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ALEC in Virginia

Report Highlights

  • Between 2001 and 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia spent over $230,000 to send legislators to ALEC conferences in order to meet with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors.
  • ALEC has spent over $70,000 feting Virginia legislators.
  • Over 50 bills drawn from ALEC sources have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly in the past few years.
  • As Governor, Bob McDonnell has requested the introduction of at least 3 pieces of ALEC legislation.
  • At least 115 current or former Virginia legislators have ties to ALEC.
  • Speaker William Howell is a member of ALEC's national leadership team. In 2009, he served as the group's national chairman. Howell's involvement with ALEC has transferred down to the state level: he has asked several of his colleagues to carry ALEC bills and approved the expenditure of taxpayer money to send his colleagues to ALEC conferences.
  • ALEC is responsible for some the most high profile and controversial bills to come out of the General Assembly. HB 10, which rejects a federal health insurance mandate, formed the legal basis for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's suit of the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. The bill was copied from ALEC's model legislation.
  • ALEC legislation is ineffective: HB 2024 allowed health insurers to offer and sell group health insurance policies or contracts that do not include state mandated health insurance benefits to employers with 50 or fewer employees. A 2011 report by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance showed that the legislation failed to deliver on its goals of increasing inexpensive health care access for small businesses. The Bureau of Insurance surveyed 33 insurers offering plans to small businesses. They found that only four had developed plans under HB 2024. Of those four insurers, only one had actually sold a mandate-less plan and it ended its sales on July 1, 2011.
  • ALEC legislation caters to special interests and major campaign donors:
    • As reported in the Washington Post, Speaker Howell worked for several years to pass an ALEC bill out of the House of Delegates what would reduce the asbestos liability of one company: Crown Cork and Seal. Howell asked his colleagues to carry the legislation and rearranged committee assignments after the bill was killed in committee two years in a row.
    • Delegate Kilgore introduced legislation championed by US Tobacco to change the way taxes are calculated on chewing tobacco to reduce overall taxes on the product.
    • Legislation to enshrine the "Castle Doctrine" in Virginia law has been introduced by a number of Virginia legislators. The bill is a top priority of the National Rifle Association, which is a long-time member and funder of ALEC. The NRA's lobbyist has chaired the committee that drafted ALEC's version of the legislation.

ALEC's Virginia Legislators

Is your representative introducing ALEC's laws?

ALEC's Virginia Leadership Team

House of Delegates Speaker William (Bill) Howell

Senator Stephen Martin

Governor Bob McDonnell

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

The Money Trail

  • From 2001 to 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia spent $231,170 on trips for legislators to ALEC conferences across the country. (VPAP)
  • Between 2001 and 2010, ALEC gifted $72,325 worth of travel and registration to Virginia legislators to attend sponsored conferences and retreats. (VPAP)
  • Since 2001, legislators have paid $28,717 from campaign accounts for ALEC dues, registration and travel for conferences and retreats. (VPAP)
  • John Cosgrove received $500 in campaign contributions from ALEC between 2004 and 2005. (VPAP)

Taxpayer Financed Travel

Personal Gifts from ALEC to Legislators

Campaign Spending on ALEC

ALEC Campaign Contributions

ALEC Campaign Contributions

Source: VPAP.org

Campaign Spending on ALEC

Source: VPAP.org

Personal Gifts from ALEC to Legislators

Source: VPAP.org

Taxpayer Financed Travel

Source: VPAP.org

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Voting

SB 301, SB 864, HB 1560: Voter identification requirements and provisional ballots

These bills would eliminate "the provision that allows a voter to sign a sworn statement that he is the named registered voter he claims to be in lieu of showing identification and provides instead for the voter to vote a provisional ballot if he cannot provide a required form of identification." (Source: Virginia Legislative Information System)

  • SB 301 Sponsor: Senator Martin
  • SB 864 Sponsor: Senator Martin
  • HB 1560 Sponsors: Delegates Cole, Anderson, Athey, Cox, J.A., Hugo, Lingamfelter, Robinson, Sherwood and Wilt 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's bill on voter identification requirements; provisional ballots.

 

ALEC's Voter ID Act

Note: struck through language indicates sections of code repealed by this bill. Italicized language indicates new language proposed by this bill.

 

 

B. An officer of election shall ask the voter for his full name and current residence address and repeat, in a voice audible to party and candidate representatives present, the full name and address stated by the voter. The officer shall ask the voter to present any one of the following forms of identification: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; or any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business. Any voter who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in this subsection shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of § 24.2-653. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to the electoral boards for the handling and counting of such provisional ballots pursuant to subsection B of § 24.2-653 and this section.

 

 

(c)(1) If the voter is listed on the precinct voter registration list but fails to provide proof of identity, the election official shall....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2) If a voter executes an affidavit under subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section, the election official shall permit the voter to cast a provisional ballot.

Except as provided in subsection E of this section, if a voter is entitled to vote except that he is unable to present one of the forms of identification listed above, he shall be allowed to vote after signing a statement, subject to felony penalties for false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, that he is the named registered voter who he claims to be. A voter who requires assistance in voting by reason of physical disability or inability to read or write, and who requests assistance pursuant to § 24.2-649, may be assisted in preparation of this statement in accordance with that section. The provisions of § 24.2-649 regarding voters who are unable to sign shall be followed when assisting a voter in completing this statement.

 

 

 

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi- bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+SB301

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe? 111+ful+SB864

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe? 111+ful+HB1560

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/d/d9/7G16- VOTER_ID_ACT_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Tort Reform

 

HB 629, HB 1762, and HB 142: Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act

This legislation was designed to limit the liability of Crown Cork & Seal in relation asbestos litigation. Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell requested Delegate Kilgore carry the legislation. Howell, who has close ties to both ALEC and Crown Cork & Seal, used his considerable power to rearrange committee assignments and heavily lobbied his colleagues after versions of the bill failed two years in a row. ALEC, which authored the legislation, notes it has passed in 11 states and been introduced in an additional 5, including Virginia. (Source: Washington Post)

  • HB 629 Sponsors: Delegates Kilgore and Sherwood
  • HB 1762 Sponsors: Delegates Kilgore, Howell, W.J. and Sherwood
  • HB 142 Sponsors: Kilgore, Athey, Carrico, Crockett-Stark and Sherwood
  • Status: Failed

Virginia's Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act

ALEC's Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act

 

Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Asbestos claim" means any claim, wherever or whenever made, for damages, losses, indemnification, contribution, or other relief arising out of, based on, or in any way related to asbestos, to the extent such claims are recognized under the laws of the Commonwealth, including

 

(i) any claim related to the health effects of exposure to asbestos, including any claim for personal injury or death, mental or emotional injury, risk of disease or other injury, or the costs of medical monitoring or surveillance;

 

 

(ii) any claim made by or on behalf of any person exposed to asbestos, or a representative, spouse, parent, child, or other relative of the person; and

 

(iii) any claim for damage or loss caused by the installation, presence, or removal of asbestos.

 

"Corporation" means a corporation for profit, including a domestic corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth, or a foreign corporation organized under laws other than the laws of the Commonwealth.

 

"Successor" means a corporation that assumes or incurs, or has assumed or incurred, successor asbestos-related liabilities.

 

"Successor asbestos-related liabilities" means any liabilities, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, absolute or contingent, accrued or unaccrued, liquidated or unliquidated, or due or to become due, that are related in any way to asbestos claims, and that were assumed or incurred by a corporation as a result of or in connection with a merger or consolidation, or the plan of merger or consolidation related to the merger or consolidation, with or into another corporation or that are related in any way to asbestos claims based on the exercise of control or the ownership of stock of the corporation before the merger or consolidation. The term includes liabilities that, after the time of the merger or consolidation for which the fair market value of total gross assets is determined under § 8.01-702, are or were paid or otherwise discharged, or committed to be paid or otherwise discharged, by or on behalf of the corporation, or by a successor of the corporation, or by or on behalf of a transferor, in connection with settlements, judgments, or other discharges in the Commonwealth or another jurisdiction.

 

 

 

 

 

"Transferor" means a corporation from which successor asbestos-related liabilities are or were assumed or incurred.

 

 

 

A.) "Asbestos claim" means any claim, wherever or whenever made, for damages, losses, indemnification, contribution, or other relief arising out of, based on, or in any way related to asbestos, including:

 

 

(1) the health effects of exposure to asbestos, including any claim for: a. personal injury or death; b. mental or emotional injury; c. risk of disease or other injury; or d. the costs of medical monitoring or surveillance, to the extent such claims are recognized under state law;

 

(2) any claim made by or on behalf of any person exposed to asbestos, or a representative, spouse, parent, child, or other relative of the person; and

 

(3) any claim for damage or loss caused by the installation, presence, or removal of asbestos.

 

B.) "Corporation" means a corporation for profit, including a domestic corporation organized under the laws of this state, or a foreign corporation organized under laws other than the laws of this state.

 

C.) "Successor" means a corporation that assumes or incurs, or has assumed or incurred, successor asbestos-related liabilities

 

D.) "Successor asbestos-related liabilities" means any liabilities, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, absolute or contingent, accrued or unaccrued, liquidated or unliquidated, or due or to become due, that are related in any way to asbestos claims (as defined by this Act, as well as any claims for damage or loss caused by the installation, presence, or removal of asbestos) and that were assumed or incurred by a corporation as a result of or in connection with a merger or consolidation, or the plan of merger or consolidation related to the merger or consolidation, with or into another corporation or that are related in any way to asbestos claims (including property damage claims) based on the exercise of control or the ownership of stock of the corporation before the merger or consolidation. The term includes liabilities that, after the time of the merger or consolidation for which the fair market value of total gross assets is determined under Section 4, were or are paid or otherwise discharged, or committed to be paid or otherwise discharged, by or on behalf of the corporation, or by a successor of the corporation, or by or on behalf of a transferor, in connection with settlements, judgments, or other discharges in this state or another jurisdiction.

 

E.) "Transferor" means a corporation from which successor asbestos-related liabilities are or were assumed or incurred.

Successor asbestos-related liability constitutes threat to viability of Virginia companies.

It is hereby found and declared that the number of asbestos-related claims is significant and threatens the continued viability of companies, including Virginia employers, that have never been in the business of manufacturing, selling, or distributing asbestos or asbestos products and are argued to be liable only as successor corporations. A public purpose is served by providing limitations of liabilities for asbestos-related claims against successor corporations. It is essential to the public interests to provide relief to these innocent successor corporations so that they may remain viable and continue to contribute to the Commonwealth.

 

 

Applicability of limitations on successor asbestos-related liabilities.

 

A. The limitations in § 8.01-701 shall apply to a corporation that is a successor and became a successor prior to January 1, 1972, or is a successor of that corporation's successors.

 

 

B. The limitations in § 8.01-701 shall not apply to:

1. Workers' compensation benefits paid by or on behalf of an employer to an employee under Title 65.2 or a comparable workers' compensation law of another jurisdiction;

 

2. Any claim against a corporation that does not constitute a successor asbestos-related liability; or

 

 

 

3. Any obligation under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.), as amended, or under any collective bargaining agreement.

 

Section 2. {Applicability}

 

A.) The limitations in Section 3 of this Title shall apply to: a domestic corporation or a foreign corporation that has had a certificate of authority to transact business in this state or has done business in this state and that is a successor or which is any of that successor corporation's successors.

 

B.) The limitations in Section 3 of this Title shall not apply to:

(1) workers' compensation benefits paid by or on behalf of an employer to an employee under this State's workers' compensation act or a comparable workers' compensation law of another jurisdiction;

(2) any claim against a corporation that does not constitute a successor asbestos-related liability;

(3) an insurance corporation, as that term is used in the Insurance Code; or

(4) any obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. Section 151 et seq.), as amended, or under any collective bargaining agreement.

Limitations on successor asbestos-related liabilities.

 

A. Except as provided in subsection B, the cumulative successor asbestos-related liabilities of a corporation are limited to the fair market value of the total gross assets of the transferor determined as of the time of the merger or consolidation. The corporation is not responsible for successor asbestos-related liabilities in excess of this limitation.

 

 

B. If the transferor assumed or incurred successor asbestos-related liabilities in connection with a prior merger or consolidation with a prior transferor, then the fair market value of the total assets of the prior transferor, determined as of the time of the earlier merger or consolidation, shall be substituted for the limitation set forth in subsection A for purposes of determining the limitation of liability of a corporation.

 

Section 3. {Limitations on Successor Asbestos-Related Liabilities}

 

A.) Except as further limited in Subsection (b), the cumulative successor asbestos-related liabilities of a corporation are limited to the fair market value of the total gross assets of the transferor determined as of the time of the merger or consolidation. The corporation does not have any responsibility for successor asbestos-related liabilities in excess of this limitation.

 

B.) If the transferor had assumed or incurred successor asbestos-related or liabilities in connection with a prior merger or consolidation with a prior transferor, then the fair market value of the total assets of the prior transferor, determined as of the time of such earlier merger or consolidation, shall be substituted for the limitation set forth in

Subsection (a) for purposes of determining the limitation of liability of a corporation.

Establishing fair market value of total gross assets.

 

A. A corporation may establish the fair market value of total gross assets for the purpose of the limitations under §8.01-701 through any method reasonable under the circumstances, including:

 

 

1. By reference to the going-concern value of the assets or to the purchase price attributable to or paid for the assets in an arm's-length transaction; or

 

2. In the absence of other readily available information from which fair market value can be determined, by reference to the value of the assets recorded on a balance sheet.

 

B. Total gross assets include intangible assets.

 

C. To the extent total gross assets include any liability insurance issued to the transferor whose assets are being valued for purposes of this section, the applicability, assignability, terms, conditions, and limits of such insurance shall not be affected by this chapter, nor shall this chapter otherwise affect the rights and obligations of a transferor, successor, or insurer under any insurance contract or related agreement, including, but not limited to, rights and obligations under pre-enactment settlements between a transferor or successor and its insurers resolving liability insurance coverage, and the rights of an insurer to seek payment for applicable deductibles, retrospective premiums, or self-insured retentions or to seek contribution from a successor for uninsured or self-insured periods or periods where insurance is uncollectible or otherwise unavailable. To the extent total gross assets include any such liability insurance, a settlement of a dispute concerning such liability insurance coverage entered into by a transferor or successor with the insurers of the transferor before the effective date of this chapter shall be determinative of the total coverage of such liability insurance to be included in the calculation of the transferor's total gross assets.

 

{Establishing Fair Market Value of Total Gross Assets}

 

A.) A corporation may establish the fair market value of total gross assets for the purpose of the limitations under Section 3 through any method reasonable under the circumstances, including:

 

(1) by reference to the going concern value of the assets or to the purchase price attributable to or paid for the assets in an arm's-length transaction; or

 

(2) in the absence of other readily available information from which fair market value can be determined, by reference to the value of the assets recorded on a balance sheet.

 

B.) Total gross assets include intangible assets.

 

C.) Total gross assets include the aggregate coverage under any applicable liability insurance that was issued to the transferor whose assets are being valued for purposes of this Section and which insurance has been collected or is collectable to cover successor asbestos-related liabilities (except compensation for liabilities arising from workers' exposure to asbestos solely during the course of their employment by the transferor). A settlement of a dispute concerning such insurance coverage entered into by a transferor or successor with the insurers of the transferor before the enactment of this title shall be determinative of the aggregate coverage of such liability insurance to be included in the calculation of the transferor's total gross assets.

Adjustment of fair market value.

 

A. Except as provided in subsections B, C, and D, the fair market value of total gross assets at the time of a merger or consolidation increases annually at a rate equal to the sum of

 

(i) The prime rate as listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published for each calendar year since the merger or consolidation, unless the prime rate is not published in that edition, in which case a reasonable determination of the prime rate on the first day of the year may be used, and

 

 

(ii) one percent.

 

B. The rate provided in subsection A is not compounded.

 

C. The adjustment of fair market value of total gross assets continues as provided under subsection A until the date the adjusted value is first exceeded by the cumulative amounts of successor asbestos-related liabilities paid or committed to be paid by or on behalf of the corporation or a predecessor, or by or on behalf of a transferor, after the time of the merger or consolidation for which the fair market value of total gross assets is determined.

 

D. No adjustment of the fair market value of total gross assets shall be applied to any liability insurance that may be included in the definition of total gross assets under § 8.01-702.

 

Section 5. {Adjustment}

 

A.) Except as provided in Subsections (b), (c), and (d), the fair market value of total gross assets at the time of a merger or consolidation increases annually at a rate equal to the sum of:

 

(1) The prime rate as listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published for each calendar year since the merger or consolidation, unless the prime rate is not published in that edition of the Wall Street Journal, in which case any reasonable determination of the prime rate on the first day of the year may be used; or

 

(2) one percent.

 

B.) The rate in Subsection (a) is not compounded.

 

C.) The adjustment of fair market value of total gross assets continues as provided under Subsection (a) until the date the adjusted value is first exceeded by the cumulative amounts of successor asbestos-related liabilities paid or committed to be paid by or on behalf of the corporation or a predecessor, or by or on behalf of a transferor, after the time of the merger or consolidation for which the fair market value of total gross assets is determined.

