LeMunyon-Keam Transparency Becomes Law
House to Post Delegates' Voting Records
The House passed Friday on a 63-32 vote to allow people to go online to see how each member of the Virginia House of Delegates votes.
That's the effect of a resolution that the House passed Friday on a 63-32 vote. House Resolution 64 requires the House clerk to record all votes in House committees and subcommittees and on the floor. The information then will be posted on the General Assembly's website [http://legis.state.va.us/] — organized by each delegate's name.
"Constituents have a right to know how they are being represented in Richmond. This simple but very important change in the search function of the General Assembly's website will make the votes we take more readily available to the people we represent," said Delegate Jim LeMunyon, R-Chantilly, who proposed the resolution.
Currently, you can look up a bill or resolution and then see how legislators voted on it (either in committee or on the floor). But you can't look up a legislator and see immediately how he or she voted on a particular issue.
"State legislators cast recorded votes on thousands of measures in subcommittees, committees, and on the floors of each chamber during a legislative session, and millions of taxpayer dollars are spent each year to maintain the legislative electronic information system," LeMunyon's resolution notes.Â "However, it can be an arduous task for ordinary citizens to track the voting records of their state legislators."
The resolution says posting all votes by each lawmaker will promote "participatory government, civic engagement, and an informed citizenry for the benefit of the common good."
Olga Hernandez, president of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, agrees. She said the league supports the resolution and believes in an open, transparent and accessible government.
"This provides the public with information they would have to hunt for otherwise. It makes it easier for Virginians to find out what is happening," Hernandez said in an e-mail interview. "We have lobbied for this and for cameras in both chambers so people can witness their government in action and evaluate public policy as it is made. This is one more step in having access to legislators' thoughts and stands on issues."
HR 64 was co-sponsored by Delegates Mark Keam, D-Vienna, and Thomas "Tag" Greason, R-Potomac Falls.
In keeping with a campaign promise in 2009, LeMunyon publishes his voting records on his websiteÂ www.LeMunyon.com. He is the first member of the General Assembly to do so.LeMunyon called on Virginia senators to follow the House's lead in posting their voting records.
###To track or comment on legislation, visit RichmondSunlight.com. To learn more about the League of Women Voters of Virginia, visitÂ http://lwv-va.org/
###How They Voted
Here is how the House voted Feb. 4 on HR 64 (Clerk of House of Delegates; posting recorded votes to the legislative information system). The resolution was adopted on a vote of 63 yeas, 32 nays.
YEAS -- Abbott, Albo, Anderson, Armstrong, Athey, BaCote, Bell, Robert B., Brink, Bulova, Carr, Cline, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, M.K., Dance, Ebbin, Edmunds, Englin, Filler-Corn, Garrett, Greason, Habeeb, Herring, Hope, Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, James, Janis, Keam, Kilgore, Kory, Landes, LeMunyon, Lewis, Loupassi, Massie, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Merricks, Miller, P.J., Morefield, Morrissey, O'Bannon, Oder, Orrock, Plum, Pollard, Rust, Scott, J.M., Sherwood, Shuler, Sickles, Stolle, Surovell, Toscano, Ward, Ware, O., Watts, Wilt, Wright, Mr. Speaker--63.Â
NAYS -- Abbitt, Alexander, Barlow, Bell, Richard P., Byron, Carrico, Cole, Cox, J.A., Crockett-Stark, Gilbert, Howell, A.T., Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Knight, Lingamfelter, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Miller, J.H., Morgan, Nutter, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Scott, E.T., Tata, Torian, Villanueva, Ware, R.L.--32.NOT VOTING--Cleaveland, Phillips, Spruill, Tyler--4. Delegate Bell, Richard P. recorded as nay. Intended to vote yea. Delegate Torian recorded as nay. Intended to vote yea.