Volume 1 | January 31, 2022

Released: Monday, January 31, 2022

VAIB | Virginia Voice

Volume 1 | January 31, 2022

Dear Friend,

As 2022 kicks off, we’re back at the General Assembly for a very important session. The transition in executive leadership is currently underway, with the swearing in of Governor Youngkin on January 15. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be at the Capitol in person, after being unable to attend in person for the last two sessions. Shaking hands and making eye contact with representatives is far more effective than the video-conference testimonies that were the norm the last two sessions.

A great example of just one of these types of interactions occurred when VAIB gave testimony on Senate Bill 574, which relates to background checks for day care workers. A patron wanted to fix a problem with the delay in getting background checks in a timely manner so new hires could begin work more quickly. I testified that religious-exempt day cares needed to be added to the bill to ensure expedited checks would be provided for our programs as well. Two Republican senators on the committee quickly suggested the bill be amended to include religious-exempt day cares.

After the bill passed, Sen. Mason went directly to his office to call Legislative Services to request language be added to his bill to include religious-exempt day cares. I was in his office a few minutes later to discuss the bill and was overjoyed that he’d already worked to fix the problem.

What a blessing it was to see this legislator working on our behalf!

Session Update and Bills to Watch

VAIB is monitoring several important bills in this General Assembly session. Following are highlights

  • 2,160 pieces of legislation have been introduced. This is less than in previous years, but progress on bills in committee has been slower due to a computer hacker disrupting the General Assembly website. Some bills have yet to be assigned to a committee.
  • VAIB is following over one hundred bills and will give testimony on many of them to ensure our voice is heard.
  • HB753 and SB177 are bills we believe would help provide protection for churches regarding nondiscrimination. Unfortunately, SB177 was defeated in the Senate, while HB753 is still active in the House.
  • Many quality bills dealing with educational topics we support have been introduced this session. Thirteen of them would provide parents with more educational choice options. I’m hopeful many of these will pass the House, but I anticipate they will face difficulty in the Senate Education and Health Committee.
  • HJ57 and HB605 are Democrat-sponsored bills that would change the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriages and also have the potential to include polygamous marriage. Thankfully, the House Privileges and Elections subcommittee defeated them! Now we wait for the Senate bills (SJ5 and SB557) to come to the House if they pass in the Senate. You may recall I sent a CapitolALERT regarding these bills. You can still send a message to your senator asking him or her to vote NO.
  • As mentioned earlier, SB574 would allow new hires for day cares to begin working as soon as the first of two background checks is cleared. New hires must always be under direct observation when they are with children until the background checks clear. VAIB supports this bill, as it also applies to religious-exempt day cares. SB574 passed the Senate and now moves to the House. I will continue to work for passage of this bill in the House; it would become effective July 1 of this year.

We’re thankful for the success we’re already seeing this session, and we covet your prayers as we continue to testify on bills of significant interest to VAIB. It would be a joy to have you join me at the General Assembly to see your government in action! Email me at ealiff@vaib.org to let me know when you’re coming!

Thank you for your prayers and support of VAIB!

God bless!

Rev. Eddy Aliff
Executive Director

Download this Virginia Voice (PDF) →