Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making Process at VA General Assembly

The Virginia Health Care Freedom Act(SB 417), and two other identical bills SB311 and SB283, were voted on, yesterday, in the Senate Commerce & Trade Committee and passed with a 8 - 7 vote. This happened exactly one week after 2400 patriot and tea party members showed up for a 10th amendment lobby day and rally. The vote is a first and major hurdle for the legislation, because the committee has a democrat majority. The two democrat senators that crossed over in support of the bill were Senator Charles J. Colgan (D) and Senator Phillip P. Puckett (D). Please email or call them and thank them for their support.

Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Upperville, sponsor of SB417 made this statement:

"[Republicans and Democrats on the committee] were willing to pass a bill that is responding to the overwhelming tide of people who are filling our offices to talk about not state legislation, but federal legislation," said Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Upperville. "Anyone will concede that health care has issues. Health care is broken. This really comes down to Federalism, and honoring that there are some issues best left to the states."

Senator Steve Martin, R-Chesterfield, who sponsored SB311 also commented:

“Across party lines, the Senate showed today that Virginians will not stand for any federal mandate to purchase health insurance,” said Sen. Steve Martin, R-Chesterfield. “Voters are sending messages in elections across the country that they do not want these government mandates. I am pleased to see that Virginia legislators are heeding the message, as today’s vote clearly demonstrates.”

Krystal Slivinski over at the Tertium Quids blog noted:

…. Sen. Yvonne Miller was getting agitated, interrupting other Senators and those patroning the bill at the podium. She said that to argue a bill based on what happens in the federal government is out of place, and she was not going to sit here and listen to a "non-lawyer" argue the merits of the federal healthcare bill. This caused some mumbling from crowd, and the person at the podium was Sen. Jill Vogel. Sen. Wampler asked the chair to speak, was interrupted by Sen. Y. Miller, and said, "excuse me, Sen. Miller, but I did not interrupt you." He continued to make the correction that Sen. Vogel was indeed "a fine attorney," and basically put Sen. Miller in her place. From that point, committee chair Sen. Saslaw enforced more politeness among the members.

All of this leads one to wonder…..If an effort to stop the Democratic effort to take over health care can pass out of Majority Leader Dick Saslaw's committee — with enough crossover votes for passage in the full Senate —just how unpopular is this thing with their constituents. This bill could come on the senate floor for a full vote as early as Thursday.

Here is how the vote went down:

Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D) - Nay
Senator Charles J. Colgan (D) - Yea
Senator Yvonne B. Miller (D) - Nay
Senator William C. Wampler, Jr. (R) - Yea
Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R) - Yea
Senator Walter A. Stosch (R) - Yea
Senator John S. Edwards (D) - Nay
Senator John C. Watkins (R) - Yea
Senator Frank W. Wagner (R) - Yea
Senator Stephen D. Newman (R) - Yea
Senator Phillip P. Puckett (D) - Yea
Senator Linda T. Puller (D) - Nay
Senator Mark R. Herring (D) - Nay
Senator A. Donald McEachin (D) - Nay
Senator R. Creigh Deeds (D) - Nay

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