01/26/2016 Senate Proceedings

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Minutes

Called to order at 12 m. by Lt. Governor Ralph S. Northam

Prayer offered by The Reverend Matthew D. Bates, Centenary United
Methodist Church, Richmond, Virginia 

ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS: quorum present

Motion of Senator Deeds dispensed with reading of Journal (36-Y 3-N
1-A)

COMMUNICATION FROM HOUSE (HN10125): reading waived (36?Y 4?N)

The House of Delegates has passed the following House bills: HB
221, 222, 330, 337, 386, 415, 579, 738

House bills referred: see January 27 Senate Calendar

BILLS REPORTED

From Commerce and Labor: SB 621S

From Finance: SB 182, 230, 325, 445, 506A, 670A

From General Laws and Technology: SB 12A, 67, 100 rereferred to
Finance, 206, 207S, 293, 352, 377S, 388A, 389S, 408A, 416S rereferred to
Finance, 429 rereferred to Finance, 453S, 531 rereferred to Finance, 559
rereferred to Finance, 637

BILLS REREFERRED

From Finance: SB 661 rereferred to General Laws and Technology

From General Laws and Technology: SB 599 rereferred to Courts of
Justice

SJ offered by Senator Alexander (unanimous consent to introduce by
voice vote)

Joint resolution laid on Clerks Desk under Senate Rules 11(b),
(26)g and HJR 37: see January 26 Senate Calendar

On motion of Senator Norment, the Senate recessed at 12:20 p.m. to
reconvene at 1:05 p.m.

The Senate reconvened at 1:05 p.m.

HJR 210 - Rules suspended, committee discharged, taken up for
immediate consideration (21?Y 18?N rejected, 2/3 of members present
and voting needed)

CALENDAR     

UNCONTESTED CALENDAR

SENATE BILLS ON THIRD READING

SB 78 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 79 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 103 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 122 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 266 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 280 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 281 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 359 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 366 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 382 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 407 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 545 - Read third time and passed Senate block vote (40-Y 0-N)

SB 99 - Out of block, Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

REGULAR CALENDAR

SENATE BILLS ON THIRD READING

SB 447 - Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 18-N 1-A)

SB 43 - Passed by for day

SB 56 - Read third time and passed Senate (27-Y 11-N)

SB 69 - Read third time and passed Senate (29-Y 11-N)

SB 361 - Read third time and passed Senate (23-Y 17-N),
Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N), Passed Senate (25-Y
15-N)

SB 420 - Read third time and passed Senate (26-Y 14-N)

SB 446 - Passed by for day

UNCONTESTED CALENDAR

SENATE BILLS ON SECOND READING

SB 4 - Read second time, Committee amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 25 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 37 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 39 - Read second time, Committee amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 83 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 107 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 124 - Read second time, Committee amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 152 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 154 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 176 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 198 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 250 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 252 - Read second time, Committee amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 268 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 284 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 299 - Read second time, Committee amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 307 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 322 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 328 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 348 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 349 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 356 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 360 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 373 - Read second time, Committee amendments agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 375 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 399 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 425 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 434 - Read second time, Committee amendments agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 443 - Read second time, Committee amendments agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 448 - Read second time, Committee amendments agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 464 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 479 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 480 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 502 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 529 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 544 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 569 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice vote)

SB 573 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 608 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

SB 615 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate block vote (voice
vote)

REGULAR CALENDAR

SENATE BILLS ON SECOND READING

SB 208 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 1 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 21 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 23 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 48 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 91 - Read second time, Committee amendments agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 126 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 163 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Newman floor amendment agreed to (voice vote), Engrossed by Senate
(voice vote)

SB 175 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 197 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Motion to rerefer to Finance agreed to (voice vote)

SB 211 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 350 - Read second time, Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 363 - Read second time, Reeves floor amendment agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

SB 401 - Read second time, Committee substitute agreed to (voice
vote), Engrossed by Senate (voice vote)

REGULAR CALENDAR

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTIONS ON THIRD READING

SJ 1 - Read third time and agreed to by Senate (21-Y 19-N)

SJ 70 - Passed by for day

On motion of Senator Newman, the Senate adjourned at 2:42 p.m.
to convene Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 12 m.

 

Transcript

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.

