The Virginia State Crime Commission (VSCC) continued its two-day meeting on Tuesday, hearing public testimony and allowing legislators to present legislation filed during the ongoing special session.
“The last two days of testimony have laid a strong foundation for the Crime Commission to conduct a thoughtful and deliberative study,” said Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Crime Commission Chairman. “Staff will now begin to conduct its work as we determine the best approach to continue to keep our communities safe. As we have consistently said, our goal is to take meaningful, effective steps that will make Virginia safer. We will continue to work toward November 18, when the General Assembly reconvenes.”
“We appreciate the testimony and evidence presented by academics, bill patrons, and members of the public,” said Crime Commission Vice Chairman Rob Bell (R-Albemarle). “Given all this information, the Crime Commission staff and members will review the bills and other proposals as we continue work in this ongoing special session.”
“Even for those of us with a detailed understanding of this issue or extensive legislative experience, the last two days have been tremendously informative,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City). “While some have chosen to turn this important issue into a partisan squabble, we will continue to take a deliberative approach that leads to productive and workable solutions.”
“It’s disappointing that our Democrat colleagues have zeroed in on a narrow set of legislative proposals that will be ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst,” said House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “We have learned over the last two days that the best path to keeping people safe is enforcing existing law, holding criminals accountable, strengthening our mental health systems, and using targeted intervention strategies that divert people from lives of violence.”
The Commission will report their recommendations back to the General Assembly in advance of its reconvened date in November.