House Republicans file first legislation of 2017 session

chriswest2017 General Assembly

Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates filed the first legislation of the 2017 General Assembly session on Monday, the opening day of the legislative pre-filing period.  Delegates Steve Landes, Scott Lingamfelter and Chris Head filed a trio of bills that were vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe during the 2016 session.

“Earlier this year Governor McAuliffe vetoed a number of commonsense bills that would have strengthened our Commonwealth. Among those vetoes were bills to keep our schools safe, increase access to health care and protect small businesses from overreaching labor unions. These are good ideas that will make Virginia a better place and we are going to keep fighting for them,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The House Republican Caucus has demonstrated over the years our commitment to being the party of ideas and this year is no different. In addition to the legislation filed today, our members will develop a robust policy agenda that prioritizes economic growth, stronger schools, safer communities and improved healthcare access without expanding entitlements.”

“The difference between Washington and Richmond can be seen in a lot of ways, but it’s often most apparent when it comes to solutions. Republicans in the House of Delegates have a proven track record of turning principles into policies that solve problems for Virginians,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “We are once again bringing forward a strong legislative agenda. The bills we are filing today were wrongly vetoed by Governor McAuliffe and we will keep working to see them passed into law.”

Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta) filed HB 1393, legislation to protect direct primary care agreements between doctors and patients from burdensome insurance regulations. The legislation defines direct primary care (DPC) in the Code of Virginia, sets forth conditions under which physicians may enter into DPC agreements with patients, and outlines consumer protections to maintain safeguards for patients.

“Direct primary care is an innovative healthcare delivery model that makes affordable healthcare more accessible to hard-working Virginians,” said Landes. “Passing direct primary care will improve access and help control costs, addressing two of the top challenges facing healthcare today.”

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) filed HB1392, legislation to allow school security officers to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties if (i) he is a retired law-enforcement officer who retired or resigned in good standing, (ii) he has met the additional training and certification requirements of the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), (iii) the local school board solicits input from the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality regarding the qualifications of the officer, and (iv) the local school board grants him the authority to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties

“This bill is a well-crafted and prudent measure that permits a local school board to hire retired police officers and arm them to protect our children and teachers where they learn and work”, said Lingamfelter.  “I think it is very reasonable in the threat environment we find ourselves to permit retired law enforcement officers, who are thoroughly trained, to be armed so that if the unthinkable occurs, there’s a way to stop a violent situation immediately”, he concluded.

Delegate Chris Head (R-Roanoke) introduced HB 1394, legislation to protect small business franchises from overreaching labor unions. The legislation clarifies that franchisee employees cannot be considered employees of the franchisor for purposes of labor status notwithstanding any labor union agreement.

“Small businesses are the backbone and lifeblood of our economy. In recent years, President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has sought to expand the influence of labor unions over small business franchises to the detriment of their hard working employees,” saidDelegate Head. “This legislation protects employees from the overreaching federal government and overzealous labor unions. This bill is consistent with Virginia’s proud history as a right-to-work state.”