Virginia

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Virginia Senate Bill 872

 

Check out this key bill voted on by elected officials in Virginia, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 872, Override Veto of Requirement for Photo ID for Absentee Ballots: Failed 20 to 19 in the state Senate on April 5, 2017.

 

To overturn the governor’s veto of legislation that requires that anyone requesting an absentee ballot by mail to include a copy of his or her photo ID with the request. Exempt from this requirement are military and overseas voters as well as voters with disabilities.

 

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Virginia Senate Bill 1253

 

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Senate Bill 1253, Override Veto of Requiring Photo in Voting Pollbooks: Failed 21 to 19 in the state Senate on April 5, 2017. 

 

To override the governor’s veto of a bill requiring that electronic pollbooks contain a photo of a registered voter. If there is a photo for the voter in the pollbook, the election officer would be required to verify the voter by the photo. In these cases, the voter would not need to present a photo ID to vote.

 

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Virginia Senate Bill 872

 

Check out this key bill voted on by elected officials in Virginia, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 872, Override Veto of Requirement for Photo ID for Absentee Ballots: Failed 20 to 19 in the state Senate on April 5, 2017.

 

To overturn the governor’s veto of legislation that requires that anyone requesting an absentee ballot by mail to include a copy of his or her photo ID with the request. Exempt from this requirement are military and overseas voters as well as voters with disabilities.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Virginia Senate Bill 872!

 

 

Virginia Senate Bill 1105

 

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Senate Bill 1105, Override veto of investigating inflated voter rolls: Failed 21 to 19 in the state Senatea on 5 April, 2017.

To override the governor’s veto of a bill requiring local boards of elections to investigate when the number of voters in a county or city exceeds the number of people in that area who are 18 years old or older. This bill directs the local board of election to determine if anyone is improperly registered.

 

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Virginia Senate Bill 1470

 

Check out this key bill voted on by elected officials in Virginia, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Senate Bill 1470, Reinstate coal production subsidy: Passed 25 to 15 in the state Senate on February 3, 2017 and 68 to 29 in the state House on February 15, 2017*

 

To reinstate a tax credit program for coal production and employment, with a limit of $7.3 million a year. The program would last until 2022.

 

*Note: the governor vetoed this bill and the state Senate failed 20 to 20 to override on April 5, 2017

 

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Virginia House Bill 1536

 

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House Bill 1536, Ban grade school suspensions and expulsions: Passed 49 to 47 in the state House on February 6, 2017 and 33 to 7 in the state Senate on February 13, 2017

 

To prohibit students up to third grade from being suspended for more than five days or expelled except for drug, firearm, and certain other criminal offenses.

 

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Virginia House Bill 2342

 

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House Bill 2342: Allow state to establish charter schools: Passed 55 to 42 in the state House on February 7, 2017

 

To allow the state Board of Education to establish regional charter schools. Current law gives the power to establish charter schools to local boards of education. In effect, this law would make it easier for charter schools to open in Virginia.

 

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Virginia Assembly Bill 2168

Check out this key bill voted on by elected officials in Virginia, check-in to the VoteSpotter app to see how your legislators voted, and comment below to share what you think!

 

Assembly Bill 2168, Establish government entity to promote tourist trains: passed 33 to 7 in the state Senate on February 17, 2017

 

To establish the Virginia Coal Train Heritage Authority as a 25-member board to cooperate with private entities, local governments, and other states in developing a tourist train.

 

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Virginia House Bill 1392: Allow some school security officers to carry firearms

 

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House Bill 1392, Allow some school security officers to carry firearms: Passed 24 to 16 in the state Senate on February 17, 2017

 

To permit a school security officer to carry a firearm if he or she retired as law enforcement officer in the previous 10 years, takes a training course, and the local school board grants him or her authority to carry a firearm.

 

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Virginia Senate Bill 1359: Mandate lead testing in schools

 

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Senate Bill 1359, Mandate lead testing in schools: Passed 99 to 1 in the state House on February 23, 2017

 

To require school districts develop a plan to test school drinking water for lead, starting in schools built before 1986. If necessary, schools must find a way to remediate water found to have high lead levels.

