What’s going on in the Virginia General Assembly?
Attendees of a Woodbridge town hall received updates from local representatives.
Virginia Senators Scott Surovell and Jeremy McPike discussed the legislative session that started on January 8 and answered questions.
Below, is a video of the town hall, which occurred at the Ferlazzo Building on Saturday:
Here is the transcription that was completed with 80 percent accuracy:
McPike: Good morning, morning or would like to get started since we’re a few past nine 30. I appreciate everyone coming out with the sliding inclement weather. But, uh, I’m Jeremy McPike, a state Senator from the 29th district. Uh, this is in the 29th by, uh, like a half a block, affordable lock depending on which way to go. Uh, stretching out through Dale city. Um, and going to ask this a massive park. Um, we’ve been, we just started this legislative session a week ago Wednesday, so I’m not sure what the latest bill count is. We’ve got, I don’t know, well over 4,000, I think between both chambers. Um, so there was a lot of readings, so if you see me blurry, I’d still, and uh, reading more of my mini, my reading lasts a little bit more often. Uh, you know why? Um, you know, the process, especially when we get started, there are lots of bills.
McPike: We don’t necessarily have a chance to read all thousands of bills in the first couple of weeks. So if you see something that you think is out of place and you know, we’re fine with sending it as an email, we flag it or staff buys it, we put notes in bills of different concerns that we receive. Um, so that’s always helpful feedback. This region is externally helpful because we have experts in almost every field, uh, because of its proximity to DC, um, and folks from all over the world. And so we do find it extraordinarily helpful as we get into the website of the process. So before we get into more details, I’ll let Senator Surovell say good morning and intro.
Surovell: Great. Hi, my name is Scott Surovell. I’m the state Senator for the 36th Senate district. I live in Mount of the Mount Vernon area. The 36th district starts kind of hard to describe it sort of near at Franconia road. Springfield mall Woodrow Wilson bridge comes down through Fairfax, Lorton area, goes up old bridge road, renaka Kwan up towards the chin library and wraps around Potomac mills all the way down through here on the other side of route one. Then back up to 34 old whip to close through the Prince William landfill. So I represent all Fort Belvoir, the Quantico Marine Corps base, Prince William forest park, and then about 15,000 people in North Stafford include the whitewater peninsula. Now Garrison go road out at six 10 to the West. Um, this will be my 11th session in the general assembly was elected first in 2009 certain house of delegates for six years. Jeremy and I just both got a reluctance to our second term in the state Senate.
Surovell: Uh, also, uh, both of us just got elected vice chairs of the caucus, uh, in leadership positions. Um, a couple of other letters. One other update for me is we all got brand new committees after we moved into the majority. Uh, I was dropped off of local government and off of the general laws and technology committee moved on to commerce and labor courts, transportation privileges and elections. And I still serve on the rehabilitation and social committee was Jeremy also serves on. But uh, in the 11 sessions I’ve served, we’d never had 4,000 bills. We usually see about 3000 which most people still think is a lot for a 60 day session, we have to actually act on every single bill in our chamber by crossover, which is a February 11 yet. Yeah, February 11 ish, mid February. And then after that we work on all the bills that come over from the, from the house of delegates.
Surovell: So, uh, we’ve already started working on a lot of bills and then you’d probably push probably about two or 300, 400 bills out of committee in the first 10 days. It’ll, the pace will start picking up really fast here in the next, next few weeks. But uh, we both have pretty substantial legislative agendas. You should have received mine when you walked in. I think Senator McPike has his, we’re talking about what we’re going to do and also a little bit about some of the broader atmospherics going on within the legislature. There’s some sort of big policy issues going on that we’re going to have to vote on, debate on, have input in. It’s every want to talk about including our $100 billion state budget. So this is also where the budget is. The long year. We do a two year budget in Virginia. And the reason we have a 60 day session is because we do the two year budget and the long session and then we come back next year. We just make little tweaks to a good 45 day session. So, um, [inaudible]
McPike: sure. I’m also at my committees. I should have, uh, also I’m uh, serving on rehabilitation and substance services, uh, local government. Uh, I also have, uh, added, uh, I guess general I in technology I was on previously with, with Senator servo, uh, added transportation as well as rules committee. Um, so we’ve, you know, the five committees, both of us are also going to be quite busy trying to hear all those committee bills and present our own bills. Um, we sort of get in that space time of university of trying to present and serve in committees. Uh, so it gets very interesting. Uh, during session, um, I’ll do a broad overview real quick since it is the, the, the budget year the governor proposed his budget, uh, listing out some, I think pretty important, uh, investments. Uh, first off in education, um, re mentioning re benchmarking, stair quality for education.
McPike: Uh, there’s also some significant investment in pre K, uh, both in innovation and expanding, um, access, uh, which has been something that we’ve been working on for a number of years. So it’s good to see for our K through 12, one of the, I think big investments is our school counselors. Over the last couple of years we started to make progress towards a ratio of one to two 50 to our kids. As you know, um, kids are, have a framework that need additional support and frankly the school counselor is not only important for the wellbeing, mental health, but also the, the longterm career goals. Um, and a national standard of one to two 50. We’ve been one to 400 has been our pass ratios. I mean, as you think if you’re the school counselor trying to achieve and actually give us some support and understanding where the kids at a one to 400 is kind of a pretty significant stretch.
McPike: So we’re making some progress at least in the proposed budget at this point. Uh, and we’re hoping that that continues. Another, uh, major initiative with the governors, uh, program is for access to community college. Uh, the G three program where those kids who frankly probably would never even thought about going to college but have the skills to, to get some skills, have now access as you qualify for a federal Pell grant is a program that the governor is proposing that would give, um, for targeted programs within our community colleges access to that free college. Um, and that’s, you know, that’s been a big miss on our, and our workforce and workforce development is having bright kids in school but just don’t have or think they have the financial wherewithal to get that next step, the next credential and certification. So obviously it’s a, we have a lot of budget elements to go through and negotiations.
McPike: Um, but there’s a significant progress in that regards, um, on transportation. The still a couple of them moving targets, pardon the pun on that. Um, but you know, I think this year’s announcement, one of the keys for this area was the long bridge project. If
anybody rides VRE on the Fredericksburg line or Manassas line knows that we are bottleneck, all those trade lines bottleneck right as they cross into DC and we can’t improve the number of trips, reverse commutes back here until we deal with the long Ridge. So it’s a well over a billion dollars, man. I would believe this figure is probably 1.41 point $5 billion. But does a deal there with CSX and partnership with others at the beginning to really move that project forward. So that’ll be a significant impact to increasing. I think we’re limited to 22 train trips a day on the lines. So that’s not very many.
McPike: When you look at the number of cars that are on the road and we all know that we can’t have more car or lanes year after year, we’ve got to start to increase, increase our rail capacity. So for our region, that’s one of the most significant transit transportation investments in probably a decade, if not two decades in terms of the real throughput and capacity for our region. So the early environmental assessments we’re working through, um, there’s lots more to go. It’s going to take several years. Obviously if you can imagine adding lane miles, there are a number of other detail that uh, things going on in the budget. But those are some really macro highlights we have. We are still both in Senate finance and appropriations and house appropriations need to go through all the details and all the priorities. But those are some, some sort of macro issues that
Surovell: are happening with budget. So yeah, I would say with the budget, the governor’s pre-K is investments are historic. Virginia does not have a huge subsidized prepay program. We have a lot of children in Prince William County that don’t get any pre K and that’s real. It’s a real shame because you don’t show up for kindergarten knowing how to sit in a circle, raise your hand to speak, use a pencil, you start off a year or two behind a lot of other children and you never catch up. And so you’ll see that program pay longterm dividends. Once we kicked that off, uh, the, uh, he’s also, uh, the governor also is making some big investments in George Mason, which is big for Prince William County, uh, catch it up with some of the other higher education institutions like uh, UVA Virginia tech in terms of level of state support, uh, with regard to the transportation, the governor’s proposal, 8 cent gas tax increase when we raise taxes back in 2013 when I was in the legislature, I argued at the time that the amount of money we were creating only funded about 25% of what everybody knew our need was.
Surovell: Everybody said we solved the problem, but it was clear it wasn’t nearly enough. That’s why we still have been able to fund things like the one 23 interchange in Prince William County. The complete, complete the widening of route one. That’s why we had to get trans urban to pay for the fixing the [inaudible] bottleneck. It’s why it took us five years longer than it should have to fund the long bridge project you just heard from Jeremy about, I mean, we still don’t have enough money in our transportation system and we still won’t, even with this 8 cent tax increase, which will cost you maybe about five or 10 bucks a year. Uh, most people pay about a hundred dollars a year, a gasoline taxes between gas taxes and car registration fees. You pay about a hundred dollars a year towards, uh, towards a transportation to drive an electric car. Like many paid, unless you’re, one of the other things that the governor going to do is equalize car registration fees based on gas efficiency.
Surovell: So if you drive a hyper fuel efficient car like I do, you’re going to pay more on your registration fee. If you pay for the gas guzzler, you’ll pay less because that everybody’s contributing towards the road system. We’re fairly, because cars are getting more and more efficient. Cause that’s another proposal he’s made to help balance the funding and our, our transportation system. Uh, but uh, let’s see. Also on the budget, there’s some other things that I’m working on. I have a list of budget amendments that I’ve listed on the back of my, on the back of, uh, the very end of my legislative agenda. The number one thing that I’m trying to do and Senator McPike has supported me along with Senator Barker is a fund, a study for the feasibility of the extension of the blue line. That’s probably a 10 to 20 year process, but we have to figure out how feasible it is.
Surovell: And if so, where it’s gonna run a, obviously can’t run right down the train tracks because we already have VRE there and what’s coming on VRE, it’s going to massively expand very capacity. We’re going to have weekend train service on theory. We’re gonna buy directional service on very during the day. You can’t do that right now. We’re going to have high speed rail. We’re going to have a rail system, the train that runs all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina, and it only stops in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, and DC. Uh, so we have some massive increases in rail service coming. It’s going to be a big boom to this whole corridor up and down these coasts. Um, I’ve also got in a budget amendment to fund phase two and three construction of whitewater state park. You know, we have Lisa veiny right over here and they have to shut it down on weekends because it gets completely filled up and overcrowded.
