APV is partnering with over 20 other organizations and not-for-profits to release this report on transparency at the General Assembly. The press conference is on Tuesday, April 14th and is open to the public, please join us.
NEW REPORT ON TRANSPARENCY IN THE
Transparency Virginia, which was formed to monitor transparency at the General Assembly, releases a report assessing and measuring the transparency and openness of the Virginia Legislative process. The new report, “The Virginia General Assembly: The Case for Improved Transparency” evaluates both legislative bodies on how well lawmakers adhered to basic transparency practices during the 2015 General Assembly session. The report reveals both anecdotes and statistics on the openness of how legislation is disposed of, and the ability of citizens to reasonably participate in the legislative process. TV used publicly available information and the findings of its members to measure against three key inquiries: meeting notices, consideration of legislation, and recording of votes. TV hopes the findings will spark greater efforts for public participation and inclusion in the legislative process, and is hopeful that opening the rules, conduct and process of the legislature will move greater public interest and participation.
Among its observations, TV members found:
• Multiple instances where public notice of upcoming House and Senate committee or subcommittee (“sub/ committee”) meetings was so short as to make public participation nearly impossible;
• Scores of bills in the House and Senate that were never given a hearing; and
• In the House, 76% of bills and resolutions killed in sub/committee without a recorded vote or any vote at all,
versus 7% of bills defeated in the same way in the Senate.
Tuesday, April 14th, 10 a.m.
Press Conference will be in the House briefing Room in the Virginia General Assembly Building
The Report will be available at: https://transparencyvirginia.wordpress.com/ after 10AM Tuesday, April 14th.Embargoed Copies to the Press available 4/13/15.
The report includes cover art, statistics from the 2015 legislative session, and charts explaining findings.
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Transparency Virginia (TV) is an informal collection of advocacy groups and non-profits that advocate at the General Assembly on behalf of issues important to their members, and others in the public. TV believes in openness and transparency in the legislative process in Virginia, and was formed to measure and improve public understanding, trust, and participation at the legislature.
On April 9th, 2015 the White House released this video condeming so called conversion therapy and calling for a nationwide ban.
“The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm. As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, the Obama administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”
APV has worked for years to end this deeply flawed and dangerous practice, especially on children. We welcome and applaud the President and his administration to the fight.
In Late January of 2015, committees in both the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate took up legislation crafted by the Alliance for Progressive Values that would end the pernicious practice of so called conversion therapy on children in the Commonwealth.
Sadly neither bill passed out of committee. In the House, our sponsor Del. Patrick Hope (Arlington) did a great job presenting the bill and once again we had great testimony from our witnesses, especially Mathew Shurka, who traveled from New York for the purpose to tell about his own experiences as a survivor. After the hearings, the Heath, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee refused to vote on the bill and instead postponed its vote until several days later, presumably to avoid the press coverage. At that time, they chose to table the bill without further discussion.
In the Senate Health and Education committee, Senator Louise Lucas (Portsmouth) carried the bill for us. Debate was often heated and sadly, often showed a general lack of understanding on the part of many law makers. In the year to come it is important that we do a better job of educating those legislators willing to learn about this issue. The bill failed on a vote of 7-8.
APV will be back next year, this struggle is not over, there is too much at stake for us to stop now.
Many, Many Thanks to everyone who helped with this bill, especially our staff, Victoria Bragunier and Apryl Prentis and Mathew Shurka and his wonderful family. Also thank you to our sponsors, Senator Lucas and Delegate Hope and to Roland Winston for his tireless work.
Join Us for APV Lobby Day at the Capitol.
The Alliance for Progressive Values Lobby Day is an important event that gives our members an opportunity to engage with the legislative process. We will be meeting with legislators face-to-face to lobby them on bills that are important to us suxh as ending conversion therapy, gun rights, decriminalization of marijuana, medical marijuana, forfeiture of property, and education just to name a few. Lunch is provided.
Please join us on January 20, 2015 from 8:00am-3:00pm to let your voice be heard.
For details please contact Victoria Bragunier: vbragunier@APVonline.org
Alliance for Progressive Values Deputy Policy Director Apryl Prentiss spoke with reporters yesterday after a so called “Ex Gay” group, “PFOX” purchased billboard space in town to spread their message that LGBT individuals can choose to be heterosexual, presumably if they just try hard enough.
This billboard comes a mere month before the start of the Virginia General Assembly here in Richmond, where legislation to end the practice of sexual orientation change efforts (so called “conversion” or “reparative therapy” on minors will be introduced. APV has championed efforts in Virginia to end the practice and is working closely with legislators and other key groups to end or curtail the worst effects of this dangerous and medically pointless “therapy”.
For more information on our work to end this dangerous and misguided practice, check out our dedicated page here at APVonline.org.