For Immediate Release
February 13, 2009
House Republican Record of Accomplishment
~House Republicans Prove They Can Do Something Well – Kill Commonsense Bills~
Richmond, VA – Today the House Democratic Caucus released a list of bills introduced by Democratic members that failed to pass the Republican-controlled House during the 2009 legislative session. Many of the listed bills were not passed out of committee and some received no hearing at all. It is the prerogative of Committee Chairmen to decide which bills the committee considers and which go unheard.
“The Republican majority in the House of Delegates reminds me of a black hole,” said Democratic Caucus Chair Ken Plum, “Good bills go in, but they don’t come out. This session Delegates from both parties have introduced a number of bills aimed at improving the lives of Virginians. Unfortunately, for the legislators with a ‘D’ next to their name, even the best bills seem to enter the “Party of No” black hole, never to be seen again.
“As we begin the second half of the 2009 session, Democrats are going to continue to work for results for Virginia. I look forward to working with members of both caucuses to solve the problems we face as a Commonwealth, and I urge my Republican colleagues to put politics aside and work across the aisle to keep Virginia moving forward.”
Below is a partial list of bills, grouped by category, proposed by members of the House Democratic Caucus that failed to pass the House:
CREATING JOBS AND INVESTING IN VIRGINIA
- HB2439 (Del. Poisson – Ashburn) would have offered tax incentives for businesses hiring honorably discharged veterans.
- HB2374 (Del. Englin – Alexandria) would have given an income tax credit to businesses that create jobs related to renewable alternative energies. Neither one was heard in committee.
- HJ742 (Del. Hall – Richmond) would have established a two-year study to develop a strategic plan that aims to reduce the poverty rates, especially in those jurisdictions with rates above the state average.
- HJ727 (Del. Bouchard – Virginia Beach) would have investigated ways to combat homelessness among Virginia’s veterans.
FIGHTING FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
- HB2588 (Del. Englin – Alexandria) would have eliminated the food tax and cut taxes for low income Virginians and small businesses.
- HB2196 (Del. Watts – Fairfax) would have granted an income tax deduction for certified nursing assistants and home health aides who provide Medicare-authorized home health or long-term care services to individuals in their homes.
- HB2512 (Del. Marsden – Fairfax) would have ensured that Virginia Military Family Relief Fund benefits would not be taxed.
- HB2195 (Del. Watts – Fairfax) would have given tax credits to families who care for a mentally or physically impaired relative.
- HB2522 (Del. Nichols – Woodbridge) would have allowed employers with fewer than 50 employees to participate in the state health insurance plan.
- HB1903 (Del. Armstrong – Martinsville) would have prevented Virginia merchants from charging unconscionable prices for necessary goods during a shortage.
- HB1997, HB1959 and HB1960 (Del. Bulova – Fairfax and Del. Mathieson – Virginia Beach) would have expanded access to Virginia’s Line of Duty act and make sure that public safety employees and their families receive full benefits to cope with the sacrifices they’ve made for us.
- HB1093 (Del. Sickles – Fairfax) would have prohibited lenders from making a low-document, no-document, or stated-document mortgage loan unless they verified a borrower’s stated income.
- HB77 (Del. Toscano – Albemarle) would have expanded the recordation tax exemption for certain nonprofit providers of affordable housing.
STENGTHENING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
- HB1608 (Del. Poisson – Ashburn) would have granted Virginia veterans who graduated at the top of their class automatic acceptance to in-state colleges, was defeated in committee with an unrecorded vote.
- HB2295 (Del. Caputo – Fairfax) would have increased two-year college transfer grants, was also left to languish in committee.
BROADENING ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT
- HB2496, HB2301, HB1620, HB1621, HB1894, HB2307; HB1988, HB2110, HB2113; HB1644 (Multiple Patrons) Yet again, the House Republican majority quickly disposed of legislation to expand access to absentee voting and create a nonpartisan redistricting process. Democrats proposed a variety of no-excuse absentee voting and early voting measures in order to help assure that working men and women won’t be disenfranchised and ease the workload of local registrars. All were defeated in subcommittee.
- HJ677, HJ623, HJ182, HJ628, HJ623 (Multiple Patrons) The GOP majority also squashed efforts to restore voting rights to former offenders who have paid their debt to society.
- HJ702, HB1793, HB1685 (Multiple Patrons) House Democrats patroned several measures to broaden input into the re-districting process through either bipartisan or nonpartisan means – ensuring that voters choose their representatives, not the other way around. Unfortunately, all were again defeated before so much as reaching the House floor.
- HJ668 (Del. Shannon – Vienna) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the legislature and state agences and recommend money saving improvements,.
- HJ676 (Del. Armstrong – Martinsvile) would have directred JLARC to review the effectiveness of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission in its efforts in meeting its strategic plans and goals. Since its inception, the tobacco commission has never been audited.
MEETING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
- HJ675, HJ704, HJ682, HB2387 (Multiple Patrons) The Republican majority defeated a variety of home energy and conservation measures this session, as well as further efforts to ensure new public buildings are as green as possible.
- HB2157 (Del. Toscano – Albemarle) would have required all biodiesel sold in Virginia to contain at least 2% biodiesel by 2011.
- HB2235 (Del. Valentine – Lynchburg) would have created a clean energy manufacturing grant program, in order to provide financial incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble equipment, systems, or products used to produce renewable energy, nuclear energy, or energy efficiency products.
- HJ682 (Del. Vanderhye – McLean) would have directed the Virginia Department of Taxation to recommend options for restructuring the residential electric consumption tax to promote energy efficiency while remaining revenue neutral.