Politics Committee advances bill to end death penalty to Virginia Senate floor
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Five of President-elect Joe Biden's national security Cabinet nominees will face Senate panels on Tuesday in the first step of the confirmation process. © AFP & Getty Images Left to right: Janet Yellen, Alejandro Mayorkas, Avril Haines, Lloyd Austin, and Antony Blinken The day before Biden takes office, his nominees for secretary of state, secretary of the treasury, director of national intelligence, defense secretary and secretary of Homeland Security will appear before Senate committees to be considered for their respective roles.
A Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth.
, sponsored by Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, would eliminate the use of the death penalty in Virginia, including for those who are on death row.
Four people are on death row in Virginia, and the state’s last execution was in 2017. Since 2010, eight people have been executed in the state.
Other recent efforts to abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth have failed to move through the committee process.
“[The bill] to abolish the death penalty is going to the VA Senate for a floor vote!” the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia tweeted. “In past years, legislation to end the death penalty died a quick death in committee. This is historic.”
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The legislation advanced through the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee on Tuesday with a 12-4 vote. If it passes the Senate, the bill will be sent to the House for consideration.
A handful of bills that would affect tax policy also advanced through the committee.
, which would make personal protective equipment tax exempt, advanced on a 12-4 vote. The exemption would be available for any business that has COVID-19 safety protocol in place that comply with the Emergency Temporary Standard ordered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Todd Pillion, R-Abingdon, would expire one day after every executive order related to COVID-19 and the department’s regulation requirements expire. The legislation has an emergency clause, which means it would take effect immediately after a signature from Gov. Ralph Northam.
Over 40 lawmakers sign letter urging Merrick Garland to prioritize abolishing death penalty
More than 40 lawmakers signed onto a letter this week urging Merrick Garland, President Biden's nominee for attorney general, to make abolishing the death penalty a priority if he is confirmed.Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) said he and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who already introduced legislation last year seeking to abolish the federal death penalty after the Trump administration announced it would resume the form of punishment, led 45 of their colleagues in the letter on Wednesday. The letter calls for Garland to immediately begin working with Congress to "enact legislation and resentence those currently on federal death row" once he is confirmed to office.
, which advanced on a 14-1 vote, would allow the Isle of White County to impose additional local sales and use taxes that do not exceed 1%. If the bill becomes law, the additional revenue from the taxes would have to be used for the construction or renovation of schools.
Legislation that would have established a tax subtraction for military retirement and survivor benefits failed to receive enough support to advance through the committee.was rejected unanimously in the committee, 16-0.
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Original Author: Tyler Arnold, The Center Square
Virginia legislature passes bill abolishing death penalty; governor set to sign .
The Virginia House of Delegates on Friday passed legislation abolishing the death penalty, a historic step that is set to make the state the first in the South to end the practice of capital punishment.The House bill passed by a 57-41 vote just two days after a companion bill succeeded in the state Senate by a 21-17 vote on Wednesday. The legislation will soon head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has vowed to sign it."The practiceThe House bill passed by a 57-41 vote just two days after a companion bill succeeded in the state Senate by a 21-17 vote on Wednesday. The legislation will soon head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has vowed to sign it.