Jan 22, 2024 - News

The bills Virginia lawmakers have killed so far

Illustration of the Virginia State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Virginia Democrats are killing Republican proposals left and right in this year's General Assembly session.

What's happening: With Democrats' new slight two-seat majorities, this was to be expected.

Yes, but: Knowing which bills haven't cleared the first hurdle to becoming law gives an early glimpse into what Democrats aren't willing to compromise on.

This is some of what's been sliced and diced and what's moved forward so far.

Bills killed:

📸 Senate Democrats voted down a slew of Republican efforts to roll back the early voting period and reintroduce photo ID requirements to vote, which were removed by the Democrat-led General Assembly in 2020.

  • Voters are still required to verify who they are, but that verification can be through a bank statement or paystub.

🚗 They also said "no" to three GOP bills that would have repealed an electric vehicle mandate aimed at reducing carbon pollution.

👩‍⚖️ A Senate committee defeated legislation that would charge drug dealers with felony murder if supply results in an overdose death.

🚫 A House panel killed a Republican proposal to reinstate the death penalty.

Bills moving forward:

🏋️‍♀️ One of the few bipartisan bills to advance is one that would bar Virginia's politicians from spending campaign funds on personal expenses, like vacations or gym memberships.

📚 Another with bipartisan support that got a "yes" is a push to raise Virginia's teacher pay to the national average.

💰 Legislation that would increase Virginia's minimum wage to $13.50 in 2025 and $15 an hour in 2026 cleared House and Senate committees on commerce and labor.

🚨 On Thursday, a bill that would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to buy, sell or transfer assault weapons cleared a House subcommittee on public safety where gun control measures used to die, per the Times-Dispatch.

Meanwhile, proposed amendments on hold until next year:

🗳 A Senate Committee pushed proposals that would start the constitutional amendment process to guarantee abortion access and immediate voting rights restoration for people with felony convictions who served their sentences to the 2025 session.

  • Senate Democratic Leader Scott Surovell told the AP that it was standard practice. The earliest they could be up for a vote is 2026.
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