[Unknown]
[ gavel banging ] >>> The Senate will come to order. The senators will please take their seats. Those persons not entitled to the privileges of the floor will kindly retire to the gallery. The senators and all in attendance will please stand and be led in prayer by the Reverend matthew d. Bates, centenary united methodist church, Richmond. Reverend bates, thank you, sir.
[Unknown]
Let us pray. Almighty and all-compassionate God, we have gathered here to do important work. We pause in these moments to humble ourselves before you and to acknowledge you as the creator and source of life and its many blessings. Whatever differences we May have today of background, social standing, personal history, or political philosophy, we acknowledge that we share a connection to the one who creates, guides, and seeks to bless us all. In the midst of the important discussions and deliberations of this body, let us never forget what we share in common. You have blessed this commonwealth with a rich history, with gifted leaders, past and present, with natural beauty, and many resources. Let us use these gifts for the good of all and make us Wise and careful stewards of all these blessings. We pray for all the citizens of this commonwealth. Bless each person with a sense of purpose and dignity. Be with our sisters and brothers who have plenty. Fill them with gratitude for their blessings and use them to bless others. Bless and keep those in this hour who are homeless or sick or hungry or in prison or without hope or consolation in the mids of a time of trial. Now, we thank you for these servants who offer themselves to serve the common good of the citizens of Virginia. Bless them in their laibs. Fill their hearts and minds with the burning desire to do justice and to love mercy on behalf of all the people of Virginia. Grant them clarity of thought, purity of intention, and transparency in their actions. Bless the deliberations of this hour. Allow the members of this body to be as eager to understand as they are to be understood. Let the members of this body find ways to nod tell virtue in their work on behalf of those they serve, that we all might be inspired to speak, act, and live in ways that promote the health of this great commonwealth now and in the days to come. Amen.
[Unknown]
Amen. [ no audio ]
Bill Howell
The clerk will call the roll. All those present will please vote aye. The clerk will close the roll.
[Unknown]
Clerk: ayes 40, nos 0.
[Unknown]
Ayes 40, nos 0.
[Unknown]
Clerk: you have a quorum, Mr. President. Senate journal for Monday, January 25th, 2016.
Bill Howell
The Senator from Bath County, Senator Deeds, moves that the reading of the journal be waived. All in favor of waiving the reading of the journal will record their votes aye, 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.
Creigh Deeds
Clerk: ayes 36, nos 3. Rule 36-1.
[Unknown]
Ayes 36, nos 3, rule 36-1. The reading of the journal is waived. The clerk will report any communications from the House of delegates. The Senator from James city
Creigh Deeds
Thank you, Mr. President. County, Senator Norment. I'd respectfully move that we waive the reading of any communications received from the House of delegates.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the reading of the communication be waived. All in favor of the motion will record their vote of aye, those opposed, no. Are the senators ready to vote? Have all the senators voted? Do any senators desire to change the clerk will close the roll. Their vote?
[Unknown]
Clerk: ayes 36, nos 4.
[Unknown]
Ayes 36, nos 4. The reading of the communication is waived. The clerk will please report any governor. Communications from the
[Unknown]
I do not have any, sir.
[Unknown]
The time has arrived to recognize visitors to the gallery and take under other matters for the morning hour. The senior Senator from Henrico, Senator McEachin .
Don McEachin
Mr. President, I rise for an introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Don McEachin
Mr. President, we were prayed over today by the receive rent matthew d. Bates of centenary united methodist church here in the city of Richmond. Mr. President, I would ask that you give him the warm welcome of the Senate .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would Reverend bates please rise. Yourn quick make ig -- you were quick making it up to the gallery, we appreciate that. Thank you so much for being here. I know you've been here several times to help us get off on a good start to the day. Thank you for being here today and look forward to seeing you in the future. I would ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering Reverend bates the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
The Senator from falk keer, Senator Vogel .
Jill Holtzman Vogel
Thank you, Mr. President. From our noisy corner here, I rise for purposes of an introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Jill Holtzman Vogel
I would like to recognize in the gallery two visitors who are here today from home. They dug out from the snow. Rob frogel, president of annandale mill works company corporation and also top of the Virginia builders association. He's here visiting today in the capitol and field goal with members on a bill -- meeting with members on a bill of great importance of him and he's also accompanied by arthur pierce, the president elect of the top of Virginia builders association. Iled ask you to please extend to them the warm welcome of the Senate .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would Mr. Rob frogel and arthur pierce please rise. Thank you for being here today. I know I 've phone with the Senator from Fauquier. I know you have had your share of snow. Thank you for making the time and effort to be here today to straight for what's important to you. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering Mr. Rob frogeley and arthur pierce the warm welcome [ applause ] of the Senate. The junior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Wexton .
Jennifer Wexton
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise for purposes of an introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Jennifer Wexton
Thank you. Today in the gallery, we have members of the centennial rally for equal rights committee who represent the american association of university women, the league of women voters and the Virginia chapter of the national organization for," and women matter. I believe there maybe others, but I know we have bonnie reed, candice graham and pat fishback with us today. I'll put in a plug that they will be returning to the capitol to join us again for the centennial rally for equal rights which will be held here at the capitol on the steps on February 16th. That rally will honor the galley of sufficient frag gists on those -- suffragists on those same steps to secure women's right to vote exactly 100 years ago from that date. These ladies are here to rededicate their initiative this year to secure equal rights for women in the constitution with the ratification of the equal rights amendment and I expect we'll hear more about that later in the session. Mr. President, if you would please join me in welcoming -- giving these determined and accomplished women the very warm welcome of the Virginia state Senate .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would members here advocating for the equal rights please rise. What a great crowd you had this morning. Thank you for being here and always good seeing your familiar faces and we really appreciate you being here at the capitol and advocating for equal rights across the commonwealth for all. Thanks for being here. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering the members of the equal rights advocates group the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
The Senator from mecklenberg, Senator Ruff .
Frank Ruff
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise for an introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Frank Ruff
Joining us in the gallery today, we have connor francis, a high school senior from Campbell county, ask you to give a warm welcome to connor.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would connor please rise. Good morning, thank you for being here. Good afternoon, actually. Thank you for being here and coming to watch your Senator from mecklenberg in action and all the rest the senators. It will be a exciting kay if you're audible to stay here a couple hours. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering connor francis the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
Senator McDougle .
[Unknown]
Thank you. Rise for the purposes of an introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, we have with us in the gallery, on behalf of the Senator from Henrico -- I guess junior Senator from Henrico and the senior Senator from Henrico and myself, we have one of the supervisors from Hanover, which is clearly the superior jurisdiction to the other. With us in the gallery, angela kelly wiesack and her son stephen at home yet again and he wanted to come watch it work because it was less boring than being at home. We gave him an education in the finance committee this morning and he's here to watch us work on the floor today. If you can give the warm recognition of the Senate to angela kelly wiesack and her son stephen.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would and gel la and stephen please rise? Thank you for being here and hope you had a good day watching the senators in action and if you can hang around just a little while, you'll, I think, see some more interesting policy being made. That's what we do here in the capitol. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering angela kelly weisack and her son stephen the warm be welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
The Senator from Franklin, Senator Stanley .
Bill Stanley
Good afternoon, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Good afternoon, sir. You have the floor.
Bill Stanley
I rise for the purposes of an introduction. Mr. President, members of the Senate n the gallery today we have two great people who do great things for us in Patrick County in southside Virginia. In fact, the constitutional offices which are so essential to administering not only the collection of revenues at the local level, but also making sure we pay for our roads and schools and public safety. In the gallery today, Mr. President, is our commissioner of revenue from Patrick County, janet roark and also our treasurer from Patrick County, sandra stone. We could not do the good job in Patrick without them. We're very lucky and so grateful to have them do what they do for us and they do a great job. I would ask, Mr. President, that you extend to them the willoughby of the Senate .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would janet roark and sandra stone these rise. Thank you for being here today. I know we had a lot of commissioners and treasurers here and certainly if there are any others in the gallery watching or in the rooms on the monitor, why welcome you as well -- we welcome you as well. Thanks for all you do with the tax base and making sure we behave ourselves across the commonwealth. I look forward to always having you all come and advocating. I would ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering janet roark and sandra stone the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
The Senator from Norfolk, Senator Alexander .
Kenneth Alexander
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise for introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Kenneth Alexander
Thank you, Mr. President. In the gallery are members of the business community in south Hampton roads and the president of tidewater community ledge. They're here today to talk with us about the importance of noncredit credentials by diverse certify our economy by aligning education and skills with employer needs. Mr. President, would you please extend the warm welcome of the Senate to members of the business community and tidewater
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Community college. Would members of tidewater community college please rise. Thank you for being here today. We have 23 great community colleges across the commonwealth. Just as the Senator said, it's an opportunity for us to bring skills to jobs and you all have been such an influential part of that, so we appreciate all you do for the commonwealth. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering members from tidewater community college the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ] the Senator from Fauquier, Senator Vogel .
Jill Holtzman Vogel
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise for purposes of a second introduction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Jill Holtzman Vogel
Thank you, Mr. President. I would feel very guilty if he did not introduce a very important person in the gallery today. It is my legislative aid patricia styles and once I introduced her here in the gallery on her birthday and I made the mistake of telling the members of this gode that she was very, very ol', so now I have to make it up to her by saying glowing things about her and heart work she does for my constituents, but the long-suffering work she does, the hours she spends and what a wonderful person she is. I cannot allow her to sit in the gallery and not get the proper recognition. I certain need to make that up to her. It is not her birthday and she is in fact not very old and she happens to be the person sitting there not sucking her thumb, so she also does other work as you can see, other duties as designated. Please give her the very, very warm welcome of the Senate and my deepest appreciation for all of the hard work that she does for me. Thank you, Mr. President. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Trish, I know you have something in your lap, so I 'm going to let you keep your seat, but it's always great seeing you here. I miss seeing you up on the third floor. We used to be neighbors, but anyway, not anymore and it's so great seeing olivia here again. Hi, olivia. Morning. I'd ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering patricia and olivia the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ] the Senator from James city county, Senator Norment. >> Thank you very much, Mr. President. I rise for purposes of an introduce, sir.
Tommy Norment
The Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
