General Assembly Update

(updated 1/22/18)

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. 1/17/18 REPORTED out of Senate 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. The bill was REPORTED in House Health, Welfare, and Institutions subcommittee #3 on Jan. 18 and will move to the full committe for a vote.

We OPPOSE the following legislation:

SB45- (Senator Barbara Favola) Hate crimes; disability, civil action, penalty.  Adds disability to the bases of a victim's intentional selection for a hate crime involving assault, assault and battery, or trespass for the purpose of damaging another's property that result 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. 1/15/18 PBI in Senate Courts.

SB90- (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. 1/22/18 PBI in Senate General Laws and Technology. This bill is finished for the year.

SB91- (Senator Louise Lucas) Lottery Board; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Authorizes casino gaming in the Commonwealth to be regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board (the Board). This was a companion bill to SB90. VAIB opposed this bill as well. 1/22/18 PBI in Senate General Laws and Technology. This bill is finished for the year.

SB112- (Senator Barbara Favola)  Hate crimes; criminal acts against persons because of gender, etc. 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. 1/15/18 FAILED TO REPORT in Senate Courts.

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) Nondiscrimination in public employment. 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. 1/22/18 REPORTED out of Senate General Laws and Technology to be voted on in the Senate.

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 (Senator Jennifer McClellan) Abortion; funding in cases of rape or incest. 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. VAIB is saddened by any act of rape or incest, but opposes any state funding of abortions without verification. The bill was Passed By Indefinitely in Senate Education and Health on Jan. 18. This bill is finished for the year.

SB423 (Senator Jennifer Wexton) 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. The bill defines sexual orientation and gender identity. 1/22/18 REPORTED out of Senate General Laws and Technology to be voted on in the Senate.