Virginia General Assembly Update–Week 6
As the General Assembly session heads down the final stretch, this week was filled with decisive actions on numerous bills, including a number of VCC priorities. Here is a roundup of key final outcomes. Many of these will be featured later in our end-of-session report, which will also show how your legislators voted.
Favorable Final Outcomes This Week:
“Right to Abortion” Rejected: A VCC-opposed resolution seeking to enshrine a “right to abortion” in Virginia’s constitution (passed previously by the Senate) was defeated in a House subcommittee this afternoon.
Contraceptive Mandate Defeated: Yesterday, a House subcommittee defeated VCC-opposed legislation (passed previously by the Senate) seeking to require health plans to cover all drugs the FDA defines as contraceptives, including some drugs that can cause abortions.
Marriage Provision Preserved: Virginia’s constitution defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman – a definition approved by Virginia voters in November 2006. A VCC-opposed resolution to remove this provision from Virginia’s constitution (passed previously by the Senate) was defeated in a House subcommittee.
Marijuana Commercialization Stopped Again: Although Virginia enacted legislation in 2021 to legalize marijuana possession and home cultivation, VCC-opposed legislation to allow the sale of marijuana – including high-potency THC – in “pot shops” was defeated for the second straight year. Though the Senate passed the marijuana commercialization bill earlier this session, a House subcommittee voted it down on Tuesday.
Unfavorable Final Outcomes This Week:
Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act Defeated: A House-passed, VCC-supported measure to ensure that babies who are born despite abortion attempts receive the same life-saving care that any other babies would receive after birth was defeated in a Senate committee yesterday.
Informed Consent Bill Defeated: The same Senate committee that rejected the Born Alive legislation also voted down House-passed, VCC-supported legislation to provide pregnant women considering abortion information about alternatives and resources available before making this life-changing decision.
Website to Assist Pregnant Women Blocked: A House-passed, VCC-supported bill to expand public awareness of life-affirming assistance available to pregnant women was defeated in a Senate committee this morning.
Clergy Visitation Bill Failed: On Thursday, a Senate committee rejected a House-passed, VCC-supported bill to strengthen Virginia’s law regarding access to clergy visits by patients at hospitals and other facilities during public health emergencies.
EISTC Improvements Stall: On Tuesday, a Senate committee defeated House-passed, VCC-supported legislation to make several improvements to the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits program. However, a major EISTC issue remains: Please take action on our critical alert about an EISTC issue in the budget.
Voting Rights Resolution Failed: A Senate-passed, VCC-supported resolution to restore voting rights for persons convicted of a felony once they have completed their sentences was defeated in a House subcommittee this morning.
Drug Affordability Measure Dies: A Senate-passed, VCC-supported proposal to make especially expensive prescription drugs more affordable was tabled in a House subcommittee yesterday.
Pregnant and need help? Click here to find pregnancy resources offered by our two dioceses.
In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.
The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.