PETERSBURG, VA – Today Delegate Aird announced her legislative priorities for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly special session, set to begin later today.

As a member of the Appropriations committee, Delegate Aird will work with the Governor and her colleagues to address Virginia’s biennial budget, where a number of policies have been proposed to address equity, police reform and health and safety protections for Virginians for the duration of this health crisis.

“This special session presents a historic opportunity for our legislature to address two pandemics: systemic racism, which has resulted in racial health disparities, and the criminal justice crisis and the severe economic impact of COVID-19,” said Delegate Aird. Since the onset of both of these major emergencies, my constituents have been adversely impacted and I am going to fight to ensure that they get the resources they need, and to make the necessary changes in the system that address inequities.

Below are Delegate Aird’s legislative priorities for the special session.

Declaration of Racism as a Public Health Crisis: A formal resolution from the House of Delegates recognizing and declaring that racism has been a paramount issue in the history of the Commonwealth and the effects of institutional racism have resulted in a public health crisis. The resolution provides instructions on steps that can be taken to begin addressing this institutional inequity and ensuring improved public health outcomes along racial lines.

Emergency Debt Repayment Plan: The legislation establishes a debt repayment plan for all electric, gas and water utilities, that provides an affordable path for customers who have accrued debts to their utility providers during the pandemic.

Police Reform
Prohibition of No-Knock Warrant:  The legislation prohibits the use of a no-knock search warrant by any law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It requires moving forward that any search warrant be provided to the owner or occupant of the place to be searched and prevents any evidence obtained in violation of this process to be inadmissible.

Codifying Definition of Excessive Use of Force and Ban on Neck Restraints: The legislation adds to the Code of Virginia a clear definition of excessive use of force and bans specific use of force tactics, such as neck restraints.  To date, excessive use of force has been defined by case law but this would codify that definition, allowing it to be formally utilized in future policy measures aimed at reducing their occurrence in the Commonwealth.

About Delegate Aird
Delegate Lashrecse Aird was sworn into the Virginia House of Delegates in 2016.  She represents the 63rd District, which includes rural, suburban, and urban areas stretching from the City of Petersburg to the countryside of Dinwiddie to suburban neighborhoods in Chesterfield.