Richmond Round Up
Week 7: Budgeting
One of the most important issues that we Delegates face is the Biennial budget. This past week the House took up the task. This past Thursday the House Republicans passed a House budget on the floor. The House budget is fiscally responsible. We are able to fund the core essentials of our state’s obligations. And also make record investments in education and in our law enforcement. While providing substantial tax relief to hardworking Virginians.
Our office has had a successful Session this far. The following bills I have sponsored, co-authored, or was the chief co patron of have all passed the House and been sent to the Senate for consideration. We should all be pleased by the rate at which we have navigated their passages through the House.
HB 4 Requires that school principals report to law enforcement certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense and report to the parents of any minor student who is the specific object of such act that the incident has been reported to law enforcement. Under current law, principals are required to make such reports only for such acts that may constitute a felony offense.
HB 16 Abuse and neglect of a child; safe haven defense. Increases from 14 days to 30 days the maximum age of an infant whom a parent may voluntarily deliver to a hospital or emergency medical services agency and claim an affirmative defense to prosecution for abuse or neglect if such prosecution is based solely upon the parent's having left the infant at such facility.
HB 17 Military honor guards and veterans service organizations; paramilitary activities; exception. Exempts members of a lawfully recognized military color guard, honor guard, or similar organization, and members of a veterans service organization that is congressionally chartered or officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, when such member is participating in a training or educational exercise, funeral, or public ceremony on behalf of such military color guard, honor guard, or similar organization or veterans service organization, from the crime of unlawful paramilitary activity unless such member engages in such activity with malicious intent.
HB 158 Powers of the Governor; limited duration of rules, regulations, and orders. Limits the initial duration of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Governor pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law to no more than 30 days after the date of issuance. The bill provides that the Governor may extend the duration after the initial 30-day period for two additional 30-day periods. Upon each extension, the Governor is required to report to the General Assembly on the status of the continued need for the order. During each of the extension periods, the General Assembly may convene to consider and take action on the rule, regulation, or order.
HB 509 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Repeals the procedure by which any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a general district court, circuit court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge or magistrate for an emergency substantial risk order to prohibit a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. The bill also removes the substantial risk order registry for the entry of orders issued.
HB 982 Education Savings Account Program established; Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits. Establishes the Education Savings Account Program, to be administered by the Department of Education, whereby the parent of any individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth and who is eligible to enroll in a public elementary or secondary school may apply for an Education Savings Account for his child into which the Department of Education deposits certain state and local funds and from which the parent makes certain enumerated qualifying expenses to educate his child in a setting and a manner other than full-time education in a public school.
K-12 Education Policy and Parental Rights
· HB 340 Board of Education; high school graduation; alternative pathways to the advanced studies diploma. Directs the Board of Education to establish two pathways to the advanced studies high school diploma, and associated diploma seals for students who successfully follow and demonstrate excellence on such pathways: one pathway that requires advanced coursework in a career and technical education field but does not require coursework in world language and another pathway that requires advanced coursework in world language but does not require coursework in a career and technical education field.
· HB 356 Authorizes the Board of Education (the Board) to establish regional charter school divisions consisting of at least two but not more than three existing school divisions in any case in which (i) each such local school division is in close proximity and has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and (ii) at least two such local school divisions have grades three through eight math and English reading Standards of Learning assessment performance in the bottom quartile of the Commonwealth.
· HB 787 Teaching or promotion of certain concepts in public elementary and secondary education; declaration as unlawful and discriminatory practice. Declares it an unlawful and discriminatory practice for any local school board or employee or contractor thereof to teach any public elementary or secondary school student to believe or promote to any such student as valid the belief that (i) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (ii) an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (iii) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual's race or sex; (iv) an individual's moral character is necessarily determined by the individual's race or sex; or (v) an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex, but permits any local school board or employee or contractor thereof to teach to any public elementary or secondary school student content that includes the past or present belief, by any individual or group, in any such concept.
· HB 1009 Department of Education; policy on sexually explicit content in instructional material. Requires the Department of Education to develop and each local school board to adopt model policies for ensuring parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to (i) ensuring parental notification; (ii) directly identifying the specific instructional material and sexually explicit subjects; and (iii) permitting the parent of any student to review instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests.
· HB 873 School boards; employment of school resource officers or school security officers. Requires each school board to (i) enter into a collaborative agreement with the local law-enforcement agency to employ at least one school resource officer or (ii) employ at least one school security officer in each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division.
· HB 1272 Public elementary and secondary schools and public school-based early childhood care and education programs; student instruction; masks. Requires, except in the case of the 10 unscheduled remote learning days otherwise permitted by law or in certain cases of student discipline, each school board to offer in-person instruction, as defined in the bill, to each student enrolled in the local school division in a public elementary or secondary school for at least the minimum number of required annual instructional hours and to each student enrolled in the local school division in a public school-based early childhood care and education program for the entirety of the instructional time provided pursuant to such program.
Supporting Public Safety
From 2020 through the start of this Session Democrats in Richmond actively undermined law enforcement and public safety officers. This legislative session was the first step in a return to normalcy. House Republicans have passed bills to restore public safety measures that protect Virginians such as:
- HB 1303 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Virginia Parole Board member votes. Provides that individual votes of the members of the Virginia Parole Board are public records and subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. HB 25 and HB 735 roll back radical changes in ‘good time’ credits for felons, restoring Virginia’s ‘truth in sentencing’ laws that have kept crime low.
- HB 750 Arrest and summons quotas; prohibition. Prohibits (i) any agency of the Commonwealth or director or chief executive of any agency or department employing law-enforcement officers; (ii) any sheriff; (iii) any police force; or (iv) the Department of State Police from establishing a formal or informal quota that requires a law-enforcement officer to make a specific number of arrests or issue a specific number of summonses within a designated period of time.
- HB 812 Admission to bail; rebuttable presumptions against bail. Creates a rebuttable presumption against bail for certain criminal offenses enumerated in the bill and for persons identified as being illegally present in the United States by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who are charged with certain offenses. The bill also requires the court to consider specified factors when determining whether the presumption against bail has been rebutted and whether there are appropriate conditions of release.
- HB 833 Group violence intervention; establishment of Operation Ceasefire Grant Fund. Creates the Operation Ceasefire Grant Fund (the Fund) to be managed by the Office of the Attorney General. The bill provides that moneys in the Fund shall be used to implement violent crime reduction strategies, to provide training for law-enforcement officers and prosecutors, to provide equipment for law-enforcement agencies, and to award grants to organizations that are involved in group violence intervention efforts. The bill defines "group violence intervention" as comprehensive law-enforcement, prosecutorial, and community-based initiatives, substantially similar to Operation Ceasefire as implemented in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Gang Reduction Programs implemented in Los Angeles, California, and Richmond.
If I can be of assistance to you and your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. You can also follow me on my Facebook page keep up to date with what I’m doing in Richmond
Until next week,
Delegate Bill Wiley
Virginia House of Delegates - 29th District
Richmond Office: (804) 698-1029
900 E. Main Street
4th Floor, Room 415
Richmond, VA 23219
District Office: 804-698-1029 or 540-686-1771
P.O. Box 2034
Winchester, VA 22812