Virginia General Assembly Update – Week 2
Here in Richmond, we stand in prayer and solidarity with all those participating in the National March for Life in DC today!
Bill hearings picked up speed considerably in this second week of the Virginia General Assembly session. On bills dealing with a wide range of topics considered in committees throughout the week, we testified in support of life, parental rights and low-income workers.
We also have some key updates to share.
Assisted suicide: Please take action on our assisted suicide alert if you have not done so already, and please share it far and wide! Bills in both the Senate (SB 280) and the House (HB 858) are expected to be heard very soon. In fact, a subcommittee hearing on the Senate bill has already been scheduled – for Tuesday, January 23. Now is the time to tell your legislators you oppose assisted suicide!
Constitutional Amendments: Earlier this week, the Senate decided to postpone initial consideration of constitutional amendments until next year. This does not change the overall timeline, since proposed constitutional amendments must pass twice – with a House of Delegates election in between the two votes – before they could be considered by Virginia voters. Therefore, the General Assembly can vote on them the first time in either 2024 or 2025, and then vote on them the second time in 2026 (following the Nov. 2025 House of Delegates election). The Senate has opted for 2025 for first votes, and assuming the House decides to follow the same path that’s when we’ll see first votes on proposed constitutional amendments on abortion, marriage and restoration of voting rights.
Death Penalty: Introduced legislation (HB 394) to reinstate the death penalty was debated in subcommittee earlier this week. We testified in opposition to the bill, and it was defeated in a 6-2 vote. Therefore, the death penalty repeal enacted in 2021 – which we strongly supported – remains intact.
Virginia Pro-Life Day: Please plan to join thousands of pro-life advocates from across the state for Virginia Pro-Life Day on February 21 in Richmond. Meet with your legislators in the morning to urge them to protect life instead of expanding abortion. Then join the rally and march for life at the state capitol. Learn more and register at www.vaprolifeday.org.
Pregnant and need help? Click here to find pregnancy resources offered by our two dioceses.
If you are not a member of the Conference's advocacy network, click here to receive regular Conference email alerts and updates. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
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.