Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2012 Session Looms

The 2012 Session awaits in January.  "Prefiling" or the process to request legislative drafts and file them has started.  Several bills have already been introduced.

The Budget continues to be in horrible shape. The money committees have told us to expect a $1 billion shortfall that we have to plug. The condition of the budget will have effects across all kinds of programs and issue debates.

Due to changes in the Virginia Senate, there are a lot of issues that are likely going to be coming up:
  • Bills on "personhood" for fetuses and abortion restrictions will be front and center.
  • Legislation to marginalize undocumented immigrants will be a hot topic.
  • Bills to remove restrictions on firearms will be coming.  For example, legislation to allow a person to manufacture, sell and possess a gun in Virginia free from federal restrictions is introduced annually. 
  • Removing the moratorium on uranium mining.  I wrote about that here.
  • The Governor has made noises and changing Virginia's pension system to a 401K-style pension. 
  • Legislation to limit people's ability to vote will be introduced again.
  • There is some talk about pushing some transportation responsibilities to localities.
The Division of Legislative Services has published a newsletter which is a fairly good non-partisan recap about what is coming and has some interesting statistics.  You can read it here.  In 2011, we considered 2,692 bills and resolutions and passed 890. 

Personally, I have about 110 different ideas I've collected over the last eight months that I am narrowing down for the session.  If you have any legislative ideas for me, please feel free to drop me a note.

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