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Votes

How They Voted

Of the nearly 3,000 bills introduced this year in the General Assembly, a handful of proposed laws caught the state's attention.

Here's how local lawmakers voted on some of these marquee pieces of legislation.

Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Over the objections of gay rights activists in Fairfax County and elsewhere in Virginia, the General Assembly approved a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The proposed amendment, SJ 337, states that marriage is "only a union between one man and one woman" and denies same-sex couples any of the rights or benefits of marriage.

FOR: Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-34), Sen. William Mims (R-33), Sen. Jay O'Brien (R-39), Del. David Albo (R-42), Del. Dick Black (R-32), Del. Vincent Callahan (R-34), Del. Tim Hugo (R-40), Del. Chap Petersen (D-37), Del. Gary Reese (R-67), Del. Tom Rust (R-86), Del. Stephen Shannon (D-35) and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39).

AGAINST: Sen. Janet Howell (D-32), Sen. Linda T. Puller (D-36), Sen. Richard Saslaw (D-35), Sen. Patricia Ticer (D-30), Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31), Del. Kristen Amundson (D-44), Del. Jim Dillard (R-41), Del. Adam Ebbin (D-49), Del. Robert Hull (D-38), Del. Brian Moran (D-46), Del. Ken Plum (D-36), Del. Jim Scott (D-53) and Del. Mark Sickles (D-43).

The End of 'Photo Red'

Five measures were killed this session that would have re-authorized a program that allowed local government to use red-light camera monitoring systems at intersections.

One bill, SB 721, would have extended 'photo red' beyond its July 1, 2005 sunset. The effort passed the senate 31-9, but was derailed in the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety, which also nixed all of the other red-light camera bills.

FOR: Devolites Davis, Howell, Mims, O'Brien, Puller, Saslaw, Ticer, Whipple, Scott and Petersen.

AGAINST: Cuccinelli

Denial of Services for Illegal Immigrants

Under HB 1798, illegal immigrants would be denied access to all state and local benefits, with a few exceptions including emergency services and immunizations. The bill was approved by both houses of the legislature.

This measure would also require U.S. citizens to prove their legal residency before receiving state and local services.

FOR: Cuccinelli, Devolites Davis, O'Brien, Albo, Amundson, Black, Callahan, Hugo, Del. Joe T. May (R-33), Moran, Petersen, Reese, Rust, Shannon, Sickles and Watts.

AGAINST: Howell, Puller, Ticer, Whipple, Dillard, Ebbin, Hull, Plum and Scott.

Prayer in Schools

Del. Charles Carrico, a Republican from Southwest Virginia, introduced a Constitutional amendment (HJ 537) to guarantee Virginians the freedom to exercise religion on public property, a move that would have arguably allowed organized prayer in public schools. It was approved 69-27 in the House, but was defeated in a Senate committee.

FOR: Cuccinelli, Black, Callahan, Hugo and May.

AGAINST: Howell, Mims, Puller, Saslaw, Albo, Amundson, Dillard, Ebbin, Hull, Moran, Petersen, Plum, Rust, Scott, Shannon, Sickles and Watts.

Droopy Pants Ban

Norfolk Democrat Del. Algie Howell's "droopy pants ban" drew national attention to the General Assembly. HB 1981 would have charged a $50 fine for anyone whose pants sagged low enough to expose their underwear. It was approved 60-34 in the House, but killed in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

FOR: Amundson, Black, Dillard, Hugo, Moran, Plum, Reese, Scott and Shannon.

AGAINST: Cuccinelli, Howell, Mims, Puller, Saslaw, Albo, Callahan, Ebbin, May, Petersen, Rust, Scott, Sickles and Watts.

Bad Driver Fines

Two local Republican delegates, Albo and Rust, sponsored a bill that would have levied steep fines on drivers convicted of drunken or aggressive driving, excessive speeding or driving on a suspended license. The revenue raised would have been put toward transportation projects around the state.

The House passed the measure by a vote of 57-40 but the bill was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee.

FOR: Albo, Black, Callahan, Dillard, Hugo, May, Plum, Rust, Scott, Shannon, Sickles and Watts.

AGAINST: Amundson, Ebbin, Hull, Moran, Petersen and Reese.

Car Tax Phaseout

This bill, HB 1654, would have removed the cap on the car tax and gradually increased over six years the amount of relief until the tax is eliminated entirely. It was approved by the House on Feb. 7, but was killed the following week by the Senate Finance Committee.

FOR: Albo, Amundson, Black, Callahan, Ebbin, Hugo, Hull, May, Moran, Petersen, Plum, Reese, Rust, Scott, Shannon, Sickles and Watts.

AGAINST: Dillard

Gay Adoption Ban

As originally introduced, this bill would have prohibited homosexuals from adopting children in Virginia. It was subsequently amended to direct judges to ask if an adoption petitioner engages in homosexual activity, is unmarried or co-habitating with another adult.

The bill was passed by the House in a 71-24 vote, but died in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

FOR: Albo, Black, Callahan, Hugo, May and Reese.

AGAINST: Amundson, Dillard, Ebbin, Hull, Moran, Petersen, Plum, Rust, Scott, Shannon, Sickles and Watts.

No Smoking In Public Buildings

The Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act, sponsored by Mims, would have banned smoking in most indoor facilities frequented by the public, including restaurants and bars that serve food.

The bill narrowly made it out of the Senate Education and Health Committee, but was killed on the Senate floor. Public health advocates hailed the bill's progress as a major step toward a state-wide indoor smoking ban.

FOR: Howell, Mims, Puller, Saslaw, Ticer and Whipple.

AGAINST: Cuccinelli, Devolites Davis and O'Brien.

Noise Standards for Shooting Ranges

This bill, which was approved by both legislative chambers, sets state-wide noise standards for new shooting ranges. It also prohibits localities from setting their own noise policies on sports shooting facilities.

FOR: Cuccinelli, Devolites Davis, Howell, Mims, O'Brien, Puller, Saslaw, Ticer, Whipple, Albo, Amundson, Black, Callahan, Dillard, Hugo, May, Moran, Petersen, Reese, Shannon and Watts.

AGAINST: Ebbin, Plum, Rust, Scott and Sickles.