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Results tagged “Session”

January 14, 2013

The Virginian-Pilot reports, "Less than a week after Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell endorsed it, a proposal to allow automatic restoration of voting rights to nonviolent felons was shot down today by a Republican-dominated House of Delegates subcommittee... The seven-member panel's majority Republicans said they are satisfied with the current system, in which felons must petition the governor to get their voting rights restored after they are released from prison."

Progressive Point: The right to vote and choose our leaders is at the heart of what it means to be an American. But this morning, conservatives in the House of Delegates undermined that fundamental freedom and rejected measures to automatically restore voting rights to nonviolent felons who have paid their debt to society.

If they can't count on your vote, they'd rather you not be counted at all. Keeping voting rights from people who have served their time and paid their debt to society is wrong. We can't help nonviolent felons become contributing members of society if we don't grant them basic civil liberties to participate in our democracy. This is America -- we've never solved anything in this country with less democracy, and we won't now.

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Get the Facts: The Virginian-Pilot reports:

  • "450,000 Virginians are disenfranchised under the current system."

  • "The seven-member panel's majority Republicans said they are satisfied with the current system, in which felons must petition the governor to get their voting rights restored after they are released from prison."

  • "Virginia is one of two states with the most restrictive policies in the country."

  • "Today's vote means the proposal is likely dead for this session."

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January 7, 2013

The Virginian-Pilot reports, "From beehives to bullion to burial urns in space, no commodity is considered too arcane for a tax break. A recent government report found nearly 200 tax breaks that together cost Virginia $12.5 billion a year - almost as much as the state collects in taxes. That money could go a long way: Virginia's road network is crumbling under the weight of as much as $3 billion a year in unfunded construction needs, while state colleges, starved of government support, have doubled tuition rates over the past decade."

Progressive Point: Virginia's working families pay their fair share and its time everyone else did the same. But instead of ending tax giveaways for big corporations and the 1%, Governor McDonnell is considering more massive spending cuts to our home front investments, including huge cuts to public safety programs that keep our police and firefighters on the streets.

Our Commonwealth's budget is about more than just numbers--it's a roadmap for our community priorities. That means putting people back to work and growing our economy by getting rid of tax breaks and loopholes that don't work. Our greatness comes from the people striving for a shot at the American dream, not cutting the programs that help keep us free from harm. In Virginia, everyone should get a fair shot, pay their fair share, and play by the same set of rules.

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Get the Facts:

  • Virginia loses $12.5 billion in revenue a year through nearly 200 tax credits and giveaways that receive little-to-no scrutiny and accountability. (Virginian-Pilot, January 6, 2013)

  • The Virginian-Pilot also reports:
    • "[A]mong those judged least effective were two tax credits intended to promote the Virginia coal industry. Those credits, which cost the state $27 million in 2011, appear not to have achieved their goal of slowing the decline of coal mining activity and employment, the investigators found... [M]ining is the only sector of the Virginia economy that produces negative tax revenue... There is a net cash flow from the state to the mining companies, not the other way around."

    • "A favorite target of critics is the yacht tax break. Watercraft sales are taxed at 2 percent, but there's a $2,000 cap. That means the buyer of a $1 million yacht pays the same tax as a waterman who buys a $100,000 workboat."

    • "[T]he top 1 percent of state households - those making more than $529,000 a year - pay 5 percent of their income in state and local taxes, according to a recent analysis by the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The poorest one-fifth - those making less than $19,000 - pay nearly 9 percent."

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January 4, 2013

The Washington Post reports, "The General Assembly returns to Richmond on Wednesday for a jampacked month. Virginia's legislative sessions come in two sizes: short and long. This is a short year, lasting 30 days, half as long as last year's session. Good thing, too, because there's lots of politicking to get on with once it wraps up. With all three statewide offices open this year, it seems as though half of Richmond is running for governor, lieutenant governor or attorney general -- mostly lieutenant governor. All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for election."

Progressive Point: The choices our elected officials in Richmond make this year in the General Assembly are supposed to reflect our priorities and our needs as a community and as a Commonwealth. Instead, conservative officials are planning new massive cuts to home front investments in public safety, schools, and essential services. Meanwhile, they are still pushing to keep a tax code is still rigged in favor of the wealthy and corporations.

