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Virginia Key Legislation –  2024

Democracy

  • House Democrats Blocked A Bill From A House Republican Lawmaker  To Shorten Virginia’s Early Voting Period From 45 Days To 30 Days. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 44, 1/22/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Blocked A Bill Introduced By A House Republican Lawmaker To Repeal No-Excuse Absentee Voting, Publish Monthly Lists Of Newly Registered Voters,  And Repeal The Permanent Absentee Voter List. [Cardinal News, 1/10/24] [Virginia General Assembly, HB 393, 1/22/24
  • Democratic Lawmakers Blocked A Bill Introduced By A Republican Senator To Require Photo ID To Vote In Virginia [Virginia  General Assembly, SB 45, prefiled 12/19/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Blocked A Bill Introduced By A Republican Senator To Roll Back Early Voting From 45 Days Before An Election To The Three-Week Period Immediately Preceding An Election. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 42, prefiled 12/18/23]

The Economy

  • House And Senate Democrats Passed  A Bill To Increase Virginia’s Minimum Wage To $13.50 Per Hour Beginning In 2025, Sending The Bill To The Governor. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 1, passed Senate 2/23/24]
    • The Governor Vetoed The Bill. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 1, vetoed 3/28/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed Legislation To Create A Universal Paid Family And Medical Leave Program That Now Heads To The Governor. [Virginia Mercury, 1/29/24] [Virginia General Assembly, SB 373, Senate passed House substitute 2/28/24]

Education

  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed  A Bill To Provide Free School Meals For All Public School Students Sending The Bill To The Governor. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 283, House substitute agreed by Senate, 3/5/24]

Gun Safety 

  • Democratic Lawmakers  Passed A Bill To Ban The Sale Of Assault Weapons. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 2, Senate substitute passed House 3/1/24]
    • The Governor Vetoed The Bill. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 2, vetoed 3/26/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Bill To Close The “Boyfriend Loophole” By Creating A Misdemeanor For Purchasing Or Possessing A Gun After Being Convicted Of Assault And Battery Against A Partner. [Virginia Scope, 2/5/24] [Virginia General Assembly, SB 642, enrolled 2/28/24]
    • The Governor Vetoed The Bill. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 642, vetoed 3/26/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Blocked A Bill Introduced By A Senate Republican To Expand A Concealed Handgun Permit To A Concealed Weapons Permit, Allowing A Permit-Holder To Carry A Wide Range Of Other Weapons, Including Various Knives, Machetes, Nunchaku And Throwing Stars. [Cardinal News, 1/10/24] [Virginia General Assembly, SB 82, 1/22/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed  A Bill To Hold Parents Accountable If A Child Used Their Firearm. [Virginia Scope, 12/19/23] [Virginia General Assembly, HB 36, final passage  3/1/24]
    • The Governor Signed The Bill. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 36, signed 3/26/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Bill To Require A Five-Day Waiting Period For Firearms Purchases. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 273, final passage 2/21/24]
    • The Governor Vetoed The Bill. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 273, vetoed 3/26/24]

LGBTQ+

  • Lawmakers In The House And Senate Passed Legislation To Enshrine The Legality Of Same-Sex Marriage In Virginia Law, Even If The Supreme Court Overturned Obergefell. [Virginia Mercury, 2/21/24] [Virginia General Assembly, HB 174, passed 2/19/24]
    • The Governor Signed The Bill Into Law. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 174, signed 3/8/24]

Reproductive Rights

  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed Bills To Establish A Right To Contraception. [Associated Press, 2/15/24] [Virginia General Assembly, HB 609, final passage 2/28/24]  [Virginia General Assembly, SB 237, final passage 2/27/24]
  • House Democratic Lawmakers Blocked A Republican Bill To Ban Abortion After Conception With The Exception Of Saving The Mother’s Life. [Virginia General Assembly, HB 1364, introduced 1/15/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed  A Bill To Prohibit Extradition Of Out-Of-State People Accessing Reproductive Care In Virginia, Sending The Bill To The Governor. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 15, final passage 2/27/24]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed  A Bill To Prohibit The Issuance Of Search Warrants For Menstrual Health Data Stored On Computers Or Period-Tracking Apps, Sending The Bill To The Governor. [Virginia General Assembly, SB 16, enrolled 2/28/24]

