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 Virginia General Assembly Legislative Update 1-24-201

Virginia General Assembly Updates New Page 1


Legislative Update 1-24-2017 (Urgent)







HB 1766 Allows Dominion Power the ability to override local zoning boards and put their stations, substations, transition stations, and switchyard facilities wherever they like.  This bill has already passed the House Commerce and Labor Committee and was passed by yesterday on the floor. HB 1766 is presently on the Floor of the House for the third reading and possible passage TODAY.  We must KILL THIS BILL NOW.  Please call your Delegate right NOW and ask them to please vote NO on HB 1766.



To find your legislator, please follow this link:


Who is my legislator?









       Inverse Condemnation


SB 1153 Inverse condemnation proceeding; reimbursement of owner’s costs.


Directs the court to reimburse a plaintiff for the costs of an inverse condemnation proceeding for "damaging" property if a judgment is entered for the plaintiff. Under current law, the court is directed to award costs only for the "taking" of property. The change made in this bill corresponds with the language of amendments to Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia, which became effective on January 1, 2013.


SB 1153 conforms the Virginia Code to the 2012 Property Rights Amendment, expanding the point at which reimbursements are awarded to include property damage; thereby eliminating an Equal Protection concern that currently exists.


Status: (We support this bill)

01/09/17  Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice


SB 1153 is currently in the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice which meets in Senate Room B on Mondays at 8:00 a.m. and Wednesdays shortly after adjournment. This bill was not on Monday’s agenda, 1/23/17, and Wednesday’s agenda, 1/25/17, has not yet been posted.




       “Quick Take” Condemnation Proceedings


HB 2024 Condemnation powers and proceedings; imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.


Provides that "quick take" condemnation proceedings are available for use only when a court determines that the use of such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.


HB 2024 requires that public entities allowed to exercise eminent domain gain judicial approval before engaging “quick-take” condemnation proceedings. This bill ensures that these types of proceedings will only occur if “such procedure is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to public health, safety, and welfare.


Status: (We support this bill)

01/10/17  House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

01/16/17  House: Assigned Courts sub: Civil Law


HB 2024 has been referred to the House Courts of Justice Sub-Committee on Civil Law. HB 2024 was given a bye in yesterday’s sub-committee meeting, 1/23/17. Delegate Freitas’ office has informed us that it will be addressed again no earlier than Wednesday of next week, 2/1/17.




       Recorded Vote


HB 1677 General Assembly; introduction of legislation; recorded vote.


Requires all legislation introduced by a member of the House of Delegates or the Senate to be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof and receive a recorded vote. All legislation reported from the house of introduction shall be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof in the other chamber and receive a recorded vote.


HB 1677 is very cut and dry, all committee and sub-committee votes, whether in the House or Senate, be counted and recorded.


Status: (We support this bill)

01/06/17  House: Referred to Committee on Rules


HB 1677 has been referred to the House Committee on Rules, which normally meets on Fridays in the Speaker’s Conference Room, on the Call of the Speaker. An agenda has not yet been posted for this Friday’s meeting, 1/27/17.




       Electoral Votes Allocation


HB 1425 President and Vice President electors; allocation of electoral votes by congressional district.


Revises the process by which the Commonwealth's electoral votes are allocated among the slates of presidential electors. The bill provides that a voter will vote for two electors for the Commonwealth at large and one elector for the congressional district in which he is qualified to vote. The candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast statewide are allocated the two electoral votes for the Commonwealth at large, and the candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast in each congressional district are allocated the one electoral vote for that congressional district. Currently, the candidates for President and Vice President receiving the highest number of votes cast statewide are allocated the total number of the Commonwealth's electoral votes.


HB 1425 and SB 837 (below) bring the power of our Republic back to the local level by ensuring that each district’s elector goes to the candidate which the district has chosen. This bill is an effective measure against the popular vote craze that has been sweeping the nation since Donald Trump won the electoral college.

Status: (We support this bill)

11/03/16  House: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

01/10/17  House: Assigned P & E sub: Elections


HB 1425 has been reported out of sub-committee from this morning’s Privileges and Elections Sub-Committee meeting. We have been informed that it will be on the agenda for this Friday’s P&E Committee meeting, although the agenda has not yet been released.



SB 837 Electors for President and Vice President; allocation of electoral votes by congressional district.


Status: (We support this bill)

11/15/16  Senate: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections


SB 837 is on the docket for Tuesday’s, 1/24/17, Senate P&E Committee meeting, scheduled for 15 minutes after the Senate adjourns, in Senate Room A.  Please contact the Senators listed above and ask them to vote YES on SB 837.  Attend the committee meeting if possible. 




