Back to Top

2017 Legislative Session Update - Week 6

To view the full weekly update, click here!


Dear Friends,

We are approaching our final week of session, and it has been quite a whirlwind. We've heard thousands of bills, and have received almost a thousand visitors from the district and around the state.

In case you missed it,  click this link to view my  VCTA- Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association interview aired last month. I'm so thankful for the great work they do in helping members reach constituents and Virginians across the Commonwealth! Stay tuned for my follow-up interview soon. 

My bill SB 872 has passed both Houses and is headed to the Governor! A registered voter must present a valid photo ID when they vote, but current law excludes those who vote absentee.  This bill closes the current loophole and now requires that a voter must also present a valid photo ID when voting absentee but exempts overseas military, overseas voters, and those with disabilities. SB 872 would require that a copy of your I.D. is submitted along with your absentee ballot application.  Please note that you may still vote absentee in person at your local registrar's office during regular office hours and on the two Saturdays prior to a general election. This bill was generated to help address some of the concerns of our Registrars and maintain the integrity of the process. 

I am waiting for my bill SB 1449, called the Red Tape Reduction Act, which helps reduce bureaucracy in state agencies.  This bill is waiting to be heard in House Appropriations. It would require agencies to reduce 2 regulations for every regulation that is introduced.  After a threshold is met, one regulation would be eliminated for every regulation that is introduced.  We can all agree that there is too much red tape and bureaucracy in government.  SB 1449 addresses that. I am hopeful they will vote in favor of this commonsense legislation.

I'm pleased to say that   SB 1398 , which addresses the coal ash pond closures in Chesterfield and the Chesapeake Bay watershed, has passed both Houses. Currently, Chesterfield's coal ash ponds are sitting in a former channel of the James River in a one hundred year flood plain. The EPA has required Dominion to close all coal ash ponds by 2020. Their plan is to cap and seal these unlined ponds in place, which is acceptable under current law. I think we need to reconsider all options including excavating the coal ash and transporting to a lined facility in Amelia, which is currently accepting coal ash from North Carolina.  However, I first want to know the cost as this will be passed along to Dominion customers, which is a concern of mine.  This bill would require additional assessments be made prior to sealing and capping coal ash ponds in place to ensure environmental safety. I have been working hard on this issue since last session, often bringing together concerned constituents, environmental advocates and Dominion to the table together.  I'm very encouraged by the progress that has been made but we still have a way to go.

Del. Landes' bill HB 2191, pertaining to parental notification of sexually explicit materials used in the classroom, will be voted on in the Senate. This bill requires each school board to create procedures for handling controversial instructional materials, if they do not already have them. This would include procedures for notifying the parents of students when sexually explicit content is on the syllabus for the year, and provide alternatives for those who have objections to such content for their own child. HB 2191 defines "sexually explicit content" as content that involves any criminal sexual assault defined and punishable as a felony. This bill will be heard by the Senate Education and Health Committee. I'm also happy to say that Senate Education has passed Del. Landes' bill, HB 1401 , which prohibits public institutions of higher education from abridging the first amendment freedom of any individual, and HB 1605, Del. LaRock's Education Savings Account bill, which allows for innovation and a portion of the funding to follow the child.

I invite you to come to view the Senate proceedings in person, as individuals or with a group. If you let my office know ahead of time, I'd be happy to recognize you from the Senate floor. Please contact my office at or 804-698-7511 to make arrangements for your visit. 
I look forward to hearing from you in this final week of session.



Amanda Chase


To view the full weekly update, click here!

Powered by - Political Campaign Websites