04/17/2015 House Proceedings

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Called to order at 12 m. by William J. Howell, Speaker

Mace placed on Speaker's table by Sergeant at Arms

Prayer offered by The Honorable Edward T. Scott, the Gentleman from Madison

Delegate Cox led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America

Attendance roll call - Quorum present

Leaves of Absence granted: Delegates Albo, Campbell, Farrell [portion], Head, Hester [portion], Kory [portion], Lopez, Marshall of Danville, Morefield, Morris, O'Quinn, Orrock, Pillion, Ransone, Rasoul, Robinson, Sickles, Taylor, Ward, Watts, Webert

Journal for Wednesday, April 15, 2015, approved by the Speaker

Motion by Delegate Kilgore to adjourn in honor and memory of Richard Settle agreed to

Motion by Delegate Cox to recess agreed to

House recessed at 12:10 p.m. until 12:40 p.m.

House reconvened at 12:40 p.m.


HB 2070A - Governor's recommendation determined not specific and severable (Y-80 N-0), 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Constitutional Readings dispensed (Y-81 N-0), Delegate Gilbert floor amendments nos. 3, 8-16, 24-26, 29-32, 37-39, 43, 47-49 agreed to, Delegate Gilbert floor amendments nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 18-21, 33, 34 rejected (Y-26 N-55), Delegate Gilbert floor amendment no. 17 rejected (Y-27 N-54), Delegate Gilbert floor amendments nos. 22, 23, 27, 28, 35, 36 rejected (Y-30 N-50), Delegate Gilbert floor amendment no. 40 rejected (Y-26 N-55), Delegate Gilbert floor amendments nos. 41, 42 rejected (Y-28 N-53), Delegate Gilbert floor amendments nos. 44-46 rejected (Y-29 N-52), Delegate Gilbert floor amendment nos. 6-7 rejected (Y-28 N-53), Engrossed, Passed (Y-81 N-0)
HB 2148 - Passed by for the day


What follows is a transcript of this day’s session that was created as closed-captioning text, written in real time during the session. We have made an effort to automatically clean up the text, but it is far from perfect.

> House will come to order. Members please take your seats. Sargent at arms.

The House is now in session all persons not entitled to privileges on the floor please retire to the gallery.

Members will rise and be led in prayer by and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance by gentleman from Colonial Heights, mr. Cox.

Let us pray. Gracious father, we ask you once more to grant us wisdom, stability and respect for this institution and each other. Thank you for those who work with us and their dedication, efforts on our behalf go unnoticed but are critical for all we do as we near completion of the session we recognize ways we're helped by staff. God, thank you for 98 degrees who are tireless in their dedication, who sacrifice time, and treasure and heart felt efforts make the commonwealth a better place to live and raise a family. I thank them for service, dedication, and friendship, as we leave this chamber, watch everyone, grant them warm welcomes and safe travels home. We have debates that can rouse strong emotions and protocol that can be perplexing but father, thank you for prayer that begins these sessions and Peace it brings. Opening with prayer reminds us where we're here, and who we're here to serve. Thank you for your blessings in jesus name, I pray, amen. [ reciting the pledge of allegiance ]

Members will answer the roll call by indicating their presence on the electronic voting board. Clerk will close the role.

Quorum is present, mr. Speaker.

I have approved the journal of the House of delegates for April 15th.

Just a reminder today, information members will need is accessible on las or distributed by hard copy to members who receive such documents. In addition, I 'd remind members as we did on Wednesday, that in your general assembly building office have been placed presentation copies of framed or nonframed resolutions so stop by our building office to get those documents today. That is all of the announcements I have, mr. Speaker.

Gentleman from from Richmond City, miss McClellan.

Mr. Speaker, I rise for a request.

Gentleman from May state it.

May the journal reflect my seat mate is away due to pressing personal business today.

Journal will so reflect.

Mr. Cline

I rise for a request that the journal reflect my seat mate, miss Watts is out of her seat due to pressing personal business.

Gentleman from Fairfax mr. Bulova.

Tos, mr. Speaker, I rise for a request. I request my seat mate, Delegate Delegate Fairfax mr. Sickles is way on pressing personal business.

Gentleman from from Newport News, miss BaCote.

I rise for a request that my seat mate is away on pressing personal business.

Gentleman from from Richmond City, miss car.

Rise for a request.

Gentle woman has the floor.

The journal reflect my seat mate, Delegate Lopez is away on pressing personal business.

Gentleman from Scott, mr. Kilgore.

I have a request.

Gentleman has the floor.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the general assembly and community lost a good friend, passing away unexpectedly yesterday. And he was such a great friend to a lot of you all on both sides of the aisle. And I would hope that, and move when we adjourn today, mr. Speaker, that we adjourn in the honor and memory of our good friend, richard settle.

Gentleman from Scott moves the House adjourn in the memory of mr. Richard settle. Those in favor of the motion will please rise. That motion is agreed to.

Gentleman from halifax, mr. Evans.

Mr. Speaker, I rise for a request.

Gentleman May state it

. I rekwekt my seat mate is away today on pressing personal business.

Journal will so reflect.

The gentleman from from middlesex, mr. Hodges.

Thank you, mr. Speaker, I rise for a request. May the journal reflect my seat mate is away on it.

Gentle woman from James city county miss Pogge.

I request the journal reflect my seat mate is away on personal pressing business.

Gentleman from from Chesapeake, mr. Leftwich. May the journal reflect my seat mate is away on pressing personal business.

Gentleman from Fairfax, mr. Lemunyon.

I request that the journal reflect my seat mate is away on pressing personal business.

Gentleman from Frederick, mr. Berg.

Thank you, mr. Speaker, I rise for a request.

I request the journal reflect the gentleman from henrico journal reflect he's away on personal pressing business.

Journal will so reflect.

Gentleman from loudoun, mr. Greason. I'd like to reflect that I am here today. Thank you.

Gentleman from Fairfax, mr. Lemunyon?

Thank you, mr. Speaker. I rise for the purpose of a request. Just informed my other seat mate, gentleman from Fairfax is away on pressing personal business.

Are there further motions and resolutions under rule 39? Gentleman from Colonial Heights, mr. Cox?

