RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia lawmakers have until the end of the day to act on the bills in their respective chambers, commonly referred to as the crossover deadline, before they turn to legislation that makes it out of the other.
Several issues must be addressed by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates at the midpoint of the 2022 General Assembly session. Proposals to speed up legal sales of marijuana, cut taxes and key initiatives of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration are on the line.
After working late into the night Monday, the Virginia House is set for another long day of work on Tuesday. State delegates voted along party lines to ban the teaching of “divisive concepts” in public schools. The effort was defeated in the Senate, where lawmakers are expected to reject the House’s bill.
The House will weigh in on changes to Virginia’s voting rules and other proposals to rollback laws passed under Democratic control.
The Virginia Senate passed a bill to start recreational sales of marijuana this September. If signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin as written, the measure would allow certain medical providers to sell cannabis to adults starting Sept. 15 until the full legal market opens in 2024.
The legislation still needs to go through the House of Delegates, where it is expected to face changes from the Republican-led chamber. Newly empowered House Republicans criticized the effort to legalize marijuana in Virginia, but the caucus did not move any of the chamber’s legislation out of committee.
The Virginia Senate voted 24-16 to pass a bill allowing law enforcement and campus police for colleges and universities to use facial recognition technology to investigate certain incidents.
Both chambers have already passed a bill that effectively ends mask mandates in public schools. Gov. Youngkin has added an amendment that would put the law into effect no later than March 1. Lawmakers must approve the amendment on a majority vote.
The legislation requires schools to have in-person instruction and gives parents the option to send their children to class without a mask.
A bipartisan push to build a stadium and massive complex in Northern Virginia to bring the Washington Commanders to the commonwealth passed the House Monday. On Tuesday, the state Senate voted to approve its version of the bill.
Proposals to require the organization to provide documents from an ongoing investigation before a deal can get done were roundly rejected by lawmakers.
“This is a business transaction. We didn’t investigate Jeff Bezos when we did a deal with Amazon,” state Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) said during a committee hearing last week.
An effort to prohibit abortions in most cases after 20 weeks was killed by Virginia Democrats. The Republican push appears dead after GOP leaders conceded the current makeup of the state Senate would keep it from passing.
The House did pass a bill on a party-line vote that would require doctors performing abortions to take steps “to preserve the life and health of a human infant who has been born alive” during such a procedure.
If signed into law, doctors who fail to do so could face a Class 4 felony. But the legislation is expected to get defeated by Democrats in the Senate.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.