Legislative Update

Tuesday was crossover.

In less than 36 hours the House passed more than 300 bills. Some bills generated little debate and were unanimous. Others were hotly contested, triggering vigorous debate on the floor.

One such debate was over the role government has in supporting a woman’s reproductive health care decisions. In one of the most extreme anti-abortion proposals I have seen during my time in the House, HB404 was a bill that would cut off public funding for clinics and hospitals where abortions are performed, with no exceptions for rape, incest, severe fetal abnormalities or when the mother’s life is at risk. The Republicans, realizing that one of their members had said the quiet part out loud, and wishing he had not submitted the bill, tried hard to avoid having to vote on the bill. House Democrats, on the other hand, think every Virginian should know where their representatives stand on such an important issue. The bill was soundly defeated, but not before we made our point and demonstrated for all to see the Republicans’ extreme position on abortion.

I am pleased to report that of my 29 bills, 18 have passed the House and will be heard in the Senate.

Indeed, 4 of them have already been heard in the Senate. HB115, which is a bill I am carrying at the request of the Supreme Court of Virginia, clarifies the guardianship process in Virginia, and passed the Senate Courts of Justice committee unanimously yesterday.

HB110, you may recall, is a bill I am carrying on behalf of my friends at the Virginia Family Law Coalition. The bill modernizes the law relating to surrogacy in Virginia, making it easier for Virginians who want to start or grow their family to use a surrogate. HB110 passed the Senate Courts of Justice committee 10-5.

HB120 addresses how nursing licensure issues are reported relating to license suspensions or disciplinary actions. HB120 passed the House unanimously and on Wednesday passed the Senate General Laws and Technology committee unanimously.

My favorite bill this session, HB121—which I described last week—requires the state Board of Education to include an in-person or online severe allergic reaction awareness training in the Standards of Learning for health education for grades nine and ten. On Thursday the bill passed the Education subcommittee on Public Education unanimously.

HB107 establishes the Electric Vehicle Rural Infrastructure Program and Fund. Transportation accounts for over half of our carbon emissions, and bringing that number down to zero means transitioning to electric vehicles, expanding and improving transit, and creating communities that are safe to walk and bike. Federal funding and the private market will create EV charging infrastructure along major highways and in dense urban communities, but there is no federal or state funding available for rural communities. HB107 will create a program to incentivize developers to install EV chargers in rural communities. The bill passed out of the House with strong bipartisan support, 71-27. Now, we need to make sure the bill is successful in the Senate and the program has allocated funding in the budget. I am working hard to make sure that happens. To read an article regarding HB107 from Virginia Public Radio, please click here.

My bill seeking to give the SCC authority to approve renewable energy projects across the state was continued to next year. HB636 has, however, begun a much needed dialogue on how solar and wind projects ought to be approved and accelerated in Virginia. To see an article from the Virginia Mercury highlighting HB636 please click here.

I was pleased to meet with my friends at the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council during their lobby day last Friday. The VAEEC is an organization that advocates for the advancement of energy efficiency throughout the Commonwealth. I have worked closely with them throughout my tenure in the House, working to advance energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. I was honored to introduce them on the floor, and to pass HJ6, which designates October 4 as Energy Efficiency Day in Virginia.

Thursday, I had the honor of meeting famed author John Grisham when we honored him on the House floor. I also enjoyed chatting with Mina Liu, who is a delightful youngster spending the session as a House Page. Mina lives in the 6th district and attends Longfellow Middle School. Every year the House Pages conduct a mock debate where they propose legislation, debate, and vote on their proposals in the House chamber. Mina met with me to prepare for the mock debate. I know she will be terrific.

It was great to see Dranesville Supervisor Jimmy Bierman and Dranesville School Board member Robyn Lady, two of my Dranesville ticket mates in last November’s election.

I had the pleasure of seeing former Delegate Ken Plum and his wife Jane looking happy and rested in retirement. Ken retired last year as the most senior member of the body—affectionally known as “Number One”.

It was a great gathering of current and former Arlington members of the General Assembly at the Capitol Gala on Thursday.

This morning, I took this picture with my dear seatmates Delegates Delores McQuinn and Jeion Ward.

I had the pleasure of meeting Wilbur Daniels and Joshua Daniels. Wilbur is the father of my Chief of Staff John Daniels. Joshua is John’s triplet brother. (Their triplet sister, Hannah is the youngest…born 2 minutes after John!) It was great to meet them today.

Next week things will heat back up as the House hears all the Senate bills that passed, and vice versa. We’ll keep you updated.


Rip Sullivan

Delegate, 6th District 

C: 571-210-5876