 

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McAuliffe’s Vetoes Stick in Virginia

 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed more bills than any other governor in the commonwealth’s history. Remarkably, none of these vetoes have been overridden by legislators. That record still stands after a recent veto-override session of the General Assembly.


Legislators met on April 5 to vote on overriding Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes of bills that emerged from the General Assembly this year. In the Senate, 27 votes are needed to override a veto. Republicans have a 21-19 edge in that chamber, so 6 Democrats would have to join the GOP in any override vote. In the House, legislators need 67 votes to override a veto. With a 66 to 34 edge in that chamber, it is easier for Republicans to peel off a Democratic vote to be successful. However, the House was unable to muster a 67-vote majority to override any bill this session.

 

Here are some of the bills vetoed by Gov. McAuliffe this year which are now officially dead after override efforts failed:

 

HB 1400, Allow students to take online schooling: Passed 57 to 40 in the House on February 7 and 22 to 18 in the Senate on February 21

To establish the Virginia Virtual School, which will serve up to 5,000 Virginia student. This online education must meet state standards and will be available beginning 2019.

 

House Bill 1468, Mandate cooperation with federal immigration authorities: Passed 68 to 31 in the House on January 25 and 21 to 19 in the Senate on February 13

To mandate that corrections officials and sheriffs comply with request from the federal government to turn over an incarcerated alien to them.

 

House Bill 2002, Mandate reporting of refugee or immigrant resettlement: Passed 59 to 36 in the House on February 3 and 21 to 19 in the Senate on February 14

To mandate that nonprofits resettlement agencies for immigrants or refugees make an annual report to the state of the number of individuals resettled, the demographic information of those resettled, and the locality where they were resettled.

 

Senate Bill 1362, Allow nonduty military personnel to carry concealed weapons: Passed 22 to 18 in the Senate on January 24 and 67 to 32 in the House on February 22

To allow members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Defense Force, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves who is on nonduty status to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

 

Senate Bill 872, Require photo ID for absentee ballots: Passed 20 to 19 in the Senate on January 30 and 60 to 38 in the House on February 14

To require that anyone requesting an absentee ballot by mail to include a copy of his or her photo ID with the request. When the voter submits the completed ballot, he or she must also submit a copy of his or her photo ID. Exempt from this requirement are military and overseas voters as well as voters with disabilities.

 

Senate Bill 1455, Criminalize payments for registering to vote: Passed 21 to 19 in the Senate on January 30 and 60 to 29 in the House on February 14

To make it a felony to offer a payment to someone in exchange for that person registering to vote.

 

Senate Bill 1299, Allow concealed carry with protective order: Passed 27 to 13 in the Senate on January 24 and 66 to 32 in the House on February 14

To allow anyone who is protected by a protective order to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for 45 days after the protective order is issued. Only Virginians eligible under state law to carry a concealed weapon would be permitted to do this.

 

 

Do you think that legislators should have overridden his vetoes of some of these bills? Or are you happy that legislators sustained the governor’s vetoes?

 

The Veto Battle in Virginia

 

 

How many bills will Governor Terry McAuliffe veto this year?

Governor McAuliffe, a Democrat, is at odds with the Republicans who control the General Assembly. This disagreement flares up in many ways, from the state budget to public statements. However, the most consequential example of the partisan split is seen in the fate of legislation. Last year, the governor vetoed thirty-five bills. He has already started vetoing bills this year. Here are some of the bills that have met the governor’s disapproval:

 

HB 1582 – To allow an active duty military member or a military member who has received an honorable discharge to obtain a concealed handgun permit at the age of 18. Current law allows concealed handgun permits for anyone 21 years of age or older.

 

HB 1578 – To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools.

 

HB 1432 – To allow someone to carry a concealed switchblade knife if the person is engaged in a lawful activity that is enhanced by the use of a switchblade.

