The 60-Day General Assembly Sprint Has Begun!
Whether it was the legislative victories we amassed to start the year, or the election victories we won to close the year, the Virginia League had an amazing 2013! It is with great appreciation we thank our Board, members, donors and volunteers that contributed in so many ways to making this past year one for the record books.
We are already hard at work building on those many great accomplishments as we continue to make conservation a priority with decision-makers, starting with the 2014 General Assembly session that began on January 8th.
Legislators have already submitted over 1,900 bills, with 135 directly pertaining to conservation, transportation, water quality and other important issue vital to the Virginia League’s efforts to protect and preserve the Commonwealths natural resources. You may track the legislative proposals are monitoring via our legislative position chart throughout the session. Legislators have until January 17th to complete submission of their proposals. Check back frequently, as the tracking chart changes almost hourly at the height of the session.
Legislative proposals to watch closely this session already includes: House Bill 71 - aimed at rolling back the zoning authority of local governments, House Bill 4 - which would repeal the annual license tax on hybrid vehicles, House Bill 915 – seeking to allow the use of hydraulic fracturing on state-owned uplands and numerous bills which would allow for Virginians to ore easily vote via absentee ballot.
These are just a few of the many bills the Virginia League will be taking a position on this year and we could use your help! Please plan to attend Conservation Lobby Day on January 27th and get involved by joining our Conservation Action Teams today!
Take a Look at the Virginia League’s Fall Newsletter
Check out the Virginia League’s latest Newsletter highlights, including: Election endorsements, an event for a Virginia League Legislative Hero hosted by Virginia League volunteers, a letter from our Executive Director, Jeff Painter, and other updates about our staff and programs around the state.
Given the role of the Virginia League as the state’s political voice for conservation, the recent election and the upcoming General Assembly session underscore the unprecedented importance you have on the success of our work. You can make a difference by getting involved with a Conservation Action Team, educating your family and friends, and supporting the Virginia League with your gift today!
Uranium Mining Efforts Stalled in 2014!
To all of you that wrote or called Governor McDonnell and your Delegates and State Senators – thank you! With your help and the support of local governments, businesses, and public health organizations, our elected officials in Richmond know that the risks involved with mining uranium in Virginia far outweigh any rewards.
Governor-elect McAuliffe to veto uranium legislation - Reported by the Virginian-Pilot, McAuliffe said, ”I don’t support uranium mining. First and foremost as governor, my job is to make sure that our communities and our citizenry are safe. I’m not comfortable with the science to the point that I can say that with uranium mining, we would be safe. I’m afraid it would get into the drinking water.” The Governor-elect went on to show his opposition to promulgating regulations saying, “Why would we be wasting our time and resources drafting regulations if we’re not going to lift the moratorium?”
Uranium industry suspends efforts - Virginia Uranium also announced that it would not be backing legislation to lift the ban during the 2014 session given the strong opposition and commitment to veto any such legislation by the incoming Governor-elect. With such great news, the Virginia League is looking forward to many other great accomplishments under the new governor.
Virginia League Unveils 2013 Conservation Scorecard!
Victories in this year’s General Assembly made 2013 a good year for conservation.
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has released the 14th Edition of the Virginia General Assembly Conservation Scorecard, displaying legislators’ voting records on conservation issues during the 2013 General Assembly session. The Scorecard provides transparency and accountability to voters regarding important conservation votes cast in the 2013 session.
The 2013 Conservation Scorecard highlights important measures considered during the session ranging from improvements to Virginia’s successful Land Conservation funding programs (House Bill 1398), the establishment of the Commonwealth’s first Agricultural Net Metering Program (House Bill 1695) and critical Menhaden Fisheries Management action (House Bill 2254 and Senate Bill1291).
“The passage of these important advances with broad bi-partisan support clearly demonstrates that conservation is not a conservative or a progressive issue, but one that belongs to everyone, just as the natural resources which we seek to restore and protect” said Virginia League Executive Director, Jeff Painter.
You can view the full press release here or go straight to the full scorecard to see how your state representatives voted on important conservation issues during the 2013 General Assembly session. Then locate your Delegate and Senator’s email and let them know you appreciate their good votes and for those who may need improvement, encourage them to aim for a higher score in 2014!
Stay up-to-date with the latest information on Virginia conservation. Join the Virginia League on Facebook and Twitter today! Timely updates, workshops, public hearings & legislation!
Conservation news, volunteer opportunities, political updates, Action Alerts & live commentary from events – it’s all there for you! Join us today!