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2013 SESSION

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Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections

Chairman: Mark D. Obenshain

Clerk: Maribeth Turner, Jocelyn Lance
Staff: M. Spain, D. Cotter, J. Austin
Date of Meeting: January 29, 2013
Time and Place: Tuesday, 4:00 PM, Senate Room A, General Assembly Building

S.B. 719 Polling place procedures; voter identification requirements.

Patron: Black

Elections; polling place procedures; voter identification requirements. Removes several items from the list of acceptable identification documents that a voter must present when voting at the polls on election day: a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter. These documents continue to be valid identification for certain first-time voters at federal elections who are required to show identification under the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-643 of the Code of Virginia, relating to elections; polling place procedures; voter identification requirements.

13101225D

S.B. 722 Emergency absentee ballots; ballots provided to hospitalized voters.

Patron: Carrico

Emergency absentee ballots; hospitalized voters; electoral board representative. Permits an electoral board to designate a hospital administrator to serve as its representative and to provide applications for emergency absentee ballots to hospitalized voters.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-705 of the Code of Virginia, relating to applications for emergency absentee ballots for persons incapacitated or hospitalized.

13100952D

S.B. 723 Electoral College; State's electoral votes shall be allocated by congressional district.

Patron: Carrico

Electoral College. Provides that the Commonwealth's electoral votes shall be allocated by congressional district. Receipt by a slate of presidential electors of the highest number of votes in a congressional district constitutes the election of the congressional district elector of that slate. Receipt by a slate of electors of the highest number of votes in a majority of congressional districts constitutes the election of the two at-large electors of that slate. In the event no slate receives the highest number of votes in a majority of districts, receipt by a slate of the highest number of votes statewide shall constitute election of the two at-large electors of that slate.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-202, 24.2-203, 24.2-542, 24.2-542.1, 24.2-543, and 24.2-673 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electors for President and Vice President.

13100996D

S.B. 739 Mechanical and electronic voting devices; number required.

Patron: Petersen

Voting devices; number required. Provides that there shall be at least one voting device for each 500 registered voters in a precinct. The current requirement is for one device for each 750 registered voters.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-627 of the Code of Virginia, relating to required number of mechanical and electronic voting devices.

13101183D

S.B. 813 Electoral boards and general registrars; reimbursement of costs of compensation and expenses.

Patron: Garrett

Compensation and expenses of electoral boards and general registrars. Provides for reimbursement by the state to the localities of the entire costs of compensation and expenses of the electoral boards and general registrars.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-108 and 24.2-111 of the Code of Virginia, relating to compensation and expenses of electoral board members and general registrars.

13101212D

S.B. 830 Military and overseas citizens; authorization to establish pilot program to vote absentee.

Patron: Puller

Voting by military and overseas citizens; pilot program. Authorizes the Secretary of the State Board of Elections to establish a pilot program or demonstration project with the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program or other federal agency for the purposes of allowing members of the military on active duty and their spouses, citizens residing outside of the United States, and military voters with disabilities or injuries to vote absentee by secure electronic means or other new technologies.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 7 of Title 24.2 a section numbered 24.2-714, relating to voting by military and overseas citizens; pilot program.

13101083D

S.B. 874 Absentee voting and procedures; secure return of voted military-overseas ballots.

Patron: McWaters

Elections; absentee voting and procedures; secure return of voted military-overseas ballots. Directs the State Board of Elections to provide instructions and procedures so that uniformed-service voters can return voted military-overseas ballots securely by electronic format. The bill also provides for expedited procedures when a ballot is requested but not sent by the deadline for making ballots available.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-706 of the Code of Virginia, relating to absentee voting and procedures; secure return of voted military-overseas ballots.

13100876D

S.B. 962 Officers of election; local electoral board may appoint person 17 years of age, requirements.

Patron: Ebbin

Officers of election. Provides that a local electoral board may appoint a person 17 years of age as an officer of election, provided such person is a citizen of the United States, a resident of the Commonwealth, and, to the extent practicable, a resident of the precinct he is appointed to serve.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-115of the Code of Virginia, relating to appointment of officers of election.

