Local officials; shall not be questioned on any legislative speech, etc., without leave of court. (SB845)

Introduced By

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Speech or debate immunity; local officials.  Provides that local officials who are members of public bodies with legislative powers are immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution for any speech or debate engaged in by the officials during the exercise of such powers, and that they shall not be compelled by law to be questioned on such speech or debate in any other place without leave of court. The public body still retains its authority to regulate the conduct of its members. Read the Bill »


02/16/2011: Subcommittee Recommends Killing the Bill


01/07/2011Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11100777D
01/07/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/11/2011Assigned Courts sub: Civil
02/07/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (8-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2011Committee substitute printed 11104385D-S1
02/08/2011Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2011Read second time
02/08/2011Reading of substitute waived
02/08/2011Committee substitute agreed to 11104385D-S1
02/08/2011Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB845S1
02/08/2011Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2011Passed Senate (20-Y 20-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2011Chair votes Yes
02/09/2011Placed on Calendar
02/09/2011Read first time
02/09/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/10/2011Assigned Courts sub: #2 Civil
02/16/2011Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/22/2011No action taken by Courts of Justice


Jim Duncan writes:

What is the motivation for this bill? What incident spurred it?

Rick Sincere writes:

I'm surprised a provision like this does not already exist in Virginia's code. The U.S. Constitution has protected Members of Congress in similar language since 1789.