Mr. Speaker, I move we stand in recess until 12:40.

The gentleman from gentleman from Colonial Heights mr. Cox moves we stand in recess until 12:40. Those in favor say aye. Opposed, no. That motion is agreed tox the House stands in recess until 12:40. [ House is in recess ]

House republican caucus immediately upon recess, House room one. [ [ House is in recess ]

> House will come to order. House will be at ease. [ House is at ease ]

> Calendar of the House of delegates reconvenienced session Friday, April 17, 2015. House bills with recommendation by the governor. Related to the state and local government conflict of interact and did Virginia conflict of interest. Approvals for certain travel. The governor's recommendation is available.

Mr. Girl berth.

I have a motion.

State it.

I move that the House determine that the governor's recommendations to House bill 2070 are not specific and receiveorable.

I remind the members that the question the gentleman has offered is for the House to determine that the governor's recommendation is not specific and severable. If a member agrees with that motion, then he should vote yes. If a member doesn't agree and thinks that the governor's recommendation are specific and severable he should vote no. The impact of the yes note will place the bill as presented by the governor represented to the governor back before the House, and it May be further enacted on. The impact of a no vote would retain the governor's recommendations for the House for subsequent consideration. The question is shall the governor's recommendation be determined not specific and severable. The clerk will close the roll. Yeas 80, nay's zero. The motion is agreed toes.

I move for immediate consideration and that all constitutional readings for House bill 2070 be dispensed.

Without objection House bill 2070 will be taken up for immediate consideration further. The gentleman has moved that all constitutional readings be dispensed and the effect of this motion will allow the House to act on the enrolled House bill 2070 immediately, and that bill will be an amendable, debatable stage and on completion of the debate, if any, the proper motion would be to move for passage of the bill. So the question is, shall all constitutional readings of House bill 2070 be dispensed. The clerk will close the roll.

Yeas 81, no zero.

The motion is agreed to. Mr. Gilbert.

I request that the floor amendments to the enrolled House bill 2070 be reported by the clerk.

The clerk will report the floor amendments.

Offered by Delegate Gilbert have been distributed, they're available on lis and have been distributed in hard copy format to members who regularly receive documents.

Mr. Speaker in the interest of time I 'm going to move that we position these bills into certain blocks, and would it be appropriate to state the manner in which I would request to do that?

Yes, sir.

Mr. Speaker I would ask that we would put into a block vote amendments and these are floor amendments three, eight through 16, 24 through 26, twin through 32, 37 through 39, 43 and 47 through 49 I would ask that we would take those amendments up in a block.

You want to make any recommendation on how we vote on them?

I would move we would accept those floor amendments, mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker will the gentleman yield for question?

I will.

I ask the gentleman in this incident is it true that in this block is the correction of the aggregate gift band and would the gentleman be in a position to explain one, if that's true. And two, what this new amendment does?

Certainly. And mr. Speaker I was intending to do that and I think we were in a lull and maybe I should have gone ahead and done it. The centerpiece of course of the governor's proposals by his own admission I think was the proposal to make the $100 gift kapa aggregate annual gift cap and, of course, the trouble we have, the reason we're here today is because that was not written in such a way as it reflected existing law which brought in reference does within a calendar year and so what we've seven sally done in proposing the appropriate floor amendments which reflect I believe the governor's wishes, and for the members of the body just to know which ones those are, it is amendments nine, 12 and 26, which are relevant to the governor's proposal to make that an annual cap. So we have corrected the governor's amendments as -- in making them floor amendments and now the floor amendments accurately reflect what the governor intended, and the effect of adopting this block would be to -- would include those proposals. The fact of adopting this block would be to adopt the governor's recommendation that we adopt an aggregate cap for the year. Mr. Speaker just in further speaking to that, this was a -- this was something we originally announced we were going to do as a House when we announced it back in December. Anybody who looks back at the press release we did at the time, it would reflect we intended this very thing. And then as we went along, there were concerns, legitimate concerns, that adopting this provision would be problematic from a bookkeeping standpoint. We still have those concerns. We still have concerns that there will be unintended consequences from this, but we also understand that there is a public appetite to try to take the ball, move the ball forward and again this is something we originally proposed. We agree with the governor this is something we need to do. And so by accepting this block, we will be adopting that proposal.

I thank the gentleman.

The recommendation is in the block be agreed to?

I'm sorry?

Oh, yes. All those -- back in the mode of the governor's recommendations. All those approve the amendment as listed in the block will say yea.


Those an esmonthed, no. Amendments are agreed to.

