Volume 1 | January 27, 2020

Released: Monday, January 27, 2020

General Assembly back in session!

Following is an overview of what happened this month at the General Assembly. For a more complete recap, go to our website, www.vaib.org/legislativeoverview.

As the Democrats settled in to their new position of authority in the General Assembly, “change” became the byword as they moved their agenda forward. First on their list was to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (HJ1 and SJ1). Within a week, these ERA bills passed their respective chambers and are already being considered by the other chamber. This means HJ1 is now being considered by the Senate, and SJ1 is now being considered by the House. Even though the US Department of Justice has ruled the matter dead, our state will report passage to the appropriate federal agency, lending support that this amendment be added to the U.S. Constitution.

Next they added protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public employment, private employment (all three areas in HB1663), professional counseling (SB245 & HB386), and public school policies (SB161). These changes also bring new penalties, including heightened penalties under the Virginia Hate Crimes Statute. My prayer is that nothing will prevent our pastors and churches from preaching the truths of God’s Word and holding to these truths in our ministries.

Then they dismantled abortion laws to literally allow abortion at any point. Included in these changes is allowing someone other than a doctor to perform abortions through the end of the first trimester. It is incredibly sad to see such disregard for the unborn and the health of women.

Is there more to come? Will they encourage casinos and other forms of gambling, marijuana, new and higher taxes, health insurance requirements to pay for transgender surgeries. Where will it end? When will it end? Only when citizens decide to vote and change who is in control!

We’re encouraged in at least one area. Identical bills have been submitted to fix misinterpretations by child day care inspectors on staff-to-child ratios impacting some of our religious-exempt day cares. HB1235 and SB927 will soon be heard in committees, and your prayers for favorable results are needed. Also, pray that HB521, which seeks to repeal the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit, will FAIL. This program has helped hundreds of children in our churches attend Christian schools and other private schools. Much prayer is needed and so is your voice in contacting your legislators regarding these bills.

We must be vigilant in the fight for our religious liberties. VAIB will be there to continue speaking on your behalf. I am so thankful for those churches and individuals who have supported this work through the years. If you can help, please go online and give to keep VAIB on the frontlines at the General Assembly.

Sincerely,

Eddy Aliff

Executive Director