The following bills were on VICPP’s 2019 legislative agenda:

Economic Justice
HB 2473 – Del. Cia Price (D- 95th), passed House, passed Senate, waiting for Governor’s signature
– This bill would remove the Jim Crow era exemptions from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act.

SB 1079 – Sen. Spruill (D- 5th), passed Senate, passed House, waiting for Governor’s signature
– This bill would remove the Jim Crow era exemptions from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act, as well as the exemptions for piece workers and all businesses, regardless of the number of persons employed.

HB 2664 – Del. Aird (D- 63rd), passed House, passed Senate, waiting for Governor’s signature
SB 1696 – Sen. Wagner (R- 7th), passed Senate, passed House, waiting for Governor’s signature
– These bills would require organizations to provide workers a paystub for each payment, exempting workers in agri-business or forestry.

Environmental Justice
SB 1553 – Sen. Surovell (D- 36th), incorporated into SB 1355 by Sen. Wagner (R- 7th); passed Senate, passed House, waiting for Governor’s signature

Reducing Evictions
HB 1922 – Del. Bourne (D- 71st), passed House, passed Senate, waiting for Governor’s signature
SB 1627 – Sen. Barker (D- 39th), passed Senate, passed House, waiting for Governor’s signature
– 
These bills would prevent repeat filings of multiple lawsuits that reflect poorly on tenant records and save both parties court costs.

HB 1898 – Del. Carroll Foy (D- 2nd), passed House and Senate, approved by the Governor
HB 2054 – Del. Carr (D- 69th), passed House and Senate, approved by the Governor
– This is sensible improvement.  If no written lease is provided, 7 default provisions will apply, so both landlords and tenants know their rights and duties.

HB 2007 – Del. Aird (D- 63rd), passed House, passed Senate, waiting for Governor’s signature
– Currently, landlords have 12 months to act on a judgment of possession.  Reducing the time to 6 months means that a landlord who wants a writ of eviction must either use it or lose it.

SB 1445 – Sen. Locke (D- 2nd), passed Senate & House, waiting for Governor’s signature
– This would increase the time tenants have to avoid eviction by coming current with their landlords.  More time to pay is exactly what low-income tenants often need.  This also means the landlord is made whole.

SB 1450 – Sen. Locke (D- 2nd), passed Senate, passed House General Laws, sent to House Floor
HB 2655 – Del. Collins (R- 29th), passed 
House, passed Senate, waiting for Governor’s signature
– Modeled on successful eviction diversion efforts in other states, this would entitle tenants in certain cases to have a payment plan for past due rent and avoid a judgment of possession and eviction.

Criminal Justice Reform
SB 1013 – Sen. Stanley (R- 20th), passed Senate, failed in House Courts of Justice
– This bill would end the suspension of driver’s licenses for nonpayment of fines and fees. (FACT SHEET)
SB 1107 – Sen. McClellan (D- 9th), passed Senate, failed in House Courts of Justice
– This bill would remove the section of Virginia’s code that allows students to be charged with disorderly conduct at school or a school event.

HB 2494 – Del. Tran (D- 42nd), passed House, sent to Senate General Laws and Technology
– This bill would prevent any state agency from collecting or disseminating the religious preferences and affiliations of individuals.

VICPP will continue to OPPOSE the following bills:

Guns in Worship (FACT SHEET)
SB 1024 – Sen. Black (R- 13th), passed Senate, sent to House Rules

This bill “repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.”