As you heard just a moment ago, there are a must be of representatives from -- number of representatives from our extraordinary community college system that are with us today. Very pleased to have a group from thomas Nelson community college that are with us today. There's a lot of focus in the governor's budget and also by various members of the general assembly on higher education this year, and one of the concentration of areas is trying to align education with employment opportunities. What a unique idea that is. Thomas Nelson community college over the years has served over 16,000 students and they have a workforce development program that has involved over 12,000 individuals. They currently are focusing on an advanced integrated manufacturing program which is designed to train multi-talented technicians and individuals to go into business, and so Mr. President, if you would be kind enough on behalf of the Senator from Newport News, Senator Miller, and the Senator from Hampton, Senator little rock -- Senator Locke, to extend a very warm welcome to Dr. Devors and a number of individuals here from the community college board, including my good friend bruce goodson who was foolish enough to follow me on the James city county board of supervisors and did a much better job than I did.
John Miller
Thank you, Senator. Would members from thomas nels community college please rise. Thank you for being here and just as the Senator said as you introduced other folks from the community college, you play such an integral part of economic development. I would ask the members of the Senate to please join me in offering members from the thomas Nelson community college the warm welcome of the support. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
Is there any other business to come before the Senate for the morning hour? The Senator from Portsmouth, Senator laux. -- Senator Lucas .
Louise Lucas
Thank you, Mr. President. I think it's already been said that we have a number of individuals here from the commissioner of revenue's office today and even though they're no longer in the gallery, I 'd like to introduce the members who have come down to see me today also. Lori k. Stephens from Dinwiddie, wanda j. Bevel from Brunswick County, and Franklin edmondson from the city of Portsmouth who happens also to be the president of the commissioners of revenue.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Do we have any other members of the commissioner of revenues or treasurers in the gallery with us? I don't see any here, Senator, and perhaps they're watching from another room, but we certain appreciate them being here today and the good work they do across the commonwealth. I would ask members of the Senate to please join me in giving the commissioners and the treasurers across the commonwealth the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ] the Senator from Norfolk, Senator Alexander .
Kenneth Alexander
Thank you, Mr. President. I ask for unanimous consent to introduce a Senate joint resolution designating April 29th, 2016, and each succeeding year as public transportation safety day in the commonwealth of Virginia .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the Senate grant unanimous consent to introduce a resolution as described by the Senator from Norfolk. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The consent of the Senate is granted to introduce the resolution. Any other business for the morning hour? The clerk will fleece report the calendar.
Kenneth Alexander
Clerk: Senate calendar for Tuesday, January 26th --
[Unknown]
Excuse me, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
I'm sorry, the Senator from James city county, Senator Norment .
Tommy Norment
I apologize for interrupting you and the clerk. I respectfully request that the Senate now stand in recess until 12:45 and would the members of the Senate republican caucus please retire to our prayer meeting room as quickly as possible.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The senior Senator from Henrico. The Senate will stand in recess until 12:45. [ gavel banging ] >>> The Senate will come to order. We're going to return to the morning hour. I recognize the saerpt from Lynchburg .
Tommy Norment
I rise for the purpose of a intruction.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
We are pleased today to have representatives from the Smith lake regional chamber of commerce with us today in the gallery. With the group today, Mr. President, is barb nociera and also adam lynch, walter fogle and Lee willard. Mr. President, we also have with us the executive director of the lake chamber of commerce who is vicky gardner. Many of you will know her because of the advocacy at the lake and advocacy of the train from Lynchburg to Roanoke that the Senator from Roanoke city has been working on and their desire to see that train stop in Bedford city, but many of you also know vicky because of the tragedy that occurred with the unfortunate shootings at Smith mountain lake with the two representatives from wdbj 7. Vicky has a tremendous advocate for the lake. I have spent many hours on that lake and many hours with vicky. As a matter of fact, before the tragedy, vicky actually came to Lynchburg and once again was meeting with me and others about the train and other items related to Smith mountain lake. She is a courageous virginian, a tremendous advocate for the commonwealth and also for her region. Mr. President, with your concurrence, I 'd like to yield from the Senator from Franklin who would like to mention a couple of items vicky gardner, but before I do, I 'd like to mention that the Senator from mecklenberg and the Senator from Roanoke County also have a piece of the lake and we're very grateful to join in with them. Mr. President, I 'd like to yield.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. Senator. The Senator from Franklin .
[Unknown]
It's a special day to see such a beautiful woman, an inspiration to us all, such a great friend and a champion for economic development and for what we know is the best place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Just to see her standing above us, sitting above us in the gallery right now is all we all could ask for. Sh is truly a gem of Smith mountain lake a jewel to us all. She's our leader, our frenlz and champion, and we are just so glad to have her here today and just to be in her presence. With that, Mr. President, I can tell you along with all the other business leaders we have at Smith mountain lake, this is the reason why in southside and southwest Virginia, while we May suffer economic challenges that were brought on years before, when we have leadership like that that sits up there, especially led by vicky gardner and whose husband tim gardner is one of my favorite people of all time, we will overcome because we will never give in, well never give up, as vicky has proven, when you do that, you will always overcome and live in the champion's way. Thank you, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Would vicky gardner and members from the business community of Smith mountain lake please rise. Thank you, all, so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to visit with us today and as the senators have said, thank you for all that you do for Smith mountain lake and for Virginia, especially in the setting of the terrible tragedy we had and appreciate you all moving forward. So we ask the members of the Senator to please join me in offering vicky gardner if and other members from the business community of Smith noun lake the warm welcome of the Senate. [ applause ]
[Unknown]
The clerk -- excuse me. Before we move to the calendar, the Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain chain.
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, I move that the rules be suspended, the scomote courts of justice be discharged from further consideration of the resolution and that House joint resolution number 210 be taken up for immediate consideration.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the rules be suspended, the committee for courts of justice be discharged, and further consideration of the resolution and House joint resolution number 210 be taken up for immediate consideration. 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.
Mark Obenshain
Clerk: ayes 21, nos 18.
[Unknown]
Ayes 21, nos 18. The motion fails. The clerk will call the calendar.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate calendar for Tuesday, January 26th, 2006. Uncontested calendar, Senate bills on third reading.
[Unknown]
The Senator from James city county, Senator Norment .
Tommy Norment
Thank you very much, Mr. President. I respectfully move that all the Senate bills on the third reading on the uncontested calendar, which would include all Senate bills on pages 1 through 6, which would include Senate bills 78 through Senate bill 545, be placed on the final passage in the block. If any Senator desires to remove one of these bills from the block, please do so after the clerk has read the number of that bill.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the Senate bills on the uncontested calendar, third reading, pages 1 through 6, Senate bills 78 through Senate bill 545 be placed upon their final passage in the block with the understanding that any Senator desiring a bill removed from the block would do so after the clerk has read the number of the bill. All in favor of the motion will say aye. [ ayes expressed ]
Tommy Norment
Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The motion is agreed to. The bills are before us in the block. The clerk will fleece read the number of bills.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 78, Senate bill 79, Senate bill nine, Senate bill 103 --
[Unknown]
Mr. President. Can Senate bill 99 come out of the block?
Bill Howell
Without objection, Senate bill bill 99 will come out of the block.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 103, Senate bill 122, Senate bill 266, Senate bill 280, Senate bill 281, Senate bill 359, Senate bill 366, Senate bill 3 28, Senate bill 407, Senate bill 545.
Bill Howell
Thank you, madam clerk. The question is shall the bills in the block pass. That is all bills except for Senate bill 99 on Page 2. All in favor of passage of the bills are 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 40, nos 0.
[Unknown]
Ayes 40, nos 0. The bills in the block pass. Page 2, Senate bill 99, the Senator from Chesapeake, Senator Cosgrove .
John Cosgrove
Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I apologize for having to speak on this bill, but this is a bill that everyone in this chamber needs to be proud of voting for. This bill rights an egregious wrong, which was unintended, but in October of 2012, army sergeant robert billings was coming back from a mission in afghanistan in a striker vehicle when he went over an I ed, improv viced explosive device, and he was grievously wounded. He was flown from the scene of that accident to a tent in can't za har, undergoing -- kandahar, undergoing medical procedures, where unfortunately, his injuries were too much for him to sustain and he died. Last year, the citizens of Virginia came out in support of the real estate tax reduction for spouses and families of those who have been killed in action. The problem that we had, we depended on the d.O.D. Definition of "killed in action" which did not cover in brave young man. Their definition of "killed in action" is immediately killed and not taken to a medical facility. Sergeant billings leaves a wife and four children in southern Virginia beach and she applied for the tax exemption. In all fairness to the commissioners of revenue, they were unsure how to proceed with this, so this bill which I am carrying and Delegate Knight is carrying, who would really carried the water on this one, would rectify that situation and allow this widow and her children to receive the benefits that they so rightly deserve. Again, I 'm story for imposing on your -- sorry for imposing on your time, but I hope you will support this bill. Thank you.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill nine 1999 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.
John Cosgrove
Clerk: ayes 40, nos 0.
[Unknown]
Ayes 40, nos 0. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: regular calendar, Senate bills on third reading. Senate bill 447, a bill relating to employment of special counsel by the attorney general or governor.
[Unknown]
Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, I move the passage of the bill and speaking to it.
[Unknown]
Senator has the floor.
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, members of the saint, this bill as transparency bill, relates to the use of outside counsel by the office of the attorney general. Yesterday, I spoke briefly about current issue that raises concerns about transparency and also about the use of contingency fees by attorneys general. This bill was put in to do a one, it's not to limit the number of things. Ability of the attorney general's office to utilize outside counsel. There are important circumstances under which it's necessary to do so because of the lack of resources in the office, because of special expertise outside of the office. It is appropriate in certain circumstances to do that. However, what this bill does is it acknowledges that the attorney general ought to make a finding of why it is that the commonwealth's law if you remember sees that it is necessary to utilize outside counsel, and it also seeks to limit the circumstances under which the commonwealth utilizes contingency fee law firms. Now, for those of you who are lawyers, you understand that contingency fees are there for a real purpose. Traditionally, lawyers bill for their time and it's not inexpensive to retain counsel based upon their time. But there are certain folks, businesses and otherwise, who wouldn't have access to the judicial system if they had to pay a lawyer on an hourly basis, and for those circumstances, it is clearly appropriate in order to give them access to the judicial system, that alternative fee arrangements, including contingency fees, were established. The commonwealth of Virginia, however, is not one of those clients that has difficulty in gaining access to the judicial system, and circumstances pursuant to which it's appropriate for the commonwealth to utilize contingency fee ought to be very limited. This bill does not prohibit it. It limits the use and it requires the attorney general to explain why he or she is using contingency fee counsel. Moreover, it caps the amount of contingency fees that can be recovered by plaintiff's counsel, typically new York, west coast, gulf coast plaintiff's counsel. And it limits it to a scale that tops out at $50 million. $50 million of a recovery to pay for counsel. Now, I