 

D.) No adjustment of the fair market value of total gross assets shall be applied to any liability insurance otherwise included in the definition of total gross assets by subsection 4(c).

Scope of act.

A. To the fullest extent permissible, the courts shall liberally apply the limitations under this chapter to the issue of successor asbestos-related liabilities.

 

 

B. If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the provisions or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

 

Section 6. {Scope of Chapter} The courts in this state shall apply, to the fullest extent permissible under the United States Constitution, this state's substantive law, including the limitation under this chapter, to the issue of successor asbestos-related liabilities

C. This chapter shall apply to all asbestos claims filed on or after its effective date and to all pending asbestos claims for which trial had not commenced as of the effective date of this chapter, except that any provisions of this chapter which would be unconstitutional if applied retroactively shall only be applied prospectively.

 

Section 7. {Effective Date} This Act shall take effect on its date of enactment. The

Act applies to all asbestos claims filed on or after the effective date. This Act also applies to any pending asbestos claims in which trial has not commenced as of the effective date.

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/ cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB142

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/ legp504.exe?091+ful+HB1762

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/ legp504.exe?101+ful+HB629

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/9/9a/0E2-Successor _Asbestos- Related_Liability_ Fairness_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

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SB 1428: Admissibility of seat belt use in civil actions

According to the Center for Media and Democracy, "this bill provides that failure to use a seatbelt can be used to limit damages in a personal injury lawsuit, without establishing negligence as a matter of law." (Source: Center for Media and Democracy)

  • Sponsor: Senator Quayle
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's admissibility of evidence of nonuse of safety lap belts and shoulder harness in civil actions

 

ALEC's Admissibility in Civil Actions of Nonuse of a Seat Belt Act

Admissibility of evidence of nonuse of safety lap belts and shoulder harness in civil actions.

 

A violation of § 46.2-1092, 46.2-1094, or 46.2-1095 may be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence, or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motor vehicle.

 

Section 2. In any civil action, a violation of [the mandatory seatbelt usage statute] shall not establish negligence as a matter of law or negligence per se for comparative fault purposes, but such violation may be considered in a civil action as evidence of comparative negligence or as evidence of failure to mitigate damages and such evidence may serve to reduce liability based upon an apportionment of damages as to the extent of the injury caused by the failure to wear a seat belt.

 

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+SB1428

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/images/8/8d/0K0-Admissibility_in_Civil_Actions_of_Nonuse_of_a_Seat_Belt_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Taxes

HB 626: Moist snuff tobacco tax

This bill changes the way the commonwealth taxes chewing tobacco to base the rate on weight. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, taxing chewing tobacco by weight results in a lower tax rate than the more common method of a percentage of price tax, producing cheaper tobacco. US Tobacco, a leading manufacturer of smokeless tobacco, has long advocated for changes in the way their product is taxed in order to lower overall prices. As PRWatch details, ALEC and the tobacco industry have long had a mutually beneficial relationship and ALEC has pushed model legislation to change state tax structures relating to smokeless tobacco. (Sources: PR Watch, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids)

  • Sponsor: Delegate Kilgore
  • Status: Passed

 

Virginia' Tobacco Products Tax

ALEC's Resolution on the Enhancement of Economic Neutrality, Commercial Efficiency, and Fairness in the Taxation of Moist Smokeless Tobacco (MST) Products

 

A. In addition to all other taxes now imposed by law, there is hereby imposed a tax upon the privilege of selling or dealing in tobacco products in the Commonwealth by any person engaged in business as a distributor thereof, at therate following rates:

 

1. Upon each package of moist snuff, at the rate of $0.17 per ounce with a proportionate tax at the same rate on all fractional parts of an ounce. The tax shall be computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer on the package in accordance with federal law.

 

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT the American Legislative Exchange

Council (ALEC) will support efforts to change or convert state excise taxes levied on MST [Moist Smokeless Tobacco] from ad valorem or price based to weight or volume based.

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi- bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB626

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed. org/w/ images/ 6/ 60/1D0- Resolution_ on _Taxation_o f_Moist_ Smokeless_  Tobacco_Exposed.pdf

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Labor

 

HB 2052: Secret ballot

This bill would declare the right to vote by secret ballot on labor organization representation.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Hugo, Comstock, Albo, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Cleaveland, Cole, Cox, J.A., Garrett, Greason, Habeeb, Howell, W.J., Lingamfelter, Massie, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Purkey, Robinson, Rust, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Villanueva and Wilt
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's secret ballot legislation

ALEC's Employee Secret Ballot Protection Act

 

 40.1-54.3. Right to vote by secret ballot on labor organization representation.

 

A. As used in this section, "labor organization" means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

 

 

 

 

"Labor organization" means an employee representation committee, organization, or union in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with an employer concerning employee wages, rates of pay, hours of work, other forms of compensation, grievances, labor disputes, or other conditions of employment.

B. In any procedure providing for the designation, selection, or authorization of a labor organization to represent employees, the right of an individual employee to vote by secret ballot in such a procedure is a fundamental right that shall be guaranteed from infringement.

 

All employees, when seeking to select for themselves an exclusive bargaining representative, have the right to make that selection in a secret-ballot election.

Virginia' bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HB2052

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/9/9a/1R2-Employee_Secret_Ballot _Protection_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

SJ 301: Constitutional right to a secret ballot

Similar to HB 2052, SJ 301 would enshrine the right to a secret ballot in the Virginia Constitution for public election in addition to approving workplace collective bargaining. In addition to similar legislation language and intent, the legislative descriptions of this bill and the ALEC model legislation are identical.

  • Sponsor: Martin
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Secret Ballot Constitutional Amendment

 

ALEC's Resolution to Support State Efforts to Protect Secret Ballot Elections

Legislative description: Constitutional amendment (first resolution); the right to a secret ballot.  Adds a provision to the Bill of Rights to preserve and protect the right to a secret ballot in elections for office, votes on ballot measures, and votes to designate or authorize employee representation.

 

 

ALEC supports the efforts of states to guarantee the right of individuals to vote by a private, secret ballot in elections for public office or ballot measures and in designations or authorizations for employee representation

Section 6-A. Right to a secret ballot.

 

That the fundamental right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be preserved and protected when local, state, or federal law requires elections for public office, when ballot measures are proposed, or when designations or authorizations for employee representation are required by law.

 

 

 

The American Legislative Exchange Council supports democracy at the polls and in the workplace by maintaining the right of every person and worker to privately decide issues of public office, ballot measures, and workplace representation by use of a secret ballot;

 

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+SJ301

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/6/6a/1P7-RESOLUTION_TO_SUPPORT_ STATE_EFFORTS_TO_PROTECT_ SECRET_BALLOT_ELECTIONS_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Immigration

 

HB 2332: Determining the citizenship of arrestee

This legislation would require law enforcement to determine the citizenship of an arrestee and allows judges to deny bail based on probable cause determination of illegal alien status.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Lingamfelter, Anderson, Athey, Cole, Cox, J.A., Hugo, Landes, Marshall, R.G., Miller, J.H., Poindexter, Robinson and Rust 
  • Status: Failed

Virginia's bill to determine the citizenship of an arrestee

ALEC's Immigration Law Enforcement Act

 

Arresting officer to ascertain citizenship of arrestee.

 

A. Whenever any person is placed under arrest by a law-enforcement officer, the officer shall inquire as to whether the person (i) was born in a country other than the United States and (ii) is a citizen of a country other than the United States. The officer shall make an immigration alien query to the Law Enforcement Support Center of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for any person who responds that he (i) was born in a country other than the United States and (ii) is a citizen of a country other than the United States, or for whom the answer to clause (i) or (ii) is unknown.

The officer shall communicate the results of any immigration alien query to the Central Criminal Records Exchange of the Department of State Police in a format approved by the Exchange. The information received by the Exchange concerning the person's immigration status shall be recorded in the person's criminal history record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. When a law-enforcement officer makes a warrantless arrest and finds, following the inquiries required under subsection A, probable cause to believe that the person under arrest is not legally present in the United States, he shall communicate to the judicial officer the facts and circumstances underlying his belief that the person is not legally present in the United States. If the judicial officer concurs in the determination of the officer and makes the further determination that the person will not appear for trial or hearing, the judicial officer may refuse to admit the person to bail in accordance with § 19.2-120.

 

 

 

 

For every arrest made by such officials, agencies and personnel, the citizenship of the person shall be determined. If the person who is arrested is an alien, the person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to United States Code: Title 8 section 1373(c). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States and this state or a local governmental entity elects not to prosecute the person for a violation of state or local law, the person shall be transferred to the custody of the United States immigration and customs enforcement or United States customs and border protection.  If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is acquitted of any violation of state or local law, is discharged from imprisonment or pays any fine imposed, the alien shall immediately be transferred to the custody of United States immigration and customs enforcement.  If the unauthorized alien is convicted of a crime, the alien must complete the full sentence before being released to the custody of the United States immigration and customs enforcement or United States customs and border protection.

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HB2332

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/6/69/7K3-Immigration_Law _Enforcement_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

---

HB 926, HB 227 and SB 782: Business entities employing illegal aliens

These bills terminate the authority of a business to operate in the commonwealth for hiring or employing an illegal alien.

  • HB 926 Sponsors: Delegates Byron, Albo, Athey, Carrico, Cline, Frederick, Gear, Gilbert, Griffith, Hogan, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Janis, Jones, S.C., Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., O'Bannon, Purkey, Putney, Sherwood and Tata 
  • HB 227 Sponsor: Delegate Cosgove
  • SB 782 Sponsor: Senator Obenshain
  • Status: Passed

 

Virginia's bill regarding business entities employing illegal aliens

ALEC's Fair and Legal Employment Act

 

 

Grounds for disciplinary action; conviction for employing illegal immigrant.

A. Any regulatory board established pursuant to this title may suspend, revoke, or fail to renew the license, certificate, registration or authority it has issued any person who has been convicted of violating: (i) § 40.1-11.1, (ii) § 54.1-111A 9, or (ii) any federal law for knowingly employing any person who is not legally eligible to be employed in the United States.

 

B. In addition, a regulatory board may determine the amount of the monetary penalty for the violation, which shall not exceed $2,500 for each violation.

 

 

 

 

 

(1)(c) Shall order the employer to file a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney within three business days after the order is issued.  The affidavit shall state that the employer has terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens in this state and that the employer will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien in this state.  The court shall order the appropriate agencies to suspend all licenses subject to this subdivision that are held by the employer if the employer fails to file a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney within three business days after the order is issued.  All licenses that are suspended under this subdivision shall remain suspended until the employer files a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney.  Notwithstanding any other law, on filing of the affidavit the suspended licenses shall be reinstated immediately by the appropriate agencies.  For the purposes of this subdivision, the licenses that are subject to suspension under this subdivision are all licenses that are held by the employer specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work.  If the employer does not hold a license specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work, but a license is necessary to operate the employer's business in general, the licenses that are subject to suspension under this subdivision are all licenses that are held by the employer at the employer's primary place of business. 

 

Unlawful acts; prosecution; proceedings in equity; civil penalty.

 

....

 

9. Employing any person who cannot provide legal documents indicating that he is legally eligible to be employed in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(A) An employer shall not knowingly employ an unauthorized alien

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB926

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+SB782

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB227

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/d/da/7K2-Fair_and_Legal_ Employment_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Health Care

 

HB 10, HB 722, HB 576, SB 417, SB 283, and SB 311: Virginia Health Care Freedom Act

This bill prohibits the penalizing residents for failing to obtain health insurance coverage. ALEC touts on its website that this legislation has been introduced in at least 38 states. This legislation has served as the basis for standing in Attorney General Cuccinelli's lawsuit against the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit threw out Cuccinelli's suit, ruling that the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act did not provide him standing to sue. (Sources: ALEC, Washington Post)

  • HB 10 Sponsors: Delegates Marshall, R.G., O'Bannon, Abbitt, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Carrico, Cleaveland, Cole, Comstock, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Edmunds, Garrett, Gear, Gilbert, Greason, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Johnson, Jones, Knight, Landes, LeMunyon, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Marshall, D.W., May, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Morefield, Morgan, Nixon, Oder, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Rust, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L. and Wright; Senators: Colgan, Hurt, Martin, Newman, Obenshain, Ruff, Stuart, Vogel and Wagner
  • HB 722 Sponsors: Delegates Peace, Byron, Cox, J.A., Landes, Nixon, O'Bannon and Purkey
  • HB 576 Sponsors: Delegate Cole   
  • SB 417 Sponsors: Senators Vogel, Hurt, Martin, McDougle, Newman, Obenshain, Smith, Stosch and Stuart 
  • SB 283 Sponsors: Quayle, Martin and Vogel
  • SB 311 Sponsors: Martin; Delegate: Bell, Richard P
  • Status: The several bills were combined and passed

 

HB 10: Virginia's Health Care Freedom Act

 

ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act

No law shall restrict a person's natural right and power of contract to secure the blessings of liberty to choose private health care systems or private plans. No law shall interfere with the right of a person or entity to pay for lawful medical services to preserve life or health, nor shall any law impose a penalty, tax, fee, or fine, of any type, to decline or to contract for health care coverage or to participate in any particular health care system or plan, except as required by a court where an individual or entity is a named party in a judicial dispute. Nothing herein shall be construed to expand, limit or otherwise modify any determination of law regarding what constitutes lawful medical services within the Commonwealth.

 

The people have the right to enter into private contracts with health care providers for health care services and to purchase private health care coverage.  The legislature may not require any person to participate in any health care system or plan, nor may it impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+sum+HB10

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?101+ful+SB417

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?101+ful+SB283

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?101+ful+SB311

 

ALEC's model legislation:

 

http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/3/3b/5U2-FREEDOM_OF_CHOICE _IN_HEALTH_CARE_ACT_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 720: Health Insurance Choice

This bill would permit the purchase of health insurance across state lines, from an insurer not licensed in the state of Virginia, circumventing the mandated benefits required in all plans sold in the state of Virginia. While the intent behind the bills is the same and each offers similar regulatory proposals, the language is not identical.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Peace, Byron, Carrico, Cox, J.A., Lohr and Purkey; Senator: Obenshain 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Health Insurance Choice Act

ALEC's Health Care Choice Act for States

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB720

 

http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/c/c3/5U4-Health_Care_Choice _Act_for_States_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 1512: Health Care Sharing Ministries

This legislation declares that insurance laws do not apply to health care sharing ministries.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Byron, Nixon and Oder; Senator: Newman
  • Status: Passed

 

Virginia's Health Care Sharing Ministries Act

ALEC's Health Care Sharing Ministries Freedom to Share Act

 

Definition.

 

 

As used in this chapter, "health care sharing ministry" means a health care cost sharing arrangement among individuals of the same religion based on their sincerely held religious beliefs, which arrangement is administered by a non-profit organization that has been granted an exemption from federal income taxation pursuant to § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and that:

 

 

 

 

 

1. Limits its membership to individuals who are of a similar faith;

 

2. Acts as an organizational clearinghouse for information about members who have financial or medical needs and matches them with members with the present ability to assist those with financial or medical needs, all in accordance with the organization's criteria;

 

 

3. Provides for the financial or medical needs of a member through payments directly from one member to another. The requirements of this subdivision 3 may be satisfied by a trust established solely for the benefit of members, which trust is audited annually by an independent auditing firm;

 

 

4. Provides amounts that members/subscribers may contribute with (i) no assumption of risk or promise to pay among the members and (ii) no assumption of risk or promise to pay by the organization to the members;

 

 

5. Provides written monthly statements to all members that list the total dollar amount of qualified needs submitted to the organization by members for their contribution; and

 

 

 

6. Provides in substance the following written disclaimer on or accompanying all promotional documents distributed by or on behalf of the organization, including applications and guideline materials:

 

As used in this Act, the following definition applies:

 

A. "Health care sharing ministry" means a health care cost sharing arrangement among persons of the same religion based on their sincerely held religious beliefs, administered by a not-for-profit religious organization.

 

(Drafting Note: The following language may be used as an alternate Paragraph A.)

 

A.  "Health Care Sharing Ministry" means a faith-based, non-profit organization that is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code which:

 

1.  Limits its membership to those who are of a similar faith;

 

2.  Acts as an organizational clearinghouse for information about members/subscribers who have financial, physical or medical needs, matching them with members/subscribers with the present ability to assist those with financial or medical needs, all in accordance with the organization's criteria;

 

3.  Provides for the financial or medical needs of a member/subscriber through payments directly from one member/subscriber to another.  The requirements of this Subsection can be satisfied by a trust established solely for the benefit of members/subscribers,

which is audited annually by an independent auditing firm;

 

4.  Provides amounts that members/subscribers may contribute with no assumption of risk or promise to pay among the members/subscribers and no assumption of the risk or promise to pay by such organization to the members/subscribers;

 

5.  Provides a written monthly statement to all members/subscribers, listing the total dollar amount of qualified needs submitted to such organization, as well as the amount actually published or assigned to members/subscribers for their contribution; and

 

6.  Provides in substance the following written disclaimer on or accompanying all promotional documents distributed by or on behalf of the organization, including applications, and guideline materials:

"Notice:

This publication is not insurance, and is not offered through an insurance company.  Whether anyone chooses to assist you with your medical bills will be totally voluntary, as no other member will be compelled by law to contribute toward your medical bills.  As such, this publication should never be considered to be insurance. Whether you receive any payments for medical expenses and whether or not this publication continues to operate, you are always personally responsible for the payment of your own medical bills."

