Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 3 - School Choice, Sanctuary Cities and Guns


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As the third week of the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off, we are setting some unusual records.  The number of visitors to the General Assembly Building has reached numbers not seen in 30 years.  About 4,900 visitors are pouring into the Capitol each day and security lines reached far into the Capitol Square.  My staff and I meet with nearly 150 people a day.  We are also on course to break our record for the largest number of emails during a session at approximately 9,000 in 45 days.  

Here are a few of my bills this year:

Protecting Girls From Brutality
One of my most controversial bills is SB1060, which makes female genital mutilation a crime.  Twenty-four states have passed laws to outlaw this brutal practice. 

Genital mutilation is the ritual removal of the female genitalia. This gruesome practice is typically performed in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and this is now spilling over into America.

Many families fly their daughters out of the country to skirt the law and perform this violent mutilation elsewhere. However, my legislation will not only make genital mutilation a crime, but it also gives a woman standing to sue her parents years later if they mutilated her as a little girl.

Concealed Carry Permits
My bill, SB1362, will allow active duty military personnel to carry concealed without a special permit.  This bill was hotly debated but passed the Senate by a vote of 22 to 18.  

Search Warrant Bill
I have reintroduced SB1262, a bill to hold Sanctuary Cities accountable for any property damage or injuries committed by people in the country illegally.  I expect it will be heard in committee soon.   

Protecting Voter Integrity
This year I have submitted SB1455, a bill to make it illegal to pay people to register to vote.  This bill passed out of committee and is on its way to the full Senate for a vote.  

School Choice
I am co-sponsoring Delegate LaRock's House Bill 1605, a School Choice bill. This bill establishes a Parental Choice Education Savings Account. 

You can see a full list of my legislation here.

If you are visiting Virginia's historic Capitol between now and February 25th, please remember to stop by my office and say hello.  We're in office 311 of the General Assembly Building.  If you have any issues of particular concern to you, I welcome your comments at or a letter to Senate of Virginia, P.O. Box 396, Richmond VA 23218 or you can call my office at 804-698-7513.

Warm Regards,

Richard H. Black
Senator of Virginia, 13th District


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