Virginia Senate Gives Governor Power to Oust Police Officers

The Criminal Justice Services Board (CJSB) will have the responsibility of decertifying officers engaged in misconduct or criminally charged and implementing statewide conduct standards for law enforcement, if the Senate’s omnibus policing and reform legislation is signed into law.

Last Friday, the president of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Delegates both signed the legislation, and on Wednesday the bill was communicated to Governor Ralph Northam for final approval.

Read More

Senate Lawmakers Pass Conference Report for Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

During potentially the final day of the lengthy 2020 special session, Senate legislators adopted and passed the conference committee report on a bill that allows judges in certain criminal cases to issue the sentences instead of the jury. 

The conference report that was unanimously agreed upon by the six conferees, two Republicans and two Democrats, passed the Senate by an almost exact party line vote of (Y-22 N-16). 

Read More

Legislation Allowing Localities to Establish Law Enforcement Civilian Review Boards Heads to Governor’s Desk

Compromised legislation that gives localities the authority to establish law enforcement civilian review boards (CRB) successfully passed final votes in the Senate and House of Delegates Wednesday afternoon, and now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Joint conference committee reports for Senate Bill 5035 passed the Senate (21-Y 17-N) and for House Bill 5055 passed the House (53-Y 35-N), mostly along the party lines of both chambers.

Read More

Senate and House Advance Budget Legislation to Conference Committee

Lawmakers in the Senate and House of Delegates advanced their biennial budget to a formal conference committee on Wednesday and assigned conferees to represent the bodies, but much of the work on compromising has already been conducted.

Before the two legislative bodies agreed to send the budget to a joint conference committee, however, the Senate first had to adopt a batch of seven committee amendments to the budget legislation. 

Read More

Senate Lawmakers Send Numerous Bills to Joint Conference Committees with House

The Senate sent a number of bills to be considered by joint conference committees, and appointed conferees to join their colleagues in the House of Delegates to consider legislation on Wednesday.

Three or four Senators and Delegates are assigned to different conference committees and must try to agree on compromised language for similar bills from each body or the legislation will die. If compromised versions are agreed upon, those bills will go back to the House and Senate for a final passage vote.

Read More

Virginia House and Senate Pass Another Bill to Further Decriminalize Marijuana

Virginia’s House and Senate passed another bill further decriminalizing marijuana. Under the bill, the drug’s scent would no longer be a sufficient cause for searching a vehicle.
The House passed the bill in a 51-45 vote. On Friday, the Senate approved to substitute some of the language of the bill.

Read More

Senate Passes $134B Budget Bill Allocating Funds for Local COVID-19 Relief, Criminal Justice and Policing Reforms and Law Enforcement Bonuses

The Senate passed its $134 billion budget on Friday with funding for criminal justice and police reforms, bonuses for law enforcement, coronavirus relief payments for local school divisions and language eviction and utility disconnect moratoriums. 

Senate Bill (SB) 5015 passed the Senate by a vote of (Y-24 N-15) with three Republican members voting alongside their Democratic colleagues on the prevailing side. 

Read More

SCC Denies Northam’s Request to Extend Utility Shutoff Moratorium

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) denied Governor Ralph Northam’s Thursday request to again extend a moratorium on utilities shutoffs until December. The moratorium will end October 5. The SCC had previously warned that they would not consider any further extensions.

Read More

Senate Dems Kick GOP Colleagues to the Curb

The Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate rejected almost all budget amendment proposals from Republican members during a lengthy session Thursday afternoon. 

As the Senate moves closer to a passage vote on its comprehensive budget, Thursday’s session made it clear that Senate Democrats are ultimately running the show. 

Read More

Gade Abandons Trump on Key Immigration Policy in First Debate U.S. Senate with Warner

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Republican challenger Daniel Gade appeared virtually on NBC4 for their first debate. NBC News’ Chuck Todd moderated the debate from Washington, D.C. with a live Zoom audience.
Topics included the Supreme Court nominations, COVID-19, the digital divide, policing, racial justice, immigration, and the election.

Read More

Senator Dr. Siobhan Dunnavent Discusses Virginia’s Never Ending Special Session and the Unqualified Citizen Review Board

Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed Virginia state Senator Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant to the program to discuss the civilian review board’s unqualified position to judge career police officers.

Read More

Virginia General Assembly 2020 Special Session Day Two

It was relatively quiet during day two of the Virginia General Assembly special session as the House adjourned after less than an hour of meeting, while the Senate was more lively during member’s points of personal privilege.

Wednesday marked the first day the House held session electronically, with Speaker Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) and the House Clerk in the actual chamber of the Capitol building. The Senate, just like on Tuesday, held its session at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Read More

The Virginia General Assembly Special Session Began Tuesday; Here Is What Happened

The Senate and House of Delegates met separately in Richmond on Tuesday, officially kicking off the special session of the General Assembly.

Despite a bevy of bills and promises of swift action, the House and Senate primarily discussed operation and procedural resolutions for the Special Session going forward.

Read More