Hi everyone! This week has seen some good advances on key issues of concern to the citizens of Virginia, but we still have a lot of work to do!
Your action is URGENTLY NEEDED in support of two bills!
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!
HB 397 will define sex as a biological, physical distinction. (This is important because efforts are underway to re-interpret Virginia law to say that sex is a subjective state of mind and to require localities to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity”.)
This measure is important, because without it, not only will localities be left hung out to dry if they want to separate the sexes, but even private businesses could ultimately be forced to abandon their commonsense decisions to separate the sexes when appropriate! The same action is needed - contact your delegate and senator to tell them to support this bill, and tell your friends to do the same!
Here are some other important updates:
2nd Amendment – Concealed Carry Reciprocity is on its way back! Late this week, House leadership announced an agreement with Governor McAuliffe to restore and expand Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements. After Attorney General Herring’s announcement to sever Virginia’s reciprocity agreements, the House of Delegates made reversing that decision a top priority. After some candid discussions, we reached an agreement to grant universal reciprocity in return for:
Allowing voluntary background checks at gun shows (police will be present to make checks available, but they will still not be required for private sales)
Prohibiting individuals under permanent protective orders due to a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm while those orders are in effect (such individuals are already prohibited from buying or transporting a firearm by state law, and prohibited from possessing one by federal law).
Virginia residents who have been denied a Concealed Carry Permit will not be allowed to acquire one in another state and be allowed to Concealed Carry in Virginia under that out of state permit.
This agreement restores the rights of law-abiding citizens while sending a clear signal about the House’s commitment to preventing and combating domestic violence.
This Tuesday I spoke at an Education Choice press conference hosted by myself and other members of the Virginia Legislature in support of school choice. Here’s a good article covering the conference. I stressed that our education spending needs to actually put children first; you’d think that would be obvious, but it’s amazing how many people approach Virginia’s education efforts as a colossal jobs program, and try to measure success in dollars spent instead of how kids are doing academically! School Choice and Education Savings Accounts deliver improved academic outcomes, higher graduation rates, and save taxpayer dollars. Former Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson was going office to office with us Friday to explain the benefits to other members. Members of school boards across the state are working to make this happen, including Loudoun School Board Member Jill Turgeon.
If you haven’t heard already, the bill to get rid of Virginia’s religious exemption to vaccination died in subcommittee! This is good news to parents AND those concerned about the protection of our religious freedom. Just another example of how quick, decisive action on the part of citizens is important and effective in protecting our liberty!
On a lighter note, I got an award this week! The American Conservative Union kindly said that I am among Virginia’s elected officials “who can be counted on to defend the principles of a free society: Life, Liberty, and Property.”
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:
Visitors and Activities this week!
Several auto dealers from Northern Virginia
Tuesday Morning Education Reform Press Conference with Delegates Greason, Landes, Massie and Rob Bell
School Choice Week photo with Delegates LeMunyon, Cole, Massie, Landes, and Dickie Bell
Delegates Albo, LeMunyon and Bob Marshall speak against new tolls in Northern Virginia
Transportation Secretary Layne, Deputy Sec. Donohue, and Del. Jones presenting their tolling bill
Meeting with homeschool leaders Kevin Hoeft, Ann and David Hoopsick, and kids on Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) Day at the Capitol
Constituents Dan Brubaker and Jeff Traver deliver signed petitions from constituents supporting the Convention of the States
Constituent Mike Farris brought former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn to Richmond supporting the Convention of the States
At the Finance subcomittee #3 presenting HB736 to help taxpayers in Frederick County
Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall and Vice-Chair Ralph Buona
Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association, including constituents Laura Steinmetz and Dawn Southerly
Hygienists Jillian Sikes and Dana Lumpkin