 

"Notice:

This publication is not an insurance company nor is it offered through an insurance company.  Whether anyone chooses to assist you with your medical bills will be totally voluntary, as no other subscriber or member will be compelled by law to contribute toward your medical bills.  As such, this publication should never be considered to be insurance.  Whether you receive any payments for medical expenses and whether or not this publication continues to operate, you are always personally responsible for the payment of your own medical bills.

 

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB1512

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/ 4/46/5U5-Health_Care_ Sharing_Ministries_Freedom _to_Share_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 726: Assessing mandated health benefits

This bill would require a periodic review of the benefits Virginia mandates to be covered in health plans sold in the commonwealth. The comparable ALEC legislation would also require a review of proposed new mandated benefits based on financial impact. Virginia already has a similar procedure for reviewing new benefits and therefore this bill only adds a review process for established benefits.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Peace, Anderson, Cox, J.A., Hugo, Kilgore, Marshall, D.W., Merricks and Ware, R.L.; Senator: Barker
  • Status: Passed

 

Virginia's Assessment of mandated health benefits

ALEC's Mandated Benefits Review Act

 

 

The Commission shall assess the social and financial impact and the medical efficacy of existing mandated benefits and providers and report to the standing committees of the General Assembly having jurisdiction over health insurance matters. The Commission shall submit a schedule of evaluations to the standing committees of the General Assembly having jurisdiction over health insurance matters setting forth the dates by which particular mandates shall be evaluated by the Commission.

 

The Department of Insurance shall annually review a {insert amount} percentage of existing state mandated benefits, mandated health insurance coverage, and mandated offerings of health benefits in the same manner as prescribed in Sections 2 and 3 of this Act. The Department of Insurance shall report the findings of such review to the chair(s) of the legislative committee(s), the legislative committee(s) having jurisdiction, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, and the state budget department, no latter than (insert date.)

 

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?101+ful+HB726

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/c/c5/5N1-Mandated_Benefits_Review_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 2024: Unregulated small business health care plans

This bill allows health insurers to offer and sell group health insurance policies or contracts that do not include state mandated health insurance benefits to employers with 50 or fewer employees to provide coverage for employees. A 2011 report by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance showed that the legislation failed to deliver on its goals of increasing inexpensive health care access for small businesses. The Bureau of Insurance surveyed 33 insurers offering plans to small businesses. They found that only four had developed plans under HB 2024. Of those four insurers, only one had actually sold a mandate-less plan and it ended its sales on July 1, 2011. (State Corporate Commission Bureau of Insurance)

 

  • Sponsors: Marshall, D.W., Athey, Crockett-Stark, Frederick, Hamilton, Hugo, Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Nixon, Nutter, Poindexter, Rust, Saxman, Scott, E.T. and Sherwood
  • Status: Passed

 

Virginia's bill on the availability of basic insurance

ALEC's Health Insurance Reform Act for Small Business Coverage

 

A. As used in this section:

"Health insurance coverage" means benefits consisting of coverage for costs of medical care, whether directly, through insurance or reimbursement, or otherwise, and including items and services paid for as medical care under a group policy of accident and sickness insurance, hospital or medical service policy or certificate, hospital or medical service plan contract, or health maintenance organization contract, which coverage is subject to this title or is provided under a plan regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

 

"Health insurer" means any insurance company that issues accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis or a corporation that provides accident and sickness subscription contracts, that is licensed to engage in such business in the Commonwealth, and that is subject to the laws of the Commonwealth that regulate insurance within the meaning of § 514 (b) (2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. § 1144 (b) (2)).

 

"Qualified small employer" means a small employer that has not offered health insurance coverage to its employees during the six months prior to the date a policy under this section becomes effective.

 

 

 

"Small employer" means, with respect to a calendar year and a plan year, an employer located in the Commonwealth that employed at least two but not more than 50 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least two employees on the date a policy under this section becomes effective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(A) The term "insurer" means an entity subject to the laws and regulations of this state, or subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, that contracts or offers to contract to provide, deliver, arrange, pay for or reimburse any of the costs of health care services, including a sickness and accident insurance company, a health maintenance organization, a nonprofit hospital and health service corporation, or any other entity providing a plan of health insurance, health benefits, or healthcare services. An insurance company, insurance service, or insurance organization, including a health maintenance organization, which is licensed in the business of insurance in this state and which is subject to state law that regulates insurance.

 

 

 

(B) The terms "small employer" and "employer" mean a business that, during the most recent calendar year, employed at least 2 and not more than 50 employees who are eligible for coverage under a health benefit plan on at least 50 percent of that business' working days.

 

(C) The term "employee welfare benefit plan" has the same meaning as that term is given by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 USC Section 1001 et seq.).

 

(D) The terms "health benefit plan" and "plan" mean any employee welfare benefit plan that is issued by an insurer and that provides medical, surgical, or hospital care or benefits to employees of a small employer and their dependents. The terms shall exclude any individual major medical policy that is renewable at the option of the insured except for reasons set forth in paragraphs 3(A) or 3(C) of this Act or if the insurer non-renews all policies issued on the same policy form in this state. These terms also exclude any policy of group insurance that is not designed, administered, or marketed as a health benefit plan to be provided by an employer for its employees.

 

"State-mandated health benefit" means coverage required under this title or other laws of the Commonwealth to be provided in a policy of accident and sickness insurance or a contract for a health-related condition that (i) includes coverage for specific health care services or benefits; (ii) places limitations or restrictions on deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or any annual or lifetime maximum benefit amounts; or (iii) includes a specific category of licensed health care practitioners from whom an insured is entitled to receive care. "State-mandated health benefit" includes, without limitation, any coverage, or the offering of coverage, of a benefit or provider pursuant to §§ 38.2-3407.5through 38.2-3407.6:138.2-3407.9:0138.2-3407.9:0238.2-3407.11 through 38.2-3407.11:338.2-3407.1638.2-340838.2-3411 through 38.2-3414.138.2-3418 through 38.2-3418.14, or § 38.2-4221. For purposes of this article, "state-mandated health benefit" does not include a benefit that is mandated by federal law.

 

 

B. Notwithstanding any provision of this title to the contrary, a group accident and sickness insurance policy providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis, and a group accident and sickness subscription contract, that is offered, sold, or issued by a health insurer to a qualified small employer:

 

1. Shall not be required to include coverage, or the offer of coverage, for any state-mandated health benefit; and

 

2. May include any, or none, of the state-mandated health benefits as the health insurer and the qualified small employer shall agree.

 

C. A health insurer offering an insurance policy or subscription contract to a qualified small employer shall inform the employer that a policy or contract is not required to provide state-mandated health benefits.

 

D. A health insurer selling or issuing an insurance policy or subscription contract to a qualified small employer that does not include all state-mandated health benefits shall provide to the qualified small employer and to each participant a written disclosure statement that lists any state-mandated health benefits that the policy or subscription contract does not provide.

 

 

Section 6. {No Mandated Benefits.} No statute or regulation that mandates the provision of specified health insurance benefits or that prohibits or limits the use of managed care shall be construed to apply to any small employer health benefit plan or any conversion policy provided in accordance with Section 5 of this Act.

E. The Commission shall adopt any regulations necessary to implement this section.

§ 38.2-3406.2. Capped benefits under insurance policies and contracts.

Nothing in this chapter or Chapters 35 (§ 38.2-3500 et seq.) or 42 (§ 38.2-4200 et seq.) shall prohibit the offering, sale, or issuance of accident and sickness insurance policies or subscription contracts that cap or limit the total annual or lifetime benefits provided under an accident and sickness insurance policy or subscription contracts at specified dollar amounts.

 

 

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HB2024

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/ f/f5/5U7-Health_Insurance_Reform_Act _for_Small_Business_ Coverage_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Guns

HB 854 (2010) and HB 1573 (2011): The Castle Doctrine

This bill would legalize the use of deadly force in defending one's home. This bill was strongly backed by the National Rifle Association, which claimed credit for helping draft the language. ALEC' Castle Doctrine model legislation was approved by the organization in 2005. The NRA is a long-time member and funder of ALEC and an NRA lobbyist has served on and chaired the Public Safety and Elections Committee (which produced the Castle Doctrine legislation) for years. (Sources: NRA, Sourcewatch)

  • Sponsors: Delegates Cleaveland, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Carrico, Cole, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Habeeb, Hugo, Jones, Landes, Lingamfelter, Miller, J.H., Morefield, Poindexter, Robinson, Sherwood and Wilt; Senator: Puckett 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Castle Doctrine

 

ALEC's Castle Doctrine

Use of physical force, including deadly force, against an intruder; justified self-defense.

A. A lawful occupant of a residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the residence or to terminate the intruder's or attacker's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the residence or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.

 

 

 

B. A lawful occupant within a residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker in the circumstances described in subsection A

 

C. A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he has a legal right to be outside of his residence may use reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker, without a duty to retreat, if the person reasonably believes that he or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or another can only be saved by the use of such force against the intruder or attacker.

 

D. The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section shall constitute a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force. The defense to a civil action, however, is not available to a person who:

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully or forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

 

b. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

 

 

A person who uses force as permitted in Section (1) [and other state codes which are affected/amended by this legislation and which refer to the use of force including deadly force] is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force.

 

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB854

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HB1573

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/7/7e/7J2-Castle _Doctrine_Act_Exposed.PDF

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Government Reform

 

HB 1331: Council on Efficient Government

According to AlterNet, "The hallmark of ALEC's model privatization legislation, the Council on Efficient Government Act, creates "a council on efficient government to leverage resources and contract with private sector vendors if those vendors can more effectively and efficiently provide goods and services and reduce the cost of government." These councils typically include representatives from the private sector, who then decide to let their business colleagues bid for public sector work." This legislation has also been introduced in Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, Oregon, and South Carolina. (Source)

The Center for Media and Democracy described this bill as an attempt to "subsidize for-profit corporations for work traditionally performed by government" and "outsource public services." (Source)

  • Sponsor: Delegate Cosgrove
  • Status: Failed


 

Virginia's Council on Efficient Government Act

ALEC's Council on Efficient Government Act

 

A. The Council on Efficient Government (the Council) is established as an advisory council, within the meaning of §2.2-2100, in the executive branch of state government. The Council shall consist of seven members as follows:

 

1. The chief executive or administrative officer of a state agency, appointed by the Governor, who shall serve ex officio with voting privileges;

 

2. Two nonlegislative members who are engaged in private enterprise, appointed by the Governor;

 

3. Two nonlegislative members who are engaged in private enterprise, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and

 

4. Two nonlegislative members who are engaged in private enterprise, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

(A) The Council on Efficient Government is established consisting of the following members:

 

 

 

 

(1) The chief executive or administrative officer of a state agency who is appointed by the Governor.

 

 

(2) Two members who are engaged in private enterprise and who are appointed by the Governor.

 

(3) Two members who are engaged in private enterprise and who are appointed by the President of the Senate.

 

(4) Two members who are engaged in private enterprise and who are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

B. The terms of appointment to the Council are for two years. The ex officio member shall serve a term coincident with his term of office or until his successors shall qualify. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. All members may be reappointed. However, no citizen member shall serve more than two consecutive two-year terms. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

 

C. The Council shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The Council shall meet at least four times each year. The meetings of the Council shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

 

D. Members shall not receive compensation, but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Funding for the costs of such expenses of the members shall be provided by the Office of the Secretary of Administration.

 

E. A member of the Council may not participate in a Council review of a business case to outsource if the state agency is conducting the outsourcing or, in the case of a member engaged in private enterprise, if the member has a business relationship with an entity that is involved or potentially could be involved in the proposed outsourcing.

 

(B) The terms of appointment to the council are for two years unless the chief executive or administrative officer of a state agency ceases to hold office.  The

Governor shall appoint a replacement member for the remainder of the unexpired term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(C) A member of the Council who is engaged in private enterprise is not eligible to receive compensation but is eligible for reimbursement of expenses, pursuant to state statute.

 

 

 

 

 

(D) A member of the Council may not participate in a council review of a business case to outsource if the state agency is conducting the proposed outsourcing or, in the case of a member engaged in private enterprise, if the member has a business relationship with an entity that is involved or potentially could be involved in the proposed outsourcing.

 

Powers and duties of the Council; annual report.

 

A. The Council shall:

 

1. Review whether or not a good or service provided by a state agency could be privatized to provide the same type and quality of good or service that would result in cost savings or best value. The Council may hold public hearings as part of its evaluation process and shall report its recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Delegates;

 

2. Review privatization of a good or service at the request of a state agency or a private enterprise;

 

3. Review issues concerning agency competition with one or more private enterprises to determine ways to eliminate any unfair competition with a private enterprise;

 

4. Recommend privatization to a state agency if a proposed privatization is demonstrated to provide a more cost efficient or more effective manner of providing a good or service;

 

5. Employ a standard process for reviewing business cases to outsource;

 

6. Review and evaluate business cases to outsource as requested by the Governor or the state agency head whose agency is proposing to outsource;

 

7. No later than 30 days before a state agency's issuance of a solicitation of $10 million or more, provide to the state agency conducting the procurement, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, an advisory report for each business case reviewed and evaluated by the Council. The report shall contain all versions of the business case, an evaluation of the business case, any relevant recommendations and sufficient information to assist the state agency proposing to outsource in determining whether the business case to outsource should be included with the legislative budget request;

 

 

8. Recommend and implement standard processes for state agency and Council review and evaluate state agency business cases to outsource, including templates for use by state agencies in submitting business cases to the Council;

 

 

9. Recommend standards, processes and guidelines for use by state agencies in developing business cases to outsource;

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Incorporate any lessons learned from outsourcing services and activities into Council standards, procedures and guidelines, as appropriate, and identify and disseminate to agencies information regarding best practices in outsourcing efforts;

 

Section 3. {Powers and duties of the council; annual report.}

 

(A) The Council shall:

 

(1) Review whether or not a good or service provided by a state agency could be privatized to provide the same type and quality of good or service that would result in cost savings or best value. The

Council may hold public hearings as part of its evaluation process and shall report its recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(2) Review privatization of a good or service at the request of a state agency or a private enterprise.

 

(3) Review issues concerning agency competition with one or more private enterprises to determine ways to eliminate any unfair competition with a private enterprise.

 

(4) Recommend privatization to a state agency if a proposed privatization is demonstrated to provide a more cost efficient or more effective manner of providing a good or service.

 

(6) Employ a standard process for reviewing business cases to outsource.

 

(7) Review and evaluate business cases to outsource as requested by the Governor or the state agency head whose agency is proposing to outsource.

 

(8) No later than thirty days before a state agency's issuance of a solicitation of ten million dollars or more, provide to the state agency conducting the procurement, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, an advisory report for each business case reviewed and evaluated by the Council.

The report must contain all versions of the business case, an evaluation of the business case, any relevant recommendations and sufficient information to assist the state agency proposing to outsource in determining whether the business case to outsource should be included with the legislative budget request.

 

(9) Recommend and implement standard processes for state agency and council review and evaluate state agency business cases to outsource, including templates for use by state agencies in submitting business cases to the council.

 

(10) Recommend standards, processes and guidelines for use by state agencies in developing business cases to outsource and council review and evaluate state agency business cases to outsource, including templates for use by state agencies in submitting business cases to the council.

 

(11) Incorporate any lessons learned from outsourcing services and activities into council standards, procedures and guidelines, as appropriate, and identify and disseminate to agencies information regarding best practices in outsourcing efforts

11. Develop guidelines for assisting state employees whose jobs are eliminated as a result of outsourcing;

 

12. Receive complaints of violations of this article;

 

13. Transmit complaints received under this article to the state agency alleged to be in violation;

 

14. Hold public hearings on complaints and determine whether the agency is in violation of this article;

 

15. Issue a written report of its findings to the complainant within 90 days after receiving the state agency's response;

 

 

16. Transmit to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates a complete report of each meeting, including recommendations to correct violations of prohibitions on competition with private enterprise and findings on necessary exceptions to the prohibitions; and

 

17. Solicit petitions of interest from private sector service providers as the Council considers appropriate. The Council may evaluate and review the petitions and may hold public hearings as part of the evaluation process. The Council may recommend some or all of the petitions to the Governor's office for further review pursuant to state statute. A person shall not have a cause of action based on the failure of the Council to consider a petition of interest or make a recommendation.

