This is the first day that bills can be filed for consideration in next winter’s General Assembly session, and Democrats in the House of Delegates wasted no time doing so for some of their top priorities. They include proposals for universal background checks for gun purchases, approval of the Equal Rights Amendment, and prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. Democrats will hold a majority in the House for the first time in two decades.

NEWS RELEASE: As pre-filing for the 2020 session opened on Monday, House Democrats filed several bills that will set the tone for their first session as a majority in two decades. The House Democratic Caucus will formally announce its comprehensive 2020 legislative agenda before session begins on January 8.

“Over the past year, House Democrats have been working to formulate our 2020 legislative agenda, and we are looking forward to rolling it out over the coming months as the majority party,” said Speaker-designee Eileen Filler-Corn. “For years now, House Democrats have consistently pushed to build a Commonwealth that works for all Virginians, and the first bills filed reflect our commitment to equality and uphold our accountability to Virginia voters.”

The first bills filed include:

  • HB1: No-excuse in-person and mail absentee voting; Patron: Del. Charniele Herring
  • HB2: Universal background checks; Patron: Del. Ken Plum
  • HB3: LGBTQ+ Housing Nondiscrimination; Patron: Del. Delores McQuinn
  • HJ1: Equal Rights Amendment; Patron: Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy

“Similar bills have been introduced by House Democrats in the past and were unfortunately blocked, despite receiving widespread support from the majority of Virginians,” said Majority Leader-elect Charniele Herring. “Finally, these bills will get the consideration they deserve in the House of Delegates, and we can take our first steps toward improving voting rights, preventing gun violence, and recognizing all Virginians as equal regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”