What you can do now:
– follow our blog for daily updates
– register for our annual Day for All People on January 22
– sign up to be a Witness at the Capitol
– email, call, and visit your Senator and Delegate about our bills

 

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), assigned to House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2
**SB 1079 – Sen. Spruill (D- 5th), passed Senate Floor, sent to House**

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**

Provide paystubs to all workers
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), assigned to House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2
SB 1696 – Sen. Wagner (R- 7th), assigned to Senate 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), assigned to House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #2
HB 2363 – Del. Leftwich (R- 78th), assigned to 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), assigned to 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), assigned to House Courts of Justice Subcommittee #2
HB 2524 – Del. Ronnie Campbell (R- 24th), assigned 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), assigned to House Transportation
HB 2025 – Del. Tran (D-42nd), assigned to House 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), assigned to House Rules Subcommittee #1
HB 2696 – Del. Herring (D- 46th), assigned to House Rules Subcommittee #1

 

VICPP will OPPOSE the following bills:

Guns in Worship (FACT SHEET)
SB 1024 – Sen. Black (R- 13th), assigned to Senate Courts of Justice

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 Floor, sent to House**
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, sent to House Courts of Justice**
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), assigned to House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee
**SB 1640 – Sen. Boysko (D- 33rd), passed Senate Education & Health, assigned to Senate Finance**

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), assigned to 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), assigned to House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Subcommittee #3
**SB 1553 – Sen. Surovell (D- 36th), passed Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, assigned to Senate Finance**

-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), assigned to Senate Commerce & Labor
HB 2329 – Del. Keam (D- 35th), assigned to House Commerce & Labor Subcommittee #3
HB 1902 – Del. Rasoul (D- 11th), assigned to House Appropriations Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Technology

 

Reducing Evictions
-Reform the appeal bond process
This would give tenant defendants 10 days to post an appeal bond equal to the judgment, but allow future rent to paid into court as it comes due.
SB 1627 – Sen. Barker (D- 39th), assigned to Senate Courts of Justice

-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), assigned to House Courts of Justice

-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), assigned to House General Laws
HB 2054 – Del. Carr (D- 69th), assigned to House General Laws

-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), assigned to House General Laws

-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), assigned to Senate General Laws and Technology

-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), assigned to Senate General Laws and Technology
HB 2655 – Del. Collins (R- 29th), assigned to 
House General Laws

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), assigned to House Commerce & Labor
HB 2195 – Del. Rodman (D- 73rd), assigned to House Commerce & Labor
SB 1017 – Sen. Marsden (D- 37th), assigned to Senate Commerce & Labor
SB 1200 – Sen. Dance (D- 16th), assigned to Senate Commerce & Labor

-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), assigned to House Finance
SB 1297 – Sen. Barker (D- 39th), assigned to 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)
HB 2277 – Del. Hayes (D- 77th), assigned to House Courts of Justice
SB 1013 – Sen. Stanley (R- 20th), assigned to Senate 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), assigned to House Courts of Justice
HB 1688 – Del. Mullin (D- 93rd), assigned to House Courts of Justice
SB 1107 – Sen. McClellan (D- 9th), assigned to Senate Courts of Justice

Wondering what happened during the 2018 General Assembly?  Read our 2018 General Assembly Recap and see our 2018 bill progress chart here.