State officers & employees; retaliatory actions against persons providing certain testimony. (SB294)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach)

Progress

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

Description

Retaliatory actions by state officers and employees against persons providing testimony before a committee or subcommittee of the General Assembly. Prohibits officers and employees of a state agency from retaliating or threatening to retaliate against a person for providing testimony before a committee or subcommittee of the General Assembly. Under the bill, an intentional violation by an officer or employee of a state agency constitutes malfeasance in office. The bill also provides that any person who believes that he is the subject of retaliatory action may file a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General and expands the authority of the Office to include receiving and investigating such complaints. Amends § 2.2-309, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

03/10/2016: Passed the General Assembly

History

DateAction
01/08/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16103382D
01/08/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/20/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB294)
02/01/2016Reported from General Laws and Technology (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2016Read second time and engrossed
02/05/2016Passed by for the day
02/08/2016Read third time and passed Senate (29-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2016Placed on Calendar
02/11/2016Read first time
02/11/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws
02/17/2016Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #4
02/25/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (6-Y 0-N)
03/01/2016Reported from General Laws with amendment (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2016Read second time
03/04/2016Read third time
03/04/2016Committee amendment agreed to
03/04/2016Passed by for the day
03/07/2016Read third time
03/07/2016Amendments by Delegate Knight agreed to
03/07/2016Engrossed by House as amended
03/07/2016Passed House with amendments (96-Y 0-N)
03/07/2016VOTE: PASSAGE (96-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2016House amendments agreed to by Senate (35-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2016Enrolled
03/10/2016Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB294ER)
03/10/2016Signed by Speaker
03/10/2016Signed by President
03/11/2016G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Monday, April 11, 2016
03/11/2016Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on 3/11/16
03/11/2016G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Sunday, April 10, 2016
03/14/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB294ER)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 7 minutes.

Transcript

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



Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach): OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL CAN BASICALLY LOOK INTO THAT COMPLAINT. AND I REQUEST THAT THE BILL PASS.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM ALEXANDRIA, SENATOR EBBIN.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. WILL THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA BEACH FIELD FOR A YES?

[Unknown]: YIELD FOR A YES?

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria): ABSOLUTELY, MR. PRESIDENT.