 

(12) Develop guidelines for assisting state employees whose jobs are eliminated as a result of outsourcing.

 

(13) Receive complaints of violations of this article.

          

(14) Transmit complaints received under this section to the state agency alleged to be in violation.

 

(15) Hold public hearings on complaints and determine whether the agency is in violation of this article.

 

(16) Issue a written report of its findings to the complainant within ninety days after receiving the state agency's response.

 

(17) Transmit to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a complete report of each meeting, including recommendations to correct violations of prohibitions on competition with private enterprise and findings on necessary exceptions to the prohibitions.

 

 

(18) Solicit petitions of interest from private sector service providers as the council considers appropriate. The council may evaluate and review the petitions and may hold public hearings as part of the evaluation process. The Council may recommend some or all of the petitions to the Governor's office for further review pursuant to state statute.  A person does not have a cause of action based on the failure of the council to consider a petition of interest or make a recommendation.

 

B. The Council may evaluate and review all state agency exemptions and exemptions to the restrictions on competition with private enterprise in this article and may determine that any function or functions of a state agency are in violation of this article. The Council shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

C. The Council shall prepare an annual report on:

 

1. Recommendations on innovative methods of delivering government services that would improve the efficiency, effectiveness or competition in the delivery of government services, including enterprise-wide proposals.

 

2. Outsourcing efforts of each state agency, including the number of outsourcing business cases and solicitations, the number and dollar value of outsourcing contracts, descriptions of performance results as applicable, any contract violations or project slippages and the status of extensions, renewals and amendments of outsourcing contracts.

 

3. Information about the Council's activities.

 

4. The status of the inventory created under § 2.2-2699.8.

 

(B) The Council may evaluate and review all state agency exemptions and exemptions to the restrictions on competition with private enterprise in this article and may determine that any function or functions of state agency are in violation of this article. The council shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(C) The council shall prepare an annual report on:

 

(1) Recommendations on innovative methods of delivering government services that would improve the efficiency, effectiveness or competition in the delivery of government services, including enterprise-wide proposals.

 

(2) Outsourcing efforts of each state agency, including the number of outsourcing business cases and solicitations, the number and dollar value of outsourcing contracts, descriptions of performance results as applicable, any contract violations or project slippages and the status of extensions, renewals and amendments of outsourcing contracts.

 

(3) Information about the council's activities.

 

(4) The status of the inventory created under Section 4 of this bill

D. The Council shall submit the annual report prescribed by subsection C to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates no later than January 15 immediately following the calendar year for which the report is made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Each state agency shall submit to the Council all information, documents and other materials requested by the Council pursuant to this article.

 

F. At the request of the Council and on approval of the Governor, the Secretary of Finance or his designee shall provide a performance audit and other required information relating to state agency budgets and functions. The Director of the Department of Planning and Budget may assist in the development and review of the agency inventory of commercial activities prescribed in § 2.2-2699.8.

 

G. The Council may appoint advisory groups to conduct studies, research or analyses and make reports and recommendations with respect to a matter within the jurisdiction of the Council. At least one member of the Council shall serve on each advisory group.

 

H. Subject to subsection B of § 2.2-2699.8, nothing in this article shall preclude a state agency from privatizing the provision of a good or service independent of the Council.

 

(D) The Council shall submit the annual report prescribed by Subsection C of this section to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than January 15 immediately following the calendar year for which the report is made.  The council shall provide an oral report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting when the legislature is not in session.

 

 

(F) Each state agency shall submit to the council all information, documents and other materials required by the council pursuant to this article.

 

(G) At the request of the Council and on approval of the Joint Legislative Audit

Committee, the Auditor General shall provide performance audit and other required information relating to state agency budgets and functions.  The Auditor General may assist in the development and review of the agency inventory of commercial activities prescribed in Section 4.

 

 

(I) The council may appoint advisory groups to conduct studies, research or analyses and make reports and recommendations with respect to a matter within the jurisdiction of the council. At least one member of the council shall serve on each advisory group.

 

(J) Subject to Section 5, subsection B, this article does not preclude a state agency from privatizing the provision of a good or service independent of the council.

 

 

Commercial activities inventory and review.

 

A. On or before July 1, 2011, the Council shall create an inventory of activities of state agencies to classify whether each activity or elements of the activity are:

 

 

1. A commercial activity that can be obtained in whole or in part from a private enterprise.

 

2. An inherently governmental activity.

 

B. The Council shall update the inventory created under this section at least every two years.

 

C. The Council shall make the inventory available to the public through electronic means.

 

D. State agencies shall cooperate with inventory requests made by the Council.

 

Section 4. {Commercial activities inventory and review.}

 

(A) On or before a date selected by the legislature, the council shall create an inventory of activities of state agencies to classify whether each activity or elements of the activity are:

 

(1) A commercial activity that can be obtained in whole or in part from a private enterprise.

 

(2) An inherently governmental activity.

 

(B) The Council shall update the inventory created under this section at least every two years.

 

(C) The Council shall make the inventory available to the public through electronic means.

 

(D) State agencies shall cooperate with inventory requests made by the Council.

Business cases to outsource; review and analysis; requirements.

 

A. A proposal to outsource having a projected cost of more than $10 million in any fiscal year shall require:

 

1. An initial business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates at least 60 days before a solicitation is issued. The Council shall evaluate the business case analysis and submit an advisory report to the state agency, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates when the advisory report is completed, but at least 30 days before the agency issues the solicitation.

 

 

2. A final business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted after the conclusion of any negotiations, at least 30 days before execution of a contract, to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

B. A proposal to outsource having a projected cost of at least $1 million but no more than $10 million in any fiscal year shall require:

 

 

1. An initial business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submission of the business case, at least 30 days before issuing a solicitation, to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

2. A final business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted after the conclusion of any negotiations, at least 30 days before execution of a contract, to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

C. A business case to outsource having a projected cost of less than $1 million in any fiscal year shall require a final business case analysis conducted by the state agency after the conclusion of any negotiations and provided to the Council at least 30 days before execution of a contract. The Council shall provide the business cases in its annual report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

D. For any proposed outsourcing, the state agency shall develop a business case that justifies the proposal to outsource. The business case shall not be subject to challenge or protest. The business case shall include:

 

{Business cases to outsource; review and analysis; requirements.}

 

(A) A proposal to outsource having a projected cost of more than ten million dollars in any fiscal year shall require:

 

(1) An initial business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least sixty days before a solicitation is issued.  The Council shall evaluate the business case analysis and submit an advisory report to the state agency, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives when the advisory report is completed, but at least thirty days before the agency issues the solicitation.

 

(2) A final business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted after the conclusion of any negotiations, at least thirty days before execution of a contract, to the council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(B) A proposal to outsource having a projected cost of at least one million dollars but not more than ten million dollars in any fiscal year shall require:

 

(1) An initial business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submission of the business case, at least thirty days before issuing a solicitation, to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(2) A final business case analysis conducted by the state agency and submitted after the conclusion of any negotiations, at least thirty days before execution of a contract, to the Council, the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(C) A business case to outsource having a projected cost of less than one million dollars in any fiscal year shall require a final business case analysis conducted by the state agency after the conclusion of any negotiations and provided to the council at least thirty days before execution of a contract. The Council shall provide the business cases in its annual report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(D) For any proposed outsourcing, the state agency shall develop a business case that justifies the proposal to outsource. The business case is not subject to challenge or protest. The business case must include:

 

1. A detailed description of the service or activity for which the outsourcing is proposed;

 

2. A description and analysis of the state agency's current performance based on existing performance measures if the state agency is currently performing the service or activity;

 

3. The goals desired to be achieved through the proposed outsourcing and the rationale for the goals;

 

4. A citation to the existing or proposed legal authority for outsourcing the service or activity;

 

5. A description of available options for achieving the goals. If state employees are currently performing the service or activity, at least one option involving maintaining state provision of the service or activity shall be included;

 

6. An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, including, at a minimum, potential performance improvements and risks;

 

7. A description of the current market for the contractual services that are under consideration for outsourcing.

 

8. A cost benefit analysis documenting the direct and indirect specific baseline costs, savings and qualitative and quantitative benefits involved in or resulting from the implementation of the recommended option or options. The analysis shall specify the schedule that, at a minimum, shall be adhered to in order to achieve the estimated savings. All elements of cost shall be clearly identified in the cost benefit analysis, described in the business case and supported by applicable records and reports. The state agency head shall attest that based on the data and information underlying the business case, and to the best of the state agency head's knowledge, all projected costs, savings and benefits are valid and achievable.

 

 

(1) A detailed description of the service or activity for which the outsourcing is proposed.

 

(2) A description and analysis of the state agency's current performance based on existing performance measures if the state agency is currently performing the service or activity.

 

(3) The goals desired to be achieved through the proposed outsourcing and the rationale for the goals.

 

(4) A citation to the existing or proposed legal authority for outsourcing the service or activity.

 

(5) A description of available options for achieving the goals. If state employees are currently performing the service or activity, at least one option involving maintaining state provision of the service or activity shall be included.

 

(6) An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, including, at a minimum, potential performance improvements and risks.

 

(7) A description of the current market for the contractual services that are under consideration for outsourcing.

 

(8) A cost benefit analysis documenting the direct and indirect specific baseline costs, savings and qualitative and quantitative benefits involved in or resulting from the implementation of the recommended option or options.  The analysis must specify the schedule that, at a minimum, must be adhered to in order to achieve the estimated savings.  All elements of cost must be clearly identified in the cost benefit analysis, described in the business case and supported by applicable records and reports.  The state agency head shall attest that based on the data and information underlying the business case and to the best of the state agency head's knowledge all projected costs, savings and benefits are valid and achievable.

For the purposes of this section:

"Cost" means the reasonable, relevant and verifiable cost, which may include elements such as personnel, materials and supplies, services, equipment, capital depreciation, rent, maintenance and repairs, utilities, insurance, personnel travel, overhead and interim and final payments. The appropriate elements shall depend on the nature of the specific initiative.

 

"Savings" means the difference between the direct and indirect actual annual baseline costs compared to the projected annual cost for the contracted functions or responsibilities in any succeeding state fiscal year during the term of the contract;

 

For the purposes of this paragraph:

(a)  "Cost" means the reasonable, relevant and verifiable cost, which may include elements such as personnel, materials and supplies, services, equipment, capital depreciation, rent, maintenance and repairs, utilities, insurance, personnel travel, overhead and interim and final payments.  The appropriate elements shall depend on the nature of the specific initiative.

 

(b)  "Savings" means the difference between the direct and indirect actual annual baseline costs compared to the projected annual cost for the contracted functions or responsibilities in any succeeding state fiscal year during the term of the contract.

9. A description of differences among current state agency policies and processes and, as appropriate, a discussion of options for or a plan to standardize, consolidate or revise current policies and processes, if any, to reduce the customization of any proposed solution that would otherwise be required;

 

10. A description of the specific performance standards that shall, at a minimum, be met to ensure adequate performance;

 

11. The projected time frame for key events from the beginning of the procurement process through the expiration of a contract;

 

12. A plan to ensure compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.);

 

13. A specific and feasible contingency plan addressing contractor nonperformance and a description of the tasks involved in and costs required for its implementation;

 

14. A state agency's transition plan for addressing changes in the number of agency personnel, affected business processes, employee transition issues and communication with affected stakeholders, such as agency clients and the public. The transition plan shall contain a reemployment and retraining assistance plan for employees who are not retained by the state agency or employed by the contractor;

 

15. A plan for ensuring access by persons with disabilities in compliance with applicable state and federal law; and

 

16. A description of legislative and budgetary actions necessary to accomplish the proposed outsourcing.

 

 

(9) A description of differences among current state agency policies and processes and, as appropriate, a discussion of options for or a plan to standardize, consolidate or revise current policies and processes, if any, to reduce the customization of any proposed solution that would otherwise be required.

 

(10) A description of the specific performance standards that must, at a minimum, be met to ensure adequate performance.

 

(11) The projected time frame for key events from the beginning of the procurement process through the expiration of a contract.

 

(12) A plan to ensure compliance with the public records law.

 

(13) A specific and feasible contingency plan addressing contractor nonperformance and a description of the tasks involved in and costs required for its implementation.

 

 

(14) A state agency's transition plan for addressing changes in the number of agency personnel, affected business processes, employee transition issues and communication with affected stakeholders, such as agency clients and the public.  The transition plan must contain a reemployment and retraining assistance plan for employees who are not retained by the state agency or employed by the contractor.

 

(15) A plan for ensuring access by persons with disabilities in compliance with applicable state and federal law.

 

(16) A description of legislative and budgetary actions necessary to accomplish the proposed outsourcing.

E. Each contract for a proposed outsourcing pursuant to this section shall include the following:

 

1. A scope-of-work provision that clearly specifies each service or deliverable to be provided, including a description of each deliverable or activity that is quantifiable, measurable and verifiable. This provision shall include a clause stating that if a particular service or deliverable is inadvertently omitted or not clearly specified but determined to be operationally necessary and verified to have been performed by the agency within the 12 months before the execution of the contract, the service or deliverable will be provided by the contractor through the identified contract amendment process.

 

 

2. A service level agreement provision describing all services to be provided under the terms of the agreement, the state agency's service requirements and performance objectives, specific responsibilities of the stage agency and the contractor and the process for amending any portion of the service level agreement. Each service level agreement shall contain an exclusivity clause that allows the state agency to retain the right to perform the service or activity, directly or with another contractor, if service levels are not being achieved.

 

3. A provision that identifies all associated costs, specific payment terms and payment schedules, including provisions governing incentives and financial disincentives and criteria governing payment.

 

4. A provision that identifies a clear and specific transition plan that will be implemented in order to complete all required activities needed to transfer the service or activity from the state agency to the contractor and operate the service or activity successfully.

 

5. A performance standards provision that identifies all required performance standards, which shall include at a minimum:

 

a. Detailed and measurable acceptance criteria for each deliverable and service to be provided to the state agency under the terms of the contract that document the required performance level;

 

b. A method for monitoring and reporting progress in achieving specified performance standards and levels; and

 

c. The sanctions or disincentives that will be imposed for nonperformance by the contractor or state agency.

 

(E) Each contract for a proposed outsourcing pursuant to this section shall include the following:

 

(1) A scope-of-work provision that clearly specifies each service or deliverable to be provided, including a description of each deliverable or activity that is quantifiable, measurable and verifiable.  This provision must include a clause stating that if a particular service or deliverable is inadvertently omitted or not clearly specified but determined to be operationally necessary and verified to have been performed by the agency within the twelve months before the execution of the contract, the service or deliverable will be provided by the contractor through the identified contract amendment process.

 

(2) A service level agreement provision describing all services to be provided under the terms of the agreement, the state agency's service requirements and performance objectives, specific responsibilities of the state agency and the contractor and the process for amending any portion of the service level agreement. Each service level agreement must contain an exclusivity clause that allows the state agency to retain the right to perform the service or activity, directly or with another contractor, if service levels are not being achieved.

 

(3) A provision that identifies all associated costs, specific payment terms and payment schedules, including provisions governing incentives and financial disincentives and criteria governing payment.

 

(4) A provision that identifies a clear and specific transition plan that will be implemented in order to complete all required activities needed to transfer the service or activity from the state agency to the contractor and operate the service or activity successfully.

 

(5) A performance standards provision that identifies all required performance standards, which must include at a minimum:

 

(a) Detailed and measurable acceptance criteria for each deliverable and service to be provided to the state agency under the terms of the contract that document the required performance level.

 

(b) A method for monitoring and reporting progress in achieving specified performance standards and levels.

 

(c) The sanctions or disincentives that will be imposed for nonperformance by the contractor or state agency.

6. A provision that requires the contractor and its subcontractors to maintain adequate accounting records that comply with all applicable federal and state laws and generally accepted accounting principles.

 

7. A provision that authorizes the state agency to have access to and audit all records related to the contract and subcontracts, or any responsibilities or functions under the contract and subcontracts, for purposes of legislative oversight and a requirement for audits by a service organization pursuant to professional auditing standards, if appropriate.

 

8. A provision that requires the contractor to interview and consider for employment with the contractor each displaced state employee who is interested in such employment.

 

9. A contingency plan provision that describes the mechanism for continuing the operation of the service or activity, including transferring the service or activity back to the state agency or successor contractor, if the contractor fails to perform and comply with the performance standards and levels of the contract and the contract is terminated.

 

10. A provision that requires the contractor and its subcontractors to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (§2.2-3700 et seq.), specifically to:

 

a. Keep and maintain the public records that ordinarily and necessarily would be required by the state agency in order to perform the service or activity;

 

b. Provide the public with access to the public records on the same terms and conditions that the state agency would provide the records;

 

c. Ensure that records that are exempt or records that are confidential and exempt are not disclosed except as authorized or required by law; and

 

d. Meet all requirements for retaining records and transfer to the state agency, at no cost, all public records in possession of the contractor on termination of the contract and destroy any duplicate public records that are exempt or confidential. All records stored electronically shall be provided to the state agency in a format that is compatible with the information technology systems of the state agency.