 

HB 2264 -- To prohibit state funding for organizations that provide abortions (this is mainly aimed at Planned Parenthood). The bill would also deny funding abortions that are not allowed under the Medicaid program, which denies payments for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a mother’s life being endangered.

 

HB 2198 -- To reinstate a tax credit program for coal production and employment, with a limit of $7.3 million a year. The program would last until 2022. This bill is similar to one that the General Assembly passed last year. That bill, which would have prevented this subsidy program from expiring in 2016, was vetoed by Governor McAuliffe.

 

Unless some Democrats decide to vote against McAuliffe, Republicans do not have enough votes to override the governor’s vetoes.

 

What do you think of Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes? Do you agree with him that these bills should not become law? Or do you think that he is standing in the way of good public policy?

 

Virginia House Joint Resolution 549: Recognize Pornography as a Public Health Hazard

 

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House Joint Resolution 549, Recognize Pornography as a Public Health Hazard: Passed 82 to 8 in the state House on February 2, 2017

 

To state that the House recognizes “pornography as leading to individual and societal harms” and that there is a “need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level” regarding pornography.

 

Comment below to share what you think of Virginia House Joint Resolution 549!

 

Gun Control in Virginia

 

The issue of gun control is a hot topic in many states, and Virginia is no exception. With its Republican-dominated legislature, the Commonwealth’s lawmakers have advanced legislation in recent years that would expand the rights of gun owners. This has met some resistance from Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, although the two branches of government have found some common ground on this issue.

 

The beginning of the 2017 legislative session has already seen action on firearms legislation. For the most part, these bills are aimed at expanding the right for Virginians to carry concealed firearms:

 

House Bill 1582, Lower age for concealed handgun permit for military members: Passed 78 to 19 in the state House on January 18, 2017

 

To allow an active duty military member or a military member who has received an honorable discharge to obtain a concealed handgun permit at the age of 18. Current law allows concealed handgun permits for anyone 21 years of age or older.

 

Senate Bill 1362, Allow non-duty military personnel to carry concealed weapons: Passed 22 to 18 in the state Senate on January 24, 2017

 

To allow members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Defense Force, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves who is on non-duty status to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

 

Senate Bill 1299, Allow concealed carry with protective order: Passed 27 to 13 in the state Senate on January 24, 2017

 

To allow anyone who is protected by a protective order to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for 45 days after the protective order is issued. Only Virginians eligible under state law to carry a concealed weapon would be permitted to do this.

 

Virginia Senate Bill 872: Require Photo ID for Absentee Ballots

 

Check out this key bill recently passed by elected officials in Virginia, and go to www.votespotter.com to signup and see how your legislators voted.

 

Virginia Senate Bill 872, Require Photo ID for Absentee Ballots: Passed 20 to 19 in the state Senate on January 30, 2017

 

To require that anyone requesting an absentee ballot by mail to include a copy of his or her photo ID with the request. When the voter submits the completed ballot, he or she must also submit a copy of his or her photo ID. Exempt from this requirement are military and overseas voters as well as voters with disabilities.

 

Legislators Look at Homesharing

 

Have you ever used an app like Airbnb to rent a room for a night? Or have you used the app to rent out your house when you were away on vacation?

 

Americans are increasingly turning to Airbnb and other homesharing platforms for short-term rentals, and government officials are starting to notice this trend. While in most places home sharing is largely unregulated, there are efforts across the country to impose new rules on this practice. Many of these regulatory efforts are coming from local government officials.

 

Proponents of regulation contend that homesharing through apps deprives consumers of government oversight to ensure quality. It also deprives states or local governments of room rental fees. Opponents of regulation counter that consumers determine the quality of the rental unit and that government has no business prohibiting people from renting their homes out for a night or two.

 

These are several proposals about homesharing that state legislators could be debating this year:

 

Virginia: a bill in this state would allow local governments to ban short-term (fewer than 30 days) rentals. If local governments allowed these rentals, the homeowner would have to notify neighbors, seek permission from the local government, pay taxes on room rentals, and carry $500,000 in insurance.

