Official emblems and designations; addition of Eastern Garter Snake. (HB335)

Introduced By

Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Official emblems and designations; Eastern Garter Snake. Establishes the Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) as the official snake of the Commonwealth. The bill also adds to 1-510, which consolidates official state emblems and designations, two designations, the Northern Cardinal as the state bird and the American Dogwood as the state tree, adopted as HJR 9 (1950) and HJR 6 (1956), respectively, that had been inadvertently omitted. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/05/2016Committee
01/05/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16101043D
01/05/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/18/2016Assigned to sub: Subcommittee #3
01/18/2016Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #3
01/19/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 2-N)
01/26/2016Reported from General Laws (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2016Read first time
01/29/2016Read second time and engrossed
02/01/2016Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/01/2016VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2016Constitutional reading dispensed
02/02/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/22/2016Reported from General Laws and Technology (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016Read third time
02/25/2016Amendments by Senator Black rejected
02/25/2016Passed Senate (33-Y 6-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/29/2016Enrolled
02/29/2016Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB335ER)
02/29/2016Signed by Speaker
03/03/2016Signed by President
03/04/2016Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 3/4/16
03/04/2016G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 11, 2016
03/07/2016G Approved by Governor-Chapter 278 (effective 7/1/16)
03/07/2016G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0278)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 14 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

AYES 21, NOS 19. AYES 21, NOS 19. THE BILL PASSES. HOUSE BILL 335, A BILL RELATING TO OFFICIAL EMBLEMS AND DESIGNATIONS, EASTERN GARTER SNAKE. REPORTED FROM THE COMMITTEE ON GENERAL LAWS AND TECHNOLOGY. AND THERE IS A -- THERE ARE TWO FLOOR AMENDMENTS. THE SENIOR SENATOR -- MR. PRESIDENT. SENATOR BLACK. MR. PRESIDENT, I MOVE THAT THE READING OF THE AMENDMENT BE WAIVED. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE QUESTION IS SHALL THE READING OF THE FLOOR AMENDMENTS BE WAIVED. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL SAY AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. [ LAUGHTER ] THE AYES HAVE IT. THE READING -- [ VOCAL OBJECTION ] SHOW ME SOME HANDS. THE NOS HAVE IT. THE CLERK WILL PLEASE READ THE FLOOR AMENDMENT. HOUSE BILL 335, AMENDMENT ONE OF TWO. FLOOR AMENDMENT OFFERED BY SENATOR BLACK. TITLE AMENDMENT, YES. PAGE ONE. LINE 5, AFTER DESIGNATIONS, STRIKE EASTERN GARTER SNAKE, INSERT TIMBER RATTLESNAKE. AMENDMENT NUMBER TWO, PAGE ONE, LINE 47. AFTER SNAKE, STRIKE THE REMAINDER OF LINE 47, INSERT TIMBER RATTLESNAKE. THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN, SENATOR BLACK, YOU HAVE THE FLOOR.

