The 2018 Legislative Priorities for LWV-VA have been approved. Please remember that only the President or his/her designee may speak on behalf of LWV-VA. When you are contacting elected officials, you are doing so as a private citizen, not as a representative of LWV-VA. 

2018 Legislative Priorities 

2018 Legislative Priorities LWV-VA

Elections and Voting (LWV-VA Election Laws position)

The League of Women Voters of Virginia believes that democratic government depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens; that voting is a right and responsibility; and that election laws, regulations and administrative procedures should be uniformly designed and applied, and adequately funded to facilitate and increase voter participation throughout Virginia. Specifically, the League supports measures to ensure the availability of voter registration and to encourage and facilitate increased voter participation in elections, including: absentee voting by mail and in- person without a reason; an adequate number of voting machines and trained election officers; the use of satellite voting; split shifts for election officers when needed; and measures that take advantage of technological advances such as online voter registration and the use of electronic poll books. The League also supports the shared funding of statewide registration and voting systems by the localities and the Commonwealth; providing adequate authority and resources to the Department of Elections (ELECT) and the State Board of Elections (SBE) for oversight and enforcement of laws and standards for registration and elections uniformly throughout the Commonwealth; and the use of secure electronic means to facilitate voter registration and absentee voting for Virginia’s military and overseas voters. (2011, 2015) “

  • Power to the Voter: Voting Enhancement, Expansion and Modernization.

    • Support “No Excuse Absentee Voting”.
    • Support Automatic Voter Registration with DMV transactions (AVR with opt-out provision).
    • Support of additional eligible and valid Photo IDs.
    • Support additional hours and days for absentee in-person voting
    • Support a shorter interval between the registration deadline and election day
  • Protect the Vote (LWV-VA Election Laws position)

    • Oppose Photo ID requirement for absentee ballot application.
    • Oppose adding Photo IDs to electronic pollbooks.
    • Assure the use of only secure, reliable equipment for voting.
  • Voter Registration and Protection (LWV-VA Election Laws, LWVUS Voting Rights)

    • Assure proper list maintenance to prevent the erroneous removal of voters from rolls.
    • Streamline the DMV/DOE transfer of online voter registration data.
    • Oppose requiring proof of U.S. Citizenship for Voter registration.
    • Expand online access for registration at public agencies (NVRA “Motor Voter”)
    • Oppose voter registration by party affiliation
  • Election Administration (LWV-VA Election Laws): Support funding to assure superior election administration including:

    • Secure, reliable equipment
    • Adequate election official personnel and consistent training statewide.
    • Thorough analysis and certification process of election results
    • Significant training materials and education for operating equipment.
    • Extensive Public education in case of new voting laws and processes
    • Restore Voting Rights of Felons (LWV-VA Restoration of Civil Rights of Felons)
    • Support increased eligibility, convenience, public awareness, and an expedited restoration process.
    • Support automatic restoration of voting rights
    • Support increased funding for personnel to process restoration
Redistricting (LWV-VA Reapportionment & Redistricting, LWVUS Redistricting)

LWV-VA: “Support for the establishment, in law, of a politically balanced and independent Reapportionment Commission for each decennial redistricting to prepare, with the Virginia Department of Legislative Services, a plan for submission to the legislature as specified by the Virginia Constitution. The Commission should be bi-partisan and be composed of individuals who are not elected officials; they should represent the geographical distribution and demographic diversity of the state, and consist of an uneven number of members. In addition to the Virginia constitutional requirement of equal population, contiguous and compact districts and the need for protecting the voting strength of minority groups, the League supports the following considerations in redistricting:

  • Natural geographic boundaries;
  • Jurisdictional boundaries;
  • Communities of interest; andCompetitiveness The Virginia constitution should be amended to provide that redistricting will occur on a decennial basis only. (1985, 2007)
  • Support reform for fair redistricting and fair elections
  • Support a bipartisan process to include significant public participation.
Women’s Issues: Women: Rights, equality and safety (LWVUS Reproductive Choices, Equality of Opportunity)
  • Support Women’s Reproductive Rights
  • Oppose defunding of women’s health clinics such as those funded by Planned Parenthood
  • Support ratification of the ERA
  • Support legislation that advances compliance with the ERA and its goals.
  • Support gender equality in housing, pay, employment and benefits.
Education Funding (LWV-VA Social Policy: Education)

Support for state funding for public schools that insures a high quality education with equal educational opportunities for all children, including:

  • Full funding for the Standards of Quality and state mandates;
  • Increasing the state’s share of education costs;
  • Funding for half-day pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk children, and full-day kindergarten programs;
  • Funding some portion of capital costs; and
  • Improving the funding formula for determining local ability to pay, using it as a basis for distribution of state education funds. (1993)

Support a challenging curriculum, high expectations of students and teachers in mastering that curriculum, and appropriate assessments of student achievement for a quality education in the public school system K-12.

