House Bills 1646 and 1683 Pass in the State Senate, HJR 536 Passes in the House

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that House Joint Resolution 536 has passed in the House of Delegates.  Additionally, House Bills 1646 and 1683 have passed in the Senate. 

House Resolution 536 would amend the Virginia constitution to include Virginia’s existing Right to Work laws as part of the constitution.  Current law provides that a citizen cannot be denied the employment or continuation of employment for failing to join a union or other labor organization.  This amendment would make Virginia’s Right to Work law permanent by adding it to the constitution.

“I am thrilled to see House Joint Resolution 536, the Right to Work amendment, has gained a great deal of support in the House of Delegates.”  said Delegate Bell.  “The Right to Work law is vital to the success of Virginia’s workforce, and is an important factor in Virginia’s continued high rankings as one of the best states for business.  By adding the existing Right to Work law to the Constitution of Virginia, we are ensuring that it will stay part of Virginia law for many years to come.”

House Joint Resolution 536 was initially referred to the Constitutional Amendments subcommittee of the Privileges and Elections committee.  It was reported out of the subcommittee with a vote of 5-0.  It was then reported out of the Privileges and Elections Committee with a vote of 17-5.

In order to amend the Virginia constitution, the amendment must past both bodies of the Virginia General Assembly twice, with an election in between.  It would then go on the ballot as a referendum for the voters to decide.

Additionally, today House Bills 1646 and 1683 passed in the Senate.

House Bill 1646 clarifies eligibility requirements for funds from the state pool of funds for comprehensive services for at-risk youth and families, making clear that a child who has been placed through an agreement between his parents and a public agency other than the local department of social services, or who is receiving foster care services to prevent foster care placement, is eligible for funds from the state pool.

House Bill 1683 adds community-based mental health services to the list of services for which expenditures must be reported by the Office of Comprehensive Services for At-Risk Youth and Families.

Both bills were initially referred to the Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, where they were reported out unanimously. They passed on the house floor with a vote of 98-0.  They were then reported out of the Social Services Subcommittee and the full Rehab and Social Services subcommittee unanimously.  They passed on the Senate floor today with a vote of 40-0.  They will now be sent to the Governor for final approval.  

“I am very pleased to see House Bills 1646 and 1683 pass with unanimous support. These bills help ensure that they funds spent under the Comprehensive Services Act are appropriately spent.”  said Delegate Bell. “I’m pleased that this legislation received bipartisan support in both bodies, and I am pleased to see it move on to the Governor for final approval.”

             Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.  He is currently serving in his 2nd term.

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