Virginia faces a choice: cut what we don't need like corporate tax loopholes, outdated pork, and subsidies for dirty energy -- or drag down our economy by cutting the things we do. Bob McDonnell and conservatives in the General Assembly have already cut support for our schools, medical research, and public safety -- all taking money out of people's pockets and customers out of stores. But this year it is time for those we voted for to cut what we don't need so we can protect the things we do.

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Get the Facts:

  • Since the beginning of the recession, Virginia has reduced state support for K-12 education by $2.6 billion. (The Commonwealth Institute, April 2011)

  • The president and CEO of Virginia's Chamber of Commerce called the lack of investment in infrastructure an "area of concern for business and policymakers" and that, "we have to find a formula that will provide the funding that will keep up with the fast-paced growth of Virginia's economy." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 10, 2012)

  • Virginia's 2012 budget totaled nearly $4.8 billion. Of that, almost $1.3 billion was borrowed money. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

  • Governor McDonnell's own Secretary of Transportation has admitted that, "without additional revenue, all transportation money will be used to maintain existing roads, leaving none for new highway construction." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2012)

  • According to a recent report by 24/7 Wall St., Virginia has cut support to localities by 8.5 percent between 2009 and 2010. This equals a loss of $1 billion for communities, the 3rd worst cut in the country. (Roanoke Times, July 9, 2012)

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November 19, 2012

CBS 6 WTVR reports, "With just over fifty days to go before Virginia's General Assembly begins its session, there are questions as to whether or not it will be as controversial as last years. In a post election press conference, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell hinted the conservatives needed to rethink its priorities. 'It's clear to me the Republican Party has some work to do,' McDonnell said. Some have hinted the Republican party needs to abandon bills during the general assembly session that create controversy on social issues. While some Republicans seem to be following that philosophy, others, like State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas appear to be hunkering down."

Progressive Point: Virginia's priorities are fixing our crumbling infrastructure, investing in educational opportunities, and creating jobs to drive our economy forward. But yet again, out-of-touch conservatives are focused on attacking women's health care access and ability to make decisions about their own bodies. They're focused on their ultra-conservative base, not working families.

The best way to help Virginia's economy is to focus on home front investments: job training, good schools, and fixing our roads and bridges. It's time for our representatives to work for our future instead of a conservative agenda that Virginians have repeatedly rejected. This year, let's drop the ideological bills and get to work on our real problems.

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Get the Facts:

  • Del. Bob Marshall's controversial "personhood" legislation, designed to end abortion in Virginia by defining life as beginning at conception, was continued from last session and will become a source of debate again. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov. 18, 2012)

  • Del. Marshall has also "already filed legislation that would allow Virginia employers to opt out of contraception coverage in their health plans and another bill that would make it a felony for doctors to perform sex-selective abortions." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov. 18, 2012)

  • Since 2008, Virginia has cut per student funding by 10%, or $592 per pupil. (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Sept. 4, 2012)

  • Virginia has less than 5 years until we run out of transportation funds for new infrastructure and maintenance. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 8, 2012)

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Making a mockery of Sunshine Week

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March 13, 2012

The Richmond Times-Dispatch comments on transparency in Virginia, "The news dismayed, but its timing proved pregnant with symbolism. On the eve of Sunshine Week, Virginians learned that a study of uranium mining in Pittsylvania County will not be as transparent as it should be. According to a news story by The Times-Dispatch's Rex Springston, the group of state officials involved 'will hold no public meetings and will keep many of its papers secret.' This is not good."

Progressive Point: Virginia lawmakers are making important decisions that impact localities, businesses, and individuals across the Commonwealth with no opportunity for public input. The lack of transparency concerning studying uranium mining not an isolated incident. From remaking our complicated retirement system to funding repairs to our transportation infrastructure to making decisions about mining and water quality in Southside, decisions are being made behind closed doors with no opportunity for public input or scrutiny.

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Lawmakers were elected to represent us, and the thoughts and opinions of their constituents should be the most important factor in decision making. How can they make responsible decisions that reflect all of the available information when the most important part of the process has been shut down? Making decisions in the dark pushes the public out of our democratic process and makes a mockery of Sunshine Week.

