Here is Senator Dick Black report from yesterday.
Snow has a way of disrupting almost everything in Virginia’s capital city. There is, however, one thing in Richmond that continues without interruption regardless of the weather–the General Assembly. Although today was a federal holiday, the General Assembly still met.
JOB CREATION PACKAGE
Governor McDonnell’s education reform and transportation funding proposals have generated a lot of new coverage over the last several weeks. They are not, however, the only initiatives being promoted by his administration this session. For the fourth session in a row, Governor McDonnell has introduced a package of legislation to grow the state’s economy and create jobs.
GUNS, GUNS, GUNS
The Second Amendment has been front and center from the moment the session began. Our e-mail box has been flooded with people demanding we put strict regulations on gun owners as well as those who demand that we respect Second Amendment rights. President Obama sparked off the intense debate by passing a long list of Executive Orders restricting gun ownership.
My position is very simple. Gun laws only control law-abiding citizens. None of the President’s Executive Orders would have prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in newspapers only serves to bully law-abiding citizens, and does nothing to help the Sandy Hook victims and instills fear and distrust in our government. This is evident in the stunning increase in gun sales since the Sandy Hook tragedy.
One of the Second Amendment bills I am working on this year is HB 2340. I am co-sponsoring this bill with a Second Amendment champion, Delegate Bob Marshall. This bill bans Virginia authorities from assisting President Obama in carrying out his Executive Orders in our state. If the president is going to weaken the Second Amendment, then he’ll have to do it without our help.
At this point in the session, most of the work of the General Assembly occurs in committees, as legislation experiences its first hurdle on the road to enactment. A couple of my bills made news as they passed out of sub-committee.
SB 690 would reduce the number of signatures needed to get on the presidential ballot form 10,000 to 5,000. Many voters were unhappy that Virginia’s requirements were more than double that of other states. This prevented some Virginians from being able to vote for the candidate of their choice. Should this bill pass, it will bring Virginia closer to the requirements of other states and will give voters in Virginia a wider choice of candidates to choose from.
SB 917 will reduce types of identification accepted at the polls by eliminating easily forged forms currently accepted such as a utility bill or a bank statement. My aide transformed my utility bill into a utility bill with Governor Bob McDonnell’s information on it. Passing these fake bills to the committee members really emphasized how easy it is to produce such fake documentation. The idea originated from Democrat Congressman Moran’s son who was recently caught on hidden video telling a stranger to commit voter fraud the easiest way possible by forging a utility bill.
Next week, we’ll know just how many bills the General Assembly will be considering during its 2013 session. I’ll return with a complete report on the latest from the Capitol, including a progress report on my own bills.
Until then, have a great week.
Richard H. Black
Senator of Virginia, 13th District
Follow Senator Black on Facebook to keep up with events in Richmond, and please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (804) 698-7513.