Surovell: And a whitewater state park is the newest park in our state park system. It’s the only public water access in Stafford County. And, uh, we need to build out some more cabins. We need to build out a motor motor boat launch there. Right now there’s a canoe launch, but there’s not a launch for powerboats and we need to build up more facilities there. It’s actually already getting very busy down there. Whitewater, uh, and I’ve also put in budget amendments for, uh, what else do I got? Uh, uh, it’s about, I mean I got a lot of budget amendments, have a whole bunch of budget amendments, but um, not many of them are specific to Prince William County, but those, with those, and um, you heard Jeremy talk about transportation also and that’s the long bridge things use the [inaudible] bottleneck on I 95 is a big deal. We just had the first public hearing on that.
Surovell: Just a couple of tweaks that I think most of us would like to see made right now. The way they’ve designed the road, it’s still goes down to three lanes and back to four. For some reason we’d like to stay four all the way down to the Prince William Parkway so it doesn’t bottleneck. Uh, and you’re going to see construction on that happen within probably the next two years because of the way it was funded. We funded it. The traditional method, it would have taken seven years, but because the governor slipped it in the trans urban FedEx extension deal, you’re going to see it happen to. So, uh, we still also have to fix the northbound 95. That’s not addressed by this. It’s only southbound. It’s fixed, but not in northbound. The northbound and southbound is much worse than northbound, northbound still a problem. So, uh, we’ve also got $40 million coming into Dumfries for the widening to start the planning and the right away acquisition for route one, winding through Tom freeze. I think you’ll see the remainder of that funded probably in the next round of, uh, the, the MVTA Northern Virginia transportation authority probably next year. But there’s, there’s finally some money flowing in Eastern Prince William County when it comes to transportation, which I’m excited about. So if you want to talk about your, some of your bills. Yeah, some of the big bills.
McPike: I’ll jump into it and then I’ll just add to that. Um, you know, Prince William, we do have some, you know, like George Barker on San finance, but obviously Luke Torian serving as appropriation chairman in the house, which is a Cerner, the key position is extremely helpful for prison County. Uh, having the chairman that helps to guide the money discussion, uh, is this huge advantage and uh, we’re happy to have him. Uh, now that we have some, some shift in the leadership. So a couple things I’m working on this year. Um, more specifically, um, um, continuing some of the work I did over the last couple of years on uh, natural gas pipeline safety as your mind. Remember a couple of years ago we had a home explode, um, of Roffman Montgomery Avenue and uh, you know, I tried to get the investigative report from the state corporation commission couldn’t get the report so unfortunately had that final legislation and passed the bill.
McPike: Cause I think if you have an event like that that you want some transparency as consensus. And even as a state Senator, I couldn’t get that information cause they settled the case that they closed the file and sent it off. So we passed legislation last year that now affords us access to information when we have that sort of a disaster occur and community. Uh, this year, uh, based on the national NTSB review of the Massachusetts, uh, home explosion inches incident with the natural gas. Uh, they also, uh, reviewed statewide Virginia is one of the States that excludes, uh, natural gas companies from using a professional engineer to stamp the drawings. So we’re, I’m removing that exemption this year. I’ve put a bill in to do that to make sure there’s additional [inaudible] engineering reviewing all of these drawings to increase our pipeline safety. The other thing is for lead water testing as you, some of you might remember in 2017, I’ve passed the first level water testing standard for our schools.
McPike: Since that time we’ve had literally thousands of reports that are elevated in terms of lead in water in schools. It’s not the water distribution system, it’s actually the pipe solder joints and fixtures within the schools that still contained small amounts of lead. So I’m expanding that to make sure our Virginia department of health has access to those reports and the information. Um, and I have a budget amendment in also to increase their funding to help with the testing process and remediation process. So we’ve barely just scratched the surface. Um, additionally, I’m in June, introduced the legislation again, it passed last year, but it was killed in the house on also requiring a lead water testing for child daycare facilities. Um, as you know, lead impacts of neuro neurological development of smaller kids more drastically than older adults. Uh, there’s actually no standard right now and I think as most parents, I’ve got three girls that they’re way out of, uh, of the, the childcare, uh, range now.
McPike: But I, you know, my assumption as apparent was that all those facilities were, were checked and cleaned and no problem. And that’s just not the case. Um, so we’re making some both budget amendments as well as, uh, legislation to help support that. Um, let’s see. I’m also working on a misclassification of employees. Um, you see a lot of this happen in the construction trades, unfortunately that classify workers, there’s 10 99, but they’re really employees under the federal laws. So you have a lot of comp companies, unfortunately, that undercut other good companies because they don’t have to pay the taxes. And what that means is all the other companies doing the business the right way, they’re paying the taxes and covering these other folks. And so there, there really is very little enforcement in Virginia on work, on the misclassification. Um, this bill would help them level the playing field, uh, and also push some fines and penalties for the bad actors.
McPike: I mean, it’s time that workers get paid when they shouldn’t be paid, uh, and not sort of shuffled off. You see, unfortunately a lot of some cash or they have cash or checks and in different places, uh, to create fuzzy paper trails. There’s all sorts of nefarious business that occurs. Uh, this actually helps them get some teeth in our enforcement, uh, in a framework to do that. Um, a couple of things I’ve been working on for years, um, is firefighter cancer presumption. Um, right now we have couple different issues within our code section [inaudible] ads, uh, brain cancer, colon cancer and testicular cancer. These are been shown my OSHA and others that like these are occupational directly linked. Um, there’s also a code section has been complicating firefighter claims for years. I’m striking that section of the code and cleaning it up. Uh, we just pass committee and as a send off the finance committee, uh, does last week.
McPike: So we’ve, we’re, uh, I think in pretty good shape. We’ve got a bipartisan support this year to do it. Uh, and we’ve been making some progress on hopeful up here. This has been my fifth year carrying it. I think this is the year we’ll finally get that legislation passed. So sometimes legislation takes a long haul and a long journey to get there. Does not just submit it and it gets passed. We’ve got to go through 140 members and get a majority of those to agree. And that’s really a part of the lives that have a sort of sausage. It does take a lot of time in some cases, but I’m excited about that. I’ve also introduced the first legislation to cover PTSD amongst first responders that was killed in finance committee. I’m bringing it back up again. Um, it’s, you know, it still has some fiscal impact and we’re working on a way to get there.
McPike: Uh, I think you see over communities more recognition. The impacts like Virginia Beach, uh, shootings, Virginia tech, other things have on first responders. And right now that toll is really taken on the worker as well as their family over time. Um, you know, all these folks I know as first responders, they want to stay in the workforce. Um, you know, a lot of these jobs is their second family. Uh, but unfortunately some folks do have significant impacts, uh, of what they have to deal with on the job. And we need to figure out a way to recognize that. And right now we don’t. Um, so I’ll, I’ll take a break. I’ve got a couple other things to talk about, but I also want to make sure we leave some time for questions. So Senator servo,
Surovell: yeah. So I’m gonna hit this really quickly, some of the big issues that are going on in the session, and I’ll highlight a couple of my bills. Um, first of all, uh, you’ve seen a lot in the papers about firearm violence prevention is a whole series of bills that are out there that were introduced. Uh, the one that got, I think the most attention was a ban on AR fifteens. Uh, that legislation was struck by the patron on the very first day of session. We’re not gonna see that bill this session. I don’t think you should expect to see it or see any more debate or discussion about that.
Surovell: Okay. Well, again, it didn’t get a pass. It didn’t pass. It didn’t get proposed. It’s not being proposed in the Senate and I don’t think it would pass the Senate if it came through. Um, there’s four other bills that are out there that we, um, that we, we three pass three of them earlier in the week, including one of my bills. And there’s another bill we’re gonna vote on next week. One is the reinstatement of Virginia is one gun a month low, which was on the books for 19 years from 1990. Um, you know what, Bob, you can talk at the end. I’ll let you ask questions. It’s don’t interrupt me. Okay. Okay. Well, Bob, you know what I’m going to tell him, I’m going to have my say what I’m going to say. You say a lot on Facebook. If you, everybody wants to go read Obama saying, read on Facebook, we’re going to have a simple meeting and you can ask the question at the end and then we’ll hear what you have to say. We’ll answer your question. Okay. Those are the rules. You got it. Okay. Bob, you got the rules? Bob, do you have the rules? Can you follow the rules?
Surovell: Okay, great. Bob. Now we have a boy had a law that was on the books in Virginia for 19 years. It was repealed in 2012. We, we’ve, uh, voted to put that rule back in place. The second bill that we, uh, passed is a universal background check. The original bill was introduced to apply to sales of guns, all sales and transfers in the Senate. We scoped it back and got rid of transfer. So it only applies to sales. That is if money trades hands in a gun transaction, that’s the only thing that applies to them. Does not apply to transfers. If you hand your gun to somebody while you’re hunting or if you hand your gun to somebody, a firing range that’s out out of the bill. The third bill we passed has to do with local authority. That was my legislation. We actually took about six members bills and wrapping them together into one.
Surovell: And we passed the Senate hasn’t passed the house yet and it’s signed by the governor. But the Senate passed legislation giving local governments the authority to prohibit guns and buildings like where you’re sitting right now. We gave local governments the authority to prohibit firearms in public parks, their loan on by local government in a permanent events. Things like crash shows. Uh, farmer’s markets were like protests, like what happened in Charlottesville. Uh, the bill also, the bill also repealed localities prohibition on suing gun manufacturers or dealers for violating state or federal law. And it also, um, said that if it locality does it gun back gun buyback program, they no longer have to resell those guns. They’re allowed to destroy them unless the owner wants the gun to be sold. Uh, those are the, and then the fourth law that’s still pending cause we had not passed.
Surovell: We’ll probably pass on Tuesday. Let’s go to red flag law. And that has to do with people who’ve made threats to kill lots of people or themselves right now. Um, if the protective order is entered, if a husband or wife alleges violence against the other, a judge can an order throwing you out of your house and you also have to surrender your weapons. That’s law today. Okay. So today if you threatened to harm your spouse or somebody in your household or another person, like somebody in this room, the government will enter an order kicking you out of your house. If you live in a household with somebody and you have to surrender your gun, that’s the law. Today, all we’re doing is saying that if you threatened to kill yourself or a lot of people, the government, the government can hold your gun instead of you giving it to a friend or a neighbor or putting it somewhere else out of your, out of your possession. That’s, and that, that law, we’re going to vote on Tuesday.
