Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) protested the plexiglass shields that surround senators’ desks on the senate floor.
“The first week we were here together, I shared with the body through Madam Clerk the data that shows that devices like these do not help mitigate the risk of COVID, and that they may indeed increase risk of COVID,” Dunnavant said in a floor speech. “There is no emergency order in place.”
The Virginia General Assembly has been hit by a ransomware attack affecting key legislative systems as legislators and staffers prepare for the 2022 session that begins on January 12. Multiple state agency websites were offline Monday afternoon.
The Legislative Information System (LIS), which hosts legislation and the Code of Virginia, warned in an error message, “We’re experiencing a service outage with some of our servers. The Budget Portal, Law Portal, Reports to the General Assembly, and some other data may not be accessible. Our team is currently working to restore the service. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
The Eastern District Court of Virginia dismissed Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) lawsuit over her censure by the Senate. On Wednesday, Judge Robert Payne granted a motion to dismiss filed by Attorney General Mark Herring on behalf of the Senate and the Clerk of the Senate. In April, Herring argued that the Senate and the Clerk have sovereign immunity and that the Senate’s decision to censure is a “non-justiciable” political question.
After the Senate of Virginia voted to censure Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) last week, the lawmaker filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking to have the public rebuke expunged.
Chase filed the suit against the Senate, naming Clerk Susan Schaar as a defendant, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia over alleged violations of the First and 14th Amendments as well as the legislative body’s own rules.