 

(6) A provision that requires the contractor and its subcontractors to maintain adequate accounting records that comply with all applicable federal and state laws and generally accepted accounting principles.

 

(7) A provision that authorizes the state agency to have access to and audit all records related to the contract and subcontracts, or any responsibilities or functions under the contract and subcontracts, for purposes of legislative oversight and a requirement for audits by a service organization pursuant to professional auditing standards, if appropriate.

 

(8) A provision that requires the contractor to interview and consider for employment with the contractor each displaced state employee who is interested in such employment.

 

(9) A contingency plan provision that describes the mechanism for continuing the operation of the service or activity, including transferring the service or activity back to the state agency or successor contractor, if the contractor fails to perform and comply with the performance standards and levels of the contract and the contract is terminated.

 

(10) A provision that requires the contractor and its subcontractors to comply with public records laws specifically to:

 

(a) Keep and maintain the public records that ordinarily and necessarily would be required by the state agency in order to perform the service or activity.

 

(b) Provide the public with access to the public records on the same terms and conditions that the state agency would provide the records.

 

(c) Ensure that records that are exempt or records that are confidential and exempt are not disclosed except as authorized by law.

 

(d) Meet all requirements for retaining records and transfer to the state agency, at no cost, all public records in possession of the contractor on termination of the contract and destroy any duplicate public records that are exempt or confidential.  All records stored electronically must be provided to the state agency in a format that is compatible with the information technology systems of the state agency.

11. A provision that addresses ownership of intellectual property. This subdivision shall not provide the specific authority needed by a state agency to obtain a copyright or trademark.

 

12. If applicable, a provision that allows the state agency to purchase from the contractor, at its depreciated value, assets used by the contractor in the performance of the contract. If assets have not depreciated, the state agency shall retain the right to negotiate to purchase at an agreed cost.

 

(11) A provision that addresses ownership of intellectual property. This paragraph does not provide the specific authority needed by a state agency to obtain a copyright or trademark.

 

(12) If applicable, a provision that allows the state agency to purchase from the contractor, at its depreciated value, assets used by the contractor in the performance of the contract. If assets have not depreciated, the state agency shall retain the right to negotiate to purchase at an agreed on cost.

§ 2.2-2699.10. Council accounting method.

The Council, by rule, shall establish an accounting method that:

 

1. Is similar to generally accepted accounting principles used by a private enterprise.

 

2. Allows an agency to identify the total actual cost of engaging in a commercial activity in a manner similar to how a private enterprise identifies the total actual cost to the private enterprise, including the following:

 

a. Labor expenses, such as compensation and benefits, costs of training, costs of paying overtime, costs of supervising labor or other personnel expenses;

 

 

b. Operating costs, such as vehicle maintenance and repair, marketing, advertising or other sales expenses, office expenses, costs of an accounting operation such as billing, insurance expenses, real estate or equipment costs, debt service costs or a proportionate amount of other overhead or capital expenses, such as vehicle depreciation and depreciation of other fixed assets;

 

c. Contract management costs; and

 

d. Other costs particular to a person supplying the goods or service.

 

3. Provides a process to estimate the taxes a state agency would pay related to engaging in a commercial activity if the state agency were required to pay federal, state and local taxes to the same extent as a private enterprise engaging in the commercial activity.

 

Section 6. {Council accounting method.}

 

The council, by rule, shall establish an accounting method that:

 

(1) Is similar to generally accepted accounting principles used by a private enterprise.

 

(2) Allows an agency to identify the total actual cost of engaging in a commercial activity in a manner similar to how a private enterprise identifies the total actual cost to the private enterprise, including the following:

 

(a) Labor expenses, such as compensation and benefits, costs of training, costs of paying overtime, costs of supervising labor or other personnel expenses.

 

(b) Operating costs, such as vehicle maintenance and repair, marketing, advertising or other sales expenses, office expenses, costs of an accounting operation such as billing, insurance expenses, real estate or equipment costs, debt service costs or a proportionate amount of other overhead or capital expenses, such as vehicle depreciation and depreciation of other fixed assets.

 

(c) Contract management costs.

 

(d) Other costs particular to a person supplying the good or service.

 

(3) Provides a process to estimate the taxes a state agency would pay related to engaging in a commercial activity if the state agency were required to pay federal, state and local taxes to the same extent as a private enterprise engaging in the commercial activity

Governor; required review of commercial activities.

 

Beginning July 1, 2011, the Governor, at least once every two fiscal years, shall select at least three commercial activities that are being performed by a state agency to be examined by the

Department of Planning and Budget.

 

 

 

§ 2.2-2699.12. Duties of the Department of Planning and Budget.

 

 

A. The Department of Planning and Budget shall:

 

1. Determine the amount of an appropriation that is no longer needed by an executive branch agency because all or a portion of the agency's provision of a good or service is privatized.

 

2. Adjust the Governor's budget recommendations to reflect the amount that is determined under subdivision 1.

 

3. Report its findings to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

 

B. This section shall not prevent the Governor from making a budget recommendation regarding the restoration of a portion of the appropriation to a state agency that is reduced under this section.

 

 

§ 2.2-2699.13. Sunset.

The provisions of this article shall expire on July 1, 2015.

 

Section 7. {Governor; required review of commercial activities.}

 

Beginning with a fiscal year the legislature designates, the Governor, at least once every two fiscal years, shall select at least three commercial activities that are being performed by a state agency to be examined by the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

 

Section 8. {Duties of the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.}

 

(A) The Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting shall:

 

(1) Determine the amount of an appropriation that is no longer needed by an executive branch agency because all or a portion of the agency's provision of a good or service is privatized.

 

(2) Adjust the Governor's budget recommendations to reflect the amount that is determined under paragraph 1.

 

(3) Report its findings to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(B) This section does not prevent the Governor from making a budget recommendation regarding the restoration of a portion of the appropriation to a state agency that is reduced under this section.

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB1331

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/b/b4/8B4-COUNCIL_ON_EFFICIENT _GOVERNMENT_ACT_exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 2196: Government Transparency Act

This legislation, introduced by Delegate Barbara Comstock, draws on language from two similar pieces of ALEC model legislation to create a government transparency website to chronicle government expenditures. Costly tax loopholes and credits would not be included.

  • Sponsor: Delegate Comstock
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Government Transparency Act

ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending and Transparency and Government Accountability Act

 

A. The Commonwealth of Virginia shall maintain a searchable database and structured website to facilitate citizen access to detailed, well-organized, and understandable information as described in this chapter. The website shall use nontechnical, readily understandable language, using common everyday words and avoiding words and terms of art whose usage or special meaning primarily is limited to a particular field or profession.

 

B. The data accessible through the website shall be provided (i) in a digital format that may be searched by keyword using site-provided search engines, as well as other Internet search engines, and (ii) in a machine-readable format that allows users to programmatically sift and sort the data.

C. The website shall be maintained by the Department of Planning and Budget. The Governor may designate additional agencies to provide support as necessary.

 

The State of {insert state} shall maintain an official, searchable website accessible to all citizens that affirmatively discloses all appropriate information as described in subsections (a through i).  The state website shall use a consistent website domain and present all information in "plain English".  The state website shall have an easy-to-understand interface and shall be well organized, easy to navigate and without tedious plug-in downloads. (ALEC's Transparency and Government Accountability Act)

§ 2.2-3721. Definitions.

As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

 

"Agency" means a state agency, department, office, authority, board, court, commission, bureau, division, institution, or institution of higher education. The term includes (i) individual state agencies and programs, as well as those programs and activities that cross agency lines, and (ii) all elected offices in the executive branch of government and legislature.

 

 

 

"Audit or report" shall include any audit or report issued by the Comptroller, Auditor of Public Accounts, Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission, a legislative committee, or any executive body relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program, activity, or agency.

 

 

"Department" means the Department of Planning and Budget.

 

"Entity or recipients" means (i) a corporation, (ii) an association, (iii) a union, (iv) a limited liability company, (v) a limited liability partnership, (vi) any other legal business entity including nonprofits, (vii) grantees, (viii) contractors, and (ix) a county, city, town, or other local government entity. The term shall not include an individual recipient of state assistance.

 

"Funding action or expenditure" means details on the type of state spending (grant, contract, appropriations, or other type of spending). Where possible, a hyperlink to the actual grants or contracts shall be provided. Funding action or expenditure shall include tax exemptions, subtractions, deductions, or credits.

 

 

 

"Funding source" means the state account from which the expenditure is appropriated.

 

 

"Nonstate agency" means any public or private foundation, authority, institute, museum, corporation, or similar organization that is not a unit of state government or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth as established by general law or special act.

 

 

"Shall" means the obligation or duty to perform; no discretion is granted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4)"Agency" means a state department, office, board commission, bureau, division, institution, or institution of higher education. This includes individual state agencies and programs, as well as those programs and activities that cross agency lines. "State agency" includes all elective offices in the Executive Branch of government and the Legislature. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

(7) "State audit or report" shall include any audit or report issued by the [state auditor, inspector general, or comptroller], legislative auditor, legislative committee, or executive body relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

 

 

(3) "Entity/and or recipients" means:

1. a corporation, 2. an association, 3. a union, 4. a limited liability company, 5. a limited liability partnership, 6. any other legal business entity including non-profits, 7. grantees, 8. contractors, and 9. a county, city or other local government entity. "Entity/and or recipients" does not include an individual recipient of state assistance.

 

(6) "Funding action or expenditure" shall include details on the type of spending (grant, contract, appropriations, etc.). This includes tax exemptions or credits.

Where possible, a hyperlink to the actual expenditure document (in a format that is, at a minimum, as searchable as a searchable PDF format) shall be provided. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

(5)"Funding source" means the state account the expenditure is appropriated from.  (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9) "Shall" means the obligation or duty to perform; no discretion is granted. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

§ 2.2-3722. State budget information; data included; schedule for implementation.

 

A. The website shall contain information from the state budget that is searchable by any of the following factors:

 

(i) the name and principal location or residence of the entity or recipients of funds,

 

(ii) the amount of funds expended,

 

(iii) the funding or expending agency,

 

(iv) the funding source of the revenue expended,

 

(v) the budget program or activity of the expenditure,

 

(vi) a descriptive purpose for the funding action or expenditure,

 

(vii) the expected performance outcome for the funding action or expenditure,

 

(viii) the past performance outcomes achieved for the funding action or expenditure, and

 

(ix) any state audit or report relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program, activity, or agency.

 

 

 

B. Whenever possible, the website shall include hyperlinks to the recipient's website, the budget line item, and any related state audits or reports, and the schedule for any agency financial audit shall also be included.

 

 

C. The website shall also provide access to information for individual or specific appropriations or budget items relating to:

1. Disbursements by state agencies of funds deposited in the state treasury;

2. Salaries and wages including, but not limited to, compensation paid to directors or other heads of state agencies;

3. Commodities including, but not limited to, amounts paid to the entity or recipients;

4. Capital outlay including, but not limited to, amounts paid to the entity or recipients;

5. Bond debt payments;

6. Debt service including, but not limited to, amounts of bond interest paid and sources of funds paid for individual bond issues;

7. Capital improvements including, but not limited to, amounts of bond principal paid and sources of funds paid for individual bond issues;

8. Aid or grants to nonstate agencies or nonprofit organizations including the contact information for the individual responsible for oversight;

9. Aid to counties, cities, towns, or other local government entities including, but not limited to, individually identifiable aid programs; and

10. Other assistance and benefits.

 

"Searchable budget database website" means a website that allows the public at no cost to

 

(1) search and aggregate information for the following:

 

 

1. The name and principal location or residence of the entity/and or recipients of funds,

 

2. the amount of funds expended,

 

3. the funding or expending agency,

 

4. the funding source of the revenue expended,

 

5. the budget program/activity of the expenditure,

 

6. a descriptive purpose for the funding action or expenditure,

 

7. the expected performance outcome for the funding action or expenditure,

 

8. the past performance outcomes achieved for the funding action or expenditure,

 

9. any state audit or report relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency, (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

D. The website shall also provide for users to search and aggregate information for:

1. Receipts or deposits by any state agency into the general fund and other funds established under law;

2. General fund or nongeneral fund taxes or fees including, but not limited to, compulsory contributions imposed by the state for the purpose of financing services;

3. State agency earnings including, but not limited to, amounts collected by each state agency for merchandise sold, services performed, licenses and permits issued, or regulation;

4. Revenue for the use of money and property including, but not limited to, amounts received for compensation for the use of state-owned money and property;

5. Gifts, donations, and federal grants including, but not limited to, amounts received from public and private entities to aid in support of a specific function or other governmental activity;

6. Other revenue including, but not limited to, receipts not classified elsewhere;

7. Nonrevenue receipts including, but not limited to, all receipts that do not constitute reportable revenue; and

8. Annual bonded indebtedness, which shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of the total original obligation stated in terms of principal and interest, the term of the obligation, the source of funding for repayment of the obligation, the amounts of principal and interest previously paid to reduce the obligation, the balance remaining of the obligation, any refinancing of the obligation, and the cited statutory authority to issue such bonds.

 

 

 

 

 

E. By July 1, 2012, the Department shall develop and make publicly available a single, searchable budget database website, which shall include the data required under this section in the appropriation acts passed by the 2011 and 2012 Sessions of the General Assembly covering appropriations for the period July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013.

 

Searchable Budget Database Website Created

 

By January 1, 20xx, the Director shall develop and make publicly available a single, searchable budget database website including the required data for the [most recent state budget]. The website shall be given a unique and simplified website address. Each state agency that maintains a generally accessible Internet site or for which a generally accessible Internet site is maintained shall include a link on the front page of the agency's Internet site to the budget database website.  (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

F. Effective January 1, 2013, budget information contained on the website shall be updated for each fiscal year not later than 30 days after the close of the fiscal year. In addition, the Department may update the searchable budget database website as new data becomes available. All state agencies shall provide to the Department all data required to be included in the searchable budget database website not later than 30 days after the data becomes available to the agency and shall cooperate with the Department to the fullest extent. The Department shall provide guidance to agency heads to ensure compliance with this section.

 

G. By July 1, 2014, the Department shall add data for biennial appropriation acts that appropriated the revenues of the Commonwealth for periods prior to July 1, 2011, to the searchable budget database website. The Department shall ensure that all data added to the searchable budget database website remains accessible to the public for a minimum of 10 years.

 

Updates

 

The Director shall provide guidance to agency heads to ensure compliance with this section. "Effective xxx, the searchable budget database website shall be updated as new data becomes available, if feasible, but no later than 30 days upon receipt of data from the agency." (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

 

 

 

 

 

By January 1, 20xx, the Director shall add data for the [previous budgets] to the searchable budget database website. Data for previous fiscal years may be added as available and time permits. The Director shall ensure that all data added to the searchable budget database website remains accessible to the public for a minimum of ten years. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

 

H. For purposes of reporting information and implementing the database pursuant to this section, the Department shall include all appropriated funds and other sources under the control of state-supported institutions of higher education, except for the activity of private gifts, including endowment funds and unrestricted gifts referenced in § 23-9.2. The exclusion of this activity shall not affect the public access to these records unless otherwise specifically exempted by law.

 

I. The Department shall not be considered in compliance with this section if the data required for the searchable budget database website is not available in a searchable and aggregate manner or the public is redirected to other government websites, unless each of those sites has information from all agencies and each category of information required can be searched electronically by field in a single search.

 

J. To facilitate citizen accessibility to the budget information required by this section, the Department shall develop a citizen access guide to enable citizens at any level of previous knowledge to read and understand the state budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compliance with Act

 

The Director shall not be considered in compliance with this act if the data required for the searchable budget database website is not available in a searchable and aggregate manner and/or the public is redirected to other government websites, unless each of those sites has information from all agencies and each category of information required can be searched electronically by field in a single search. (ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending)

§ 2.2-3723. Additional financial information; check registers.

The website shall provide access to agency check registers and include

(i) The amount of the payment,

(ii) Date of the payment,

(iii) The check number,

(iv) The name and address of the person receiving the payment,

(v) The purpose of the payment,

(vi) The budgetary authority for the expenditure,

(vii) The functional expenditure category,

(viii) The source of the funds, and

(ix) Links to the relevant contracts that provided for the payments.

 

2. A check register including:

 

 

 

1. The amount of the payment

2. Date

3. Check number

4. To whom the payment was made (including the address)

5. What it was for

6. Budgetary authority for the expenditure

7. Functional expenditure category

8. Sources of funds

9. Links to the relevant contracts under which the payment was made (ALEC's Transparency and Government Accountability Act)

 

§ 2.2-3724. Procurement data.

The website shall provide access to laws, regulations, and policies governing the procurement of goods and services and bids and contracts for all purchases over $10,000, and a hyperlink to the state's electronic procurement site shall also be included.

 

(D) Contract information, including:

 

1. Rules governing contracts

2. Bids and contracts for purchases over $10,000
3. Vendor campaign contributions and the vendor contract (ALEC's Transparency and Government Accountability Act)

 

§ 2.2-3725. Elected and appointed officials; lobbyist disclosure; conflict of interest statutes.

