The LWV-VA Board has determined the legislative priorities for 2017. Any discussions with legislators should be based on the priorities outlined below.
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2017 Legislative Priorities
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
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
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
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.