Killed bills and budget talks from the 2022 General Assembly
Angie Miles: As Virginia's General Assembly session winds down, VPM News legal reporter Whittney Evans brings us the latest update. Whittney, what legislation made waves this week?
Whittney Evans: Thanks, Angie. We're watching the budget, of course, as negotiations unfold this week and wrap up, but I want to turn the focus to some proposals that VPM's been following this year that failed this session. One is a proposal that Republicans in the House killed this week. It would've required state agencies in Virginia to first consult with Native American tribes before moving forward with any projects that would affect them. And advocates said, you know, this is a way to recognize their sovereignty. The bill got full support in the Senate, unanimous support, but didn't make it through a House committee. Also criminal justice bills. There were plenty of proposals introduced at the beginning of the session that didn't make it this far. Republicans introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty. One year after Democrats abolished the practice. Another bill sponsored by a Republican would give power back to police officers to stop drivers for relatively minor infractions like a busted taillight. And you can't talk about criminal justice issues without talking about marijuana. The legislature failed to pass a comprehensive marijuana reform package which included numerous criminal justice implications. Angie?
Miles: Whittney, you mentioned budget negotiations. You've been looking into some of the tax proposals. What can you tell us about those bills and how they might affect Virginians?
Evans: So lawmakers in the House and Senate want to get money back into the pockets of Virginia tax payers by way of rebates. And the House has a proposal that would provide for a $300 rebate for individual tax payers and a $600 rebate for married couples. The Senate has a more modest proposal, $250 rebate for individuals and a $500 rebate for married couples. Governor Glenn Youngkin supports the House version but he'll have a chance in the coming weeks to go back and amend whatever budget lawmakers get passed this week.
Miles: Thank you, Whittney. That's our Whittney Evans reporting.