13101018D

S.B. 963 Officers of election; multiple precincts.

Patron: Ebbin

Officers of election; multiple precincts. Provides that the local electoral board may designate officers of election who may work in more than one precinct throughout election day if any or all of such precincts are located in the same building.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-115.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to officers of elections; multiple precincts.

13101017D

S.B. 1027 Voting; handling of overvoted ballots.

Patron: Edwards

Voting; overvoted ballots. Provides, in the case of ballots that are inserted into an electronic counting device, that if a ballot is found to have voted for a greater number of names for one office than the number of persons required to fill the office, the ballot shall be considered void only for that office and the votes for other offices on the ballot are to be counted. Paper ballots already are handled in this manner.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-663 of the Code of Virginia, relating to when ballot void; handling overvoted ballots.

13101743D

S.B. 1049 Qualified voters; candidate petition signatures.

Patron: Edwards

Candidate petition signatures. Provides that the signatures of qualified voters who have been assigned inactive status shall be deemed valid for purposes of candidate petitions.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-101 of the Code of Virginia, relating to definitions; qualified voter.

13102733D

S.B. 1072 Elections; electronic pollbooks, photographs.

Patron: Obenshain

Elections; electronic pollbooks; photographs. Provides that electronic pollbooks shall contain a photograph of and identifying information for each voter either received from the Department of Motor Vehicles or taken by an officer of election when the voter presents himself to vote that shall be accessed by the officer of election when the voter presents himself to vote. If the voter does not appear to be the same person depicted in the photograph in the pollbook, any qualified voter may and the officer of election shall challenge the vote of such voter. A voter with religious objections to being photographed may refuse to have his photograph taken.

A BILL to amend and reenact  24.2-404, 24.2-611, 24.2-643, 24.2-651, and 46.2-208.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to elections; electronic pollbooks; photographs.

13103420D

S.B. 1077 Registered voters; citizenship, SAVE Program.

Patron: Obenshain

Registered voters; citizenship; SAVE Program. Authorizes the State Board of Elections to apply to participate in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE Program) operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The SAVE Program enables access to immigration status and citizenship status information possessed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If the application is approved, the State Board will utilize the SAVE Program for the purposes of verifying that voters listed in the Virginia Voter Registration System are United States citizens and shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the use of the immigration status and citizenship status information received from the SAVE Program.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-404 and 24.2-427 of the Code of Virginia, relating to registered voters; citizenship; SAVE Program.

13103248D

S.B. 1145 Absentee ballots; confirmation of receipt.

Patron: McEachin

Absentee ballots; confirmation of receipt. Requires the Secretary of the State Board of Elections, in coordination with local election officials, to implement a free-access system by which a voter may determine whether his application for an absentee ballot has been received and accepted and whether his absentee ballot has been received and the current status of the absentee ballot.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-711.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to absentee ballots; confirmation of receipt.

13101979D

S.B. 1155 Electoral boards; appointments shall be on nonpartisan basis.

Patron: Barker

Electoral boards, appointment. Provides that appointments to local electoral boards shall be on a nonpartisan basis, eliminating current provisions for party representation on boards and submission of appointment recommendations by the political parties.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-106 of the Code of Virginia, relating to appointment of members of local electoral boards.

13102803D

S.B. 1168 Elections; method of nominating party candidates.

Patron: Smith

Elections; method of nominating party candidates. Removes the power of incumbent officeholders in some cases to insist on a primary as the method of nominating political party candidates and removes the power of General Assembly incumbents seeking reelection to determine the method of nomination. The bill leaves the power to determine the method of nominating party candidates to the duly constituted authorities of the political party.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-509 and 24.2-516 of the Code of Virginia, relating to elections; method of nominating party candidates; party primaries.

13100463D

S.B. 1229 Elections, State Board of; increases size of membership.

Patron: Vogel

State Board of Elections; Director of Elections. Increases the size of the State Board of Elections from three to five members. The bill also provides for the position of Director of Elections to be hired by the State Board with the concurrence of at least four of its members, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, as head of the elections agency, in place of the present position of the Secretary who is a member of the State Board appointed by the Governor. The Director may be removed only by a vote of at least four members of the State Board.

