Senate floor

Governor Signs Choose Life Bill!

Governor Tim Kaine today signed into law legislation that provides for the creation of a “Choose Life” license plate!

 

Thank you to everyone who contacted the Governor and urged his support of this bill! Thanks also to Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) for his tremendous leadership in maneuvering this bill through the General Assembly.

 

Since the fall of last year, pro-life Virginians through several organizations have rallied around the Choose Life plate, acquiring pre-paid applications required by DMV to be able to get the plates created, petition signatures and grassroots support. While Senator Cuccinelli’s original bill was killed in a Senate committee, he deftly amended an omnibus license plate bill on the Senate floor with the Choose Life plate, winning by a single vote (20-19). 

 

Proceeds from the purchase of the plates will go to support pregnancy resource centers. These facilities offer medical, spiritual and physical support to women and families in crisis pregnancy. 

 

Despite an all out assault by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Virginia and the ACLU, the Governor chose to dismiss the fallacious arguments of opponents and signed the bill into law.

 

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Bill Of The Day/QOD Runner-Up: Wake Up Senator!

Today's Bill of the Day also generated a near-miss Quote of the Day. HB 2671, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), is a bill that would recognize Page County as the "Cabin Capital of Virginia."  Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), apparently carrying the bill on the Senate floor since he represents Page, found himself in the midst of a tortuous Q&A on the bill by Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25, Bath). Among the pressing matters the would-be governor wanted to know from the stand-in patron was "Does the gentleman know what goes on in cabins?" Any type of debate signals, even if not paying attention, that the bill clearly is not in the uncontested calendar.  

But enough was enough for Senator Donald McEachin (D-9, Henrico), who decided to take action:

Senator McEachin: "Mr. President, I request the bill be pulled from the uncontested block."

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling: "It has been pulled from the uncontested block. Are the Senators ready to vote? . . ."

Wake-up, big Don! The bill passed 20-17.

BREAKING: Effort To Conform Transparency Bills Temporarily Fails

Just a few minutes ago, on the Senate floor, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) took HB 2285, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), out of the uncontested third block reading in order to offer a substitute which would conform the bill to his own, SB 936, which itself will be on its first House read tomorrow. If adopted and conformed exactly to each other, and no further alterations to either bill are made to either bill, then the need for a committee of conference would not be necessary. So Senator Cuccinelli decided to go forward with the amendment instead of an uncontested block vote. Instead, Senator Walter Stosch (R-12, Henrico) raised concerns that the language in the substitute could be interpreted as putting Social Security and tax identification numbers online. Although, after several questions to Senator Cuccinelli, he said his concerns were satisfied, but requested it go by temporarily so as to work out a clarifying amendment. It seemed the amendment was destined to be adopted with but a slight delay later today. However, Senator Edd Houck (D-17, Spottsylvania) asked that it go by for the entire day so as to have enough time for a carefully crafted amendment that will satisfy everyone's concerns.

As we posted earlier . . . despite the overwhelmingly positive votes these bills have received, it hasn't been easy. More waiting, more patience. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Choose Life Debate

We know you've enjoyed the play by play of what's happened to Senator Ken Cuccinelli's (R-37, Fairfax) legislation to provide an opportunity for Virginians to show their support for life by purchasing "Choose Life" license plates. Monies earned from these plates would help fund qualifying pregnancy resource centers throughout the Commonwealth.  This legislation is still steaming ahead, and so far has continued to eek by every obstacle. The concept, first introduced as SB 801, originally looked like it had met its fate in the Senate Transportation Committee, but then, through skilled parliamentary know-how on the part of Senator Cuccinelli, it was revived on the Senate floor, by amending it into SB 817 by a vote of 20-19. 

Watch the floor debate below: