Senate Committee: Public Prayer Censored!Feb. 17, 2010
Monday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed SB 56, legislation that would have restored the right of citizens invited to pray according to the dictates of their faith at government meetings. The legislation, patroned by Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield), was defeated 9-6 on a near party line vote (see committee vote). Last year, similar legislation was debated at length — in fact over two days, in the same committee. The proposal did not receive similar scrutiny this year as it was the final bill on the committee’s docket and was debated for only about 10 minutes as the meeting drew to a close. Despite evidence presented by The Family Foundation that no federal court case anywhere requires so-called "non-sectarian" prayers at government meetings, the majority of the committee chose to listen to the ACLU and other organizations that oppose the right of citizens to pray according to their conscience at public meetings. Similar legislation introduced this year in the House of Delegates was never debated in committee.
Family Foundation Virtual Lobby Day: De-Fund Planned Parenthood!Feb. 10, 2010
Tomorrow is The Family Foundation’s Annual Virtual Lobby Day and we have a great way for you to participate! You may have heard of "Money Bombs," the latest technique for candidates to raise money quickly — they send an e-mail solicitation asking for a small donation from thousands of people to raise a substantial amount of cash to make a difference in their campaigns. We saw how Senator Scott Brown did this to counter all of the big liberal money raised against him in the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts a few weeks ago. What a difference that made — it put the brakes on government-run health care! We’re not asking your for money. But we are asking you to make a difference by e-mailing your senators and delegates tomorrow (Thursday) with a simple message:
DE-FUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD in the Commonwealth’s new budget!
Tomorrow also happens to be Planned Parenthood’s lobby day. Imagine the difference we can make if thousands of values voters e-mailed their legislators tomorrow with the same message about de-funding Planned Parenthood before the pro-abortion lobbyists even stepped foot in the lawmakers’ offices!
If you attended Family Foundation Day At The Capitol in January, following up with an e-mail tomorrow with your delegates and senators is a great way to leverage the relationship you established with them. If you did not attend, now you have the opportunity, simultaneously, with likeminded, concerned citizens across Virginia, to have an impact with the ease of a few keystrokes.
Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar partisan behemoth that masquerades as a health organization. Inside its abortion center doors over a quarter of all abortions in the United States take place. Over the years it has received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars from Virginia. Virginia’s taxpayers should never be forced to bail out this radical organization, especially while the Commonwealth faces a spending surplus of billions of dollars. It is time for this funding to stop!
In addition, look for several other very special features we have lined up in the next several days, including interviews with noted political commentator Dr. Bob Holsworth and House Republican Caucus Chairman, Delegate Sam Nixon (R-27, Chesterfield).
Remember, tomorrow, Thursday, February 11, please e-mail your senators (click here for contact list) and delegates (click here for contact list) and urge them to end the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood! If you don't know your delegate and senator, click here.
Here Are The Five Senate Democrats Who Voted For Health Care FreedomFeb. 01, 2010
The five Virginia Senate Democrats who voted for SB 283, SB 311 and SB 417, the Senate bill for health care freedom and defense of the 10th Amendment, are: Senators Charles Colgan (D-29, Manassas) and Phil Puckett (D-38, Tazewell), who both voted for it committee, as well as Senators Edd Houck (D-17, Spottsylvania), John Miller (D-1, Newport News) and Roscoe Reynolds (D-20, Martinsville). See the vote for SB 283 here, which is identical to the votes for the subsequent bills. The bills are patroned, respectively, by Senators Fred Quayle (R-13, Suffolk), Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester).
BREAKING NEWS: SB 311 And SB 417 Also Pass Virginia Senate!Jan. 31, 2010
The two identical bills to SB 283 — SB 311 and SB 417 — also passed just seconds ago, by identical 23-17 margins. At first glance, the six vote margin is surprisingly large. More details to come. SB 417 is patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) and SB 311 is patroned by Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield).
Family Foundation's 2009 Legislative Agenda: Protecting Chaplains' Religious Liberty RightsJan. 06, 2009
This past fall, as Virginians worried about the failing economy and state government announced massive revenue “shortfalls,” the Kaine administration tried to quietly introduce a new regulation that forbid state police chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus. Apparently the superintendent of the state police did this proactively, without any complaints from anyone “offended” that a chaplain had actually prayed to God.
Six of 17 chaplains resigned their positions as chaplains over this order. We were honored to have two of those chaplains at our Richmond Gala in November.
The superintendent and governor’s office alleged that the policy change is based on a recent 4th Circuit Court decision involving prayer at government meetings, specifically a case where a pastor in the Fredericksburg area was ordered to stop praying “in Jesus name” at city council meetings. The court concluded that allowing someone to publicly pray according to his beliefs at a government meeting was an "establishment of religion" because the prayer was "government speech."
Other circuit court rulings, however, are in direct conflict with the 4th Circuit, and many legal experts conclude that the state police decision is a misapplication of a flawed 4th Circuit Court ruling. In other words, this new policy never should have happened.
To remedy the Kaine administration’s decision, The Family Foundation will support legislation this year introduced by Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5, Independence). Working with Alliance Defense Fund and its expert attorneys we believe that there is a legislative answer.
Next week, the 2009 General Assembly will begin. The Family Foundation is poised to bring our pro-God, pro-life, pro-family agenda to the center of the debate. We hope that you will be ready to take action when bills like this one protecting the religious liberty rights of chaplains are debated.
Breaking: Delegate Sam Nixon To Interview Here To Preview Special Tax Session!May. 29, 2008
House Republican Caucus Chairman Delegate Sam Nixon (R-27, Chesterfield) agreed today to a blog interview here to preview the special tax session of the General Assembly ready to convene June 23 (contact your delegate and senator here). We will submit to him between six to eight questions about the special tax session, our real transportation situation and some other issues and post them here most likely over two days. The date of the interview still needs to be worked out in accordance with Delegate Nixon's schedule, but should take place within two weeks or so. We will let you know when we finalize the date, but he has committed to us.
We thank Delegate Nixon for agreeing to take our questions, we look forward to his responses and hope you will read and discuss them here.