SALT Letter to the Editor in Washington Post 1/25/17

Dear Editor:

Why does so much legislation in Virginia die a silent death?

Too much legislation in Virginia dies without an officially recorded vote, unfortunately. Voters hoping to track legislation will routinely get no more information than “subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote.” Virginia citizens are routinely left in the dark, having no idea how legislators voted.

Social Action Linking Together (SALT), the Virginia Catholic Conference and other faith-based advocacy groups unfortunately witnessed legislation dying without an officially recorded vote on January 23, when the legislation they supported, “HB 2181 Food stamps; eligibility to receive benefits if convicted of drug-related felonies,” was “tabled,” i.e., killed via an unrecorded voice vote by legislators on the House Courts of Justice Sub-Committee: Criminal Law.

They did this “killing” without any transparency or accountability; no one knows how the individual legislators voted, other than the individual legislator that moved his lips to support or oppose the legislation and those that can read lips.

Killing legislation without a recorded vote has to go.  The editorial staff of newspapers and all Virginia voters need to applying pressure to Virginia legislators until transparency and accountability become realities in the Virginia General Assembly.

Regards,

John Horejsi
Coordinator of SALT