McPike: I think there’s some important provisions though. I think, well, right, right now it’s just the, if you just, so yeah, give us a second. We’ll talk about what the original bill is and what the posture is right now because there are a lot of things that get introduced that don’t have the appropriate mechanisms in place. That’s what the legislative process is, is about. Uh, we have actually, uh, prosecutors as well as defense attorneys in our caucus as a member of the Senate that are highly skilled attorneys, uh, that have belt dealt with prosecution cases as well as defense cases. And so the sentence very collegial. I mean, we’ve, we’ve, we talk about things we agree on and disagree on and work through the issues. The one thing that the substitute that’s on the floor has not been adopted yet, but we, we’ve drafted up with a whole host of folks. Um, we’ve given, uh, our Republican colleagues a couple more days to read to make sure that the provisions don’t violate the fourth amendment, don’t violate other, other issues because we don’t want illegal search and seizure. And so there’s a process to do that in terms of having the order issued based on an investigation that’s, that’s also in the bill. So if there’s a claim there has to be investigation, the next step is the approval of that. In other words, there’s a substantial enough information that the thread is credible or an issues going on with the individual. That persons then deliver court order. There’s a home saying turnover your weapons.
Surovell: No, no, no sale is introduced. That new building we’re voting on Tuesday doesn’t have that anymore. Okay.
Speaker 3: It makes sense. [inaudible]
Speaker 4: no, because it’s about the followup evaluation. Yeah. There’s still a followup process from that. Okay. Folks, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s get, let’s get through our Bell’s first. I’m going to make you talk about emergency risk orders.
Surovell: Talk about emergency risk orders at the end. Okay. And we can have a very focused discussion on if you like, but we’ve had lots of discussions in caucus about it, both Democrats and Republicans trying to work together on a bill that everybody can agree on or that at least gets a lot closer to bill. Everybody can agree on.
Speaker 4: Yeah. And so been so far, you know, universal background checks passed with bipartisan. But yeah, I mean we do things to identify and we take our colleagues comment seriously, have some smart people that involve, they care about all the comments received. So we work through the various issues together.
Surovell: Think we also have to deal with redistricting. The session. We have a constitutional amendment pending. There’s many other proposals that are out there. Virginia is, we’re voting on the authorization of casinos. Uh, there’s legislation pending to allow five casinos in Virginia. Uh, equal rights amendment was ratified, uh, about a week ago. We took the initial votes on it about a week ago. We still have to pass the bills through both chambers before that’s filed. We’ll probably do that in the next 10 days is my suspicion.
There’s a lot of bills pending on improving voter access, including uh, no excuse, absentee voting. Uh, we also have a whole series of bills on energy and the environment. So a whole bunch of those. So those are some really big sort of macro issues in terms of Senate bills. And I’m carrying again. You walked in, pick up the, uh, the legislative agenda that I have.
Surovell: I’m going to stop that. Senate bill one Oh six under the environment. I have a bill to ban fracking East of I 95. Uh, right now there’s about 40,000 acres and under lease for hydraulic back fracturing, um, underneath, underneath, if you go East side 95, everybody’s in the same aquifer. If you take your water out of a well, you all suck out at the same aquifer. It’s a drinking water source about 4 million people and these companies wanting to do fracturing, hydraulic fracturing, mining for natural gas right in the middle of it. And that would screw it up for everybody that would build a band that Senate bill six 29 is a bill to authorize what’s called community solar gardens. The idea behind that is that you can partner with your neighbors to build a patch of solar solar panels away from your property and then that the energy of those meters against your meters on your home if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of tree cover solar is not realistic for you.
Surovell: Or if you live in a condominium or an apartment, you can’t do it. You can’t do solar because right now under the under state law you can only net energy from a panel if it’s connected to your meter, but this would allow you to do so. Or if you live in one of those places where it’s solar doesn’t work. Um, next up on the next page, under a human rights and equity, I have legislation I’ve introduced to codify Roe V Wade in Griswold V Connecticut. I think with the latest addition to the Supreme court, the United States, uh, women’s reproductive rights and the rights to contraception are under threat and we need to get that on the books in Virginia in case federal law changes. There’s a case pending, which could change that. You go to the next page. I’ve introduced legislation, reinstate Virginia is the state tax.
Surovell: Virginia had an estate tax in 1925 until 2007. Uh, we repealed it in 2007. I’ve always thought that was wrong. The estate tax that I’ve proposed would only apply to you if your net worth is more than $23 million. It applies to about 80 families a year and it would generate about $40 million per year for taxpayers. It’s supported on both. We have a bills on both sides of the legislature to can take to put that through. Senate bill 72 and create a public defender’s office in Prince William County and Senator McPike is signed on to that along with every member of the Prince William delegation. Uh, that legislation passed the Senate judiciary committee last week. There’ll be on the floor for a vote. The governor included in his budget, fairly optimistic that will happen. There are 25 public defender’s offices in the state. Prince William County is the second largest jurisdiction. Virginia still doesn’t have one.
Surovell: And this would also cover Manassas, Manassas park by the way. And I’m optimistic that we’ll have, um, next, uh, between the next two pages of Senate bill four 49 I’ve introduced legislation repeal the death penalty. There are two people on death row in Virginia. We haven’t seen a death sentence rendered in Virginia, I think at least five years, maybe as many as eight years. Uh, repealing the death penalty would save us about three point $9 million a year we spend in the Capitol defender service. Uh, and uh, I personally, I just think it’s time we go there. The death penalty is not something that’s done in the Western world very much anymore. And I can get into that if anybody wants to go to, uh, the next page I have to, civil justice forms a whole series of things listed there. A lot of those are family law bills.
Surovell: I’ve introduced a family law is one of the areas of law that I practice. At the very end though, it’s like the note I’ve introduced legislation yesterday, authorized class action lawsuits in Virginia. Virginia is one of only two States in the entire United States of America where you cannot bring a class action lawsuit and that if you can’t bring a class action lawsuit that leaves it to corporations to be able to steal from people five bucks at a time with zero consequence. Cause nobody ever brings a lawsuit for $5 or $10 or $20 even $100. To me, it’s a remedy that we need to balance the playing field between consumers and corporations. 100 transportation, I have legislation, Senate bill 34 that would authorize temporary driving privileges. The undocumented immigrants who can show they’re paying their taxes, they can pass the driving test, uh, and meet the other, improve their Virginia resident.
Surovell: That legislation has been adopted in other States including DC and Maryland. Right now we have a lot of people to go to Maryland and they live out their address to get a permanent driving permit card. When I talked to the Latino community, it’s the number one issue in the immigrant community. My district is 23% Latino. I think Jeremy’s is one 80 to 25%. We have a lot of people who need to have that benefit. If they’re here, I think the state ought to kept encouraging to pay their taxes. Get auto, get auto insurance. You can ask them when we had two questions, you can ask a question. Um, and uh, I think it’s time for that Senate bill one 60 right under that would prohibit anybody driving a car, having a phone in your hand. Uh, that legislation passed the Senate last year, 36 or 30, 36 to four for the Senate courts chairman didn’t like it, boxed it up in a conference committee.
Surovell: It didn’t pass. But it’s widely supported legislation that adopted over 20 other States, 25 other States. The country, uh, accidents and deaths on the road are going up for the first time in 50 years. Over the last three years. I think a lot of it’s because everybody’s running around with a phone in their hand. Uh, and you go to the next page, uh, on, uh, under consumer protection. I’ve got three bills pending, reformed predatory lending right now, Virginia in Virginia. It’s debatable, but some people think it’s legal to make loans that over 400% interest rates. There are people doing that with these, uh, personal individual lines of credit. Some of them are doing it through Indian tribes and using travel sovereignty to drag Virginians into litigation or actually arbitration in Indian tribes and miss Michigan, Nevada or Nevada. Other States I’ve legislation that would prohibit that or help to stop that.
Surovell: There’s also an omnibus predator predatory lending bill being carried by our caucus chairman and chief co-sponsor up. Um, right now out on route one, you’ll see TitleMax Lomax, all those guys out there, they legally make loans under state law. Interest rates up to 267%. About 15,000 cars got repossessed in Virginia last year by those people, uh, over a hundred thousand people use those loans at triple digit interest rates. I think we need to reform that area to bring everybody to back down to 36%. Uh, like a lot of other States have done. Uh, Senate bill six 41 provide regulation for, uh, people who sell your data information about you. There are companies out there that gather your data about you, but your purchasing habits, your behavior, and then they sell it. A lot of times the data they sell is inaccurate and then that creates problems for you when you’re trying to buy something or maybe rent a property or you’re trying to get a job.
Surovell: Um, my bill would require anybody who keeps data on you and sells it to give you a copy of the data upon request. Right now, not everybody’s required to do that. It would also say that they can’t sell data about children. It would also say that if they don’t give you your data or if they keep an accurate data, you could Sue them for money. And right now you can do that for some people. But there’s a very large classification of data brokers where you can’t do it for it and this would bring them down on the next page. Um, go Virginia grants, uh, about three years ago, set up a program where the state gives out grants to new businesses. However, a lot of that money’s been going to places like Tyson’s and Restin. I would like to see it go to places that don’t have as many jobs like the route one corridor.
Surovell: We’re going to asses the fact we designated these things called opportunities zones where you can make investments and not pay them and not pay taxes if you, depending on how you got the money there. I would like to see zoning with my bill says that they have to spend a quarter of that money in those opportunities zones, which many of which are on route one in a monastic. Then, um, one of my budget memes I didn’t mention, I want to mention really quick, which is right there at the end is uh, the U S army museum. The governor’s budget included a $5 million grant, the United States army museum, the army museums. We located on Fort Belvoir. Uh, let’s say $120 million museum. Uh, it’s going to attract over 800,000 visitors a year. And I think between the us army museum and the Marine Corps museum and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, it’ll do a lot to generate a lot more tourism impact down here.
Surovell: Military tourism. People will come to see those two art. There’s two military museums in Mount Vernon and they will stay at Prince William or they’ll stay in Southern Fairfax County. And tourists are great because tourists come down here, you don’t have to pay for schools, you have to pay for the, these come down here and spend their money. And so we really need to get that arm a museum. It’s supposed to, we’re supposed to cut the ribbon in June, but there’s still about $30 million, 20 to $30 million short in their fundraising. This’ll will help fund that gap. And I was excited to governor funded that. We need to make sure we keep that in the budget. So that’s some of the things in my legislative agenda. Jeremy has anything else he wants to say and we start taking [inaudible].
