Legislation Would Have Closed Triggerman Loophole;
In Richmond, a Blizzard of Bills
In Richmond these days, the only things falling faster than snow are axes falling on bills as we close in on crossover, the day by which all legislation must have been heard in its originating chamber.
To give you an idea of the barrage we're facing, the Senate has passed 297 bills thus far, and another 212 are dead. With just a few days to gocrossover is Tuesdayanother 523 are either still in committee or waiting to be heard on the floor.
This has been the busiest session of the Senate that I have observed since being elected to serve you in the Virginia Senate. Of course, this is only my third session, but the pace around here has significantly picked up this year. That is largely due to the fact that we are in a budgetary crisis. The budget process looms over everything that we are doing and people are trying to come up with ways to fill the gaps or make the cuts that will be necessary to balance our budget this year.
Richmond – Despite unfortunate setbacks this week related to Senate Republican efforts to improve the Commonwealth’s financial management process (see Wednesday, Feb. 10 press release), there are positive developments taking place in Richmond focused on the critical goal of creating jobs. Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover), co-patron of SB 472, applauds the passage of this major component of the Governor’s Jobs and Opportunities agenda.
When we think about it, the snow storms that have buffeted our region in recent weeks can remind us of something or perhaps even teach us a lesson. Almost everything in our lives has a cost, Mother Nature included.
VDOT’s snow removal budget for the year is spent. As they continue to do their best to keep our roadways safe this winter, the department will be forced to take money budgeted for other maintenance.
Bill Would Have Registered, Provided Training
For Large-Scale Voter Registration Drives
RICHMONDToday, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) expressed disappointment that, despite recent evidence of election fraud and abuses in large-scale voter registration drives, simple legislation requiring registration and online training for those managing uncommonly large registration drives was rejected on a near party-line vote in a Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Today, Senate Democrats exercised a partisan power play by using procedural tactics to defeat two bills sponsored by Republican legislators on party-line votes. The Senate voted to re-refer Senate Bills 601 and 102 to the Committee on Finance with a recommendation that they be carried over for the year. Senate Bill 601, patroned by Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), dealt with the allocation of future offshore drilling royalties. Senate Bill 102, patroned by Sen.
Senate Bill Passed By For Year To Allow
Further Deliberation and Refinement
RICHMONDToday, a bill (SB 443) introduced by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) designed to privatize Virginia's ABC stores was passed by indefinitely by the Senate Finance Committee to provide more time to work with the Governor to refine the proposal.
"I look forward to working with Governor McDonnell to develop legislation that divests the Commonwealth's liquor monopoly in a financially and socially responsible manner," said Obenshain.
This past week at the Virginia General Assembly the Senate and the House of Delegates continued their work on thousands of legislative proposals that have been filed during the 2010 Session. Several bills which I have sponsored were adopted on the Senate floor and now move to the House of Delegates for consideration.
We have all been dealing with severe weather conditions and poor road conditions for the past ten days. The Governor declared a state of emergency and the House of Delegates canceled their session on Friday. Consequently, the and the Senate held a "pro-forma" session with just a couple of Senators in attendance.I was able to meet in my office that morning with representatives from the Pew Charitable Trust, The State Board of Elections, The Attorney General and Legislative Services.