Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
The House of Delegates held a “marathon 10 a.m.-to-7 p.m. floor session” on crossover eve last night, acting on dozens of bills now being passed to the State Senate.
Yet, oddly, Del. Chris Saxman’s name disappears from the recorded votes taken after 5:45 PM. Saxman missed votes on immigration measures (HB1298), child safety initiatives (HB1250) – even a resolution creating Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Day.
So where’d he go?
Turns out Saxman was about 15 minutes down Interstate 64, at the Virginia Aviation Museum for a John McCain rally. Check out the video below:
Yes, this is the same Del. Saxman who wants to limit legislators from attending political events during session.
In a response to Del. Scott Lingamfelter on the House floor today, Del. Brian Moran spoke in defense of HB1189, Alicia’s Law, which would increase funding for anti-child-exploitation law-enforcement efforts. Lingamfelter had questioned why protecting Virginia kids from sexual predators should be a budget priority.
If you’d like to check Del. Lingamfelter’s budget priorities, you can see a sampling of his budget amendment items here and here (scroll down). You can also click here for more information on the importance of Alicia’s Law.
UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Virginia Politics blog covers the exchange here.
House Republicans today defeated a floor amendment offered by Democratic leader Ward Armstrong to HB1318, which would have specified that monies deposited in the Virginia Taxpayer Surplus Relief Fund be designated for middle-class tax relief.
In the video below, Del. Scott Lingamfelter opposes the amendment, explaining that tax relief should be reserved for the wealthy.
On a party line vote today, House Republicans defeated a measure introduced by Del. Bob Brink that would eliminate a new rule that allows the majority to bypass public input and committees of expertise and put bills of their choosing directly on the floor (as they did last month).
You can watch Del. Brink explain his rules change below:
Del. Kris Amundson spoke on the floor yesterday, reminding her fellow Delegates that they serve the people, not the other way around.
Apparently, Republicans weren’t listening – immediately afterward, they booed a group of high school students visiting from Charlottesville.
After dispatching several gun safety measures last week, the Firearms subcommittee of Militia, Police, and Public Safety met again last night. Their first victim was Del. Chuck Caputo’s HB734, which would prohibit guns in public libraries. With only three members present – Republicans Tommy Wright, Scott Lingamfelter, and Morgan Griffith – the measure died when no one made a motion.
Del. Caputo’s HB746, which would keep guns out of child day care centers, met the same fate shortly after.
House Republicans are supposedly big fans of “proportional representation,” but their math skills must have failed them when handing out assignments for the Firearms subcommittee of Militia, Police, and Public Safety. The group’s lone Democrat is Del. David Poisson; the other 80% is comprised of GOP Delegates Tommy Wright, Morgan Griffith, Scott Lingamfelter and Dave Nutter.
As such, members don’t even have to vote against a bill to kill it – if no one seconds a motion to report, the bill simply dies right then and there.
In the videos below, Del. Poisson motions to report two bills pertaining to protective orders and firearms, which both promptly die when no one offers a second:
- HB281 (HB608 was also rolled into this bill), which would prohibit someone with a protective order issued against them from possessing a firearm
- HB814, which would help inform law enforcement if someone subject to a protective order is in possession of a firearm
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.
Del. David Englin spoke on the floor today against Del. Matt Lohr’s HB894, which would severely limit access to women’s health services.
Del. Jeion Ward spoke on the floor today in opposition to Del. Bob Marshall’s HB188, which would delay the implementation of Virginia’s HPV vaccination program.
In a predawn subcommittee meeting this morning, House Republicans killed Del. Ken Plum’s HB339 – one of several redistricting reform measures before the General Assembly this session – on an unrecorded voice vote.
In the video below, Del. Plum concludes his remarks, Del. Bob Brink motions to report the bill, and Del. John O’Bannon makes a substitute motion to lay the bill on the table. He was joined by Dels. Chris Jones, Terrie Suit, and Rob Bell; Dels. Brink and Rosalyn Dance opposed the tabling.
