House Republican Leader C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah:
“It’s evident from social media and what we see in the press that Democrats are going to push a number of items that will make it tougher for public safety professionals to do their job, create less safe communities, and add additional burdens to small businesses on top of what they did during the regular session.
Republicans will file a number of bills in the coming hours and days, including the following legislative concepts:
- A budget amendment setting aside $100 million to reimburse and incentivize local governments to help parents find education alternatives for students who can’t receive in-person education.
- Multiple bills that will allow parents of students in schools who don’t provide in-person education to to find education alternatives.
- Several bills and a Constitutional amendment that limit the duration of a Governor’s emergency powers and require the involvement of the General Assembly after that time elapses.
Law Enforcement/ Criminal Justice Reform
- Bills that will make it easier to decertify the few “bad apples” in our law enforcement community.
- Improved data collection regarding arrests.
- Legislation creating a “duty to intervene” when officers see a colleague abuse a suspect.
- Legislation expanding the use of body cameras.
- Legislation tightening hiring standards for new officers.
- Significant changes to how we respond to mental health crises.
- Legislation removing discipline issues from collective bargaining powers.
- Legislation requiring the creation of training standards for de-escalation.
- Increasing penalties for blocking use of streets.
- Increasing penalties for the use of dangerous weapons during a riot.
- Increasing penalties for blocking emergency medical workers performing their duties.
- Increasing penalties for crossing police barricades, perimeters or barricades.
- Legislation asking the Office of State Inspector General to investigate the Administration’s response to COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
- Legal protections for businesses that need the ever-changing safety guidelines set down by the CDC, but not the set in stone regulations introduced by Department of Labor and Industry.
- Legislation securing the rights of family members to be with loved ones in end of life situations, i.e. a “No One Should Die Alone” bill.
- Legislation removing sovereign immunity from members of the Parole Board for their decisions.
- Expansion of the Freedom of Information Act to cover Parole Board vote.
Additional details will be made available as bills are filed, or as the majority provides more information about the process and timelines.