A. The website shall contain contact information for all statewide elected and appointed officials and information on the (i) term of office or appointment; (ii) date of the next election, if applicable; (iii) voting record, committee appointments, and party affiliation of the elected officials; and (iv) governing board for the appointed officials.

 

 

 

B. Access from the website shall be provided to:

1. The database of lobbyists registered with the Secretary of the Commonwealth pursuant to § 2.2-422;

2. Lobbyist disclosure statements filed pursuant to § 2.2-426;

3. Financial disclosure statements filed by state officials and employees as required by the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.);

4. Financial disclosure statements filed by state officials and employees as required by the General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act (§ 30-100 et seq.); and

5. Contact information for the person designated by each state public body to (i) assist a requester in making a request for records or (ii) respond to requests for public records under the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

 

 

 

 

 

(C) Administrative official information, including:

 

1. Contact information for all appointed administrators

2. Terms of office

3. Governing boards and by laws for agencies

4. Party Affiliation

5. Conflict of interest rules (ALEC's Transparency and Government Accountability Act)

 

 

(E) Lobbying information, including:                                                           

 

1. Disclosure of state-paid lobbying activity

2. Database of registered lobbyists

3. Agency lobbying contracts

4. All grants given to non-profit organizations, reason for the grant and a contact in the organization responsible for oversight (ALEC's Transparency and Government Accountability Act)

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HB2196

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/8/89/8F5-Taxpayer _Transparency_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/4/4a/8F8-The_Transparency_and_Government _Accountability_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

---

SB 585: Searchable budget database website

Similar to Delegate Comstock's Government Transparency proposal, in 2008, now-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli introduced legislation to create a searchable budget database website. Like Delegate Comstock's legislation, this bill only calls for disclosure of expenditures and excludes costly tax credits and loopholes.

  • Sponsors: Senators Cuccinelli, Hurt, Martin, Newman, Obenshain, Petersen, Smith, Vogel and Wagner 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Searchable budget database website bill

ALEC's Act Relating to Creating a Searchable Budget Database for State Spending

 

§ 2.2-1501.1. Department to maintain a searchable budget database website.

As used in this section, the term or phrase:

 

"Agency" means a state agency, department, office, authority, board, court, commission, bureau, division, institution, or institution of higher education. The term includes (i) individual state agencies and programs, as well as those programs and activities that cross agency lines, and (ii) all elective offices in the executive branch of government and legislature.

 

 

"Entity or recipients" means (i) a corporation, (ii) an association, (iii) a union, (iv) a limited liability company, (v) a limited liability partnership, (vi) any other legal business entity including non-profits, (vii) grantees, (viii) contractors, and (ix) a county, city, town, or other local government entity. The term shall not include an individual recipient of state assistance.

 

"Funding action or expenditure" means details on the type of state spending (grant, contract, appropriations, etc.). Where possible, a hyperlink to the actual grants or contracts shall be provided by the Director. Funding action or expenditure shall include tax exemptions, subtractions, deductions, or credits.

 

"Funding source" means the state account the expenditure is appropriated from.

 

"Searchable budget database website" means a website that allows the public at no cost to search and aggregate information for individual or specific appropriations or budget items as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

(4)"Agency" means a state department, office, board commission, bureau, division, institution, or institution of higher education. This includes individual state agencies and programs, as well as those programs and activities that cross agency lines. "State agency" includes all elective offices in the Executive Branch of government and the Legislature.

 

 

(3) "Entity/and or recipients" means:

1. a corporation, 2. an association, 3. a union, 4. a limited liability company, 5. a limited liability partnership, 6. any other legal business entity including non-profits, 7. grantees, 8. contractors, and 9. a county, city or other local government entity. "Entity/and or recipients" does not include an individual recipient of state assistance.

 

(6) "Funding action or expenditure" shall include details on the type of spending (grant, contract, appropriations, etc.). This includes tax exemptions or credits.

Where possible, a hyperlink to the actual expenditure document (in a format that is, at a minimum, as searchable as a searchable PDF format) shall be provided.

 

(5)"Funding source" means the state account the expenditure is appropriated from. 

 

"Searchable budget database website" means a website that allows the public at no cost to (1) search and aggregate information for the following:

 

 

 

1. the name and principal location or residence of the entity or recipients of funds;

 

2. the amount of funds expended;

 

3. the funding or expending agency;

 

4. the funding source of the revenue

expended;

 

5. the budget program/activity of the expenditure;

 

6. a descriptive purpose for the funding action or expenditure;

 

7. the expected performance outcome for the funding action or expenditure;

 

8. the past performance outcomes achieved for the funding action or expenditure;

 

9. any state audit or report relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency; and

 

10. any other relevant information specified by the Department.

 

1. the name and principal location or residence of the entity/and or

recipients of funds,

 

2. the amount of funds expended,

 

3. the funding or expending agency,

 

4. the funding source of the revenue expended,

 

5. the budget program/activity of the expenditure,

 

6. a descriptive purpose for the funding action or expenditure,

 

7. the expected performance outcome for the funding action or expenditure,

 

8. the past performance outcomes achieved for the funding action or expenditure,

 

9. any state audit or report relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency,

 

10. and any other relevant information specified by the [state budget office]

The searchable budget database website shall also include information for individual or specific appropriations or budget items relating to:

1. disbursements by state agencies of funds deposited in the state treasury;

2. bond debt payments;

3. salaries and wages including, but not limited to, compensation paid to directors or other heads of state agencies;

4. commodities including, but not limited to, amounts paid to the entity or recipients;

5. capital outlay including, but not limited to, amounts paid to the entity or recipients;

6. debt service including, but not limited to, amounts of bond interest paid and sources of funds paid for individual bond issues;

7. aid to counties, cities, towns, or other local government entities including, but not limited to, for individually identifiable aid programs;

8. other assistance and benefits; and

9. capital improvements including, but not limited to, amounts of bond principal paid and sources of funds paid for individual bond issues.

The searchable budget database website shall also allow the public at no cost to search and aggregate information for:

1. receipts or deposits by any state agency into the general fund and other funds established under law;

2. general fund or nongeneral fund taxes or fees including, but not limited to, compulsory contributions imposed by the state for the purpose of financing services;

3. state agency earnings including, but not limited to, amounts collected by each state agency for merchandise sold, services performed, licenses and permits issued, or regulation;

4. revenue for the use of money and property including, but not limited to, amounts received for compensation for the use of state-owned money and property;

5. gifts, donations, and federal grants including, but not limited to, amounts received from public and private entities to aid in support of a specific function or other governmental activity;

6. other revenue including, but not limited to, receipts not classified elsewhere;

7. non-revenue receipts including, but not limited to, all receipts that do not constitute reportable revenue; and

8. annual bonded indebtedness which shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of the total original obligation stated in terms of principal and interest, the term of the obligation, the source of funding for repayment of the obligation, the amounts of principal and interest previously paid to reduce the obligation, the balance remaining of the obligation, any refinancing of the obligation, and the cited statutory authority to issue such bonds.

 

 

"Shall" means the obligation or duty to perform; no discretion is granted.

 

"State audit or report" shall include any audit or report issued by the Comptroller, Auditor of Public Accounts, Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission, a legislative committee, or any executive body relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency.

 

(9) "Shall" means the obligation or duty to perform; no discretion is granted.

 

(7) "State audit or report" shall include any audit or report issued by the [state auditor, inspector general, or comptroller], legislative auditor, legislative committee, or executive body relating to the entity or recipient of funds or the budget program/activity or agency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. By July 1, 2009, the Director shall develop and make publicly available a single, searchable budget database website, which shall include the data required under this section in the appropriation acts passed by the 2008 and 2009 Sessions of the General Assembly covering appropriations for the period July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010.

 

 

 

 

C. Effective January 1, 2010, the searchable budget database website shall be updated for each fiscal year not later than 30 days following the close of the fiscal year. In addition, the Director may update the searchable budget database website as new data becomes available. All state agencies shall provide to the Director all data that is required to be included in the searchable budget database website not later than 30 days after the data becomes available to the agency, and shall cooperate with him to the fullest extent. The Director shall provide guidance to agency heads to ensure compliance with this section.

 

By July 1, 2011, the Director shall add data for biennial appropriation acts that appropriated the revenues of the Commonwealth for periods prior to July 1, 2008, to the searchable budget database website. The Director shall ensure that all data added to the searchable budget database website remains accessible to the public for a minimum of 10 years.

 

Searchable Budget Database Website Created

 

By January 1, 20xx, the Director shall develop and make publicly available a single, searchable budget database website including the required data for the [most recent state budget]. The website shall be given a unique and simplified website address. Each state agency that maintains a generally accessible Internet site or for which a generally accessible Internet site is maintained shall include a link on the front page of the agency's Internet site to the budget database website.

 

Updates

 

The Director shall provide guidance to agency heads to ensure compliance with this section. "Effective xxx, the searchable budget database website shall be updated as new data becomes available, if feasible, but no later than 30 days upon receipt of data from the agency."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By January 1, 20xx, the Director shall add data for the [previous budgets] to the searchable budget database website. Data for previous fiscal years may be added as available and time permits. The Director shall ensure that all data added to the searchable budget database website remains accessible to the public for a minimum of ten years.

D. For purposes of reporting information and implementing the database pursuant to this section, the Director shall include all appropriated funds and other sources under the control of state-supported institutions of higher education, except for the activity of private gifts, including endowment funds and unrestricted gifts referenced in § 23-9.2. The exclusion of this activity shall not affect the public access to these records unless otherwise specifically exempted by law.

 

E. In maintaining the searchable database, the Director shall work with and coordinate his efforts with the Auditor of Public Accounts and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in obtaining, summarizing, and compiling the information to avoid duplication of efforts, including avoiding duplication of the data or other information maintained in the database required pursuant to subsection H of § 30-133.

 

F. The Director shall not be considered in compliance with this section if the data required for the searchable budget database website is not available in a searchable and aggregate manner or the public is redirected to other government websites, unless each of those sites has information from all agencies and each category of information required can be searched electronically by field in a single search.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compliance with Act

 

The Director shall not be considered in compliance with this act if the data required for the searchable budget database website is not available in a searchable and aggregate manner and/or the public is redirected to other government websites, unless each of those sites has information from all agencies and each category of information required can be searched electronically by field in a single search.

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+SB585

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/8/89/8F5-Taxpayer _Transparency_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Federal Relations

 

HR 61 (2009), HR 5 (2010) and SJR 17 (2010): Resolution on the Tenth Amendment

  • 2009 Sponsors: Delegates Peace, Fralin, Byron, Cline, Cole, Gilbert, Landes, Lingamfelter, Marshall, R.G., Morgan, Ware, R.L. and Wright 
  • 2010 Sponsors: Delegates Landes, Peace, Albo, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cline, Cole, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Dance, Garrett, Gilbert, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Jones, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Marshall, R.G., Massie, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Morefield, Morgan, Nixon, O'Bannon, Oder, Pogge, Poindexter, Rust, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Stolle and Ware, R.L.; Senator Martin
  • Status: Failed

Virginia's Resolution on the Tenth Amendment

ALEC's Resolution Reaffirming Tenth Amendment Rights

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people"; and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

 

WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

 

WHEREAS, the states today are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment was part of the original Bill of Rights, which was proposed on September 25, 1789, ratified by three-fourths of the states, and went into effect on December 15, 1791; and

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment limits the scope of federal power and

 

 

 

 

prescribes that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states,

 

 

rather than the states being agents of the federal government; and

 

 

WHEREAS, when taking the oath of office, all members of the General Assembly of [Insert State] solemnly swear that they will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of  [Insert State]; and

 

WHEREAS, many federal mandates are in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and infringe upon both the reserved powers of  [Insert State] and the people's reserved powers; and

 

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state of the United States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

 

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution says that "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of government," and the Ninth Amendment states that "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations, and other proposals that may be anticipated, may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states by compelling them to enact and enforce regulatory programs; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court, in Printz v. United States/Mack v. United States, 521 u.s. 898 (1997), reaffirmed that the Constitution of the United States established a system of "dual sovereignty" that retains "a residuary and inviolable sovereignty" by the states;

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the Congress of the United States be urged to honor state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth of Virginia hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth hereby serves notice and demand to the federal government, as its agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. Further, the Commonwealth requires that every bill introduced by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate be examined for constitutionality before any action is taken. Finally, the Commonwealth urges that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties, or that sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, or that applies conditions detrimental to the state, be prohibited or repealed immediately; and, be it

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that [Insert State] hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the General Assembly affirms the right of the Governor of Virginia and the Attorney General to disregard any federal legislation that is enacted outside the scope of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve notice to the federal government of our demand to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the

United States established it; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we state our intentions to ensure that all government agencies and their agents and employees operating w1thtn the geographic boundaries of  [Insert State], or whose actions have an effect on the inhabitants, lands, or water of [Insert State], shall operate within the confines of the original intent of the Constitution of the United States; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that suitable copies of this resolution be delivered to the President of the United States, the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and each member of the congressional delegation of [Insert State]. 

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HR61

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HR5

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+SJ17

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/images/ a/a2/4B3a-Resoluting_Reaffirming_Tenth _Amendment_Rights_Exposed.pdf

 

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HRJ 642: Resolution opposing Value Added Taxes (VAT)

This resolution was introduced in the 2011 General Assembly session and was copied verbatim from ALEC's model legislation.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Comstock, Athey, Cole and Jones
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's resolution on the Value Added Tax

ALEC's resolution in opposition to Value-Added Taxes

 

WHEREAS, a value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax placed on products whenever value is added and at final sale, typically with credits, complex record-keeping, and varying rates for different products; and

 

WHEREAS, the VAT would be another new tax that American families and small businesses would bear; and

 

WHEREAS, the typical VAT rate in Europe has grown from less than five percent in the 1960s to nearly 20 percent today; and

 

WHEREAS, the minimum VAT rate a country needs to join the European Union is 15 percent; and

 

WHEREAS, a value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax placed on products whenever value is added and at final sale, typically with credits, complex recordkeeping, and varying rates for different products, and

 

WHEREAS, the VAT would be another new tax which American families and small businesses would bear, and

 

WHEREAS, the typical VAT rate in Europe has grown from less than 5 percent in the 1960s to nearly twenty percent today, and

WHEREAS, the minimum VAT rate a country needs to join the European Union is fifteen percent, and

 

WHEREAS, other taxes in Europe have risen at the same time as the VAT has risen, leading to a very high level of taxation compared with the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, there is every reason to believe that the European experience of the last half-century would be repeated here; and

 

WHEREAS, there are pro-growth ways to promote domestic manufacturing and international tax competitiveness without imposing a dangerous new VAT on top of existing income taxes; and

 

WHEREAS, there are pro-growth and pro-business ways of executing tax reform that do not involve the introduction of a new type of tax into our tax structure on top of, or in addition to, existing income and other taxes; now, therefore, be it

 

WHEREAS, other taxes in Europe have risen at the same time as the VAT has risen, leading to a very high level of taxation compared to the United States, and

 

WHEREAS, there is every reason to believe that the European experience of the last half-century would be repeated here, and

 

WHEREAS, there are pro-growth ways to help domestic manufacturing and international tax competitiveness without imposing a dangerous new VAT, and

 

WHEREAS, there are pro-growth and pro-family ways of executing tax reform that do not involve the introduction of a new type of tax into our tax structure,

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the members of the Virginia Delegation of the Congress of the United States be urged to oppose the enactment of a value-added tax on consumption in addition to existing income and other taxes; and, be it

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the legislature of the state of {insert state}: urge all members of our state's Congressional delegation to oppose a value-added tax on principle.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this state is on record as opposing a European style VAT at the state or local level for any reason.

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HJ642

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/d/d3/8E1-A_Resolution_in_ Opposition_to_Value-Added_Taxes_exposed.pdf

 

 

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HJ 542: The Repeal Amendment

This bill would have issued a call for a federal constitutional amendment that would permit the repeal of any federal law by a vote of two-thirds of state legislatures. Most of the resolution was copied verbatim from the ALEC model legislation. Delegate LeMunyon, the lead patron, stated in an email to supporters in October 2011, "I authored H.J. 542 at the request of House Speaker Bill Howell." Howell, a former national chairman of ALEC, seems to have made a habit of asking colleagues to carry ALEC legislation; Delegate Kilgore carried an ALEC bill limiting asbestos-related liability at the speaker's request.

  • Sponsors: Delegates LeMunyon, Abbitt, Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Carrico, Cline, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Edmunds, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Massie, Merricks, Morefield, Morgan, Nutter, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Rust, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L., Wilt and Wright; Senator: Vogel 
  • Status: Failed

Virginia's application to U.S. Congress to call convention to propose an amendment.

