Volume 2 | February 28, 2022

Released: Monday, February 28, 2022

VAIB | Virginia Voice

Volume 2 | February 28, 2022

Dear Friend,

This has been a busy session at the Capitol, and our office has weighed in on many bills of importance to our churches. I want to assure you your voice has been heard as we’ve given testimony in many legislative committees.

The session is now winding down, and committees are acting efficiently to either move bills forward to ensure a vote in this session or stop bills from further consideration. At this point, committee votes are often taken without additional testimony since they tend to be similar to other bills that have already been through the testimonial process.

The budget is now the major focus of the House and Senate, and each chamber has significant differences that must be hammered out by committee or conference. The process involves give and take from all sides. We continue to make your voice heard in the areas that are of utmost importance to our churches, schools, daycares, and other ministries.

Here's the status of some important bills:

  • HB1063 (Shin) Adds language to include outward expressions of religion to protect individuals from being discriminated against. The bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate General Laws & Technology Committee.
  • HB753 (Les Adams) Amends the Virginia Values Act to provide protections for churches and religious organizations in promoting their religious principles. This bill is similar to SB177 (Peake) that failed in the Senate General Laws & Technology Committee. The committee took the same position on HB753, with a vote of 8 to 7, to pass by indefinitely.
  • SB574 (Mason) Involves background checks for day cares (including religious-exempt day cares) to help get workers in place faster. The bill has now passed the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood/Innovation and heads to the full House Education Committee with bipartisan support.
  • SB656 (Dunnavant) Requires the Virginia Department of Education to develop policies on informing parents regarding sexually explicit materials and subjects in public schools. VAIB supports this bill. The bill narrowly passed the Senate with bipartisan support and passed out of the House Education Subcommittee on Early Childhood/Innovation with only Republican support. Now it moves to the full House Education Committee.
  • SB739 (Dunnavant) Requires public schools to conduct in-person education and remove mask mandates, allowing parents to make the decision on masking. This important bill took eight days to move from the Senate to the Governor’s desk and be signed into law! Sometimes government can act quickly and in a bipartisan manner to bring about good change. What a blessing to know parents now have their rights restored regarding masking for their children in public schools!

I’m so grateful for the success we’ve seen in this legislative session, and I covet your prayers as I continue to testify on various bills. This session concludes on Saturday, March 12, and will reconvene on April 27 for the veto session to consider any changes to bills made by the Governor.

Thank you for your prayers and support of VAIB!

God bless!

Rev. Eddy Aliff
Executive Director

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