GA wrap-up

Brent Finnegan -- February 26th, 2007

So, General Assembly is over. Here’s a short list of some bills that passed in the final days and minutes of the session.

Todd Gilbert and Mark Obenshain’s bills to remove the “triggerman” rule (in order to make more culprits eligible for the death penalty) both passed.

Rob Bell’s eminent domain bill passed, but it won’t affect JMU’s ability to claim eminent domain in the city, because the university is considered public interest, “that will be owned, enjoyed and occupied by the Commonwealth or political subdivision solely to provide a service or facility to or for the public generally.”

As reported in today’s DNR, County BoS member Bill Kyger was relieved to get off of the “pins and needles” everyone in the city and county was on when they thought that the GA was going to give SRI $6.5 million, instead of the $12 million they had planned for. The GA is still going to spend $22 million to bring SRI to the area.

The General Assembly officially apologized for slavery. Both the House and the Senate voted on separate statements unanimously… I wonder how long it will be before the Harrisonburg City Council apologizes for the “urban renewal project” back in the 60s? 400 years? I’m guessing never.

According to Richmond Sunlight and LIS, of the 20 bills Mark Obenshain introduced this session (excluding commendations) 14 passed, 6 died. Of the 17 bills that Matt Lohr introduced, 8 passed, 9 died. Keep in mind that just because a bill passed, doesn’t necessarily make it law (unless the Governor signs it) and just because it’s dead doesn’t necessarily mean it stays dead (remember Lohr’s living dead bill?).


13 Responses to “GA wrap-up”

  1. cook says:

    Yes, the GA is going home, and we can breathe a little easier now. I’ve been thinking – we call them “Legislators” so they think they need to be legislating when they are in Richmond. Perhaps we should start a movement to call our representatives “Protectors of Freedom” or “Guarantors of Liberty.” They might then go to Richmond with a little different mindset about what they ought to be doing there.

    I mentioned this to Reaganite who thinks we should go back to calling them “Burgesses” – I don’t get that.

  2. finnegan says:

    A weed by any other name is still a weed… or is that a rose? I always forget how that saying goes.

  3. Reaganite says:

    If we went back to calling them Burgesses, I believe it would take at least two sessions for them to agree what a Burgess is or was. That would be two sessions of bliss for the citizens of this Commonwealth. Will they ever learn we don’t need them to do more, we need them to do better and to sometimes fix or forget what they have already done!

  4. JGFitzgerald says:

    Juliet: What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.

    No man is safe in his life, liberty or possessions while the legislature is in session. — various attributions.

  5. cook says:

    I am not sure how to establish a link, finnegan, but you may be interested in the following article from the Richmond Times Dispatch reporting the outcome of the numerous anti-immigrant bills this session:

    Headline: “Assembly rejects most bills on illegals . . . It had more proposals on immigration than ever; very few passed”

  6. finnegan says:

    Thanks for that link.

    That reminds me, I saw this on the WSVA website this weekend:

    The more than 16-hundred people that took time to fill out a survey from Weyers Cave Delegate Steve Landes have some strong opinions about illegal immigrants.

    Ninety-four percent of responders do not think illegals should receive in-state tuition rates at Virginia colleges and universities. Ninety-three percent think companies that knowingly hire illegals should be penalized and 92-percent believe police should be able to hold illegals for deportation when they are pulled over or arrested for a crime.

    I’d love to see how that survey was worded.

  7. What do you disagree with from Steve Landes’s findings?

    I certainly do not want someone who is here illegally to receive in state tuition any more then I want them to receive social security which they only invest in by illegally obtaining papers for a false SS#.

