A coalition of nonprofit and advocacy organizations says the General Assembly’s legislative process needs to be more open and clear to the public.
Members of “Transparency Virginia” attended more than three-quarters of the Assembly’s 101 committee and subcommittee meetings during its recent session. They found a less-than-stellar record of adequate notice for meetings, recorded votes, and full consideration of bills.
Lawmakers in Virginia passed a couple of bills earlier this year to protect personal privacy. But the governor has amended those measures, and civil rights advocates are furious.
When the general assembly approved a bill limiting the use of drones to spy on citizens, not a single lawmaker voted against it, and Claire Gastanaga, who heads the American Civil Liberties office in Richmond was pleased.
Gun-rights advocates who vowed to keep addressing an issue which they say violates civil liberties may have some ammunition when state lawmakers return to Richmond for next week's Veto Session. The state ACLU’s executive director is sympathizing with advocates who say LEGAL concealed-carry permit-holders are being unfairly targeted by law enforcement in neighboring states that do not recognize those permits.
An interim study by the Virginia Department of Elections indicates that numerous localities have voting machines that are wearing out—and some have potential security problems. The investigation was prompted by reports of irregularities during last November’s election. The result could be a new and costly requirement to replace some widely used touch-screen voting machines.