Observing the 2023 Virginia General Assembly with this divided government provides us with a real-life example of why our votes are so important! The Republican majority in the House passed three bills that would have drastically restricted or even eliminated abortions in Virginia, a legislative priority of our governor. The Senate’s Democratic majority is our “brick wall” against extreme measures, and the Education and Health Committee there effectively nixed all three of those bills.
Unfortunately, the Democrats’ push for stricter gun laws, including efforts to ban assault weapons, is being axed by the House Republicans due to their holding the majority. Republicans continue to try to roll back the progress made when Democrats held a majority in the House, Senate, and statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.
Committee hearings will be fast and furious until “Crossover” on February 8, when each house may consider only legislation and amendments of the other house. The last day for them to complete work on the Budget Bill and those revenue bills is the following week, on February 15.
There was some good news (which you can read here) for our Delegate Sam Rasoul’s HB2192 to transform Catawba Hospital into a state-of-the art facility for substance abuse treatment and recovery services. Sam Rasoul also introduced a bill to address public school teachers’ compensation, HB1566.
Also worth mentioning:
- HB1788 on microstamping-enabled firearms, introduced by Eileen Filler-Corn in the House, was assigned to a Public Safety Subcommittee.
- SB1382, which would prohibit the purchase and possession of assault firearms and certain ammunition feeding devices was introduced by Creigh Deeds.
- SB1112 Senator Hashmi’s Contraceptive Equity Act passed the Senate! (with a bipartisan vote! Only 13 voted nay, with 26 voting yeah!) Once it passes the House, it will mean health insurance providers must cover prescription contraceptives.
Please take action by thanking/scolding your senator for their vote on this crucial bill that will expand access to contraceptives.
- SB1020 Virginia Museum of Transportation, John Edwards establishes the Virginia Museum of Transportation as a public entity and educational institution.
- SB1417 addressing electric utilities was introduced by David Suetterlein in the Senate, where it was passed by indefinitely in “Commerce and Labor.”
- HB1596 would establish a prescription drug cost affordability review and make a report; introduced by Karrie Delaney.
- HB2096 addressing invasive plant species (noxious weeds) and HB1998 concerning the need for state agencies to prioritize the use of native plant species on state property.
A wealth of information is available on the Virginia General Assembly website.
Please email Sandra with issues of importance to you and bills you’d like us to follow.
Barbara, Becky, Jessica and Sandra
Link to download this report here.