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House Democrats Applaud Special Session Successes – Virginia House DemocratsGet up-to-date information and resources on COVID-19 › Skip to content Virginia House Democrats About Our Caucus Our Impact Members News Vote Get Involved Donate House Democrats Applaud Special Session Successes Posted on [DATE REMOVED] General Assembly passed COVID-19 relief, police & criminal justice reform priorities and budget  RICHMOND, VA—The Virginia General Assembly finished work on the remaining docket for the 2020 Special Session today. In all, 29 pieces of legislation which were part of the House Democratic Caucus’ priorities were passed by the House and the Senate. Both chambers also advanced an updated budget that funds the new, urgent measures passed during Special Session, while adjusting to the diminished revenue forecast caused by the COVID-19 recession and safeguarding Virginia’s AAA bond rating.  “I am proud of the hard work put in by the House Democrats, whose passion for public service shines brightly in the legislation they put forth and supported during Special Session,” said Democratic House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, who served as the patron for HB 5055 (strengthening civilian review boards). “Our new police and criminal justice reforms are about addressing overlooked hardships Virginians face. We are at the beginning of a new chapter for the Commonwealth, one that brings more humanity to our justice system.” House Democrats outlined their agenda ahead of Special Session, prioritizing support for Virginians suffering physically and economically due to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing inequities in the Commonwealth, especially in the areas of police and criminal justice reform. Specific measures included in these priorities were bills to strengthen the administration’s ability to procure PPE for Virginians and combat price gouging during a declared state of emergency, implement housing protections for Virginia families negatively impacted by COVID-19, require law enforcement officers to intervene or report when they see wrongdoing from colleagues, and limit the use of no-knock warrants and neck restraints.  Earlier [DATE REMOVED], the General Assembly and Governor Ralph Northam placed a “pause” on the biennial budget passed during the 2020 Regular session, in order to assess COVID-19’s impact on forecasts for Virginia’s economy. One of the General Assembly’s principal tasks when called into Special Session was to reassess the FY2021-2022 budget, due to the effects of the pandemic-driven economic shock. After preparing and passing their respective budget bills, House and Senate conferees negotiated the best terms to keep the Commonwealth moving forward in light of challenges Virginians faced [DATE REMOVED]. House Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Torian led the House conference committee team, joined by fellow Democratic Delegates Mark Sickles, Betsy Carr, David Bulova, and Roslyn Tyler.  “Under reduced revenues and challenging circumstances for the people of Virginia, this budget offers a roadmap toward a safer, healthier, more just and equitable Commonwealth. During this Special Session our top priorities throughout the budgetary process were fair funding for health care, K-12 and higher education, and criminal justice reform. The current moment demands record investments in broadband access and virtual learning technology,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Torian. “Accounting for these urgent needs, we took a holistic approach to reworking the biennial budget with the aim of protecting some of the original progress from the historic funding package passed last [DATE REMOVED]. Our budget meets all these goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility.” The General Assembly’s budget addresses the $2.8 billion revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic, but also restores funding to expand early childhood education and educator retention incentives. $26.9 million in federal funds have been directed to support local school districts’ short-term virtual learning needs and $94 million has been allocated to maintain affordable access to higher education. The budget also prioritizes advancements in telehealth, supports a safe and secure general election, and sets aside $85 million from the General Fund for broadband infrastructure projects in response to Virginians’ need for Internet access due to COVID-19. In addition, the revised budget extends housing protections for Virginia residents during the pandemic, and provides funding for emergency child care programs and childcare provider stabilization. Funding has also been allocated to implement police and criminal justice reform legislation approved by the General Assembly during Special Session, including numerous bills addressing law enforcement conduct and training standards. Here is the summary of the House Democrats’ non-budget legislation which passed during the 2020 Special Session:  COVID-19 Relief HB 5046 (Adams) Advancing innovations in telehealth. HB 5047 (Murphy) Prohibits manufacturers or distributors from selling necessary goods or services at an unconscionable price during a declared state of emergency. HB 5048 (Sickles) Mandating transparency requirements for congregate-care facilities during a public health emergency. HB 5059 (Willett) Providing certain liability protection for assisted living facilities in relation to COVID-19.  