2016 Legislative Wrap-Up: Dooring Bill Passes, Bike Lane Bill Fails

Not the finish to the Session we had hoped for after the Dooring bill (SB117) passed the House Floor by a 70-25 vote (although we did have a flurry of vote changes posted, with Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church who had been out sick when the vote was taken notifying the Clerk that she had intended to vote Yea, as did Del. Patrick Hope of Arlington, who also had been recorded as Absent), while Del. Chris Peace of eastern Hanover & New Kent changed his vote from Nay to Yea

On the minus side of the ledger, Del. Buddy Fowler stated that he had intended to vote Nay, but was recorded as a Yea while Del. Charles Poindexter of Glade Hill, who had been recorded as Absent, notified that he had intended to vote Nay.

An unusual amount of late weighing in for one bill, as the Delegates involved apparently want to make sure it is known which side of the vote they were on, even though it didn’t change the result, which with all the votes counted as they wanted would appear to be 72-26, with two not voting.

Not such a good result with SB669, the “Maintenance Reimbursement for Bike Lanes” bill, after it was reported out of House Transportation 18-1, passed by for the day FIVE TIMES on the House Floor, then referred to Appropriations, who then re-referred it to House Transportation after it had met for the last time for this Session, so it goes into the book as “Continued to 2017 in Transportation”.

In short, the people I have talked to, who should be knowledgeable, but admit that they have never seen a bill run into the treatment this one has received, feel that the bill HAS BEEN KILLED, although with lots of fancy footwork and language to make it appear to the contrary, without a vote having been taken.

According to my sources, the bill would have to start over from scratch in the next session, particularly since the patron, Sen. Ken Alexander, has announced that he is resigning at the conclusion of this session to run for Mayor of Norfolk.

I think we just have to chalk it up to bad timing, with an innocent, relatively minor, bill backed by the Administration, and with a Democrat patron who was being pressured to change his vote in the controversy over the Judges, which ran into a solid wall of opposition from the leadership of the House, who then shunted it to every possible by-pass, without letting it be voted on. Definitely a situation that leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as it’s not much fun to be this closely involved in this level of partisan wrangling.

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