Virginia Voice Feb. 27, 2017
Released: Friday, March 03, 2017
SAVE THE DATE!
September 28-29, 2017 ONE Voice for Liberties Conference
At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA
VAIB | VirginiaVoice
February 26, 2017
2017 General Assembly Update
Over 2900 pieces of legislation were introduced this session and nearly half have passed the House and the Senate. Less than ten of the fifty bills we opposed are still alive. Almost half of the forty bills we supported are still alive. Yet the Governor has indicated he will veto some of these bills, as he did to HB2264 which would have directed state funds for healthcare away from facilities which perform abortions.
Religious Exempt Day Cares Update
This year saw a renewed attack on religious exempt day cares. It came from two directions: a federal mandate regarding background checks for day care workers and a study supposedly seeking to improve safety. We consistently showed data to the contrary on both fronts, but federal pressure caused the General Assembly to succumb to its mandate requiring fingerprint checks (House Bill 1568) on all workers in day care centers. The study, which started off attacking the safety of religious exempt day cares, eventually led to Senate Bill 1239 which made some broad changes for groups which care for children but not in a true day care setting and made a few changes for religious exempt day cares. We are thankful for the numerous Delegates and Senators who saw through these bills and their potential for reducing our religious liberties. Yet, both bills passed. In the last week of session, an effort by a Delegate to amend SB1239 to possibly remove religious exempt day cares both from the fingerprint requirement and other operational changes has met with resistance by the Senator who patroned SB1239. This issue was finally resolved through a committee of conference. On the final day of session, February 25, a vote was taken on the bill. It passed!
Delegate Bobby Orrock who pushed the amendments through in negotiations helped religious exempt day cares in two ways: 1. Religious exempt day cares would be made completely exempt and only responsible for those requirements of the exempt groups; 2. Religious exempt day cares DO NOT need to do fingerprint background checks! By being in the exempt category, we no longer fall under the federal mandate! We are overjoyed and thankful for the wisdom and hard work of Delegate Bobby Orrock in making this happen. The only concern is whether the Governor will amend or veto this bill in an undesirable way. That will not be known until April 5 when veto session meets.
Visiting Our Congressmen
During the week of March 13, Carol and I will be in Washington DC on two missions. First, we will attend the Capitol Connection hosted by Dr. Chuck Harding and Pastor Mike Creed of Awake America. This is an opportunity for pastors throughout America to meet our Congress men and women to pray for them as they serve. I will also be visiting our Virginia delegation to lobby on certain issues. Pray for success while we are there.
On March 5th we begin our travels to inform and update churches regarding the work of VAIB. For the first time, Joe Naylor, with his wife Marty, will be helping as VAIB representative to reach more churches. We thank God for this help. And we thank God for the new churches which have begun supporting just this year. We still have room in our 2017 schedule. Call the office at 804-299-3986 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.
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