Senate Committee Squashes Paid Quarantine Leave Bill

The Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor killed a bill on Wednesday that would have required employers to provide paid quarantine leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

House Bill 5116, sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William), was passed by indefinitely by a vote of 14-Y 1-N. 

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Senate Passes Bill to Establish Mental Health Response and Alert System

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday to establish a mental health awareness response and community understanding services alert system in areas throughout Virginia. 

The legislation was passed by the Democratic-controlled body by a vote (21-Y 15-N) along party lines with four Republican senators not at session. 

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Bill to Allow Law Enforcement Civilian Review Boards Passes Virginia State Senate

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that allows localities to establish law enforcement civilian review boards with outlined oversight duties. 

Sponsored by Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield County), the bill passed by a vote of 20-Y 15-N along party lines of the present senators. 

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Virginia Senate Dems to House on Stripping Qualified Immunity: Not So Fast

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to pass by indefinitely and create a joint House-Senate sub-Committee to further discuss a bill to end the qualified immunity defense for law enforcement. 

The motion to pass by indefinitely was agreed to by a vote of 12-Y 3-N with six Democratic Senators voting alongside their Republican peers on the prevailing side. 

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Senate Passes Omnibus Police Reform Legislation

The Senate passed its omnibus policing reform bill on Thursday, which encompasses other already introduced legislation and covers many hotbed issues relating to law enforcement. 

After over an hour of debate and Republicans voicing concerns, the Democratic majority passed the bill by a vote of 21-Y 19-N, right along party lines. 

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Senate Passes Two Parole Board Bills, Advances More Policing Reforms

The Senate on Wednesday passed two bills relating to the parole board and continued to advance more policing legislation. 

The first bill on the Virginia Parole Board, introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham County), aims to provide the public with more transparency on the decisions made by requiring monthly reports on the inmates released and providing the felonies the prisoner was serving time for, among others.  

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Senate Advances Bipartisan Bill to Establish Commission on Civil Rights and Policing, Among Others

RICHMOND, Virginia – In the first fully in-person session of the week, the Senate advanced a bill that would establish a civil rights and policing commission on Wednesday.

The commission’s purpose is to review civil liberties, civil justice and policing in Virginia, and to make policy recommendations to the General Assembly.

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Despite Concern From Police, Virginia Legislators Cutting Funding, Protection For Law Enforcement Officers

As Virginia legislators push forward with criminal reform bills, police warn that reform will leave officers without enough tools and protections to do their jobs.

Last week, the Senate passed a bill that, if it becomes law, will end mandatory minimum felony sentences for those who assault police. Other measures being considered include bans on choke holds, elimination of no-knock warrants, and an end to qualified immunity.

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The Senate Continues to Pass New Legislation During the Special Session as Timing of Crossover with House Unclear

As the Senate wraps up its second week of the 2020 special session and continues to pass new legislation, the timing of crossover with the House of Delegates, a requirement for a bill to become law, remains unknown.

Since the Senate began considering bills in Committee and advancing legislation during sessions almost a week before the House, the two bodies are currently not in sync with their lawmaking procedures.

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Senate Advances Bill on Election Voting Provisions after Nearly Two Hours of Debate on Amendments

The Senate advanced House Bill (HB) 5120, sponsored by Sen. Howell (D-Fairfax County), to its third and final reading after spending more than half of the three hour session debating Thursday morning. 

The topic which garnered the most discussion during the session was not the bill itself, however, rather one of the multiple amendments within Howell’s legislation. 

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Senate Passes Bill Eliminating Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers, Others

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence of six months jail time for assaulting a law enforcement officer or other public servants. 

The bill passed by a vote of 21-Y 15-N after over an hour of back and forth between Senators.

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Virginia General Assembly 2020 Special Session Day 3: House Remains Stalled, Senate Advances More Bills

While the House continued its quick, procedural sessions, the Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee continued to advance bills centered around criminal justice reform and policing.

Before the Senate convened in-person in its new home for the 2020 special session at the Science Museum of Virginia, the Judiciary Committee held a meeting where it reported and referred more bills.

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