HB 5050 (Helmer) Authorizes the Governor, during a declared state of emergency due to a communicable disease of public health threat, to purchase and distribute PPE to private, nongovernmental entities. HB 5064 (Price) Providing rent payment plan opportunities for tenants negatively impacted by COVID-19. HB 5068 (Ayala) Prohibiting garnishment of stimulus relief checks. HB 5087 (Tran) Removing the sunset clause on Virginia’s short-term compensation program (work-sharing) to facilitate eligibility for CARES Act funds. HB 5093 (Watts) Granting flexibility in enforcing executive orders through civil penalty. Under current law, the only penalty for such a violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. HB 5106 (Cole) Protecting prospective tenants whose credit is negatively impacted by COVID-19. HB 5113 (Roem) Ensuring local school board participation in the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) no-cost breakfast and lunch program. HB 5115 (Price) Protecting housing security for individuals and families negatively impacted by COVID-19. Policing and Criminal Justice Reform HB 5029 (McQuinn) Mandating the duty of one officer to intervene to stop use of excessive force by another officer. HB 5043 (Bourne) Creating a statewide Marcus Alert system. HB 5045 (Delaney) Banning sexual relations between officers and arrestees. HB 5051 (Simon) Requiring decertification of a law enforcement officer who is terminated or resigns for violation of law, serious misconduct in violation of statewide standards of conduct, or during an internal investigation. HB 5055 (Herring) Strengthening laws related to Citizen Review Panels. HB 5058 (Hope) Eliminates certain vehicle equipment offenses or the odor of marijuana as pretexts for a stop or search by law enforcement. HB 5049 (Helmer) Demilitarizing police departments by prohibiting the acquisition and use of certain weapons and military equipment by law enforcement agencies. HB 5062 (Mullin) Codifying prosecutorial ability to dismiss charges. HB 5069 (Carroll Foy) Banning the use of neck restraints by law enforcement except if immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person. HB 5072 (Lopez) Empowering the Attorney General to conduct “pattern or practice” investigations of police forces that appear to be violating constitutional rights, including unlawful discrimination. HB 5098 (Askew) Expanding the definition of hate crimes to include false 911 calls or reports to law enforcement against another person made on the basis of race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin.  HB 5099 (Aird) Prohibiting no-knock search warrants. HB 5104 (Price) Strengthening the assessments and review of prior law-enforcement employment records required before hiring law enforcement officers. HB 5108 (Guzman) Diversifying the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Committee on Training. HB 5109 (Hope) Standardizing and enhancing training by criminal justice academies and establishing required in-service training standards for law enforcement officers. HB 5148 (Scott) Increasing earned sentence credits. Making Virginia a more Equitable Place HB 5052 (Bagby) Codifying Juneteenth as an official holiday in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Search for: Recent Posts House Democrats Give Pay Raise to Minimum Wage Workers House Democrats React to Verdict in Chauvin Trial House Democrats Raised More Than $600K During 1st Quarter House Democratic Caucus Condemns the Windsor Police’s Treatment of Lt. Nazario House Democrats Accept Governor’s Amendments on Crucial Legislation Archives Archives Select Month [DATE REMOVED] [DATE REMOVED] 2021 February 2021 January 2021 December 2020 November 2020 October 2020 September 2020 August 2020 June 2020 April 2020 [DATE REMOVED] 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 [DATE REMOVED] 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 April 2018 [DATE REMOVED] 2018 February 2018 Post navigation House Democrats Celebrate Passage of Crucial Legislation House Democrats’ Police Reform Bills Become Virginia Law Stay Informed Email Address Connect With Us Paid for and authorized by House Democratic Caucus 1021 E. Cary Street, Suite 1275, Richmond, VA 23219 Not authorized by any Candidate or Candidate Committee Powered by Tech for Campaigns
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