don't think that that's an unreasonable amount. Surprisingly, somewhat surprisingly, the representative from the attorney general's office appeared in the general laws committee and testified in response to questions that they were concerned that that's not enough and that there are circumstances under which they would want to pay a higher contingency fee in excess of $50 million to counsel. Now, I just would want to remind the members of the body that when we're paying more settlements and more judgments and verdicts to gulf coast trial lawyers, those are dollars that otherwise would be coming into our budget or coming into the Virginia retirement system, available to pay state teachers and troopers and retirees. I pulled a response from last year's response to a freedom of information request that I submitted and I asked for information about outside counsel utilized on a contingency fee, and one category that showed up prominently was counsel utilized for the Virginia retirement system for asset recovery matters, to basically sue to -- sue stock brokers and brokerage houses and securities fraud lawsuits. On the list, I got two, four, six law firms. A firm in berkley, california, a firm in san diego, california, a firm in radner, pennsylvania, a firm in new York and another in new York and another in new York. These are the folks that we are paying these contingency fees out to instead of to our state employees and to fun our priorities -- fund our priorities here in the commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. President, I would ask that the members of the body support this bill. It is an important transparency bill. It requires when contingency fees or outside counsel is utilized, that reports be filed and disclosures be made and, you know, with the increased focus on ethics, I think it's important for us to know in an attorney general's office or, for that matter, in any governmental office, if they are contracting with outside parties, to know whether those outside parties are also making contributions to the office. This doesn't cast any stones. It simply assures that we have that level or at least the maximum level of accountability and transparency that we can possibly have. So with that, Mr. President, I would ask that this bill pass.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The Senator from Fairfax city, Senator Petersen .
Chap Petersen
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise to speak in opposition of the bill.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Chap Petersen
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I know that trial attorneys don't get a lot of sympathy and they probably don't deserve a lot. One of the jokes I have when I go door to door is occasionally I 'll knock on a door and people tell you they don't like politicians. And I say, well if I tell you that I 'm a trial attorney and see if I can get their sympathy. Usually doesn't. The point is people that are in industries or professions that create wealth, this is stoip how their compensated and when a trial attorney has a controversial, high profile case, they're in a position of oftentimes creating wealth where that wealth would not otherwise exist. Let me tell you, you can have whatever percentage you want, but that percentage times zero will always equal zero and if you don't hire the right counsel and give your attorney general the discretion to hire the right counsel, you will end up with zero. We've had some pretty major settlements in the past generation, tobacco, mortgage fraud, wall street fraud. These are cases with a lot of money, hundreds of millions of dollars often at stake and if you look at these limits, these May make sense today standing on this floork but ten years from now -- and remember, we're putting this into the code without any sort of cost of living adjustment or anything else, ten years from now when you talk to a trial attorney, that any recovery over 25 million, they will only get 5% of and they say, well, 25 million, we're talking about wall street bank that made billions off a particular transaction that I 'm suing, basically what you're doing is taking away an opportunity to create wealth on behalf of the commonwealth. So we might lose out on a tobacco settlement, we might lose out on a foreclosure fraud settlement, we might lose out on a wall street fraud settlement and that's going to cost our taxpayers. The attorney general runs for office and they get elected and at some point, you got to let them run that office. I'm not oblivious to the fact that for 20 years, folks from your side of the aisle had control of the attorney general's office and nobody brought this legislation and, in fact, we were able to enter settlements that created wealth for our taxpayers that, brought money back to Virginia that otherwise we would have lost and now we have somebody in office from the democratic party and you May not agree with all his policy decisions, but you know what? He won and he get and chance to freight that office for year -- operate that office for four years and if you don't think he did a good job, then pull him out. But the bottom line of scrimmage is if you look at the statute, there's already a competitive bidding process to have these contracts and we're trying to micro manage that process without knowing any of the details or future circumstances that night apply. Look, I get it. You're saying, oh my gosh, some gulf coast attorney is going to come in and take money away from teachers and state police, but we're losing opportunities for create wealth for our taxpayers by putting these artificial limitations on it. Ironically, I probably sound like a republican when I talk this way, but I do believe in wealth creation. To my friends on the other side of the aisle, give me a call, I 'll help you get that wealth created, but the bottom line is we can't create welt for our taxpayers if we pass this type of legislation.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The Senator from Buckingham, Senator Garrett .
Tom Garrett
Excuse me. Speaking to the bill.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Tom Garrett
Mr. President, I 've had the honor of practicing law for -- I don't even know -- 13 years, and I thought that it was something to be able to seek justice and pursue truth, but I have never considered myself someone who created wealth, and I still am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around how any lawyer in any Suit contemplated is creating wealth. Now, they May well be redistributing it, but I don't think they're creating it. So I would take exception to that and say perhaps some of us attorneys hold ourselves in higher regard than perhaps we merit. I just want to point out one statistic. There are 2,093 public schools in the commonwealth of Virginia. A $50 million cap would allow $23,889 for what I think is equivalent to the state's share, depending on your lci, of a whole new teacher in every single public school in Virginia for a year. State's share. So that's not enough money to compensate some attorneys, then perhaps we're too well paid. I just don't understand why this isn't a reasonable restraint on the expenditure of the tax dollars granted to the commonwealth by the people who we purport to serve. Thank you.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The senior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Black .
Dick Black
Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen, it's been a while since I attended law school, but I remember the discussion about contingency fees and the need to have contingency fees in order that individuals who had very little means of getting into court could simply say, look, you know, if you take my case, then you can share in the proceeds. And that made sense. However, the commonwealth of Virginia is not one of those destitute individuals who have suffered. We -- you know, we have considerable resources. We're able to fund our cases and for the most part, I frankly think we ought to just -- we ought to just pay the hourly fee that we need to. At the same time, I understand, and, you know, I don't understand the intricacies of the attorney general's office to the extent that I would say, well, we just shouldn't have it at all, but $50 million? It is a whole lot of money, and I don't care how big the litigation is, I mean, that is a tremendous amount of money. And frankly, I just -- you know, the idea that because the recovery is so great, that it's only fair that the attorneys share in that, well, I believe that people ought to be able to get, you know, recompensed for their work and if they do really good work, I ought to be great, great recompense, but I honestly believe that if we cannot make a go of it at $50 million, there's something wrong. I think that's sufficient and that cap is way high.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Thank you. The Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, just very briefly if I can wrap this up. First of all, before too many members of the body shed too many tears for trial lawyers, I 'm one too. I would love to have a case that generates a $50 million fee and I think that the firm of Petersen and Obenshain, we could probably survive for just a couple of years on that and I 'd be more than happy to team up with anybody on a case of that magnitude or nature. I would also point out that, at least anybody in this chamber. I would also point out that before we shed too many tears for these gulf coast, new York, and west coast trial lawyers, that we remember that that $50 million cap is multiplied by the number of states that they roll up into these lawsuits. They are not representing just Virginia. They take these ideas, these so-called entrepreneurial ventures that these -- what did we -- were they called? Wealth creators. That these wealth creators come up with, and they take them from state to stay, marketing them to activist attorney generals across the country in order to build these massive claims, generating legal fees in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I would also point out that when we are talking about -- when we're talking about whether we're creating wealth, there's only one category of person for whom wealth is being created by these lawsuits. These lawsuits are remedial in nature. They're to right a wrong. They're to recover money owed. It's not to create wealth. It's to bring back money to the state treasury for those teachers and state troopers and our priorities that belong to them already. And these contingency fees are taking that money away from those causes and giving them to the trial lawyer who handled it, and that is the only person for whom wealth is created through these claims. Now, I will finally wrap up by saying that if we're worried about the cost of living for these hundred million dollar lawyers, you know, I told some of the opponents, including the representative of the attorney general's office, I said $50 million isn't enough? Tell me what is. If a cost of living adjustment would help you get more comfortable with this, if it's 60 million, 70 million, tell me what would make you satisfied with it. And they wouldn't give us a number because they want to utilize this for the kind of activism that these lawsuits are really not intended for. So if you want to protect our teachers, our state troopers, our employees and our priorities, you'll vote for this reasonable, common sense measure. If we're shedding tears for the trial lawyers along the gulf coast of texas and louisiana, you'll vote against this.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill 447 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.
Mark Obenshain
Clerk: ayes 21, nos 18. Rule 36-1.
[Unknown]
Ayes 21, nos 18, rule 36-1. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 43, a bill relating to time of municipal elections.
[Unknown]
Senator from Grayson, Senator
[Unknown]
Mr. President, can this bill Carrico. Go bye for the day.
Bill Howell
Without objection, Senate bill 43 will go bye for the day.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 56, a bill relating to cutting of grass, weeds, and other foreign growth.
[Unknown]
Senator from Hampton, Senator Locke .
Mamie Locke
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the bill pass.
[Unknown]
Senator has the floor.
Mamie Locke
And Mr. President, let me first state that this is not a grass-cutting bill. This is declare ra toer in nature, taken from the Senator from Bath. Senate bill 56 provides that local governments will allow for -- it actually explains that other foreign growth includes shrubs and trees that have overtaken vacant developed property, so it simply explains that foreign growth includes shrubs and trees. I move that the bill pass.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill 56 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]
Clerk: ayes 27, nos 11.
[Unknown]
Ayes 27, nos 11. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 69, a bill related to accepted forms of voter identification.
[Unknown]
The junior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Wexton .
Jennifer Wexton
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the bill pass and speaking to that motion.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Jennifer Wexton
Thank you. This bill would add another category of photo I .D.S to those that would be acceptable to allow people to vote and those are photo I .D. Cards issued to residents or employees of any private entity that's licensed in whole or in part by the department of health, department of social services, dnacc or dvhs. We're talking about nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care facility many, entities like that. According to the department of social services, there are about 30,000 virginians currently living in nursing homes and more than that, actually, living in assisted living facilities at this time and the numbers are only increasing as time goes by. Most of the people who live in these facilities are seniors. They're retirees, and for a lot of them, they don't have driver's licenses or they have expired driver's licenses, and this legislation would simply allow them to I don't their photo I .D. From that facility to prove their identity when going to vote. Seniors are among -- are one of the groups that are most likely to be negative ti impacted by photo voter I .D. Laws. However, they are among the most active voters. If we let them vote. So we already have a photo I .D.S that are allowed for students, we already allow photo I .D.S for working-age people with their employee I .D.S, and this would help level the playing field for retirees and people in nursing I ask that the bill pass. Homes.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill 69 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]