McPike: So one of the big things that I think we’re going to make significant progress this year is on access to voting. Uh, and no excuse, absentee voting. I think that’s significantly important for our area. We have longer commute times than almost any place in the universe. It feels like. Um, and so opening up that access, you know, no excuses. You know, if you want to participate in democracy with the community, we have, you know, sign up, go and fill it for your period paperwork and cast your ballot. Um, I know there’s been a frustration for many, for years. Um, although the principal am, and when I asked this area, uh, absentee voting numbers have been increasing. I think there’s a lot more votes that we know that don’t participate and we want to remove those obstacles, uh, to casting a, casting a vote. Uh, also coming up is uh, redistricting and redistricting. Uh, we have a pending constitutional amendment to provide a framework around which, uh, drawing our boundaries as Senator servo is describing. His Senate district right side of his is across while two blocks beyond route one and North of here. Mine’s South of here, but only, you know, West of route one except for a couple of blocks. And then, you know, there are all these sort of lines, sort of squiggles, three communities.
Surovell: You have to have a vote to stay in my district.
McPike: Yeah, you can get a pub cuddle jump a couple of times for his district district. Um, but the reason why I allow the lines had been done is we have, we have computers that can draw hyper-partisan lines. We didn’t do it. We had nothing to do with the current lines, but the sophistication is out there. It wasn’t like a Jeff Jefferson’s and you know, Madison days where you had a map in a, in a sort of a pencil. You sort of drew lines around towns. You know, there’s like GIS, highly sophisticated, you know, picking out we would like her in this district and sort of, you know, weaving through districts. And so, you know, there’s, there’s gotta be a better framework that allows a more fair process. It was a constitutional amendment. We have to pass this year to get on the books. One of our big debates is going to be the criteria bill.
McPike: In other words, the criteria in which the rules of how that will be governed and operate. It gets fairly complicated because you have rules like continuous counties or cities all across Virginia. Think about historically counties were drawn based on a horse ride to the courthouse. Um, those don’t always represent the same communities of interest in terms of whether it be commuting patterns, uh, other different factors. Uh, so there’s all sorts of, uh, very important interest, minority communities, uh, economic, uh, communities. Uh, you know, you’ve got a district, I’ve got a district that have some very wealthy parts and some very before, uh, uh, disadvantaged parts or parts that are in a quarter mile apart or less. So sometimes it’s right across the street. Uh, and so there’s all sorts of ways to draw lines and it, it is not as simple process. There was lots of different ways all across the United States are done, but that’s going to be still a significant bait debate to come, uh, to hopefully set for this next census and redistricting process in 2021.
McPike: So we don’t, we don’t know what all the solution is yet. We’re still working through what that looks like, but those are some significant, um, other big issues that are going on. Again, all the next, we have like 50, 50 days left. So a lot of these are fairly significant issues as you can imagine. I just expand on a gaming and casinos. Um, I’m chairing the subcommittee in general laws that is, uh, taking all of what’s proposed right now. So there’s both casinos and five different locations. There’s online sports betting. There are the greatest what to do about the gray machines and the green machines or the new video video machines you see and restaurants and gas stations that have popped up all across Prince William. I sort of found a hole in the gap, you know, a little corner on the go gas station and have three or four machines now.
McPike: Um, you know, those are money, those are pay up machines, those are, but they’re not regulated. All those machines you see are not the windows, not tax, no guarantee on payout rates and there no independent verification on those machines. A lottery sales
are getting hit at the same time because of it. We lost what, sixty million seventy million right now. Um, in terms of revenue. So there’s all sorts of factors we’ve got to figure out. I appreciate any feedback. Uh, any thoughts on that? Uh, since I’ll be probably scheduling our first subcommittee next week to start to dissect all of the issues and what do we do about it? Do we create a regulatory framework? How do we address it? How do we do if casinos before, uh, how do we regulate it? And then online sports betting, um, a lot of States are introducing that based on the court decisions. And so lots of moving parts, again, so no lofty issues. It’s all easy riding in Richmond right now. Nothing to talk about or see. Um, but uh, we appreciate your feedback. So I think you opened it up to the questions. If that works. We’re about 40 yeah, 45 minutes. Then so here and then
Speaker 5: prepared some statements and I beg your indulgence to let me read it. Okay. John, I’m a volunteer for one Virginia 2021 working to enter a Mandarin in Virginia. I think we can all agree that the system we have been using to Dillin delineate voting districts. It’s not working to the advantage of the voters and needs to be changed. Last year’s passage of SB three Oh six an amendment to the constitution of Virginia to set up a map drawing commission independent of the legislature is a Testament to that understanding. Now we are at the point where that draft amendment needs to be passed one more time before I can go on the ballot for voters to decide and the waters have become decidedly choppier. Some have voiced concerns that this amendment is not the best way to get the desired reform. Let me tell you why I think it is.
Speaker 5: First, there is the idea that we don’t need an amendment reform can be achieved by statutory legislation. If we don’t amend the constitution, any commission set up by statute would only be advisory in nature. The legislature would not be bound to enact its rep recommendations as it would be for a commission set up through the constitution and we would revert to the status quo SI not working above. Also, any legislation can be repealed by subsequent legislatures whenever the majority changes hands. This raises the specter of mid decade redistricting possibly with every new election. Currently the constitution only says redistricting must happen in years ending with a one. It does not prohibit redistricting in years two through zero. Another objection to the amendment has been the provision that if the commission fails to produce maps that its members can agree on or that the general assembly will approve the matter moves to the Supreme court.
Speaker 5: Well guess where the maps go now, if one party passes maps, the other doesn’t like the minority sues the suit, works its way up the ladder of appeals and ends up in the Supreme court anyway. Additionally legislation has been introduced this year that would provide guidelines for the court requiring it to appoint a special master to draw the maps and to follow standards and criteria established by the general assembly. Those standards and criteria are contained in another bill introduced this year and outlines the makeup of the commission and how its members would be selected, stressing the need for racial, ethnic, geographic and gender diversity. It provides for public participation in the whole endeavor with public hearings and easy access to information about the process. It would also require the maps to be drawn to give Rachel racial and language minorities and equal opportunity to participate and prohibit maps that would favor or disfavor any political party, incumbent legislator or a member of Congress or other individual or entity.
Speaker 5: These measures are awaiting your consideration. You all have got a copy of my remarks and the numbers are in there. I’m not going to for the people with, um, I urge you to support all of them. I’ve attached a couple of information pieces that I hope will clarify the issue for you. Gentlemen, we all want the best reform. We can get this amendment and it’s accompanying. Enabling legislation is the way to do it. And the time to do it is now. The people of Virginia really want this. Please give them a chance to vote for it in November. Thank you for your time.
Speaker 4: I think we’ve responded a little bit. You can respond to, we’ve, I’ve been working on this issue as the normal junior chair back in was 10 years ago when the one Virginia 2021, uh, was formed. Uh, it’s been a long road. We’re very close. We’re trying to get the rest of the folks on board with something that everyone can agree on. It’s not easy to,
Surovell: yeah. And Lucia, I appreciate you came to see me, I think in Richmond about this and we’ve talked about a couple of times. I don’t like the current amendment. I told you that, um, I voted for last year because it was the only thing we had in town. It was given to us. We had very little time to actually look at it when it came out. It came at the last day or two of session. Um, what I don’t like about it is it does not have the criteria that the commission is required to follow in the constitutional amendment. So the criteria is passed by the legislature. And while this legislature might adopt one criteria, if the legislature flips another legislature, come in and adopt criteria, it likes and direct the commission to gerrymander a different way. And so I just feel like we’re transmitting the gerrymandering from one body to another body.
Surovell: It’s still subject to our control. And I would like to see the criteria actually in the amendment and meet the criteria. I think a lot of this stuff can be done by computer today. There are people that have developed formulas. Did that can mathematically determine compactness or kind of guity or mathematically determined, um, to minimize the amount of votes to get wasted? Right now if you over gerrymander a district, a lot of people’s boats get wasted because they compact a lot of Democrats into some districts and a lot of Republicans and others. There’s a lot of people whose votes and a big wasted because they’re Republicans and democratic districts or Democrats are in Republican districts and they go ahead and up over voting in places and so there’s formulas we can do with computers can just figure all this stuff out and take people out of the mix.
Surovell: I don’t think you can take people completely out of the mix because it’s some of the things Senator McPike just mentioned, but I think you can very significantly restrict how much discretion people have in terms of making tweaks after Matt after computer drawn a map and I’d much rather see an amendment that does something like that rather than what we have right now, which is from my perspective, extremely openended. There’s also zero provisions in the constitution amendment three, the racial diversity, which is a big issue in our state, which is going to become a majority minority state probably in the next 20 years. There’s also no guarantees of regional diversity. If another legislature were to take over, we can see a body that’s made up entirely of downstate people because there’s no, there’s no actual guarantee that there’s mean people from all over the state in there.
Surovell: There is obviously minority representation and so you might hope that some of the minority party might put people in from some underrepresented regions, but, but I just think there’s a lot of things that weren’t fully thought through. Also, the last thing is, the way the constitution amendment works is that a minority, the minority party can simply kill any plant at once by taking two votes, two delegates, two senators, and there’s, there’s two members of the minority house of delegates in there. There’s two members of the minority Senate in there. So if like the, if the, if for example the Republicans and this one coming up, if the two Republican appointees in the house decide they just want to throw it to the Supreme court, things to say no to everything. And then the Supreme court draws the map. And our Supreme court today was appointed, um, largely by Republican, majority has over the last 20 years.
Surovell: The legislature, Lex, our judges in the Supreme court with those, a state Senator, Republican state Senator, his sister on the Supreme court, former Republican state Senator, two other guys who I’ve had to argue with who basically are very conservative and then the chief justice who was also a Republican pick. And so from my point of view, the Supreme court is not exactly the fairest place to be right now when it comes to political issues and the system worries me. So I’d like to see us do something by statute, do it another constitution amendment for next year and pass it after that. And that’s kind of where I am right now. I’m not totally, I’m not totally opposed, but I just see a lot of problems that I have a lot of concern about that I’m to go stick up for so long bridge. Yeah. Great idea. When you got to fix funding available,
Speaker 6: but is anything being done about the railroad crossing over with one North of the [inaudible] pond? Yeah. Have a great long bridge, but you still got a bottleneck again. What is being done to fix that? Because that is really what’s inhibiting expansion of New York.