Mr. Speaker, just a parliamentary inquiry. Maybe some other type of inquiry, point of information, I just noticed the board only reflected certain numbers and not what I requested. Okay, I see them. I'm a big stickler on font and color, so you threw me off there. Thank you mr. Speaker. At this point mr. Speaker, I 'm prepared to blame anyone else for anything that goes wrong. Mr. Speaker, would it be appropriate to -- for me to do my retirement speech at this point or is that -- I 'll get back to that in the morning hour, mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would further move that we place into a second block the following floor amendments, amendments one, two, four through seven, 17 through 23, 27, 28, 33 through 36, 40 through 42, and 44 through 46, and I would like -- May I explain? My motion will be to reject those amendments. I would like to speak to that. Mr. Speaker, so let me just take everybody through the amendments I just placed in the block. I'll say that again for the sake of time, we are asking to put those into the block. We think this is reflective of where the Senate is, perhaps even with respect to both caucuses, I 'm not sure about that yet, but we believe at least a majority of both bodies intend to reject the amendments I just listed. And here is what they include, mr. Speaker. My preve press the explanation by saying this, we have said all along this was aim perfect bill, that it was imperfect bill last year, that it was an imperfect bill this year, that it was a subject matter which is highly complicated, very complex, with unintended consequences, and mr. Speaker, you know, it is -- nothing frustrated me more about this process than making a change to this bill and then reading an accusation in the newspaper that we were somehow doing something to try to be less ethical. The people who were privy to this process both republicans and democrats who worked through these matters in subcommittee, in excruciating detail, lawyers on both sides talking through the issues, I think really understood what we were trying to accomplish, maybe we didn't always disagree on some things or didn't always agree on some things, but the finish product was a result of a unanimous vote out of the House committee. From both sides of the aisle. And that is because the people who worked on it understood that we had worked through these issues in a way where we had tried to balance the public's interest in having a more ethical government, with more constraints on the ability of public officials to engage in certain activities, balancing that with the willingness and ability of people to continue in their public service. And all along we said if you create traps for the unwirey if you create traps for people where by they May go to jail for doing something unwittingly, you're not going to have decent people in government anymore, and that was a bipartisian understanding and approach to this legislation that we try to balance the interests of the public with being fair to public officials. You know, it was very easy for people to holler no gifts, shouldn't take any gifts. Then we talk to folks about that, and I would say okay, if I get invited to speak at an event, and I drive an hour to that event, and I get there, and before I update the -- those assembled there, they ask me if I would like a bottle of water to clear my throat before I speak. Have I then run afoul of this prohibition that people want on gifts, universe ily? I suppose I have. People say that's okay, you can have a bottle of water. Okay, at the moment that someone says you can have a bottle of water, then they are beginning to engage in a very kind of balancing act that we have been doing all along. What is okay, what is not, what should be okay, what should not. And again we tried to preserve our ability to interact with our constituents in a way that they expect, in a way they demand, and again not make people into criminals unwittingly. So this balancing test not always easy, we tried our best. Where there are deficiencies remaining we intend to try to fix those. I think we -- where there May be lacking in transparency we want to fix that. We've always felt the transparency was the best way to handle these things, if you cast the light of day on these activities that the public can make their own choices about the behavior of their officials. So to the extent any of that May still be lacking I pledge to those assembled today and to the public that we are going do still try to fix those. But what the governor did was he had plenty of time, too, to work on this, the governor had plenty of time to work on this. The fact we just had to do what we did and come back here Friday is reflective of the fact this is not so easy as everybody thinks it is. And so part of what we're hoping to reject today are things that don't make any sense. Some of them are just poor efforts at drafting. Some of them are areas where we just disagree fundamentally on what the government for is trying to accomplish. So with that I would like to take everybody through the amendments that I 'm proposing that we reject, mr. Speaker. There is a set of amendments dealing with travel and travel disclosures. If the governor wanted to take up some of those that we are getting e-mails about, he could have done that in a much more surgical fashion. Instead there were several lines of text struck through, mr. Speaker. And in so doing, I think the governor made errors. One of the glaring ones is that you know we as public officials are appointed to boards and commissions regularly where our attendance is expected. And when you get -- I use the Chesapeake bay commission as an example. If you are appointed to the Chesapeake bay commission by the speaker, the public expects you to be there as part of your job. If you happen to go to a commission meeting in philadelphia, which happens, they have out of state meetings, that is not something that you should have to get permission for from the travel council, from the ethics council like you do other travel. It is not something that should be considered a gift, because it's just you doing your job. Similarly, the folks at the Virginia municipal league and association of counties contacted us because they said look, you're about to make someone attending an event on behalf of their town or county let's say some town councilman borrows the town car to drive to a meeting or to some other meeting related to their official duties, that should not be a gift. And I don't think anyone ever expected that it would be. But the fact that the governor struck through this language makes that problematic. So we think that he painted this issue with too broad a brush, and there maybe things embodied in these amendments that we need to fix in the future. But this was not done in a way that I think is a surgical attempt at doing whatever it is he's trying to do. Further mr. Speaker, there is some -- the way we originally intended the ethics council to work was it be modeled after the foya council. The foia council similarly relates to transparency in government, et cetera. We thought it was a good model to follow. So we as is foia council we placed the ethics council under the purview of legislative services. The amendments dealing with the staffing of the council basically take it out of that model and put it into a different model. I think there is concern in the Senate they brought to us and we don't disagree that the -- even though they would make these changes in the law, again this is a drafting problem. The governor's office neglected to write language that would make the he ethics council a fiscal agent. So even though this empowers the ethics council to spend money to hire and fire apparently they did not have the authority and the code to do that. And so if we did it this way, it would cause a big mess. And so again, we would just ask the members to reject that series of amendments as part of this block. The next one mr. Speaker dealt with I think what they were calling random inspections. So originally this language dealt with audits. They wanted to audit the filings that we send. We said all along when we file under the conflict of inact, that -- with our statement of economic interest, that the whole world gets to look at what we file because part of this bill was to create total transparency by online filing of all these disclosure forms. So we think this is redundant. The notion that the council would need to have the authority to inspect something that the whole world can inspect right now, everybody can see whether you filed your disclosure forms on time, everybody can see whether you filed them completely, and everybody can see what you filed and check it against whatever they know about you. So we don't believe you need any separate special authority for the council to inspect something that the world can already inspect on their own. There are a couple of amendments, 41 and 42, that purport to add some authority to the ethics council. We believe mr. Speaker that this is simply bad drafting, that language sad to do all acts necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter. It doesn't say lawful, it doesn't say -- the word problematic -- the word that's problematic is convenient. Lots of things could be convenient, but not be the right thing to do. So we think that there May be some words that if the council once it's up and running needs extra authority to carry out its mission there May be words that need to be inserted into the code to clarify their authority, but certainly making it convenient to do this or that May again be problematic and overly broad. We ask the body to reject those amendments. I know a lot of folks in the room heard from their local registrars, there is something going back and forth between the state board of elections and administration and the registrars about their voting machines. There is something going on, mr. Speaker, and I 'm not really up on it. What I do know is if we require upon further reflection, if we require local electoral boards to file this 17 page document, or whatever it is, we're going to lose people and their willingness to do that. It is hard enough in rural areas to find people willing to serve on the electoral board. I suggest if you subject them to this kind of scrutiny, you're going to lose your ability to get good people to do that. Finally, mr. Speaker, there is some language, amendment six and seven relating to fixing and making uniform the references in the code to immediate family. There is some concern down the Hall that -- what essentially it would do the net effect of this would be that if you're not a legislature but if you're appointed to a board or commission, that if there's something that affects you or your immediate family directly that you would have to recuse yourself from voting on that matter. That's already the case for legislators but this would be for non-legislator appointees for those type of commissions. The concern down the Hall is if you got a big family and somebody who maybe doesn't care for you they could put you in a position by incorporating more members of your family that one of those people could essentially conflict you out of a vote through they far I us intent. I don't think tissue is to stop the underlying intent of the amendments, it is simply to a voice unintended consequences. By the way, it should be noted that none of this except for the fact we just let the ethics council begin meeting in July, none of these becomes the law until January 1 of 2016, so if there is anything that needs fixing, whether it's transparency related or the things I just alluded to, shortly after this bill becomes law in 2016, we will have the ability to fix those things. And we shouldn't miss a beat as far as making our public policy whole and doing the right thing. So we will have a chance to fix anything that whether shortcoming shortly after we come back into session next we're without detrimental effect to the public. I would yield to any questions.