Clerk: ayes 29, nos 11.
[Unknown]
Ayes 29, nos 11. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 361, a bill relating to tree conservation ordinance notice. Senator the Senator from articleton, Senator Favola .
Barbara Favola
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the bill pass. Speaking to the motion.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Barbara Favola
Thank you. This bill would allow jurisdictions in planning district 8, essentially northern Virginia, to post signs on private property when that private property is proposed to be redeveloped with a single-family home and an in-fill grading lot plan has been filed and it will be before the governing body for a decision. This is permissive. It is one of those issues where neighbors want to know what's going on in their neighborhood. The home builders association does not oppose the bill, and this bill passed a subcommittee in the House subcommittee of the counties, cities and towns by a vote of 8-1. I think this is a common sense bill and I ask the body to please vote for it. Thank you.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill 361 all in favor of the motion will record their votes aye, those are the senators ready to vote? Opposed no. Have all the senators voted? Do any senators desire to change their vote? The clerk will close the roll.
[Unknown]
Clerk: ayes 23, nos 17.
[Unknown]
Ayes 23, nos 17. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 420, a bill relating to voter registration information required on application, adjudication of incapacity or felony conviction.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Alexandria, Senator Ebbin .
Adam Ebbin
Thank you n president. I move the bill pass.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Adam Ebbin
This still has to do the voter registration application and some information that we currently collect that I don't believe is necessary to making sure that we have an accurate voter roll. First, right now all voters who are ever, ever judged mentally incapacitated, must check a box regular strerg to vote that they were judged mentally incapacitated regardless of whether they were ever disqualified from voting. Tho requires only those disqualified from voting to check the box and further, there are two requirements for dates on the application if you had your rights lost because you were a felon or because you were judged mentally incapacitated and specifically had your rights rescinded. We heard testimony from the department of elections that they have a database of when people's rights were restored, making the date on the application unnecessary. And further, I would stay that a lot of times people don't remember a specific date that something laps. I know some people say they don't remember anniversaries, but I would say how many of us remember of our long serving members, remember the impact day that you were sworn in -- exact day you were sworn in? Do you remember what day you got a letter from the secretary of the commonwealth that your rights were restored or what the date was in the envelope? I ask the bill pass.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall Senate bill 420 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]
Clerk: ayes 26, nos 14.
[Unknown]
Ayes 26, nos 14. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 446, a bill to provide for the submission to the voters of a proposed amendment to the constitution of Virginia adding to article one a section numbered 11-a, relating to the right to work.
[Unknown]
Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Can that bill go bye for the day?
Bill Howell
Without objection, Senate bill 446 will go bye for the day. The Senator from Franklin, in Stanley .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, having voted on the prevailing side of Senate bill 316, I move to reconsideration.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the Senate bill 361 be 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?
[Unknown]
Clerk: ayes 40, nos 0.
[Unknown]
Ayes 40, nos 0. The motion is agreed to. The Senator from Arlington .
[Unknown]
Mr. Vice president, having previously explain the bill, I do ask the ladies and gentlemen of the Senate vote for it.
Bill Howell
The question is shall Senate bill 361 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]
Clerk: ayes 25, nos 15.
[Unknown]
Ayes 25, nos 15. The bill passes.
[Unknown]
Clerk: uncontested calendar, Senate bills on second reading.
[Unknown]
The Senator from James city county, Senator Norment .
Tommy Norment
Thank you, Mr. President. I now move that all Senate bills on the second reading on both the uncontested and regular calendar, which would include all Senate bills on pages 9 through 22, including Senate bill 4 through Senate bill 6 is a be engrossed and advanced to the third reading in the block after the adoption of any amendments. If any Senator desires to remove a bill from the block, please do so after the clerk has read the number of that bill.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall all Senate bills on second reading on the uncontested calendar on pages 9 through 22, Senate bill 4 through Senate bill 615 be engrossed and advanced to the third reading in the block after the adoption of amendments there to, that any Senator desiring to remove a bill from the glok would do so after the sclerk has read the number of the bill. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The motion is agreed for.
Tommy Norment
Senate bill 4.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. Priz of I move that the committee amendment be agreed no.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion say aye. Those opposed, no. The committee amendment is the ayes have it. Agreed to.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 25 reported from the committee on transportation, Senate bill 37, reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation and natural resources with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from Grayson, Senator Carrico .
Bill Carrico
Move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
Question is shall the substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to.
Bill Carrico
Clerk: Senate bill 39, reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services with amendment.
[Unknown]
Senator from Grayson, Senator Carrico .
Bill Carrico
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the committee amendment.
[Unknown]
Question is shall the committee amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. [ ayes expressed ] the committee amendment is agreed to.
Bill Carrico
Senate bill 83 rorned from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 107 reported from the comote transportation. Senate bill 124 reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services with amendment.
[Unknown]
Senator from Franklin, Senator Stanley .
Bill Stanley
Thank you, Mr. President. I now move that the committee amendment be agreed to.
[Unknown]
Question is shall the committee amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The committee amendment is agreed to zpa Senate bill 152 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources. Senate bill 154, reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services with a
Bill Stanley
Senator from spot sylvania, substitute. Senator reed.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move the
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute. Committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to.
[Unknown]
Clerk: Senate bill 176 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 198, rorned from the committee for courts of justice. Senate bill 250, reported from the committee on education and health with a substitute.
[Unknown]
The senior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Black .
Dick Black
Mr. President, I move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to.
Dick Black
Senate bill bill 252 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation and natural resources with amendment.
[Unknown]
The Senator from mecklenberg, Mr. Ruff.
Frank Ruff
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the committee amendment.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it.
Frank Ruff
Senate bill 268 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation and natural resources. Senate bill 284, reported from the come oat agriculture, conservation, and natural resources with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from Accomack, Senator Lewis .
Lynwood Lewis
I move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no.. The ayes have it. The committee substitute is agreed to.
Lynwood Lewis
Senate bill 299 reported from the committee on transportation with amendment.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Alexandria, Senator Ebbin .
Adam Ebbin
Thank you, Mr. Presidents I move the committee amendment be
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Agreed to. The question is shall the committee amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The committee amendment is agreed to.
Adam Ebbin
Senate bill 307 reported from the comote agriculture, conservation, and natural resources. Senate bill 322 reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from Alexandria, Senator Ebbin .
Adam Ebbin
I move the committee substitute be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed all in favor of the motion will to. Say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The committee substitute is agreed to.
Adam Ebbin
Senate bill 328 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 348 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural Senate bill 349 reported from resources. The committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources. Senate bill 356 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from Bath County, Senator decides.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move that the substitute be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 360 reported from the committee on education and Senate bill 373 reported from health. The committee on rehabilitation and social services with amendment.
[Unknown]
Senator from Alexandria dra, Senator Ebbin nchs I move the committee amendments be agreed
Adam Ebbin
The question is shall the to. Committee amendments be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 375 reported from the comote transportation. Senate bill 399 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 425 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 434 reported from the committee on transportation with amendment.
Adam Ebbin
The Senator from southern Fairfax County, Senator baker.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move that the amendments be agreed to.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the committee amendments be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The amendments are agreed to.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 443, rorned from the committee on agripreneur, conservation -- agriculture, conservation, and natural resources with assessment.
[Unknown]
The is rn from Augusta, srng Hanger .
[Unknown]
I move the committee amendment be be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee amendments be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say ya. Those opposed, no.. The ayes have it. The amendments are agreed to.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 448 reported from the committee on transportation with amendment.
[Unknown]
Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, I move the committee amendments be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee amendments be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The committee amendments are
Mark Obenshain
Senate bill 464 reported from agreed to. The committee on transportation. Senate bill 479 reported from the committee for courts of justice. Senate bill 480 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 502 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 529 reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources. Senate bill 544 reported from the committee for courses of justice. Senate bill 569 reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from mecklenberg, Senator Ruff .
Frank Ruff
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. No no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to.
Frank Ruff
Senate bill 573 reported from the committee on education and health. Senate bill 608 reported from the committee for court much justice. Senate bill 615 reported from the committee for courts of justice.
[Unknown]
Thank you, madam clerk. The question is shall the Senate bills be engrossed and advanced to the third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye.. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bills are engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Regular calendar, Senate bills on second reading. Senate bill 208, a bill relating to the statewide fire prevention code, state fire marshal, consumer fireworks penalty.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Buckingham, Senator Garrett .
Tom Garrett
Mr. President, I move the bill engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.. All in favor of the motion will those opposed, no. Say aye.. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading. To its third reading.
Tom Garrett
Senate bill one, a bill relating to the excise tax to peanuts.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Portsmouth, Senator Lucas .
[Unknown]
I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 21 a bill to require the department of environmental quality to receive approval from the general assembly for state plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing stationary forces prior to submitting the state plan to the u.S. Environmental protection agency for approval. Reported from the committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources with a substitute.
[Unknown]
Senator from Russell County, Senator chafe pin.
[Unknown]
I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to its --
[Unknown]
Let's move the substitute first.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to. The Senator from Russell .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will. Say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 23, a bill relating to grand larceny and certain property crimes threshold. Reported from the committee for courts of justice with a substitute.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Spotsylvania, Senator reed.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to. The Senator from spot sylvania.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that we end gross and advance to the third reading.
