Bringing the people's work to the people

Transparency Virginia’s 2019 annual report on legislative transparency. Click the image or the link below.

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Transparency Virginia2019 report

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Transparency Virginia’s 2018 post-legislative review.

 

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Your name. Your vote.

 

Transparency Virginia asked all candidates for the House of Delegates (incumbents and challengers) a question: Would you support amending the House rules to require a recorded vote (by name) for motions to table (defeat) bills in committee and subcommittee?

Below are the names of those who responded “YES,” followed by the district they are seeking to represent. Those names in bold won their election.

  • Steve McBride — 8th
  • Chris Hurst — 12th
  • Bob Marshall – 13th
  • Djuna Osborne — 17th
  • Will King — 18th
  • Dickie Bell — 20th
  • Michele Edwards — 20th
  • Will Hammer — 20th
  • Ben Cline — 24th
  • John Winfrey — 24th
  • Angela Lynn — 25th
  • Larry Barnett — 27th
  • Joshua Cole — 28th
  • Nathan Larson — 31st
  • David Bulova — 37th
  • Kaye Kory — 38th
  • Vivian Watts — 39th
  • Al Durante — 54th
  • Morgan Goodman — 55th
  • Marcus Sutphin — 59th
  • Betsy Carr — 69th
  • Jeff Staples — 77th
  • David Rose-Carmack — 83rd
  • Terry Hurst — 89th
  • Jerrauld “Jay” Jones — 89th
  • Jeion Ward — 92nd
  • Michael Bartley — 94th
  • Sheila Crowley — 98th
  • Willie Randall — 100th

This survey was sent to all 173 candidates for the House of Delegates, using the email addresses they have provided to the State Board of Elections, on Oct. 12, 2017, and again on Oct. 16, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.

Transparency Virginia’s 2017 post-legislative review.

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20 January 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Transparency Virginia, a collection of lobbyists and advocates monitoring transparency in the  General Assembly, will again this 2017 legislative session be monitoring the three areas of legislative accountability that first brought the group together in 2014.

First, TVa monitors the notice that is given for subcommittee and committee meetings so that citizens and advocates may observe or participate in them. Second, TVa also believes that all bills should receive consideration by a committee or subcommittee. Finally, TVa believes that all votes on bills should be recorded by name, not just by an up or down voice vote.

TVa members have endorsed HB1677, brought by Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst), which would codify these second two points above:  The bill would require all legislation in both the House and Senate “to be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof and receive a recorded vote.”

Passage of HB1677 would complement the committee notification system implemented in the House of Delegates last year by Speaker of the House William Howell. The notice system greatly improved the ability of citizens, the press, lobbyists and advocates to follow when bills they care about are being discussed and voted on in the House committees and subcommittees.

Though outside TVa’s three main areas, TVa also supports a measure announced by the Speaker this year to archive video recordings of House floor sessions on the House livestreaming website (http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3).  Video access enhances the public’s ability to monitor their elected officials  in action  and ascertain their positions on bills.

The meeting notice improvements and the video archives are improvements made since TVa’s formation and have brought Virginia government closer to the public.

TVa applauds the Speaker’s actions and encourages the Senate to make similar efforts.

Questions about TVa’s past and current work can be directed Megan Rhyne at 540-353-8264.

Transparency Virginia’s 2016 post-legislative review. Click here or click the image below to open the PDF.

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Please note that the article websites may have limits on how long the links stay live, and may require subscriptions or registrations. Transparency Virginia apologizes for any inconvenience.

Report: Virginia lawmakers block transparency, access to legislative process
In February, Delegate Jeffrey Campbell tried to revise Virginia’s “reckless” driving threshold so motorists couldn’t be criminalized for driving six miles over the speed limit on I-95. His bill never made it out of the Courts of Justice Committee. Like so many others, the Marion Republican’s measure was “left in committee,” where bills that lawmakers just don’t want to risk an up-or-down vote go to die, with no recorded tally. That way, constituents who couldn’t make the middle-of-the-day meeting in Richmond have no clue where their lawmakers stand on that bill or hundreds of others. It might be one thing if that was a rare occurrence. But a new report from Transparency Virginia backs up what anyone who’s spent time in the General Assembly knows well — both parties and chambers are rife with practices that thwart transparency and accountability in the legislative process.
Read more @ VirginiaWatchdog.org

Lack of Virginia’s General Assembly openness is criticized
Virginia’s lax ethics laws mean it can be tough to watch for officials’ conflicts of interest, but the job is even tougher with the General Assembly’s tendency to kill bills without recording how legislators vote. On top of that, General Assembly committees and subcommittees that are supposed to hear public views on legislation often give little notice of their meetings and agendas, and frequently block any public comment, according to a study of this year’s legislative action by Transparency Virginia, a coalition of citizen groups. The coalition released its report Tuesday. “People are being left in the dark,” said Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government and author of the Transparency Virginia report. (Marisa Porto, the vice president of content for the Daily Press, is on the Coalition for Open Government’s board of directors.)
Read more @ Daily Press

Editorial: Report faults Virginia House of Delegates on transparency
Have the members of the Virginia House of Delegates forgotten whom they work for?  Read the rest of this entry »

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