Special Session Update from Senator Chase
Dear Friends, Special Session first convened on August 18th. We had high hopes for a two week session to fix the budget shortfall we now have after Governor Northam unilaterally shutdown Virginia’s economy. Nine weeks later and we have nearly, but still not yet officially, finished. Only under big government Democrats could two weeks of government work turn into nine weeks, all the while the tax-payers are footing the bill. This is unacceptable. The budget was bad for Virginia back in the spring and unfortunately it still is. I voted against the budget in the spring and I had no choice but to vote against it in this Special Session. Don’t let Democrats tell you they did anything to help police in this session. Democrats passed, on party lines, bills that make law enforcement officers’ jobs more difficult. Republicans opposed those bills and wanted to give police and sheriff departments salary raises, but that was rejected. Democrats did approve of a one-time $500 bonus, so if you hear that they gave police a raise please explain this tremendous difference. Despite the long drawn out session, Democrats still found ways to quickly push through bills without trying to take input from all sides. On Wednesday we had an issue with a conference report coming to us at the last moment. After some debate cooler heads won out and the conference report was passed by for the day so that everyone could actually read it. Proper procedure needs to be followed in order for legislators to be fully prepared to vote on every bill. My office has received a lot of questions about a new bill, SB 5029, that will restrict police from pulling over cars at night that do not have both headlights operating. The new bill also prevents a police officer from executing a search of a vehicle if that officer smells marijuana. I voted against this bill because I feel it makes our roads and our communities less safe. This bill passed both the Senate and House on party lines. It is waiting for the governor’s signature to make it law, so there is still time to reach out to his office directly through this link here to voice your opposition.