A BILL to amend and reenact  2.2-106, 24.2-101, 24.2-102, 24.2-404.1, 24.2-411.2, 24.2-455, 24.2-464, 24.2-502, 24.2-644, 24.2-713, 24.2-946.4, 24.2-953.3, 24.2-953.4, and 64.2-2014 of the Code of Virginia, relating to elections and the State Board of Elections; providing for a Director of Elections.

13101868D

S.B. 1256 Voter identification requirements; photo ID required at polls.

Patron: Obenshain

Voter identification requirements; photo ID. Requires photo ID at the polls by eliminating all forms of identification that do not contain a photograph of the voter from the list of forms of identification any one of which a voter must present in order to be allowed to vote. The bill also adds a valid United States passport to the list and requires that a student identification card issued by an institution of higher education in the Commonwealth contain a photograph in order to be used by a voter. The bill does not affect the right of a voter who does not present one of the required forms of identification to cast a provisional ballot. The bill also provides that the State Board shall provide voter registration cards that contain a voter's photograph and signature if the voter does not possess other satisfactory photo ID.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-404, 24.2-411.1, and 24.2-643 of the Code of Virginia, relating to voter identification requirements; photo ID.

13103249D

S.B. 1260 Candidates in elections; party nominating methods for statewide or General Assembly district office.

Patron: Wagner

Party nominating methods. Provides that no political party shall determine its candidates for statewide or General Assembly district office by a method that has the practical effect of excluding participation in the nominating process by active duty military personnel and military reservists or by individuals who are unable to attend meetings because of military service-related injuries, regardless of their duty station or location.

A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-509 of the Code of Virginia, relating to party to determine method of nominating its candidates for office; exceptions.

13102966D

S.B. 1294 Senate Districts; technical adjustments in boundaries.

Patron: Blevins

Senate districts; technical adjustment. Reassigns the Fairways Precinct in the City of Chesapeake from District 5 to District 14.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 24.2-303.4, relating to technical adjustments of certain Senate district boundaries.

13103838D

S.J.R. 261 Constitutional amendment; expands freedom of speech provisions (first reference).

Patron: Carrico

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); freedom of speech. Expands the freedom of speech provisions of the Constitution of Virginia to permit prayer and the recognition of religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including public school property. The amendment also provides that the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, including public school divisions, shall not compose prayers and shall not require any person to join in prayers or other religious activity.

Proposing an amendment to Section 12 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to freedom of speech and of the press; right peaceably to assembly, and to petition.

13100404D

S.J.R. 272 Constitutional amendment; real property tax exemption for spouses of soldiers killed in action.

Patron: Black

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); real property tax exemption for spouses of soldiers killed in action. Provides a real property tax exemption for the primary residence of surviving spouses of members of the military who are killed in action.

Proposing an amendment to Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to property tax exemptions.

13102717D

S.J.R. 275 Constitutional amendment; Transportation Funds (first reference).

Patron: Obenshain

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Transportation Funds. Requires the General Assembly to maintain permanent and separate Transportation Funds to include the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, Transportation Trust Fund, Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund, and other funds established by general law for transportation. All revenues dedicated to Transportation Funds on January 1, 2013, by general law, other than a general appropriation law, shall be deposited to the Transportation Funds, unless the General Assembly by general law, other than a general appropriation law, alters the revenues dedicated to the Funds. The amendment limits the use of Fund moneys to transportation and related purposes. The General Assembly may borrow from the Funds for other purposes only by a vote of two-thirds plus one of the members voting in each house, and the loan must be repaid with reasonable interest within four years.

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia by adding in Article X a section numbered 7-B, relating to special funds for transportation purposes.

13101568D

S.J.R. 281 Constitutional amendment; tax credits (first reference).

Patron: Petersen

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); tax credits. Provides that no tax credit shall remain in effect longer than five years unless it is reenacted by the General Assembly.

Proposing an amendment to Section 1 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to tax credits.

13100549D

S.J.R. 287 Constitutional amendment; free exercise of religion (first reference).