 

ALEC's Resolution Calling for the Congress of the United States to Call a Constitutional Convention

WHEREAS, Article I of the United States Constitution begins "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Congress has exceeded the legislative powers granted in the Constitution thereby encroaching on the powers that are "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people" as the Tenth Amendment affirms and the rights "retained by the people" to which the Ninth Amendment refers; and

 

WHEREAS, this encroachment includes the accumulation of federal debt, which combined with interest represents a future tax, and is of such great proportion that responsibility for its payment will be passed to future, unborn generations of Americans to assume without their consent, thereby disparaging their rights; and

 

WHEREAS, Article I of the United States Constitution begins "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Congress has exceeded the legislative powers granted in the

Constitution thereby encroaching on the powers that are "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people" as the Tenth Amendment affirms and the rights "retained by the people" to which the Ninth Amendment refers; and

 

WHEREAS, this encroachment includes the accumulation of federal debt, which combined with interest represents a future tax, and is of such great proportion that responsibility for its payment will be passed to future, unborn generations of Americans to assume without their consent, thereby disparaging their rights; and

WHEREAS, this encroachment also includes compelling state and local governments to comply with federal laws and regulations without accompanying funding for such mandates; and

 

WHEREAS, in Federalist No. 85, Alexander Hamilton wrote in reference to Article V of the Constitution and the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that, "We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Constitution should be amended in order to halt federal encroachment and restore a proper balance between the powers of Congress and those of the several states, and to prevent the denial or disparagement of the rights retained by the people; now, therefore, be it

 

WHEREAS, this encroachment also includes compelling state and local governments to comply with federal laws and regulations without accompanying funding for such mandates; and

 

WHEREAS, in Federalist No. 85, Alexander Hamilton wrote in reference to Article V of the Constitution and the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that, "We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Constitution should be amended in order to halt federal encroachment and restore a proper balance between the powers of Congress and those of the several states, and to prevent the denial or disparagement of the rights retained by the people;

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Commonwealth of Virginia hereby applies to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing a constitutional amendment that permits the repeal of any federal law or regulation by vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures. The Virginia Delegation to such convention, when called, shall propose the following amendment:

"Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed."; and, be it

 

 

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED That the Congress of the United States be urged to call a constitutional convention pursuant to Article V of the United States

Constitution for the purpose of proposing a constitutional amendment that permits the repeal of any federal law or regulation by vote of two-thirds

 

of the state legislatures, and the {insert state} Delegation to such Convention, when called, shall propose the following amendment:

"Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed;" and

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That this resolution is revoked and withdrawn, nullified, and superseded to the same effect as if it had never been passed, and retroactive to the date of passage, if it is used for the purpose of calling a convention or used in support of conducting a convention to amend the Constitution of the United States for any purpose other than consideration of the amendment proposed in this resolution; and, be it

 

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Commonwealth of Virginia reserves its right to add future amendments as the legislature deems warranted to this application; and, be it

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That delegates to such convention, when called, be selected according to procedures established by the legislatures of the several states; and, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, That delegates to such Convention, when called, be selected according to procedures established by the legislatures of the several states; an

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.

 

BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the {state legislative body} transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of

Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the {insert state} Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the {state legislative body} in this matter.

 

Virginia's bill: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HJ542

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/a/a3/4B2- Resolution_Calling_for_ Congress_of_the_United_States _to_Call_a_Constitutional _Convention_Exposed.pdf

 

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HJR 88 (2010) and HJR 852 (2011): Balanced Budget Resolutions

These resolutions introduced in consecutive years in the House of Delegates call on the federal government to pass a balanced budget amendment. The bills are identical with the exception of the current federal debt amount. In 2011, Delegate Cline introduced this resolution at the request of Governor Bob McDonnell.

  • 2010 Sponsors: Delegates Cole, Abbitt, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Cleaveland, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Garrett, Gear, Gilbert, Greason, Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Marshall, D.W., Massie, Merricks, Miller, J.H., Morgan, Nutter, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Pogge, Pollard, Purkey, Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva and Wright 
  • 2011 Sponsors: Delegates Cline, Abbott, Albo, Anderson, Armstrong, Athey, Barlow, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Carrico, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Edmunds, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Hugo, Janis, Joannou, LeMunyon, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Massie, May, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morefield, Oder, Orrock, Phillips, Pollard, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Sherwood, Shuler, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Wilt and Wright 
  • Status: Failed
  • This resolution was introduced in 2011 at the request of Governor Bob McDonnell

 

Virginia's resolution on a federal balanced budget amendment

ALEC's balanced budget amendment resolution

 

WHEREAS, this nation has become deeply in debt as its expenditures have exceeded available revenues so that the total federal public debt now exceeds $14 trillion and continues to increase; and

 

WHEREAS, the federal budget fails to reflect actual spending because of the exclusion of special outlays that are neither included in the budget nor subject to the legal public debt limit; and

 

WHEREAS, knowledgeable planning requires that the budget reflect all federal spending and that the budget be in balance; and

 

WHEREAS with each passing year this nation becomes deeply in debt as its expenditures grossly and repeatedly exceed available revenues so that the public debt now exceeds four trillion dollars; and

 

WHEREAS the unified budget does not reflect actual spending because of the exclusion of special outlays which are not in the budget; and

 

 

WHEREAS knowledgeable planning and fiscal prudence require that the budget reflect all federal spending and that the budget be in balance; and

WHEREAS, attempts to curtail federal spending, confine expenditures to available revenues, and reduce the annual deficit have met with only limited success; and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the requirement to balance the budget will promote responsibility at the federal level, provide checks against unnecessary and costly appropriations, and reinforce efforts to bring about fiscal integrity; and

 

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Commonwealth provides for a balanced budget, and this provision has reinforced the inherent fiscal common sense of spending only funds available and has contributed to the Commonwealth's outstanding reputation for sound fiscal management and policy; and

 

WHEREAS attempts to limit spending, including the impoundment of funds by the President of the United States, have resulted in strenuous assertions that the responsibility for appropriations is the constitutional duty of the Congress; and

 

WHEREAS the annual federal budget repeatedly demonstrates the unwillingness or inability of both the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government to curtail spending to conform to available revenues; and

WHEREAS, efforts in Congress to amend the Constitution of the United States to add a balanced budget requirement have not been successful; and

 

WHEREAS, in the event of congressional inaction, Article V of the Constitution of the United States grants to the states the right to initiate constitutional change through application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states to the Congress, calling for a constitutional convention; and

 

WHEREAS, the Congress is required by Article V to call such a convention upon receipt of such applications; now, therefore, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS under Article V of the Constitution of the United States, amendments to the U.S. Constitution may be proposed by the Congress whenever two-thirds of both Houses deem it necessary, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states the Congress shall call a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing amendments;

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Congress of the United States be urged to adopt legislation requiring a balanced federal budget; and, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the General Assembly of Virginia does hereby make application to the Congress of the United States to call a convention for the sole and exclusive purpose of proposing to the several states a constitutional amendment to add an article to provide for a balanced budget requirement. The proposed article should contain substantially the following provisions:

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the legislature of the state, a majority of all members of the two houses, voting separately, concurring herein, that the Congress of the United States of America is hereby petitioned to adopt an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, requiring, with certain exceptions, that for each fiscal year the president of the United States submit and the Congress of the United States adopt a balanced federal budget; or, in the alternative,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, effective [insert date] that pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the legislature of the state makes application to the Congress of the United States of

America to call a convention for the specific and exclusive purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, requiring, with certain exceptions, that for each fiscal year the president of the United States submit and the Congress of the United States adopt a balanced federal budget.

 

"Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.

Section 2. The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House shall provide by law for such an increase by a roll call vote.

Section 3. Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the United States Government for that fiscal year in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts.

Section 4. No bill to increase revenue shall become law unless approved by a majority of the whole number of each House by a roll call vote.

 

 

 

Section 5. The Congress may waive the provisions of this article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is in effect. The provisions of this article may be waived for any fiscal year in which the United States is engaged in military conflict that causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by a joint resolution, adopted by a majority of the whole number of each House, which becomes law.

Section 6. The Congress shall enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation, which may rely on estimates of outlays and receipts.

Section 7. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government except those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except for those for repayment of debt principal.

Section 8. This article shall take effect beginning with the later of the second fiscal year beginning after its ratification or the first fiscal year beginning after December 31, 2013."; and, be it

 

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That unless rescinded by the General Assembly of Virginia, this application shall constitute a continuing application for such convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of two-thirds of the states shall have made like applications and such convention shall have been called by the Congress of the United States; and, be it

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this application by this legislature constitutes a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until at least two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several states have made application for a similar convention pursuant to Article V or the Congress has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States similar in subject matter to that contained in this Joint Resolution.

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That since this method of proposing an amendment has never been completed to the point of calling a convention and since the exercise of the power is a matter of basic sovereign rights and the interpretation thereof is primarily in the sovereign government making such exercise and since the power to use such right in full also carries the power to use such right in part, the General Assembly interprets Article V to mean that if two-thirds of the states make application for a convention to propose a substantially similar amendment to the Constitution for ratification with a limitation that such amendment be the only matter before it, that such convention would have power to propose only the specified amendment and would be limited to such proposal and would not have power to propose other amendments on different propositions; and, be it

 

 

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, and the legislatures of each of the several states, attesting the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly of Virginia.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this Joint Resolution be transmitted by the Secretary of State to the President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to each member of this state's delegation to the Congress and to the presiding officer of each house of each state legislature in the United States.

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HJ88

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HJ852

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/ images/9/9d/8B17-The_Balanced_Budget_Amendment _Resolution_exposed.pdf

 

 ---

HJR 42: Opposing the Real ID Act

This resolution, offered in 2008, urged the US Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act, which standardizes photo IDs across states.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Peace, Abbitt, Alexander, Gear, Lewis, Marshall, R.G., Morgan and Ware, R.L. 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's resolution memorializing Congress to repeal or amend the federal Real ID Act

 

ALEC's Resolution in Opposition to the REAL ID Act

WHEREAS, the Real ID Act of 2005 requires that states adopt federal standards for driver's licenses and identification cards by May 11, 2008; and

 

WHEREAS, the Real ID Act constitutes a costly unfunded mandate by the federal government to the states; and

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the National Governor's Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators estimate that the Real ID Act will cost at least $11 billion annually over the next five years; and

 

WHEREAS, the REAL ID Act requires states to conform their processes of issuing drivers licenses and identification cards to federal standards by May 2008; and

 

WHEREAS, the REAL ID Act thus constitutes an unfunded mandate by the federal government to the states; and

 

 

WHEREAS, the REAL ID Act will cost the states over $11 billion to implement according to a recent survey of 47 state licensing authorities conducted by the National Governor's Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators; and

 

WHEREAS, the Real ID Act requires that a driver's license display a person's actual home address and provides no exception for those individual's in potential danger, such as victims of domestic violence or undercover law-enforcement officials; and

 

WHEREAS, the Real ID Act contains significant record verification procedures that place unreasonable burdens and inconveniences on citizens of the Commonwealth when renewing their driver's licenses; and

 

WHEREAS, the costs of obtaining or renewing a driver's license will increase since the procedures under the Real ID Act will likely require more workers, additional training, and system upgrades, which may not be funded by the federal government; and

 

 

WHEREAS, the Real ID Act will involve a national database that creates the opportunity for identity theft and invasion of privacy; and

 

WHEREAS, the requirement that states maintain databases of information about their citizens and then share this information with other states exposes every state to the information security weaknesses of every other state and threatens the privacy of every American; now, therefore, be it

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the requirement that states maintain databases of information about their citizens and residents and then share this personal information with all other states will expose every state to the information security weaknesses of every other state and threaten the privacy of every American; and

 

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Congress of the United States be urged to repeal the Real ID Act or delay implementation of the Real ID Act until such time as adequate funds are available to the states to cover the costs of implementation and until amendments are made to the Real ID Act to protect the privacy and preserve the essential civil rights and liberties of the citizens of the Commonwealth; and, be it

 

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ALEC implores the United States Congress and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to suspend implementation of the REAL ID Act; and

 

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the REAL ID Act should be repealed outright by the United States Congress to avoid the significant problems it currently poses to state sovereignty, individual liberty and limited government.

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.

 

 

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp524.exe?081+ful+HJ42

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/ images/0/06/7K7 -Resolution_in_Opposition _to_the_REAL_ID_Act_Exposed.pdf

  

 

ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Environment

 

HR72 and SR 29: Resolution opposing EPA regulation of greenhouse gases

This model resolution from ALEC was introduced in at least 8 states in 2011. James Morefield, who sponsored the Virginia version, "took the EPA resolution verbatim from the ALEC website after it had been presented to him by the coal industry." (LA Times)

  • Sponsors: Delegates Morefield, Bell, Richard P., Carrico, Crockett-Stark, Edmunds, Johnson, Kilgore, Marshall, R.G. and Phillips, Senators Puckett and Wampler
  • Status: Failed

Virginia resolution memorializing the Congress of the United States to address the proposed regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency in regards to greenhouse gas emissions.

 

ALEC's Resolution opposing EPA's regulatory train wreck

 

WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed or is proposing numerous new regulations, particularly in the area of air quality and regulation of greenhouse gases, that are likely to have major effects on the economy, jobs, and U.S. competitiveness in worldwide markets; and

 

WHEREAS, EPA's regulatory activity as to air quality and greenhouse gases has become known as the "train wreck," because of the numerous and overlapping requirements and because of the potentially devastating consequences this regulatory activity may have on the economy; and

 

WHEREAS, concern is growing that, with cap-and-trade legislation having failed in Congress, EPA is attempting to obtain the same results through the adoption of regulations; and

 

WHEREAS: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed or is proposing numerous new regulations, particularly in the area of air quality and regulation of greenhouse gases, that are likely to have major effects on the economy, jobs, and U.S. competitiveness in worldwide markets; and

 

WHEREAS: EPA's regulatory activity as to air quality and greenhouse gases has become known as the "train wreck," because of the numerous and overlapping requirements and because of the potentially devastating consequences this regulatory activity may have on the economy; and

 

WHEREAS: Concern is growing that, with cap-and-trade legislation having failed in Congress, EPA is attempting to obtain the same results through the adoption of regulations;

 

WHEREAS, EPA over-regulation is driving jobs and industry out of America; and

 

WHEREAS, neither EPA nor the Administration has undertaken any comprehensive study of what the cumulative effect of all this new regulatory activity will be on the economy, jobs, and competitiveness; and

 

WHEREAS, EPA has not performed any comprehensive study of what the environmental benefits of its greenhouse gas regulation will be in terms of impacts on global climate; and

 

WHEREAS, state agencies are routinely required to identify the costs of their regulations and to justify those costs in light of the benefits; and

 

WHEREAS: EPA over-regulation is driving jobs and industry out of America;

 

 

WHEREAS: neither EPA nor the Administration has undertaken any comprehensive study of what the cumulative effect of all this new regulatory activity will be on the economy, jobs, and competitiveness;

 

WHEREAS: EPA has not performed any comprehensive study of what the environmental benefits of its greenhouse gas regulation will be in terms of impacts on global climate;

 

WHEREAS: state agencies are routinely required to identify the costs of their regulations and to justify those costs in light of the benefits; 

 

WHEREAS, since EPA has identified "taking action on climate change and improving air quality" as its first strategic goal for the 2011 - 2015 time period, EPA should be required to identify the specific actions it intends to take to achieve these goals and to assess the total cost of all these actions together; and

 

WHEREAS, the House of Delegates supports continuing improvements in the quality of the nation's air and believes that such improvements can be made in a sensible fashion without damaging the economy so long as there is a full understanding of the cost of the regulations at issue; and

 

WHEREAS, the primary goal of government at the present time must be to promote economic recovery and to foster a stable and predictable business environment that will lead to the creation of jobs; and

 

WHEREAS: since EPA has identified "taking action on climate change and improving air quality" as its first strategic goal for the 2011 - 2015 time period, EPA should be required to identify the specific actions it intends to take to achieve these goals and to assess the total cost of all these actions together;

 

WHEREAS, the Legislature supports continuing improvements in the quality of the nation's air and believes that such improvements can be made in a sensible fashion without damaging the economy so long as there is a full understanding of the cost of the regulations at issue;

 

WHEREAS: the primary goal of government at the present time must be to promote economic recovery and to foster a stable and predictable business environment that will lead to the creation of jobs;

WHEREAS, public health and welfare will suffer without significant new job creation and economic improvement because people with good jobs are better able to take care of themselves and their families than the unemployed and because environmental improvement is only possible in a society that generates wealth;

 

 now, therefore, be it

 

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, That the Congress of the United States be urged to address the proposed regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency in regards to greenhouse gas emissions by:

 

 

WHEREAS: public health and welfare will suffer without significant new job creation and economic improvement because people with good jobs are better able to take care of themselves and their families than the unemployed and because environmental improvement is only possible in a society that generates wealth;

 

 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislature calls on Congress:

 

 

1. Adopting legislation prohibiting EPA by any means necessary from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including if necessary defunding EPA greenhouse gas regulatory activities;

 

2. Imposing a moratorium on promulgation of any new air quality regulation by EPA by any means necessary, except to directly address an imminent health or environmental emergency, for a period of at least two years, including defunding EPA air quality regulatory activities; and

 

3. Requiring the Administration to undertake a study identifying all regulatory activity that EPA intends to undertake in furtherance of its goal of "taking action on climate change and improving air quality" and specifying the cumulative effect of all of these regulations on the economy, jobs, and American economic competitiveness. This study should be a multiagency study drawing on the expertise of both the EPA and of agencies and departments having expertise in and responsibility for the economy and the electric system and should provide an objective cost-benefit analysis of all of EPA's current and planned regulation together; and, be it

 

1. To adopt legislation prohibiting EPA by any means necessary from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including if necessary defunding EPA greenhouse gas regulatory activities;

 

2. Imposing a moratorium on promulgation of any new air quality regulation by EPA by any means necessary, except to directly address an imminent health or environmental emergency, for a period of at least two years, including defunding EPA air quality regulatory activities;

 

3. Requiring the Administration to undertake a study identifying all regulatory activity that EPA intends to undertake in furtherance of its goal of "taking action on climate change and improving air quality" and specifying the cumulative effect of all of these regulations on the economy, jobs, and American economic competitiveness. This study should be a multiagency study drawing on the expertise of both the EPA and of agencies and departments having expertise in and responsibility for the economy and the electric system and should provide an objective cost-benefit analysis of all of EPA's current and planned regulation together

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the House of Delegates in this matter.

