The annual Virginia legislature usually gives the left-liberal-progressive axis more fears than hopes. This session will more than likely do the same. A sampling of bills that have been introduced so far will produce deep ambivalence on the left. Below, are some of the laws introduced early.
Robert G. Marshall, aka the Prince of Darkness, was T-Party before T- Party was cool. The House of Delegates rep from Prince William Co. usually introduces some of the most reactionary laws. Fortunately, most of his legislation never passes. He is even too conservative for Virginia conservatives.
Houses Bills 18,19,20 , introduced by Marshall for this session blend two conservative passions in 3 bills. The bills target reproductive freedom and Obamacare.
Marshall takes a scatter gun approach to the subjects of contraception and chemical abortifacents.
HB 18 would mandate every insurance plan that mandates coverage for contraceptive devices or chemical abortifacents must be matched by one that does not offer such coverage.
HB 19 would allow no coverage from insurance policies unless a subscriber specifically asks for it.
HB 20 would probably be Marshall's favorite. That would not allow any health plan coverage of contraceptive devices.
In the Dept. of Hope, there is good legislation being introduced in both the Senate and House of delegates to aid victims of domestic violence. The legislation would set up a subfund under the Criminal Justice Compensation Fund to aid victims of domestic violence.
The first law and mantra of the Virginia legislature is that the legislature exists to keep the Commonwealth "business friendly." Both parties pay allegiance to this mantra. Based on that Mantra, HB32 is doomed.
HB 32 would increase the Virginia minimum wage. This is not going to happen.
While there is no hope for H B32, the winds of change maybe stirring for same sex marriage eventually. Two resolutions to undo the Va. Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage have been introduced. HJ 3 was introduced by delegate Joseph Morrissey. HJ 11 by Scott Surovell.
Chances for HJ3 or HJ 11 to be passed this session are slim. However, the resolutions do mirror changes in opinion on same sex marriage. In 2006, Virginia voted to ban same sex marriage by a wide margin. Today, same sex marriage is possibly winnable in a vote outside the conservative legislature.
Another development is the Democratic Party sweep of the executive offices of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General.
The new Governor, Terry McAuliffe will add veto firepower to Democrat minority in the House. In the Senate, the Democratic Lt. governor can vote to break tie votes. However, the House of Delegates is rigidly Republican with a small army of T-party devotees. The Senate is evenly divided Dems and Repos.
No legislative session would be complete without a few strange laws being introduced. HB79 and SB 22 would repeal suicide being illegal. The legal prohibition against suicide is a leftover from the Common Law of England and has flown under the radar for a couple of hundred years.