Some libertarian bills found in Richmond

Published 10:34 pm Saturday, February 14, 2015

By Charles Frohman

For the second year in a row, Our America Initiative found in Virginia’s legislature the good bills — those that restrain government power and honor personal liberty — that need your support before adjournment later this month.

OAI divided the supported bills among five categories, starting with those that cut taxes and regulations.

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In this category OAI listed a bill to study moving away from taxation of income and businesses. Eleven states no longer tax income and are importing businesses as a result. On regulations, the group supports a bill to exempt from inspection food sold directly by farmers to customers.

One constitutional amendment would allow the right to work, and another would allow majority votes in the General Assembly to strike burdensome regulations.

The second category has some chance, since Republicans are facing remorse for their “tough-on-crime” hyperbole and carte-blanche gifts to the security state. Bills include ones to respect the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on searches without warrants, forbid asset forfeiture by police until a defendant has exhausted all appeals, prohibit arrest quotas, and study how to reverse the over-criminalization epidemic.

Other bills would require bureaucracies to use the police for enforcement actions, instead of creating their own SWAT teams; clarify the sheriff’s role as a locality’s top enforcement officer; raise reckless driving speed to 85 mph; and end the prohibition on the cannabis and hemp plants (the prohibition of which are the driving force for the over-criminalization disease).

On health and education, Virginia’s politicians have introduced at least a few bills that achieve OAI’s goal to grant parents more choices in both areas.

One bill would prohibit local school boards from blocking charter choices for parents, and another bill would block the Common Core federalization of state K-12 standards.

Health freedom bills include one to allow self-selecting states to replace Obamacare with an interstate compact. Another allows dying patients to access drugs that haven’t completed FDA reviews. And a third expands diseases qualifying for doctor-recommended marijuana.

The “Respecting Personal Liberty” category of OAI-supported bills includes ending the denial of voting rights to felons after completion of their sentences, compensating victims of government sterilization crimes, moderating extreme DUI policies and clarifying the right to armed defense.

The final category of supported bills includes those that open the government to scrutiny and limit its power.

Two bills would limit the ability of the dominant parties (Republican and Democrat) to limit voter choices. Other bills include those to forbid bureaucrat actions that violate notice requirements; forbid public universities from ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests; limit the revolving door between government employment and working for government contractors; reduce budget gimmicks in spending bills; and constitutional convention requests for only amendments that limit government power.

Our America Initiative didn’t capture all the libertarian-leaning bills in these five categories, and not all of the bills on the list are without some risk to liberty. When you email the OAI handout ( to your politicians, then, feel free to emphasize from the list only those bills you believe are most important.

With adjournment coming soon, now is the time to show our politicians that a constituency exists for personal responsibility.

Charles Frohman is a 1984 graduate of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. Email him at