Virginia VOICE January 2014
Released: Wednesday, February 04, 2015
This is the time of the year when VAIB is working as “Your voice for Christian liberties” at the General Assembly. While this is the 45 day session, work began immediately on the first day. Below is an update of some of the bills VAIB is tracking including the current progress of each bill. If you receive our weekly email updates, you will be familiar with this list. You can receive our emails by going to vaib.org and signing up on our home page.
We are tracking over 60 bills to date. I gave testimony on most of the bills listed below. Please take note of the description of the bills and consider how these could have impacted our religious liberties. I want to emphasize that most of our work involves preventing bad laws from becoming a reality. So far, no CapitolALERTs have been sent out, but that may change since some bills which we hoped to stop are still active as are some bills we want to see become law. Of course, you are welcome to contact your legislators anytime to express your wishes regarding any bills.
Finally, pray for the following:
Scheduling churches for 2015 and beyond, especially nonsupporting/uninvolved churches.
More independent Baptist churches to become involved both through our email alerts and by financially supporting. We want to continue our outreach into new areas but cannot do so without an increase in support.
Your voice for Christian liberties!
Let’s take a look at nineteen bills we OPPOSED:
Senate bill 679 introduced by Sen. Janet Howell would have allowed an unmarried co-habitating adult to adopt another person’s child. The bill FAILED.
Senate bill 716 introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas would have permitted casinos in Virginia. The bill FAILED.
Senate bill 733 introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke would have repealed the ultrasound currently required prior to having an abortion. The bill FAILED. House bill 1524 by Delegate Jeion Ward was identical; it was tabled (FAILED).
Senate bill 785 introduced by Sen. Don McEachin (Senate bill 1181 by Sen. Adam Ebbin was “rolled in”) would have provided special protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to being protected for public employment.
The bill passed the Senate on a 19 to 19 vote with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam voting “yes” to pass the bill to the House. House bill 1498 by Delegate Ken Plum was similar, as was House bill 1643 by Delegate Ron Villaneuva; both were tabled (FAILED).
Senate bill 799 introduced by Sen. Barbara Favola would have added nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as being defined as a “hate crime.” The bill FAILED. House bill 1494 by Delegate Rip Sullivan was identical; it was tabled (FAILED).
Senate bill 917 introduced by Sen. Jennifer Wexton would have provided special protections for sexual orientation and gender identity as being protected under the Virginia Fair Housing statute. The bill FAILED. House bill 1454 by Delegate Marcus Simon was identical; it was tabled (FAILED).
Senate bill 988 introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas would have prevented sexual orientation change efforts by licensed counselors in Virginia. The bill FAILED. House bill 1385 of Delegate Patrick Hope was identical; it was tabled (FAILED).
House bill 1437 introduced by Delegate Dickie Bell was introduced to provide guidelines for prayer in public venues. This bill passed the House committee and is moving to the full House for consideration.
The following are bills to allow for a Constitutional amendment (Virginia) for same-sex marriage:
SJR 213 by Sen. Janet Howell; SJR 214 by Sen. Adam Ebbin; SJ 283 by Sen. Don McEachin; HJ 492 by Del. Rob Krupicka; HJ 493 by Del. Scott Surovell: all of these bills FAILED.
Now, let’s see five of the bills we SUPPORTED:
Senate bill 690 introduced by Sen. Dick Black (Senate bill 1295 by Sen. George Barker was incorporated) was introduced to protect chaplains in the Virginia National Guard from having their sermons edited by superior officers. This bill passed the Senate 38 to 0 and has been sent to the House. Last year this bill was vetoed by Gov. McAuliffe. Pray that will not happen this year.
Senate bill 1383 introduced by Senator Dick Black was introduced to protect parents who home school under the religious exemption statute to not permit local school boards to require any other documentation to be exempt. This was in response to an effort by the Goochland County school board to require students age 14 and over to defend being home schooled under this exemption. The bill passed the Senate and has been sent to the House.
House bill 1293 introduced by Delegate Rick Morris would have provided churches an exemption from paying storm water fees. (Not all localities implemented these fees which is why some churches are unaware of this issue.) The bill was tabled (FAILED).
House bill 1294 introduced by Delegate Rick Morris would have given churches complete exemptions regarding all taxes and fees. This bill may have had some unintended consequences; it was tabled (FAILED).Download this Virginia Voice (PDF) →