Speaker 4: I’m not sure about that segment. The entire stretch for long bridge includes the entire corridor. Some places will be additional tracks, three or four. I’m not sure about the bridge section for that specific part. So this one’s good cause it’s in this district. I haven’t seen it. Okay. I’ve got to answer for it. So, um, did everybody hear the question? Okay. She’s, she says that Longbridge is great but that there is the bridge over
Surovell: or a over the [inaudible] river, the rail bridge over that Kwan river would also need to be expanded. She want to know what the plans were on that. So that’s the exact same question. I asked the secretary of transportation on Tuesday when she was in my office. I said, I didn’t understand what I said. I thought that’d be kind of an expensive bridge too. And you know, was that included? And she said no. So basically the plan right now is, first of all, they’ve been building out a third rail from Fredericksburg North. And if you cross any of the rail crossings you, you’ll probably have seen. They’re building a third rail but all the road crossing, but on all the the Creek crossings, they’ve not gotten new bridges. And there’s not a plan right now to build new bridges at the same time long grace has done, but they’re going to build the bridges over time as they get the money to do that. The those, those bottlenecks are much less of a problem than the long
bridge. Right now the long bridge is only two rails. It needs to be four because I remember at Longbridge, it’s not only accepting the rails and the old RF and P track that we’re on down here, but also the tracking from an ACIS. And so, um, the long braids is really the big problem and they’re gonna start prioritizing the other bridges added to that. And so, you know, you were thinking the same thing I was when, when,
Speaker 6: no, I mean the answer was no,
Surovell: there’s not money to fix it. Again, we need, we need money. And as I said earlier, the beginning of this, we don’t have nearly enough money for all of the things we need to do and these, these projects are very expensive. So, but, but that’s, they’re definitely aware of it. It’s just a question of prioritization. Okay, what was your second?
Speaker 6: Can I have two yes or no questions? It really just yes or no. Um, and they relate to things that God wants you to solution on. Transforms. Does that impact gift if I permanently gift to gone to a relative, does that require you who took that little check
Surovell: under the law? The Senate passed? No, under the law that was originally proposed, there were, there was an exemption for family transfers or guns that were passed down by wills. But that because we took transfers out of the bill, not an issue anymore. The legislation pending in the house includes transfers and I don’t know what the house is going to pass, but the Senate will not pass transfers. Okay.
Speaker 6: And then the public events, um, the on eliminating going to public events, does that impact people with concealed carry permits or is that just open carry in public?
Surovell: If we hit our question, she wanted to know if the authority, the Philly pass, giving local governments the authority to regulate firearms at public events, whether that impacted concealed carry holders. Okay. The answer to that is maybe it’s not yes or no. And my answer to that is it would depend on what the local government ordinance passed. And so at the events it would be a permit by permit analysis. So for example, the [inaudible] craft fair. If the Aquion town council chooses to prohibit concealed carry, they could do so. Or they could say the concealed carry is okay, but whatever they do, they have to post a sign outside of the event describing what they’ve done. So you either have to post the sign saying no firearms permitted past this point. Or they could pass one and saying, no, open carry passed this point. Conceal carry. Okay. But they have to give the public notice both in the process and on the signage of the event, what they’re doing. There was a question, the question?
Speaker 6: Yes.
Speaker 7: Facebook real quick. Yeah. So we have a follow up question to that. From a constituent who would have probably been at the women town hall, Tessa El fire, she says, why are you deferring and create a mismatch of laws throughout the localities in Virginia? Which I think what she’s getting at is why let localities decide this instead of deciding at the statement.
Surovell: By the way, I should have mentioned this at the beginning. Um, Phillip Scranton is my chief of staff and Marina Pew is a, my legislative aid. They’re on my staff who’s here today. And Jeremy, he might’ve said, David Paul is in the back. My chief of staff is also here and available. Yeah. So, um, this is my bill. So I’ll answer the question. Um, if you go to the department of game in the inland fisheries website, they have a publication they put out every year that has a summary of local firearm ordinances. There are currently 86 variations of local firearm wardens in the Commonwealth of Virginia between about 60, 60, 60, or 66 jurisdictions. I can’t remember which, if you need a citation for that document, I’m happy to give it to you. But it basically lists each jurisdiction and the local firearm ordinances that they pass in that jurisdiction based on authority that we’ve already given them.
Surovell: The biggest one is that we currently allow authorities to regulate whether or not people can carry loaded rifles or shotguns in their vehicles. Most jurisdictions, at least up here prohibit that. Oh, I don’t think Prince William actually passed that ordinance. But I think Manassas and Manassas park, I think as, uh, but in any event, we already have a lot of local firearm ordinances mainly related to hunting, um, and, and the carriage of firearms. Um, and, uh, so from my point of view, the way people view these issues are very different in the state. In Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria. Uh, the stats I saw say that about 2.1%. The people have concealed weapons permits. Prince William, I think it’s closer to about 6% out of the Shando Valley, it’s 25%. Okay. Down in Southwest Virginia, it’s, they’re all more than 20%. And so given that we had extreme variation, right, we have variation 10 times, 10 times the proportion of population is far firearm owners in some parts of the state versus others I think is important. We recognize that in terms of the local authority, the authority, we give our localities to regulate firearms. And that’s the best way I can answer Tess’s question.
Speaker 8: Um, my military ID because of this guy had happened military I dated for about 30 years. And the reason I bring up my military ID because I understand that um, ID for voting, uh, has been one. The, uh, currently, currently we have to show up and fell idiotic to vote. And I understand that that’s one thing that’s on the table is removing that requirement that you can talk about voter access. Uh, I’m sure it will tune in this white, but personally ethic slap in the face. I have to have an ID for, um, I don’t know. Gaining access to military escalations, going to a military, um, going to doctor’s appointments. I won’t miss dental appointments. Picking up prescriptions about the whole thing. I don’t think, I think for at least under, um, under this particular, as I understand that if I’m wrong, but as I understand this, I’ll type them to take away IDs for voting. Just how do you address that? Of course, I don’t think it’s wrong, but make them up.
Speaker 4: So the answer’s yes. There is a proposal to remove the voter ID law because frankly across Virginia history, there were some people that were not ever given birth certificates because you had to check whether you’re white or whether you’re black. Okay. Nope, Nope, no. Let me answer. There are still folks who do not and did not, if you are native American, there was no box for you. You were not issued a birth certificate. There are still people alive that do not have official documentation and birth certificate stuff. So there are, there’s a long history of different things. The folks that were never given, now there’s provisions to go and fill out your address to the voter IDEO, uh, at the, at the local registrar’s office. But the whole idea is, is has been voter suppression and increasing prayers. And the actual incident of voter fraud is not as like nil hero.
Speaker 4: There’s been zero zilch on this. I mean it was an artificial barrier that’s been thrown up and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a commuter in this area, Russian at the last second, and then they forgot their ID in their car. I’ve actually seen people denied access to both because they’re going in at six 55 cause they’re called traffic gone in. They went in and then they’re rejected because they didn’t have their ID. And then I have a problem with that. I do because they’ve been coming there every single year. I’ve witnesses. I’ve been in whole the last 10 years straight. Every hour that the polls are open and it happened.
Surovell: Let me, let me, let me, let me clarify a little bit. First of all, we’re not removing the voter ID requirement. Okay. We’re taking the law back to where it was pre I think 2014 or 13 and what that law said was that to vote when you get there you have to show an ID and if you don’t have a government issued photo ID, then you have to sign an affidavit certifying under penalty of felony prosecution. You are the person you say you are, but you do have to show an ID. You do have to show an ID initially to vote and then if you don’t then you have to get to the update. Now about the add on a little bit of what Jeremy said you’re sending me. Pike said, I practice criminal defense law. I go to a courthouse building every day where I say probably in Fairfax town we’ve got five court court rooms running traffic about between 150 200 cases a day.
Surovell: I see about 10 people per court room surrender their license to the court while standing in that room every single day. It happens down in juvenile court happens up certain court too. I don’t see how many up there, but um, there’s typically about 800,000 Virginians whose right to drive is suspended. And if they spend it a court room, they surrender. If a cop gets their license on the street, they take it. And I don’t think your ability to vote should be dependent on whether you had a traffic ticket that day or within the last week or whether you saw a police officer in the last two weeks and you’re in your license suspended. You’re one of those 800,000 people, which by the way is about, uh, it’s about 10% of the population of the Commonwealth. I also represent a monastery. There are 30 nuns who live in my district.
Surovell: They wear, they don’t wear shoes. I don’t think they have licenses. I’ve knocked the doors of people who I’m not the door. The woman who was on way over a hundred years old, she writes your devotes that you can vote. The president Obama, she didn’t have a license cause I don’t think she drives, I knocked the door of another woman who’s 96 years old. He didn’t drive. I’m pretty sure she didn’t have a license anymore. So there are people out there that need, there are people, there are people that while these people don’t really go, don’t go out that much anymore and that they shouldn’t be denied their right to vote simply because of their physical limitations because how they choose to live their life. And that’s why we have the affidavit requirement for them. And I don’t think there’s a whole lot of people that go out there and commit a felony. The cast one vote in an election. Voter fraud is something that’s typically done when you’re trying to get a whole bunch of votes cast and not one person at a time. So from my perspective, the risk is somebody breaking the law is very low and it hasn’t been
documented at really hardly ever occur. And so to me, there’s not a lot of risks there. That’s why I said that. So yeah, go ahead.
Speaker 8: I’ve read that there’s a proposal on the type that I’ve read. There was a proposal to um, uh, strike the requirement for state inspection where none of that we’ve got ridiculous congested thoroughfares in this area. It doesn’t make any sense to me. And I’ll qualify this as speaking that as a daughter, mechanic, mechanic, I have my own crew chief thereby doesn’t have that. So what bothers me is the notion that you’re going to add to the already ridiculously dangerous situations on our hallways on the best days a possibility of what are called wrecks waiting to happen. People drive around on may, pop tires, broken belts, uh, likes, breaks, et cetera. Now I say personally, some people don’t believe that we should have a government mandate to make us, uh, take care of our cars and keep the good running order. However, on the other end of that, if you didn’t have somebody standing over you say, get this done, it’s not a get done. Next thing I know, bam, somebody gets beaten back.
Speaker 4: I’m not a fan of that proposal. Neither mind there’s discussion as to whether, uh, cause we’re, we’ll, we’ll have it in committee when it’s in transportation so they’ll become before committee. This is a discussion that if you don’t do that, then you go to two years. I wouldn’t be comfortable with anything less than two years for one. Maybe the lens was our missions or something, but I don’t want to go away. I mean that’s, that’s definitely my base. There’s, there’s too many things that happen on the road that people don’t see. They don’t realize. People are not, I like to take her still on cars. Um, but there’s, I know a lot of people that don’t and realize what else is going on with the car that, that clackety sound or that screeching sound when they’re driving down the road. Um, so Dale city, Alexandria. Yeah. We don’t need to exacerbate and we’re ready. Add questions real quick. [inaudible] questions all the way back when he was still speaking and I’ve never been called on then. Follow. Are you falling off? Yeah, these are new [inaudible] she had her hand up. Okay. The sequence was here. Here, your ear, then you, okay.