Virginia Key Legislation –  2023

Climate

      • Senate Republicans Introduced A Bill To Repeal The Clean Energy And Community Flood Preparedness Act. “Senate Bill 1001 (introduced by Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Westmoreland) would repeal the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act, the statute that propelled Virginia into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Participation in RGGI is the vehicle by which utilities buy allowances to emit carbon pollution. Under RGGI, the number of allowances available declines every year, and Virginia’s power sector would reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030. The allowance auctions have already raised hundreds of millions of dollars that by law must be used for low-income energy efficiency programs and flood resilience projects. A similar bill failed last year, and Senate Democrats have pledged to block the effort again. Meanwhile, Gov. Glenn Youngkin is trying to withdraw Virginia from RGGI administratively, a move that former Attorney General Mark Herring ruled wasn’t legal.” [Virginia Mercury, Commentary, 1/18/23]
        • SB 1001 Was Passed By Indefinitely In Committee. [SB 1001, passed by 1/24/23]
      • House Republicans Passed A Bill To Roll Back Emissions Standards; The Bill Was Blocked In The Senate. “The last surviving bill from Republicans aimed at rolling back a Virginia law tying the state to emissions standards set by California that will ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 reached the end of the road Tuesday. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee voted 8-7 along party lines to defeat the bill from Del. Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham. Wilt’s legislation previously passed the House of Delegates along party lines.” [Virginia Mercury, 2/14/23]

Democracy

      • The House Of Delegates Passed Several Bills To Tighten Voting Laws, Including Banning Drop Boxes And Limiting Early Voting. “The Republican-led House of Delegates passed several bills Thursday to tighten voting laws in Virginia. Delegates voted along party lines Thursday to ban ballot drop boxes and shorten the period for voting early in person to two weeks, mainly symbolic votes as both bills will likely meet a swift end in the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate. Democrats have used their majority in the state Senate to block past efforts from Republican state lawmakers to overhaul Virginia’s voting rules.” [WRIC, 1/26/23]
      • The Virginia Senate Voted Down Multiple Measures, Including A Voter ID Requirement And Limit Early Voting. “The Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections Committee — made up of nine Democrats and six Republicans — rejected bills Tuesday that would require voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot and cut down the 45-day window for early voting.” [WRIC, 1/18/23]

The Economy

      • The Republican-Majority Virginia House Voted Down Tax Credit Legislation For Low-Income Families. “A top Democratic priority for the 2023 General Assembly, a tax credit for lower-income families, died in the GOP-led House of Delegates’ tax credits subcommittee Monday on a party-line vote. The bill, sponsored by Del. Cia Price, D-Newport News, said the state’s $300 income tax credit for households with income at or below the federal poverty line — $18,310 for a couple, $27,750 for a family of four — should be fully refundable.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/23/23]
      • The Democratic-Majority Virginia Senate Blocked Two Tax Cut Bills. “Democrats in the Virginia Senate have unceremoniously put an end to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s plan to cut corporate and income tax rates. The two bills, one to cut the top income tax rate by 0.25% and one to cut the corporate tax rate by 1%, passed the Republican-controlled House of Delegates last week. The proposals have been a key part of Youngkin’s budget proposals this year, but faced heavy opposition from Democrats who criticized them as corporate handouts.” [WRIC, 1/31/23]
      • The Senate Passed SB 1101, A Bill To Set Up A Universal Paid Family Medical Leave Program. [Virginia Mercury, 2/8/23; SB 1101, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/8/23]
        • SB 1101 Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 1101, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]
      • The Republican-Majority House Passed A Budget Including $1 Billion In Tax Cuts. “This year’s fight over the Virginia state budget took shape Thursday as a stark choice: $1 billion in tax cuts at a time when residents are coping with a tough economy, or the same amount in spending for underfunded programs, especially state schools. Republicans who control the House of Delegates passed a budget package that boosts spending in some areas while giving Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) the tax cuts he requested, on top of the $4 billion in tax cuts approved last year.” [Washington Post, 2/9/23]
        • The House Budget Cut Corporate Taxes And The Top Marginal Tax Rate. “In line with Youngkin’s proposals, the House approved cutting the corporate tax rate to 5 percent from 6 percent, at a cost of some $362 million for the two-year period. The House also accepted Youngkin’s recommendations to increase the standard income tax deduction to $9,000 for individuals and $18,000 for married couples, from $8,500 and $17,000; lower the top marginal tax rate to 5.5 percent from 5.75 percent; create a qualified business income tax deduction of 10 percent; and other tax cuts that bring the overall total to about $1 billion.” [Washington Post, 2/9/23]
      • The Democratic-Majority Senate Passed A Budget Without The House’s Tax Cuts And Included Additional Funding For Schools. “Democrats who control the Senate passed a plan that features a huge boost in funding for schools and social programs — and none of the new tax cuts. […] The Senate version is the most generous with direct aid to local school divisions, boosting funding by more than $1 billion, compared with nearly $383 million in the House plan and $321 million in Youngkin’s, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.”  [Washington Post, 2/9/23]
      • Lawmakers In The House And Senate Failed To Come To An Agreement On A Budget Before The End Of The Legislative Session. “The Virginia General Assembly ended its legislative session Saturday without reaching agreement on sweeping changes to the state budget, leaving both tax cuts and massive new spending on the table as Republicans and Democrats couldn’t break a late deadlock over priorities.” [Washington Post, 2/25/23]
        • Legislators Approved Some Patchwork Funding And Could Still Return To A Special Session If Negotiators Came To An Agreement. “Instead, lawmakers approved spending some $250 million to patch an accidental shortfall in revenue for local school systems around the state, caused by a glitch in the state’s tool for calculating education funding. Senators and delegates also passed a handful of technical fixes to the two-year spending plan related to the state retirement system and to a mandatory rainy day fund. But otherwise, they punted. […] They could yet reconsider. If negotiators are able to come up with an agreement, Youngkin could summon the legislature back to Richmond for a special session to take up budget items.” [Washington Post, 2/25/23]