The gentleman --

Thank you mr. Speaker. I have a motion. Thank you mr. Speaker. There are some members of this side who would like to vote on the remaining block and subblocks, and so I would move that we handle amendments one, two, four, five, 18, 19, 20, 21, 33 and 34 in the first block. We handle amendment 17 in the second block. We handle amendment 22, 23, 27, 28, 35 and 36 in the third block. Amendment 40 in the fourth block. Amendment 41 and 42 in the fifth block. Amendment 44, 45 and 46 in the sixth block. And finally, amendment six and seven in the seventh block. And these blocks are all grouping amendments by topic.

Take the clerk a moment or two to set that up.

Thank you, mr. Speaker. Speaking to her motion to sever --

You May proceed.

Thank you mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, and those people watching maybe on television and trying to figure out what's going on here, that only happens in Charlottesville. It's my wife who is watching now, so hello. Anyway, there -- this could be very confusing for a lot of us, but I think all the members should know that the majority party, minority party have been spending a lot of time together over the last few days trying to come up with a procedure that allows these amendments to come forward. And if you recall, if we had done this on Wednesday, what we would have been doing is similar to what we're doing today, except we would have had recorded votes in all these amendments. I think what we're trying to do now is simply give people on this side of the aisle the opportunity to record their votes in favor of these amendments. The majority party knows we were going to pull these out of the block, I don't think it surprises anybody that's what we're going to do. And hope that we're not going to have long debates about this but this is how we would have proceeded on Wednesday and that's where I think our intention -- and some people might want to vote differently on each one of these amendments.

Thank you.

Speaking to the motion. Mr. Speaker I wanted to add to what the gentleman from Charlottesville said. Of course we could have brought this -- once we declared the amendments to be not specific and severable we could have presented a floor substitute that would have reflected all the things we were thinking about rejecting as not being in there, all the things we were going to accept being in there and fixing the one change that the governor needed fixed. So I appreciate the gentleman alerting everyone we've been working on this in a bipartisian fashion. I wanted to mention that we could have done this very differently but instead we thought it was only fair to the process and to the governor to present these matters as floor amendments and take them up in the manner we have as we would have had they been governor's amendments.

Mr. Speaker. Speaking further to the motion. I'll save us some time. I'm going to have to recognize the fact that I forgot to explain one of these things. One of the set of amendments tried to put into a separate block, a subblock, was the issue relating to amendments 22, 23, 27, 28, 35 and 36. And the body May recall that last year, when we established who the prohibited parties were, who the trick ear parties were, that the gift limitations involve to lobbyists, people who lobbyists work for, and those who have or are seeking a state contract, that was where we were sort of trying to solve what everyone is calling the johnny Williams problem. Mr. Speaker the problem with that is we will never, ever, ever fix all the possible ways that you could try to say to somebody is or isn't going to be included. It will just never happen. We'll never get that perfect. We tried to get as close as possible. Something that came up during the course of this session, again that passed our subcommittee in the House unanimously in bipartisian fashion, was the issue of taking out the language that the governor is now trying to reinsert. In the bill we recognize in subcommittee that the executive branch has contracts with people, that the state does, and it's the executive branch that negotiates those contracts and has power over those contracts. Local governments engage in contractual relationships with people and the people who serve on those local government bodies are privy to those contracts. The legislature of Virginia does not engage in contracts with anybody. And so it occurred to us that you could easily create a trap for the underweary by making legislator ons subject to a provision that has no bearing upon them or their duties. Obviously johnny Williams if he was a lobbyist if he wanted a bill change, if anyone else does who is a lobbyist object somebody the lib iist works for they have to work with the legislatures. But as far as folks engaged in contractual relationships we don't know who they are, we don't deal with them, not privy to those contracts. Yet we could unwittingly I think we were talking earlier the gentleman from Fairfax, you know, he knows a guy who pushes snow for the state. He's got a contract with the state he's a friend of I had. What does that mean for him and all the rest of us who May not know that a friend of ours has a contract with the state similarly? So for that reason we think that the change we originally made during session is good. Again, it is not anybody in here trying to be less ethical, it is trying to be fair to those of us in public policy or public service. The same limitation should not a pry to us as it does them. That's why we took it out originally. That's why we're asking you to reject the governor's amendment. I wonder if I talked long enough for the clerk to cue the -- no? Okay. Another thing that concerns me. That's all I have right now, mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.

We have -- heats do these in order of blocks. In the first block we have amendments one, two, four, five, 18, 19, 20, 21, 33 and 34. And the gentleman moves that we --

Reject those amendments.

Mr. Speaker.

Speaking to the block, these are the amendments that deal with certain types of travel that when it left the House were excluded from the -- when it left the general assembly were excluded from the definition of a gift, and the governor has put back. There has been some confusion created I think by local elected officials but their confusion really is focused on the wrong thing. And here is the problem. What the local elected officials are saying is they don't want to have to disclose certain travel that that local government pays for. That begs the question, why are they not reporting it today? Today, and under the law as it was before we amended it last year, anything of value given to someone covered by the conflict of interact, had to be disclosed unless it fell within an exception. If they weren't reporting it, there was an existing exception it fell under, most likely the one that says you don't are to report gifts given to you by your employer as part of your occupation. That did not change. We did not change that. What we did say was there are certain types of travel above $100, since there is $100 cap, certain type of travel you should not have to get preapproved by the council. And we put this language in, unartfully removing it from the definition of a gift. We intended that that travel even though you could do it should still be disclosed, because you are traveling on public dollars. And the public has a right to know that you're doing it. If it fits the definition of a gift to begin with. So the governor has removed language that has not taken affect yet from saying it's still a gift, but you don't have to get it preapproved. But again the locality think that what the governor has done is taken away an exemption they already have. He hasn't. Legislative service that's wrote the bill says he hasn't. And all we're doing here now is saying anytime you have travel that fits in one of those categories, which used to be a gift unless it fell in an exception now is never a gift. And never has to be disclosed. And that is not what we intended. And I think that takes us a little bit much a step back and I ask that we accept the amendment.

