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Alexandria’s state representatives rally around bill prohibiting abortion-related extradition

Last week was crossover in the Virginia General Assembly, the halfway point that marks when bills swap houses for votes, and Alexandria legislators have made some progress and had some setbacks.

In the State Senate, Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30), Richard Saslaw (D-35) and George Barker (D-39) were both sponsors on a bill that prohibits extradition for a person for violating another state’s reproductive health care laws unless those laws are also a criminal offense in Virginia. The bill has crossed over from the State Senate to the House of Delegates.

Another bill prohibits search warrants issued for menstrual health data.

Saslaw, Barker and Ebbin also both sponsored a bill that makes storing firearms at home in an area where they’re accessible to minors or people prohibited by law from possessing a firearm a Class 4 misdemeanor. Another bill prohibits some assault firearms and certain ammunition-feeding devices.

Other notable bills from Ebbin that have made it to crossover include:

  • Directing the Department of Medical Assistance Services to establish a state-funded health care program for Virginia residents under 19 and not covered by group health insurance coverage, who aren’t eligible for other medical assistance services because of their immigration status
  • Clarifying that a marriage between two parties is lawful regardless of the sex of those parties

On the House of Delegates side, Del. Charniele Herring (D-46) has made progress on several bills, including several related to criminal justice issues.

Herring’s House Bill 2400 repeals statutes providing for the dissemination of criminal history records related to the possession of marijuana, among a host of changes to the expungement and sealing of records.

Others, like House Bill 1996, aim to make summons easier to understand for unlawful detainer and civil claims for eviction. According to the bill:

The bill further requires that such instructions (i) be printed in no less than 14 point type; (ii) be understandable to persons whose literacy level matches the Virginia literacy level for fourth grade; (iii) explain that failure to appear in court on the hearing date may result in eviction from the defendant’s household; and (iv) provide the statewide Legal Aid and Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot program websites and, if applicable, telephone numbers, directing defendants to contact those programs for more information and assistance.

Meanwhile, Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (D-45) has a slew of bills that have made it through crossover and one that, while it died in subcommittee, lives again in a companion Senate bill.

House Bill 2445 renews a food donation tax credit that allows anyone engaged in farming to donate food crops or wholesome food to a nonprofit food bank and claim a tax credit for up to 50% of the fair market value of the donation. Another, House Bill 2371, removes the $10,000 surety bond currently required to serve on the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission. Both of those made it to crossover.

One of Bennett-Parker’s bills, HB200, would increase flexibility for advisory bodies comprised of volunteers and allow them to hold virtual meetings above the current 25% limit. When the bill died in a House subcommittee, Senator Dave Marsden picked it up for a companion bill that increased the number of virtual meetings those volunteer bodies could have but still capped at 50% of the total number of meetings.

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