You can read more about redistricting reform at www.fixthelines.com
For Immediate Release
January 15, 2008
Richmond, VA-House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian Moran was joined by Delegate Joe Bouchard and House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong to propose a military veterans & personnel bill of rights for those serving honorably in the armed services.
The bill is sponsored by House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian Moran and Delegate Joe Bouchard (HB 1193). This year’s effort will protect financial security for Virginians activated in our armed services, provide additional life insurance benefits for our veterans, decrease tax costs of service and protect service members from credit fraud. They also announced support for new mental health initiatives for our returning soldiers.
The four point bill would:
• Expand supplemental pay to any state employee who is on active military duty.
• Allow National Guard to participate in the group state government life insurance program
• Provide an income tax exemption for Guard and Reservists activated to service.
• Authorize members of the armed services and their spouses to freeze access to their credit reports.
They also announced their support for a proposal from the Joint Military Leadership Council to create a wounded warrior center for Virginia veterans with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other concerns.
“The men and women serving honorably overseas deserve our support at home,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Brian Moran said. “In trying times, Virginia must serve those who serve our Commonwealth and our country. This bill of rights expands protections for our services members, ensures their financial security and financial future, and protects them from fraud.”
“Having served and been a leader in the US Navy, I have seen how our soldiers and sailors serve with distinction and honor. They are entitled to all the support they can receive from the Commonwealth and from Washington,” Delegate Joe Bouchard said.
House Democratic leaders proposed a Veterans’ Bill of Rights during the 2007 fall elections. This legislation would be the first step towards achieving those goals.
“This November, we campaigned on taking care of our soldiers, seniors and middle class families in need. We plan on keeping our word to fight for middle class Virginians,” House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong said.
Del. Kris Amundson spoke on the floor today, urging the House to focus on real solutions for Virginians as the General Assembly session progresses. You can watch the video or read the transcript below.
Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House, like many of you, I had the opportunity to go home over the weekend. It was good to be back in familiar territory.
I did speak to a number of people who didn’t have a really clear idea of what’s going on down here. Partly that’s because we haven’t done as good a job of teaching about the whole separation of powers thing as we might – I did have to tell several people that no, I personally wouldn’t be voting to invade Iran.
And of course partly it could be because if the Washington Post is your daily newspaper, serving in the General Assembly is akin to joining the witness protection program.
But mostly, people talked to me about real problems. They’re worried about the cost of health care. They’re worried about whether they can afford college tuition – or if there will be space for their kids to enroll in a Virginia college or university.
In Northern Virginia, they’re worried about real estate taxes that keep going up, even while the value of their home seems to be dropping. They’re worried about congestion on their roads.
Now, Mr. Speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the House, we have a real opportunity and a real privilege. Because during the next 55 days, we can take action on all those problems.
We can spend our time focusing on this kind of legislation-and there are good bills on these issues introduced by people on both sides of the aisle.
Or we can focus on things that really don’t matter in the lives of Virginians. We can get ourselves wrapped around the axle on the issues that divide us . . . rather than the problems that confront us.
Our plea as House Democrats is for all of us to remember who sent us here . . . and why. Let’s work for real solutions for Virginians.
During today’s floor session, Del. Mark Cole motioned to remove Del. Jennifer McClellan’s HJR 144 from the uncontested block of resolutions, so House Republicans could vote against it on an unrecorded voice vote instead. The resolution commends the Richmond Gay Community Foundation. You can watch Del. Cole’s motion and the subsequent voice vote in the video below:
Sen. Phil Puckett also posed an interesting question to his colleagues – how could the transportation plan be called a “compromise” when he was excluded from the meetings of his fellow conferees?
The debate on the final GOP transportation plan for transportation is still unfolding in the General Assembly, but already some contrasts are becoming clear.
For example, compare Sen. Russ Potts’ speech (below) with Del. Jeff Frederick’s absence on the most important vote to his constituents this year.