Legislative Update, Plus Your Help Needed on Critical Bills

Friends, I have 6 bills which have been sent to the Senate and need your help to get them passed.

HB 1397 will exempt homes from the Federal "Cap & Trade" legislation.  It has been sent to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

HB 1440 will construe the word "person" in the Code of Virginia to include unborn children.  It should be sent to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee but could be sent to Senate Education & Health which would certainly be a death knell for the bill.

HB 1457 will penalize state employees who knowingly violate Freedom of Information Act law.  This bill has been sent to the Senate General Laws Committee

HB 1458 will require that insurance companies notify beneficiaries of life insurance policies of the options available to them in writing.  This bill has bee sent to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee

HB 1721 will make the adoption of Urban Development Areas by localities optional rather than mandatory.  This bill should be sent to the Senate Local Governments Committee

HB 2236 will authorize the State Treasuerer to mint commemorative coins for sale by the Commonwealth as a means of raising funds for the Commonwealth.  This bill will likely be sent to the Senate General Laws Committee

Please contact your Senators and the members of the Senate committees to ask them to support these bills.

- Bob

Virginia House, Senate now Must Reconcile Budget Bills

TYLER WHITLEY AND JEFF E. SCHAPIRO TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERSPublished: February 26, 2010 Updated: February 26, 2010 Source: Courtesy of Richmond Times Dispatch

The House of Delegates and Virginia Senate easily approved budget bills yesterday, but the hard part, trying to reach agreement on widely different bills, lies ahead.

The two bodies now have about two weeks to fashion a budget on which they can agree before the scheduled March 13 adjournment.

After almost four hours of partisan wrangling, the House passed its budget bill 61-38, with all the Republicans and two independents voting for it and all Democrats voting against.

The Senate plowed through its budget-balancing plan in about an hour, approving the package 30-10.

"I've seen some difficult budgets but never as tough as this one," said Sen. Charles J. Colgan, D-Prince William, a 34-year veteran.

Only Republicans voted against the measure. They included two from the Richmond area, Stephen H. Martin of Chesterfield County and Ryan T. McDougle of Hanover County.

In the House, Del. Lacey E. Putney, I-Bedford, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, acknowledged the difficulty in making $4 billion in cuts to balance the budget.

"However, I believe that the budget before us today strikes a sensible balance between meeting the core commitments that we as politicians like to talk about and the burden placed on the taxpayers who must foot the bill."