Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

Senate Republicans Highlight Successes at Session's Midpoint

tjcosgrove's picture
Tue, 2010-02-16 19:00 -- tjcosgrove

 

Senate Republicans today highlighted their successes as the General Assembly reached its symbolic midway point of Crossover.  Starting today, the Senate can only consider bills sent over from the House of Delegates and those bills passed by the Senate will be before the House.

 

“Senate Republicans have a true interest in moving Virginia forward,” noted Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (James City).  “Over the past month, we have worked together and with our colleagues across the aisle to advance legislation that is in the best interest of Virginians.  As a minority party, our success depends on our ability to garner bipartisan support for our legislation.  We have done so and will continue to do so as we begin working on the House bills coming before us.”

 

Legislation advanced by Senate Republicans focused on a variety of issues: jobs & economic development, public safety, transportation, military & veterans affairs, ethics reform, government reform & transparency, health care, and energy.  Below is a partial list of accomplishments by Republican Senators:

 

Jobs & Economic Development

 

SB 323 (Sen. Ruff – Mecklenburg) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Changes the title of the Secretary of Education to the Secretary of Education & Workforce Development to highlight the additional responsibility given to this Secretariat.

 

SB 472 (Sen. Watkins – Powhatan) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Reduces the number of full-time jobs needed to qualify for the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit from 100 to 50, or from 50 to 25 in enterprise zones.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 475 (Sen. Watkins – Powhatan) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Provides that grants and loans from the Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund be awarded based on job creation, private capital investment, and additional tax revenue expected to accrue to the state or localities.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 623 (Sen. Hanger – Augusta) Passed Senate (39-Y 0-N)

Allows tax credits for the creation of “green” jobs.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 658 (Sen. Ruff – Mecklenburg) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Directs the Department of General Services to develop a program that offers state procurement contracts to small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones (HUB Zones).  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 733 (Sen. McWaters – Virginia Beach & Sen. Vogel – Fauquier) Passed Senate (38-Y 2-N)

Creates a tax credit against state license tax liability on certain insurance companies for investments in Virginia small business investment companies.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

Public Safety

 

SB 486 (Sen. Hurt – Pittsylvania) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Requires the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide information to law-enforcement relating to involvement in or investigations of criminal street gangs.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 495 (Sen. Hurt – Pittsylvania) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Stipulates that in determining subsequent DUI offenses, convictions under “substantially similar” laws of other states or the federal government should be included in determining the number of prior convictions.

 

SB 520 (Sen. Norment – James City) Passed Senate (26-Y 14-N)

Adds murder of auxiliary police officers or auxiliary deputy sheriffs to the capital murder statute.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 531 (Sen. McDougle – Hanover) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Increases fees that an attorney for the Commonwealth may receive for felony or misdemeanor cases upon conviction in circuit court.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 602 (Sen. Newman – Lynchburg & Sen. Hurt – Pittsylvania) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

In determining cases of homicide and child abuse, the determination of a separate existence of an infant from its mother shall not depend solely on whether the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta detached.

 

SB 679 (Sen. Hanger – Augusta) Passed Senate (36-Y 4-N)

Establishes a restorative justice program for offenders and victims.

 

Transportation

 

SB 537 (Sen. Newman – Lynchburg) Passed Senate (29-Y 11-N)

Increases the speed limits to 70 mph on highways that currently have 65 mph speed limits.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

Military & Veterans’ Affairs

 

SB 55 (Sen. Martin – Chesterfield) Passed Senate (39-Y 1-N)

Allows voters entitled to vote absentee due to active duty military service, service in the merchant marines, or temporary residence outside of the United States and the dependents of such voters to use the federal write-in absentee ballot to voce in state and local elections, as well as federal elections.

 

SB 243 (Sen. Watkins – Powhatan) Passed Senate (39-Y 0-N)

Exempts active duty military personnel who are residents and on leave from having to obtain a basic fishing license.

 

SB 455 (Sen. Hurt – Pittsylvania) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Exempts veterans from the handling fee charged by the Department of Business Assistance when establishing a small business through the one-stop small business permitting program.  This bill was included in Governor McDonnell’s legislative package.

 

SB 613 (Sen. Wampler – Bristol) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Allows members of the Virginia National Guard called to state active duty by the Governor to continue their health care coverage, at the member’s expense.

 

SB 696 (Sen. McWaters – Virginia Beach) Passed Senate (38-Y 2-N)

Allows active-duty military personnel in uniform to use HOV lanes in Hampton Roads regardless of the number of passengers.

 

SJ 13 (Sen. Stuart – Westmoreland & Sen. Puller – Fairfax) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Constitutional amendment to allow the General Assembly to exempt from property taxes any real property that is the principle residence of a veteran (or their widow or widower) who is determined to have a 100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability.

 

Ethics Reform

 

SB 186 (Sen. Norment – James City, Sen. Smith – Botetourt, & Sen. Northam – Norfolk) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Makes changes to adjudication of ethics complaints by establishing the General Assembly Ethics Review Panel and making public any proceedings beyond preliminary hearings.

 

SB 506 (Sen. Smith – Botetourt) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Prohibits bidders or offerors, their controlling persons, or persons acting on their behalf, who have submitted bids or proposals for public contracts worth $5 million or more from contributing to a Governor, their campaign committee, inaugural committee, or PAC.

 

SB 512 (Sen. Norment – James City & Sen. Smith – Botetourt) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Requires legislators to disclose on their Statement of Economic Interest any salary they or members of their immediate families earn from state or local governments or advisory agencies.

 

SJ 147 (Sen. Norment – James City) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Establishes a joint committee of the General Assembly and the Senate and House Ethics Advisory Panels to evaluate the adequacy of the current General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Acts and the method for adjudicating complaints.

 

Government Reform & Transparency

 

SB 236 (Sen. Stosch – Henrico, Sen. McDougle – Hanover, & Sen. Howell – Fairfax) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Restructures the way information technology services are structured and governed in Virginia to streamline services and ensure greater accountability.

 

SB 515 (Sen. Norment – James City) Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Requires the Chairs of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees to issue reports with the budget conference report specifically identifying any non-state appropriation, any item in the conference report not included in the House or Senate budget, and any item that represents a piece of legislation that failed during session.

 

Health Care

 

SB 283 (Sen. Quayle – Suffolk) Passed Senate (23-Y 17-N)

SB 311 (Sen. Martin – Chesterfield) Passed Senate (23-Y 17-N)

SB 417 (Sen. Vogel – Fauquier) Passed Senate (23-Y 17-N)

Provides that no resident of the Commonwealth shall be required to maintain an insurance policy.

 

SB 622 (Sen. Wampler – Bristol) Passed Senate (39-Y 1-N)

Prohibits dental insurance plans from establishing a rate that a dentist or oral surgeon is required to accept for services unless the services are covered under the dental plan.

 

Energy

 

SB 394 (Sen. Wagner – Virginia Beach) Passed Senate (33-Y 6-N)

Sets the Commonwealth’s policy to support exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources 50 miles or more off Virginia’s coast.