January 21, 2014 – Legislative Highlights

The Senate subcommittee on mental health will reconvene Wednesday morning to consider bills that may change the length of time someone can be held under an emergency custody order or under a temporary detention order.  The subcommittee meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m.  Please note that the General Assembly rarely cancels meeting due to weather conditions.  Expect this subcommittee meeting to proceed even if other government offices are closed or on delayed opening on Wednesday.

Voting Rights – Many bills that would increase the opportunity to vote absentee have been defeated in both the House and the Senate.  The Senate has passed a bill (SB 16 – Miller) that would allow a person who is over age 65 to vote absentee, but a similar bill (HB 37 – Kory) was defeated in the House.  The elections committees in both houses are still considering bills concerning restoration of voting rights (see HB 7– Habeeb, HB 556 – Carr), bills to clarify the voter identification requirements (HB 83 – Krupika, HB 564 – Watts), and a bill to allow someone to cast a provisional ballot if they are unable to vote due to hospitalization (HB 343 – Taylor).

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is a private nonprofit organization, dedicated to advancing the rights of people with disabilities in Virginia.  The dLCV may educate policymakers about the impact of proposed legislation. We urge you to let us know if there is an important issue or proposal that you think we should know about.  Contact us at info@dlcv.org or at 1-800-552-3962.