Get the Facts:

  • "Each year in the General Assembly, there's a tug-of-war over the state's 'sunshine laws.' The recent legislative session has been no exception. It wasn't the most eventful term in recent memory pertaining to open records and open meetings, but there were significant battles. Among them: Should warrants used to track vehicles by GPS technology become public like most any other warrants are -- or put in a special category and be sealed forever? Should public boards be able to hold more 'electronic meetings,' whereby members are not sitting in the same place? Should the names and addresses of those who hold state permits to carry concealed handguns be shielded from public view?" (Daily Press, March 11, 2012)

  • "Virginians have a wealth of information about their government at their fingertips. Although state agencies supply some of that data, the most accessible and useful repositories are the brainchilds of energetic, public-minded individuals who saw a need for transparency and did something about it.

    David Poole launched the Virginia Public Access Project (vpap.org) in 1997, culling information gleaned from paper campaign reports to create an Internet database of donors, a much-needed tool for voters in a state that sets no limits on the contributions made by individuals and businesses to political candidates.

    Since then, the Richmond nonprofit has expanded to include candidate expenditures, lobbyist registrations, gifts made to elected officials and financial disclosures detailing lawmakers' stocks, corporate income and real estate holdings. More recently, the website has provided interactive maps showing the results of redistricting and elections, and it is gradually incorporating information on local elections.

    Waldo Jaquith of Charlottesville has contributed to the open government cause with Richmond Sunlight (richmondsunlight.com), a website that helps regular people understand the General Assembly's cumbersome procedures and track bills on topics important to them. He's also developing a similar Internet tool, state-decoded.com, to enable easier navigation through the Code of Virginia, the collection of all state laws." (Roanoke Times, March 13, 2012)

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February 16, 2012

In response to the large amount of criticism of their conservative agenda, House Speaker William Howell attempted to defend his caucus's priorities stating, "Less than 2.5 percent of the bills that have passed the House dealt with socially conservative issues."

Progressive Point: Virginians sent their representatives to Richmond with the expectation that they would address our priorities: economic investment, good schools, and better roads. Any Virginian can tell that this has not been their focus. There is no acceptable amount of bills that make Virginians' lives worse. It only takes one bill to put Virginia women's health at risk. It only takes one bill to make it easier to traffic guns. It only takes one bill to make it harder for Virginians to vote.

Conservatives want us to say thank you for not being even worse? They're asking Virginians to be grateful that they haven't pushed even more extreme legislation while ignoring creating jobs and improving our economy. Blowing smoke will not stop Virginia voters from seeing how this radical, ideological legislation will negatively impact our communities. It's time for our lawmakers drop the partisan games and politics and get back to work improving the lives of Virginia families.

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Get the Facts: Conservatives have spent the first half of Virginia's General Assembly session introducing:

  • 34 bills dealing with handguns, weakening Virginia's crime prevention tools

  • 12 bills interfering with women's private medical decisions, which should be left to a woman, her family, and her faith

  • 12 bills wasting taxpayer money on enforcing federal laws and making new immigrants feel unwelcome in the Commonwealth

  • 13 bills placing barriers between Virginians who have fallen on hard times and the help they need to get back on their feet, insinuating that being poor is shameful

  • 3 bills establishing some Virginians as second-class citizens, denying equal protection under the law to some Virginia families based solely on their sexual orientation

  • 32 bills increasing the tax giveaways and loopholes for big corporations

  • 9 bills attacking Virginia workers' rights and protections

  • 13 bills making it more difficult for Virginians to vote

  • The personhood Del. Bob Marshall has filed would "effectively criminalize birth control and in vitro fertilization, in addition to abortion in all cases." (ThinkProgress, November 22, 2011)

  • Conservative legislation in Richmond would require women seeking to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, be given an opportunity to view it, and then keep it in the their medical file at the facility. "The legislation is a priority for social conservatives and has support from Gov. Bob McDonnell, who called it an 'appropriate measure' during a morning radio interview." (Virginian-Pilot, February 1, 2012)

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Senate Bill #1 - Voter Discrimination

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January 12, 2012

On Tuesday, State Senator Steve Martin told CBS 6 the requirement in his bill, SB 1 (the very first bill prefiled in the Senate), that voter registration cards no longer be an acceptable form of identification when voting, was a "mistake." But Sen. Martin introduced virtually identical language in 2010 and 2011, and pulled much of the legislative language from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He's one of ALEC's two Virginia state chairmen and has spent over $22,000 dollars in taxpayer money traveling around to their conferences to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors.