Mr. Speaker.

The gentleman from -- mr. Gilbert.

Speaking to the amendment.

Gentleman May proceed.

Mr. Speaker with all due respect to the gentleman woman from Richmond I believe she is mistaken. The premise of her -- the start of her argument is if they are subject to disclosure why wouldn't they be disclosing it now? You May recall previously there was a tangible and intangible gift distinction, so none of this mattered because all that kind of travel was an intangible gift and in a totally different category. The problem now is with the change in the law a lot of these localities have told us we are subject to this because our locality has a lobbyist. Fair fox county has a lobbyist. They lobby the general assembly, they're registered to do so. Numerous other counties and towns and cities around the common wealth are lobby the general assembly with registered lobbyists. Therefore they fall under the prohibited parties or parties not prohibited but it invokes the lobbyist principle language. A bunch of these localities would find themselves having to report run of the mill travel that their members, council men, supervisors, school board members, whoever it May be, that those folks are taking, pursuant to their job, also -- all of a sudden would be subject to all these limitations, requests, everything else. When we were looking at it we said wait a minute, if you're doing your job, if you're going to the Chesapeake bay commission as part of your job in the legislature, if you're a town counsel sill man doing part of your work and all of these are subject to voluntary aen an everything else, folks look and see what they're spending their money on, you shouldn't have to engage in all this getting your travel approved, are we really going to have town councils having to call and submit a request to go to a thing that their duties with their couldn't council require? I don't think that's what any of us intended. Again you're going to drive people out of public service we do that. What the governor has done by lumping them into this amendment, and again if there is something he was trying to do here he could have done it without pulling in the local he officials, he could have done it without pulling in thing that's are directly related to our jobs, or people in the administration, in the executive branch. So the fact that he again pained such a broad brush leads us really if we want to not mess up everything for everybody else leaves us with no choice but to reject this amendment. Mr. Speaker am I correct we cannot sever out these amendments, could not have done that with a governor's amendment, we would have been stuck with that. So we believe mr. Speaker that we -- again, in the vein of treating this the same as we would have the governor's amendments, that this is problematic and we simply have to reject this or we're going to have a lot of problems.

Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield for a question.

Gentlemen yield?

I yield.

Isn't it true that the distinction between tangible and intangible gifts only mattered because tangible gifts were subject to a cap and intangible gifts were not?

That's correct.

No further questions mr. Speak.

Gentleman yield?

I yield.

But intangible gifts still were gifts that had to be disclosed if they were above $50, that is correct?

Mr. Speaker I agree with the gentleman woman but any notion that --

The gentleman has the floor.

I think the gentleman misses the point. Borrowing the county town car three years ago was not a gift. Now that we have gotten rid of that distinction, it's still not a gift. All we have done here is said if it was a gift three years ago, and it was a gift last year, it's still a gift this year. It is subject to a cap. You can do it if it falls in one of these categories. And for that reason I ask that we just -- by not accepting this amendment, what you are allowing is any government travel not only is never subject to a cap, but is never disclosed. And that is a step backwards from what the law was last year and three years ago. And I don't think that is what we should be doing. These are public dollars, the public has a right to know how they are being spent. Thank you.

Thank you mr. Speaker. I would like to point out despite what the gentleman lady said. Any travel by local official or us whether it's reported on the conflict of inform or not, any local travel paid for by the taxpayers is foia councillible and part of the public record for the localities, so it's not like this thing is being done in secret or information is being kept by the public. The only thing we're debating with these amendments is whether that information will also be recorded on a conflict of interest form. Thank you.

The amendments in block one, amendments one, two, four, five, 18, 19, 20, 21, 33 and 34 be agreed to? All those in favor -- I 'm sorry. We're going to do it anyway. Shall those amendments be agreed to? The clerk will close the roll. Craigs 26, noises 55.

The amendments are rejected. The next block is amendment number 17.

Thank you, mr. Speaker. Speaking to the amendment. Thank you mr. Speaker. Ladies and gentlemen of the House under current law, local officials who make procurement decisions above a certain amount of money are mandated to be subject to the conflict of interact and the local authorities can subject others to it. On voting machines, not exclusively, and so the question is why would you subject, those decisions amount to contracts and very significant amounts of money, why would you subject them to one set of rules and other procurement officials to a different one when in fact, a lot of the vendors are spending their resources to try to influence those procurement decisions by wining and dining those officials. And that is the reason for the amendment. I don't think they should be subject to different rules, just like the metropolitan authority board members have to fill out statement of economic interest I don't see why the local electoral board shouldn't either. Just as many of our local employees have to fill them out to make procurement decisions, so should the local registrar. For that reason I ask that you adopt amendment 17.

Mr. Speaker. The gentlewoman yield for a question?

I yield.

Gentlewoman yields.

Mr. Speaker I would ask the gentlewoman there has been some confusion about the genesis of this amendment. And the gentlewoman alluded to what we were initially told regarding the reason for it, which had to do with the wining and dining of local registrars and perhaps electoral board members over their choice of voting machines. Is that the -- what the gentlewoman's understanding, I 'm just confirming that's what she heard as the reason for this.

Yes, that is one of them.

Further question, mr. Speaker.

Well the gentlewoman yield?

I yield.

Gentlewoman yields.

Mr. Speaker we have learned in recent days, and I wonder if the gentlewoman is likewise aware, there is an existing ongoing tension between the administration or someone within the administration between the administration and these local registrars regarding choice of vendors and the idea that essentially the administration wants all of these local decisions to be to the benefit of one particular voting machine vendor, and so that this -- at least this amendment is being offered to ensure compliance with the wishes of the administration. Is the gentlewoman aware of any of that tension or drama as I just expressed it?

