General Assembly Update

(updated 3/14/18)

2018 General Assembly

This page is designed to inform you of legislation of concern to VAIB for the latest General Assembly session. This list is intended to highlight certain important issues but is by no means exhaustive of the hundreds of bills we follow. 

Bills are divided into two lists: those "We SUPPORT" and those "We OPPOSE." Each item is listed with a brief explanation. By clicking on the bill number, you can see more information on the bill and the progress of the bill. 

Need more information? Contact our office at 804-299-3986 or send an email to ealiff@vaib.org with your comments or questions. 

REMEMBER: You have a voice! You can contact your delegate or senator regarding your position on these items or any other issue. Be kind, be brief, and be thankful when you contact a legislator.

Explanations:

  • CO - legislation is "Carried Over" to the next session for consideration.
  • PBI- "Passed By Indefinitely" means the legislation has failed.
  • Tabled- means the legislation has failed.
  • Left in committee- means the legislation has failed.
  • Stricken-  means the patron has removed the bill from consideration.
  • Reported- means the bill is progressing.
  • Failed to report- means the bill was voted down or failed.

Click on the bill for more information.

We SUPPORT the following legislation: 

SB372- Ben Chafin- Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship. Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place. VAIB supported the rights of churches to establish its own position this matter. Left in House Rules committee. FAILED on 3/6/18.                                Identical House Bill 1180 (Delegate Dave LaRock) FAILED in House Courts.

HB545- Delegate Nick Freitas. Child care licensure; forfeiture of eligibility for religious exemption.This bill requires child day centers seeking exemption from licensure as a religious institution to file with the Commissioner of Social Services, prior to beginning operation and annually thereafter, documentary evidence that the individual seeking to operate the child day center is not currently ineligible to operate another child welfare agency due to a suspension or revocation of his license or license exemption for reasons involving child safety or any criminal conviction, including fraud, related to such child welfare agency. VAIB supports any effort to maintain the integrity of religious exempt day cares. Signed into law by Governor.

HB873 (Delegate Bobby Orrock) Religious Exempt Day Cares and background checks. Extends from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, the expiration date and contingency on the requirement that the workers and volunteers at religious exempt day cares undergo fingerprint-based national criminal history background checks. This has been an ongoing issue over the past two years. Signed into law by Governor.

HB227 (Delegate Chris Stolle) and HB241 (Delegate Emily Brewer) Adoption. VAIB supported both of these bills helped improve adoption for certain children in Virginia. Both bills passed and have been "Signed into law by the Governor."

HJ38 (Delegate Delores McQuinn) "I am my brother and sister's keeper Day."  Designates the Friday after Thanksgiving, in 2018 and in each succeeding year, as I am my brother and sister's keeper Day in Virginia. Bill was agreed to by House and Senate. (Does not require action by the Governor.)

HJ142 (Delegate Keith Hodges) "Recovery Sunday." Designating the third Sunday of September, in 2018 and in each succeeding year, as Recovery Sunday in Virginia. Bill was agreed to by House and Senate. (Does not require action by the Governor.)

We OPPOSE the following legislation:

SB90 and SB91 (Senator Louise Lucas) Virginia Casino Gaming Commission; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Creates the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission (the Commission) as the licensing body for casino gaming. VAIB opposes casinos due to the other negative social elements which accompany gambling. Both bills PASSED BY INDEFINITELY in Senate General Laws and Technology and are finished for the year!

SB 45 (Senator Barbara Favola); SB112 (Senator Barbara Favola);   Hate crimes related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Adds disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the categories of victims whose intentional selection for a hate crime involving assault, assault and battery, or trespass for the purpose of damaging another's property results in a higher criminal penalty for the offense. VAIB opposes hate crime legislation as it increases penalties for certain crimes depending on the movitvation of the attacker. FAILED TO REPORT in Senate Courts. Similar hate crimes bills which FAILED are: HB10 (Delegate Kaye Kory), HB32 (Delegate Rip Sullivan), HB266 (Delegate Cheryl Turpin), HB300 (Delegate Vivian Watts), 

SB201 (Senator Barbara Favola) Regulations governing hospitals; facilities performing abortions. Would remove language (added in 2013) classifying facilities that perform five or more first trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals. VAIB opposes weakeing abortion clinic regulations to protect women who come to these facilities. The bill was PASSED BY INDEFINITELY in Senate Education and Health on Jan. 18. This bill is finished for the year.

SB202 (Senator Adam Ebbin) and HB 401 (Delegate Mark Levine) Nondiscrimination for gender identity and sexual orientation. Prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. Both Bills FAILED!

SB245 (Senator Scott Surovell) Conversion therapy prohibited. Would prohibit any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in "conversion therapy" with any person under 18 years of age. The bill defines "conversion therapy" as any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. VAIB opposes any efforts to prevent licensed counselors from helping a child to properly understand the relationship of biology (being created male or female) to their psychological health. The bill was PASSED BY INDEFINITELY in Senate Education and Health on Jan. 18. This bill is finished for the year.

SB292 and SB910 (Senator Jennifer McClellan); SB133 (Senator Mamie Locke); SB709 (Senator Jennifer Wexton); HB21 (Delegate Kaye Kory); HB298 (Delegate Vivian Watts);   HB450 (Delegate Debra Rodman), HB1037 (Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler), HB1231 (Delegate Jennifer Boysko)  Abortion; efforts to expand, require funding or roll-back certain requirements. Clarifies that when a woman who qualifies for state medical assistance reports to a public health agency that her pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, the Board of Health is required to fund an abortion without requiring any report of such rape or incest to law enforcement.  ALL OF THESE BILLS FAILED!

SB423 (Senator Jennifer Wexton); HB971 (Delegate Elizabeth Guzman); HB1547 (Delegate Marcus Simon) Virginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices; sexual orientation and gender identity. Adds discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful housing practice, and defines sexual orientation and gender identity. ALL OF THESE BILLS FAILED!

HB718, HB719, HB720 (Delegate Ken Plum) Hate crimes; gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability; immigrant status; re firearms purchase; penalty. These three bills would add disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, plus immigration status, plus prevent firearms purchases to the categories of victims whose intentional selection for a hate crime involving assault, assault and battery, or trespass for the purpose of damaging another's property results in a higher criminal penalty for the offense. 1/26/18 all three bills were PASSED BY INDEFINITELY in House Courts.

HB159 (Delegate Sam Rasoul) Changes to Family Life Education in public schools. Removes from such standards and guidelines the requirement for instruction in the benefits, challenges, responsibilities, and value of marriage for men, women, children, and communities; abstinence education; the value of postponing sexual activity; and the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. PASSED BY INDEFINITELY in House Education.

HB1609 (Delegate Michael Webert) Expands Gambling to include Historical Horse Racing. Establishes historical horse racing as a form of horse racing. The bill defines historical horse racing as a form of racing that creates pari-mutuel pools from wagers placed on previously conducted horse races. Awaiting Governor's action.  

HB1063 (Delegate Steve Heretick) and SB111 (Senator Adam Ebbin) Decriminialize Marijuana. BOTH BILLS FAILED!