Speaker 6: I hope you, thank you so much. Um, so, uh, I’m here. I’m Bonnie pie. Okay. So I’m here representing, um, the AFP, Virginia’s for parks, um, as one of my hats, uh, retard VEA members of schools and I’m also a member of voice and I want to thank you working with voice, um, which is an interface group that is for preK and also school counselors and thank for working with them. Scott, appreciate that. Um, to the AFP this year has as always, we’re pretty full. We’re Fowler’s again, ballers is being sponsored by Senator deeds and then co-sponsors in the house by Kilgore or budget amendment and the governor’s budget. And we are hoping that we can get this finally passed this year. Actually 20 years hours. For those of you that are not here is a Virginia retirement system for law enforcement officers. Um, most law enforcement officers in Virginia have a special retard retirement because they have hazardous duty, but state parks were left out of that. And uh, we have just heard through talking through some other people with in Richmond that um, even at the DMV, the officers that work at the DMV do not have valves. So those are two things that are going to be coming up. And I hope you will consider
Surovell: Bonnie. I represent more state parks than anybody. The entire, let’s say I have three and those, those laws, the law enforcement out there have to carry a gun and they have to do one for enforcement situations, make arrest and everybody else. And I think they should have the same retirement benefits as a regular.
Speaker 6: I’ll fight you on that. Um, also the uh, youth cons for it. Conservation Corps needs funding. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the youth. It’s like the old YCC for underprivileged. She used to come into the parks, work in the parks in the summer, uh, learn valuable skills, life skills and I pleased that her hanger is one of the sponsors of that bill. And I ended up, you will support that one also. Uh, and schools of course, you know, if they need to be funded. Um, and I, I appreciate all the work that you do for the children in the Commonwealth and um, for the citizens and I just wanted to say thank you.
Speaker 9: Thanks. Bye sir. Okay. Um, I actually have quite a couple of different questions. Uh, my name is Ryan Scheer. Um, so my first question has to do with, I believe you spoke of, uh, personal data and how you want to have a requirement for them to send you some piece of information every time they choose to sell it or something of that nature.
Surovell: No. If anybody keeps data about you that they sell to any third parties, they’re required to provide you a copy of that data when you make a request to them that you want to see it.
Speaker 9: So that doesn’t prevent any sort of sailing of data. And that is, I’d like to actually see that go because now being part, I’m actually a volunteer EMT with Prince William County. HIPAA actually States from a medical perspective that any personal identifiable information at all cannot be given anybody,
Surovell: right. Unless it’s of value to the care of the patient. Right. Why is it okay for companies? Because let’s just face it, a hospital’s nothing more than a company. Okay. At the end of the day I give my information to some company because I want a product that they are providing. A product that a hospital is providing is nothing more than me having to rightfully give my information to them for them to provide me a product of caring for my body. Why is data that I give some other company able to be treated any differently? I think HIPAA should actually be the standard and we should never be transferring data or selling data at all. Why are we not going that direction with personally Ida? I, if I work for a company, as a manager, I’m not allowed to transfer information or bring in another employee and talk about another employee, right?
Surovell: Like this is just the illiteracy. I mostly agree with you about that. The problem is we need a federal standard. It’s really something the federal HIPAA is federal and we need a federal state on this. In Europe, they just adopted the, the, you just adopted some very comprehensive regulations, which is why you see these boxes pop up on websites a lot saying you consent, you consent to cookies and all that stuff. We need a federal standard trying to pass something that comprehensive to Salem. Very hard. California just passed the most comprehensive data, standard law in the countries and a lot of people conforming to the California standard. But because we’re not California
residents, we don’t have the same rights as Californians and citizens. So I tried to bite off a little tiny piece of it that I thought everybody could at least hopefully agree on.
Surovell: Uh, but I’m already getting blow back. I’ve already had, you know, LexisNexis and Microsoft and Amazon come in and yell at me about how, you know, I’m going to screw everything up and make us not business friendly. But I’m hoping that we can at least agree that if they’re going to sell your day to day, at least to show you what they’re selling and we’ll be sued about it and that they’re at least going to agree to provide accurate data and not inaccurate data. Cause I cannot tell you how many people I’ve had to represent court who’ve had inaccurate data sold that represented a guy a couple of years ago who was on according to according to one, two or three companies, was on three sex offender registries. His wife, you know, he had never been convicted of anything and he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t rent a property, but every time he tried to rent something they would, nobody would call him back and finally asked like, well of course being on the sex offender registry, you must know.
Surovell: And he was like, what? So we miss stuff like that that happens out there that people need to have more rights about you. Another question like, well actually yeah, I have a couple. So, um, I, I guess I want to also understand, um, what you were speaking about with respect to casinos and whether you, you, you were saying you wanted to allow more Pacino’s in the state or something. He’s on the committee that’s in charge. All that. What I said is where there’s legislation pending to authorize five casinos. We have to decide what’s to the zero one, three, five. We have to decide what kind of system we’re going to have. It’s, there’s like about 20 policy choices and then we have to figure out he’s going to be right in there
McPike: about 10 days to frame all of them various policy choices. So I’m not going to get that much sleep. And next week, um, there’s legislation last year that authorized five locations pending us renewing the legislation this year. And so there’s two in the Hampton roads, there is an optical, Portsmouth, uh, Richmond and then, uh, Danville and Bristol. Those are the locations that would be what we call level three, which would have the table games, slot machines. So everyone’s got sort of that picture. So yes, that’s that’s an inconsideration. We don’t have the regulatory framework. We need to establish that by law if it, if it’s going to move forward. I don’t know where the votes are on that yet in committee and in both chambers yet depending on what is proposed. So that is, it’s a lot of policy consideration in addition to the
Speaker 9: so so, so you were saying that the five locations are already in existence?
McPike: They are. They are authorized and pending us renewing another location based on a law that was passed last year [inaudible] study. We will send it through our joint legislative audit and review commission study, a JLR study that looked at the issue that published a report in November, highlighting recommendations, revenue projection, taxation rates, other policy questions. So we didn’t want to pass something without having the framework of independent review that’s been done. Now the question is how many of those policy recommendations, we’re going to make it into a wall.
Surovell: Just five localities that have expressed interest in having casinos. They pursued it. And the bill, at least I think the bill we passed last time to go are likely to pass, would say that those localities could only have one casino if they did a referendum saying that they wanted it. I believe one or two other guys might have already passed the reference. But, but then even that, that’s why it was those five and the JLR report he mentioned Jay Lark is like, are, are like J O or I don’t know, federal equivalent, but it’s like they do really big, big, big studies and can make them do like four or five a year. And last year one almost casinos, they gave us like a 300 page report about the feasibility of casinos and how much revenue was like regenerate. And they decided that basically, basically if we do the five locations and we pick a tax structure that’s kind of in the middle, it would generate about $150 million a year for taxpayers. If we did want to Northern Virginia, they said it would generate another 160 million. But nobody that Virginia has asked for one. Uh, but that that’s, that’s the information we’re operating on. No we haven’t passed anything yet. There’s a lot of stuff. We have a whole lot of stuff we have to decide about it.
Speaker 9: So I guess now that my question surrounding that is we all know about Vegas, Nevada and what is the name for Vegas? Nevada commonly since city. Right. So I guess what I really want to know is the connectivity between all the different things that you guys are proposing. So you guys want to take away any ability for somebody overall to protect themselves from a gun rights perspective, but yet you want to bring in things that are going to cause havoc. And why is that? Is that because you guys are looking primarily only at revenue and that’s what you want for the state. Like what is your major concern? Do you ever take a look at all the connecting like the connectivities between the issues and the bills that you’re proposing? Because to me those are complete opposite. At some point you want to bring in quote unquote sin, but you want to get away from anybody having an ability to protect themselves.
McPike: Yeah. Part of that requirement was a part of last year’s debate and the continuing debate. Um, and so the minimum requirement is $209 in terms of investment in that legislation. So the idea, and obviously the impact in the review of the proposals by the locality and the, the review and approval process has got gotta be a significant investment. So it’s just not like a Shandy hole with a couple of slides and a couple of people run around. So there are those connectivity issues in terms of public safety, the investment in the development. Um, and I think that’s a part of the jailer report’s recommendations is how can you scale investment tax rate impacts the amount of investment. Uh, they, the various game types and skills that you are allow also impacts that. So there’s sort of a sliding scale of, of economic value and I think interest of whether or not you have sort of resort style, which is hotel casino complex sort of development.
McPike: Um, maybe not to the scale of NGM for Bristow and Danville, but an appropriate size to the economy scale of what the surrounding, uh, region and visitors would support. The same thing that’s happening across and Tennessee, Kentucky in terms of gaming and potential for gaming. And so they’re sort of trying to be the first for that region. And that would create roughly a thousand jobs. 1,000 jobs is a big deal of risk. Okay. The city managers come say, we want these jobs, the city council is compensated, we want these jobs. This is important. We can draw revenue from multiple States. And so, you know, I think they is community through referendum. Again, they have to pass through. The voters also have to have this debate that it looks a community level before it would be good with Ford. So I’m not sure there’s any one solution, but they’ve got to evaluate everything in the context and for that community.
Surovell: Can I say, I don’t think the casino issue is a partisan issue. There’s disagreement in both caucuses about what it ought to be. Uh, and from my point of view and support both caucuses from different aspects. I mean it’s mostly, you know, the Bristol advert is coming out of the most conservative second amendment friendly part of the state. Okay. Same thing with the Danville casino effort. So you know those people down there. Once the jobs I live, you know, a little bit North of here, but I can walk out my door 10 minutes and stand up on my tip toes and I could see the MGM casino across the river. That thing is sucking $150 million in Virginia money a year across the river to pay for their schools. Right. We are paying for Maryland schools. We also see a lot of that going over to a Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia, Charlestown slots, and the Charlestown casino facility.
Surovell: There’s nothing in North Carolina but they’re coming in. He’s got be in Tennessee and it’s important that we get these things if we’re going to get a mistake, if we’re going to, instead of just sending our money out, I’d rather have people spend their money here if they want to gamble and us benefit from it rather than us fund the effort and other States and that. That’s where I come at at gambling and also in sports betting. That’s something that’s going to happen whether we like it or not. The Supreme court last year decided decision said States now have the authority to regulate sports gambling. It was originally prohibited by federal law until the Supreme court said that was illegal and so that’s going to happen on the state’s going to do again. If people want to do it, I think we ought to, our taxpayers should benefit from it.
