In Virginia General Assembly, many bills die by stealth

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ There’s more than one way to kill legislation in the Virginia General Assembly. There’s the straight-up way: Put it up for a vote and lawmakers must go on record, pro or con. Then there’s the stealthy way: Kill it in a subcommittee without a recorded vote, and it vanishes without a trace. It’s a longstanding practice in Virginia’s 400-year-old legislature. But transparency advocates say the public deserves better. A new broad-based coalition of 22 advocacy organizations says the system is undemocratic and should be changed. Transparency Virginia includes the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club and the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. Throughout the 2015 legislative session, the group has been documenting instances of unrecorded votes, bills killed with no hearings, and failure to provide timely notice of meetings.

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