Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

SENATE REPUBLICANS REPORT ON SESSION AT SINE DIE

Mon, 2018-03-12 13:59 -- Eric

RICHMOND, VA, 10 MARCH 2018: The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus today expressed disappointment that a budget agreement has yet to be reached, but also noted the success of its legislative accomplishments during the 2018 Session of the Virginia General Assembly.

Of the nearly 1,000 bills filed by members of the Virginia Senate, over 360 have been approved and sent to Governor Northam for action.

“The continuing budget impasse is, understandably, the most notable result of this year’s regular session,” noted Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City).  “There were, however, many initiatives successfully advanced by Senate Republicans that will make a positive difference in the lives of Virginians.

“Our members are particularly proud of our initiatives that will make healthcare more accessible and affordable, while also offering greater choice to consumers.

“In addition, we’ve sent legislation to the Governor that will help create jobs and grow our economy, strengthen our public schools and higher education, and ensure the safety of all Virginians.

“The continuing budget impasse is frustrating, both to our members and to me personally.  The Senate approved a balanced, responsible, conservative budget.  Senate Republicans remain unanimously committed to passing a clean budget without Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and we will continue to work towards that goal in the special session.

“I am proud of what our Caucus has accomplished this year, and of the serious and substantive approach they have maintained throughout this session.  We will remain unified in our commitment to advancing responsible and conservative legislation that will benefit all Virginians.”

Below is a select list of bills, sponsored by members of the Senate Republican Caucus and grouped by topic, that were approved by the Senate of Virginia by Crossover.  The list has been updated to reflect subsequent actions by the House of Delegates.

Strengthening the Economy and Creating Jobs

SB 405 (McDougle)                                                                                       Passed Senate 22-13-4

                                                                                                                        Passed House 49-48-2

Encourages development of next generation wireless technologies.

SB 971 (Obenshain)                                                                                       Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 92-3

Directs the Commonwealth Transportation Board to develop and adopt Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement plan.

SB 803 (Reeves)                                                                                             Passed Senate 23-16

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Allows Virginia distillers to invest profits from ABC store sales on their product.

SB 960 (Sturtevant)                                                                                        Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 100-0

Establishes system to allow local school boards to develop technical education pipelines for apprenticeships and future employment.

SB 268 (Dunnavant)                                                                                       Passed Senate 36-0-2

                                                                                                                        Passed House 99-0

Creates a separate classification for personal property of computer equipment and peripherals used in a data center to encourage technological firm economic development.

SB 318 (Ruff)                                                                                                 Passed Senate 22-17

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Directs the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to evaluate the small business certification program in regular intervals to ensure appropriate transparency, growth and standards.

Expanding Opportunity through Education

SB 579 (DeSteph)                                                                                           Passed Senate 20-18

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Redirects unused credits under the Educational Improvement Scholarships tax credit program under the Neighborhood Assistance Act tax credit program.

SB 232 (Hanger)                                                                                             Passed Senate 39-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 98-0

Authorizes issuance of bonds for Virginia higher education institutions for capital projects.

SB 368 (Newman)                                                                                          Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 99-0

Requires Virginia educational programs of higher education to include training and intervention for students with dyslexia or a related disorder.

SB 969 (Newman)                                                                                          Passed Senate 38-1

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Requires the Board of Education in establishing high school graduation requirements to require verified credit in history and social science.

SB 349 (Peake)                                                                                               Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 99-0

Requires the Board of Education to provide the issuance of a provisional license to those with appropriate level of experience in critical teacher shortage areas.

SB 462 (Reeves)                                                                                             Passed Senate 39-0

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Provides certain members of the Virginia National Guard enrolled at private institutions of higher education are eligible to receive education grants.

SB 103 (Suetterlein)                                                                                        Passed Senate 39-1

                                                                                                                        Passed House 98-0

Requires the Board of Education to provide teacher licensure reciprocity for any spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth.

SB 170 (Stanley)                                                                                             Passed Senate 34-6

                                                                                                                        Passed House 85-11

Prohibits students in preschool through grade three for being expelled unless for certain severe offenses.

SB 747 (Sturtevant)                                                                                        Passed Senate 38-2

                                                                                                                        Passed House 99-0

Ensures high school students engaged in dual enrollment programs are included in guaranteed admissions agreements with four-year universities.

Ensuring Transparency and Ethics

SB 20 (Chase)                                                                                                 Passed Senate 23-17

                                                                                                                        Passed House 94-4

Requires the Department of Planning and Budget to direct the DPOR and CJSB to identify opportunities for regulatory reform, up to 25% over the next three years.

SJ 75 (Norment)                                                                                              Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 96-0

Establishes a two-year joint subcommittee to study current ethics laws in Virginia.

SB 751 (Sturtevant)                                                                                        Passed Senate 26-13-1

                                                                                                                        Left in House CC&T

Requires large school divisions to post public expenditures and vendor information.

Increasing Access to Quality Health Care

SB 915 (Dunnavant)                                                                                       Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        No House vote

Prioritizes funding of waivers for most critical Virginians, including additional funding for mental health, substance abuse, and alternative transportation of Medicaid patients.

SB 844 (Dunnavant)                                                                                       Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 51-46

Allows less expensive “short term” coverage plans to be offered for 364 days instead of the current 90 days.

SB 935 (Wagner)                                                                                            Passed Senate 38-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 51-46

Allows small businesses to pool health care plans for larger negotiating and purchasing ability.

SB 544 (Obenshain)                                                                                       Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 98-0

Requires existing prescription drug donation programs to accept unused drugs from nursing homes, licensed hospitals, among others, to be re-dispensed to the indigent.

SB 593 (Vogel)                                                                                               Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Left in House Appropriations

Requires health insurers to provide health coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in individuals from age two through age eighteen.

SB 866 (Stanley)                                                                                             Passed Senate 39-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 99-0

Provides licensure for Patrick County Hospital to encourage hospital reopening.

SB 964 (Sturtevant)                                                                                        Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 51-46

Expands catastrophic coverage beyond the current federal cap of age 30, allowing individuals to purchase low-cost, high deductible healthcare.

Maximizing Virginia Energy

SB 378 (Chafin)                                                                                              Passed Senate 29-11

                                                                                                                        Passed House 58-41

Reinstate Virginia coal employment and production incentive tax credits.

SB 179 (Stanley)                                                                                             Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 100-0

Facilitates solar facilities being incorporated in localities comprehensive plans.

SB 780 (Chafin)                                                                                              Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 100-0

Provides that Southwest counties (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise) enter into revenue sharing agreements for new hydroelectric plant project.

Protecting Virginians & Reforming Criminal Justice

SB 47 (Black)                                                                                                 Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 98-0

Increases the penalty for female genital mutilation to a class 2 felony.

SB 49 (Cosgrove)                                                                                           Passed Senate 32-7

                                                                                                                        Passed House 92-7

Requires a registered sex offender entering an emergency shelter to give notice to law enforcement so as to make appropriate arrangements to keep the public safe.

SB 106 (Suetterlein)                                                                                        Passed Senate 23-17

                                                                                                                        Passed House 90-9

Raises the larceny threshold from $200 to $500.

SB 954 (Norment)                                                                                          Passed Senate 38-2

                                                                                                                        Left in House Courts 

Removes jail option for a marijuana conviction, and reduces overall penalty to no more than a $500 fine, with first-time conviction having the ability to be expunged.

SB 508 (Carrico)                                                                                             Passed Senate 40-0

                                                                                                                        Passed House 38-0

Allows VDOT and State Police to utilize drones to survey and catalogue accident scenes for evidentiary purposes.