As we enter into the final week of session, let me just say how thankful I am to have seen all of the folks that made the time to come and visit me in Richmond. We are just days away from finishing a budget and putting the finishing touches on legislation that came over from the House of Delegates. We will likely meet again in April to discuss the redistricting plans that must be approved and to create a schedule for the process.
One such bill that had gone through the Senate, dealt with the growing deer population in the state. With no natural enemies and fewer hunters in the field, the deer population across the state has exploded over the last several years. Deer are damaging crops and landscaping across the state and this bill would have made it easier for farmers to reduce their losses by reducing the deer population. Farmers and hunters from around the state came out both in support and opposition for the bill. The end result was that the bill failed with the agreement that all parties would work to find a solution to this growing problem.
Several bills came from the House dealing with issues that protect the unborn as well as the families of Virginia. The Senate Education and Health Committee is packed with ten Democrats and only five Republicans. Each of those bills was killed by a party line vote. One of those bills would simply have required birth control clinics to have minimal life saving equipment on hand should something go dreadfully wrong at the clinic. Another would have allowed a family to seek recovery of losses when an unborn child is killed while still in the womb. Current law does not allow the family to sue for damages. This bill, if it had passed, would have allowed the family to recover their losses just as they currently can with any other individual.
I encourage you to continue to follow the action of the General Assembly and pass your thoughts to us. You can keep in touch through my website, www.frankmruff.com, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 804-698-7515, or by mail to P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927. We will be sending out a recap of the session within the week.
15th Senate District