HB 963 will grant legal protection to unborn children after they reach 20 weeks of gestation. This bill is based on solid scientific evidence that babies at this age can and do feel pain, which, in turn, grants a strong legal rationale (according to the Supreme Court) to protect them! For more background on this bill, you can find information from National Right to Life here and here, but it’s important that you:
A) Contact your delegate and senator to tell them to support this bill, and
B) Ask your friends to do the same!
Education Savings Accounts will also be heard in an Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday. We are not asking for calls to Appropriations Committee members at this point, but the bill should soon be up for a vote on the entire House floor, so now is a great time to let your delegate know you support school choice and Education Savings Accounts in particular! For a list of talking points, check out our web page on ESAs here, and check out Gerard Robinson’s testimony in favor of school choice this week in front of Congress – it’s fantastic!
My bill to protect Virginia from a unilateral Common Core takeover is on its way to the Senate Health and Education Committee after passing the House! No hearing scheduled yet, but I will keep you posted. This bill passed both houses last year, and I’m optimistic that this time around we’ll get the Governor’s signature!
Two bills that died in name but live on in spirit are:
HB 273 (my bill to drop the requirement for a second form of ID in Virginia for firearm purchases) was tabled in committee at my request – I teamed up with a virtually identical bill, HB 206, of which I am Chief Co-patron! That bill passed the House on February 3rd unanimously! Virginia’s ID requirements were actually posing the biggest problem for military members who were here on orders but did not yet have ID’s that matched their residency. This legislation should make it easier for them to protect themselves and their families!
HB 397, my bill to define “sex” as found in Virginia law as a biological characteristic, was sent to a faraway place called THE CODE COMMISSION. However, the Speaker requested the Virginia Code Commission to specifically study this issue, recognizing that this is an area of contention that likely needs clarification.
Good news on keeping Virginia a great place to do business!
This week the House passed a constitutional amendment to solidify Virginia’s right to work status. The amendment, carried by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-Augusta), prohibits union membership as a condition of employment. Virginia already has a right-to-work statute, but including right-to-work in the Constitution solidifies this important pro-business policy. This legislation will protect hard working Virginians from being forced to join a union. The Senate also approved the amendment this week, meaning it will be on the ballot for voters to consider this fall.
Those are some of the highlights from this week, but we still have a lot more session yet to cover! Stay tuned for more updates, and, as always, give me a call, send me an email, or stop by and visit anytime!
My session address is: General Assembly Building, Room 721 Capitol Square, Richmond, Virginia 23219 or you can reach me at:
P.S. An Important reminder!
Monday, February 8th is the deadline for registering to vote in the Tuesday, March 1st Presidential Primaries in Virginia.
Whether you are a potential new voter or need to change your voter information, e.g., address, it's easy to do online. Just click the below link to begin the process:
Please note that anyone turning 18 by the General Election on November 8th, can register now and vote in the March 1st primary. That would include many of our current high school seniors.
Visitors and Activities this week!
Saturday- Commemorative Session in the historic State Capitol in Williamsburg
Dinner with members of the Virginia legislature, my wife, Joanne, and Mary Beth and Del. Tag Greason. During diner we were visited by former members Patrick Henry and James Madison who reminded us of Virginia's rich legacy of liberty.
Tuesday- Constituent Lorraine Hightower - Decoding Dyslexia
Bruce and Janelle Zurschmeide of Dirt Farm Brewing and Great Country Farms
Local representatives from the Virginia Education Association
Representatives from NASA
Presenting one of my bills to a Courts of Justice subcommittee
My daughter, Abby, joined us in Richmond as an intern for the week and was a huge help in our office (she enjoyed the receptions too)!