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Archive for February 2008

Republicans opt for rhetoric over reality

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During today’s floor session, House Republicans attempted to trump up Sen. Donald McEachin’s alternative dispute resolution measure, SB161, as an assault on Virginia’s Right to Work law.

In response, Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong introduced a floor amendment explicitly clarifying that the bill would not “affect, diminish, or repeal” the Right to Work law, in order to assuage any real concerns:

Republican Leader Morgan Griffith countered with some rather counterintuitive logic, saying that putting something into the Code of Virginia doesn’t make it law. Go figure.

In any case, the bill was only before the House in the first place as a purely political move, since the Republican leadership used their new rules gimmick to bring it directly to the floor without a recommendation. In the video below (taken earlier this week), the House Rules committee defeats Del. Kris Amundson’s motion to report SB161 as usual, prompting Del. Armstrong to express his ongoing concern with bypassing committees of expertise:

Unfortunately, House Republicans again opted for rhetoric and political gamesmanship over real solutions. SB161 died on a party-line vote.

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Written by assemblyaccess

February 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Posted in Video

House GOP shoots the messenger

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Dels. Ward Armstrong and Brian Moran spoke on the House floor yesterday, further addressing the House GOP’s questionable math when it comes to funding public education in coming years.

The nonpartisan Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found that the Republicans’ budget methodology would result in “$227 million less in state aid to localities for teachers’ salaries,” a change the Roanoke Times today calls a “flimflam.”

Written by assemblyaccess

February 29, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Video

House GOP reduces per-pupil spending

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Revisions to the Standard of Quality methodology proposed by House Republicans would drastically reduce per-pupil spending in schools across the Commonwealth. You can see the reductions by school district on our interactive map here.

In the video below, Del. Kris Amundson explains her concerns with the new funding formula:

Written by assemblyaccess

February 27, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Links, Video

Teacher salary increase thwarted… again

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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.

Written by assemblyaccess

February 26, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Audio

Full House video now available

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No thanks to the Republican majority, who have repeatedly refused to broadcast floor sessions for a variety of dubious reasons, Richmond Sunlight now offers a full archive of video to accompany this year’s House Minutes.

Written by assemblyaccess

February 26, 2008 at 11:06 am

Posted in Links

Michael Powell: House actions “reprehensible”

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Michael Powell – former member of the Bush administration, son of Colin Powell, and certainly no stranger to battles over taste and decency – currently serves as the Rector of the College of William and Mary, and as such is heavily involved in the ongoing brouhaha over former College president Gene Nichol.

Last month, Republicans called four nominees to the College’s Board of Visitors to come before the House Privileges and Elections Committee, where they answered questions for about an hour and a half.

Powell’s diagnosis?

“There are aspects of the General Assembly’s behavior that are reprehensible.” (AP, 2/22/08)

Perhaps Powell felt that time could have been better spent on redistricting reform, closing the gun show loophole, or immediate property tax relief, all of which received cursory (if any) deliberation in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates.

Written by assemblyaccess

February 25, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Links

House GOP too extreme for… Bob Marshall?

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Republican Del. Bob Marshall attempted to introduce an unwelcome floor amendment to yesterday’s budget, incurring the wrath of his own caucus in the process.

As Marshall introduced the measure to the Clerk’s desk, Del. Steve Landes moved to take a vote immediately. Upon Speaker Bill Howell’s ruling that the motion had been properly made, Del. Marshall appealed the ruling of the Chair and lamented the Republican-controlled House’s loss of “decency” and “comity.”

Written by assemblyaccess

February 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Video