“Given what happened yesterday and what happened a couple of years ago, it raises some serious questions in my mind whether they should have arrest powers,” State Senator Donald McEachin of Henrico County said Thursday.
Undaunted by opposition in the House of Delegates, Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, says he will be back next year with another bill to prevent discrimination in the government workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
McEachin also aimed for modernization, introducing a bill that, for the first time since 1996, would increase penalties against polluters. DEQ applauded the language, acknowledging that these fines are a tool to encourage compliance with the law when a polluter refuses to come to the negotiating table. These bills enjoyed bipartisan support and both passed the Senate. Unfortunately, they faced opposition in the House of Delegates, and incredibly, in the face of all that’s happened in the past year, these bills failed to become law.
This session, Democratic Sen. Barbara Favola’s Senate Bill 943 — a bill to keep guns out of the hands of those who abuse, stalk or sexually batter a family member — easily passed the Senate Courts of Justice committee. However, in an atmosphere where any discussion of gun safety brings threats of political reprisal, the legislation was shunted off to quietly disappear in the Finance Committee under the guise of budgetary restraint.