One topic I make an attempt to cover but perhaps fall short is what’s happening at the General Assembly as it relates to local issues. Thanks to an organization that represents localities across the Commonwealth, both you and I can now get an update from that perspective about the status of the state budget.
“Budget conferees were unable to agree on a full array of revisions to the biennium budget in time for the scheduled adjournment of the 2023 regular session,” reads the legislative summary for the Virginia Association of Counties. “As a stopgap measure, the General Assembly passed a ‘skinny budget’ on February 25, which included four revisions to the 2022 Appropriation Act dealing with several priority, time-sensitive items.”
There are now eight days until the General Assembly convenes for the 2023 session, which will be 45 days long. Another number to keep in mind is 308, which is how many days there are until the November election, in which all 40 seats in the Senate and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for a vote. So let’s take some time now to see what’s been filed.
- Delegate John McGuire has filed a bill that would eliminate an age requirement for veterans to be able to file an income tax subtraction. (HB1436)
- Delegate Bill Wiley has legislation that would require the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop a policy to delete and purge collected data and video of users of highways after 30 days. (HB1437)
- Delegate Tim Anderson filed a bill to create a nonrefundable tax credit for the donation of oyster shells for restoration projects. (HB1438)
There are now seven weeks until the General Assembly convenes for the 2023 session. There are still plenty of bills carried over from the 2022 sessions, but new legislation is coming in every day. Here’s another round-up.
- Delegate Tim Anderson has filed for a Constitutional Amendment to repeal its now obsolete ban on same-sex marriage. Read more about this on Virginia Scope. (HJ460)
- Delegate Jason Ballard wants a law that allows for cost-recovery from wildfires to be extended to negligent property owners. (HB1390)
- A 20-person Commission on Social Media would be established if legislation by Delegate Wendy Gooditis passes both houses. The group would evaluate risks and harms to community members. (HB1391)
- Delegate Wren Williams has a bill that would require regulation of derricks and cranes to prevent hazardous rotations of loads. (HB1392)
- Delegate Lee Ware has filed for a study of funding for constitutional officers are elected by local voters. (HJ461)
- Senator Amanda Chase has filed legislation to prohibit gender transition procedures for people under the age of 18. (SB791)
- Chase also wants to prevent the state from requiring COVID vaccines (SB792) and allowing doctors to provide treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (SB793).
There are 44 days left until the 2023 session of the Virginia General Assembly begins, and this is a good time to begin looking to see what legislation has been pre-filed.
- Community members who serve on juries would get paid $100 a day in allowances if SB789 from Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. is adopted. The current allowance is $30 a day.
- Civil penalties for some towing infractions would be repealed in some parts of Northern Virginia is SB790 from Senator Barbara Favola gets through.
- Favola also has legislation that would transfer oversight of the state’s medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.
- Delegate Sam Rasoul has filed legislation for an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to lower the voting age to 16 in “local elections.” This bill is HJ459.
- Delegate Tim Anderson has another Constitutional amendment to limit Virginia Senators to three terms and Delegates to six terms. (HJ458)
- Delegate Karen Greenhaigh has a bill that would prevent transgendered students from participating in interscholastic sports. The details are in HB1387
- Another bill from Senator Bill DeSteph would require school libraries to have policies requiring parental consent before checking out any material that includes any sexual contact of any kind. Details of what that entails in SB787.
- Delegate Ronnie Campbell pre-filed legislation to remove the restrictions on what law enforcement officers can’t currently pull motorists over for. Details in HB1330.
- The declawing of cats would be prohibited in most circumstances and punishable with a fine if HB1382 makes it through both Houses. That was filed by Delegate Wendy Gooditis.
- Finally for this rundown, Delegate Tony Wilt has filed a bill to repeal the requirement that the State Pollution Control Board implement a low-emissions and zero-emissions requirement for new vehicles after the year 2025. (HB1378)
There are 64 days before the General Assembly convenes for its 2023 session with each political party with a slight majority in each of the two chambers. Some legislation has already been pre-filed and other bills remain from the previous session, but in the weeks to come more legislation will be filed.
All across Virginia’s Fifth District, localities are finalizing their legislative priorities. On Friday, Albemarle Supervisors met with several legislators to try to convince them to carry bills for their wish list.
Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will meet with legislators to discuss potential legislation for the 2023 General Assembly. On Saturday night, most of the United States will turn back clocks to mark the end of daylight saving time.
Albemarle’s legislative wish list does not include a request to end the practice, nor has the topic been discussed on the legislative agendas of any of the 24 localities in the Fifth District. Read my other newsletter for more on those localities.
However, legislation has been filed in the past to end Virginia’s participation in the practice, which began in 1918 with the federal Standard Time Act as a wartime cost-savings measure. The practice dropped in 1919 but became permanent again with the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Delegate Nicholas Freitas (R-30) filed a bill earlier this year (HB303) that would have disconnected Virginia from the federal requirement but it died in a General Laws subcommittee on February 3.