THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG
UPDATED 02/15/07 at 1125hrs Click here to email BJOstergren RETURN TO HOME PAGE
To track all bills introduced in the House and Senate, click here. Link to contact your own Delegate or Senator
PRIVACY TAKES A BAD HIT THIS SESSION!
HB3097 UPDATE 2/15/07 KILLED yesterday in the Senate General laws committee on a 11-3 vote with the help pf the Press and the open gov't group. This bill would have protected emails to and from an individual and a member of a local governing body, school board or other local public body that contained SSN or other personal info. This is how the bill read that was passed on a 97-0 vote in the House. It will be studied for a year...
§ 2.2-3705.7. Exclusions to application of chapter; records of specific public bodies and certain other limited exemptions.
The following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter but may be disclosed by the custodian in his discretion, except where such disclosure is prohibited by law:
#25. Names, physical addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses contained in correspondence to and from an individual and a member of the governing body, school board, or other public body of the locality in which the individual is a resident, unless the correspondence relates to a public matter before such public body. However, social security numbers, dates of birth, or bank or other financial account numbers contained in such correspondence are exempt in any case and no record, which is otherwise open to inspection under this chapter, shall be deemed exempt by virtue of the fact that it has been attached to or incorporated within any such correspondence.
SB1282 Update - Passed out of Senate and is now in House Courts of Justice Committee. Read this. Apparently our General Assembly is NOT worried about children, elderly widow, single or abused women, Judges, Doctors, etc. Why aren't they protected?
HB2062 - UPDATE: Bill substitute passed by the House and is now assigned to the Senate General Laws Committee where no public participation is allowed (we found that out that week when we weren't not allowed to address the bills in full committee). Some of the committee members catered to "special interests" like the Press, the coalition for open gov't who wants everyone's lives online, and the databrokers who want to be able to get the records and sell the information. This bill forces all Clerks of Circuit Court to go online with records by July 1, 2008 and yet they have until July 1, 2010 to get SSNs off the online records. It will though put a major crimp in the "bulk" sales of our records. But the GA should instead call a halt to online records until the SSNs are redacted and just say they can't be online until all SSNs have been removed. But they don't mention signatures, minor children's names, financial acc't numbers, DOBs, and mother's maiden names? All of those are found in what are called LAND RECORDS which is really a misleading term. And those things are considered "identifying information" under other statutes in the Code of VA. I guess VA legislators don't realize the Clerks' records are a great source of them. Since child ID theft is a huge thing now, why would VA legislators allow any record with a minor child's name or DOB to be accessed on a home computer. They should do like Florida has done and prohibit any family laws records from being available online. Florida also prohibits any PROBATE records from being online.
Under 8.1-449 section in this bill, it states they will allow only the last four numbers of the SSN to be put on a judgment record. This is dangerous in that the last four numbers can get you into people's records, accounts, etc.
Also.... the date - July 1, 2008 - listed in the last line of 17.1-279 B & C should be removed and no date put there. If this passes then ALL CLERKS of CIRCUIT COURTS will have to be online by July 1, 2008 - way before the date that comes into play for them to remove the SSNs. Only 59 out of about 121 have certified to the State Compensation Board that they have remote access but SSNs, DOBs, mother's maiden names, minor children's names, financial acc't numbers, and signatures are in abundance in those records.
SB824 This is the companion bill to HB2062 above which has been amended. Same comments apply. See above. FORCES ALL CLERKS ONLINE BY JULY 1, 2008 but yet gives them until July 2010 to get SSNs off those records. How dumb is that! And it doesn't protect minor children's names, signatures, DOBS, mother's maiden names, or financial acc't numbers. Thank the same groups who killed the other bills for this crappy bill, too.
HB2593 BILL KILLED - ENGROSSMENT REFUSED IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES!!! This is probably brought because of Circuit Court Judge John Richard Alderman of Hanover County (son-in-law of Del. Frank Hargrove) who was stripped of his concealed carry permit when convicted of driving drunk. This bill would have allow him to carry concealed. If he lost his concealed carry permit once because of DUI, why allow him to carry thru a back door method of changing the law now? VCDL, a gun rights group, also opposed this bill calling it a "bad gun bill."
HB2558 BILL amended and made worthless. Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly! It has this wording now.
HB2821 KILLED by the Press, coalition for open gov't and databrokers who want SSNs and all your personal info! Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly! Would have protected SSNs...
SB883 KILLED by the Press, coalition for open gov't and databrokers who want SSNs and all your personal info! Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly! It would have protected SSNs on records held by DGIF. Companion bill to HB 3118 below which was killed in the House. The Press, coalition for open gov't , and databrokers helped kill it because they want SSNs apparently.
SB819 KILLED by the Press, coalition for open gov't and databrokers who want SSNs and all your personal info! Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly! It would have exempted from the mandatory disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act those portions of records containing personal information concerning an identifiable individual, including date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, personal identification numbers, electronic identification codes, automated or electronic signatures, biometric data, or fingerprints; except that access shall not be denied to the person who is the subject thereof.
HB3118 BILL FAILED in subcommittee 1/30/07. KILLED by the Press, coalition for open gov't and databrokers who want SSNs and all your personal info! Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly! Grants a record exemption for personal information concerning individual applicants for or holders of any hunting, fishing, boating, or trapping license issued by an agent of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, including social security or other identification numbers appearing on a driver's license or other form of identification, credit card or bank account data, home address, phone number, and date of birth, provided the individual has requested in writing that the Department not release such information WHY SHOULD ANYONE HAVE TO ASK (OPT OUT) TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION PROTECTED???
