Bacon Bits: Dems Gone Wild Edition

With Democrats focused on really important stuff such as the proper use of pronouns “(she” and “her” when referring not only to female senators and delegates but the sergeant of arms, a male), they may or may not have time to attend to every bill submitted, especially those likely to bog down in the face of determined resistance. But it’s worth highlighting some of the more extreme measures for the purpose of illuminating the Democratic Party id. Even if these bills go nowhere this session, they reveal the preoccupations of the progressives who are increasingly dominant in the party of (the now-discredited) Jefferson and Jackson, and tell us where Virginia could be heading. (Hat tip to Hans Bader for bringing these to my attention.)

Expanding the Virginia Human Rights Act. Del. Kathy Tran, D-Springfield, who last year championed late-term abortions and lobbied for a lactation room in the General Assembly, has submitted HB 1200 to revise the Virginia Human Rights Act, which already makes it it unlawful to discriminate against any employee on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender… or medical condition such as lactation. The bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of age for anyone 40 years or older, eliminate the exemption for employers with fewer than five employees, and render the employer liable for up to $25,000 in damages plus attorneys fees — not “reasonable attorneys fees,” as provided in federal law, but “attorneys fees,” which could be wildly inflated and could easily be substantially higher than the actual award.

Equal Pay Act. Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Herndon, has submitted SB 660, which would prohibit employers from paying wages and compensation to members of a “protected class” (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation — it’s not clear if this includes lactation status) “at a rate less than the rate which it pays … employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work.” The measure establishes criteria for when wage differentials between employees are permitted: seniority (not penalizing for leave due to pregnancy, parental, family, or medical reasons), a “bona fide merit system,” or a “bona fide factor” such as education, training or experience. Throwing in a burdensome bureaucratic requirement for good measure, the Equal Pay Act would require employers to maintain records on the wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment for three years. No exemptions for small businesses or even micro businesses. Boysko’s state senate biography lists her occupation as “community organizer.”

If Democrats prevail on bills like these, you can kiss good-bye to free labor markets.


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12 responses to “Bacon Bits: Dems Gone Wild Edition

  1. You have a problem with a lactation room in the Capitol or the Pocahontas Building? Okaaaayyyy.

  2. This is actually good. They will overplay their cards. Maybe this will remind people that staying home is not an option on election day. Hopefully opposition will totally rethink how they select candidates.

  3. So, it is OK to pay women less than men as a rule or to pay Hispanics less because they are “foreigners”, even if they are citizens?

  4. Overplaying their cards is a real possibility. Then again, some of this stuff may pass with hardly any analysis — then take years to figure out what it even means, let alone implement. Of course we could be lamenting here the lack of consensus-building, the block party-line voting, the cultural polarization generally, that has brought us from extreme R “stonewall” to extreme D “open floodgates” overnight. Had the GA been looking critically but with the possibility of persuasion at the trends all along, we wouldn’t now be jumping off the cliff like this.

    • Excellent point Acbar. It’s like impeachment on strict party lines. No way that or this will end well. Instead, it will end very badly for all, with very bad long term consequences.

  5. re: ” If Democrats prevail on bills like these, you can kiss good-bye to free labor markets.”

    good lord!

    Conservatives are a one-trick pony these days.

    Debate on the merits? Outrageous!!!

    The GOP lost because they refused to compromise until they had no choice so now the message is that the Dems are going to turn Virginia into a socialist state or whatever other shade of “leftist” they can conjure up.

    We’ll see what happens but the GOP is a desperate lot these days.

  6. Jim & everyone! Take a deep breath and exhale! You are experience the hair on fire syndrome [similar to the chicken little affliction] looking at the bills introduced daily.

    When I was one of the legislative lookouts for a professional group, at the beginning of each session I would get calls almost daily that began with a frantic, “Did you read House Bill Umptysquat? Delegate Southside wants to make planning commissioners an elective office!” Or make all fireworks legal. Or allow advertising on school buses. Or make counties take over secondary road maintenance. Or grandfather all existing failing septic tanks. And so fourth until several days after the last day of introduction. Heck, I was even concerned for the future of the Commonwealth and even my family reading some of those bills.

    I will have to delve deeply into the Bacon archives to see if the alarm was raised to such a level over some of B-1 Bob Marshall’s legislation or bills introduced by Rick Morris, Brenda Pogge, and a whole host of R legislators who were pushing the Tea Party agenda.

    So go ahead and flag legislation that concerns you, but spend time in the subcommittees and committees to see how the sky-is-falling legislation fares.

    Again, the shoe is on the other foot, the worm has turned, someone new has their day in the sun, etc., so what do you expect?


    • Bosun, I tried not to exaggerate the significance of these two bills. Here’s how I couched them: “Even if these bills go nowhere this session, they reveal the preoccupations of the progressives who are increasingly dominant in the party of (the now-discredited) Jefferson and Jackson, and tell us where Virginia could be heading.”

      Do you think that’s “hair on fire”?

  7. Jim, I cannot recall but did you ever do the same for some of the legislation introduced that reveal the preoccupations of the regressive and Tea Partyites who are dominate in the party of (the now-discredited) Lincoln and Reagan? Perhaps that’s in some long-ago posts of yours. Bosun

    • Bosun, I may have given passing mention to some of those clunkers, but I didn’t dwell on them. Your memory is correct on that score. The difference between then and now is that I didn’t need to bring conservative excesses to the public’s attention. The media was only too happy to highlight them — and did a very good job of it. Today is very different. The media is overwhelmingly on the same side as the Democrats and has little interest in exposing the excesses of the Left. I may amend my opinion after seeing more General Assembly coverage, but I fully expect the media to cheer-lead most Democrat initiatives. If Bacon’s Rebellion doesn’t subject them to critical scrutiny, who will?

  8. so the excuse is the “Liberal media made me do it”?

    sounds like the typical 6 year old excuse to me!

    An OBJECTIVE observer does their job objectively

    but what we have here is the excuse that A Lot of the Media is Liberal – NOT TRUE and thus that justifies the hair on fire commentary raining down on us !!!

    Let me point out that the nature of Media, especially print media is changing dramatically to online and when you look at online, there is NO SHORTAGE of Conservative media so the argument that the Liberal media makes us do it is the worst combination of lame and audacious.

    Everyone Knows that wacko stuff – left and right , starts out as proposed legislation and more often than not dies a quick death in the committees…and/or gets amended to bring it back to some reasonable bill. But that don’t stop the “Leftists are Coming” foolishness.

    Part of the problem is that the GOP has held back a lot of stuff that should have been passed – Medicaid being the most prominent but to include minimum wage and reining in Dominion, equal rights, addressing the Jim Crow monuments and names , universal background checks, etc…

    Some of these things are going to happen now – but not far-left desires, the wants of an increasingly diverse demographics in urban and suburban Virginia.

    The GOP – has to get back the folks they have lost and then some and the only way to do that is to respond to those voters not lecture them on what Conservatism means.

    And it’s not like the Dems have absolute and forever control – they’re on the same knife-edge that the GOP was and can topple and the GOP gain back the GA.

    Which is why the GOP is ranting and raving about “leftists” and social engineering, virtue signaling and all that rot these days. It works fine for their mostly rural base – is it working for the urban and suburban areas? Probably not like it used to which I think demonstrates how intractable and uncompromising the GOP still is… they don’t want to actually represent what voters want – they want to assert their own Conservative principles MORE than listening to voters. A number of polls showing 80% and more on the opposite side of the GOP demonstrates that.

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