[Unknown]
The question is thal the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it.
[Unknown]
Senate bill bill 48, a bill relating to carrying a concealed handgun permit not required. Reported from the committee for courts justice.
[Unknown]
The senior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Black .
Dick Black
Mr. President, I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Dick Black
Senate bill 91, a bill relating to license plates for emergency vehicles. Reported from the committee on transportation with an amendment.
[Unknown]
The Senator from western Fairfax County, Senator marston.
[Unknown]
I move that the committee amendments be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee amendments be agreed to. All in favor of the potion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The committee amendments are agreed to. The Senator from western Fairfax
[Unknown]
I move now that the bill be now. Engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 126, a bill relating to alcoholic beverage control mixed beverage licenses for certain properties. Reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services.
[Unknown]
Senator from Franklin, Senator Stanley .
Bill Stanley
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. [ ayes expressed ] those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Stanley
Senate bill 163, a bill relating to local regulation, driving in flooded areas, no weight. Reported from the committee on transportation with a substitute and there is a floor amendment to the substitute.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Hampton, Senator Locke .
[Unknown]
Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Senator from Lynchburg, Senator Newman .
Steve Newman
I move we waive the reading of the floor amendment.
[Unknown]
Senator from Hampton, Senator Locke .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move that we adopt the committee substitute.
[Unknown]
Thank you, certain. The question is shall the substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no.. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to. The Senator from Lynchburg .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I 'm now moving that we waive the reading of the
[Unknown]
The question is shall the floor amendment. Reading of the floor amendment be waived. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The reading of the floor amendment is waived. The Senator from Lynchburg .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, this bill is a bill that talks about driving in flooded areas and trying to keep those wakes from damaging property. The committee considered the bill for a good bit and made some adjustments. In working with the patron, the floor amendment adds the provision that you need to have some type of signage up indicating that there will be a penalty if a wake incurs. Mr. President, I move that we agree to the floor amendment.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the floor amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The floor amendment is agreed to. The Senator from Hampton, Senator Locke .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 175 a bill relating to concealed handgun permits, access to Virginia criminal information network. Reported from the committee for courts of justice.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Stafford, Senator Stuart .
Richard Stuart
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Richard Stuart
Senate bill 197, a bill relating to interstate 73 corridor development fund and program. Reported from the committee on transportation with a substitute.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Franklin, Senator Stanley .
Bill Stanley
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that this bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. Unless the Senator to my left has another idea for it.
[Unknown]
It would be a goodied to move the substitute -- a good idea to move the stood.
Bill Stanley
Mr. President, I now move the committee substitute be agreed.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The Senator from Franklin, Senator Stanley .
Bill Stanley
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield to the srnt to my will evident.
[Unknown]
For what purpose does the Senator rise?
Bill Stanley
Mr. Chairman, I 'd like to speak to the bill. I need to re-refer the bill.
[Unknown]
That's fine if you want to make the motion t re-refer.
[Unknown]
I'd like to make a motion to re-refer the bill.
[Unknown]
To?
[Unknown]
Senate finance.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the bill be re-referred to Senate finance. All in favor of the motion will say aye. [ ayes expressed ] those opposed, no.
[Unknown]
The ayes have it. The bill is re-referred to finance.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 211, a bill relating to public schools physical activity requirement. Reported from the committee on education and health.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Newport News, Senator Miller .
John Miller
Thank you, Mr. President. I move the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the billing engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. No no the ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
John Miller
Senate bill 350 a bill. Relating to medical and mental health treatments of prisoners incapable of giving consent. Reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Bath County, Senator Deeds .
Creigh Deeds
Mr. President, I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Creigh Deeds
Senate bill 363 a bill relating to rights of persons with disabilities in public places and places of public accommodation, fraudulent representation of a service dog penalty. Reported from the committee on education and health and with a floor -- excuse me, and from the committee on -- reported from the committee on rehabilitation and social services and there's a floor amendment.
[Unknown]
The Senator from Spotsylvania, Senator reed.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the reading of the floor amendment be waived.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the reading of the floor amendment be waived. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The reading of the floor amendment is waived. The Senator from Spotsylvania .
[Unknown]
Thank you n president. I move that the amendment be agreed to.
[Unknown]
Mr. President --
[Unknown]
The senior Senator from Henrico, Senator McEachin .
Don McEachin
Would the Senator yield for a question?
[Unknown]
Would the Senator from spit sylvania yield for a question?
Don McEachin
I would, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I would ask the Senator, the use of the word -- well, the phrase "when it is not obvious what service a dog provides," is that not a subjective test that would lead to mischief for the Senator 's well-intentioned bill?
[Unknown]
The Senator from spot sill vein qua?
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I can only answer that this floor amendment come out of the discussion that we had in social services and rehabilitation at the request of some of those that deal with associate services and federal ada, so this language, while I 'm not a practicing attorney, if the Senator would have an amendment to it, I would consider it a friendly amendment. I'm just trying to put it in the right posture. This was to codify, in our language, what the federal requirements for ada is, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The senior Senator from Henrico .
[Unknown]
Further question.
[Unknown]
Would the Senator yield for an additional question?
[Unknown]
Yes, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
The Senator yields.
[Unknown]
Mr. Preside nt, I would ask the Senator if he has it available to him, can he share with the body what those requirements of the ada are that he is trying to meet with this language?
[Unknown]
The Senator from
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. Spotsylvania. Certainly. Under the ada currently, if you are an establishment, restaurant per se, you can only ask a person that's entering that establishment one question, and one question only. And that is, what service does your dog perform? And that's it. And so this is a bill, for the most part, to curb what we found to be some folks out there, believe it or not, that want to put a vest on a dog that doesn't perform any kind of service and so that's what it's designed to do. But under ada, that's the only
[Unknown]
Further question, question you can ask. Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Would the Senator yield for an additional question.
[Unknown]
Absolutely.
[Unknown]
I apologize to the Senator because I mean the bill no harm, but I 'm forced to ask if the ada allows only one question to be asked, then why does your propose the amendment allow two questions to be asked?
[Unknown]
The Senator from Spotsylvania .
[Unknown]
Mr. President, I would simply say to the gentleman that this amendment was written by those who requested it from social services. Again, I would reiterate, if the fine Senator would like to scribe or take out, I would consider it a friendly amendment.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
With that, Mr. President, I would move the amendment or substitute be agreed for.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the floor amendment be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The floor amendment is agreed to. The Senator from Spotsylvania .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I would now move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to third reading.
[Unknown]
Senate bill 401, a bill relating to crohn's disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, identification cards and information. Reported from the committee on education and health with a substitute.
[Unknown]
The Senator from western Fairfax County, Senator mars
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. Son. I move that the substitute be agreed to.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the committee substitute be agreed to. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The substitute is agreed to. The Senator from western Fairfax County .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I move that the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading.
Bill Howell
The question is shall the bill be engrossed and advanced to third reading. All in favor of the motion will those opposed, no. Say aye. The ayes have it. The bill is engrossed and advanced to its third reading.
[Unknown]
Regular calendar, Senate joint resolutions on third reading. One, ratifying the equal rights amendment to the united states constitution.
[Unknown]
The Senator from eastern Fairfax County, Senator Surovell .
Scott Surovell
Mr. President, I move the resolution pass and speaking to that motion.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Scott Surovell
Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, this resolution in front of you as ratification of the equal rights amendment is something I think this body has seen several times. Five quick points I want to make about it. First of all, this resolution has been ratified, the era has ratified by the sent in 2013, 12, 14, and 15. This is number five. Number two, Virginia is one of 22 states that currently has gender equality in our constitution. Section 11, article one of the constitution of Virginia currently says that any person, all people have the right to be free from government discrimination on the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex or national origin. So the right -- equal rights have been cod if I fide in our constitution since 1971. This is something that's not new to Virginia. It's a Virginia value. Third thing I want to say really quick is that this amendment is important. It does have legal effect. If any of the lawyers or anybody wants to have a lawyer discussion about why it's important that we put the equal rights amendment in the united states constitution notwithstanding title nine or title seven of the civil rights act, it does have legal effect and weed need to do that and I 'm happy to get into it if anybody wants to. The fourth thing I 'll say is this is not too late. I think everybody here knows that in 1992 -- I 'm sorry -- yeah, 1992, reratified the 27th amendment to the united states constitution, 203 years after it was adopted. And the courts have looked at that and said that in article five of the united states constitution, we have a reasonable. The to adopt it. It can be reopened and it is not too late. The last thing I 'll say, Mr. President, is I know there's some concern, I 've heard concern about whether or not this plays in any way into the reproductive choice issues that have been discussed. Guam rights amendment does -- equal rights amendment does not have to do with that. Those issues arise under fourth amendment, fifth amendment. They do not arise under equal protection by the courts. They're totally separate issues. Just in closing, I would say this it is in our constitution. Equal rights are a Virginia value. It's been in our constitution since 1971. I would also say that aside from the ability to reproduce, the possession of a y chromosome has not been proven to have much of an advantage otherwise and I know some people probably would say that women not only should be equal, but perhaps they're more equal than men. I'm not willing to go quite that far, but I will say on behalf of the women of this state, I think it's important that we continue to ratify or send a message, ratify this amendment so that women in the state will have equal protection of the law going forward. Not only women today, but my daughters and hopefullily grandchildren and granddaughters in the future. I think it's something we need to do and I hope that the body would pass the resolution.
Bill Howell
Thank you, Senator. The question is shall the resolution 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? Chng chng the clerk will close the roll.
[Unknown]
Ayes 21, nos 19.
[Unknown]
Ayes 21, nos 19. The resolution passes.
[Unknown]
Senate joint resolution 70 proposing a amendment to the constitution of Virginia by adding an article one, a second numbered 11-a, reling to the right to work.
[Unknown]