Anti-Sanctuary Cities
SB 1156 – Sen. Black (R- 13th), passed Senate, passed House Counties, Cities, and Towns, sent to House Floor
This bill “provides that no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

Forcing Localities to Collaborate with ICE
HB 2270 – Del. Poindexter (R-9th), passed House, passed Senate Courts of Justice, sent to Senate Floor
This bill “requires that the sheriff, jail superintendent, or other official in charge of a local correctional facility or a regional jail in which an alien is incarcerated shall notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the release or discharge of the alien at least seven days prior to the date he is to be released or discharged from custody”

 


 

2019 Priority Legislation

Remove the Jim Crow language from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act (FACT SHEET)
Virginia’s wage laws exempt most categories of workers that were historically held by African Americans.  We value the work of ALL people and want to change this racist law.
**HB 2473 – Del. Cia Price (D- 95th), passed House Floor, sent to Senate**
**SB 1079 – Sen. Spruill (D- 5th), passed Senate, sent to House Commerce & Labor**

Pay piece workers the minimum wage (FACT SHEET)
Currently, if workers are paid “by the piece,” (e.g. by the widget made, or garment sewn) they are exempt from the law.  Only one other state still has this exemption.
**SB 1103 – Sen. Howell (D- 32nd), amended into SB 1079 by Sen. Spruill**

Cover all workers
Currently, the Virginia Minimum Wage Act only covers businesses with four or more persons employed at any one time.  Most states cover all workers.
**SB 1079 – Sen. Spruill (D- 5th), passed Senate Floor, sent to House Commerce & Labor**

Provide paystubs to all workers (FACT SHEET)
Many workers are cheated out of their wages because they are not given a paystub or online accounting that shows how they are paid.
**HB 2664 – Del. Aird (D- 63rd), passed House Commerce & Labor, sent to House Floor**
**SB 1696 – Sen. Wagner (R- 7th), passed Senate Floor, sent to House Commerce & Labor**

Protect workers against retaliation (FACT SHEET)
Virginia workers can be fired simply for filing a wage complaint so of course, many workers never report wage theft.
**HB 1713 – Del. Delaney (D- 67th), failed in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2**
**HB 2363 – Del. Leftwich (R- 78th), failed in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #1**

Give DOLI the ability investigate all workers at a business (FACT SHEET)
Currently, DOLI can only investigate for an individual complainant, not for all workers who may be victims of wage theft in a business.
**HB 2349 – Del. Leftwich (R- 78th), failed in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #1**

Let workers take their claims to court (FACT SHEET)
If workers are not paid all of their wages, they should be able to take their claims to court.  Currently workers in Virginia do not have this right.  The VA Consumer Protection Act provides for a similar cause of action.  If consumers have this right, so too should workers.
**HB 1687 – Del. Krizek (D- 44th), laid on the table in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2**
**HB 2524 – Del. Ronnie Campbell (R- 24th), passed House Commerce & Labor, rereferred to House Courts of Justice**

Create a driver’s privilege card (FACT SHEET)
In Virginia, people who are undocumented or fall into 12 categories of lawful presence are barred from taking a written driving exam, road test, or purchasing auto insurance.  One of the primary ways that people end up in deportation proceedings is through traffic stops.  Creating a Driver’s Privilege Card would be good for the safety of all Virginians.  Many other states have such policies.
**HB 1843 – Del. Bloxom (R- 100th), failed in House Transportation, Subcommittee #4**
**HB 2025 – Del. Tran (D-42nd), failed in House Transportation, Subcommittee #4**
**SB 1641 – Sen. Boysko (D-33rd), incorporated into SB 1740 by Sen. Surovell**
**SB 1740 – Sen. Surovell (D- 36th), failed in Senate Transportation**

Codify the Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (ACEJ) (FACT SHEET)
In October 2017, former Governor McAuliffe announced the creation of Virginia’s own Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (Executive Order 73). The goal of this council is to provide advice and recommendations to the Executive Branch on ways in which environmental justice should be incorporated into decision-making in Virginia. The Advisory Council on Environmental Justice should be strengthened to have formal decision-making authority. The Virginia General Assembly should permanently acknowledge the importance of these issues by codifying the Advisory Council on Environmental Justice.
**HB 2330 – Del. Keam (D- 35th), failed in House Rules Subcommittee #1**
**HB 2696 – Del. Herring (D- 46th), failed in House Rules Subcommittee #1**

 

VICPP will OPPOSE the following bills:

Guns in Worship (FACT SHEET)
**SB 1024 – Sen. Black (R- 13th), passed Senate, sent to House Rules**

This bill “repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.”