Essential curriculum elements include:

  • Core disciplines (English, Math, Science, History and Social Studies);
  • Art, Music, Physical Education, Health, and Foreign Languages;
  • • Analytical skills;
  • Integrated technology; strong remedial programs;
  • Programs for at-risk, gifted and special needs students;
  • Education for students with limited English proficiency, in which emphasis is placed on teaching English; and
  • Career and technical education.

 

Support professional education for principals and teachers and on-going staff development; class size appropriate to instructional goals; a safe environment for students and staff; and discipline, preventative programs and a consistently enforced, well-defined system of rules; guidance counseling for academics and support services; and parental and community support and involvement. Support opportunities to select a specific program or school. These opportunities should be based on a system of equity so that all qualified students have equal access. (2003)

Elements of a quality education also include: school- based teamwork, goal setting and decision-making, application of learning to life experiences, and incentives, recognition, and awards for both students and teachers (1999)

Health Care and Behavioral Health
  • Health Care (LWVUS Health Care, Funding of Entitlements, Meeting Basic Human Needs)
    • Support expansion of Medicaid
  • Behavioral Health (LWV-VA Social Policy: Mental Health) Mental Health Support for a comprehensive state public mental health care system of quality, statewide and community based services that meets the mental health needs of all Virginians, including:
    • Long-range planning, coordination among agencies, and the use of established criteria for allocation of funds.
    • Assistance in providing adequate and appropriate housing for the mentally ill.
    • Comprehensive and consistent service delivery in all local communities.
    • Advocacy programs that ensure patients’ rights at all levels. (1987, 1988, 1989)
    • In- and out- patient mental health and substance abuse programs oriented to the needs of juveniles. (LWV-VA Social Policy Juvenile Justice)
Transportation (LWV-VA Transportation

Support for regionally balanced transportation systems which efficiently and economically meet regional needs without adversely affecting planned growth or the environment.

  • Regional organizations that set policy for a multi- modal public transportation program, that plan, co-ordinate, and are the designated recipients of federal and state funds, that operate or contract for services, and that could have taxing power.
  • A mixture of public (federal, state, and local) and private funding for public transportation.
  • Increased local participation with some public funds utilized to encourage private support and the use of innovative financing methods, such as tax incentives to encourage private sector participation.
  • Provide a variety of incentives to increase the use of public transportation.(1996)
Campaign Finance Reform (LWVUS Money in Politics (see page 22 of Impact on Issues 2016-18))

Campaign finance regulation should

  • enhance political equality for all citizens
  • ensure transparency
  • protect representative democracy from distortion by big money, and
  • combat corruption and undue influence in government.
  • League believes that campaign spending must be restricted but not banned.
  • League supports public ënancing, full disclosure, abolishing SuperPACs and creating an effective enforcement agency.

Additional:Important but not in list of top priorities

To see full information go to the 2017 Positions of LWV-VA http://lwv-va.org/action-advocacy/lwv-va-positioned-for-action/

These are some of the issues which LWV-VA will work with coalition partners rather than take the lead.

Public Safety
  • Support firearm safety measures: (LWVUS Gun Control & LWV-VA Firearm Safety).
    • Prohibition of possession of firearms by those subject to a protective order.
    • Requirement for background checks for all firearm purchases and transfers.
    • Education on safe gun-handling and storage measures, especially for children.
  • Support measures against sex trafficking and human trafficking (LWVUS Human Trafficking)
Criminal Justice (LWV-VA Adult Justice, Mental Health, Offender Re-Entry) Support:
  • Ban the Box regulations to reduce barriers to employment for persons with criminal records.
  • Raising the felony larceny level from $200 to $500 or higher.
  • Increasing local supportive and alternative programs for arrestees awaiting trial or sentencing.
  • Significantly increasing funds for mental health programs in jails and prisons
  • Robust re-entry programs
Environment Protection (LWV-VA Natural Resources*, LWVUS Natural Resources)
  • Support appropriate regulations for the process of “Fracking”*(Position adopted April 2017)
  • Oppose repeal of Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining
  • Support measures to protect air, water and natural resources
  • Support resiliency measures for controlling recurrent flooding
Amending the U.S. Constitution: (LWVUS Constitutional Amendment Proposals, Constitutional Convention)
  • Oppose requests to U.S. Congress to order a Convention to amend the U. S. Constitution

