Update: HJ 693, Property Rights Constitutional Amendment, Passed By Again; More Time To Contact Your Senator!Feb. 18, 2011
The property rights resolution (state constitutional amendment), HJ 693, patroned by Delegate Johnny Joannou (D-79, Portsmouth), was passed by on the floor of the Senate again today. With numerous interested parties, on both sides of the issue, watching with great intent on monitors throughout several rooms in the General Assembly Building and capitol, Senator Steve Newman (R-23, Forest) made the motion that it be by passed by for the day. The pro forma courtesy was granted. The reason: unclear, though one senator, not involved in them, said it was due to negotiations. Negotiations? Always negotiations! Frustrating observers and activists was that the resolution was the last piece of legislation on the calendar — all that time listening to debates over occupancy taxes and prison sentences for attacks on emergency room personnel for naught.
On the other hand, it provides more time to contact your senator and urge his or her vote for HJ 693, as well as more publicity about it. Two more radio talk shows in Richmond, that I'm aware of, have or will beat the drum today and tomorrow; and more time to share this information on your social media sites. A sampling of senate office staff indicates that calls and e-mails are running well ahead for supporting. Hopefully, the big utilities and big local government lobbyists (who use your tax dollars to lobby against your rights, such as supporting eminent domain) aren't using this delay to cool down the temperature. Still, another reason to keep the pressure on!