From the VA House Democratic Caucus:
House Democrats use session to protect Virginia’s progress
RICHMOND, VA—Today the Virginia General Assembly concluded the business of the 2022 regular session. House Democrats are proud of the progress they have continued to make in areas such as criminal justice, education and equity, building on the growth and progress made in the previous two years of the Democratic majority.
“Our Democratic caucus has been focused on legislation that will help working Virginians by improving access to quality affordable health care, strengthening public education for all children, protecting our environment, and more. “said House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn. “In contrast, Governor Youngkin and House Republicans were addressing a vocal minority in their party base. Their relentless attacks on public education, clean air and water, affordable housing, and accurate history teaching are not what working families want as they recover from the pandemic.
House Democrats fought Republican efforts to roll back Virginia. House Republicans have introduced numerous bills aimed at undoing years of bipartisan work. Under Democratic leadership, Virginia has been named the nation’s best state for business two years in a row and the nation’s second-best state for education. While there is still work to be done, significant steps have been taken to improve the Commonwealth’s position on how workers are treated, to welcome all individuals and families and to make it easier for voters to vote. Protecting this progress was the primary goal of the House Democratic Caucus.
“During our two years in majority, House Democrats have worked hard to untangle decades of harmful, discriminatory and downright dangerous policies,” said Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “From the start of this session, we worked to make sure the Republicans couldn’t back us down. I am proud of the issues we have fought for and grateful to our partners at the Virginia Senate for helping us protect this crucial growth and progress.
Unfortunately, key issues have been stalled by Republicans, who have chosen to focus on satisfying a narrow political base and have left the people of the Commonwealth without resolution or relief on issues such as the automatic restoration of voting rights. , marriage equality, and the establishment of legal marijuana retail. Marlet. Despite bipartisan support in previous years on these issues, the legislation was killed in committee, never even making it to the House floor.
Now Governor Youngkin has halted the budget process as he insists on keeping his failed agenda items in the budget despite the General Assembly and the people of Virginia rejecting them outright. By cutting funding for public education and alleviating targeted taxes for low-income families in favor of pet education projects and general tax rebates that put money back in the pockets of its friends, Youngkin and House Republicans are really showing us their priorities.
House Democrats are looking forward to the governor calling a special session soon and getting back to work fighting for Virginia families.
Issues addressed by House Democrats in legislation during the 2022 regular session:
Protecting our history and our environment – House Democrats know the unique gifts we have been given and take seriously the responsibility we bear in preserving and protecting them.
- Recognize and Preserve Virginia’s History
- HB139 (McQuinn) Extends from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2024 the expiration of the Commission to Study Slavery and De jure and De Facto Racial and Economic Discrimination Against African Americans.
- HB141 (McQuinn) Establishes the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund to provide grants to recognized Indian tribes, private nonprofit organizations, and localities to acquire land or a permanent protective interest therein. ci, and to undertake preservation activities on such lands, that is of cultural or historical significance to Black, Indigenous, or communities of color.
- HB891 (Lopez) Removes the term “alien” as it relates to persons who are not citizens or nationals of the United States and replaces it with synonymous language, where applicable, throughout the Virginia Code.
- Protecting Virginia’s natural resources and coastline
- HB443 (Bulova) Gives locality-created park authorities the power to locate, operate, regulate use, and install signage relating to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on properties under its jurisdiction .
- HB516 (Bulova) Implements recommendations from Virginia’s first Coastal Resilience Master Plan.
- HB517 (Bulova) Clarifies designation and role of Chief Resilience Officer, moves CRO from Sec. of Public Safety and Homeland Security at Sec. of Natural and Historic Resources, and adds provisions relating to the CRO’s role in creating and overseeing the implementation of a Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan and a Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.
- HB1309 (Bulova) creates the Resilient Virginia Revolving Loan Fund.
Creating Equity in Opportunity – House Democrats have fought to ensure that all Virginians have the opportunity to succeed, no matter where they live, who they love or who they are. Everyone deserves to have access to the resources they need to support themselves and their families.
- Respect the dignity of all Virginians
- HB397 (Sullivan) Changes compensation formula for wrongfully incarcerated to equal $55,000 per year of incarceration, adjusted for inflation.
- HB614 (Bourne) Removes the requirement for an indigent defendant, as defined in the bill, to post appeal bond in an unlawful detention action appealed from the General District Court.
- HB1281 (glass) Prohibits law enforcement officers from using inauthentic replica documents during custodial interrogation to obtain a person’s cooperation or confession or to obtain a conviction.
- HB573 (Clark) Sets the limitation period for medical debt at 3 years.
- HB820 (Torian) Requires the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity to conduct a disparity study every five years.
- HB1265 (Subramanyam) Directs the DHCD to develop a plan, known as the Commonwealth Digital Affordability and Cost Effectiveness Plan, to access federal infrastructure funding for a broadband accessibility program.
- HB802 (Award) Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; application by localities.
- HB718 (Filler-Corn) Requires the Workforce Development Board to assess current apprenticeship programs and provide recommendations to establish a central office for apprenticeships.
- Preparing our children for the world
- HB389 (Bulova) Provides and improves access to early childhood education and child care subsidy program.
- HB649 (Carr) Provides language development and assessment resources for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- HB1023 (Guzman) Allows family life education programs to include optional age-appropriate instruction on child trafficking.
- HB1026 (Guzman) Creates the School Board Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety and Media Literacy Advisory Council to develop a model policy for local school boards that would enable these school boards to better support digital citizenship, internet safety and media literacy.
- HB582 (Roem) Requires each public higher education institution to ensure that all students have access to accurate SNAP information.
Protecting All Virginians – Keeping our most vulnerable citizens safe and empowering those who have already been victimized must be a priority.
- Ensure affordable and quality health care for all
- HB642 (Carr) Health care coverage; bonus payments for some service members.
- HB481 Hospitals (Helmer); price transparency.
- HB646 (Carr) Retirement homes; standards of care and staffing requirements, regulations.
- HB717 (Filler-Corn) Unaccompanied Homeless Youth; consent for housing services.
- Preventing tragedy and protecting the rights of victims
- HB258 (Simonds) Directs DCJS to develop online training (or endorse existing training provided by hotel chains) for hotel employees to recognize and report suspected cases of human trafficking.
- HB451 (Bennett-Parker) Allows a person to be prosecuted for criminal harassment in the jurisdiction where the person being harassed resides or resided at the time a communication was received.
- HB719 (Filler-Corn) Eliminates exemptions for storing physical evidence recovery kits (PERKs), establishes a 10-year standard for all kits, and improves victim notification requirements.
- HB623 (Hudson) Amends the appointment of a guardian ad litem to establish that it is the duty of a guardian ad litem to notify the court as soon as possible if the respondent requests an attorney, whom the guardian ad litem recommends or not a lawyer.
- HB634 (Roem) Directs DARS to convene a working group to review and assess guardianship visitation requirements.
- HB525 (Murphy) Creates comprehensive statewide anti-hazing mandates within public and private higher education institutions.
- HB1306 (Simon) Makes it illegal to sell, possess, or surrender firearms with an item removed or altered.