    I lived in Harris Garden Apartments for over four years. During that time there were three drive by shootings in front of my building and the apartment next to mine was raided by the INS three times to arrest the same man each time for beating his girlfriend and dealing crack, ganja, cocaine, and amphetamines…each time he returned. The H’burg police were there regularly but seemed powerless to do anything in their own jurisdiction. I’d say the police could use a little more support in certain situations when confronted with some who is here illegally and who has committed a crime. That seems pretty straight forward to me…

  8. ktr001 says:

    Stephen, it seems that the problem you are addressing is not with illegal immigrants, but the fallacy of our judicial system. White, Black, Hispanic or Asian, any man beating a woman and selling drugs should be put away.

    I hate to harp on this, but my disgust runs so deep…I think if the HPD spent a little less time arresting the drunk college students who chose to walk home instead of drive there, they’d have a little more time to worry about drug dealers, wife beaters and this alleged influx of gang activity.

  9. ktr, I agree that no matter where you are from you should be put in jail etc. if found participating in activities I described above. The difference I witnessed is in the fact that had I acted in that fashion, I would have faced jail time. This guy kept showing up weeks later.

    The local police at that time told me they never get to convict because they are here illegally so the INS becomes the lead agency. The INS is unsuccessful in deporting them so they are set free, or they do order them to be deported but the person evades deportation and they are free, or they are deported just to return free to continue the same activities.

    I am troubled by that development nation wide. I am troubled with people in the country illegally that are shoplifting health care because our emergency rooms care for everyone but those here illegally have no real identification and therefore no way to track them down to obtain compensation for their medical care. I have a friend who is head of nursing in a hospital in Michigan who speaks to me often about here frustrations over this issue. I am troubled by the strain esl students that are not here legally place on our educational system, first responders and economy.

    Hence…I am troubled because I would like to find a solution that does not rip families apart by a federal government trying to compensate for their own failed policies that have placed us in this situation. We are basically paying for the sins of passed failures to recognize that WE created a policy, written or accepted, that has both allowed and relied upon illegal immigration typically for the sake of the fiscal bottom line.

    So, here I am prepared to hear solutions…real solutions that address my concerns. Solutions that do not ask that America forfeit her own cultural identity. Solutions that are long term and manageable. Anyone….Anyone?

  10. “I am troubled by the strain esl students that are not here legally place on our educational system, first responders and economy.”

    What I was supposed to say was “and people who place a strain on first responders and the economy,” not just students. I didn’t want anyone to think I thought esl students were responsible for other things beyond eductional challenges….

  11. finnegan says:


    I’m going to borrow from Cook on this one… We only have two options here: either create an economy where we don’t need them to come, OR grant some sort of worker status to the people we do need to come. The second one sounds easier to me.

    The problem the US has right now is that we have created a system of jobs driven by low market prices, where locals do not want the undesirable jobs at the low wages. That’s because US shoppers love their cheap tomatoes and cheap whatever (you name it). We consumers are just as guilty as the manufacturers, factory farmers, retailers (like Wal-Mart) and the immigrants who crossed over without permission. The government is guilty because they have ignored it for too long, and been swayed by big business interests who don’t want the flow of cheap, “ununionizable” laborers to stop.

    My point being that the entire country is guilty of creating this situation at every level. We cannot just simply blame the federal government or blame the immigrants without blaming ourselves first. It’s so much more complex than that. It’s our entire consumer-driven system from top to bottom.

    Like I said, there are only two viable options at this point.

  12. I really agree with your post…just about the whole thing, especially the fact that we have two options. When I remove the emotion of the discussion I tend to agree that some sort of worker permit makes sense and also may be a way to get people back on a proper track toward citizenship. Do you know that there are some people that have been waiting more then 15 years for immigration to approve or disapprove their citizenship request? That’s flat pathetic….

    The emotions of the issue of immigration are really incredible. It is a frustrating issue especially if you believe in the rule of law which I do…but I also have this idealist thread that causes me some problems, as well as this notion of limited government that I’m sure I read about somewhere.

  13. writergirl says:

    Finnegan that’s darn near the most intelligent way that I have ever heard that put! If everyone in this country read and understood it then we would be a whole lot better off.

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