Progressive Point: State Senator Martin proposing legislation to make it harder for Virginia's elderly, low-income residents, and minority voters to participate in our Commonwealth's democratic process is not something that can be dismissed as merely a simple "mistake." And it is far more than a mistake considering this is the 3rd year in a row he has introduced this discriminatory language.

Our representatives should be encouraging our communities to vote and be engaged in our elections as diversity enriches us all. Bringing back regressive legislation to Virginia would be a sorry step backwards for our Commonwealth, and it has no place in Richmond.

Get the Facts:

  • Kent Willis, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, called Sen. Martin's bill "a clear violation of voter rights," and "any kind of restrictions you impose on ID disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income residents and racial minorities." (CBS 6, January 10, 2012)

  • At the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus's press conference on Wednesday, Sen. Yvonne Miller stated that the bill would take Virginia "back to the bad old days when there was a very small electorate, when only men could vote and only white men who owned property could vote." (Virginian-Pilot, January 11, 2012)

  • Sen. Mamie Locke describes the bill as an "effort to suppress the vote," and Sen. Donald McEachin stated, "These are solutions looking for problems. There is no problem with voter fraud in Virginia." (Richmond Times Dispatch, January 11, 2012)

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State Senator Steve Martin told CBS 6 yesterday that the requirement in his bill, SB 1 (the very first bill prefiled in the Senate), that voter registration cards no longer be an acceptable form of identification when voting was a "mistake." That's quite a mistake considering this is the 3rd year in a row he has introduced this language. Kent Willis, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, called Martin's bill "a clear violation of voter rights," and "any kind of restrictions you impose on ID disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income residents and racial minorities."

Sen. Martin introduced virtually identical language in 2010 and 2011. He also, coincidentally, pulled a lot of the legislative language from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He's one of ALEC's two Virginia state chairmen and has spent over $22,000 dollars in taxpayer money traveling around to their conferences to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors (View his ALEC profile here).

Attempting to pass legislation that would disenfranchise many Virginia voters once would indeed be quite a "mistake". File your "mistaken" legislation three years in a row and people might start to think your campaign for voter disenfranchisement was intentional.

Welcoming Legislators Back to Richmond

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January 11, 2012

Today, the We Are Virginia coalition, of which ProgressVA is a member, gathered in Richmond to remind legislators to represent their constituents, not lobbyists and campaign donors, during the General Assembly session. We Are Virginia is a coalition that believes in smart investments in our future to secure opportunity, sustainability, and equality in Virginia for the next generation.

Progressive Point: Numerous legislators have indicated their intention to work this year to implement an extreme conservative agenda that Virginians did not vote for and that Virginians don't support. We Are Virginia, a diverse assembly of progressive groups and individuals, gathered at the General Assembly today to remind our representatives of their constituents' priorities for the upcoming session.

Legislators have pre-filed extreme bills, including attempts to restrict voting rights, limit women's access to reproductive health care and birth control, allow guns in schools, widen corporate tax loopholes, and moves to privatize public education. But instead of being divided by diverse issues and interests, the individuals and groups of We Are Virginia are speaking as one and fighting back against those who wish to implement a conservative agenda at the capitol.

While today's was a success, it was merely the first day and We are Virginia will continue to push the General Assembly to adopt a more progressive agenda and work for all Virginian's throughout the legislative session.

Tweet it: We Are Virginia calls on the General Assembly to work for all Virginians http://bit.ly/w08bue via @ProgressVA

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Stop the power grab and get to work

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January 10, 2012

Virginia's part-time legislature will begin its short session tomorrow. Sadly, the Daily Press reports, "Republicans and Democrats will be at each other's throats from the opening gavel over whether Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling can use his tie-breaking vote as president of the Senate to organize the chamber and give the GOP control. As a result of last November's elections, the Senate is evenly divided with each party holding 20 seats."

Progressive Point: The conservative power grab in the State Senate ignores the will of the voters and distracts focus from the pressing issues facing Virginians. Virginians have real concerns about our economy, creating jobs, fixing our roads, and strengthening our families. Instead of tackling bipartisan solutions, conservatives continue to push their extreme agenda.

