Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category
This afternoon, the Appropriations subcommittee on Elementary & Secondary Education killed the second teacher pay raise measure to come before them this session: Sen. Creigh Deeds’ SB267.
Like Del. Brian Moran’s HB92, which died in the same committee last month, the bill attempted to raise Virginia’s average teacher salary to the national average.
In the audio file below, Del. Kirk Cox makes a substitute motion to kill the bill after Del. Jim Scott moves to report it:
The bill died on a party line vote, with only Dels. Scott and Mamye BaCote opposing the move. Cox was joined by GOP Dels. Clarke Hogan, Beverly Sherwood, Phil Hamilton and chairman Bob Tata.
Republicans on the House Privileges and Elections subcommittee on Elections today killed the session’s lone remaining redistricting reform measure, Sen. Creigh Deeds’ SB38 (previous House versions, HB339 and HB1070 died last month). Del. John O’Bannon made the motion to pass by indefinitely, and was joined by Dels. Chris Jones and Terrie Suit:
Shortly after, an attempt from Del. Jim Scott to revive the bill in full committee failed when the chair, Del. Mark Cole, abruptly adjourned without a motion and rushed his fellow Republicans off to caucus before a recorded vote could be taken:
Download (MP3, 2.5 MB)
Another crossover has come and gone, meaning we can finally peruse the hundreds of bills that met their demise in the dark depths of unrecorded subcommittee meetings – if they were lucky enough to even get a hearing.
You can listen to Del. Valentine present her bill below:
(The lone remaining Sudan divestment initiative, SB87, has also been referred to Appropriations.)
Del. Adam Ebbin’s HB1493, which would have added sexual orientation to Virginia’s nondiscrimination policy for state employees, was killed in a Courts of Justice subcommittee this afternoon on an unrecorded vote. The bill would have codified Gov. Tim Kaine’s first executive order.
Unfortunately, no video is available – but in the audio clip below, Del. Dave Marsden makes the motion to report, which is seconded by Del. David Toscano. Republicans swiftly voice their opposition, and the bill is defeated.
This morning, House Republicans on the Militia, Police and Public Safety committee swiftly moved to reconsider HB745, the gunshow loophole bill, before any Democrats had a chance to open up debate again.
Below, you can listen to Del. Clay Athey make his motion and immediately call for a vote, thereby avoiding any further discussion of the matter:
In a failed political maneuver on the House floor today, House Republicans attempted to subvert the traditions of the House of Delegates and refused to allow Del. Adam Ebbin to withdraw his own bill from consideration. Ebbin’s bill reached the floor via a new rule introduced by Republican leader Morgan Griffith, who was unable to think of a purpose for this scheme when asked during floor debate a scant two weeks ago:
Republicans in the House Rules committee referred the bill to the full floor with no recommendation and no input from the public. In protest, Democratic leader Ward Armstrong encouraged his colleagues to refuse to vote in an act of civil disobedience.
The GOP responded by revealing the true intentions of their tactic, forcing their will upon the minority by challenging their votes one by one. Del. Jeion Ward responds below:
Del. Griffith proceeded with the list.
You can read more here.
House Democratic leader Ward Armstrong spoke on the floor this afternoon, addressing the politically-calculated committee assignments announced by Speaker Bill Howell last night. The Washington Post , Raising Kaine and Vivian Paige have more; you can listen to Del. Armstrong’s comments below:
Download (MP3, 3.86 MB)
You can listen to today’s entire floor debate on House Democrats’ proposed rule change to require recorded subcommittee votes below.
Download (MP3 format, 9.01 MB)
Note that Del. Morgan Griffith’s statements stand in stark contrast to former Del. John Welch’s assertion last year that it’s a “great thing” that House Republicans “gave killing power to subcommittees.”
On the House floor this afternoon, embattled Del. Leo Wardrup expressed a rather keen interest in making it a criminal act to release any images taken by a traffic light photo-monitoring system (the original bill called for a civil penalty).
Now why, pray tell, would Del. Wardrup want to increase the punishment for such a thing?
During this morning’s floor session, Republican leader Morgan Griffith moved to refer SB 1327 to the Appropriations committee, which will not meet before the end of session.
In his speech, Griffith feigned outrage that there had been no debate on the bill when it came up in Commerce & Labor, apparently forgetting that he and his fellow Republicans tried to prevent the bill from ever being heard at all. We captured the whole episode last week.
You can hear Griffith attempt to explain himself – and refuse to yield to any questions – here. (MP3 file, right-click to download)
Del. Ward Armstrong spoke on the House floor this afternoon, to both praise the Senate for their progress on the transportation plan and to point out today’s rather scathing Daily Press lead editorial:
Some Republicans were labeling their road legislation with the always popular and thoroughly meaningless appellation of “omnibus” – a gathering together, you know.
What a hoot. Omnibus debacle is more like it. It’s big-time borrowing on a not-altogether solid basis. It’s “instructing” local governments to raise taxes, because state legislators prefer not to do so themselves… Worst, it’s building roads on the back of the state general fund.
Del. Bob Marshall, after a busy week tailing the president of William & Mary, returned to his usual extremism on the House floor today and tried to slip an irrelevant, invasive floor amendment on to Sen. Edd Houck’s SB 1112.
Interestingly, it was Republican Del. Phil Hamilton who questioned its relevance, and Speaker Bill Howell who ruled it not germane.
Marshall, it seems, is so far gone that he’s now alienating his own party.
You can listen to the full exchange here. (MP3 file, right-click to download)
This afternoon, Del. Tim Hugo rose from his seat on the House floor to embark on a lengthy speech against Del. Chuck Caputo’s budget amendment to provide $225,560 for Best Buddies International. He proceeded to mock any legislators who dared to vote against diverting the general fund into anything but transportation projects, saying that he, on the other hand, is “into consistency.”
Really? As previously pointed out, Del. Hugo’s a frequent floor-flipper, so we wondered how “consistent” he’s been on other matters.
Del. Hugo claims his main priority is transportation – but of the thirteen meetings held during his short term on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (July 2004 – September 2005), he attended precisely two before asking to be removed from the board in a letter to Speaker Howell. That’s a 15% attendance record.
As for general fund spending, Hugo patroned or co-patroned non-transportation budget items to the tune of $19 million. And that’s only counting last year.
Top that all off with his vote for the GOP transportation plan, which plenty of Republicans seem to think is at odds with their Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and you’ve just got to ask: consistency? What consistency?
With the chaos of crossover done with, today’s floor sessions were relatively uneventful – save for a visit to both chambers from Southwest Virginia native Billy Wagner, now an all-star relief pitcher for the New York Mets.
Del. Jim Shuler speaks in support of stem cell research during today’s floor debate. (MP3 file, right-click to download)
Del. Mark Sickles speaks in support of stem cell research during today’s floor debate. (MP3 file, right-click to download)
Del. Jim Scott speaks in support of stem cell research during today’s floor debate. (MP3 file, right-click to download)
Del. Ward Armstrong spoke on the House floor today, urging his fellow delegates not give up on finding a transportation solution.