Friday, February 7, 2014

Session 2014: Legislative Update for February 7th

February 7, 2014
Events in the Virginia Senate

We've been working hard here in my office, at the General Assembly. And I must admit, I could never get it all done without my great and able staff.


All my own legislation has been reported from the respective committees, but the work load has not eased. My committees have already started hearing House bills - in the week before Crossover Day. That is work we would usually not address until after Crossover. My Republican colleagues (who, until last week, chaired the various committees) are to be commended for their hard work and leadership in the first part of Session; without it, we would not be so far ahead of our firm deadline of February 11th


The Democrat members of the Senate seem quite focused on their social agenda, with the intent of never actually allowing the issues to be resolved. All the while they push the impression, at a national level, that it is conservative Republicans who will not relent on such issues. Senate Democrats are advancing legislation to make sure abortion clinics do not even have the simple healthcare oversight of a doctor's office, much less of the outpatient surgery center that they are. That's unacceptable and dangerous for Virginia citizens.


Then there's the legislation claiming to repeal a requirement for ultrasound before any abortion. Professional standards of practice already require the ultrasound, so my Republican colleagues and I would be happy to join them in repealing that unnecessary language from the Code of Virginia. But, we believe the images from the ultrasound should still be offered to the patient. It is an important component of informed consent, and there is no reason not to offer viewing to the patient.  


Last year, the Democrats supported our position; a prominent member of their caucus even introduced such legislation. That support was a change from the position they had taken, in opposition, just two weeks earlier. Now, this session, they've flipped again - defeating an amendment to do exactly what their bill last year would have done. It's an intentional effort to keep the matter unresolved. They know the bill will die this session without that remedy, and they want the issue to live on in future sessions so they can use it politically.


It is my privilege to co-patron House Bill 1, which will establish a fund from existing revenue to be used to provide support for prevention, intervention, and counseling services in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault. I look forward to seeing this bill through the Senate, once we receive it from the House.


Next week, we will complete consideration of the bills introduced in the Senate, turning our attention exclusively to House bills. We will only see Senate legislation again if it is amended in the House. We then have a responsibility to accept or reject the House amendments, before deciding if we are going to appoint conferees to work out any differences. It is important that you let your Delegate know your thoughts on Senate legislation, and let me and my colleagues in the Senate know your thoughts on House legislation. 

Reminder: Mass Meeting in the
100th House District


The mass meeting to nominate the Republican candidate for the 100th House District seat is tomorrow, February 8th. If you live in the District, please go and show your support for Melody Scalley. She will be a solid, conservative voice for that constituency in the Virginia House of Delegates.


Chesterfield Special Elections on March 18th


Also, remember that there are two offices being filled in Chesterfield County via Special Election, on March 18th - Midlothian District School Board, and county-wide for the Sheriff's office.

Sheriff Karl Leonard is in the well-deserved position of being unopposed, after receiving the strong support of the Chesterfield County GOP nomination. Please be sure to vote in support of his service and candidacy. And, Midlothian residents, be sure to give voice in selecting your School Board representative.


If you are unsure where you need to go to vote, please visit the State Board of Elections and find your polling location!


Please do not hesitate to contact my office, as I can best represent you by hearing from you. Thank you for the privilege of service.





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Visitors This Week

It was another week full of constituent meetings and wonderful visitors. Over the last few days, our office was pleased to meet with representatives from: 
Friends of Virginia's Governors Schools, Bridgewater College, Bluefield College, Maggie Walker Governor's School, Virginia Nurses' Association, CHIP of Virginia, Decoding Dyslexia, League of Women Voters of Virginia, Radford University, SWVA Tea Party, Virginia Tech, Chesterfield Community Services Board, Virginia Association of Health Underwriters, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Airport Operators Council. 
Senator Martin also had the opportunity to go meet and speak with students participating in the TeenPact Leadership Schools Virginia Class. 

Our thanks to the constituents, groups, and drop-in visitors that came by the office this week and took time to let us know what was on their mind! Photos from certain group visits can be viewed on our Facebook page

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