IF Virginia Went GOP

Bob Lewis, AP writer reporting on Virginia politics and government since 2000, in his article October 16th “What a GOP Senate might mean for new Virginia laws” details what realistically could happen if Virginians think voting GOP wouldn’t have real consequences.

It’s one thing to talk generically about the vastly different philosophy of the Democratic and Republican parties, but quite another to examine the actual legislation that could be enacted if Republicans and Tea Partiers gained control of the Virginia Senate.

“ … if Republicans gain three or more Senate seats in next month’s decisive legislative elections, conservatives would consolidate their hold on Virginia government and turn state policy hard to the right.

Democrats hold 22 of the Senate’s 40 seats. Should they lose two seats to the GOP, it would force power sharing in an evenly divided chamber with the committees — gatekeepers that determine which bills reach the Senate floor — apportioned equally between senators of both parties headed by Republican and Democratic co-chairmen.

Republicans could prevail once a bill reaches the floor because Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling casts the deciding vote in case of a tie.

With a three-seat gain, however, Republicans would have unchallenged control of the Senate, and the GOP would take total control of both the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time since 2001.

A Senate takeover is a political imperative for Gov. Bob McDonnell, who knows it’s his chance to enact his socially and fiscally conservative goals during the single, non-renewable four-year term Virginia uniquely allows its governors.”

  • Reduce State Pensions – attacking government employees
    • making the underfunded public employee pension fund less generous
  • Increase Virginia Debt – increased taxes sometime if not now
    • financing highway construction and repair without taxes
    • privatizing state-owned liquor stores (reduced income to Virginia)
  • Gun Rights – a more dangerous society
    • allow the manufacture of firearms not regulated by federal law if they are constructed solely in Virginia and are never sold or moved outside the state
    • repeal Virginia’s 20-year-old law limiting individuals to one handgun purchase per month
    • allow people with permits to carry concealed handguns to take their weapons onto most any government property, including libraries, emergency shelters and parks; colleges would also be barred from adopting firearm policies more restrictive than Virginia’s, which are among the most permissive in the nation
  • Welfare
    • compel drug screening for welfare recipients
  • Immigration
    • restrictions on undocumented immigrants
    • bar undocumented immigrants from enrolling in state colleges, deny public assistance to illegal immigrants, track numbers of pupils who take English as a second language and allow employers to fire employees for not speaking English
  • Reproductive Rights – attack on women’s rights
    • amend Virginia’s constitution to allow explicit protections for prayers offered voluntarily in public places and public events
    • make it a crime for a woman to cause her own miscarriage or to coerce a young woman into having an abortion
    • require doctors to offer to anesthetize a fetus before performing an abortion
    • end abortion by granting legal rights of personhood to fetuses
  • Separation of Church and State – officially sanctioning public religion
    • amend Virginia’s constitution to allow explicit protections for prayers offered voluntarily in public places and public events
  • State Sovereignty anti-Federalism, nullification
    • establish an alternative Virginia currency should the Federal Reserve collapse
  • Increased Death Penalty Use
    • extend Virginia’s often-used death penalty to people convicted as accomplices to murders
  • Public Health – increased health risk, playing on public fear
    • end vaccinations required of all sixth-grade girls against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer later, although parents who object can already opt out their children