Tuesday, February 5, 2013

HB 2048 Passes House (Call Your State Senator)

Virginia House Bill 2048 consists of 49 pages of verbiage and references to other documents, about one-third of which can be accessed via Internet links if you take the time. It has been disputed in our House of Delegates. It has been "engrossed," or substantially rewritten. According to e-friends who claim to have read the whole thing with all its links and references (I make no such claim), it still basically says that, if you own property, the fact that "stormwater" may run off it (as it might be after this weekend's snowstorm) gives the state a right to grab it. Only it says it in such an eye-glazing mess of minutiae that our House of Delegates passed it by vote.

The following Delegates had enough fortitude to say no to this atrocity: "Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Cline, Cox, J.A., Farrell, Gilbert, Habeeb, Hodges, Kilgore, Marshall, R.G., Minchew, Morefield, O'Quinn, Peace, Rush, Watson, Yancey." This is not a "usual suspects" list who usually vote the same way, and I'm not sure whether all of them opposed HB 2048 for the same reasons. Even if your Delegate opposed HB 2048 because s/he habitually votes against anything that prints out to more than ten pages, that's a respectable reason, and this web site recommends sending thanks to him or her.

If your Delegate voted for it, this is more likely to mean that s/he fell asleep than that s/he is a bad Delegate. Politicians tend to be extroverts. Extroverts tend to be easily hypnotized. You can probably use this information during the next year.

I'm not going to claim that I've checked all the links and references in any version of HB 2048. I'm not going to ask you to do that, or claim that you have. Instead I recommend keeping your opposition to this bill on a level everybody, however legislation-fatigued, can understand. It calls for the state to pay more money to unelected people to perform a service without which the Commonwealth of Virginia has survived for over 200 years. We are not experiencing an unprecedented economic boom that would justify the state's employment of any unelected people without which we could possibly survive. Therefore, whatever its ramifications, HB 2048 is a bad bill.