Committees

HBA-VA Outreach Committee

Link the HBAVA with professional and community organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies in Virginia to educate HBAVA members and others on issues concerning hispanics. Participate and conduct presentations to provide information and resources on the issues.

Develop and coordinate social and other special events to provide members with opportunity to socialize and/or network with each other and with members of other professional organizations.

 

Legislative Committee

The HBAVA Legislative Committee represents the interests of the organization before the Virginia Legislature. The Committee is charged with conducting a review of legislation being proposed before the legislature that could have an impact on our members and on the Hispanic community in general. Committee members provide empirical data, anecdotal information and well-reasoned arguments to legislators in order to better educate them on HBAVA's perspective on proposed bills and regulations. In previous years, the HBAVA has played an active role, in concert with the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, the Interfaith Center and others, to defeat what has been referred to as "anti-immigrant legislation." In 2013, we are pleased to report that the legislative agenda in Richmond was much more positive.

In summary, the bills that were tracked in 2013 included the following:

Legislation that would allow immigrant students to be eligible for in-state tuition if they have graduated from Virginia schools, have been in Virginia more than three years, have paid taxes in Virginia for more than one year, and meet the requirements for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (SB 1233, Ebbin; SB 1090, McEachin, HB1525, Rust; HB2159, Lopez; HB 1934, Lopez; HB 1490, Kory).

Legislation that ensures employees are duly compensated for the work they complete, and have recourse to file suit when not duly compensated, by mandating employers keep records of hours worked by their employees and wages paid. These bills would make it possible for workers to try to recover their own unpaid wages in state court (SB 816, McEachin; HB 1729, Toscano).

Legislation that seeks to increase and facilitate contracting with and procurement opportunities for minority-owned businesses, in this instance by providing an income tax credit for federal contractors that subcontract with small, women or minority-owned businesses (SB 781, McEachin; HB 2212, McQuinn; HB 1304, Habeeb).

Legislation that prohibits discrimination in the workplace, in this instance for state employees to be free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status (SB 701, McEachin and Ebbin).

Legislation to raise awareness of human trafficking, in this instance by mandating posting of a specific notice about human trafficking in truck stops, where the notice is already required in businesses offering topless entertainment (SB 1292, Obenshain; HB 2061, Bulova).

Legislation to curb child prostitution, in these instances to decriminalize prostitution by minors and expunge charges of prostitution when the person arrested or charged was engaged in prostitution by way of force or intimidation (SB 1149, McEachin; HB 1465, Watts; HB1991, McClellan).

Legislation to establish non-partisan redistricting, out of a belief that legislative districts should be drawn in a manner that does not give preference to any one party or demographic group, in an effort for equal representation of all Virginians (SJ 352, Deeds; HJ 663, Carr).

Legislation that requires sample ballots and other information to be available in languages other than English (HB2299, Kory).

The Legislative Committee also tracked the following negative legislation:

Legislation that restricts access to voting by applying new overly-burdensome, and excessive identification requirements when there is little evidence of voter fraud or impersonation and less discriminatory forms of avoiding voter fraud are available (SB 719, Black; HB 1337, Cole; HB 1787, Bell; HB 1788, Bell).

Legislation that restricts access to voting to naturalized citizens. SB 1077 (Obenshain) would allow the State Board of Elections to apply to participate in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE Program) operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. There is no evidence that immigrants who are not U.S. citizens or undocumented immigrants are voting in Virginia. Using the federal SAVE system threatens to invite challenges of the voter registrations of thousands of naturalized citizens who became naturalized after applying for and receiving Virginia driver's licenses.