[Unknown]: I WOULD ASK THE SENATOR IF THIS MEANS IF I WAS THE COMMISSIONER OF AN AGENCY AND WANTED TO TESTIFY FOR A BILL THAT THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER COULD TESTIFY DIFFERENTLY? THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA BEACH? IF I MAY, MR. PRESIDENT. WHAT IT MEANS IS IF YOU TESTIFIED ACES THE COMMISSIONER OR DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ON A BILL IN FRONT OF A COMMITTEE OR SUBCOMMITTEE AND THEN WHEN YOU WENT BACK TO YOUR COMMISSION YOU WERE FIRED AND RETALIATED AGAINST FOR YOUR TESTIMONY, THEN THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL COULD LOOK INTO THAT AND APPROPRIATE ACTIONS COULD BE TAKEN. THE SENATOR FROM ALEXANDRIA? SPEAK TO THE BILL BRIEFLY. THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR. MR. PRESIDENT, THE WAY I READ THE BILL, IT WOULD ALLOW FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT REPRESENTING THE ADMINISTRATION WHO WORK FOR THE STATE TO TESTIFY FOR A BILL PERHAPS TO A CONTRARY POSITION OF THE ADMINISTRATION. AND COULD LEAD TO SOME CONFUSION AND WHEN PEOPLE TESTIFY WHO WORK FOR THE STATE BEFORE GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMISSION, THEY ARE SEEN AS -- GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE THEY ARE SEEN AS REPRESENTING THEIR AGENCY OR CABINET SECRETARY AND THAT IS WHY I'M GOING TO VOTE AGAINST THE BILL. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX CITY, SENATOR PETERSON. GENTLEMAN YIELD FOR A QUESTION? WOULD THE GENTLEMAN YIELD? ABSOLUTELY. I REMEMBER WE HAD A COLLOQUY IN THE GENERAL LAWS COMMITTEE AND WE HAD A BILL LAST YEAR THAT WAS SIMILAR TO THIS THAT HAD A CARVEOUT FOR CONSTITUTIONALFIER IS. DOES HE RICO ELECTRIC AND HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR? THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I BELIEVE IT WAS SENATE BILL 1133 FROM SENATOR GARRETT LAST YEAR AND THIS IS THIS GIVES THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL THE ABILITY AND AUTHORITY TO DIG INTO AND LOOK INTO THE INVESTIGATORY AUTHORITY TO DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO WHILE LOOKING INTO THE INCIDENTS. THE SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY? FURTHER QUESTION, MR. CHAIR. WOULD THE GENTLEMAN YIELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION? ABSOLUTELY, MR. PRESIDENT. HE YIELDS SENATOR. I MAY BE REPHRASING THE QUESTION. WHAT DID YOU DO WITH AN ISSUE WHERE YOU HAVE AN AGENCY HEAD THAT SPEAKS TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND AN EMPLOYEE COMES IN WHO IS SUBORDINATE AND SPEAKS CONTRARY TO THAT? MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY WE HAVE A THING CALLED THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE AGENCY HE IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO DO THAT. SPEAKING AS AN INDIVIDUAL HE IS ALLOWED TO DO THAT AND HE SHOULD NOT BE RETALIATED AGAINST FOR SPEAK UNDER HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. I WOULD ASK WHAT IF HE IS USING KNOWLEDGE THAT HE AINED AS AN EDGE EMPLOYEE OF THAT AGENCY? THE JUNIOR SENATOR? MR. PRESIDENT, IF HE IS USING KNOWLEDGE HE GAINED FROM THAT AGENCY TO SPEAK ON A MATTER A IS A CITIZEN AND ANY CITIZEN THAT IS PART OF OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK FOR OR AGAINST ANYTHING. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. IS THIS STILL ON THE UNCONTESTED CALENDAR? NO, IT IS TAKEN OUT OF THE BLOCK, SENATOR. THANK YOU. THE QUESTION IS SHALL SENATE BILL 294 PASS. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILLS AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO. ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? HAVE ALL THE SENATORS


Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach): LINE 87, INSERT BETTER B FOR A NEW SECTION. AND TO BE COVERED BY PROVISIONS OF THE SECTION, A PERSON PROVIDING TESTIMONY SHALL DO SO IN GOOD FAITH AND ON A REASONABLE BELIEF THE INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AND THAT THE PERSON KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN SHALL NOT BE DEEMED GOOD FAITH TESTIMONY. >> IT DOESN'T OFFER PROTECTIONS FOR FALSE TESTIMONY. MR. SPEAKER, I MOVE THE FLOOR AMENDMENT.

[Unknown]: THE QUESTION IS ON THE FLOOR AMENDMENT. THOSE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. OPPOSED. NO. MR. SPEAKER, I MOVE PASSAGE OF THE BILL. SHALL THE BILL PASS? AYE, 96, NO, 0. THE BILL IS PASSED.
HOUSE COMMITTEE OR SUBCOMMITTEE, THIS ENSURES THAT THE INFORMATION THEY'RE GIVING IS ACCURATE TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY AND KNOWLEDGE, AND THAT THEY HAVE A REASONABLE BELIEF THAT ALL OF THE INFORMATION THEY ARE PROVIDING IS ACCURATE. ON THE OTHER SIDE, SHOULD THEY KNOW THAT THIS INFORMATION IS FALSE, CONFIDENTIAL, MALICIOUS, OR OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, THEN THAT SHALL NOT BE DEEMED IN GOOD FAITH. SO WITH THAT, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY WE SHOULD CONCUR WITH THE HOUSE AMENDMENT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THANK YOU. THE QUESTION IS SHALL THE SENATE CONCUR WITH THE HOUSE AMENDMENT. 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 35, NOS 5. AYES 35, NOS 15. THE SENATE CONCURS WITH THE HOUSE AMENDMENT. SENATE BILL 323, PASSED THE