Open, transparent Government (LWVUS Citizen’s Right to Know/Citizen Participation)
  • Support measures to expand transparency at the General Assembly
  • Increase the public’s ability to know actions and choices made by their legislators.
  • Support a requirement that all votes on all bills shall be recorded, including in subcommittees
  • Support prompt notices of meetings and agenda
  • Support consideration of all bills introduced.


2017 Legislative Priorities

League of Women Voters of Virginia
POSITIONED FOR ACTION 2017

Educate, Advocate, Impact

The Virginia General Assembly convenes January 11th to process hundreds and hundreds of legislative proposals during the 45 day session. The League of Women Voters of Virginia is dedicated to analyzing these proposals and then advocating in support or opposition when they are germane to our Positions. Setting priorities for action is necessary because of the vast number of proposals.

I. Voting Rights and Voter Protection. A. Power to the Voter: Voting Enhancement, Expansion and Modernization.

Support “No Excuse Absentee Voting”.
Support Automatic Voter Registration with DMV transactions (AVR with opt-out provision).
Support of additional eligible and valid Photo IDs.
Support additional hours and days for absentee in-person voting
Support a shorter interval between the registration deadline and election day

B. Protect the Vote

Oppose Photo ID requirement for absentee ballot application
Oppose adding Photo IDs to electronic pollbooks.
Assure the use of only secure, reliable equipment for voting

C. Voter Registration and Protection

Assure proper list maintenance to prevent the erroneous removal of voters from rolls.
Streamline the DMV/DOE transfer of online voter registration data.
Oppose requiring proof of U.S. Citizenship for Voter registration
Expand online access for registration at public agencies (NVRA “Motor Voter”)
Oppose voter registration by party affiliation

D. Election Administration

Support funding to assure superior election administration including:
Secure, reliable equipment
Adequate election official personnel and consistent training statewide.
Thorough analysis and certification process of election results.
Significant training materials and education for operating equipment.
Extensive Public education in case of new voting laws and processes

II. Public Safety

A. Support firearm safety measures:
Prohibition of possession of firearms by those subject to a protective order
Requirement for background checks for all firearm purchases and transfers.
Education on safe gun-handling and storage measures, especially for children
B. Support measures against sex trafficking and human trafficking

III. Criminal Justice

Support:
Ban the Box regulations to reduce barriers to employment for persons with criminal records.
Raising the felony larceny level from $200 to $500 or higher.
Increasing local supportive and alternative programs for arrestees awaiting trial or sentencing.
Significantly increasing funds for mental health programs in jails and prisons
Robust re-entry programs

IV. Restore Voting Rights of Felons

Support increased eligibility, convenience, public awareness, and an expedited restoration process.
Support automatic restoration of voting rights
Support increased funding for personnel to process restoration

V. Redistricting

Support reform for fair redistricting and fair elections
Support a bipartisan process to include significant public participation.

VI. Environment Protection

Support appropriate regulations for the process of “Fracking”.
Oppose repeal of Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining
Support measures to protect air, water and natural resources
Support resiliency measures for controlling recurrent flooding

VII. Women: Rights, equality and safety

Support Women’s Reproductive Rights
Oppose defunding of women’s health clinics such as those funded by Planned Parenthood
Support ratification of the ERA
Support legislation that advances compliance with the ERA and its goals.
Support gender equality in housing, pay, employment and benefits.

VIII. Amending the U.S. Constitution:

Oppose requests to U.S. Congress to order a Convention to amend the U. S. Constitution

IX. Health Care

Support expansion of Medicaid

X. Education

Support measures and programs to reduce school suspensions

XI. Open, transparent Government

Support measures to expand transparency at the General Assembly
Increase the public’s ability to know actions and choices made by their legislators.
Support a requirement that all votes on all bills shall be recorded, including in subcommittees Support prompt notices of meetings and agenda
Support consideration of all bills introduced.

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