I have heard secondhand from some folks on your side of the aisle that that tension May or May not exist. However I would say the following. The individual at question is subject to the conflict of interact that has to report any gift that's they receive as do many of the administration officials. I believe not positive, but I believe the state board of elections members are subject to the statement of economic interest and have to disclose -- fill out statement of economic interest forms. And I do not believe that having to disclose gifts received from vendors or anybody else would influence a decision for local elected officials anymore than it would influence the decision for the state officials that have to disclose the same gifts now.

Mr. Speaker, speaking to the amendment.

Gentleman has the floor.

I thank the gentlewoman. Mr. Speaker, I don't know what game of the foot but I know this is way more complicated than we originally thought. This seemed like a good thing at first glance, but I think after learning a little bit more I certainly don't want to be part of trying to bend local registrars and their decisions, bend them to the will of someone else over those types of decisions. I understand the gentlewoman makes a good point, but for those of us who represent rural areas where it's hard to find people to serve I think if we did this we are going to ensure we don't have people at least competence people willing to serve in these rules. I would ask the body to reject the amendments.

I am going to ask everybody, we can save a step. Shall the amendment number 17 be agreed to? The clerk will close the roll.

Yeas 27, nos 54.

Yeas 27, nos 54. The amendments are rejected. The next block, block three, is amendments 22, 23, 27, 28, 35, 36. The gentlewoman.

Very briefly, mr. Speaker, while it May not be obvious, there are certain members of the legislature who have more power than others and have more influence and have influence on state government and state agencies outside of the legislative branch. I believe the legislative branch does have some contracts, otherwise I 'm not sure we would be having lunch in the member's lounge. And that was the reason behind this amendment, is so that to the extent those members who have power over contracting decisions, we have transparency and I ask that you adopt these amendments.

Mr. Speaker.

Gentleman yield for a question?



Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentlewoman being a good soldier. Was I correct earlier in my assertion I would ask the gentlewoman we discuss this in subcommittee that the gentlewoman supported the original change where by we all agreed that the legislature shouldn't be subject to limitations on things that we had nothing to do with and that her colleagues likewise agreed unanimously we should make the change that the governor is now trying to undo?

As part of the negotiating team, I saw where the boards were and where they weren't, made my decision accordingly. But -- and was convinced at the time of the argument that the legislatures, at least I know I don't, do not have authority over spending decisions. However, the more I thought about it, I realized that some legislatures are more powerful than others, and this amendment made sense to me.

Gentleman from Fairfax, mr. Hugo. The gentleman has the floor.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the members to think about where we are now in creating what we don't want to do is create a trip ourselves inadvertently. Right now, the law noise matter what happens with this amendments the law is if you go to a lobbyist, maybe you have a lobbyist that you've known since high school, elementary school. And you go to his or her House for a dinner and you've been friends with them all your life, a pajama party, you go to their House to spend the night, whatever it May be, you have to pay them. And that's okay. That's okay. You pay and that's what happens. I had a friend who is a lobbyist, I went to her wedding last year, to her wedding reception. Under the law, I had to write her a check to go to her wedding reception. That's the law and that's not going to change. If you go to your friend's wedding, any of you have a lobbyist that's a friend even if you grew up with them, you're going to pay to go to their wedding reception. What this amendment is, is a broad expansion of that. And I ask you to think about it, because you're creating an inadvertent trap for yourself. If you go now to a friend's wedding, and that friend is at a -- is Head of a company that has a small government contract to do snowplowing in your area, you better leave -- you're going to are to write a check to go to that wedding. If your friend has a contract that you've known all your life, a small contract to do cleaning, and you don't even know about it, you've violated. The lobbyist we deal with them every day, we know who they are. We know they come to see us every day. That's the law. You're going to have to pay to go to that person's wedding, the wedding reception. But do you really want to create an inadvertent trap for yourself? Do you -- let me ask you, does everybody here know every contract, every -- of your good friend, what they do? Do you know if they have a government contract anywhere? Do you know if -- what if they work in sales, and some other division has some small contract with the state? You violated the law. If you go to their christmas party in December, you better leave a $20 or $50 bill under the plate if we pass this amendment. I think the governor's amendments I applaud what the gentleman from shenandoah, they worked on this hard, I applaud almost all the work they done. I ask you to think twice on this amendment, because it is inadvertent trap for any member. Thank you, mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker.

You going to tell us what the value of the pajama party is? If it's under 50 bucks we're okay.

Mr. Speaker very briefly, speaking to the amendment, mr. Speaker we actually accounted for this situation that the gentleman from Fairfax referenced, and that would still be in place, and that is that not with standing any other provision of the law you can accepts a gift from a lobby aboutist or someone taking a contract before the state under certain circumstances, one of which is a personal friendship and there were provisions put in there looking at the nature and length of the relationship where -- whether there is a history of giving, whether that person seeks to exempt -- deduct the gift they gave you from their taxes. Again, the idea here is not to set traps for the underweary, to say once you become an elected official they become a lobbyist, they seek a contract, you can't ever interact with them. But we accounted for that.

> Mr. Speaker, there are exceptions for real friends. If someone is writing off the dinner they took you to on taxes as a lobbiest they're not really your friend. We have a lot of people that want to be my friend all of a sudden they want to be good friends, take me out and do social things with me. And then, all of the stuff they pick up the check forgets written off as a lobbying expense. Kind of reminds me when I started paying for my dinner was into me. And maybe she just wanted a tip. I think we've protected those genuine friendships. If language gets taken out, we're creating a loophole that anyone can drive through that guts the bill.

Mr. Marshal?

Would the gentle lady from Richmond resume the floor for the purpose of a question?

Gentlewoman yield?


Gentlewoman yields.

If a ceo takes you out to dinner would you be violating the law because that company, that corporation is seeking a state contract? If the amount of the dinner was over a certain amount?

If you knowingly accept or solicit a gift from that ceo, knowing that that company is seeking a contract with the state, yes. If you didn't know, then, no.

