The Dismantling of Liberty
Almost three weeks into the 2020 General Assembly and we have finally been able to review all bills related to education, healthcare and election law. As you may have guessed, the news isn’t good! In every policy area we follow, the Democrats are attempting to reverse the gains we’ve made over the years. Below is a summary of just a few bills they have introduced to decrease access for education opportunities for at-risk children, increase middle class healthcare costs, and open elections to anyone and everyone.
Depriving Low-Income Children of Education Options
Over the past seven years, thousands of low-income children have been able to take advantage of the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit (EISTC) program. This program allows individuals and corporations to make contributions to Scholarship Granting Organizations for a VA tax credit. Low-income parents can then apply for scholarships to enroll their children in private education. The EISTC program has almost doubled every year and has provided tremendous relief, primarily to minority children.
This session, Del. Bulova introduced HB521 to repeal the tax credits to benefit these children. Why would anyone want to force low-income children to stay in a school system that’s failing them? The only reason for this bill is that the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia School Board Association, and the National NAACP vehemently oppose any education opportunities outside of the public schools. They are singularly focused on holding onto as much money and power as they possibly can, no matter the consequences for our children!
Less Competition in Healthcare
Virginia has the highest health insurance premiums in the country and the Affordable Care Act is no better. Much of these high costs are created by the mega hospital systems in Virginia and their cozy relationships with the General Assembly. In 2018-2019, the healthcare industry spent over $12 million on lobbying and contributions to campaigns to forge their sweetheart deals at the General Assembly.
The biggest difference this year is the Democrats are in control and they are doing the bidding of the hospitals. When Republicans were in control of the GA, they attempted to open up competition by eliminating Certificate of Public Need and proposing legislation to would reduce health insurance costs. Those hopeful days are over.
Sen. Barker (SB764) has a bill this year that completely rewrites Certificate of Public Need laws. The only outcome from this policy is that it drives up costs by limiting competition. This bill is designed to be extremely complicated so that the average person/reporter won’t understand its impact. Suffice it say, it is a dream bill for hospitals because it further restricts their competition.
Dismantling Election Integrity
A strong Democratic Republic demands that our electoral process allows for all eligible citizens to vote and that access to the voting process is unencumbered. To provide credibility to the electoral process it must have integrity. Without election integrity, leaders are not held accountable, confidence in the election process weakens, which leads to lack of legitimacy in our government.
The Democrats seem not to care much for election integrity as they are systematically dismantling the electoral process. They have introduced legislation that, if passed, would allow just about anyone to vote. Here is a short list:
- Voter registration day of an election
- No-excuse absentee voting
- Allow absentee ballots after election day
- Send ballots through the mail
- Allow felons and criminally insane to vote
- Automatically register 18 year olds
- Repeal photo ID
And then there is the attempt to eliminate the Electoral College by passing something called the National Popular Vote. If enough states pass this, New York and California will be the only states that matter in a presidential election.
We will be releasing our legislative priorities shortly and will have them posted on our website. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
The Middle Resolution