Anti-Sanctuary Cities
**SB 1156 – Sen. Black (R- 13th), passed Senate, sent to House Counties, Cities, and Towns**
This bill “provides that no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

Forcing Localities to Collaborate with ICE
**HB 2270 – Del. Poindexter (R-9th), passed House Militia, Police and Public Safety, passed House Courts of Justice, sent to House Floor**
This bill “requires that the sheriff, jail superintendent, or other official in charge of a local correctional facility or a regional jail in which an alien is incarcerated shall notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the release or discharge of the alien at least seven days prior to the date he is to be released or discharged from custody”

 

Collaborating & Supporting

Welcoming All
-Tuition-equity

Currently, DACA holders have access to in-state tuition, but if these students were to lose their DACA status due to capricious federal policy shifts, these students would lose the ability to in-state tuition.  Other immigrant students who meet Virginia’s residency requirements are also denied in-state tuition.  We want these students to be able to continue their education and help Virginia prosper.
**HB 1882 – Del. Keam (D- 35th), laid on the table in House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee**
**SB 1640 – Sen. Boysko (D- 33rd), passed Senate Education & Health, referred from Senate Finance, failed in Senate Education & Health**

Environmental Justice
-Adapt our coasts to rising seas and limit carbon pollution from power plants (FACT SHEET)
The Virginia Coastal Protection Act, joining Virginia to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), would benefit consumers by conserving energy. The bill would also become the first source of constant revenue for The Shoreline Resiliency Fund to help our neighbors facing frequent flooding in our warming climate. Governor Ralph Northam is supporting this bill.
**SB 1666 – Sen. Lewis (D- 6th), failed in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources**

-Safe and responsible closure of toxic coal ash ponds (FACT SHEET)
Too often, when coal plants have closed, utilities have put only thin covers over the toxic coal ash ponds they leave behind. The ponds can leak toxins into drinking water for decades. This year, a two-year moratorium on “cap-in-place” closure of coal ash ponds expires. This session, the Virginia General Assembly must enact legislation to solve our coal ash problem permanently—by requiring excavation of coal ash to modern, lined landfills or for use in safe recycling projects. Governor Ralph Northam is supporting this bill.
**HB 2105 – Del. Carroll Foy (D-2nd), tabled in House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Subcommittee #3**
**SB 1553 – Sen. Surovell (D- 36th), passed Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, sent to Senate Finance, incorporated into SB 1355 by Sen. Wagner**

-Increase access to clean solar energy for homes, congregations, and communities (FACT SHEET)
The Solar Energy Freedom Bill would reduce the barriers to solar power. Distributed solar means saving money for taxpayers, creating jobs, reducing our carbon footprint, and making our communities more resilient in the face of climate change and threats to the grid. Distributed solar ensures the benefits of our clean energy future will be shared with all of our neighbors.
**SB 1456 – Sen. McClellan (D- 9th), failed in Senate Commerce & Labor**
**HB 2329 – Del. Keam (D- 35th), failed in House Commerce & Labor**

The People’s Clean Energy Bill sets aside $1 billion in grant funding from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to provide free solar installations to lower energy costs for communities. Preference would be given to low-income urban and rural areas. Grants would be available to religious institutions, schools and government-owned buildings.”
**HB 1902 – Del. Rasoul (D- 11th), failed in House Appropriations Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Technology**

Reducing Evictions
-Eliminate repetitive filing of eviction lawsuits for nonpayment of rent
This would prevent repeat filings of multiple lawsuits that reflect poorly on tenant records and also save both parties court costs.
**HB 1922 – Del. Bourne (D- 71st), passed House, sent to Senate Courts of Justice**
**SB 1627 – Sen. Barker (D- 39th), passed Senate Courts of Justice, sent to Senate Floor**

