SB 1395

  • Virginia Senate Bill
  • 2021 Regular Session
  • Introduced in Senate Jan 13, 2021
  • Passed Senate Feb 05, 2021
  • Passed House Feb 15, 2021
  • Governor

Discrimination; prohibited in voting and elections administration, etc.

Abstract

Elections; prohibited discrimination in voting and elections administration; required process for enacting certain covered practices; civil causes of action. Prohibits any voting qualification or any standard, practice, or procedure related to voting from being imposed or applied in a manner that results in the denial or abridgment of the right of any United States citizen to vote based on his race or color or membership in a language minority group. The bill further prohibits at-large methods of election from being imposed or applied in a locality in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class, defined in the bill, to elect candidates of its choice or to influence the outcome of an election, by diluting or abridging the rights of voters who are members of a protected class. Prior to enacting or administering a covered practice, defined in the bill, the governing body of a locality is required to publish the proposed covered practice and accept public comment for a minimum of 30 days on the proposed covered practice; after the public comment period, a 30-day waiting period is required. During this period, any person who will be subject to or affected by the covered practice may challenge the covered practice as (i) having the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on the basis of race or color or membership in a language minority group or (ii) resulting in the retrogression in the position of members of a racial or ethnic group with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise. The bill permits the local governing body to instead submit the proposed covered practice to the Office of the Attorney General for issuance of a certification of no objection and, once such certification is issued, to enact or administer the covered practice. Certain unlawful actions, including knowingly communicating false information to voters, that are currently subject to criminal penalties will create civil causes of action under the bill. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to commence civil actions when there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of an election law has occurred and the rights of any voter or group of voters have been affected by the violation. Civil penalties assessed as a result of such action are payable to the Voter Education and Outreach Fund, established by the bill. Current provisions related to language minority accessibility are moved to a newly created chapter relating to the rights of voters.

Elections; prohibited discrimination in voting and elections administration; required process for enacting certain covered practices; civil causes of action. Prohibits any voting qualification or any standard, practice, or procedure related to voting from being imposed or applied in a manner that results in the denial or abridgment of the right of any United States citizen to vote based on his race or color or membership in a language minority group. The bill further prohibits at-large methods of election from being imposed or applied in a locality in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class, defined in the bill, to elect candidates of its choice or to influence the outcome of an election, by diluting or abridging the rights of voters who are members of a protected class. Prior to enacting or administering a covered practice, defined in the bill, the governing body of a locality is required to publish the proposed covered practice and accept public comment for a minimum of 30 days on the proposed covered practice; after the public comment period, a 30-day waiting period is required. During this period, any person who will be subject to or affected by the covered practice may challenge the covered practice as (i) having the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on the basis of race or color or membership in a language minority group or (ii) resulting in the retrogression in the position of members of a racial or ethnic group with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise. The bill permits the local governing body to instead submit the proposed covered practice to the Office of the Attorney General for issuance of a certification of no objection and, once such certification is issued, to enact or administer the covered practice. Certain unlawful actions, including knowingly communicating false information to voters, that are currently subject to criminal penalties will create civil causes of action under the bill. Current provisions related to language minority accessibility are moved to a newly created chapter relating to the rights of voters.

Bill Sponsors (8)

Votes


Actions


Feb 22, 2021

Office of the Governor

Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2021

Senate

Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on February 22, 2021

Feb 18, 2021

House

Signed by Speaker

Feb 17, 2021

Senate

Enrolled

Senate

Signed by President

Senate

Impact statement from DPB (SB1395ER)

Feb 15, 2021

House

Read third time

House

VOTE: Passage (55-Y 45-N)

House

Passed House (55-Y 45-N)

Feb 12, 2021

House

Read second time

Feb 10, 2021

House

Reported from Privileges and Elections (13-Y 9-N)

Feb 08, 2021

House

Continued to Special Session 1 in Privileges and Elections

Feb 07, 2021

House

Read first time

House

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

House

Placed on Calendar

Feb 05, 2021

Senate

Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 17-N)

Senate

Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (SB1395)

Senate

Impact statement from DPB (SB1395S1)

Senate

Impact statement from DPB (SB1395S2)

Feb 04, 2021

Senate

Read second time

Senate

Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1395S2

Senate

Committee substitute agreed to 21103866D-S2

Senate

Reading of substitute waived

Senate

Committee substitute rejected 21103648D-S1

Senate

Reading of substitute waived

Feb 03, 2021

Senate

Reported from Finance and Appropriations with substitute (10-Y 4-N 2-A)

Senate

Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)

Senate

Committee substitute printed 21103866D-S2

Senate

Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered

Jan 27, 2021

Senate

Impact statement from VCSC (SB1395S1)

Jan 26, 2021

Senate

Reported from Privileges and Elections with substitute (9-Y 6-N)

Senate

Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered

Senate

Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations

Senate

Committee substitute printed 21103648D-S1

Jan 21, 2021

Senate

Impact statement from DPB (SB1395)

Jan 19, 2021

Senate

Impact statement from VCSC (SB1395)

Jan 13, 2021

Senate

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

Senate

Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21102738D

Bill Text

Bill Text Versions Format
Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21102738D HTML
Committee substitute printed 21103648D-S1 HTML
Committee substitute printed 21103866D-S2 HTML
SB1395ER HTML

Related Documents

Document Format
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395FS2122.PDF PDF
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395FS1122.PDF PDF
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395F164.PDF PDF
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395FS1160.PDF PDF
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395F122.PDF PDF
Fiscal Impact Statement: SB1395F160.PDF PDF

Sources

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