Fellow Patriots, we apologize for the frequency of these updates… Though they lack entertainment value, they are desperately necessary.  The situation in Richmond is so fluid that circumstances literally change by the minute.

We received this urgent update from John Taylor of Tertium Quids just a few moments ago, regarding two eminent domain bills; Please read the update, as it explains the issue fully. Phone numbers and email addresses are attached for contacting the various members of these committees.

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KILL THESE TWO BILLS

We have a situation that must be dealt with IMMEDIATELY.

SB 437 Eminent domain; definitions of lost profits and access.

A Senate bill (SB 437) patroned by Sen. Mark Obenshain that deals with the eminent domain issues of lost profits and access [similar to the one in the House listed below (HB 1035)] is about to come out with new language that we need to OPPOSE.  SB 437 has horrible language and was brokered in the middle of the night, last night, without the benefit of any of the property rights groups or experts.  Apparently, Sen. Obenshain worked with the condemnors’ attorneys/lobbyists to strike a language deal.  The pro-property rights folks were not even copied on the email exchange.

SB 437 is before the Senate Courts of Justice TODAY, Wednesday, 2/8/12, ½ hour after adjournment, Senate Room B.  Contact your Senator NOW and ask them to vote NO to SB 437

Senate Courts of Justice

Sen. Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R) (804) 698-7503 district03@senate.virginia.gov (chairman)

Sen. John S. Edwards (D) (804) 698-7521 district21@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Thomas A. Garrett, Jr. (R) (804) 698-7522 district22@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Janet D. Howell (D) (804) 698-7532 district32@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D) (804) 698-7518 district18@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Henry L. Marsh, III (D) (804) 698-7516 district16@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D) (804) 698-7509 district09@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Ryan T. McDougle (R) (804) 698-7504 district04@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R) (804) 698-7526 district26@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Linda T. Puller (R) (804) 698-7536 district36@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Bryce E. Reeves (R) (804) 698-7517 district17@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D) (804) 698-7535 district35@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. William M. Stanley, Jr. (R) (804) 698-7520 district20@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Richard H. Stuart (R) (804) 698-7528 district28@senate.virginia.gov

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R) (804) 698-7527 district27@senate.virginia.gov

 

HB 1035: Eminent domain; lost profits and access.

HB 1035 was passed by the House Courts of Justice Committee with a terrible substitution.  We can no longer support HB 1035.  It would be better to kill this bill and let present case law, which is preferable to the new language contained within this bill, prevail until next year.

HB 1035 has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment, 9th floor Appropriations Room.  As dockets have not been posted for this week and this is the last week before Crossover (February 14th), it is important to begin calling the committee members and ask them to vote NO to HB 1035.

House Appropriations Committee

Del. Harry R. Purkey (R) (804) 698-1082 delhpurkey@house.virginia.gov (chairman)

Del. Kirkland K. Cox (R) (804) 698-1066 delkcox@house.virginia.gov (vice chairman)

Del. Mamye E. BaCote (D) (804) 698-1095 delmbacote@house.virginia.gov

Del. Robert H. Brink (D) (804) 698-1048 delrbrink@house.virginia.gov

Del. Rosalyn R. Dance (D) (804) 698-1063 delrdance@house.virginia.gov

Del. Thomas A. Greason (R) (804) 698-1032 deltgreason@house.virginia.gov

Del. Algie T. Howell, Jr. (D) (804) 698-1090 delahowell@house.virginia.gov

Del. Riley E. Ingram (R) (804) 698-1062 delringram@house.virginia.gov

Del. Johnny S. Joannou (D) (804) 698-1079 (no email)

Del. S. Chris Jones (R) (804) 698-1076 delcjones@house.virginia.gov

Del. R. Steven Landes (R) (804) 698-1025 delslandes@house.virginia.gov

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R) (804) 698-1031 delslingamfelter@house.virginia.gov