Sen. Dick Black (R-Leesburg): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I MOVE THAT THE SUBSTITUTE BE AGREED TO AND SPEAKING TO THE MOTION.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Dick Black (R-Leesburg): LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I THINK ALL OF YOU CAME HERE TODAY THINKING THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU WERE GOING TO DEAL WITH WAS THE BUDGET, BUT I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT THE BUDGET ONLY LASTS FOR TWO YEARS AND THE DESIGNATION OF THE STATE REPTILE LASTS FOREVER. SO WITH SOME TREPIDATION, I STAND TODAY TO OFFER AN AMENDMENT HERE. YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU HAVE SOME SYMBOL OF THE STATE, IT'S SOMETHING GRAND. YOU THINK OF THE AMERICAN EAGLE, THE POWER, THE MAJESTY, THE AGGRESSIVENESS OF THE EAGLE. THIS BILL PROPOSES THAT THE REPTILE SYMBOL OF VIRGINIA BE THE LOWLY AND COMMON GARTER SNAKE. NOW, LET ME DESCRIBE FOR YOU THE GARTER SNAKE. THE GARTER SNAKE IS SMALL AND IT'S VERY PLAIN-LOOKING. THERE'S NOTHING TREMENDOUSLY SPECIAL ABOUT ITS APPEARANCE. IT'S ORDINARY IN EVERY RESPECT. IT'S A VERY FEARFUL CREATURE. WHEN IT CONFRONTED WITH DANGER, IT IMMEDIATELY RUNS. IT SCRAMBLES, RUNS FOR THE -- IT SLITHERS, YOU PREFER THAT, IT SLITHERS. THE GARTER SNAKE EATS INSECTS AND WORMS. THIS IS ITS DIET. NOW, IT HAS A PECULIAR THING. THERE'S A SUBSTANCE THAT IT EXCRETES WHEN IT'S AFRAID AND IT SMELLS SOMETHING LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN A SOILED DIAPER AND A SKUNK. SO THE -- IT'S MY POSITION AND I MUST TELL YOU, IF I DON'T STAND UP HERE AND ADVOCATE FOR THIS, I WILL HAVE ALL THE HERP TOLL GISTS IN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA COMING AFTER ME SLITHERING UNDER MY DOOR. SO IN ANY EVENT, THE -- I SEE YOUR LOOK. THE TIMBER RATTLESNAKE IS A VERY MAJESTIC CREATURE. IT'S QUITE BEAUTIFUL. THE PATTERN OF IT IS LOVELY. IT ACTUALLY LOOKS VELVETY, ALTHOUGH NOT TO THE TOUCH IT ISN'T VELVETY, BUT IT LOOKS IT. IT'S NOT FEARFUL. IT'S VERY COURAGEOUS. IT DOESN'T ASK FOR TROUBLE, BUT WHEN TROUBLE COMES ITS WAY, IT'S READY. AND IT'S SORT OF IN KEEPING WITH OUR STATE, OUR STATE MOTTO, SIX SEM PER TIRANIS. IT'S BOLD AND ASSERTIVE AND IT'S NOT LIKE SIX SEMPER GARTER SNAKE. YOU KNOW, YOU COME AFTER ME, I RUN, I HIDE, AND I SOIL YOU A LITTLE BIT. [ LAUGHTER ] AND I WOULD REMIND THE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THAT THE -- PROBABLY THE MOST POPULAR SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE IN VIRGINIA IS THE GADSDEN LICENSE PLATE AND THAT HAS THE SYMBOL OF THE TIMBER RATTLESNAKE ON IT. AND SO I WOULD URGE YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, TO ADOPT THIS TREMENDOUS AMENDMENT AND TO PUT US ON THE RIGHT TRACK. PUT US WHERE WE HAVE A SYMBOL OF VIRGINIA THAT IS APPROPRIATE TO THE MAJESTY OF THE COMMONWEALTH. I MOVE THAT THE AMENDMENT PASS.

[Unknown]: MR. PRESIDENT, WOULD THE GENTLEMAN YIELD FOR A QUESTION. WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD FOR A QUESTION? I YAELD. HE YIELDS, SENATOR. I WONDER IF THE GENTLEMAN WOULD EXPLAIN TO US HIS EXPERTISE IN SNAKE HANDLING. I UNDERSTAND WHEN HE WAS A YOUNGER MAN, HE WAS A SNAKE HANDLER. SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN. I RESPOND TO THE GENTLEMAN BY SAYING THAT I AM THE ONLY PERSON IN VIRGINIA WHO HAS A LICENSE TO POSSESS REPTILES IN FLORIDA WHICH REQUIRES 1,000 HOURS OF HANDLING POISONOUS REPTILES. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM BUCKINGHAM, SENATOR GARRETT.

