders as we worked to get this right. The time for action is now. Justice reform and police reform should not be partisan issues. We look forward to working with the House of Delegates and the Governor to get this done.”
The next meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee will take place on Thursday, August 20 at 9:30 am. The public can click here to watch virtually. Members of the public are invited to speak and will be able to register here from 2pm-5pm tomorrow, Wednesday 08/19, in order to provide public testimony during Thursday’s meeting.