       Supervising Regulatory Boards


HB 1566 Professions and occupations; active supervision of regulatory boards.


Establishes a statewide policy for the regulation of professions and occupations specifying criteria for government regulation with the objective of increasing opportunities, promoting competition, encouraging innovation, protecting consumers, and complying with applicable federal antitrust laws. In addition, the bill establishes a process for the active supervision of state regulatory boards pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, in which the Court held that a state regulatory board that includes active market participants among its board membership must be actively supervised by the state in order for such board and its members to be entitled to immunity for federal antitrust violations.


HB 1566 requires that regulatory commissions which include active market participants, e.g. doctors who are on the board of health, must be actively supervised to ensure that regulations and restrictions are not subject to anti-trust liability. This bill seeks to ensure that regulations such as inspections, professional certifications and registrations, and occupational licensing are not being used to limit competition and hinder free entry into the market. The bill also provides for the immediate review of all new regulations as well as a review of all past occupational regulations to be completed in 5 years.


Status: (We support this bill)

01/01/17  House: Referred to Committee on General Laws

01/11/17  House: Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #4


HB 1566 is currently in the House General Laws Sub-Committee #4 which meets on Thursdays, upon adjournment of the full committee in House Room C. An agenda as not yet been released for this week’s meeting, 1/26/17.









       Farm Inspections and Penalties


SB 1195 Produce safety; farm inspections; Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund; penalties.


Prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor. In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Board is authorized to levy a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, to be deposited in an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund that is created by the bill.


SB 1195 permits the Commissioner of Agriculture to surprise inspect any small farmer, defined in Federal Code as any farm producing more than $25,000 and less than $500,000 annually. During these inspections, an inspector may confiscate produce without due process and levy a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. The bill also creates the Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund where these fines, and subsequent interest, will be interred for the express purposes of financing the wages, and expenditures of the inspectors. Amazing!


Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

01/10/17  Senate: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources


SB 1195 is in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee. The next meeting of this committee is scheduled for Thursday, 1/26/17, ½ hour after adjournment, in Senate Room B. This week’s agenda has not yet been posted.




       National Popular Vote Compact


HB 1482 Presidential electors; National Popular Vote Compact.


Enters Virginia into an interstate compact known as the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. Article II of the United States Constitution gives the states exclusive and plenary authority to decide the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact. A state may withdraw from the compact; however, a withdrawal occurring within six months of the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President has qualified to serve the next term.


HB 1482 is the exact opposite of HB 1425, allotting the Commonwealth’s electors to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. To be crystal clear, this means that if 100% of Virginians voted for Candidate A, and the five largest cities in American voted for Candidate B, then Virginia’s electors would be legally bound to vote for Candidate B.


Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)

12/13/16  House: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

01/10/17  House: Assigned P & E sub: Elections


SUCCESS!! – HB 1482 was passed by indefinitely in this morning’s sub-committee meeting. Great job everyone, thank you so much for contacting your delegate on this issue.




       Local Zoning Ordinances for Utilities


HB 1766 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.


Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138-kilovolt transmission line.


This issue is a tough one, and one we considered very carefully. HB 1766, and its companion SB 1110, essentially remove zoning restrictions for the installation of electrical facilities that Dominion Power wants to put in. We want to be crystal clear: in opposing this bill we are not in support of zoning laws in any shape, form, or by any other name. Zoning laws are, by their very nature, anathema to private property rights. In opposing this bill, we are opposing any further special privilege allotted to Dominion Power (or any other government supported power company) as a supposedly private organization which has often misused the power of eminent domain (a power which it should never have been permitted to use), and has essentially been maintained for years as a government mandated monopoly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If Dominion Power were being granted this privilege by way of the elimination of local zoning ordinances for all Virginia property owners, then we would stand in passionate support. However, this is not that bill, so we must OPPOSE.


Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)


01/09/17 House: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

01/17/17 House: Reported from Commerce and Labor (18-Y 1-N)

01/19/17 House: Read first time

01/20/17 House: Read second time and engrossed

01/23/17 House: Passed by for the day


HB 1766 was passed by for the day on the House floor yesterday, 1/23/17, but may come up again today. Call and email your delegate and tell them to vote NO on HB 1766. Links to find who your legislator is are posted at both the top and bottom of this email.



SB 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.


Status: (We OPPOSE this bill)


01/09/17 Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor


SB 1110 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor, which meets on Mondays after adjournment in Senate Room B. The bill was not addressed in yesterday’s meeting, 1/23/17, despite having been on the docket. The next meeting is Monday, 1/30/17.






To find your legislator, please follow this link:


Who is my legislator?



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Caleb Taylor

Director of Policy and Operations

Tertium Quids



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