Thursday, April 7, 2011

VEA Wins 4 of 5 During Veto Session

VEA’s lobby effort was successful on four of five key issues in yesterday’s Reconvened (AKA Veto Session).

Our only loss was on the Virtual School issue. The manner in which virtual schools are being funded in Virginia makes no sense, but sense did not prevail on this issue. Governor McDonnell offered a budget amendment striking the language we had worked to gain from the budget bill. The Governor’s amendment prevailed in the House on a 94-6 vote and in the Senate on a 23-17 vote. Big money corporate lobbying prevailed, and the states will continue to spend far more on virtual school education than is warranted.

Governor McDonnell’s amendment to allow your local school board to require that you pay the 5% VRS employee contribution was defeated in the House 38 to 60 (NAY was a “right” vote). The vote was as follows:

YEAS--Abbitt, Albo, Anderson, Athey, Barlow, Bell, Richard P., Brink, Carrico, Cleaveland, Cole, Comstock, Cox, M.K., Englin, Greason, Hugo, Ingram, Jones, Lingamfelter, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, May, Miller, J.H., Morgan, O'Bannon, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Scott, E.T., Scott, J.M., Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L., Wilt, Wright, Mr. Speaker--38.

NAYS--Abbott, Alexander, Armstrong, BaCote, Bell, Robert B., Bulova, Byron, Carr, Cline, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Dance, Ebbin, Edmunds, Filler-Corn, Garrett, Gilbert, Habeeb, Herring, Hope, Howell, A.T., Iaquinto, James, Janis, Joannou, Johnson, Keam, Kilgore, Knight, Kory, Landes, LeMunyon, Loupassi, McClellan, McQuinn, Merricks, Miller, P.J., Morefield, Morrissey, Nutter, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Phillips, Plum, Pogge, Pollard, Rust, Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Surovell, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, Ware, O., Watts--60.

NOT VOTING--Helsel, Lewis--2.

Governor McDonnell’s amendment to create a defined contribution (401K) option passed the House and was killed in the Senate. Here are the votes (NAY is a “right” vote):

House Vote

YEAS--Abbitt, Albo, Anderson, Athey, Barlow, Bell, Richard P., Byron, Cleaveland, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Dance, Edmunds, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Helsel, Howell, A.T., Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Joannou, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, LeMunyon, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, May, Merricks, Morefield, Morgan, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Rust, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L., Wilt, Wright, Mr. Speaker--58.

NAYS--Abbott, Alexander, Armstrong, BaCote, Brink, Bulova, Carr, Carrico, Crockett-Stark, Ebbin, Englin, Filler-Corn, Herring, Hope, Hugo, James, Johnson, Keam, Kory, McClellan, McQuinn, Miller, J.H., Miller, P.J., Morrissey, Nutter, Phillips, Plum, Pollard, Scott, J.M., Shuler, Sickles, Spruill, Surovell, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, Ware, O., Watts--39.

NOT VOTING--Bell, Robert B., Cox, M.K., Jones--3.

Senate Vote

YEAS--Blevins, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Watkins--14.

NAYS--Barker, Colgan, Deeds, Edwards, Hanger, Herring, Houck, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Norment, Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Quayle, Reynolds, Saslaw, Ticer, Wampler, Whipple--26.

In another attempt to weaken VRS by creating a defined contribution option, the Governor substituted a DC bill for Delegate Tata’s HB1795. His substitute for HB1795 passed in the House and was killed in the Senate. I will not provide the votes, as they are virtually identical to the votes above.

Finally, the Governor was with us on the veto of SB966 – the “PE Bill.” The Senate sustained the Governor’s veto, killing the bill, on a 16-24 vote (NAY was a vote to kill the bill).

YEAS--Barker, Colgan, Deeds, Edwards, Herring, Locke, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Saslaw, Whipple--16.

NAYS--Blevins, Hanger, Houck, Howell, Lucas, Marsden, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Quayle, Reynolds, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Ticer, Vogel, Wagner, Wampler, Watkins--24.

We won on 4 of the 5 key votes because of the great job you do of communicating with your legislators. Thank you!!!!!!