HB2821 UPDATE- KILLED by the Press, coalition for open gov't and databrokers who want SSNs and all your personal info! Privacy takes a hit thanks to the VA General Assembly!This common sense bill would exempt from the mandatory disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act those portions of records containing an individual's social security number. WHY AREN'T OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS PROTECTING OUR SSNs? Because of special interests who want your SSN like the press and databrokers.
SB823 KILLED BY PATRON. This is the "companion bill" to HB2060 which died in committee when patron asked that it be "tabled" due to Constitutional issues. Both people were told last summer in committee hearings that if they tried to get these bills passed, they would FAIL because they would be infringing on my First and 14th Amendment Rights. But the lobbyist for the Circuit Court Clerks' Association, lawyer John, "Chip" Dicks, led Del. McQuigg and Sen Devolites Davis down this path. But neither McQuigg or Davis is a lawyer; however, Del. Terry Kilgore is a lawyer and so is Dicks and both should have known better. Kilgore's brother is a former Attorney General of VA and before Co-Patroning the bill, maybe he should have consulted with his lawyer brother Jerry. Davis and Kilgore want the records online so here are pages out of their public records: Del. Kilgore's and Sen. Devolites Davis'. In fact, Devolties Davis has championed this online records mess even though she knows the records are filled with SSNs and other things that should only be available at the courthouse. But her Final Divorce Decree is sealed and so it won't be online like every other poor schmuck's will be...
SB832 KILLED! This bill is a VERY BAD idea. It would remove the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) who is THE one person who knows how some of these clerks screw up when it comes to financial management of their offices? Was this bill put in to PUNISH the APA for doing his job? Read this from last year. The language was eventually removed last year (thanks to The Virginia Watchdog for exposing this) by Del. Callahan and Sen. Chichester who had been schmoozed to put that language in there. It would have protected the Circuit Court Clerks' raises by allowing them to get raises even though they got bad audits. But with the language removed, eight didn't get 4% raises in 2006. To see who the eight are read page 11 of 17 and then read page 13 of 20 in this report... So now you see why they want to kick the APA off the Comp Board. He's the one who audits the Clerks.
HB1959 BILL DIED IN COMMITTEE. All Hanover people pay attention to the fact this bill is patroned by Frank Hargrove... Would increase the amount that localities can charge for animal license taxes from $10 to $35, and limits the tax for additional dogs and cats to $2. Like it needs to be higher???
HB1927 Intends to correct some abuses of this law. As I travel about I see more old clunkers (not real antiques) on the road without inspection stickers or insurance...
SB827 Update - KILLED IN COMMITTEE on 1/24/07. A ridiculous bill to close a non-existent gun show loophole. Hard to believe.... A recent newspaper story said that Republican Senator Devolites Davis plans on making gun control a *centerpiece* of her re-election bid this year! Dealers at gun shows are already required to get approval from the State Police for all firearms sales. This bill is really a private-sale gun registration * scheme * for gun shows. On top of that, it is a solution to a non-existent problem. A U.S. Department of Justice study showed that only seven-tenths of one-percent of guns used in crimes come from gun shows! Another attempt to grand stand by this Senator... Maybe she is against guns because her 20 year old daughter is in Federal prison right now for more than 9 years for driving the get away car during armed robberies... Apparently this is one Republican who doesn't believe in gun rights. She will face stiff competition this fall from moderate Democrat J. Chapman Peterson of Fairfax who supports the Second Amendment.
HB1867 - UPDATE -Bill passed out of full committee on a vote of 22-0 WHAT IS THIS GOING TO COST THE TAXPAYERS TO RE-PAINT ALL CARS WHICH HAVE "GAME WARDEN" ON THEM PRESENTLY. A RIDICULOUS WASTE OF $$$. It would change the name of game wardens to Conservation Police officers. This Delegate should be more worried about DGIF selling people's SSNs and DOBs...
HB2328 UPDATE - TABLED IN COMMITTEE Makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to confirm, through the Basic Pilot Program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the employment eligibility of a job applicant. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Illegals should hate this one since they will not be able to provide employment eligibility verification documents indicating they are legally eligible for employment in the US.
HB2932 UPDATE - TABLED IN COMMITTEE It would require proof of immigration status or actual citizenship to enroll, report to public schools.
HB2060 UPDATE: BILL FAILED Good idea, but it violates First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. This bill is aimed directly at The Virginia Watchdog because our legislators don't like having their own public records published on that website. However, they voted to put our public records online. Also this bill has other widespread implications. The public records maintained by courts of the Commonwealth and in general circulations are already exempted under the Gov't Data Collections & Dissemination Practices Act. The records The Virginia Watchdog has printed are from courts of the Commonwealth AND are in general circulation. For this proposed bill to work, those two exemptions would have to be removed from the COV. AND for the new language in # 5 proposed in the 59.1-443.2 section, they would have to do away with D ii in that code section which says - and is already law - that it won't apply to records required by law to be open to the public. Click here to see all patrons/sponsors of the bill.
HB1639 (killed by patron) and HB 2303 UPDATE - According to the patron's office, this bill was killed in sub-committee 1/18/07. This would allow hunting on SUNDAYS. Not a good idea even if it's on your own property. There has to be a day of rest - even for animals but also for people who like to take walks in the woods.
HB1877 UPDATE - Stricken from docket by commerce and labor. Why just allow people who have been victims? Why not allow everyone to freeze their credit reports? 25+ states already allow it. Last year in the VA Gen. Assembly several bills dealing with this were killed because of special interest groups.
(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)