General Assembly Update Week 5- Feb 9, 2019

Released: Saturday, February 09, 2019

This week, the General Assembly headed into crossover with the goal of each chamber completing all bills introduced. Those bills that passed House committees and a House vote would then be transferred to Senate committees, and all bills that passed Senate committees and a Senate vote would be transferred to the House. But revelations about Governor Ralph Northam, followed by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and finally by Attorney General Mark Herring threw the legislature into turmoil.

I’ll not rehearse recent news on these three elected officials, but issues from the past regarding each of these men has put a black eye on Virginia’s executive branch. Bills that were still awaiting committee hearings found themselves floundering for a hearing that never came. So nearly a dozen bills on my radar simply fell off the grid as they were “left in committee,” causing them to die on the vine.

If a Senate bill never gets a hearing before crossover, it dies for lack of action and cannot be brought again. The same for House bills. So, while this week saw lots of action in the news, I saw little action myself, as legislators were gridlocked in other meetings trying to figure out how to deal with the drama caused by the administration. Oddly enough, my job this week was not nearly as stressful as previous weeks.

One highlight of the week was the Commonwealth March for Life, which was held on Thursday, February 7, at the Richmond Capitol. In spite of the dreary weather, the crowd was upbeat. I’m thankful for the over three hundred who showed up to stand for the unborn and against a bill by Delegate Kathy Tran (HB2491, which was defeated) to expand third-trimester abortions.

With numerous pro-life speakers, including several legislators, the crowd was challenged and encouraged to be a voice to legislators and in elections, as well as to reach out in love to those women seeking abortions. I know numerous pastors who contacted me to say they were unable to come but would be praying. I was blessed by the nine pastors from across the state who work with VAIB who came to show their support and brought other folks from their churches as well.

Pastors, it’s time for us to rise up and be counted! I hope you’ll make a concerted effort to attend the next rally for life tentatively scheduled for April 3 at the Capitol. Once details are finalized, I’ll let you know. Standing on the sidelines is not an option! Determine to be at the next rally!

Yours from the General Assembly,

Eddy Aliff