Act for Religious Freedom; reaffirms religious rights. (HB791)

Introduced By

Del. Les Adams (R-Chatham) with support from 53 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield), Del. Terry Austin (R-Buchanan), Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton), Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville), Del. Rob Bloxom (R-Accomack), Del. Kathy Byron (R-Lynchburg), Del. Jeff Campbell (R-Marion), Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Chris Collins (R-Winchester), Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Del. Mark Dudenhefer (R-Stafford), Del. James Edmunds (R-South Boston), Del. Peter Farrell (R-Henrico), Del. Buddy Fowler (R-Ashland), Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper), Del. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg), Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock), Del. Tag Greason (R-Potomac Falls), Del. Chris Head (R-Roanoke), Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), Del. Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell), Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City), Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave), Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), Del. Jay Leftwich (R-Chesapeake), Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Oak Hill), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond), Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville), Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond), Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas), Del. Randy Minchew (R-Leesburg), Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Rick Morris (R-Carrollton), Del. Israel O'Quinn (R-Bristol), Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), Del. Todd E. Pillion (R-Abingdon), Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg), Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill), Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale), Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield), Del. Nick Rush (R-Christiansburg), Del. Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan), Del. Michael Webert (R-Marshall), Del. Tony Wilt (R-Harrisonburg), Del. Tommy Wright (R-Victoria)

Progress

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

Description

Act for Religious Freedom. Reaffirms that the religious rights asserted in 57-1 of the Code of Virginia are the natural and unalienable rights of mankind. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/12/2016Committee
01/12/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16102530D
01/12/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/18/2016Assigned to sub: Subcommittee #3
01/18/2016Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #3
01/19/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (7-Y 0-N)
01/26/2016Reported from General Laws with amendment (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2016Read first time
01/29/2016Passed by for the day
02/01/2016Read second time
02/01/2016Committee amendment agreed to
02/01/2016Pending question ordered
02/01/2016Engrossed by House as amended HB791E
02/01/2016Printed as engrossed 16102530D-E
02/02/2016Read third time and passed House (97-Y 1-N)
02/02/2016VOTE: PASSAGE (97-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2016Constitutional reading dispensed
02/03/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/22/2016Reported from General Laws and Technology (10-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016Read third time
02/25/2016Passed Senate (34-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/29/2016Enrolled
02/29/2016Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB791ER)
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 284 (effective 7/1/16)
03/07/2016G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0284)

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 52 seconds.

Transcript

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



Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): BILL 773 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.

[Unknown]: AYES 21, NOS 19. AYES 21, NOS 19. THE BILL PASSES. [ CAPTIONING WILL RESUME SHORTLY ]

Comments

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Well, this is about the goofiest bill that I've ever seen.

So, we have § 57-1, which consists of Thomas Jefferson's famous Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Then we have § 57-2, in which the General Assembly long ago passed a bill saying:

The General Assembly doth now again declare that the rights asserted in the said act are of the natural rights of mankind.

What Del. Adams wants to do here is say that, yet again, we declare this. He wants to amend § 57-2 to say this instead:

The General Assembly does hereby declare again that the rights asserted in § 57-1 are the natural and unalienable rights of mankind and this declaration shall remain the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So first we have a landmark declaration that is a foundation of Virginia and, indeed, the U.S. Then we put it in a law, just in case. Then we passed a bill into saying "yup, that law is a thing." And now we're going to pass a bill updating the law that says "yup, that law is a thing." Because...why?