Gun Safety 

      • The Democratic-Majority Virginia Senate Passed Two Firearm Safety Bills, One Banning The Sale Of Ghost Guns And Another Banning The Open Carry Of Assault Weapons. “Virginia senators passed two bills nearly along party lines that impose new restrictions on guns, but neither is likely to make it through the Republican-led House of Delegates. The state Senate voted 22-17 along party lines to ban the sale of so-called ghost guns — homemade firearms without serial numbers typically assembled using 3D printers — or the components used to build one. […] The 40-member chamber then passed a bill to prohibit people from carrying certain assault weapons in public on a 21-18 vote, with state Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) siding with Republicans in opposition.” [WRIC, 1/30/23
        • SB 1181, The Bill To Ban The Sale Of Ghost Guns, Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 1181, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]
        • SB 1192, The Ban On Carrying Assault Weapons In Public, Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 1192, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]
      • The Democratic-Majority Senate Passed An Assault Weapons Ban. “Senate Bill 1382 would ban the sale, transfer or possession of new assault firearms, specifically those manufactured after the proposed effect date for the new law, July 1. The measure would grandfather assault weapons already in legal possession. The bill would prohibit anyone younger than 21 from possessing assault firearms, regardless of the date of manufacture. It also would ban the sale of large-capacity magazines to anyone.” [Washington Post, 2/7/23]
        • SB 1382, The Bill To Ban Assault Weapons, Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 1382, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]
      • The Senate Passed A Safe Storage Bill.  “The Senate has passed several restrictions on guns, including: […] Senate Bill 901 would require that anyone leaving a handgun in an unattended motor vehicle lock the vehicle.” [Washington Post, 2/7/23]
        • SB 901 Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 901, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]
      • The Senate Passed A Bill That Would Allow People Who Felt Harmed By The Gun Industry To Sue In Court. “The Senate has passed several restrictions on guns, including: […] Senate Bill 1167, which seeks to establish ‘reasonable controls’ or standards for companies that manufacture and sell firearms, allowing people who feel harmed by the industry to sue in civil court.” [Washington Post, 2/7/23]
        • SB 1167 Was Killed By A House Subcommittee. [SB 1167, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]
      • Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) Introduced A Bill That Would Require Firearms To Include Microstamping.“In the House of Delegates, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) has introduced a bill that has sparked some interest from Republicans. Her H.B. 1788 would require dealers to sell firearms that have been microstamped, a type of technology that puts an identifying mark on rounds fired so they can be traced back to a particular weapon. Some GOP members have expressed openness to that concept.” [Washington Post, 1/13/2023]
        • HB 1788 Was Left In Committee. [HB 1788, 2/7/23]
      • A House of Delegates Republican-Majority Subcommittee Killed A Bill That Would Have Strengthened Gun Laws On College Campuses. “Republicans in the House of Delegates have killed a bill that would have strengthened gun laws on college campuses in the wake of the deadly Nov. 13 shooting at the University of Virginia. The proposed law would have made carrying a firearm on school grounds a Class 1 misdemeanor and allow law enforcement to obtain a search warrant when it believes firearms are possessed illegally in university buildings. The bill passed the state Senate on Feb. 7 in a 23-17 vote, with Republican Emmett W. Hanger Jr. of Mount Solon crossing party lines to vote with the chamber’s Democrats. It was tabled by the House Public Safety Subcommittee in a 6-4 party-line vote on Feb. 9.” [Daily Progress, 2/20/23] [SB 1484, House Subcommittee Vote, 2/9/23]