Senator from rocking ham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, can that go bye for the day.
Bill Howell
Without objection. Senate joint resolution 70 will go bye for the day. The Senator from James city county, Senator Norment .
Tommy Norment
Thank you, Mr. President. Inquiry of the clerk. Does that complete today's calendar?
[Unknown]
Yes, sir.
Tommy Norment
The Senator from Hampton, Senator Locke .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. A point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. Today the governor announced employment levels in Virginia are the highest in the commonwealth's history. In December 2015, employment levels reached 3,856,100. Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2% and is below December 's national rate of 5%. Further more, it is the lowest in the southeast states and the third best rate among states east of the mississippi. December was a 21st consecutive month of year over year employment growth in the commonwealth, and at 1.5%, it's the highest growth since September 2011. This shows that the new Virginia economy is picking up steem, but we must not let up. Now is the time to invest in education, transportation, and building a 21st century workforce. The governor's budget highlights these economic development stories and we should work together to see them to fruition. When we put virginians before politics, the whole commonwealth prospers. Governor mcauliffe also announced today that print pack, one of the largest flexible packaging converters in the united states, will invest $25.7 million to expand its manufacturing operation in the city of Newport News. Virginia successfully competed against missouri for this project, which will create 50 new jobs in the commonwealth. Thank you, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Thanks, Senator. The Senator from Arlington, Senator Favola .
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise in a point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Mr. President. I want to take a moment to just talk about the importance of women's healthcare, especially access to contraceptive healthcare. Although the centers of disease control and prevention tell us that we have made great progress as a country, three in ten women in the united states actually become pregnant before the age of 20, and this is a significantly higher percentage than those percentages in other countries. I think as leaders in the commonwealth, we have an opportunity to act. We have an opportunity to make our women and our families healthier. The governor has proposed in his budget what we call long acting reversible contraceptives, or larc. This program actually has been a pilot program in the state of colorado, and colorado found that this program saved that state $42 million in avoidance of medicaid costs. Essentially for every dollar its vested in colorado, they received five dollars this return, or a return in savings. There was a reduction in teenage pregnancies, but more importantly, there was a 42% reduction in abortions from that cohort that participated in larc. I would encourage us all to support this program. I also want to move on to say this month, in fact, it was last Friday, it was the 43rd anniversary of that landmark decision of rowe versus wade. In that decision, the supreme court said that the constitution really protects the right to privacy for every woman, and as we have discussed this issue time and again in this Senate, I think many of us have come to the conclusion that a woman's decision to have an abortion is a very personal decision, it is a decision that she should -- she and her doctor and her faith leader should talk about, but certainly not politicians getting involved with. I want you to know, and as many of you do, that prior to the 1973 decision, thousands of women died each year because they did not have access to safe abortions. Aside from protecting a women's health and her right to privacy, rowe versus wade also expanded opportunities for women to participate equally in society, and I quote. This was from a planned parenthood case that went before the supreme court, quote, the ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives. There was a recent study done, and this was done by naral, that 99% of women will use birth control at some point in their lives, and one out of three women will have an abortion. The actions of this general assembly in recent sessions are really out of line with where most virginians view the role of government. I believe that the transvaginal ultrasound requirement, the 24-hour waiting period, the trap legislation, were really intended to intimidate women and to erode our constitutional rights. Seven out of ten virginians also agree that government has no place in the doctor's office and that a woman should not be prevented from accessing an abortion within the construct of roe versus wade. I do want to note also in this morning, and I know these issues are very passionate and I know many of us have very strong views on this, but we really are a country of laws and I really think we are stronger because we're a country of laws. And this morning, the Richmond times dispatch reported that a houston grand jury investigated the undercover footage of planned parenthood and found no wrongdoing and, instead, indicted an anti-abortion activist involved in making the videos that targeted the handling of the fetal tissues in the clinic. I think that was a surprising result, but that was a result. Where we have had a lot of agreement has been around the protection of women from sexual assault and domestic violence, and I 'm glad we have made progress in that area. 85% of domestic violence victims are women and nearly a third of all women murdered were killed by an intimate partner. About 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence and one in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their life. I do want to note, though that, a woman's chances of being build by her abuser increases more than 500 times if he has access to a firearm. As leaders in the Senate, we have many opportunities. We have opportunities to improve the quality of life for all virginians. I do hope we will have the foresight and the courage to act and I do hope that our actions will actually enable women, empower women, and treat women with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Thank you, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The Senator from western Fairfax County, Senator marston.
[Unknown]
Thank you. Rise for a point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
[Unknown]
We just had a big storm, Mr. President, and our governor was the first to declare a state of emergency. He did so on January the 21st, and following that declaration, state agencies immediately identified and positions resources to speed response and recovery efforts. Multiple state agencies got engaged in response, including vdot, Virginia department of health, Virginia state police, Virginia national guard, and Virginia defense force, and Virginia department of emergency management. And the scores are starting to come in, Mr. President. We put 9500 crew members out on the streets, 13,000 pieces of I didn't want were put into play to cover the 57,867 road miles in Virginia. The amount of salt put out, 176,000 tons, liquid salt, 394 sths gallons. Sand, 31,312 tons. Our state police spontzed to 10 -- responds to 10,615 calls for service. They dealt with 1750 expect and 2,972 disabled vehicles. The national guard drove 34,000 miles and helped in 124 response calls. Mr. President, nothing is ever perfect and there are still folks who haven't been adequately dug out yet, but for the fiers time, I received called from people that cleanup efforts started right away as the storm was beginning to dump snow, at least in my county in thank the governor for his leadership and all the state employees and local first responders involved in this response to this amazingly big storm. Mr. President, we're still the best managed state in the country. Thank you.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Fairfax, Virginia, and I want to the Senator from James city county, Senator Norment .
Tommy Norment
Point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Tommy Norment
I da not have any prepared remarks, but I would like to transition from highway issues and some of the volatile social issues that have been previously spoken about, back to some economic issues. As all of you are certainly aware, this year is an even year and we will be adopting the two-year budget, and I can share with you that the Senator from Augusta and I feel the weight of stewardship and responsibility that we have accepted particularly in the light of some of the retirements that we have recently experienced and the loss of a significant institutional knowledge. As I listen to some of the effusive comments about the economy and the governor, I really think it's important that we temper this exuberance with some realities. If you go back and check the employment history of the commonwealth of Virginia and the number of new jobs that were created over the last ten years, you will find that there was a peak of approximately, I don't know, 150, 160,000 jobs that were created and currently we're running along about 33,000 or 35,000 on an annual basis. I would further suggest to you that if you were to look at the george Mason study which looked at the number of jobs, particularly in northern Virginia that had been displaced during the recession and the backfilling of those jobs, it's a fairly revealing fact that it comes out in that report. And that is that many of the jobs that were displaced during the recession were paying 130 to $160,000 a year. The jobs that are backfilling that are in a much lower level and some as low as 45,000 a year. So it's not just the numerical count of the jobs. It is actually the decreasing in the velocity of money that is moving through Virginia 's economy that we ought to be mindful of. Further, if you take a look at the revenues that are projected in the Senate budget, that might temper some of this exuberance a little bit more, particularly in light of those who would boast that this proposed executive budget be the largest in the history of the commonwealth of Virginia, north of $100 billion! You have to wonder which audience was being spoken to when that proclamation was made, particularly when you look and see that approximately seven out of the nine major general fund revenue factors are either stagnant or -- are either stagnant, below forecast, below re-forecast, below where the previous year's revenues were, and I think that perhaps from a fiscal standpoint, that we need to temper our exuberance and move forward with some deliberateness and be very mind will of our stewardship responsibility to the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia, and as we work on this budget, to keep those realities in mind as we look at a proposed budget spending north of $100 billion and talking about one of the largest capital proposals in the history of Virginia, and when I think about capital, I 'm mindful of one of my daughters when she went off to college and got in the mail the credit card application. She got a credit card and then she came and says, dad, do I -- I have to pay what I charged on this credit card? We have to pay for what we spend in the commonwealth of Virginia and even on those capital issues, when you lock into a 30-year, basically a 30-year loan, you've got to have the sustainable resources to continue to pay the debt service on that loan and if the revenues do not meet the expectations, then we're all confronted with the unpleasantries of having to go into other secret tear yats and reduce the spending on those budgets. So I compliment his excellency on his salesmanship and his continued efforts to bring business and industry into the commonwealth of Virginia, but let's not be hallucinogenic about where we're going on this and to keep our hands on the pace of revenues.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The senior Senator from Loudoun, Senator Black .
Dick Black
Point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Dick Black
Ladies and gentlemen, you know, over the last couple of years, we've heard over and over when we've had these tragic mass shooting incidents that the instructions given to the people were to run and hide in place, and it has not worked very well, and every once in a while there's a glimmer of hope in our culture in the direction that we're taking and this morning, there was a report that there is an active shooter or there was at the time, at san diego military medical facility, which incidentally, services the camp pendleton and the marines, and, you know, I 'm reminded in reading the report, there was a country song that was called "the coward of the county," and kenny rogers sang it. It was rather lovely song, and this fellow was a -- he was -- his father said, now, don't fight, don't fight, don't get yourself in trouble. You know, you got to avoid trouble. And finally, this fellow followed his father's instructions until one day his wife was assaulted by a bunch of bullies, and upon that, he went into the room, he closed the do, and he cleaned House, and the final line of the song was, daddy, he says, sometimes you got to fight when you're a man. And out at san diego, when they gave instructions on how to deal with the active shooter, they said, run, hide, or fight. God bless them, my compliments to the united states navy and to their cohorts, the u.S. Marines out in san diego. Thank you.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The Senator from Buckingham, Senator Garrett .
Tom Garrett
Thank you, Mr. President. Point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Tom Garrett
