Home General Assembly Sin-ay-dee-ay, Sigh-knee-die, Seen-ay-dee-ay: However You Pronounce It, the 60-Day, 2024 Virginia General...

Sin-ay-dee-ay, Sigh-knee-die, Seen-ay-dee-ay: However You Pronounce It, the 60-Day, 2024 Virginia General Assembly Is Now Past Sine Die; Next Up, the “Veto Session”

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by Cindy, cross posted from VAPLAN

Sine die is Latin for “without day,” and is used in legalese to mean “indefinitely.” There are multiple ways to pronounce this (sin-ay-dee-ay, sigh-knee-die, seen-ay-dee-ay), but basically it means the legislature adjourns without any specific date to reconvene, unlike during session when they adjourn and agree to reconvene the following day, for example. And after sixty grueling days, that’s where we were at yesterday!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK, Del Cia Price takes point of personal privilege to speak about reproductive health and the right to contraception: “Imagine having to do double the work to prove you belong in a board room or a court room or even this room, and while you’re doing that extra work you’re bleeding and cramping, and the only thing that helps you get out of the door in order to get to work was contraception, a drug or device, because of a serious health condition. That, Mr. Speaker, is the reality for many across our Commonwealth.”

Bills passed in the final week:

  • Bills (SB454-Marsden and HB1491-O’Quinn) to allow Appalachian Power and Dominion Energy to recover costs of experimental work on small modular nuclear reactors through ratepayer adjustment clauses passed both chambers.
  • HB959 to bring towing rules in Northern Virginia in line with the rest of the Commonwealth requiring written authorization from a property owner before cars on the property can be towed passed both chambers with near unanimous support.
  • A bill (HB81-Simon) to eliminate the common-law crime of suicide passed on a party-line vote in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House.
  • Bills (HB398-McQuinn; and SB586-Pekarsky) to prevent suspensions and expulsions from school without first attempting alternative evidence-based restorative methods passed the House and Senate.
  • A bill (HB1354-Martinez) to prohibit declawing cats passed with bipartisan support.
  • Senate (SB719-Bagby) and House (HB1244-Cole) versions of a bill to restrict the use of solitary confinement passed on party-line votes.
  • SB334 (Salim) to prevent plea bargaining that requires someone to give up 4th Amendment rights or the right to expunge or seal their criminal records passed both chambers on party-line votes.
  • And, importantly, the conference committee budget bills HB29 and HB30 were voted on the House and Senate floors. The budget includes 3% raises for teachers and state employees, money for WMATA, mandatory RGGI rejoining, and no language relating to a Capitals-Wizards arena in Alexandria.

Governor’s actions on early bills:

  • By the Virginia Constitution, a Governor has seven days to act on those bills passed with at least seven days remaining in session. He thus acted on about 75 bills on Friday. These and his actions on all other bills will be taken up by the General Assembly at the reconvene session April 17.
  • He signed 64 bills into law, including:
    • HB174 (Henson) and SB101 (Ebbin) affirming marriage is lawful regardless of sex of individuals.
    • HB477 (Coyner) and SB50 (Locke) extending the sunset date of the Eviction Diversion Pilot Program.
    • SB46 (Van Valkenburg) and HB48 (Helmer) to prohibit legacy admissions in Virginia public universities.
  • He vetoed 8 bills, including:
    • HB46 (Bennett-Parker) and SB47 (Favola) restricting who a firearm can be transferred to following a domestic abuse conviction or protective order. Youngkin’s explanation here.
    • HB833 (Cousins) and SB115 (Lucas), which passed the Senate 40-0 and the House 56-43, affirming that possession or use of marijuana do not constitute child abuse or neglect for purposes of child custody or visitation. His explanation here.
    • SB606 (Van Valkenburg) and HB1177 (Sickles), which would require Virginia to rejoin ERIC, the Electronic [voter] Registration Information Center, which MAGA conspiracy theories focus on. His explanation here.
    • SB235 (Hashmi) and HB571 (Delaney), which clarify that law on parental notification of material with explicit content is NOT to be interpreted as permission to ban books. His explanation here.
  • He sent back amendments on another 12 bills, including:
    • HB819 (Mundon King) and SB238 (Hashmi) mandating insurance coverage of contraceptives. His amendment adds a religious exemption–which is already implied by the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling.
    • HB498 (Cohen), which requires School Boards to establish a policy for notifying parents at the beginning of the school year about the safe storage of firearms around children. His “poison pill” amendment adds a re-enactment clause that the bill doesn’t take effect until the DOE creates a list of parent rights and responsibilities over a bunch of other items totally unrelated to the intent of this bill.
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