Patron: Stanley

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); free exercise of religion. Adds to the present constitutional provision on freedom of religion and provides that the right to worship includes prayer in private or public settings, on government premises, on public property, and in all public schools. The amendment also requires public schools to display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. The proposed amendment is based on a provision in the Missouri Constitution approved by the Missouri voters August 7, 2012.

Proposing an amendment to Section 16 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to the free exercise of religion.

13100576D

S.J.R. 292 Constitutional amendment; selection and qualification of judges (first reference).

Patron: Black

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); selection and qualification of judges; pro tempore appointment by Governor. Prohibits the Governor from appointing any person to judicial office after such person failed in either the House of Delegates or the Senate to receive a majority vote.

Proposing an amendment to Section 7 of Article VI of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to selection and qualification of judges; pro tempore appointment by Governor.

13100194D

S.J.R. 319 Constitutional amendment; contributions to defined benefit retirement plans.

Patron: Ebbin

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); contributions to defined benefit retirement plans maintained for employees. Requires that contributions to defined benefit retirement plans that are maintained for state employees and employees of participating political subdivisions and school divisions be made in strict adherence with contribution rates and times for the payment of the contributions as recommended by the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).

Under the resolution, for the four fiscal years beginning on and after July 1, 2014, the General Assembly could make contributions at a rate that is less than the VRS recommended contribution rate without any deferred contributions being recognized so long as the contributions are at least equal to certain minimum amounts. In addition, for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018, the General Assembly could provide for the deferral of all or any portion of such contributions for any fiscal year in which the maximum amount is appropriated from the Revenue Stabilization Fund by a separate vote of a majority of all the members voting in each house. All contributions deferred would be required to be repaid within 10 years at an annual interest rate equal to the current actuarially calculated long-term rate of return as determined by VRS. The resolution also requires that retirement contributions deferred in 2010 be repaid by June 30, 2024.

The resolution also specifies how certain other factors and variables used in setting contribution rates are to be determined.

Proposing an amendment to Section 11 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to contributions to defined benefit retirement plans maintained for state employees and certain local employees.

13101035D

S.J.R. 327 Constitutional amendment; state school division for schools denied accreditation (first reference).

Patron: McDougle

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); statewide school division for schools denied accreditation. Authorizes the General Assembly to establish a statewide school division to supervise and administer schools that have been denied accreditation for a number of consecutive school years, as determined by the General Assembly. Supervision of the statewide school division is to be vested in a single statewide school board established as may be provided by law. Funding of the statewide division is to be provided by law, and transfer of certain per pupil shares of various funds from the local school district of residence to the statewide district is authorized.

Proposing an amendment to Section 5 of Article VIII of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to powers and duties of the Board of Education; opportunity school district.

13103634D

S.J.R. 363 Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission; confirming appointment of Chairman.

Patron: Norment

Appointment; Chairman of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. Confirms the appointment by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia of the Honorable F. Bruce Bach as Chairman of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission for a term of four years to expire December 31, 2016, to succeed himself.

Confirming the appointment of the Chairman of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission.

13103969D

S.J.R. 367 Constitutional amendment; appointment of electoral boards & officers of election (first reference).

Patrons: Ebbin, Barker

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); appointment of electoral boards and officers of election. Provides that appointments to local electoral boards and as officers of election shall be on a nonpartisan basis, eliminating current provisions for party representation.

Proposing an amendment to Section 8 of Article II of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to electoral boards; registrars and officers of election.

13104026D

S.J.R. 381 Governor; confirming appointments.

Patron: Obenshain

Confirming Governor's appointments of certain persons. Confirms appointments to various positions made by Governor McDonnell and communicated to the General Assembly December 1, 2012.

Confirming appointments by the Governor of certain persons communicated December 1, 2012.

13102976D

S.J.R. 382 Governor; confirming appointments.

Patron: Obenshain

Confirming Governor's appointments of certain persons. Confirms appointments to various positions made by Governor McDonnell and communicated to the General Assembly January 8, 2013.

Confirming appointments by the Governor of certain persons communicated January 8, 2013.

13103707D