Surovell: That’s where I come from in terms of I don’t, I don’t think, not in terms of the second amendment stuff. I don’t see any of the things we’re doing as inhibiting people’s ability to defend themselves. And I know people disagree with me about it, that we’re not taking away anybody’s guns, right? All we’re doing these greens for shooting one gun a month, you buy 12 guns, eat one, and it’s only handguns by the way. So you can only buy 12 handguns. You can buy as many rifles and shotguns as you want, anytime you like. Uh, the, the local authority bill is only public buildings, events and parks. That’s it. Some people want to get local governance, complete authority over firearms. I didn’t support that. I’m not sure Jeremy’s, Jeremy doesn’t support that. Um, the, uh, universal background check all that, that that’s an effort to stop these illegal dung gun transactions right now if you have a domestic assault conviction, you can’t pass a background check, but you go to your neighbor and by his gun, he’s gone.
Surovell: Greg, listen by gun. You’d go to a gun show and go to the private sailor and buy a gun. I think we need to shut that down. So what is your plan for enforcement of that? So just like you want to know how it works, that’s going to work. How are you going to impasse? How it works. If you want to sell a gun to somebody, you’re going to have to go to a local gun shop or go to a safe place and ask them to run the background check. They get a piece of paper and say you got a green light and then you can sell the gun. That’s why it’s done a lot of States that that,
Speaker 4: that’s the question. How are people going to become aware of that?
Surovell: My suspicion is the only time, my suspicion is the only time it’s going to come up is if a gun is used in a crime and then they go back and try and they go back and try and trace the gun. Then they discovered that there was illegal transaction and then there’s a prosecution after that. That’s my suspicion.
Speaker 4: More of a response and after it occurred, that’s my suspension. We depended on the floor the other day. The alternative is to do a gun registry and nobody wants to do that because then you say, okay, this is from a to B, you have to transfer and proof of it. Right. We’re not interested in critical gun rescue. I mean bipartisan, like we’re just, we’re just not interested in going there. And so that’s sort of the counter to it. So I guess you could do more stringent enforcement, but I think you’re giving away too much in that trade off. And the whole
Speaker 3: school has the transfer in and it will,
Surovell: well, our transfer will not pass the Senate, they won’t pass. If they’re conditional, the house will only pass the bill with a transparent and it isn’t gonna happen. So this question, the gentleman, the back, just [inaudible]
Speaker 9: one of them has to do with me, has to do with university background as far as the transfers go. Um, if, if I’m going hunting out West and I need help to do that far away from him, go out West and do that. Is that a transfer word? The fact that he will not be with me?
Surovell: Well when you talked about transferring temporary transfers, we have them right next to you. So that would be a transfer. There’s a series of, in the bill that was proposed, there was a series of exemption sessions and one of the exceptions was if a transfer occurs one to the continuous presence of the owner of the gun, then it’s okay. And the concern that some members raised was it, take that scenario, say you gotta say you go hunting when you’re friends with a series, a series of shotguns and you all go in different directions, are you still in each other’s continuous presence? Are there three people just commit a felony? Right. And so that’s, there’s a lot of scenarios that are hard to imagine and a lot of people thought there were too many scenarios to get transfers into the mix. So we took it out. So right now instead of bill transfers are not in the bill in the house bill, which has not been debated, discussed or voted on yet. It’s still in. But a transfer bill would not pass the Senate because of all the potential problems like you just said.
Speaker 9: Second one goes back to the temporary driver’s license. [inaudible] are undocumented, so they have to prove that they’re here and they’re paying taxes to get that correct. So if they’re undocumented, how are they paying taxes? Is that like an identity crime is going on too?
Surovell: No, no, you can actually, you can actually get a, uh, not a social security number, but a taxpayer ID number and a lot of people would, a lot of people have been doing that in anticipation of DACA or, or other federal, uh, green lighting of, um, of, uh, of
immigration reform. People are trying to get their taxes paint advanced and anticipations that there’s a waste. You don’t have to wait forever by showing them, paying their taxes because there was discussion on about that. So you don’t necessarily have to have social security on, you can get a taxpayer ID number and pay your taxes under that.
Speaker 3: I had a follow up to that as someone who was involved in a car accident, a major car accident was someone who did not have a driver’s license. I don’t know their documentation status, but they were an immigrant and a driver’s license. They ran a red light. Both cars total. I had like 15 month old child in the car. Fortunately nobody seriously injured. We all, even when you traveled abroad knows that driving rules and practices vary widely with countries. So what are we doing in that bill to ensure that not only they’re paying their taxes, but that they actually know how to drive here and not put our citizens in jeopardy and yet we ended up having public. Then her husband’s insurance didn’t want to cover or damage because she didn’t have a license. No, they have a permanent, maybe they may be covered. Maybe. I mean I think that’s, would insurance cover them and how do we keep our citizens safe? How do we make sure they know how to drive
Surovell: correct? Well that’s the biggest part is that’s one of the biggest parts to bills. They have to actually pass the driving test and in States that have done this, most people who apply in a family and test three or four times before they pass it, partly because of language issues and partly because the rules of the road are different and they have to go out and learn them before they can pass pass the actual test. But that in the States that have done this, they’ve reduction in the big reduction hit and runs the lab hit and runs. It occurred today are people who are undocumented and they hit and they don’t want to shift to stay and identify themselves, but if they have temporary ID cards, they tend to ID themselves. You also have an increased amount of people getting insurance. Most people don’t realize this, but there’s actually a Virginia auto insurance premium stacks, so if people get auto insurance, they’re actually also paying more into our general fund or taxes.
Surovell: That way if you’re prime to pay taxes, they’re actually paying taxes. If we had 300,000 people claim $35,000 in income every year, there’s 300,000 estimated undocumented, they paid declared 35,000 income, it would generate $1 billion in new tax revenue for the Commonwealth. So we need to do everything we can to encourage these people to get, get into our system and follow the rules of the road, get car insurance, which would also, by the way more people get car insurance, the less all this pay cause that spreads the risk across everybody. So I mean from my point of view, you know, people who are not documented want to come in, identify themselves, take a test, put themselves on a list that the state’s going to keep, you know, and it’s going to make everybody safer. More tax revenue. I think that’s a good,
Speaker 7: yeah, I wanted first time onto the ones he was asking you about on the PAI. I want to add when he said [inaudible] and internet, whatever. I would like it to be where we have to opt in premium information, not an opt out because once you had been sucked into this to get out of it, it’s just as hard because it’s, it’s, it’s a lot like signing up for information out of either party right now because you keep getting these mass emails and you tried to opt out of the emails and you get more because it done soldier information again, it seems like anyway, I would like to see more of a chance to, if you’re going to have information gathered on a site, it would be opt in to have that information collected versus be handed down. I’m going to have, I’m going to add even onto that.
Speaker 7: Okay. Um, so many of these sites today, by the way, I’m a software and electrical and a systems engineer, so I know a lot about this stuff. They’re defaulted to checked versus unchecked. So when you, when you say opt in, I also want the site to not have the box checked by default to opt in. Meaning that I have to actively click the box to have to opt in instead of having to check the box, the app. Right. So like I just again, I look at this as HIPAA. My personal information should never have been available. Right. It should never have been able to be sold. Right. That’s always been personal, identical, identifiable information and internally to companies. That’s how we’ve always had to deal with information. Why it’s okay to go company to company with information but not internally from manager to manager or person to person with personally identifiable information.
Surovell: And I got Gmail, I get an email from Google once a month where I can go back and look at my location history because I haven’t turned it off. I leave it on just cause I’m curious. I think it’s interesting but, but if I go into my Google location history, I can go back and look for the last five years and see exactly where I was in any date and time where I was, whether I was going towards or backwards, what stores I went to. It’s all in there, back five years archive on me. And if you have an Android Gmail, it’s in there on you. Unless you opt out here location. Yeah. Cause you opt in. I could turn off my location. I’m just telling you. But I didn’t decide to do that. It’s one day they started sending me emails. Hey, we thought you’d like to see this. I was like, Holy
Speaker 7: yeah. [inaudible]. So that’s how we start to find out those who we’re actually tracking our data is we have all of a sudden, listen, there’s something, second thing I would like to ask is what’s going on with the rest of the, the reciprocity and the Declan nation to uh, or concealed and go ahead and permits and they’re talking about doing way the reciprocity with those surrounding States.
Surovell: Um, I think that bill was introduced to the house. It was not introduced to the Senate. I don’t anticipate any action on that, that this year. Um, that might come up next year. Maybe. But, but this year, I don’t think that’s part of it is I don’t want, I don’t know what the house is going to do. I can tell you in the Senate when we’re not interested in going beyond the four bills that, that either three passed the one we’re going to pass Tuesday.
Speaker 7: Okay. And last thing, and just, we appreciate Senator is both of you being here, even though the representatives were saying that they had a fear of extremists or whatever. Uh, we thank you for actually coming in and entertaining our questions or concerns at the same time being able to tell us what is going on down there. We appreciate that. [inaudible]
Speaker 9: there’s a question. My question is about the duck lines in Fairfax County behind that.
Surovell: Yeah, it’s my bill. So, um, uh, there are four crates or three creeks in Fairfax County where you can put a stake in licensed duck lines, a little hind Creek dope, great, great hunting Creek, and there are significant hundreds and hundreds of houses within close proximity to those blinds about 14 years ago. Well, the first, in addition to that in Fairfax County, you’re not allowed to hunt ducks with a rifle. It’s illegal. Another local ordinance that they passed in Fairfax. And so even though Fairfax, you can’t hunt docks with a rifle, you can still lease a blind. And so people kept leasing blinds by mistake. It was creating confusion. People were worried doing that legally hunt DJF agreed to stop lease or to put out information about the blinds about 14 years ago. So people knew that you couldn’t hunt there as they stopped leasing them. When did you have went to an electronic blind registration system?
Surovell: They couldn’t put the information out and say, you can’t be Fairfax, you can’t hunt. Two people started leasing blinds in the County again and the post, it started going up. People start freaking out if you’re going to come back and start hunting ducks again. And by the way, it’s technically legal to hunt ducks with a bow and arrow out of a blind. I don’t know anybody who would do that if I had a shotgun. So, but so anyways, right, it’s just shot. Shot from limited. There it is. So these, I have thought to just end this problem. I should pass a law to just specifically say you can’t, they can’t lease out blinds in Fairfax County or at least in those three creeks which are in the state controlled waters, parks. There’s three creeks system, so it doesn’t keep becoming a problem. They just one of legal solutions instead of having to go through a two year regulatory process.