Del. James P. Massie, III (R) (804) 698-1072 deljmassie@house.virginia.gov

Del. Joe T. May (R) (804) 698-1033 deljmay@house.virginia.gov

Del. John M. O’Bannon, III (R) (804) 698-1073 deljobannon@house.virginia.gov

Del. Christopher K. Peace (R) (804) 698-1097 delcpeace@house.virginia.gov

Del. Charles D. Poindexter (R) (804) 698-1009 delcpoindexter@house.virginia.gov

Del. Edward T. Scott (R) (804) 698-1030 delescott@house.virginia.gov

Del. James E. Scott (D) (804) 698-1053 deljscott@house.virginia.gov

Del. Beverly J. Sherwood (R) (804) 698-1029 delbsherwood@house.virginia.gov

Del. Robert Tata (R) (804) 698-1085 delbtata@house.virginia.gov

Del. Onzlee Ware (D) (804) 698-1011 deloware@house.virginia.gov

 

 

CALL NOW – SUPPORT

SJ 3 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (second reference).

SB 240 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (voter referendum).

Both SJ 3 and SB 240 are still on the Senate floor for the second reading (they were passed by for the day again yesterday).  Contact your Senator NOW and ask them to support both SJ 3 and SB 240, without sending either of them back to committee. (See below)

DANGER! DANGER!

The Senate can, by voice vote, refer the bill back to a committee, perhaps Senate Finance.  If they do this, the amendment will die.  Contact your Senator NOWand ask them to do 3 things:

  1. if a motion is made to refer SJ 3 back to a committee, vote NO
  2. if a motion is made to refer SJ 3 back to a committee, request the vote be recorded
  3. vote Yes to SJ 3

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

 

CALL NOW – SUPPORT

HJ 3 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (second reference).

HB 5 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (voter referendum).

Both HJ 3 and HB 5 are in the House Privileges and Elections Committee which meets on Fridays, 9:30 a.m., 9th floor Appropriations Room.  We expect the bills will be on the committee docket for this Friday, 2/10/12, although it has not been posted, yet.

Please contact your Delegate and ask them to vote YES to both HJ 3 and HB 5.

House Privileges & Elections Committee

Del. Mark L. Cole (R) (804) 698-1088 delmcole@house.virginia.gov (chairman)

Del. David B. Albo (R) (804) 698-1042 deldalpo@house.virginia.gov (chairman)

Del. Kenneth C. Alexander (D) (804) 698-1089 delkalexander@house.virginia.gov

Del. Robert B. Bell (R) (804) 698-1058 delrbell@house.virginia.gov

Del. John A. Cosgrove (R) (804) 698-1078 deljcosgrove@house.virginia.gov

Del. John A. Cox (R) (804) 698-1055 deljcox@house.virginia.gov

Del. Rosalyn R. Dance (D) (804) 698-1063 delrdance@house.virginia.gov

Del. Algie T. Howell, Jr. (D) (804) 698-1090 delahowell@house.virginia.gov

Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R) (804) 698-1040 delthugo@house.virginia.gov

Del. Riley E. Ingram (R) (804) 698-1062 delringram@house.virginia.gov

Del. Johnny S. Joannou (D) (804) 698-1079 (no email)

Del. S. Chris Jones (R) (804) 698-1076 delcjones@house.virginia.gov

Del. R. Steven Landes (R) (804) 698-1025 delslandes@house.virginia.gov

Del. Jackson H. Miller (R) (804) 698-1050 deljmiller@house.virginia.gov

Del. John M. O’Bannon, III (R) (804) 698-1073 deljobannon@house.virginia.gov

Del. Israel D. O’Quinn (R) (804) 698-1005 delioquinn@house.virginia.gov

Del. Lacey E. Putney (R) (804) 698-1019 dellputney@house.virginia.gov

Del. David I. Ramadan (R) (804) 698-1087 deldramadan@house.virginia.gov

Del. Margaret B. Ransone (R) (804) 698-1099 delmransone@house.virginia.gov

Del. James E. Scott (D) (804) 698-1053 deljscott@house.virginia.gov

Del. Mark D. Sickles (D) (804) 698-1043 delmsickles@house.virginia.gov

Del. Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D) (804) 698-1077 dellspruill@house.virginia.gov

 

CALL NOW – OPPOSE

 

HB 321 Income tax, state; educational improvement scholarships tax credits.

