House Democrats offer up midterm report card for House Republicans

Democrat vs. Republican on whiteWednesday, the day after crossover and the mid-point in the 2016 General Assembly session, House Democrats released their Midterm Report Card, which scores the House Republicans on issues important to Virginia Voters.

 

VOTER RIGHTS SCORE: F

“The General Assembly should be making sure more, not fewer, Virginians can exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard in government,” said Delegate Joe Lindsey (90th– Norfolk). “House Republicans are continuing to maintain a false majority in Virginia by blocking several bills that make voting easier and passing measures that will disenfranchise and discourage eligible voters.”
House Republicans blocked:
  • HB 68, SB 106, HB 531 – Allowed no-excuse early or absentee voting
  • HB 32, SB 69, HB 1004 – Expanded the accepted forms of voter photo identification
  • HB 56, HB 1216 – Allowed persons over a certain age to vote absentee without an excuse
  • HB 1033 – Allowed absentee voting deadline to be suspended in case of an emergency
  • HB 292, HB 993 – Preregistered voters starting at age 16
House Republicans passed:
  • HB 9 – Makes more stringent rules about what has to be on a voter registration form
  • HB 1379 – Cancels the voter registrations of people who may be registered in other states

LGBT EQUALITY SCORE: F

“We need to choose whether we want to treat everybody equally or not—whether the law protects some, and creates second-class citizens out of the rest,” said Delegate Mark Sickles (43rd—Fairfax). “Equal rights for all Virginians is not a zero sum calculation. If LGBT people are treated equally under the law, nobody loses their equality under the law. It is interesting and disheartening that some of my Republican friends are stating their claim as victims as we move toward a more just society.”
House Republicans blocked:
  • HB 179, HB 300, HB 913, HB 1005 – Added sexual orientation and gender identity to equal housing and employment statutes
  • HB 427 – Prohibited performing conversion therapy on minors
  • HB 35 – Added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes under hate crimes laws
House Republicans passed:
  • HB 773 – Kim Davis-inspired bill that discriminates against same-sex couples dealing with any government entity – from clerks of court to school sports coaches. The bill will prohibit government from taking action against those who refuse to do their job because it goes against their personal religious beliefs, and would allow clerks and others to refuse to provide service if they have a religious objection to doing so.

WOMEN’S HEALTH SCORE: F

“Access to safe, affordable health care should be a right – not a privilege – for all men and women in Virginia,” said Delegate Betsy Carr (69th – Richmond). “That includes access to family planning resources and a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”
House Republicans blocked:
  • HB 43 – Repealed the ultrasound requirement before obtaining an abortion
  • HB 94 – Repealed the requirement for informed written consent before obtaining an abortion
  • HB 549 – Defined birth control methods as approved by the FDA are not abortion
  • HB 1225 – Removed the prohibition of abortion coverage in plans offered in the Federal Marketplace in Virginia
House Republicans passed:
  • HB 1090 – Defunds clinics like Planned Parenthood

ENVIRONMENT SCORE: F

“Implementing a uniquely Virginian Clean Power Plan as early as possible is the best course of action for the Commonwealth,” said Delegate David Bulova (37th – Fairfax). “With our coastline at risk, the opportunity to contribute to the New Virginia Economy through investments and job growth in clean energy is one we shouldn’t pass up.”
House Republicans passed:
  • HB 2 – Delays implementation of the Clean Power Plan in Virginia by requiring General Assembly approval on the plan developed by the Department of Environmental Quality before it’s reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Delaying the plan could cause the EPA to impose their own regulations.


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