-Require written leases
This is sensible improvement.  If no written lease is provided, 7 default provisions will apply, so both landlords and tenants know their rights and duties.
**HB 1898 – Del. Carroll Foy (D- 2nd), passed House, sent to Senate General Laws and Technology**
**HB 2054 – Del. Carr (D- 69th), passed House, sent to Senate General Laws and Technology**

-Reduce the time during which a landlord can seek eviction after a judgment of possession
Currently, landlords have 12 months to act on a judgment of possession.  Reducing the time to 6 months means that a landlord who wants a writ of eviction must either use it or lose it.
**HB 2007 – Del. Aird (D- 63rd), passed House, sent to Senate General Laws and Technology**

-Allow a tenant to “pay and stay” up to 2 business days before the eviction.
This would increase the time tenants have to avoid eviction by coming current with their landlords.  More time to pay is exactly what low-income tenants often need.  This also means the landlord is made whole.
**SB 1445 – Sen. Locke (D- 2nd), passed Senate, sent to House General Laws**

-Establish 3 pilot eviction diversion programs
Modeled on successful eviction diversion efforts in other states, this would entitle tenants in certain cases to have a payment plan for past due rent and avoid a judgment of possession and eviction.
**SB 1450 – Sen. Locke (D- 2nd), passed Senate General Laws and Technology**
**HB 2655 – Del. Collins (R- 29th), passed 
House General Laws, sent to House Floor**

Economic Justice
-Raise the minimum wage

Virginia’s $7.25 hourly minimum wage is not nearly enough to pay for today’s basic necessities like food, rent, clothing, healthcare, and more.  We can lift thousands out of poverty by raising the minimum wage.
**HB 2157 – Del. Plum (D- 36th), failed in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2**
**HB 2195 – Del. Rodman (D- 73rd), failed in House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2**
**SB 1017 – Sen. Marsden (D- 37th), failed in Senate Commerce & Labor**
**SB 1200 – Sen. Dance (D- 16th), failed on Senate Floor**

-Earned Income Credit
The Governor has proposed using part of the state revenue windfall from the recent changes in taxes to help low-income Virginians.  People earning less than $54,000 per year are the majority of Virginia’s taxpayers, but they only got 7% of the benefits from the federal tax code changes.  The Governor proposes to make Virginia’s Earned Income Tax Credit refundable, like it is at the federal level.  The EITC is a targeted program that gives credits to those who work and are still low-income.  Eligible workers would receive the difference in cash if their credit is more than the taxes owed.  This is a great program to encourage and reward work.
**HB 2160 – Del. Plum (D- 36th), failed in House Finance**
**SB 1297 – Sen. Barker (D- 39th), failed in Senate Finance**


Criminal Justice Reform
VICPP supports the criminal justice reformd agendas of RIHD, RISE for Youth, and the Virginia Civic Engagement Table (VCET).

End the suspension of driver’s licenses for nonpayment of fines or costs (FACT SHEET)
One in six Virginia drivers (approximately 900,000 people) has had his or her license suspended because of owing court fines and fees. Almost any poor person who has interacted with the criminal justice system owes some court fines and fees. Essentially, by taking away someone’s license and the person’s ability to find or keep a job, the state denies the person opportunity to escape from poverty (and ever pay back those fines & fees).  This policy has created debtor’s prisons in Virginia.
**SB 1013 – Sen. Stanley (R- 20th), passed Senate, sent to House Courts of Justice**

-Decriminalize disorderly conduct in schools
Virginia’s disorderly conduct statute is extremely vague and students in Virginia can & have been charged with disorderly conduct while acting out in class.  This statute disproportionately affects students with disabilities and people of color.  Basic school discipline issues should be dealt with in schools, not courts.
**HB 1685 – Del. Bourne (D- 71st), failed in House Courts of Justice**
**HB 1688 – Del. Mullin (D- 93rd), failed in House Courts of Justice**
**SB 1107 – Sen. McClellan (D- 9th), passed Senate, sent to House**