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Making government work for Virginians.

Archive for January 2008

Supporting property tax relief

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Dels. Bob Brink and Paula Miller spoke in favor of HB11 this afternoon, urging immediate property tax relief for Virginia homeowners. You can read more about the origins of the homestead exemption here and here.

Del. Brink:

Del. Miller:


Written by assemblyaccess

January 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Video

Nondiscrimination squashed

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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.

Written by assemblyaccess

January 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Audio

How to kill a bill without a vote

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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

The subcommittee also killed Del. Jim Scott’s microstamping measure, HB899 and Del. Jeion Ward’s HB810, which would require machine gun registrants to notify the State Police of a change of address.

Written by assemblyaccess

January 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Video

Gun show loophole fix killed… again

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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:

Written by assemblyaccess

January 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Audio

Tyranny of the Majority

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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.

Written by assemblyaccess

January 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Audio, Video

House Democrats pass tougher ethics laws

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For Immediate Release
January 22, 2008

House Democrats pass tougher ethics laws

Richmond, VA — Today, House Democrats led the way for stricter ethics reform in the Virginia General Assembly. A floor amendment offered by House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong received bi-partisan support and passed overwhelmingly. The amendment would ban legislators or statewide officials from attending an event from any organization that had given them a campaign contribution in the previous year.

The amendment was offered to HB322 sponsored by Delegate Chris Saxman. His legislation sought to make partisan issue with the Democratic Party of Virginia holding their annual Jefferson Jackson Day dinner during the legislative session.

Armstrong’s amendment sought to broaden that to all events held by organizations or registered lobbyists that contribute to legislators’ campaign accounts.

“Today, House Democrats led the way for tougher ethic reforms,” House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong said. “Rather than seeking to make partisan issue with one dinner, we believe there should be wholesale change in the way the legislature does business. We are glad that our Republican colleagues followed our lead.”

Delegate Kenny Alexander offered a similar amendment in the House Privileges and Elections Committee.

“It is a great day for the people of the Commonwealth because House Democrats have led the way in fighting off influence from lobbyist and other special interests groups during the legislative session,” Delegate Alexander said.


Written by assemblyaccess

January 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Press Release

Protecting Reproductive Freedom

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Del. David Englin spoke on the floor today against Del. Matt Lohr’s HB894, which would severely limit access to women’s health services.

Written by assemblyaccess

January 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Video