Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 5 - Search Warrants, Military Personnel and Voting


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 This week in Richmond, 1,054 bills are still making their way through the General Assembly.  Despite having to close a $1.2 billion revenue shortfall, the proposed Senate budget avoids across-the-board reductions for our public schools and significantly increases funding for mental health initiatives and preserves safety net programs.

The proposed Senate budget plan also makes compensation for our State Police a priority.  Inadequate compensation and the Left's war on cops have resulted in recruitment and retention problems for the Virginia State Police. 

The budget plan also includes a 2% salary increase for our public school teachers and a 3% pay increase for state employees.  

By prioritizing spending and finding savings, we were able to replace the Governor's proposed bonuses with actual salary increases.  The Senate plan has already earned strong bi-partisan support. 

Here is an update on some of my bills:

Search Warrants
There is currently a void in Virginia's search and seizure law that does not authorize police to enter a building to arrest a suspect even when they have an arrest warrant. As long as the suspect remains inside the building, there is nothing the police can do.

It is hard to believe that no one discovered this problem until now.  The Crime Commission studied my bill proposal for a year, gathering analysis from Virginia's Magistrates, Commonwealth Attorneys and Public Defenders, who reviewed the bill and were stunned to discover this loophole exists.  My bill passed the Senate unanimously.

Military Personnel Don't Need 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.  My Constitutional Carry bill failed to pass the Senate this year, but I am hopeful we will pass it with a Republican in the Governor's mansion. 

Sanctuary City Bill
SB1262, my bill to hold Sanctuary Cities accountable for any property damage or injuries committed by illegal immigrants, passed the Senate on a strict party-line vote.  It would effectively wipe out Sanctuary Cities because once people who elected these politicians see their property taxes rising because of the cost of the illegals they are harboring, they will vote those politicians out of office.  Politicians will quickly realize that they are ending their political careers by creating a Sanctuary City and they will cease to exist.  

Protecting Voter Integrity
My bill making it illegal to bribe people to register to vote passed the Senate on a party-line vote.   Bribing voters to register is a strong indication that someone is planning to commit voter fraud once that person has registered.  

Female Genital Mutilation
SB1060, which makes female genital mutilation a crime, passed the Senate unanimously.  This bill has garnered a lot of attention this session.  This barbaric custom has become a problem in some immigrant communities where they cut up their little girls in a misguided attempt to ensure their daughter will never stray from a marriage, by rendering her unable feel pleasure. This bill will give the victim standing to sue her parents for brutalizing her as a young girl, which will become a deterrent for parents trying to skirt the law by taking the girl out of state.

Do Not Call List
Businesses have created new ways to get around the "Do Not Call List" by hiring a third-party to make the calls.  My bill, SB 1264, will hold companies liable for skirting the "Do Not Call List." It passed the Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House.  

Build Roads Faster
Sen. Favola and I introduced similar legislation improving the time it takes to build roads.  It lifts the requirement for public hearings when utilities for a road are brought onto land owned by the government.  This bi-partisan legislation will cut 3 – 6 months off every road project in Virginia. 

Dyslexia Advisor
I introduced SB1516 to require every School Board to employ a dyslexia advisor.  Del. Cline introduced the companion bill in the House of Delegates and both are still moving through the legislative process. 

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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