 

Massachusetts: separate legislation is being considered in the Bay State to regulate short-term rentals. One bill would separate rental-unit owners into separate categories depending on how often they rent rooms and tax them at different rates. Those renting rooms would face state inspections and insurance requirements. Local governments could also impose additional restrictions on rentals. Another bill, backed by Gov. Charlie Baker, would impose taxes on individuals who rent out rooms for more than 150 days a year.

 

Indiana: under legislation approved unanimously by a House committee, local governments would be prohibited from imposing restrictions on short-term rental units as long as the owners rent them out fewer than 180 days a year.

 

Idaho: legislators will consider a bill that would prohibit local governments from banning short-term rentals, or restricting them from certain neighborhoods. These rentals would still be subject to local rules regarding the fire code, nuisances, and noise.

 

Florida: legislators in Florida will also consider a bill that would prohibit local governments from banning short-term rentals. This legislation would pre-empt the bans that are already in place in some Florida towns and prevent future actions by cities or counties.

 

Do you think that states should impose stricter regulations on renting through Airbnb? Or do you support state laws that prevent local governments from banning short-term rentals?

 

Civil War monuments, taxpayer-funded abortions, and political donation write-off

 

Check out these key votes made by elected officials in Virginia during the most recent legislative session, and go to www.votespotter.com to signup and see how your elected officials voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.

 

House Bill 587, Restrict local authority over monuments: Passed 82 to 16 in the House on February 10, 2016, and 21 to 17 in the Senate on February 29, 2016. Vetoed by the governor on March 10, 2016.

To prohibit local governments from removing or interfering with monuments or memorials erected for a war or conflict, such as the Civil War.

 

Override veto of House Bill 587, Restrict local authority over monuments: Passed 68 to 32 in the House on April 20, 2016, and failed 21 to 18 in the Senate on April 20, 2016

To prohibit local governments from removing or interfering with monuments or memorials erected for a war or conflict, such as the Civil War.

 

House Bill 1090 Prohibit state funding of abortions: Passed 64 to 35 in the House on February 16, 2016, and 21 to 19 in the Senate on March 7, 2016. Vetoed by the governor on March 29, 2016.

To ban state funding of abortions unless that funding is a state match for Medicaid. This bill also bans state funding for organizations other than a licensed hospital that perform abortions.

 

Override veto of House Bill 1090, Prohibit state funding of abortions: Failed 66 to 34 in the House on April 20, 2016

To ban state funding of abortions unless that funding is a state match for Medicaid. This bill also bans state funding for organizations other than a licensed hospital that perform abortions. This was a vote to override the governor's veto, which requires 67 votes in the affirmative.

 

House Bill 22, End tax credit for political contributions: Passed 68 to 28 in the House on February 4, 2016, and 35 to 4 on February 19, 2016

To sunset the tax credit for contributions to political candidates. This credit would end with the 2017 tax year.

 

Home schoolers in public school sports, choice for students with disabilities, and armed school security officers

 

Check out these key votes made by elected officials in Virginia during the most recent legislative session, and go to www.votespotter.com to signup and see how your elected officials voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.

 

Senate Bill 612 Allow home schoolers to participate in school sports: Passed 22 to 17 in the Senate on February 2, 2016, and 58 to 40 in the House on February 19, 2016. Vetoed by the governor on February 29, 2016.

To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools.

 

Override veto of Senate Bill 612, Allow home schoolers to participate in school sports: Failed 21 to 18 in the Senate on April 20, 2016

To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools. This was a vote to override the governor's veto, which requires 26 votes in the affirmative.

 

House Bill 389, Allow education choice for students with disabilities: Passed 20 to 19 in the Senate on March 7, 2016, and the House on March 8, 2016. Vetoed by the governor on April 5, 2016.

To allow a parent of a student with a disability to apply for a Parental Choice Education Savings Account, which would consist of funding for education expenses such as tuition and fees at a private school and education therapy.

