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.
APV was founded nearly four years ago in response to the General Assembly’s last minute passage of TRAP (Targeted Regulations against Abortion Providers). If these onerous and medically pointless regulations had been allowed to remain in place they would, as they were intended to do, have closed most of Virginia’s women’s health clinics that performed more than five abortions a month. From the get go, this was bare-knuckled power politics and to the credit of the Pro Choice community and the many individual women and men who stood firm for reproductive rights, we rose to the challenge and lobbied, mobilized, campaigned and marched until today when we won a major victory. Today the Virginia Board of Health agreed by a wide margin to revisit key issues with the regulations.
“The six areas of clinic regulations proposed for change include provisions covering parental consent, medical testing, anesthesia, administration, storage and dispensing of drugs, emergency services and facility design and construction.” Richmond Times Dispatch
APV President Scott Price said after the Board’s vote today.
“APV has testified, written, marched and organized in the hope of overturning the most egregious portions of this very flawed original legislation, and we are very happy to see the Board side with us today, but this is not the end: the law remains on the books and the anti-women, anti choice agenda is if anything stronger today in the legislature than it was four years ago. We will remain vigilant and we will continue to voice our Progressive values on this issue. There is plenty of praise to go around here and we are glad to be one of the many groups that worked to make this happen, it was the right descion… finally”
“We hope that this would be a sign that the mayor is seeing the light here,” says Scott Price with Alliance for Progressive Values. Channel 8 News
Tonight Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones withdrew his official plan to construct a baseball stadium in the historic Shockoe Bottom district of the city. APV has lobbied constantly in opposition to what we feel is a vaguely explained, poorly thought out, potential white elephant that would sit on top of some of the most sensitive and important archeological sites in Virginia and in fact America, the site of a major slave market through which the ancestors of a significant portion of all current African Americans may have passed.
This weekend 5 of the 9 City Council members indicated that they would vote against the proposal which has been light on details and heavy on pressure. We want to thank the Council members who had the courage to ask hard questions and stand their ground when it would have been easier to give in. For the last half year the mayor has pushed hard for this plan that features noncompetitive contracts, ex-felon developers (guilty of bribing former members of this same City Council), suspect numbers and no articulated plan to address traffic, parking or other basic issues.
We worked hard to stop this proposal in its tracks and we can claim a real victory here, but the mayor has made it clear that he has no intention of backing down and aims to come back with the same ballpark venture once he has got his talking points in order. APV opposes the current plan and we will be here to closely scrutinize any new developments or suggestions. This is not over, but the large and vocal crowds and the many members and citizens that spoke out over the last 6 months had a strong effect on the outcome and we can be veryproud of our role. We say it a lot, but it is true, when people stand up, they win!
We have a long road ahead of us, but tonight we won.
Thank You All!
Three years ago APV was founded in part in response to the underhanded and thuggish passage of the so called TRAP law by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by then Governor McDonnell. These Targeted Regulations against Abortion Providers were designed to put existing women’s health clinics out of business by forcing them to adhere to medically useless, economically prohibitive regulations. APV stood beside women’s health organizations, medical professionals and grass roots activists to organize protests including the historic February 2012 protest at the Capitol, pictured on our FB page. We have consistently lobbied, educated, testified and marched against TRAP in the years since and today it began to pay off as Governor McAuliffe started the process that should ultimately overturn TRAP in Virginia. APV members can take pride in knowing that you were a part of making this happen. This fight is far from over and we need to keep the pressure on, but clearly this is a victory for Virginia women and for the state as a whole. Thank You all!
Those who were with us last year will remember that Ralph was our guest at the APV Oyster Roast. here’s his statement on the new BoH appointments.
Lieutenant Governor Northam’s Statement on new members of the Board of Health
I am very pleased that Governor McAuliffe has chosen to appoint such a strong group of individuals to the Board of Health. These new appointees are experienced professionals with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. While the Board of Health deals with a diversity of issues, unfortunately its decisions in the last few years have been notable for their adverse affects on women’s reproductive rights and safe access to healthcare. I am supportive of the Governor’s request for a review of the TRAP regulations and I am hopeful that the Board will conduct an independent review genuinely focused on health and safety, and absent of outside political influences.