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VAPLAN’s Week 3: What We’re Keeping an Eye On In the General Assembly

Will Youngkin veto important bills that Virginians want?


by Cindy, cross-posted from VAPLAN

Week 3: What we’re keeping an eye on in the General Assembly

We’re keeping an eye on interesting bills and hot topics; keeping an eye on the freshmen delegates and senators as they pass their first bills; and keeping a particular eye on what might land on the Governor’s desk, and thinking about how he might be expected to act.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK, House Privileges and Elections Chair Cia Price, after the committee unanimously voted to report Delegate Simon’s bill to ban the personal use of campaign funds, which he has tried to pass for eleven straight years: “It’s a new day in Virginia. Alright!”

An eye on these bills:

  • In the Senate a bill (SB675, Marsden) to allow a referendum to voters on whether to put a casino in Tyson’s Corner was reported out of the General Laws committee and sent on to Appropriations.
  • Bills (HB1, Ward; SB1, Lucas)to re-enact the minimum wage legislation from 2020 that would increase it to $15 by January 1, 2026 are moving through the committees on party-line votes.
  • Meanwhile, the House (HB1514, Torian) and Senate (SB718, Surovell) bills to create a Sports and Entertainment Authority for the purposes of building a space to house the Washington Wizards and the Capitals are referred to both bodies Appropriations committees but have not yet been heard.
  • In the House, a bill (HB644, Sullivan) to allow localities to enact ordinances regulating use of gas-powered leaf blowers reported out of committee and will be voted on the floor next week.
  • The Senate bill (SB448, Rouse) creating retail markets for marijuana moved through Rehab and Social Services committee this week. It allows localities to opt-out by referendum, gives small businesses and those from historically-disadvantaged communities a head start on licensing, and allows some vertical integration. Critics wanted to see those directly impacted by prior marijuana laws given license priority. The House version (HB698, Krizek) has not yet been heard.

An eye on the freshmen:

  • Stella Pekarsky: SB392, any hospital with an ER must have a doctor physically present at all times, not just on call.
  • Laura Jane Cohen: HB498, requires school boards to create policies to notify parents annually about safe firearms storage in the house when minors are present.
  • Adele McClure: HB157, eliminate minimum wage exemption for farm workers.
  • Saddam Azlan Salim: SB21, specifies what documentation on disabilities universities must accept to qualify for disability services, including high school IEP .
  • Katrina Callsen: HB452, removes restriction on entering First-Time Drug Offender program for those with previous simple marijuana possession convictions.
  • Rae Cousins: HB827, establishing the Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program to address student food insecurity at public institutions of higher education
  • Michael Feggans: HB181, to decrease the school counselor: pupil ratio.
  • Rozia Henson: HB224, requires school health education to include information on suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Marty Martinez: HB371, requires doctors notify patient in advance and obtain consent before allowing students observers.

An eye on the Governor:


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