LGBTQ+ Rights

      • The Republican-Majority Virginia House Passed A Bill To Ban Trans Girls From Playing On School Sports Teams. [HB 1387, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/7/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Killed HB 1387. [ACLU of Virginia, Twitter, 2/16/23]
      • The Republican-Majority Virginia House Passed A Bill To Require Schools To Notify A Parent If A Student Identified As A Gender Different From Their Sex At Birth. HB 2432, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Killed HB 2432. [ACLU of Virginia, Twitter, 2/16/23]
      • A Republican Senator Introduced SB 791, Which Would Prohibit Gender Transition Procedures For Anyone Under 18.  [SB 791, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Killed SB 791. [SB 791, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]
      • The Democratic-Majority Virginia Senate Approved A Resolution To Repeal A Constitutional Amendment That Defined Marriage As Between A Man And A Woman. “The Virginia Senate on Monday approved a resolution that seeks to repeal a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The resolution that state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced passed by a 25-14 vote margin. The openly gay Alexandria Democrat in a tweet noted Republicans supported it.” [Washington Blade, 2/6/23]
        • A House Subcommittee Voted To Kill The Resolution. [Graham Moomaw, Twitter, 2/17/23]
        • Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Would Become Operative Again If The Supreme Court Reversed Obergefell v. Hodges. “At the same time, the Republican House this year killed measures to repeal the ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution. The ban, which voters approved in a 2006 referendum, has been defunct since the Supreme Court legalized those unions nationwide in 2015, but would become operative again if the court were to reverse itself.” [Washington Post, 2/25/23]
      • The Democratic-Majority Virginia Senate Approved A Bill To Affirm Marriage Equality In State Law. “The Virginia Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would affirm marriage equality in state law. State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)’s Senate Bill 1096 passed by a 25-12 vote margin.” [Washington Blade, 1/24/23]
        • The Republican-Majority House Did Not Take Action On The Bill. [SB 1093, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]

Reproductive Rights

      • A Republican Senator Introduced A 15-Week Abortion Ban. “On Wednesday, Virginia Republicans introduced a bill to criminalize abortion in the commonwealth after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The party is framing the ban as a moderate compromise: GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin praised it as a ‘bipartisan consensus,’ while the Senate Republican caucus described it as ‘practical, sensible, and reasonable.’” [Slate, 1/11/23]
        • The Senate Version Of The Bill Was Blocked By A Democratic-Majority Committee.  [SB 1385, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23
        • The House Bill To Ban Abortion After 15 Weeks Was Left In The Courts Of Justice Committee And Was Not Heard. [HB 2278, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/8/23]
      • SB 1483, A Bill To Ban Abortion After 22 Or 24 Weeks, Was Voted Down By A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee.  [SB 1483, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23
      • A Republican Lawmaker Introduced A “Life At Conception Bill” That Would Ban Abortion With Narrow Exceptions. “Sen. Travis Hackworth’s Senate Bill 1284, which he described as ‘a life at conception bill,’ offered the most restrictive option, banning all abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or prior to 20 weeks if an official police report has been filed alleging rape or incest occurred.” [Virginia Mercury, 1/20/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Blocked SB 1284. [SB 1284, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/27/23]
      • Republican Lawmakers Killed A Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Protect Abortion Access. “A House of Delegates subcommittee on Friday voted down a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion access and a bill to prevent the extradition of Virginians who have abortions in another state in violation of that state’s law. Both measures were defeated on 5-3 party-line votes in a GOP-led Courts of Justice subcommittee. The defeated bills signal the likely end of the line for abortion-related bills this session, which is scheduled to end a week from Saturday. Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, carried the proposed amendment, while Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, sponsored the extradition bill.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/17/23]  [SJ 255, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/7/23]
      • The House Passed Three Anti-Abortion Bills: HB 1795, HB 1954, And HB 2270. [Virginian-Pilot, 2/8/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Blocked HB 1795, A “Born Alive” Abortion Bill. [HB 1795, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/23/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Blocked  HB 1954, Which Would Make Killing The Fetus Of Another Manslaughter. [HB 1954, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/23/23]
        • A Democratic-Majority Senate Committee Blocked HB 2270, An “Informed Consent” Bill. [HB 2270, 2023 Legislative Session, accessed 2/23/23]

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