HB 321 has been assigned to the House Finance Subcommittee #3 which meets Fridays, 7:30 a.m., 7th Floor West Conference Room.  No dockets have been posted for this week, but this is the last week before Crossover (2/14/12).  We expect HB 321 to be heard this Friday, 2/10/12.  Contact your delegate and ask them to vote NO to HB 321.

House Finance Committee

Subcommittee #3

 

Del. R. Lee Ware, Jr. (R) (804) 698-1065 dellware@house.virginia.gov (chairman)

Del. Joseph P. Johnson, Jr. (D) (804) 698-1004 deljjohnson@house.virginia.gov

Del. Robert D. Orrock, Sr. (R) (804) 698-1054 delrorrock@house.virginia.gov

Del. Harry R. Purkey (R) (804) 698-1082 delhpurkey@house.virginia.gov

Del. Ronald A. Villanueva (R) (804) 698-1021 delrvillanueva@house.virginia.gov

 

 

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WE SUPPORT THESE BILLS

1)  Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment:

HJ 3 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (second reference).

Robert B. Bell | all patrons

 

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); taking or damaging of private property; public use.  Revises the prohibition on the enactment by the General Assembly of laws whereby private property may be taken or damaged. An existing provision authorizing the General Assembly to define what constitutes a public use is removed. The proposed amendment provides that private property can be taken or damaged only for a public use, only with just compensation to the owner, and only so much taken as is necessary for the public use. Just compensation must equal or exceed the value of the property taken, lost profits and lost access, and damages to the residue caused by the taking. A public service company, public service corporation, or railroad exercises the power of eminent domain for public use when such exercise is for the authorized provision of utility, common carrier, or railroad services. In all other cases, a taking or damaging of private property is not for public use if the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development, except for the elimination of a public nuisance existing on the property. The condemnor bears the burden of proving that the use is public, without a presumption that it is.

Status: (We support this bill)

01/12/12  House: Assigned P & E sub: Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee

02/06/12  House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N)

HJ 3 passed the House Privileges and Elections Constitutional Amendment Subcommittee 5-0.  The bill now goes to the full P&E Committee which meets on Fridays, 9:30 a.m., 9th floor Appropriations Room.  We expect HJ 3 will be on the committee docket for this Friday, although it has not been posted, yet.  (See above for committee membership).

HB 5 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (voter referendum).

 Robert B. Bell | all patrons

Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); taking or damaging of private property; public use.  Provides for a referendum question on the November 6, 2012, election ballot to approve or reject an amendment eliminating the General Assembly’s authority to define a public use for which private property may be taken or damaged and providing that no private property shall be taken or damaged for a public use without just compensation to the property owner and that only so much of the property as is necessary to achieve the public use is taken or damaged.

Status: (We support this bill)

01/12/12  House: Assigned P & E sub: Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee

02/06/12  House: Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N)

HB 5 passed the House Privileges and Elections Constitutional Amendment Subcommittee 5-0.  The bill now goes to the full P&E Committee which meets on Fridays, 9:30 a.m., 9th floor Appropriations Room.  We expect HB 5 will be on the committee docket for this Friday, although it has not been posted, yet.  (See above for committee membership).

SJ 3 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (second reference).

 Mark D. Obenshain | all patrons

Constitutional amendment (second resolution); taking or damaging of private property; public use.  Revises the prohibition on the enactment by the General Assembly of laws whereby private property may be taken or damaged. An existing provision authorizing the General Assembly to define what constitutes a public use is removed. The proposed amendment provides that private property can be taken or damaged only for a public use, only with just compensation to the owner, and only so much taken as is necessary for the public use. Just compensation must equal or exceed the value of the property taken, lost profits and lost access, and damages to the residue caused by the taking. A public service company, public service corporation, or railroad exercises the power of eminent domain for public use when such exercise is for the authorized provision of utility, common carrier, or railroad services. In all other cases, a taking or damaging of private property is not for public use if the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development, except for the elimination of a public nuisance existing on the property. The condemnor bears the burden of proving that the use is public, without a presumption that it is.