 

 

 

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+ful+HR72

and http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+ful+SR29

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=EPATrainWreck&Template=/CM /ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=15361

 

---

 

SB 6011: Offshore Energy Revenue Fund

This 2008 legislation would create a separate fund for any revenues derived from offshore energy development. The language was copied and pasted from ALEC model legislation.

 

  • Sponsors: Wagner, Blevins, Cuccinelli, Hanger, Hurt, Martin, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Quayle, Ruff, Smith, Stosch, Stuart, Wampler and Watkins 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Offshore Energy Revenue Fund

 

ALEC's State Offshore Energy Revenue Fund

§ 67-1100.  Offshore Energy Revenue Fund created.

 

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Offshore Energy Revenue Fund, hereafter referred to as the "Fund."  The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it.  Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.

 

 

B. The Comptroller shall transfer to the Fund at the close of each fiscal year all license fees, lease payments, royalties, and similar moneys paid by the federal government to the Commonwealth attributable to the development of energy resources in areas off the Commonwealth's Atlantic shore that are under federal jurisdiction.

 

C. For purposes of any appropriation act enacted by the General Assembly and for the purposes of the Comptroller's preliminary and final annual reports required by § 2.2-813, all deposits to and appropriations from the Fund shall be accounted for and considered to be a part of the general fund of the state treasury. 

 

 

 

 

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the State Offshore Energy Revenue Fund, hereafter referred to as the "Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.

 

B. The Comptroller shall transfer to the Fund at the close of each fiscal year all license fees, lease payments, royalties, and similar moneys paid by the federal government to the state attributable to the development of energy resources in areas off the state's shore that are under federal jurisdiction.

 

 

C. For purposes of any appropriation act enacted by the General Assembly and for the purposes of the Comptroller's preliminary and final annual reports to the Governor, all deposits to and appropriations from the Fund shall be accounted for and considered to be a part of the general fund of the state treasury.

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?083+ful+SB6011

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://www.alecexposed.org/w/images/0/09/3E3-Offshore_Energy_Resources_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 


ALEC Legislation in Virginia: Education

 

HB 2104 and SB 1544 (2009) and HB 238 (2010): Public funding for private school scholarships

This legislation would create publicly funded scholarship funds to send students with disabilities such as autism to private schools. The legislation was introduced in 2009 and 2010 but failed to win approval.

Virginia's Students with Disabilities Tuition Assistance Grant Program

 

ALEC's Autism Scholarship Program Act

A. There is hereby established the Students with Disabilities Tuition Assistance Grant Program (Grant Program), to provide tuition assistance for attendance at an eligible private school, as defined in § 22.1-335.4, of the parent's choice for eligible students for whom an individualized educational program has been written in accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended, regulations promulgated pursuant to IDEA, and regulations of the Board of Education.

 

 

The Autism Scholarship Program creates a scholarship program that provides students with autism the option to attend the public or private elementary or secondary school of their parents' choice

"Eligible student" means any K-12 student as defined by the Board of Education in its Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia who is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

 

 "Eligible Student" means any elementary or secondary student in the state whose public school district has identified the child as having autism or autism spectrum disorder and who has an Individualized Education Plan in effect for the child, and the child was enrolled in public school in the previous school year or is eligible to enter public school in the school year in which a scholarship is first sought for the child.

 

Grant Program; eligibility.

A. The parent of an eligible student, as defined in § 22.1-335.1, who has demonstrated substantial unmet academic or developmental progress in a public school may request of the Superintendent of Public Instruction a tuition assistance grant for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school, as defined in § 22.1-335.4. When such a request is received by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, an eligible private school shall receive a tuition assistance grant on behalf of the requesting student, in accordance with this section, upon satisfaction of the following conditions:

1. The student has attended a public school in the Commonwealth and has received special education services from a public school for at least one year prior to the request of a grant.

2. Prior to the beginning of the initial school year for which the grant is requested, the parent has obtained acceptance for admission of the student to a private school that is eligible to participate in the Grant Program pursuant to § 22.1-335.4.

3. The parent has notified the division superintendent of his request to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for a tuition assistance grant at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the school year in which the first grant payment is sought. The parental notice shall be transmitted through a communication sent directly to the division superintendent either in writing or through electronic means.

 

 

Any parent of an eligible student shall qualify for a scholarship from the state for the child to enroll in and attend a participating, private school if:

 

(1) The student with autism has had an Individualized Education Plan (1) the student with autism has had an Individualized Education Plan written in accordance with the rules of the Department;

 

(2) The student has been accepted for admission at a participating school;

 

and

 

(3) The parent has requested a scholarship from the state before the deadline established by the Department.

Virginia bills: http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2010/ hb238/fulltext/

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+sum+HB2104

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?091+ful+SB1544

ALEC bill: THE_AUTISM_SCHOLARSHIP_ PROGRAM_ACT_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 1388 and SB 738: Establishment of Virtual School Programs

In 2010, legislation to establish virtual school programs was introduced on behalf of the Governor in both the House and Senate and subsequently became law. The legislation, a version of which as been pushed by ALEC's education committee, encourages school divisions to contract with private virtual school companies for student instruction.

  • House sponsors: Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cline, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Greason, Howell, W.J., Iaquinto, Jones, Keam, Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Lohr, Morefield, Morrissey, Peace and Plum 
  • Senate sponsors: Newman, Stephen
  • Status: Signed into law 4/21/10
  • his legislation was introduced at the request of Governor Bob McDonnell
  • An online for-profit virtual school company was the corporate co-chair of ALEC's Education Committee in 2011.

 

Virginia Virtual Schools Programs

 

ALEC's Virtual Public Schools Act

Virginia bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+SB738

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB1388

 

ALEC model legislation: Virtual Public Schools Exposed

 

HB 1390 and SB 737: Charter School Procedures

In 2010, at the request of the Governor, legislation passed the House and Senate to amend the state's charter school procedures to require charter school applicants to first submit their applications to the state Board of Education before seeking approval from their local school board. The legislation also provides for a mechanism for charter school applicants to appeal a local school board's decision to the state Board of Education for reconsideration. In practice, this legislation allows the Governor to stack the Board of Education with pro-charter advocates in order to circumvent the preferences and authority of local school districts.

  • House sponsors: Lingamfelter, Dance, Peace, Abbitt, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Edmunds, Garrett, Gear, Greason, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Jones, Knight, LeMunyon, Lohr, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Merricks, Morgan, Nixon, O'Bannon, Oder, Pogge, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva and Ware, R.L. 
  • Senate sponsor: Newman
  • Status: Signed into law 4/11/10
  • This legislation was introduced at the request of Governor Bob McDonnell
  • An online for-profit virtual school company was the corporate co-chair of ALEC's Education Committee in 2011.

 

 

Virginia's Review of Public Charter School Applications

 

 

ALEC's Charter Schools ACT

Prior to submission of an application to a local school board for review, the public charter school applicant mayshall submit its proposed charter application to the Board of Education for review, and comment, and a pre-certification recommendation. The Board's review shall examine such applications for feasibility, curriculum, financial soundness, and other objective criteria as the Board may establish, consistent with existing state law. The Board's review and comment shall be for the purpose of ensuring that the application conforms with such criteria, but and shallnot include a consideration pre-certification recommendation as to whether the application shall should be approved by the local school board. Nothing in this section shall prevent a school division from pre-planning a charter application before it is submitted to the Board of Education for review and pre-certification.

 

This legislation allows groups of citizens to seek charters from the state to create and operate innovative, outcome-based schools. These schools would be exempt from state laws and regulations that apply to public schools....

 

Section 6. {Advisory Committee.} The state board of education shall appoint an advisory committee comprised of 10 members.

Virginia's bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+sum+HB1390

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/
legp504.exe?101+ful+SB737

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/9/9a/
2D1-Charter_Schools_Act_Exposed.pdf

 

 

HB 1843 (2007), HB 1164 (2008), HB 1965 (2009), HB 2314 (2011): Education Investment Tax Credit

This legislation, which has been repeatedly introduced by anti-public school advocates, would create a tax credit for businesses that donate to scholarship funds for low-income students to attend private elementary and secondary schools.

  • 2007 sponsor: Delegate Christopher Saxman
  • 2008 sponsors: Delegates Saxman, Athey, Cole, Lingamfelter and Peace
  • 2009 sponsors: Delegates Saxman, Athey, Cole, Lingamfelter and Pogge
  • 2011 sponsors: Massie, Greason, Howell, A.T., Abbitt, Albo, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cleaveland, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Garrett, Gilbert, Habeeb, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Landes, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., May, Merricks, O'Bannon, Oder, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Purkey, Robinson, Stolle, Villanueva and Wilt; Senator: Obenshain 
  • Status: did not pass

 

Virginia's Education Investment Tax Credit

 

ALEC's Great Schools Tax Credit Program

§ 58.1-439.26. Tax credit for donations to scholarship foundations by business entities.

A. 1. For taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2012, a business entity may receive a credit against any tax due under Article 10 (§ 58.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 3, in an amount equal to 70 percent of its monetary contribution to a scholarship foundation included on the list published annually by the Department in accordance with the provisions of § 58.1-439.27, except that no business entity shall receive any credit against any bank franchise tax imposed by a city, town, or county under the authority granted in § 58.1-120858.1-1209 or 58.1-1210. The credit shall be allowed to be claimed for the taxable year following the year of such contribution.

 

(C) The tax credit may be claimed by a corporate taxpayer in an amount equal to the total contributions made to a scholarship granting organization for educational scholarships during the taxable year for which the credit is claimed up to 50 percent of the taxpayer's tax liability.

 

 

A. A scholarship foundation, as defined in § 58.1-439.25 and included on the list published annually by the Department in accordance with the provisions of § 58.1-439.27, shall disburse annually at least 90 percent of its tax-credit-derived funds for qualified educational expenses through scholarships to eligible students.

 

Section 4. {Responsibilities of Scholarship Granting Organizations}

...

(5) Ensure that at least 90 percent of their revenue from donations is spent on educational scholarships, and that all revenue from interest or investments is spent on educational scholarships;

E. Scholarship foundations shall develop procedures for disbursing scholarships in periodic payments throughout the school year to ensure scholarships are portable.

 

(9) Ensure that scholarships are portable during the school year and can be used at any qualifying school that accepts the eligible student according to a parent's wishes. If a student moves to a new qualifying school during a school year, the scholarship amount may be prorated.

 

C. Scholarship foundations shall ensure that eligible schools selected by scholarship students (i) are in compliance with the Commonwealth's and locality's health and safety laws and codes; (ii) hold a valid occupancy permit as required by the locality; (iii) comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; and (iv) comply with nonpublic school accreditation requirements as set forth in § 22.1-19 and administered by the Virginia Council for Private Education or maintain an assessment system that annually measures scholarship students' progress in reading and math using a national norm-referenced achievement test, including but not limited to the Stanford Achievement Test, California Achievement Test, and Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

 

 

(A) Each scholarship granting organization shall collect written verification from participating, private schools that accept its scholarship students that those schools:

 

(1) Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to private schools;

 

(2) Hold a valid occupancy permit if required by their municipality;

 

(3) Certify that they comply with the nondiscrimination policies set forth in 42 USC 1981; 13 and

 

(4) Conduct criminal background checks on employees and then:(a) exclude from employment any people not permitted by state law to work in a private school; and

 

(b) Exclude from employment any people that might reasonably pose a threat to the safety of students.

 

Virginia bills: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HB1965

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+sum+HB1164

 

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+sum+HB1843

 

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+ful+HB2314

 

 

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/b/b1/2D11-THE_GREAT_SCHOOLS_
TAX_CREDIT_PROGRAM_ACT_Exposed.pdf

 


HJ 193: Parental Rights Amendment

According to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC's model constitutional amendment "attempts to dress up the effort to privatize the American tradition of public education as a parental right, creating a political wedge issue while also elevating these privatization efforts to "constitutional" status, which can then be used as a weapon to strike down any statute that is purported to infringe on the rights granted by this vague amendment. The Virginia resolution memorializes Congress to pass a federal parental rights amendment.

  • Sponsors: Delegates Pogge, Anderson, Athey, Bell, Richard P., Carrico, Cleaveland, Cline, Cole, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Gear, Gilbert, Greason, Griffith, Hugo, Jones, Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Marshall, R.G., Massie, Miller, J.H., Morefield, Oder, Purkey, Putney, Sherwood, Stolle and Tata 
  • Status: Failed

 

Virginia's Parental Rights Amendment Resolution

ALEC's Parental Rights Amendment

 

 

WHEREAS, the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Virginia;

 

The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children shall not be infringed. The legislature shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this section.

Virginia's bill: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HJ193

ALEC's model legislation: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/e/e8/
2D5-Parental_Rights_Amendment_Exposed.pdf

 

 

ALEC 101

What is ALEC?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a conservative association, funded almost entirely by big business interests, that brings together some 300 corporate lobbyists and 2000 legislators to write model legislation that helps corporate bottom lines. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "The organization, with a staff of 30 and a $5.5 million yearly budget, teams lawmakers up with corporate interests to push decidedly pro-business bills through state legislatures. Any lawmaker who is a member of the group can simply log on to its Web site and find hundreds of bills to copy. They can shop for ideas on how to curb class-action lawsuits, help the telecommunications industry or toughen the criminal justice system." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/8/2005]

While ALEC claims to be nonpartisan the vast majority of its board members and state chairs belong to the Republican Party. Of the 23 members of the public sector board in 2011, 23 are Republicans. Of the 73 filled state chairmen seats, 71 are held by Republicans (one is Democrat and one is non-partisan). [American Legislative Exchange Council Board of Directors, State Chairmen] ALEC receives 98% of their funding from corporations. In the past 20 years, ALEC has donated $228.3 million to campaigns, $202.1 million to candidates, and an additional $85.8 million to Republican committees, totaling $516.2 million.

 

What does ALEC do?

ALEC provides legislators with a means to appear highly active in the legislative process by transferring their role in drafting legislation to corporate special interests.  ALEC addresses this issue directly in their membership brochure stating, "To date, ALEC has considered, written, and approved hundreds of model bills, resolutions and policy statements. Benefits of Membership: The ALEC policy staff provides research, policy analysis, scholarly articles, reference materials, legislative bill tracking, and expert testimony on a wide spectrum of issues. Through these publications ALEC serves as the 'state legislators' think tank.'" [ALEC Membership Application]

In 2009, 826 ALEC bills were introduced in statehouses, and 115 were enacted into law. According to ALEC's 2010 Legislative Scorecard, 826 pieces of ALEC legislation were introduced in statehouses around the country in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law. [American Legislative Exchange Council 2010 Legislative Scorecard]

 

ALEC's corporate influence

Corporations sit on all nine of ALEC's task force committees and even have their own governing board, which meets with their legislative board. Those corporations pay up to $25,000 a year for the privilege of access to ALEC's legislative members. Corporations also retain veto power over proposed ideas and bills that aren't to their liking, insuring ALEC's agenda is big business-friendly.

According to the Washington Spectator, "Among the corporations and trade groups that support ALEC are Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart Stores, AT&T Services, the American Bail Coalition, GlaxoSmithKline, and Reynolds American -- essentially the right side of the Business Roundtable." [Source: Washington Spectator]

ALEC's private sector (corporate) division is comprised of major corporations that pay a minimum of $5,000 per year just to have a seat at the table. Others pay up to $50,000 to sponsor events at ALEC meetings. Its legislator members pay only a nominal fee of $50 for a two-year membership. [American Legislative Exchange Council 2001 brochure, "Corporate Edition"; ALEC Membership Application, Viewed March, 2011; ALEC Private Sector Membership]