 

House Bill 1234, Allow some school security officers to carry firearms: Passed 24 to 14 in the Senate on February 29, 2016, and 66 to 32 in the House on March 2, 2016. Vetoed by the governor on April 6, 2016.

To permit a school security officer to carry a firearm if he or she is a retired law enforcement officer and the local school board grants authority to do so.

 

Override veto of House Bill 1234, Allow some school security officers to carry firearms: Failed 66 to 34 in the House on April 20, 2016.

To permit a school security officer to carry a firearm if he or she is a retired law enforcement officer and the local school board grants authority to do so. This was a vote to override the governor’s veto, which requires 67 votes in the affirmative.

 

Fantasy sports, guns in government workers’ cars, concealed firearms with protective orders, voter pledges, redistricting

 

Check out these key votes made by elected officials in Virginia during the most recent legislative session, and go to www.votespotter.com to signup and see how your elected officials voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.

 

Senate Bill 646, Regulate fantasy sports contests: Passed 28 to 10 in the Senate on February 8, 2016, and 80 to 20 in the House on February 20, 2016

To require the operators of fantasy sports contents register with the state and to clarify that these contests are not illegal gambling.

 

Senate Bill 686, Prohibit primary voter pledges: Passed 34 to 5 in the Senate on February 8, 2016

To prohibit political parties from requiring voters sign any pledge, including one to support the party’s nominee, before casting a vote in a primary election.

 

Senate Bill 770, Require compact territories in redistricting: Passed 21 to 19 in the Senate on February 8, 2016

To require that congressional and legislative district be composed of compact territory. This is aimed at ending districts that are oddly shaped or have irregular or contorted boundaries, unless they can be justified because the district adheres to political subdivision lines.

 

House Bill 382, Allow state workers to have firearms in their cars: Passed 65 to 32 in the House on February 4, 2016, and 24 to 14 on February 29, 2016

To prohibit state agencies or higher education institutions from banning employees from storing firearms or ammunition in their cars while at their workplace.

 

House Bill 766, Allow concealed carry with protective order: Passed 68 to 29 in the House on February 3, 2016, and the Senate 31 to 9 on February 22, 2016

To allow anyone who is protected by a protective order to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for 45 days after the order is issued. Only Virginians eligible under state law to carry a concealed weapon would be allowed to do this.

 

Gun bans in state buildings, gun show background checks, out-of-state gun permits, and concealed carry with a protective order

 

Check out these key votes made by elected officials in Virginia during the most recent legislative session, and go to www.votespotter.com to signup and see how your elected officials voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.

 

House Bill 1096, Prohibit gun bans in state buildings: Passed 63 to 35 in the House on February 11, 2016, and 21 to 17 in the Senate on February 29, 2016

To prohibit state agencies from enacting regulations on carrying or possessing firearms or ammunition. This bill would reverse Governor McAuliffe’s executive order that banned guns in state buildings.

 

Override veto of House Bill 1096, the prohibition of gun bans in state buildings: Failed 66 to 34 in the House on April 20, 2016

To prohibit state agencies from enacting regulations on carrying or possessing firearms or ammunition. This bill would reverse Governor McAuliffe’s executive order that banned guns in state buildings. This was a vote to override the governor's veto, which requires 67 votes in the affirmative.

 

Senate Bill 626, Allow concealed carry with protective order: Passed 32 to 8 in the Senate on February 9, 2016, and 69 to 31 in the House on February 23, 2016

To allow anyone who is protected by a protective order to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for 45 days after the protective order is issued. Only Virginians eligible under state law to carry a concealed weapon would be permitted to do this.

 

Senate Bill 610 Recognize out-of-state concealed handgun permits: Passed 27 to 13 in the Senate on February 4, 2016, and 69 to 29 in the House on February 19, 2016

Allows someone with a concealed handgun permit issued by any state who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia. This bill requires the Attorney General to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states to do this.

 

Senate Bill 715, Provide police for gun show background checks: Passed 34 to 5 in the Senate on February 5, 2016, and 95 to 3 in the House on February 19, 2016

To require that state police be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at gun shows.

 

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