Senate Democrats announce 2020 legislative policy priorities

virginia general assembly
Photo Credit: traveler1116

Senate Democrats announced Monday their policy priorities for the 2020 legislative session.

“Equality, gun violence prevention, health care, education, and voting rights: these are all values that Democrats believe in and they’re issues that are reflected in bills that we’ve introduced for years. With a newly-minted Democratic majority, we’ll take action to solve these issues and others,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. “As we enter the next decade, Senate Democrats will continue to make our Commonwealth a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“The voters have spoken and their message is clear: Virginians are demanding a more just, equitable, and fair government for our Commonwealth,” said Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke. “Senate Democrats ran campaigns based on gun violence prevention, equality, health care, and economic prosperity for all. The bills pre-filed for the 2020 legislative session reflect and advance these priorities.”

“Virginians elected Democrats to tackle the challenges facing our Commonwealth,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Vice Chair for Policy Jeremy McPike. “We’re proud to prioritize commonsense legislation that addresses equality, gun violence prevention, and economic security.”

Senate Democrats will prioritize passing the following bills in the first ten days of the 2020 legislative session:

  • Equal Rights Amendment:Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was proposed by Congress in 1972.
  • Universal Background Checks: Requiring a background check for any firearm transfer and directing the Department of State Police to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers.
  • No-Excuse Absentee Voting: Allowing for any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in person prior to any election in which he/she is qualified to vote without providing a reason or making prior application for an absentee ballot.
  • Housing Non-Discrimination:Adding discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful housing practice.
  • Abolishing Driver’s License Suspensions for Non-Payment of Fines:Repealing the requirement that the driver’s license of a person convicted of any violation of the law who fails or refuses to provide for immediate payment of fines or costs be suspended.
  • Repealing Mandatory Ultrasound Prior to Abortion:Removing the requirement that a woman undergo a fetal transabdominal ultrasound prior to an abortion.

Senate Democrats will also prioritize the following:

  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Income Security Measures
  • Increasing Access to Affordable Health Care
  • Increasing Funding for Education 
  • Protecting our Environment and Combating Climate Change

Senate Democrats will announce a full policy platform in early January.

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