Virginians don't want the same political games in Richmond that the politicians play in Washington, D.C. Our legislators should be working for us, not an extreme Tea Party agenda. Virginia families are facing very real problems that our representatives can all agree on. It is their duty to respect the will of the voters, share power and serve all Virginians. Conservatives should stop their partisan power grab and get to work.

Get the Facts:

  • Research from Public Policy Polling show that the majority of voting Virginians support power sharing in the State Senate: "On one hand only 31% of voters think the Republicans should have full control of the chamber, while 55% think there should be some sort of power sharing arrangement. Predictably Republicans think they should have all the power and Democrats think it should be shared. Independents tip the balance by siding with the Democrats in support of power sharing by a 53/28 margin."

In the mid-90s, when the shoe was on the other foot, Virginia Republicans argued for the exact opposite for what they are saying today. Here are a couple of their quotes:

  • "There are 20 of them -- there are 20 of us... We are going to be equal partners." Sen. John Chichester, The Richmond Times Dispatch, November 30, 2011
  • "We've got parity we're entitled to 50 percent of the committee chairmanships and 75 of the 150 committee assignments." Sen. Joe Benedetti (R-Richmond), The Washington Times, December 13, 1995
  • "[the power-sharing pact] is consistent with what [voters] decided on during the election which was a 20-20 split" Gov. George Allen, The Washington Times, January 13, 1996
  • "I thought in 1996 that the power-sharing arrangement, which was good for four years, made for greater harmony in doing the business of the Senate... I think such would be true today if a sharing agreement could be worked out." Rep. Virgil Goode, The Richmond Times Dispatch, November 30, 2011

Tweet it: Stop the power grab and get to work http://bit.ly/wrrND7 via @ProgressVA

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January 9, 2012

Conservative lawmakers in Virginia are prefiling extreme right-wing legislation. Del. David Albo wants to expand anti-immigrant citizen checks, and Del. Richard Bell wants to require drug tests for anyone receiving, or asking for, public assistance. Del. Bob Marshall wants to eliminate the HPV vaccine requirement for students, and Del. Barbara Comstock is prioritizing corporations over workers and public safety. Del. Mark Cole wants to limit low-income women's access to abortion care.

Progressive Point: Extreme legislation in the General Assembly demonstrates how out of touch Virginia's conservative legislators are with their constituents. Virginia families need representatives who are focused on fixing our economy and creating jobs. Instead, many far-right representatives are pushing bills centered on serving their conservative base rather than strengthening support for the middle class.

The best way to help Virginia's economy is to invest in job training, good schools, and fixing our roads and bridges. Jobs and the economy are pressing issues for Virginians. Its time for our representatives to work for our future instead of attempting to implement a far-right Tea Party agenda. That future depends on legislators who invest in classroom priorities that build the foundation for student learning like early childhood education, smaller class sizes and equal school funding so our kids are ready to compete for 21st century jobs.

Get the Facts:

  • Del. David Albo bill will expand citizen checks to include anyone who is arrested. (HB 89)
  • Del. Richard Bell wants to require drug tests for anyone receiving or asking for public assistance (HB 73)
  • Del. Mark Cole wants to repeal funding for abortions for women on medical assistance even when the "fetus would be born with a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency (HB 62)
  • Del. Bob Marshall wants to eliminate "the requirement that children receive the human papillomavirus vaccine [HPV] for school attendance." (HB 65)
  • Delegate Barbara Comstock is trying to make it even harder for labor organizations to do business with state agencies in Virginia and in so doing prioritizing corporations over workers and public safety. (HB 33)

Tweet it: Virginia must demand that our representatives work for our future http://bit.ly/zsN7ga via @ProgressVA

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December 22, 2011

Please note that this will be ProgressVA's last Progressive Point before the holidays. We hope you and your families enjoy a safe and happy holidays and look forward resuming the Progressive Point in the new year.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University today reveals that 58% of Virginians oppose a personhood amendment. 75% of Virginians believe guns should be banned on college campuses and 62% are against lifting the limit of one handgun purchase per month. Last week, a poll from Public Policy Polling showed that 55% of Virginians support power sharing.

Progressive Point: It is clear that Virginians don't support an extreme conservative agenda, but right-wing lawmakers are pushing their radical legislation anyway. Virginia's working families want conservatives in Richmond to stop ignoring unemployment and work to strengthen our Commonwealth's economy.

