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Culpeper Times • March 14-20, 2019

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The life of a bill VOTER'S GUIDE

For Virginians, voting in November wouldn’t be considered a life or death decision, but the life or death of a bill in the Virginia general assembly depends largely on who citizens of the Commonwealth elect to office. In this month’s edition of Know Your State and Your Vote’s Weight, readers can learn about the life of a bill.

Rebecca Layne

The Birth of a Bill A bill is a proposal for a new law or a change to an existing law. Bills can be proposed by the governor, citizens, and other groups within the state. Only a state senator or delegate is allowed to write the bill and bring it to the general assembly. The bill in this article will start its journey with a senator. Heading to the Committee The senator must first introduce the bill. This is the first of three times the bill is read in this chamber. The clerk of the senate then chooses the best committee to discuss the bill and potentially make changes. This is the first of many opportunities for citizens to have input, which is given through

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Leave your house unprotected and see how you feel about it I don’t understand why people have front doors on their houses. And many people lock them. Doesn’t this prevent people who have genuine needs from walking right in and using resources such as bathrooms, beds, food in the frig, etc.? How uncaring. Please don’t misunderstand my sarcasm. Our family gives

personal or written testimony. The committee can then decide to make changes before sending the bill to the senate. They can also decide to not take action on a bill and let it die in committee. In Front of the Whole Senate When a bill reaches the floor of the senate, it is read again and the committee makes their recommendations. The senators can make comments and vote to accept the committee’s recommendations. If the vote passes, the bill moves to the other chamber. Going to the House of Delegates The bill goes through the same process in the house. It must first be read, after which the speaker of the house sends it to a committee. If the bill makes it out of the committee, it will be introduced by the committee to the entire house of delegates for debate and comment. If no changes were made to the bill, it can move forward. If the house has also made changes, it must go back to the senate for another vote. If both chambers do not agree, the bill cannot be passed. While in either chamber, citizens can write or call their legislators to urge them to vote for or against a bill. This can impact how far a bill moves through the chambers.

many resources to helping family and friends personally, as well as through our church and community organizations. But the recipients are people who have asked for help and are willing to go through the process prescribed to receive it. This affords an opportunity to develop a relationship with those in need, offering them the added values of emotional support, accountability, and help with developing skills to “teach them to fish.” Isn’t that more compassionate than allowing them to take whatever they want, thus continuing their dependence on

The Final Vote If a version of the bill is agreed upon by both the house and senate, it is read again in its new form before a vote is held. If the bill is passed in both chambers, it heads to the governor. On the Governor’s Desk The governor can choose to either sign a bill, veto it, or offer amendments. A signed bill becomes a law. If a bill is vetoed, the general assembly can vote to override the veto. If they do not vote or fail to pass the vote, then the bill dies. If the governor makes amendments, the bill goes back to the general assembly to have the changes approved or rejected. If the changes are approved, the bill becomes a law. If the changes are rejected, the bill goes back to the governor. How far a bill gets in this process highly depends on who the legislators are and what platforms they have. A vote in November by Virginians can greatly influence who is working on bills and helping to assist or impede the creation and changing of laws. Rebecca Layne is the Second Vice Chair of the Culpeper County Democratic Committee and is a graduate student in George Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

others? Americans are being asked to cover the cost of millions of illegal immigrants using our schools, roads, hospitals, police and fire departments, and government programs—while they are paying little or nothing. I would like to challenge those who do not believe in a border wall to be consistent and remove the front doors from your houses. And leave your keys in the car too. Barby Mouring Culpeper

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➤ Diet, from Page 21 Rather than follow a specific diet, Jena suggested simply committing to the unsexy and basic foundations of good nutrition. Start by consistently adding foods known to increase health like fruits, vegetables, good quality protein (from legumes or animal foods), nuts, seeds, etc. And, at the same time, take steps to

increase movement, decrease stress, get more sleep, get outside and surround yourself with people who support you. When you make these diet and lifestyle changes, you will see improvements in your energy, mood, body composition and more. Jena ended by saying that the only one true rule in nutrition is that you must do what works for

you. No one blog, book, friend, doctor or nutritionist can tell you what’s best for you. As well, be open to shifting your diet when it stops working. Our bodies and our needs, wants, activity levels and health concerns are always changing. It’s important to cultivate awareness and recognize when it is time to adjust your approach.

Email: jsay@culpepertimes.com Letters must be signed by the writer. Messages sent via email must say “Letter to the Editor” to distinguish them from other messages not meant for publication. Include address and phone for verification (not to be published). Letters are subject to editing for clarity and length. Letters must be received by 5 p.m. Monday to be considered for Thursday publication.

Profile for InsideNoVa

Culpeper Times | March 14-20  

'Changing Hands' | School board approves budget | Premier Auto hosting ribbon cutting | Family affair when it comes to cutting hair

Culpeper Times | March 14-20  

'Changing Hands' | School board approves budget | Premier Auto hosting ribbon cutting | Family affair when it comes to cutting hair