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Your Help Needed to Pass Important Legislation, Today and Tomorrow!

posted Feb 8, 2011, 11:41 AM by Robert Bruce Alexander

Delegate Bob Marshall

To find out who your state delegate is, click here:  http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
Keep Land Use Planning Local:
HB 1721,
my bill to keep land use planning at the local level, and make now state mandated “Urban Development Areas” optional rather than mandatory, was reported out of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee by only one vote.  Here is the link to the vote: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+vot+H07V0077+HB1721
 
Please thank those who voted YEA in favor of HB 1721 and please ask your own state delegate to vote for HB 1721 which will be voted on by the full House of Delegates this coming Monday or Tuesday.  For more information about this issue, please click here:
http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=40617
 
Mortgage Reform Stalls after Big Bank Lobby:
HB 1506: My bill required recording in courthouses (400 year old tradition) of new assignments of home mortgages which have increasingly become securitized investments.  The private loan database set up by the big banks (MERS) is losing track of ownership.  HB 1506 also increased the notice of foreclosure from 14 days to 45 days (national average) to allow homeowners time to modify loans.   Compelling and un-contradicted testimony in favor of HB 1506 was heard, including from Virginians who lost homes despite being current in payments, and lawyers who spoke of abuses including four banks claiming full title to the same property.  Despite this, the Committee deferred action to the following week and then tabled HB 1506.
 
Even though the practices required by HB 1506 had been standard in the Mortgage Business before 1995 and still followed by community banks, Chairman Clay Athey feared unintended consequences from my bill. 
 
He read a letter at the Committee meeting from Governor McDonnell’s Foreclosure Task Force Chair, Terrie Suit, a former lobbyist for the Mortgage industry, who stated she had not been aware of my bill (it has been on the General Assembly’s website since introduction.)  Chairman Athey asked that my bill be tabled and sent it and other bills to the Governor’s Foreclosure Task Force for review. 
 
This action effectively killed HB 1506.  However, Governor McDonnell has the authority to introduce a mortgage reform bill during this session.  You can contact Gov. Bob McDonnell at:  http://www.governor.virginia.gov/aboutthegovernor/contactgovernor.cfm
 
By next session, an estimated 65,000 more families will be foreclosed upon, many under very questionable circumstances.  Here are the members of the #2 Civil Subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice Committee. No recorded vote was taken at the meeting:  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sub+H08002
 
Wrongful Death for Pre-born Children:
HB 1440, a bill which acknowledges that human life begins at conception and will allow tort actions for the wrongful death of preborn children, was reported out of the House Courts of Justice Committee this past Friday.  Here is a link to the vote.  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+vot+H08V0640+HB1440
 
Please thank those who voted YEA in favor of HB 1440, and please ask your own state delegate to vote for HB 1440 when it comes before the full House of Delegates for a vote this coming Monday or Tuesday!  
 
In 2004, the Assembly made feticide a Second Degree felony.  HB 1440 is the tort compliment to this crime and allows a parent to sue for the loss of a child before birth such as would happen in an auto accident.
 
If HB 1440 passes the House of Delegates, it will be assigned to a Senate Subcommittee.  We will keep you up to date on where the bill gets assigned. 
 
Virginia National Guard & “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
HB 2474:
  Despite excellent and moving testimony (http://vimeo.com/19609979) from a retired Brigadier General, several retired Colonels, and constitutional legal expert Herb Titus, in favor of maintaining the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for Virginia’s National Guard, HB 2474 was defeated by the House Rules Committee.   The lame duck Congress repealed DADT the Saturday before Christmas by tacking repeal onto a Small Business Technology bill, ending 232 years of military policy and 6000 years of religious and moral tradition.
 
According to a Pentagon working paper, a full 32% of Marine Combat Troops and 21% of Army Combat troops said they would leave service early if DADT were repealed. Every member of the House Rules Committee voted against this bill, except for Delegate Lacy Putney and Delegate Joe Johnson.  Please thank these two delegates for voting for HB2472.  Here is the link for members of the House Rules Committee:  http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+com+H20
 
Most delegates voted against HB 2474 because the Attorney General’s speculated that Congress might condition receipt of Guard funds upon compliance with the repeal of DADT.  However, Virginia already has different enlistment criteria from our federal Armed Forces and funds have not been cut, and since most Republicans opposed repeal of DADT it is unlikely they would force states to comply with repeal by cutting funding.  I had hoped Virginia would lead the way for other states, as we did on health care, to fight this repeal which would not have passed a month later when the new Congress was seated. 
 
My budget amendment to prohibit any state funds from being used to implement the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in our Virginia National Guard, which is under state authority according to US Constitution, when not in federal service, will be voted on by the full House of Delegates this coming week. Please ask your friends around the state to ask their delegates to support my BUDGET AMENDMENT to PROTECT DADT for the Virginia National Guard.
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