Delegate to oppose abortion proposal

Published 2:28 pm Saturday, January 26, 2019

by Emily Brewer

The 2019 General Assembly is moving full steam ahead! We are just over a week away from Crossover, which is the time when all the bills passed by the House head to the Senate and all of the Senate bills come to the House. The House has already passed several major pieces of legislation and we look forward to that work continuing.

Worth Mentioning

Leadership Isle of Wight visits the Capitol

This Wednesday, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Student Leadership visited the Capitol. Launched in 2013, this leadership development program was the first of it’s kind offered to high school students in the Hampton Roads region. This program is offered to juniors from schools across Isle of Wight County. Students in the program learn about team building, utilizing, resources, building self-confidence and making a difference in their communities.

This is a program that looks for emerging leaders who will lead Isle of Wight and the Commonwealth of Virginia into the future. Most importantly, these individuals leave “Leadership Isle of Wight” with a commitment to assume responsibility in this community and beyond. Today, the alumni of “Leadership Isle of Wight” have become many of the rising leaders in our community and are serving on boards, commissions, and committees throughout Isle of Wight County.

Opposing expansion of abortion in Virginia

Last week in Richmond, Democratic leaders announced their support for a sweeping repeal of abortion restrictions in Virginia. Northern Virginia Democrat Del. Kathy Tran introduced HB 2491, which aims to repeal restrictions on third trimester abortions, eliminate informed consent requirements, repeal health and safety standards for abortion clinics, waive ultrasound requirements, and eliminate the 24 hour waiting period for abortions, among other provisions.

A Senate version of this legislation was also introduced, but Republicans stood up to protect the rights of unborn children and defeated the measure in the Committee on Education and Health.

Having been adopted, I personally understand there are better alternatives to abortion. This year, I introduced HB 2208, which would expand the applicability of adoption procedures for relatives to a larger portion of the family tree. Since I was elected in 2017, I have worked to remove unnecessary government red tape in Virginia’s adoption and foster care system to make it easier to adopt children in Virginia who are in need of a loving home.

This month, I formed the first-ever Virginia Foster Care Caucus, which is a non-partisan group of legislators who will work to offer solutions that help provide permanency to kids who don’t have other options. Instead of taking the opportunity for a fulfilling life away from children in the Commonwealth, I believe it is more productive and our moral obligation to focus on what we can do to improve the lives of Virginia’s most vulnerable population, our children. I will be strongly opposing Governor Northam’s proposals to expand abortion in Virginia.

My Legislation

1. House Bill 1730. Unfortunately, there are lots of bad actors in the foster care community and it’s affecting the futures of children in the Commonwealth. HB 1730 requires local Departments of Social Services to freeze the credit of children in the foster care system until they age out or there are extenuating circumstances. This legislation will help protect children in foster care from becoming victims of identity theft and having their credit score ruined before they’ve even had an opportunity to start out. HB 1730 was assigned to the House Commerce and Labor Committee. It reported from Committee unanimously 22-0, and was re-referred to the House Appropriations Health & Human Resources Subcommittee.

2. House Bill 1731. Since Virginia is the oldest legislative body in the New World, we have 400 years of laws on the books. Some of those laws are outdated. Currently, local treasurers are required to keep a “well-bound book” for their records. This bill brings local treasurers into the 21 century by replacing the term “well-bound book” with “record,” allowing local treasurers to keep their required records in a digital format. HB 1731 passed the House unanimously (94-0) on Jan. 18, and has since been referred the the Senate Finance Committee.

3. House Bill 1845. A carve out in the Code of Virginia specifically allows bail bondsman to be charged with a misdemeanor for certain sex crimes, but law enforcement officers, pretrial officers, and even clergy in the jails and prisons could be charged with a felony for the same crimes. I have re-introduced legislation that would bring bail bondsman and residential substance abuse employees in line with the rest of the law enforcement community when it comes to sex crimes. HB 1845 has been assigned to the Courts of Justice Committee, but hasn’t received a hearing date yet.

4. House Bill 2170. We all receive those annoying phone calls from area codes and phone numbers that look like it could be a neighbor calling. What some people may not realize is these are scam calls, fishing for private information. Scammers are using false caller ID information to commit serious crimes like identity theft and investment scams. HB 2170 makes it so any person who, with the intent to defraud, intimidate, or harass, displays false caller ID information on the called party’s telephone is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. HB2170 reported unanimously (8-0) from the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee No. 1 on Wednesday and reported unanimously (10-0) from the full House Courts of Justice Committee this afternoon. This legislation is now headed to the full House of Delegates for a vote next week.

In Closing

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelEBrewer@House.Virginia.Gov or call me at 804-698-1064. You can also join the conversation on our social media pages, or

I will continue providing you updates during the 2019 General Assembly Session and will be meeting with constituent groups after session to report on the session and take questions.

EMILY BREWER is the Republican delegate for the 64th District in Virginia.