Status: (We support this bill)

01/31/12  Senate: Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (13-Y 2-N)

02/02/12  Senate: Read first time

02/03/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

02/06/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

02/07/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

 

SJ 3 is still on the Senate floor for the second reading TODAY (it was passed by for the day again yesterday).  Contact your Senator NOW and ask them to support SJ 3, without sending it back to committee. (See below)

The Senate can, by voice vote, refer the bill back to a committee, perhaps Senate Finance.  If they do this, the amendment will die.  Contact your Senator NOWand ask them to do 3 things:

  1. if a motion is made to refer SJ 3 back to a committee, vote NO
  2. if a motion is made to refer SJ 3 back to a committee, request the vote be recorded
  3. vote Yes to SJ 3

 

SB 240 Constitutional amendment; taking or damaging of private property for public use (voter referendum).

 Mark D. Obenshain | all patrons

 

Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); taking or damaging of private property; public use.  Provides for a referendum question on the November 6, 2012, election ballot to approve or reject an amendment eliminating the General Assembly’s authority to define a public use for which private property may be taken or damaged and (i) requiring that eminent domain be exercised for public uses and not for the primary purpose of private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) defining what is to be included in determining just compensation for permissible takings; and (iii) prohibiting the taking of more private property than is necessary for the stated public use.

Status: (We support this bill)

01/31/12  Senate: Reported from Privileges and Elections with amendment (13-Y 2-N)

02/02/12  Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)

02/03/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

02/06/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

02/07/12  Senate: Passed by for the day

 

 

SB 240 is still on the Senate floor today for the second reading (it was passed by for the day again yesterday).  Contact your Senator and ask them to vote YES on SB 240 when it comes to the floor vote.

 

WE OPPOSE THESE BILLS

1)  Eminent Domain:

HB 1035 Eminent domain; lost profits and access.

 Johnny S. Joannou | all patrons

Eminent domain; lost profits and access.  Provides definitions for the terms “lost profits” and “lost access” and how to determine the amount of just compensation, which includes lost profits and lost access resulting from the taking, that must be paid for property taken by eminent domain. The bill has a contingent effective date of January 1, 2013, provided that the voters approve an amendment to Section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia at the 2012 November election.

Status: (We oppose this bill)

02/03/12  House: Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 4-N)

02/03/12  House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

HB 1035 was passed by the House Courts of Justice Committee with a terrible substitution.  We can no longer support HB 1035.  It would be better to kill this bill and let present case law, which is preferable to the new language contained within this bill, prevail until next year.

HB 1035 has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1/2 hour after adjournment, 9th floor Appropriations Room.  As dockets have not been posted for this week and this is the last week before Crossover (February 14th), it is important to begin calling the committee members and ask them to vote NO to HB 1035 (see above for committee membership).

SB 437 Eminent domain; definitions of lost profits and access.

Mark D. Obenshain | all patrons

Eminent domain; lost profits and access.  Provides definitions for the terms “lost profits” and “lost access” and how to determine the amount of just compensation, which includes lost profits and lost access resulting from the taking, that must be paid for property taken by eminent domain. The bill has a contingent effective date of January 1, 2013, provided that the voters approve an amendment to Section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia at the 2012 November election.

Status: (We oppose this bill)

01/11/12  Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

SB 437 is about to come out with new language that we need to OPPOSE.  SB 437 has horrible language and was brokered in the middle of the night, last night, without the benefit of any of the property rights groups or experts.  Apparently, Sen. Obenshain worked with the condemnors’ attorneys/lobbyists to strike a language deal.  The pro-property rights folks were not even copied on the email exchange.

SB 437 is before the Senate Courts of Justice TODAY, Wednesday, 2/8/12, ½ hour after adjournment, Senate Room B.  Contact your Senator NOW and ask them to vote NO to SB 437. (See above for committee membership).