A wiser person than me once said in this world, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And I heard that you're 500 times more likely to be murdered by your domestic partner with a gun, I thought that was all three. I looked it up. I think it's funny that people actually believe that on its face. I looked up some fbi statistics. We know the fbi is probably biased, but essentially about half of domestic murders occur with instrumentalities other than firearms. In fact, your more likely to be beaten to death with bare hands or feet than you are killed with a rifle or shotgun. You're about twice as likely to be stabbed to death than you are to be killed with a rifle or shotgun, but that 500 times more likely number, if you gheef that, really and -- believe that, really and truly, think a little harder. I wanted to read something from a friend, chris Cox, in light of the theory that the lone ranger is dead, that the good person with a gun can help you and a bad person with a gun, maybe you'll notice a theme here. Radar from rare, self defense gun use occurs each and every day of the united states with armed citizens coming from every age group, race, religion, ethnicity. Self defense includes men and women, rich and poor, takes place in every corner of our great nation. In short, armed citizens are as diverse as the country itself. But they all share uniquely american right to defend themselves regardless of background or circumstance. Here are on few stories from last summer. Perhaps the most high profile recent instance of armed self defense involved former cnn employees lynn Russell and her husband. They were staying in a motel in albuquerque, new mexico, in June and according to the blaek journal, as Russell went to retrieve an item from the couple's vehicle, she was afroeched by an armed couple who forced her into the motel room. While doing so, Russell was able to stis the car owner in retrieving one of two pistols. Once armed, they fired at the attacker, fatally wounding the criminal. He was struck by the return fire, but survived. After the ordeal, cnn reporter lynn Russell made clear just how much they values the right to self defense, telling a reporter the discussion over a debate to own a gun is just rixz. As americans, we have the right to bear arms and as humans, we have the right to protect in April, according to a report ourselves. In the fro-gun chicago tribune dfrs that was editorializing on my part, a driver from the ride sharing app uber was driving in chicago when a man opened fire on a crowd. The driver, a right to permit holder who Wise lie took advantage of illinois's new carry law, retrieved a phi arm and shot the active gunman before he was able to shoot multiple people, halting the attack before anyone was killed. What? Despite the driver's heroic actions, uber died to enact a -- decided to enact a foil barring it's passengers and drivers from carrying firearms. In July, the owner of a clothing store in milwaukee was forced to defend his slop to a group of -- shop to a group of five criminals. The thieves got inside by using a van to smash through the store's security doors. While the criminals were attempting to get through the doors, the owner retrieved a semiautomatic rifle which gun control advocates call an assault rifle, and then proceeded to defend himself with it. All five criminals fled empty handed. The same month, a customer at academy sports in topeka, kansas, was at the store's gun counter buying ammunition when three armed robbers entered the store and attempted to steal more firearms. The customer responded I did drawing his gun and confronting the thieves. It actions forced the robbers to drop the guns they were carrying and flee from the store. He said he was carrying his gun thanks to kansas's recently enacted universal carry law. Excuse me, loving it. In August, 14-year-old andrew Mason was home in north las vegas when a pair of home invaders entered his House. He took action, putting his younger siblings in an upstairs closet and retrieving a rifle and a cell phone. As andrew explain it to the local media, one of the home invaders came upon him, I had my gun loaded and was ready to shoot, but when he saw me, he ran away. Andrew's father told reporters, I believe in the right to bear arms. It's not like my son was forced into it. We go to the shooting range quite often. Also, in August, a frequent burglary victim took action to defend his home in rockland as reported pi the newspaper, a maine. Retired lobsterman used a motorized wheelchair, to purchase a revolver after being a victim of five robberies in six years. Later that night, he awakened to stinez a home invader in his apartment looking for his prescription meds. He retrieved his revolver, mounted his wheelchair, and confrounted the criminal. At first, he a tempted to hold off the thief until police arrived, but ultimately he was forced to act by shooting the thief in the shoulder when the thief came at him. These are just a few stories. I'm sure I can come up with more to prove that yes, indeed, firearms are often and frequently used by innocent people to save the lives of others and themselves. Thank you.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The Senator from Rockingham, Senator Obenshain .
Mark Obenshain
Mr. President, with trepidation, rise for two purposes. First of all, for an announcement. Immediately following session, I would like the Senate court of justice committee to meet at my desk. Second, for point of personal privilege, Mr. President, members of the Senate, yesterday I made some comments about ethics and about football tickets, and about the small story that was buried in the blizzard news at the end of last week about a member of the governor's cabinet taking gifts in the form of free tickets to a luxury box for the redskins home playoff game during wild card weekend. Now, the governor's office responded and I guess put out a flurry of statements yesterday saying that among other things, the governor's office checked with the newly formed ethics counsel to make sure that the gift was legal. And in initial news reports, the administration didn't choose to quibble with the characterization of the tickets as a gift, but instead, said that the gift was simply allowed under the newly elected ethics laws. Now, a couple of points. Number one, as I recall, at the end of session last year, after the ethics law was adopted, the governor set down a number of amendments to reflect his view concerning what his standards are and what he thought that our standards should be, and one of those amendments to the ethics legislation was to remove from that the so-called widely attended event exception. He wanted to take that out so that things like tickets to football games wouldn't be allowed. And communications that as one of his priorities. I pointed out yesterday and had pointed out since that, you know, we're not talking about the ethics law. We'll set that aside for now because nobody, not me, at least not me, I 'm not contending that the acceptance of these wild card weekend luxury box tickets by a member of the governor's administration violates the ethics law. However, the governor established for himself and for his office on the day of his inauguration different standards when he signed executive order number 2 that imposed an outright ban on gifts to him or members of his administration in excess of $100. Now, despite the denials issued by the administration yesterday, I want to point out a couple of things. First, news reports from the time of the signing of the executive order said that the order for appear to prohibit a wide, or limit a wide range of gifts, including, get this, free redskins tickets. The administration never thought to quibble with that characterization and indeed in public statements has embraced that characterization. That is, until this week, they have ought so embrace that. -- sought to embrace that. Now what the governor's office wants to talk about is the ethics bill passed last year by the general assembly and to try and justify these gifts under that legislation, dismissing the terms of the executive order which expressly states that it imposes an ethical standard for the executive branch notwithstanding other provisions of state law. And his spokesman says that the ethics laws are so ambiguous that it's just proof that we over here in the general assembly didn't do a good enough job last year with what was a bipartisan ethics reform bill. And now, I say this with all respect, but this explanation by the spokesman from the governor's office is nothing but an artful dodge. The governor signed executive order number 2 precisely because he said he wanted to hold his staff to a higher standard. Is he going to do it or not? It's beyond belief that the governor's spokesman is now suggesting that the acceptance of these tickets represented some kind of a trade mission, a trade mission to a luxury box at an nfl playoff game. If I 'd like know and I hope somebody will ask who sit, who was it that went along on that trade mission to the luxury box at wild card weekend. We should know that. I wonder if pictures were taken. I wonder if emails were exchanged. I want to know what the request was to the ethics counsel. Now, I read carefully all the articles about the governor's response to my inquiries yesterday. I think he owes the people of Virginia, that his office owes the people of Virginia more of a response. I mean, these are his standards. His ethical standards and responsibilities he established. And I think the people of Virginia ought to know whether he's going to hold people accountable to those standards or not. If he's not, just repeal it. Just repeal it. If you're not going to hold people accountable, forget about it, but until then, let's have some transparency.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. The senior Senator from Fairfax, Senator Saslaw .
Dick Saslaw
Just a point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
Floor.
Dick Saslaw
Reporter:
[Unknown]
A couple of things here. First off, I 'd be pretty disappointed if the governor spends more than two minutes on somebody sitting in a suite at a redskins game. Give flee a break. That's -- give flee a break. That's hardly stop the presses. We got a major problem here in america. The other thing is, I was listening to the Senator from Buckingham and these are old statistics from american bar association because I don't know how to use this machine, and he used a couple interesting points here. These are old statistics and I suspect it's a lot worse. It just says here that the death rate amongst u.S. Children younger than 15, 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in the 25 other industrialized countries combined. We're doing just a great job here. We can't -- I mean, the solution is just more guns. You know, we had that group here the other day from all over the -- what's the -- the citizens defense league or whatever they call themselves. I was talking to one of them on the third floor or a group of them and I asked them about a couple years ago in hawaii, either one or two gun deaths for the whole state for the whole year, and you know what he said to me? I'm telling you, Senator Garrett, this is what he said to me. He said that's because you can't bring guns into that state and, he says, it's virtually impossible to buy a gun in that state or get a concealed weapon permit. Well, bingo, okay? You don't have to be albert einstein to figure that out. Finally, just briefly, I don't know -- while I was over in hawaii, there was a blip on there about this kid that asked his father, young kid, what is a canadian and the father told the kid, it's an unarmed north american with health insurance.
[Unknown]
Thank you, Senator. Okay.
[Unknown]
He was right.
[Unknown]
The senior Senator from Henrico, Senator McEachin .
Don McEachin
Mr. President, I rise for a point of personal privilege.
[Unknown]
The Senator has the floor.
Don McEachin
Mr. President, members of the Senate, I had hoped that we would not go down this fast when I said yesterday that I was hopeful that money and ethics would not become a partisan issue, but with the Senator from Rockingham continuing down that path, I 'm forced to ask some questions because it wasn't long ago that we had a governor who somehow thought that receiving a write-off for his daughter's wedding or wedding reception was not a gift. Where was the floor speech about that? And it seems that not long ago, Mr. President, we had a governor who had a $5,000 rolex given to him, somehow, some way, where was the floor speech about that? Mr. President, we had not long ago a governor who took loans on a hand shake, not a documented loan, not the types of loans that you and I get from a bank, where was the floor speech about that? Mr. President, we can take our time and have all sorts of points of personal privilege and throw nud at each other and -- mud at each other and each other's political parties if we want to, I was a former member of the other chippenham be, I know how too -- chamber, I know how to do that, we ought not to take time to engage in that kind of dialogues about where the consistency, the outrage when all those things were going on and now we're worried about someone in a redskins sky box. Thank you, Mr. President.
[Unknown]
Any other business to come before the Senate ? The clerk will please report announcements on the desk.
[Unknown]
Clerk: today, Tuesday, January 26th, the committee for courts of justice will meet immediately upon adjournment at the chair's desk. The committee on local government will meet one-half hour after adjournment in Senate room b. The finance subcommittee on education will meet at 3:30 p.M. Today, 10th floor conference room, senators Norment, Newman, Howell, Saslaw, Hanger, and Ruff. The privileges and elections subcommittee on certificate, oath and confirmation review will not meet. The committee on privileges and elections will meet at 4:00 today, Senate room a. The education and health subcommittee on health will meet at 4:00 today, third floor east conference room, senators Cosgrove, Black, Barker, Lewis and Suetterlein. The finance subcommittee on capital outlay will meet at 5:00 today, 10th floor conference room, senators Norment, Saslaw, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle and Alexander. Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27th: the finance subcommittee on public safety will meet at 7:30 a.M. In the 10th floor conference room, senators McDougle, Howell, Norment, Lucas, Carrico, and Obenshain. The women's legislative roundtable will meet at 8:30 a.M. In the 4th floor east conference room. The committee on finance will meet at 9:00 a.M., Senate room b. The general laws and technology subcommittee number one will meet at 9:00 a.M. In the 4th floor east conference room, senators Locke, Barker, Black, Garrett, DeSteph, Surovell, McPike, and Vogel. The republican caucus will meet at 11:30 a.M. In Senate room 2 in the capitol. The democratic caucus will meet at 11:30 a.M. In Senate room one in the capitol.
[Unknown]
Thank you, madam clerk. The Senator from Lynchburg, Senator Newman .
Steve Newman
Mr. President, I move that the Senate do now adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.
[Unknown]
The question is shall the Senate stand adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow. All in favor of the motion will say aye. Those opposed, no. The ayes have it. The Senate standed adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow. Until 12:00 noon tomorrow.