Furnler question, mr. Speaker?

Gentlewoman yield?

I yield.

Gentlewoman yields.

My circumstance here is he said she said. I really don't track answers to requests for kids I doubt if anyone here tracks or requests such actions. Aren't we leaving ourselves open to someone saying well, you should have known this company was going to request this? Then, you become a point of public discussion when in fact you won't really know that? I mean aren't we just leaving ourselves open to baseless charges under the circumstances?

I would answer the gentleman that that concern that he just raised would apply to every local, state, official other than a legislator. We put in provisions, safe harbors, if you will that you had to knowingly violate it and that if you have a relationship with that ceo, that shows they're a friend based on history of your relationship, extent to which you've known them, if there is a history of giving, you haven't violated anything.

Ave maria, mr. Speaker.

Yes is on the adoption of amendments in block three.

Gentleman from henrico, mr. Farrell.

Will the gentlelady yield for a question?

I'm very confused now. Because it -- you just said a history of giving. And if anyone looks, and I preface that question, mr. Speaker, with you can look, I don't take them for the reason. It's easier to fill out a report when you don't have a report. You just said, a history. If there is no history of giving. Let's just throw out a wedding scenario again. I'm married and hopefully I won't get married again. If another legislator at some point gets married, in the midst of their term like I did, quite frankly, let's say there is probably -- someone is going to come and I don't know. They gave me a gift. I said they're a friend. And all of a sudden they give me a wedding gift. I hope they don't give me a $ten spoon, but the set of silverware. I just think we're seeing -- I 'm playing in a game of lawyers that create more hypotheticals that I 've ever seen. Can you walk me through that?

Sure. I think the gentleman from henrico misses his days on the court committee. I will point you to -- starts on line 891. What we've done for lobbyists, legislators, with a lobbyist relationship or a state, a government official, with a lobbyist or relationship with a contractor, this is going to be the law no matter what. We said that those people could be considered a personal friend, therefore, you can receive a gift over the cap from them, then, determining whether they're a personal friend, the following factors should be considered. Circumstances under which the gift was offered. Was it a wedding or baby shower?

I'm good.

Okay. Thanks.

Shall amendments be agreed to? Clerk will close the roll.

Aye, 30, no, 50. Amendments are rejected. Next block of amendments that we have is amendment number 40 in block four.

Briefly, the governor didn't use the word audit. It would require all of the things you think of as an audit. It would allow council to look at the this is as down the Hall, they look have a committee of people to look and say are they accurate? There is never going to be is it accurate? They're going to look at the report. Is it complete? Does it appear on the face accurate? They'll have gotten lobbyist reports and if they lobbiest reports, they gave you a gift and you don't report it, they will tell you might want to fix a discrepancy. This was intented so if you need to correct something, you can. We talked about doing this in committee. Recognizing one of the original bills said they'd do this for every form. But the council wouldn't have the man power to do every form this, is to protect the filers more than anything not some got cha so they can be embarrassed later.

Mr. Speaker?

Gentleman has the floor.

Will the againedelwoman yield?


Gentlewoman yields

I can the gentlewoman, considering anyone on the face of the earth will be able to look and see if they're complete and got filed on time, see if they match what people know about the individual who filed it, is there anything stopping from the council to look at those same things already, such that this would with necessary?

Mr. Speaker, if I understand the question, he's talking about the process intended to occur before that happens so if there is a discrepancy, the filer is given the opportunity to correct it before the form is published.

Shall the amendment be agreed to? Clerk will close roll.

Aye 26, no, 55. Amendment is rejected. The next block, block five is amendments 41 and 42. Gentlewoman from Richmond City, miss McClellan.

Thank you, mr. Speaker, I think amendments were intended to be technical and self explanatory that the council would have the authority to do it's job and so hopefully, we'd accept the amendment.

Shall the amendments be agreed to? Clerk will close the roll. Aye, 28, no, 53. Amendments are rejected. Next block is block six, amendments 44, 45, 46. Gentlewoman from Richmond City, miss McClellan.

These were just intended that the council that the council including executive director that had to be confirmed and hopefully, accept the amendment.

Shall the amendments be agreed to? Clerk will close the roll.

Aye, 29, no, 52. The amendments are rejected. The final block is block seven. Amendment 6 and 7. Gentle woman from Richmond City, miss McClellan.

Forgive me, mr. Speaker, I thought I had this. This one -- this amendment was, these amendments were intended to provide consistency in who is considered a member of your immediate family. And I think the concern down the Hall was that by adding adding child, grandchild, parent or sibling they didn't want to do that for purposes of people on boards and commissions. We've done that for every other government official. The fact is that a lot of these words and commissions take the department of -- the board of health, board of education are making significant decisions that could, in cases just as significant as decisions we've make at the legislature, we're delegaing them to work out details of broad policies we put into place. Just as we decide we don't want people making decisions that would directly benefit their children, grandchildren, parent, sibling when passing broad policy decisions we don't want the boards and commission who's have to implement them to be treated separately soy hope you would accept the amendment.

Mr. Speaker?

Gentleman from shenandoah, mr. Gilbert..

I don't believe our caucus was able to discuss this in caucus. So I am going to encourage the members to reject the two amendments the reason for that as expressed to us and I don't think it's invalid as a concept is that way this is drafted through nefarious intent, a family member, disgrunteled could conflict out a legislator against their will from an important vote. The concern down the Hall is sufficient, I believe. We agree if this needs addressing we should do it as a stand alone concept and not try to incorporate yet more unintended consequences in this bill. We have January to work on this issue. So since it's not right we want to make sure we get it right. I ask the body to reject the amendments. Shall the amendments be agreed to? Clerk will close the roll.

Aye, 28, no, 53. The amendments are rejected. Gentleman from shenandoah.