2)  School Choice:

HB 321 Income tax, state; educational improvement scholarships tax credits.

 James P. “Jimmie” Massie, III | all patrons

 

Income tax; educational improvement scholarships tax credits.  Establishes a credit beginning in taxable year 2012 for corporations donating cash or property to nonprofit organizations providing education improvement scholarships to students who would have been eligible for the free and reduced lunch program under federal law, in order for them to attend nonpublic elementary or secondary schools. Nonprofit organizations to which donations are made would be required to distribute at least 90 percent of their tax-credit-derived funds for such scholarships. The credit would equal 70 percent of the donation made by the corporation and would be refundable. Any corporation taking a charitable deduction on its federal income tax return would be required to add that amount back to its Virginia taxable income in order to receive the credit. There is a $25 million annual cap for the credits.

Status: (We oppose this bill)

01/16/12  House: Referred to Committee on Finance

02/07/12  House: Assigned Finance sub: #3

 

HB 321 has been assigned to the House Finance Subcommittee #3 which meets Fridays, 7:30 a.m., 7th Floor West Conference Room.  No dockets have been posted for this week, but this is the last week before Crossover (2/14/12).  We expect HB 321 to be heard this Friday, 2/10/12.  Contact your delegate and ask them to vote NO to HB 321.  (See above for subcommittee membership).

 

SB 241 Tax credits; businesses providing assistance to low-income families, etc., in private schools.

 Mark D. Obenshain | all patrons

 

Tax credits; assistance to low-income families, scholarships for K through 12 students attending private schools.  Establishes a credit beginning in taxable year 2012 for certain business entities making monetary donations to nonprofit organizations providing education improvement scholarships to students whose family’s annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the current poverty guidelines and certain students with disabilities, in order for them to attend nonpublic elementary or secondary schools. Nonprofit organizations to which donations are made would be required to distribute at least 90 percent of their tax-credit-derived funds in the form of scholarships to such students. The credit would equal 84 percent of the donation made by the business entity and any unused credit for the taxable year would be refundable. There is an annual cap of $50 million in tax credits for the scholarship program. The Department of Education would administer the tax credit program.

The bill also expands the current Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit program by increasing the tax credit percentage from 40 to 64 percent; expanding the eligibility criteria for programs qualifying for tax credits to encompass programs providing services to certain students with disabilities and individuals whose family’s annual household income is not in excess of 300 percent of the poverty guidelines; and repealing the July 1, 2014, sunset for the program. Current law provides that programs qualifying for tax credits must provide services to individuals whose family’s annual household income is not in excess of 200 percent of the current poverty guidelines.

Status: (We oppose this bill)

01/10/12  Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance

The Senate Finance Committee meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m., Senate Room B.  SB 241 is not on the docket for Wednesday or Thursday.

 

SB 131 Income tax, corporate; educational improvement scholarships credit.

 William M. Stanley, Jr. | all patrons

Income tax; educational improvement scholarships. Establishes a credit beginning in taxable year 2013 for corporations donating cash to nonprofit organizations providing education improvement scholarships to students who would have been eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program under federal law, in order for them to attend nonpublic elementary or secondary schools. Nonprofit organizations to which donations are made would be required to distribute at least 90 percent of their annual receipts for such scholarships. The credit would equal 70 percent of the donation made by the corporation and would be refundable. Any corporation taking a charitable deduction on its federal income tax return would be required to add that amount back to its Virginia taxable income in order to receive this credit. There is a $25 million cap for the credits.

Status: (We oppose this bill)

01/10/12  Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance

The Senate Finance Committee meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m., Senate Room B.  SB 131 is not on the docket for Wednesday or Thursday.

 

To find your legislator, please follow this link:

http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

            Please feel free to forward this message and future updates to your list.

Thank You to all our members who are keeping up this fight, and for the tireless work of folks like Cathy Turner and John Taylor who are watching this GA session like hawks.

Gregory Honeycutt
President, Roanoke Tea Party

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