Attorney General; instituting/conducting crim. prosecutions for certain violence against children. (HB1198)

Introduced By

Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville) with support from 18 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Terry Austin (R-Buchanan), Del. Jason Ballard (R-Pearisburg), Del. Emily Brewer (R-Suffolk), A.C. Cordoza, Del. Buddy Fowler (R-Ashland), Del. Chris Head (R-Roanoke), Del. Keith Hodges (R-Urbanna), Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City), Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), Del. Marie March (R-Floyd), Del. Will Morefield (R-North Tazewell), Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg), Del. Anne Ferrell Tata (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie), Del. Wendell Walker (R-Lynchburg), Del. Bill Wiley (R-Winchester), Del. Wren Williams (R-Stuart), Del. Scott Wyatt (R-Mechanicsville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Attorney General; instituting or conducting criminal prosecutions for cases involving criminal sexual assault. Authorizes the Attorney General to institute or conduct criminal prosecutions in cases involving violations of criminal sexual assault when such crimes are committed against children. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/17/2022Presented and ordered printed 22104338D
01/17/2022Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/28/2022Impact statement from DPB (HB1198)
01/29/2022Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
01/31/2022House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/31/2022Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 3-N)
02/07/2022Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (11-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2022Committee substitute printed 22104934D-H1
02/09/2022Impact statement from DPB (HB1198H1)
02/09/2022Read first time
02/10/2022Read second time
02/10/2022Committee substitute agreed to 22104934D-H1
02/10/2022Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1198H1
02/11/2022Read third time and passed House (51-Y 48-N)
02/11/2022VOTE: Passage (51-Y 48-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2022Constitutional reading dispensed
02/14/2022Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
02/28/2022Passed by indefinitely in Judiciary (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


ChangeServant, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

OPPOSE this bill. AG Miyares and his patron Delegate Rob Bell apparently believe that it is appropriate for the state legislature to give a local police chief, who is an employee of a locality and subject to being hired and fired by the county manager/executive or city manager/chief administrative officer, state statutory authority to bypass the locally elected constitutional officer whose job it is to prosecute crimes (the Commonwealth's Attorney) if that police chief doesn't like the local prosecutor's decisions about whether and when to prosecute a case. And, they'd also grant another independent constitutional officer, the sheriff, the same authority to have the AG override local prosecutorial decisions.
Up to now, the law (restated in the bill) has clearly said "the Attorney General shall have no authority to institute or conduct criminal prosecutions in the circuit courts of the Commonwealth except" in limited circumstances specifically authorized by the legislature (initially, theft of state property, for example), and, only then, "with the concurrence of the local commonwealth's attorney."
What Miyares is seeking to do is to take away the authority to govern police and prosecutions at the local level ... to override the will of the prosecutors elected by the voters who are residents of the locality and have prosecutorial decisions made by him ... a person who may or may not have garnered a majority of votes in that particular jurisdiction.
The people being policed deserve to have the most direct control over the policies and procedures being used by the people policing them, whether at the ballot box or by public engagement in civilian review boards or other mechanisms for making their views known.
Mr. Miyares' wants to substitute his judgment for that of certain local prosecutors he has described as "progressive." This is not what the voters who elected those local constitutional officers want or expect from him as AG.

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