Today, we are wrapping up the first of six weeks that make up the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session. Each January, our elected legislators convene in the Capitol to introduce, debate, and vote on potential policy change. To keep Network Partners and conservation supporters informed how these debates may influence our air, water, landscapes, and wildlife here in Virginia, Virginia Conservation Network will publish a weekly blog post throughout session highlighting the most notable bills and the status of those the conservation community has take positions on. Each week, we will also include upcoming events to add to your calendar, as well as noteworthy articles covering the Virginia General Assembly.
The positions listed below have been taken by Virginia Conservation Network (VCN)’s Legislative Committee and Board of Directors and are supported by Virginia’s conservation community. To access talking points for these bills, simply click on the bill number.
|Issue Area||Bill Number||Patron||Description||Position|
|Budget||91G||N/A||Funds to the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund are proposed to be cut from $1,000,000 to $250,000 in the second year.||OPPOSE|
|Budget||365D.1||N/A||Funds to the Virginia Land Conservation Fund are proposed to be cut from $8,000,000 to $4,500,000 in the second year.||OPPOSE|
|Budget||367H||N/A||Funds to the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund are proposed to be cut from $1,000,000 to $676,528 in the second year.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1678||Robinson||Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); trade secrets submitted to the Department of Mines.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1679||Robinson||Well permit applications; disclosure of trade secrets.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1573||Helsel||Marine Resources Commission; licenses; revocation.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1575||Helsel||Marine Resources Commission; oyster dredge; sanctuary area.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1619||Bulova||Watershed discharge permits; review of allocations.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB1635||Sullivan||Historic rehabilitation tax credit.||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1034||Howell||Historic rehabilitation tax credit.||OPPOSE|
|Energy||HB1636||Sullivan||Energy efficiency programs; total resource cost test.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||HB1703||Sullivan||Electric and natural gas utilities; energy efficiency goals.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB1766||Habeeb||Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1110||Stanley||Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB887||Chafin||Prioritization of statewide transportation projects; exceptions.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB2008||Hodges||Stormwater; erosion and sediment control, 10,000 square foot minimum disturbance.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB2089||Kory||School boards, local; lead testing of potable water in schools.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB1359||McPike||School boards, local; lead testing of potable water in schools.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB2136||LeMunyon||Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB2136||LeMunyon||Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interestate Compact||SUPPORT|
|Energy||HB2198||Kilgore||Coal tax; limits aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for employment, etc||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB2244||Jones||Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995; changes name of Advisory Committee.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1322||Carrico||Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995; changes name of Advisory Committee.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||SB1471||Locke||Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act; established, report.||SUPPORT|
|Water||HJ572||Knight||Study; regulation of menhaden fishing; report.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB806||Stanley||Interstate 73 Corridor Development Fund and Program.||OPPOSE|
|Water||SB898||Stuart||DEQ; combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfalls; Potomac River Watershed.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB910||Stuart||Virginia Oil and Gas Act; sampling and replacing contaminated wells.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB911||Stuart||Orphaned Well Fund; surcharge.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||HB2112||Keam||Electric utilities; community renewable projects.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||SB1208||Wexton||Electric utilities; community renewable projects.||SUPPORT|
|Water||HB1423||Albo||Potomac River Watershed; DEQ to identify owner of any combined sewer overflow outfall, etc.||SUPPORT|
|Water||HB1454||Austin||James River; designation as component of Virginia Scenic Rivers System.||SUPPORT|
|AntiReg||HB1566||Webert||Professions and occupations; active supervision of regulatory boards.||OPPOSE|
|AntiReg||HB1654||Loupassi||Examining and approving a statement in lieu of the settlement of accounts; fee for commissioner.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB1870||Lopez||Deleterious substances; discharge into state waters.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||HB1974||O'Quinn||Clean Power Plan; state implementation plan; General Assembly approval.||OPPOSE|
|Energy||HB2018||Villanueva||Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act, established, report.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB2023||Villanueva||Highway maintenance payments; bicycle lanes.||SUPPORT|
|Other||HB2182||Sickles||Voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles; opt-out voter registration.||SUPPORT|
|AntiReg||HJ545||Head||Constitutional amendment; powers of General Assembly, etc.||OPPOSE|
|Other||HJ704||Bulova||Study; Secretary of Natural Resources and Secretary of Education; environmental education; report.||SUPPORT|