Mr. Speaker, I know we rejected a lot of things. The reasons for that, we've explained. We want to make sure we get this right, that they're not traps we think we've done that in large part. The big news of the day is that we committed to earlier that we committed to when we met with the governor is that we're going to do whatever we can to fix the error in drafting and adopt a concept that the governor was proposing because we thought it was important. So I just don't want it to be lost on those assembled today what extraordinary lengths we had to go to, not only legislature, but staff to fix the error and put this into a posture where we can fix it and find us where we are now, adopting a annual $100 cap annually. We have embodied in this bill now that $100 cap, taken to to mean an aggregate cap within a calendar year, we hope that will strengthen the public trust we've tried hard to restore. I do want to thank our staff for being so diligent and getting us to the point where they were able to fix this problem. We had to come back. We were certainly, I want to reiterate we anticipated this problem and tried to put ourselves in a posture where we could have fixed this Wednesday night. Sometimes we seem to find ourselves in a different posture in terms of readiness to solve problems in this body. And other body is not always as prepared. That May be personality driven whatever it s they're not ready to go forward. To their credit they wanted to be deliberate about it. We had had a chance to prepare I do want to thank staff for helping us work through this and we've proud to have adopted this with that cap and I move the bill pass.

Gentle woman from Richmond City ?

Speak together bill.

Gentle woman has the floor..

I think this ethics bill is a good example of what we can accomplish when we recognize a problem and set aside partisanship to try to solve it. We can, and still do disagree on some details we can do so in a way that is civil and trying to get to right results and not trying to be gotchas in. From the governor's office on down to both sides of the aisle we've tried to do that. And I think this is still something that we can take some measure of pride in. I think we all recognize we've heard this hinted at today. This is not the end of the process. And last year, with the bill, we put in place a council whose job it will be to make sure that as we go forward as these situations arise, as things change, that we're making sure that we give the public assurances that their public officials can be counted on to make decisions based on what is in the commonwealth's best interest, based on good public policy. That system of government took a hit. A few years ago. With one situation. And then, again, last summer. And when you put yourself up as a public official, yes, it is a sacrifice we all recognize it is a personal sacrifice, and some ways a financial sacrifice but part of the bargain is that you hold the public's trust. That you're going to represent them based on what is in their best interest. And that is what we've been trying to do with this bill. We can probably take steps to strengthen it in the future. I hope we continue to do that. In cooperative way, the way we've done it, particularly this year, and with that, I hope we'll pass the bill. Thank you.

Gentleman from Charlottesville, mr. Toscano.

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House, as I sit here through this debate and all thing that's happened in the last few days I think about jerry garcia, what a long strange trip it's been. But you know it's not really a funny thing. It is a very serious thing. We've been on a serious trip on aftermath of what happened several years ago we've been out there trying to restore the public trust. This governor laid down a marker. That marker was a $100 gift ban. He challenged to us come up with a good ethics bill. And in fact, very early last session we got together on a bipartisan set of principles to come up with an ethics bill. We worked and came up with a bill. We recognized from the beginning that bill wasn't going to be perfect. The hours and hours many people spent on that bill going through line by line, trying to correct that law and make it better is a great challenge. We knew we had to be back and the governor was chal yernging us along the way. Today, we're farther along than before. This language shows how complicated this process is. And I believe problems led to changes into language in the conference report. It got to the governor's office. And there is some differences of opinion about what we have written in our bill. There is a legal argument to be made that the gift ban was aggregate for a year and a reasonable argument it was over the lifetime of the service. So what did we do? We fixed that problem. The real reason I got up here was not so much to support but compliment two folk who's did yoeman's work to do this. The gentleman from shenandoah and gentlewoman from Richmond City. It was a lawyer's delight to listen to them today I know you agree with me with that. This process is not over. Hopefully, we can embrace in a bipartisan fashion to get good things done to help continue to restore public trust. Thank you, mr. Speaker. I hope you'll support the bill.

Gentleman from Alexandria, mr. Krupicka.

Three points. It isn't perfect but better than we started. Second point I have learned a lot about leadership watching gentlen from from shenandoah and gentlewoman from Richmond over the last two years. The first day, the gentleman from shenandoah said something over the top, bombbastic and what we sometimes expect from him. The way he's conducted himself and the way gentlewoman has conducted herself is something we should be proud of. It speaks well of our institution. My last point, doughnuts cost less than $50. So I 'm happy to continue to provide doughnuts. Thank you, mr. Speaker.

Shall the bill pass?

Clerk will close the bill.

Aye, 81, no, 0.

The bill is passed.

The House will be at ease. Oh, wait. Another bill?


Turning to page six of the calendar.

House don't be at ease.

House bill 2148 an act to amendment and reenact section of the code of Virginia related to the Virginia public procurement act, small women owned and minority owned businesses governor's recommendation available and it has been printed. This went buy for the day Wednesday and still before the House today.

Mr. Speaker, I ask these amendments go by for the day.

Without objection.

That completes the work of the House at this time. We're waiting communication from the Senate on pending legislation.

Now, the House can be at ease. [ House is at ease ] [ gavel banging ]

> The House will come to order. Members please take your seats. Members will please take their seats. Gentleman from shenandoah, mr. Gilbert. [ ayes expressed ]

Mr. Speaker, I move that Senate bill 1424 be taken up for immediate consideration and that all constitutional readings for Senate bill 1424 be dispensed.

Without objection, Senate bill 1424 will be taken up out of -- for immediate consideration out of order and further, the gentleman has made a motion that all constitutional readings be dispensed. The effect of this motion will allow the House to act on Senate bill 1424 and that the bill will be amendable and debatable and spon completion of debate, if any, the proper motion would be to move for passage of the bill. The question is shall the constitutional reading of the Senate bill -- of Senate bill 1424 be dispensed. The clerk will close the roll.

Ayes 73, nos zero.

Ayes 73, nos zero. The motion is agreed to. The gentleman from shenandoah, mr. Gilbert.

Mr. Speaker, I move the bill pass.

Shall the bill pass. The clerk will close the role.

Ayes 73, nos zero.

The bill is passed.

Mr. Speaker, that completes the calendar. [ yays expressed grk grk.

Does the clerk have flea announcement many or communications?

No, sir, mr. Speaker.

The gentleman from Colonial Heights m Cox.

Mr. Speaker, I move the House now adjourn sine die.

The gentleman moves the House adjourn sine die. As many as favor that notion will say aye. [ ayes expressed ]

Those opposed, no.. The motion is agreed to. The House of delegates stands adjourned sine die. Adjourned sine die.