From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/15/2008 11:32:46 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Legislative Update

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Virginia--Legislative Update

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Much of the action on bills of interest to homeschool families has now
shifted to the Senate.

H.B. 1183. Filed by Del. Scott Lingamfelter at HSLDA's request, this
bill will add new year-end assessments. It passed the House by a wide
margin and now awaits committee action in the Senate.

H.B. 1540. This bill would have transferred the responsibility for
all driver's ed programs to the Department of Motor Vehicles--and
inadvertently repealed all provisions allowing homeschool parents to
teach driver's ed to their own children. We contacted the bill's
sponsor, who immediately recognized our concerns. He has withdrawn
the bill.

H.B. 438. HSLDA called the office of the sponsor, Del. J.H. Miller,
and explained that this was a bad bill because it manipulated
learner's permits to try to improve school attendance, and could lead
to a dramatic increase in red tape for homeschool families. The
delegate proceeded with the bill. On February 7, however, the House
Transportation Subcommittee Number 3 vote to "continue" the bill until
next year, effectively ending the threat this year.

H.B. 420. Failed in committee. Would have provided tax credits for
homeschoolers of up to $2,000.

H.B. 1164. Sponsored by Del. Chris Saxman, this bill passed the full
house on a 50-48 vote February 12 and now awaits committee action in
the Senate. This bill would create a tuition scholarship-tax credit
program that would help many students, including homeschoolers. A
similar law was enacted in Arizona several years ago and has been
operating smoothly.

H.B. 188. During the national stampede last year to impose mandatory
immunization on girls for HPV (human papillomavirus--a sexually
transmitted disease), new evidence suddenly emerged throwing
significant doubt on the claims the vaccine manufacturer had made.
Bills in states that had previously looked likely to pass either
failed to pass or were withdrawn. Virginia was the only state to
actually pass an HPV bill. H.B. 188 delays the effective date of last
year's bill so we can take more time to see if the vaccine's claims
are legitimate. The bill passed the House January 21 and is awaiting
committee action in the senate. HSLDA supports this bill, which is
sponsored by Del. Robert Marshall, although we do not support
mandatory HPV vaccinations.

H.B. 767. This bill makes some relatively minor changes to the
homeschool "options.", i.e., what a family is required to show when
fling their notice of intent. This bill was drafted by the Department
of Education, with comments by HSLDA and the other state homeschool
organizations. While this bill was designed to streamline the
Department of Education's administrative responsibilities, its effect
will overall be positive for homeschoolers, and HSLDA supports it.
This bill passed the House on January 24 by a wide margin and awaits
committee action in the Senate.

H.B. 1382 and S.B. 788. Social services departments are chronic
violators of the constitutional rights of citizens, both parents and
children, often brazenly claiming that they are above the U.S.
Constitution. As originally drafted, this bill would have made it
easier for them to violate citizens' rights by allowing non-attorney
employees to initiate court actions against parents--including asking
for a court order to take children out of their home. HSLDA called
bill sponsors and pointed out the serious problems this bill would
cause. One sponsor initially gave us a long list of organizations and
government departments that had already approved the bill and
questioned the need for any change. HSLDA asked homeschool families
to make calls to underline the urgent need for amending the bill. We
called the Virginia Bar Association and explained that this bill would
allow non-attorneys to practice law. A representative of the Attorney
General's office subsequently called and agreed the bill needed to be
changed. The sponsors subsequently agreed to the amendments we
requested. H.B. 1382 and its counterpart in the senate, S.B. 788 have
now been amended, and we no longer oppose them.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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