Criminalizing birth control and eliminating gun laws are wrong for Virginia, and against the will of Virginians. These frivolous, extremely ideological bills proposed by conservatives plainly show how out of touch they are with the people of Virginia.

Get the Facts:

  • The personhood Del. Bob Marshall has filed would "effectively criminalize birth control and in vitro fertilization, in addition to abortion in all cases." (ThinkProgress, November 22, 2011)

  • In addition to the person hood bill and eliminating gun laws, Virginia conservatives are also proposing to throw out this year's bipartisan redistricting plan, right-wing immigration laws, a blatantly anti-union bill, dangerously removing the ban on uranium, and other ideological legislation. (ProgressVA, November 22, 2011)

  • Proposals to weaken Virginia gun laws that Republicans are already lining up include baring "localities from offering incentives to gun owners to surrender their firearms and another banning clerks from releasing the names of individuals who have permits to carry concealed handguns." Additionally, "The top target for pro-gun groups is lifting Virginia's limit of one handgun purchase per month." (Blue Virginia, December 15, 2011)

Tweet it: Virginians don't want extreme agendas for Christmas http://bit.ly/tYQVvd via @ProgressVA

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right turn.pngConservative lawmakers did not waste any time in getting partisan legislative proposals started for the next session that starts in January. Some controversial proposals are already public, just two weeks since the election, and they include:

  • "Personhood" Anti-Abortion Legislation - Similar to legislation recently rejected in Mississippi, Del. Bob Marshall has already filed a "Personhood" bill for the upcoming session. (Washington Post, Virginia's Legislative Information System)

  • Ending Criminal Background Checks for Gun Purchases - The Virginian-Pilot reports, "Gun-rights advocates have lobbied Gov. Bob McDonnell to scrap the program... Efforts to cancel the state's 22-year-old background check system... could be debated in the upcoming General Assembly session." This will likely be just one of many pro-gun proposals from conservatives.

  • Undoing Compromise Redistricting - Conservatives led by Republican Leader Tommy Norment would redo this year's Virginia State Senate and House redistricting to be more favorable to Republicans. (Virginia Gazette) Conservatives are also trying to stall Congressional redistricting until January, in order to pass a map that will protect their 8 - 3 Republican Congressional majority and eliminate the creation of a second minority seat. (Washington Post)

  • Conservative Immigration Policy - New legislation, and legislation copied from other states, will have significant anti-immigrant impacts on Virginia law enforcement, businesses, social and medical services, education, and housing. (Change Servant)

  • Anti-Union Legislation - Del. Marshall has filed a bill to prohibit state revenue for the Dulles metro project if there is a project labor agreement. (VA Legislative Information System) Senate candidate George Allen also recently voiced opposition to Project Labor Agreements. (Progressive Point)

  • Removing a Ban on Uranium Mining - Conservative lawmakers will likely help the uranium industry remove Virginia's 30-year ban on uranium mining in the Commonwealth. (Keep the Ban)

  • Exempting VA Coal Companies from the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and All Federal Regulations - Last year, conservatives passed legislation in the House of Delegates that would exempt any products mined, manufactured, or produced in any other way and sold in Virginia from all federal regulations. That means coal companies would be exempt from the Clean Water Act and utilities would be exempt from the Clean Air Act if they were burning coal mined in Virginia. (Virginia Chapter Sierra Club) This will very likely be put forward again in January.

  • Major Budget Cuts and Layoffs - Gov. McDonnell will soon submit a budget that will likely include layoffs and cuts of up to 6% for Virginia agencies, as well as many changes disingenuously labeled "reforms" from McDonnell's commission that excluded Democratic members. (Richmond Times Dispatch Oct. 28, 2011; Richmond Times Dispatch Nov. 20, 2011)

Also likely to return is a proposal to change pension plans from defined-benefit to defined-contribution--a conservative plan to hand over teachers and firefighters' retirement accounts to Wall Street for them to gamble away. (Virginian-Pilot) We can expect many other conservative legislative proposals, such as school vouchers, anti-transparency measures, and a right-to-work constitutional amendment.

Following Republican gains in Virginia's State Senate and House, conservative lawmakers believe they will be able to force through ideological and controversial bills that had previously been stopped by the State Senate. These proposals are not in the best interest of Virginians and we cannot allow them to become law because we weren't paying attention.

ProgressVA will continue to keep this list updated as new conservative legislative proposals surface.

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