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Our take on Matters Before the Virginia General Assembly
Posted on Tuesday, January 17 @ 06:39:20 MST by editor

Virginia General Assembly Updates

 

 

Legislative Update 1-16-2017

 

 

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SB 837 has been referred to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, and is on the docket for Tuesday, (1/17/2017), at 4:00 p.m. in Senate room A. Please, give these Senate committee members a call or an email TODAY in support for this bill!

 

Senate Privileges and Elections Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I.  WE SUPPORT THESE BILLS

 

 

       Inverse Condemnation

 

SB 1153 Inverse condemnation proceeding; reimbursement of owner’s costs.

 

Directs the court to reimburse a plaintiff for the costs of an inverse condemnation proceeding for "damaging" property if a judgment is entered for the plaintiff. Under current law, the court is directed to award costs only for the "taking" of property. The change made in this bill corresponds with the language of amendments to Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia, which became effective on January 1, 2013.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/09/17  Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

 

SB 1153 conforms the Virginia Code to the 2012 Property Rights Amendment, expanding the point at which reimbursements are awarded to include property damage; thereby eliminating an Equal Protection concern that currently exists. This bill is currently in the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice, but was not on the Committee’s docket for the meeting this morning. The Committee will meet again on Wednesday shortly after adjournment in Senate Room B.

 

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       “Quick Take” Condemnation Proceedings

 

HB 2024 Condemnation powers and proceedings; imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.

 

Provides that "quick take" condemnation proceedings are available for use only when a court determines that the use of such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/10/17  House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

 

HB 2024 requires that public entities allowed to exercise eminent domain gain judicial approval before engaging “quick-take” condemnation proceedings. This bill ensures that these types of proceedings will only occur if “such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare. Currently, this bill has been referred to the House Committee for Courts and Justice, but has not yet made it to sub-committee. This Committee meeting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 30 minutes after adjournment in the House Room C. As of now Monday and Wednesday has been dedicated to sub-committee meetings, but we will keep a sharp eye on this bill for potential movement on Friday.

 

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       Recorded Vote

 

HB 1677 General Assembly; introduction of legislation; recorded vote.

 

Requires all legislation introduced by a member of the House of Delegates or the Senate to be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof and receive a recorded vote. All legislation reported from the house of introduction shall be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof in the other chamber and receive a recorded vote.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/06/17  House: Referred to Committee on Rules

 

HB 1677 is very cut and dry, all committee and sub-committee votes, whether in the House or Senate, be counted and recorded. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Rules, but has not yet made it to sub-committee.

 

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       Electoral Votes Allocation

 

HB 1425, SB 837 President and Vice President electors; allocation of electoral votes by congressional district.

 

Revises the process by which the Commonwealth's electoral votes are allocated among the slates of presidential electors. The bill provides that a voter will vote for two electors for the Commonwealth at large and one elector for the congressional district in which he is qualified to vote. The candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast statewide are allocated the two electoral votes for the Commonwealth at large, and the candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast in each congressional district are allocated the one electoral vote for that congressional district. Currently, the candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast statewide are allocated the total number of the Commonwealth's electoral votes.

Status: (We support these bills)

11/03/16  House: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

01/10/17  House: Assigned P & E sub: Elections

 

11/15/16  Senate: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

 

HB 1425 and SB 837 bring the power of our Republic back to the local level by ensuring that each district’s elector goes to the candidate which the district has chosen. This bill is an effective measure against the popular vote craze that has been sweeping the nation since Donald Trump won the electoral college.  The House bill is currently in the House Privileges and Elections Sub-Committee, which meets Tuesday, 1/17/2017, morning at 7:00 a.m. in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room. HB 1425 is not currently on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. The Senate bill is on the docket for Tuesday’s Senate Privileges and Elections Committee meeting, at 4:00 p.m. in Senate Room A.

 

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       Supervising Regulatory Boards

 

HB 1566 Professions and occupations; active supervision of regulatory boards.

 

Establishes a statewide policy for the regulation of professions and occupations specifying criteria for government regulation with the objective of increasing opportunities, promoting competition, encouraging innovation, protecting consumers, and complying with applicable federal antitrust laws. In addition, the bill establishes a process for the active supervision of state regulatory boards pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, in which the Court held that a state regulatory board that includes active market participants among its board membership must be actively supervised by the state in order for such board and its members to be entitled to immunity for federal antitrust violations.

 

Status: (We support this bill)

01/01/17  House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

01/11/17  House: Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #4

 

HB 1566 requires that regulatory commissions which include active market participants, e.g. doctors who are on the board of health, must be actively supervised to ensure that regulations and restrictions are not subject to anti-trust liability. This bill seeks to ensure that regulations such as inspections, professional certifications and registrations, and occupational licensing are not being used to limit competition and hinder free entry into the market. The bill also provides for the immediate review of all new regulations as well as a review of all past occupational regulations to be completed in 5 years. This bill is currently in House General Laws Sub-Committee #4, meeting on Thursday in House Room C, but an agenda for this sub-committee has not yet been posted.

 

 

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II.  WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS

 

 

       Farm Inspections and Penalties

 

SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.

 

Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/10/17  Senate: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

 

SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. The bill also creates the Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund where these fines, and subsequent interest, will be interred for the express purposes of financing the wages, and expenditures of the inspectors. Amazing! This bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee, which meets on Thursday shortly after adjournment in Senate Room B, but has not yet made it to sub-committee. The docket has not yet been released for Thursday’s meeting. 

 

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       National Popular Vote Compact

 

HB 1482 Presidential electors; National Popular Vote Compact.

 

Enters Virginia into an interstate compact known as the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. Article II of the United States Constitution gives the states exclusive and plenary authority to decide the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact. A state may withdraw from the compact; however, a withdrawal occurring within six months of the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President has qualified to serve the next term.

 

Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

12/13/16  House: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

01/10/17  House: Assigned P & E sub: Elections

 

HB 1482 is the exact opposite of HB 1425, allotting the Commonwealth’s electors to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. To be crystal clear, this means that if 100% of Virginians voted for Candidate A, and the five largest cities in American voted for Candidate B, then Virginia’s electors would be legally bound to vote for Candidate B. This bill has been referred to the House P&E sub-committee, which meets tomorrow, Tuesday (1/17/2017) at 7:00 a.m., but HB 1482 is not currently on the agenda for tomorrow.

 

 

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To find your legislator, please follow this link:

 

Who is my legislator?

 

 

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