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg): MR. PRESIDENT, SPEAKING TO THIS BILL.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg): MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE BEFORE THIS BILL CAME OVER FROM THE HOUSE AND I SAW THIS BILL AND I IMMEDIATELY COILED INTO THE POSITION OF Y MAY COLLEAGUE FROM LOUDOUN, SENATOR BLACK. THERE WAS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE STATE REPTILE OF A GREAT COMMONWEALTH SUCH AS THIS ONE SHOULD BE THE POWERFUL AND FEARSOME TIMBER RATTLE SNAKE, AND SO I INFORMED THE HOUSE PATRON THAT IT WAS MY INTENT TO CO-OPT THIS BILL AND MAKE SURE THAT SOMETHING AS INTIMIDATING AND POWERFUL AS THE TIMBER RATTLESNAKE WOULD BE THE STATE REPTILE. MR. PRESIDENT, AT THAT POINT SHE INFORMED ME THAT THE PROCESS WAS AS FOLLOWS. THERE WAS A 11-YEAR-OLD BOY NAMED AIDEN FROM WILLIAMSBURG, JAMES CITY COUNTY AREA, HA AT SUMMER CAMP THIS YEAR WAS INSPIRED BY SCIENCE CLASSES AND HIS INTERACTION WITH GAR TER SNAKES. HE LEARN THE STORY OF THE BOX TURTLE THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED TO BE THE STATE REPTILE AND WAS TURNED OUT BY THIS BODY BECAUSE NOT ONLY DOES IT SAY IN IT'S LATIN NAME ONCE, BUT TWICE. WE JUST COULDN'T HAVE THAT ATION THE STATE REPTILE. I LEANED UPON THE DELEGATE AND SAID YES, BUT, WE NEED SOMETHING POWERFUL, SOMETHING GLORIOUS AND BEFITTING THE GREAT COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. SHE SAID WE NAED THE STATE RATTLESNAKE. SHE SAID, TOM, YOU'RE GOING TO NASH THIS 11ORY'S HOPES AND DREAMS. I SAID I SIMPLY WISH TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO YOUNG AIDEN AND MAKE MY PITCH ON WHY WE SHOULD HAVE, NOT THE GARTER SNAKE, BUT THE TIMBER RATTLE MAKE. AND SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THE DELEGATE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO GIVE ME THE CHILD'S NUMBER AFTER I PROMISE NOT TO MAKE HIM CRY AND LAST SATURDAY I GOT ON THE PHONE WITH YOUNG AIDEN AND I SAID AIDEN, THIS IS TOM GARRETT FROM THE VIRGINIA SENATE. AND THE DECISION THAT WE EMBARK UPON TODAY IS A VERY IMPORTANT ONE BECAUSE THIS REPTILE WILL BE OUR REPTILE FOREVER. AND MR. PRESIDENT, I PROCEEDED TO ENGAGE AIDEN IN MY BEST PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS AND DEBATE TECHNIQUES, CANDIDLY AFTER FIVE MINUTES, MR. PRESIDENT, THE 11-YEAR-OLD FROM WILLIAMSBURG, JAMES CITY COUNTY HAD THOROUGHLY FLUMMOXED AND SMOKED ME. MR. PRESIDENT, I SAID TO AIDEN IT SHOULD BE THE TIMBER RATTLE SNAKE AND HE ASKED ME THE FOLLOWING. T DID YOU KNOW, SENATOR GARRETT THAT, THE CARDINAL IS THE STATE BIRD OF WEST VIRGINIA? I SAID I DIDN'T KNOW THAT. HE SAID DID YOU ALSO KNOW THAT THE TIMBER RATTLE SNAKE IS THE STATE REPTILE OF WEST VIRGINIA? I SAID I DID NOT KNOW THAT. HE SAID SENATOR GARRETT, JUST HOW MUCH LIKE WEST VIRGINIA DO YOU WANT US TO BE? I SAID AIDEN, I HAVE NO RESPONSE TO THAT, BUT WHAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THE GARTER SNAKE IS IT'S KIND OF A TIMID SNAKE. IT'S NOT COOL AND POWERFUL AND WE TALKED ABOUT THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND I SAID I'M AFRAID SOME OF THOSE CAN CLOWNS FROM MARYLAND WILL PICK ON US. HE SAID SENATOR GARRETT, LET'S HOLD ON HERE JUST A SECOND. THERE WILL BE NO BULLYING. IF ANYBODY FROM MARYLAND WANTS TO MAKE SUN OF US, YOU SEND THEM TO ME. SO AFTER BEING THOROUGHLY DEFEATED IN A FIVE-MINUTE PHONE DEBATE WITH A 11-YEAR-OLD FROM WILLIAMSBURG, I PROMISED AIDEN THAT I WOULD DO EVERYTHING I COULD TO SHEPHERD HIS CHOICE OF THE GARTER SNAKE THROUGH THIS CHAMBER, SO WHILE I WOULD TEND TO AGREE WITH SENATOR BLACK THAT A POWERFUL AND GLORIOUS SPECIMEN SUCH AS A TIMBER RATTLESNAKE MIGHT BE MORE BEFITTING VIRGINIA, ON MAY HONOR, I MUST KEEP MY WORD TO AIDEN AND ASK THAT WE PASS THIS BILL IN ITS CURRENT FORM. THANK YOU.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU RNG SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM STAFFORD, SENATOR STUART.

Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. SPEAKING TO THE MOTION.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland): MR. PRESIDENT, THE LAST THING I WANT TO DO IS TALK ABOUT A SNAKE AFTER MY DISCUSSION ABOUT CHICKEN PARTS AND BEAR GALLBLADDERS THE OTHER DAY, BUT LET ME JUST TELL YOU THIS, IF IT ISN'T ENOUGH REASON TO DEFEAT THIS MOTION THAT A 11-YEAR-OLD OUT-DEBATED THE SENATOR FROM BUCKINGHAM, THAT YOUNG MAN DID THE SAME THING TO THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY IN THE COMMITTEE. NOW, THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY IS A FORMIDABLE LAWYER AND I HAVE SEEN HIM GO AFTER SOME FOLKS AND QUESTION THEM THOROUGHLY AND DILIGENTLY. HE ASKED THIS YOUNG MAN ONE QUESTION. THAT YOUNG MAN SHUT HIM DOWN AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS. I'M HOPING HE WILL RUN FOR THE SCIENCE, MR. PRESIDENT, AND I HOPE -- RUN FOR THE SENATE, MR. PRESIDENT, AND I HOPE WE DEFEAT THIS AMENDMENT.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM HENRICO, SENATOR McEACHIN.

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond): WOULD THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

[Unknown]: THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond): I YIELD.

[Unknown]: HE YIELDS, SENATOR. MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE TO ASK THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN IF HE'S TRYING TO INTERJECT PARTISAN POLITICS INTO OUR CODE AND WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS THIS RATTLESNAKE THAT HE SPEAKS OF, DOES IT LOOK LIKE THE SNAKE ON THE TEA PARTY LABEL? THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUDOUN. I WOULD RESPOND TO THE GENTLEMAN THAT INDEED, HE HAS ME THERE. IT ACTUALLY IS THE SYMBOL OF THE TEA PARTY, BUT THAT'S NOT THE REASON THAT I AM PROPOSING IT. TEA PARTIES WILL COME AND GO, BUT THE REPTILE WILL BE HERE LONG AFTER THE TEA PARTY IS GONE. SPEAKING TO THE MOTION, MR. PRESIDENT. THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR. THIS MAY NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN, BUT I'M GOING TO AGREE WITH THE SENATOR FROM LOUISE IS A -- BUCKINGHAM. EXCUSE ME, BUCKINGHAM. THE SENATOR FROM BUCKINGHAM AND LET'S GO WITH THE 11-YEAR-OLD. THE QUESTION IS SHALL THE FLOOR AMENDMENTS BE AGREED TO. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL SAY AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. THE GARTER SNAKE WINS. THE FLOOR AMENDMENTS ARE NOT AGREED TO. THE SENATOR FROM MECKLENBERG, SENATOR RUFF.

Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I MOVE THE BILL PASS. IT'S BEEN COMPLETELY DISCUSSED IN CONVERSATION, I THINK WE OUGHT TO MOVE FORWARD.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE QUESTION IS SHALL HOUSE BILL 335 PASS. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.