|Other||HJ763||Landes||Constitutional amendment (first resolution); apportionment; political considerations prohibited.||SUPPORT|
|Other||SB1051||Ebbin||Automatic Voter Reg||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1251||Barker||Washington Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact; Virginia authorized to become signatory.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB1383||Surovell||Coal ash; treatment by utilities; recycling.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB1398||Surovell||Coal combustion residuals unit; closure permit; assessments required.||SUPPORT|
|Water||SB1399||Surovell||Coal combustion by-product impoundments; closure requirements.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||SB1496||Lewis||Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act; established, report||SUPPORT|
|Other||SJ290||Howell||Constitutional amendment; criteria for electoral districts (first reference).||SUPPORT|
|AntiReg||SJ295||Vogel||Constitutional amendment (first resolution); legislative review of administrative rules.||OPPOSE|
|AntiReg||SJ311||Carrico||Constitutional amendment; legislative review of administrative rules (first reference)||OPPOSE|
|Budget||448#1h||LeMunyon||WMATA Compact Revisions Required||OPPOSE|
|Budget||4-5.03#3h||LaRock||No DRPT Funding Unless Conditions Related to WMATA Enacted||OPPOSE|
|Budget||C-48.10#1s||Hanger||Stormwater Local Assistance Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||370#1h||Landes||Stormwater Local Assistance Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||370#2h||Lingamfelter||Stormwater Local Assistance Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||C-48.10#6h||Yancey||Stormwater Local Assistance Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#2s||Hanger||Water Quality Improvement Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#6h||Landes||Water Quality Improvement Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#5h||O'Bannon||Water Quality Improvement Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#6s||Ruff||Dept of Conservation Recreation||SUPPORT|
|Budget||3-6.01#1s||Ruff||Recordation Tax Fee||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#4h||Ruff||Recordation Tax Fee||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#10h||Lingamfelter||Reflect Increased Dedication of Recordation Fee to NRCF||SUPPORT|
|Budget||3-6.01#1h||Lingamfelter||Direct Recordation Filing Fee to NRCF||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#1s||Lewis||Water Quality Improvement Fund||SUPPORT|
|Budget||364#3h||Webert||Fully Fund Ag BMP Requirements||SUPPORT|
|Energy||HB2390||Kilgore||Renewable energy power purchase agreements; expands pilot program.||OPPOSE|
|Energy||SB1393||Wagner||Electric utilities; community solar pilot programs.||SUPPORT|
|Energy||SB918||Edwards||Renewable energy; third-party power purchase agreements.||SUPPORT|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1423||Wagner||Electric utilities; viewshed mitigation payments.||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||SB1282||McDougle||Wireless communications infrastructure; procedure for approved by localities.||OPPOSE|
|Land Use & Transportation||HB2196||Kilgore||Wireless communications infrastructure; procedure for approved by localities.||OPPOSE|
|Water||HB2383||Lingamfelter||Combined sewer overflow outfalls; DEQ to identify owner that discharges into Chesapeake Bay.||SUPPORT|
Mark your calendars!
Bills move fast in the Virginia General Assembly! Virginia Conservation (VCN) organizes Conservation Lobby Day to ensure a strong conservation voice is heard early in the legislative session. Volunteer advocates are invited to join professional staff of VCN Partners as we meet with state legislators and encourage them to support environmental policy advancements.
Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam
Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter
Conservation Lobby Day Information
Monday, January 23, 2017
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | Richmond, VA
Tickets $25 (student discounts available) | Register today!
Please note: Registration closes Friday, January 20, 2017.
Public Health Festival
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters will be hosting a public health festival at the Unitarian Church in Norfolk on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Hampton Roads region is seeing the impacts of climate change on public health matters like air and water quality at an expedient rate, so this event will serve as a resource with local community partners who can offer solutions to help protect families from the dangers of changing climates. Healthcare professionals will be on site to help answer questions and provide resources for community members. We will also be joined by local elected officials who can speak to the solutions most helpful in responding to threats to clean air and water in Hampton Roads.
Questions? Please contact Jennessa Agnew at firstname.lastname@example.org
New to the General Assembly process? Here is the quick summary on what you need to know.
The Virginia General Assembly—the oldest lawmaking body in the United States—is composed of two chambers: the State Senate and House of Delegates. Forty senators serve four-year terms, while one hundred delegates are re-elected every two years. Each chamber uses committees to review the many bills presented each year. Energy bills are typically presented before the Commerce and Labor Committees. Bills on rail, roads, and similar issues go before the Transportation Committees. Most other conservation issues stand before the Agriculture and Natural Resource Committees.
A bill must pass through a committee before being considered by the full chamber in a floor vote. It then crosses over into the other chamber to go through the same process. Once passed by both chambers, the bill goes to the Governor for signing. The Governor can amend or veto legislation. The Virginia General Assembly reconvenes each April for a veto session to accept or override the Governor’s actions.
Virginia has one of the shortest General Assembly sessions in the country. Forty-five days in short-sessions and sixty days in long-session. 2017 is a short session.