Friday, January 11, 2013

And So It Begins

Victoria Cobb, President
The Family Foundation of Virginia

As you know, on Wednesday the Virginia General Assembly kicked off its 2013 session.  Commonly referred to as the “short session,” it is scheduled to last 46 days, and as always, the primary focus will be on updating the biennial state budget through amendment. 


Already, committees and subcommittees have begun the hard work of sifting through hundreds of bills and initiatives.


Despite clamor from liberals and the media that the General Assembly not “waste time” on so-called “social issues,” Democrats in Richmond have introduced a wide variety of bills that fall into just that category.  Intended to stir up more controversy and get the media in Richmond into hysterics as last year, these bills nevertheless threated the advancements we’ve made in recent years. 


Already, several bills have been introduced that would repeal laws that require abortion center health and safety standards and last year’s update to our Commonwealth’s law that requires women seeking abortion to be given adequate, accurate information so they can make an informed decision.  There is also legislation to repeal our long sought school choice law, along with multiple bills that are introduced on behalf of Equality Virginia, the Commonwealth’s largest homosexual rights group.  So, when you hear anyone say that conservatives focus too much on social issues, you can report that our liberal friends in Richmond are out-doing themselves on that front this year.


As always, we are bringing forth an agenda to advance our shared values.  Next week you will begin receiving “Action Alerts” from us on various bills.  Please make sure you take the time to respond.  Legislators MUST hear from pro-family, pro-life conservatives this year.  Every day.  Over and over.  They are hearing from our opponents.  We must match their intensity and persistence.  We cannot let the secular left roll back the advances we’ve worked so hard and so long to achieve. 


Each year The Family Foundation represents you in the halls of the General Assembly.  Our full time policy staff, including myself, our VP Chris Freund, and our policy analyst Jessica Cochrane, brings nearly 25 years of experience to the advocacy work we do.  We’ve also brought in two additional lobbyists and a coordinator to make sure that your values are heard loud and clear. 


I urge you to be praying specifically for our team over the next two months.  Session is a spiritually and physically exhausting time.  We need God’s grace, wisdom and discernment as we engage legislators, explain policies and urge grassroots involvement.