Monday Must Dos

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7 mins read

Dear Friends,

We have passed Crossover in the General Assembly and we must be sure our voices continue to be heard. Please take all the actions below supporting Campaign Finance Reform, Education and the all important Climate and Clean Energy Legislations. Many of our target bills are up as early as today, Monday, 8:30am. Please act now!

Events and more actions tomorrow in the Tuesday Tidbits.

Onward warriors.

Stair

Campaign Finance Reform:

Let’s make sure that the 7 bills (4 in the House and 3 in the Senate) get passed through the other chamber.

Education:

Ask our Senators to not ruin a kid’s life over minor infractions Vote NO on HB4  We oppose this bill because it requires school principals to report to law enforcement misdemeanors committed by students instead of only felonies, as under the current law. We believe the school administration and parents should handle misbehavior by students. Also, existing law allows schools to discipline students who commit misdemeanors if all parties are willing. HB4 would only let this mediation happen under one condition—if the infraction is assault and battery without injury. If it passes, HB4 would send many students who are misbehaving due to immaturity into the courts. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services instead of being isolated, punished, pushed out, and saddled with a record. This bill would escalate the school to prison pipeline, a disturbing national trend where children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Ask our Senators to protect Governor School admissions reforms by voting NO on HB127 This bill has been referred to the Senate Education and Health committee. It directly challenges reforms made to a Governor’s school admissions policy and has implications for all schools in Virginia. If this bill passes, selection criteria for admissions that improved equity at one school would revert back to “traditional academic success factors” known to be biased against low-income families, and all Governor’s schools would be impacted. It is fiction that increasing access for underprivileged groups is discrimination against more advantaged students. Standardized tests are not ‘objective’ measures of merit and students’ talents and abilities are not fixed. This bill would serve to reinforce inequities, rather than work to eliminate them.

Ask our Senators to help Virginia attract and retain teachers by voting NO on HB9 This bill has been referred to the Senate Education and Health Committee. It would make recruiting and retaining teachers even harder by increasing the probationary term for every teacher before they could get a continuing contract and imparts additional restrictions on school boards from hiring teachers. It would make the dismissal of a teacher easier and would reduce a teacher’s rights during dismissal hearings by eliminating the three-member fact-finding panel.

Climate & Clean Energy:

Oppose HB118 – a Climate Change Denier’s Dream HB118 is a horrible bill which would gut nearly every critical provision of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), overturn our beneficial participation in RGGI, and radically slow Virginia’s transition into a clean economy. The House passed this bill along party lines and there is no room to spare in the Senate — we need to shore up opposition.Oppose HB1301 – Another Bill Repealing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

 HB1301 is yet another Republican attempt to repeal RGGI, the incredibly successful regional effort to reduce pollution while directly helping communities on the front lines.  Virginia’s participation not only reduces air pollution and improves public health, but in 2021 alone, it provided over $220 million in desperately needed funds to help thousands of low-wealth families reduce energy bills and climate impact, and localities deal with increasingly devastating floods.

Oppose HB892 – Don’t Let Wealthy Corporations Opt out of Paying for Clean Energy and Undercutting RGGThere is no justification for a unique ability to bypass RGGI, and HB 892 would create an unnecessary precedent. Virginians are already benefiting from $237 million toward flood resilience and energy efficiency efforts in the first year of RGGI-generated funds. RGGI is proven to bring economic, health and energy efficiency benefits to participating states. Allowing a power company – which has the ability to negotiate its own contracts – to have a special exemption from RGGI is a bad deal for Virginians. Please continue to support RGGI as it is working. The program is driving down emissions, improving public health, and bringing in critical funding to Virginians.

Oppose HB1326 – Stop Using Dirty Coal in Virginia  HB1326 would take Virginia backwards and make consumers pay for it by encouraging utilities to burn waste coal from mining waste dumps that litter coalfields (“GOB piles”). Better options are available, including $22 million per year coming to Virginia from the federal infrastructure bill, specifically aimed at clean-up and reclamation of abandoned mines.


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