2012 Crossover Report of the General Assembly
Desk of Delegate Roslyn Tyler
This year is the long session, 60 days, of the Virginia General Assembly that convened on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. I took the Oath of Office to serve my 4th term as the 75th District Representative in the Virginia General Assembly. I was re-appointed to the following committees: Militia, Police and Public Safety, Education, and Commerce and Labor.
It has been an extremely busy session for all legislators. The Senate introduced 684 bills and the House of Delegates 1298 bills for this session. We are now at the midpoint of the General Assembly called CrossOver. CrossOver is the word used when the House of Delegates bills crossover to be heard in the Senate and the Senate bills crossover to be heard in the House of Delegates. This is the most important process in the legislation before the bill is signed by the Governor and becomes a law.
I submitted the following legislations:
HB 778- Prohibits tolls on 95 without the approval of the General Assembly.
HB 205- Correctional Officers - Law Enforcement Procedural Guarantee Act; definition of law-enforcement officer for purpose of the Law Procedural Guarantee Act.
HB 643- Charter Bill for the City of Franklin – Provides that neither the city council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to or removal of any person from any office or employment by the city manager. The bill also sets forth a number of ways in which a council member may forfeit office. Furthermore, a procedure is outlined for recall of council members and the mayor. Finally, council members will be required to resign their seats in order to run for mayor.
The following summaries are of bills that has been the concerns of the constituents in the 75th District:
Legislation of Interest:
HB 369 - Hunting; allows any person to hunt on private lands on Sunday, with permission of owner – Failed in Committee.
HB 921 - Hunting; allows any person to hunt wild bird or wild animal on Sunday – Failed in Committee.
HB 989 - Hunting; Remove prohibition to hunt on Sunday between hours of 2:00 PM and Sunset – Failed in Committee.
SB 323 - Repeal of One-Gun- A Month passed the Senate and the House. This legislation will allow the purchased of more than one handgun a month. This bill passed in the House and Senate.
HB 73 – Require Local Social Services Departments to Screen people receiving public assistance to take a drug test. Any person who fails or refuses to participate in a screening or assessment without cause or who test positive for the use of illegal substances shall be ineligible to receive TANF payment for one year. The bill was carried over to 2013 session.
HB 834 – Selective Enforcement – the money collected by local law enforcement officers for certain crimes would be divided among school division and the Literary Fund. The bill failed in committee.
SB 1 and HB 1084 – Voter ID Bill – forces voters who come to the polls without identification to cast a provisional ballot. Under current law, voters who arrive at the polls without identification can sign an affidavit attesting to their identity and cast a ballot that is counted with the rest of the votes cast on Election Day. The proposed legislation will make voters responsible to verify their identity before the vote is certified in order for their ballot to be counted. Passed the House and Senate Committee.
SB 219 Texting and Driving Ban- the bill would allow a police officer to pullover motorist solely on the basis of having probably cause that a driver is texting and sets a fine of $20.00. Under current law citations may only be issued to motorists who have been pulled over for a separate offense. The bill advances to the House committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.
HB 49 – DUI Bills – guarantee that anyone found guilty of DUI manslaughter serve no less than a year in jail. This bill was passed by the House and now advances to the Senate.
SB 202 - Fox and coyote penning: Make it a class 1 misdemeanor for any person to erect or maintain an enclosure for the purpose of pursuing, hunting or killing or attempting to pursue, hunt, or kill a fox or coyote with dogs. It is also a Class 1 misdemeanor to pursue, hunt or kill a fox or coyote within such an enclosure with dogs. This bill will be continued in 2013 pending a study of fox pen and animal cruelty.
HB 947 TEBOW Bill – Nonpublic school students participating in public school interscholastic program – This bill will allow homeschoolers and students not enrolled in the public school to participate in public school systems sports and interscholastic programs. This bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.
HB 576 - Continuing contract for teachers – this bill will phase out a tenure-like contract and start a three year contract under which it would be easier to dismiss teachers. This bill was referred to the Education Committee on February 14th.
HB 512 - Machinery and Tool Taxes – this bill would mandated that localities grant a 3 year waiver on machinery and tool taxes to new businesses coming into the area. Bill was defeated on the house floor.
SB 546 - Machinery and Tool Taxes – House has referred this bill to House Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns.
As the legislation passes through the House and the Senate and sign by the Governor, the bill becomes law on July 1, 2012. At this point, the controversial budget has not been addressed. There are great concerns on Capitol Hill regarding the VRS funding, K-12 Education and Transportation. The most difficult task is yet to come.
I submitted budget amendments for funding for the following localities.
Budget Amendment 94 #1h- Hydrilla Prevention – submitted for the Brunswick Board of Supervisors - a request for $200,000 for the next two years to prevent and control the spread of the hydrilla weed in Lake Gaston.
Budget Amendment 343 #4h -This amendment provides $3.0 million each year from the federal TANF block grant for services provided through community action agencies to promote self-sufficiency. Thirty two community action agencies in the Commonwealth provide service to low-income families and communities. State funding for CAAs has fallen from $6.4 million in fiscal year 2009 to $500,000 in year 2012.
Budget Amendment 389 #1h - Request $1,152,000 for services in lieu of taxes for nine localities. Amendment requests the following amounts for each county: Sussex County – $415,000, Brunswick County- $108,000, Greensville County - $200,000, Wise County - $175,000, Buckingham County - $60,000, Fluvanna County - $70-80,000, Lunenburg County - $45,000, Richmond County - $32,000 and Southampton County- $47,000.
It is a tough fight on Capitol Hill for state funding, protecting money for education, saving teachers jobs and healthcare funding for Medicare and Medicaid. Voice your concerns by contacting all your State Senators and Delegates. Let your voice be heard for the 75th District. Together we can make a difference!
It is a pleasure and a privilege to represent you in the 75th District. Please feel to call me in Richmond at 804 698-1075.