In Session For 20 Days, Virginia Legislature Already Feels Need to Delay Considering Bills Until At Least 2019

A ton of bills were introduced in the Virginia legislature in the 2018 session, including over 1,600 in the State House of Representatives alone as of this writing. Of those, 68 were deemed transportation-related and referred to the Transportation Committee.

There are 4 subcommittees within the Virginia House Transportation Committee, but the first of those has an interesting record. Having acted on a bit over half of the 26 bills assigned to it, subcommittee one has been a graveyard via sloth.

 Not a good way to go out

Not a good way to go out

Over half the time this committee acts on a bill, they do so to pass over it indefinitely. Six out of seven bills this committee has seen they voted to kick the can down the road, usually permanently.

These bills included two to require passengers in rear seats to wear safety belts , one that would move vehicle inspection stickers in the rear window , a motion to prohibit vehicles from passing other cars in bike lanes , an attempt to give refunds for electronic tolls in excess of $200 monthly during road construction , one that would have clarified that drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks , one that would have imposed a $100 fine for driving a vehicle with excessive snow on its roof, and many more.

The two bills they did give an up or down vote were all voted on unanimously: one bill to extend mandatory move-over laws to cover certain utility workers, and another which makes numerous changes to budget allocations and transportation committee administrative affairs.

Meanwhile, subcommittee 4 was assigned 10 bills and has voted on all of them: 3 passed, one has been ‘laid on the table’, and the remainder were evenly split between being struck from the docket, passed on indefinitely, and continued to 2019. This was the only subcommittee to actually take action on the bills sent to them.

It’s interesting that, this early in the legislative session, some lawmakers already feel the need to delay considering motions for such long periods.

For the record, subcommittees 2 and 3 were both assigned 16 bills, of which number 3 has approved one bill and struck two from the docket, having done nothing yet with the rest. Subcommittee 2 has also passed one bill but struck four from the docket, leaving the rest up for debate.