Surovell: That’s why we did it. People putting blinds in, but they are, they were, they put their States down and are they thinking they could. Yeah, they could. They could. And then the neighborhood blew up people in the canoes song and they call me and screamed and yelled and hunters are coming back and it’s just a lot of drama and going to spread throughout the rest of the state right now. Not mean, well, there’s conflicts. I mean I remember the Senator stewards period, a bill and riparian rights because of the approximate the homes. There was a state delegate, somebody put up blind in front of another state delegates house down there and she got mad. So she got him to put a bill in a hundred yards. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a conflict. Love is a, you know, hunters in the community is just the nexus of where homes are going close to rivers and that conflict is going to continue to play out and right now you can’t hunt with it. I think it’s 500 yards of a subdivision I think. But I think a subdivision too, but a lot of times you don’t know if you’re near a subdivision in the woods anyway. There’s issues like that. The cop
Speaker 9: orders from the subdivision, it’s not supposed to be barring weapons yards.
McPike: Right, right. You know the rules man. Yeah.
Surovell: By the way, I got, I have to, I have to wrap it up in about 10 maybe 15 five minutes. Okay, so we need very quick. Yeah,
McPike: you’re on the PNT committee choice voting. There’s a local option, bill.
Surovell: I support rank choice voting. Everybody know what that is. Everybody knows. Okay. Rank choice. Voting basically says that if you have a multi candidate race, like there’s more than two people running, you have to put down your first choice or second choice. Your third choice are forced to is choice. So somebody can’t win with like, you know, 20% of the vote. So that, you know, basically everybody cast the vote. If nobody has a majority, they drop off the person in the bottom and they go to their second choices and then re total they drop off the next person and we total until somebody gets 50%, some people think it’s a much better way to get a consensus candidate rather than having like a five, six, eight, seven candidate field, what you see in some primaries and somebody wins with like 30% when everybody probably would’ve preferred somebody else. So that’s what rank choice voting is [inaudible]
McPike: fourth that then you get someone that nobody wants.
Surovell: Um, now I think, I think it works pretty well. Other questions? Yeah,
Speaker 3: I’m dr Kylie shear. I live in Bristow, Virginia and I had a question. Um, well we, my understanding of the intent of the red flag law is that we’ve identified that someone is posted a credible threat to others, but this has been investigated and embedded that they pose a threat. I think we all agree that somebody that needs mental health, they need help. What are we doing to help that person? What are we doing, you know, funding resolution. How do we get that person to a state of spiritual wellbeing so that they no longer pose that threat to themselves and others? Understanding that may not always be the case, but rather than it temporary solution of removing them from the home or taking their guns, what are we doing to invest in that person that needs our help
McPike: overall? There’s a couple of different components. I guess the first I’ll address the mental health access one. That’s a community wide issue. Outside of these, um, we did start the CSV same day evaluation. Um, it’s been some spotty implementation so far. Uh, we have been increasing a lot of resources based on the needs commission work. You might recall several years ago, centerD , it’s our colleague, uh, his son, uh, almost killed Senator deeds and told himself Senator use really bad shade because he wasn’t, he didn’t have access to a state facility. And you get up to a minute. So there’s been several years worth of work to increase access to beds, evaluations and the rest of it. So there’s a larger context of fix that’s been working on. I know the deeds commissioner just had a meeting right as session started and they had some legislation that’s pending. I haven’t seen it yet. So they are still a work in progress in that regard.
Surovell: Yeah. So the, the standard for the red flag order is a little bit different than the standard for a TDO. TDO is a temporary detention order when somebody is suicidal and the standard for, um, the red flag order is upon a finding. There’s probable cause to believe a person poses a substantial risk of personal injury to himself or others in the near future by such versus possession or acquisition of a firearm. So the red flag orders has to do with somebody being arrested, everybody else because they have a gun as opposed to they’re suicidal.
Speaker 3: And my point is you need to get some help when you just take their guns and then they go get a car or a knife or, you know,
Surovell: yeah. Mental health. I agree. No mental health is one of our most difficult things we deal with. It’s one of the most underfunded things we deal with. There’s not really a mental health doesn’t have a role lobbyist, it comes down and advocates. Uh, but you know, there’s the Senator deeds, you know, Saturday’s the situation. But do you know, you know what happened to him?
Speaker 3: We’re originally from California, so we’re newer to that area so we don’t know a lot of the history of the state.
Surovell: Okay. Well, Senator, Senator deeds son was having a severe mental health crisis and they couldn’t find a bed for him and um, because they couldn’t find a bed for him, his son basically attacked and cut his face with a knife and end up killing himself before they could get him in a bed because they theoretically couldn’t find a bed for him. And Senator deeds made his personal mission to try and get that system fixed, get it better funded so that we don’t have a situation where somebody is in crisis. We don’t have anywhere to put them. So he’s working hard on that. The other [inaudible]
McPike: Becca is a mental parity in terms of our pay rates to doctors to mental health has a lot of disparities. Uh, we also needed to increase our residencies, uh, for students coming out with their medical license yourself does lots of different systematic things to the system. We’ve been working to increase over the years. We’re not there yet. Um, there’s a lot of workforce and supply chain issues, medical reimbursement, uh, at the state and federal level that have all come together to really increase it. That’s important throughout systematically. When I heard you say, Senator, is that
Speaker 7: since Senator beans was attacked by, so we’re actually working harder to try and broaden the melt healthcare or the state of Virginia, but we’d have to build a system to actually correct. It’s, we have to have more doctors to have more facilities. You’re going to have to have more training. You’ve got to do your residencies and things like that. But it’s an effort to try and build it. Obviously it’s not something we can take and change overnight because it’s just like opening the army to all women. You can’t do that just overnight and it has to be done incrementally. We get that. We asked you continued to push for that.
Surovell: So the rank choice voting, um, I was wondering that potentially eliminate, um, both parties in the election. It depends on what you do it, first of all, I don’t think it’s gonna be proposed for primary cause and not for the general election. I’m not positive about that, but it’s more of an issue in primaries. But if it was in a general election, yeah, it could. I think they it in statewide they’d done in Maine, right? They do it for the project. Just add in the presidential election. Okay. Maine has been the most aggressive, but I think the bill that’s pending is only primary as though, okay. So for local government races, I mean, I guess in council races that happen, which tend to be less partisan, some are completely nonpartisan. Uh, like for example, the fair rice County school board race, um, [inaudible] school board race, we had three people run for William accounting school board chairman.
Surovell: Right. So for example, Barbara Latif, it only got 45%. You would have dropped off the person in the bottom and all those people’s second votes would’ve been reallocated to find out who, you know, whatever the majority, if it had gone that way. It concerns me because a lot of people don’t use primaries is very important. So you get a lot less voting in primaries, which could effectively very effectively eliminate one party or the other from the general election. We’re not like California where they eliminate rollers in Virginia. We still have Republican Democrats on the general if they filed. So I know in some States they do say you’re doing Jordy eliminating. Yeah, that’s right. You don’t eliminate any party from the ballot in Virginia. Everyone, if you file and still file for the general, all that’s there, it would just be for the primary. Then you could also do it frankly for the general as well where the two parties, right.
Surovell: Bobby, you’re going to have to be last cause I have another meeting I have to get into. Thank you for saying that. Uh, you’d rather adjust the bodies after the tragedy that preventing the Boston medicine line. Um, where is the clairvoyance to know how this would be enforced and what is keeping red flag laws from being used punitively? Like we’re seeing in Colorado where a woman said she had a child with a, a police officer and he was trying to get a, a red flag order that actually was, uh, allowed for him, but it’s the sheriff that was refusing to enforce it. Thanks. First of all, I don’t know what Colorado or Florida is those States and the Virginia law, if somebody wants to do a red flag order, the allegation that there had been, first of all, there has to be an investigation of this.
Surovell: So somebody just can’t go down and tell the mad straight, blah, blah, blah. And then they enter the orders. So they’re asking an by law enforcement, they’re estimate the bill, Warren Buffett, Virginia, the bill. We’re going to pass the bill here. Then we’re going to pass. It has to have, be supportive either to law enforcement officers and the Commonwealth attorney after an investigation have to sign a petition, number one. Number two, the order it gets served, the person has a chance to voluntary surrender their guns. If they don’t surrender their guns, then a search warrant can be issued and they do surrender their guns that then that’s it. There’s a hearing in two weeks under the hearing. Uh, there have an opportunity represented by counsel to contest the allegations under amendments that I pressed. The person who accused the person accused under the order can ask for continuous thinking, more time to prepare.
Surovell: It’s important. Listen, I’ve tried to defend protective orders on five days. Notice my clients come in and it takes them a while to get the money to hire me. Then it takes me time to go find the papers. Then it takes me time to figure out what’s going on and talk to witnesses. Sometimes you need more than 14 days prepared to serve domestic violence. Okay. While we anyways, you can ask for continuance under amendments that I sponsor. You can also do discovery. It wasn’t clear under the law that it was proposed, whether you could actually send out subpoenas to obtain information when you can conduct discovery to find out what the allegations are against you before you have to defend yourself. So I put those due process protections in and then if it turns out that that whatever the person said was completely bogus and made up, you can Sue them for abuse of process for malicious prosecution and you can Sue them for money. You get money out of them. So that’s, those are some of the process protections that are in.
Speaker 7: I got a question though here, and this was actually okay, so you’ve been served, um, you get your picture taken, everything else, the next thing you know, well, I mean if you were arrested because of whatever happened or, or something of that nature, the next thing you know is, here’s the website that we were talking about that now, then they’ve got your stuff out here and you’re being, you’re being listed as having had protective orders are up against you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you pay $100 we’ll take this off again. It kind of goes back to the, the PII information and what they’re selling under upon people.
Surovell: I agree that that’s a problem we have to fix right now. Right now you can’t expunge domestic protective order even. It was completely unfounded and I’ve tried to put in legislation to fix that and it’s, it’s hard to figure that out. We’ve tried and I agree that the problem we need [inaudible] okay, folks, I got to get into another meeting, but I think this is the biggest turnout we’ve seen for a Woodbridge town hall, so we appreciate you all coming out. We appreciate the interaction. A lot of good questions today.
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