Discrimination & injustice; General Assembly to acknowledge & express regret for State's role in. (HJ728)

Introduced By

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Resolution; Atoning for the involuntary servitude of Africans and calling for reconciliation. Expresses the General Assembly's atonement, on behalf of the Commonwealth, for the slavery of Africans, and calls for racial reconciliation. This resolution notes the history of the American slave trade and the subsequent legal and social structures throughout the nation that deprived African Americans of their inalienable rights and states that healing and reconciliation are possible with the acknowledgement of past grievous indignities and injustices. Read the Bill »


03/26/2007: Passed the House


  • 01/10/2007 Prefiled and laid on Speaker's table; offered 01/10/07 072609410
  • 01/10/2007 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 072609410
  • 01/11/2007 Referred to Committee on Rules
  • 02/01/2007 Committee substitute printed 072684440-H1
  • 02/02/2007 Taken up
  • 02/02/2007 Committee substitute agreed to 072684440-H1
  • 02/02/2007 Engrossed by House - committee substitute HJ728H1
  • 02/02/2007 Agreed to by House BLOCK VOTE (91-Y 0-N)
  • 02/02/2007 Communicated to Senate
  • 02/05/2007 Reading waived
  • 02/05/2007 Referred to Committee on Rules
  • 02/19/2007 Committee substitute printed 072691410-S1
  • 02/19/2007 Reported from Rules with substitute
  • 02/20/2007 Reading waived (40-Y 0-N)
  • 02/20/2007 Motion to reconsider Passed by for the day agreed to (40-Y 0-N)
  • 02/20/2007 VOTE: (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/20/2007 Passed by for the day
  • 02/21/2007 Read third time
  • 02/21/2007 Reading of substitute waived
  • 02/21/2007 Committee substitute agreed to 072691410-S1
  • 02/21/2007 Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HJ728S1
  • 02/21/2007 Agreed to by Senate with substitute by voice vote
  • 02/22/2007 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/22/2007 Senate substitute rejected by House (1-Y 97-N)
  • 02/22/2007 VOTE: REJECTED (1-Y 97-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/22/2007 Senate insisted on substitute (30-Y 0-N)
  • 02/22/2007 VOTE: (30-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/22/2007 Senate requested conference committee
  • 02/22/2007 House acceded to request
  • 02/22/2007 Conferees appointed by House
  • 02/22/2007 Delegates: McEachin, O'Bannon, Griffith
  • 02/22/2007 Conferees appointed by Senate
  • 02/22/2007 Senators: Marsh, Houck, Locke
  • 02/24/2007 Conference substitute printed 072703410-H2
  • 02/24/2007 Conference report agreed to by House (96-Y 0-N)
  • 02/24/2007 VOTE: ADOPTION (96-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/24/2007 Reading of conference report waived
  • 02/24/2007 Conference report agreed to by Senate
  • 03/26/2007 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HJ728ER)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SJ332.


Bill Bordeaux writes:

The State of Virginia should atone for the slavery of the black people but, the State should only atone to the blacks that can prove they are the direct desendents of slaves of the Old Commonwealth. The only White people that should be forced to pay reparations to the blacks for enslavement in the State of Virginia should be required by law before paying reparations to prove direct linage to slave owners of the Old Commonwealth.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Actually, Bill, nobody's proposing any sort of reparations. That's nowhere in this proposed resolution, and I've heard no talk of any such thing. This is just a straight-up apology.

Patti Winters writes:

In one of the talk shows on WHRO they were discussing this bill and were talking about how the government is going to have slave owners' descendents pay slave descendents money. So you might want to look into it further. Because it can always be placed on another bill as a rider after this one gets passed.

Bruce Voorheis writes:

I wish you politicians would spend ALL your time on meaningless crap like this; then you wouldn't be able to pass bills that restrict the freedoms we have left. Apologies, contrition, profound regret... none of it is going to change a damn thing in this country and the saddest thing about it is - YOU ALL KNOW IT WON'T CHANGE ANYTHING! Or, if you don't, then you're so totally out of touch with your constituencies you're totally unable to do your jobs and should step down immediately. When my grandfather was 12, he got in a fight and had his nose broken. After he and the other guy died of old age, the grandson of the other guy expressed to me his profound regret and I felt so much better....


Marty Martin writes:

I think this act of the Virginia General Assembly, although tardy from a historical perspective, is nonetheless timely in the sense that Virginia is celebrating 400 years this year.

It is undeniable that racial and ethnic tensions are high all over the world and still an issue we deal with in the United States that can be traced back to slavery and the mistreatment of African Americans.

It is also true that we now-a-days had nothing to do with slavery, but all of us, black and white (and I myself am white), still contribute to the tensions but relying on stereotypes and untrue presumptions about each other. It is something that we must conquer for the future of Virginia and America.

I applaud the General Assembly. It is simply amazing to me that we Virginians are the first state to take this step. And again I say Bravo!