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In 2022 Virginia legislative session, Catholics to lobby for life, conscience, family

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The 60-day 2022 session of the Virginia General Assembly began Jan. 12. As a result of the November 2021 elections, this session will feature 17 new members of the House of Delegates and “divided government” between the two chambers, with a narrow Republican majority in the House and a narrow Democrat majority in the Senate. As in every even-numbered year, the session will produce a new state budget for the next two fiscal years.

As of Jan. 10, only about 10 percent of the bills we are likely to see during the session had been posted online. A much clearer picture will emerge over the next few weeks. The Virginia Catholic Conference is monitoring bill filing closely.

Though the exact form most legislation will take is uncertain, what is certain this year and every year is the strong stand we will take for life, conscience, families, and protecting the poorest and most vulnerable across a wide spectrum of issues.

During the 2022 session, we will focus especially on restoring pro-life gains lost during the past two sessions, and on continuing to defend religious freedom from any threats that may surface. We also anticipate opportunities to promote parental rights in various contexts, as this general topic is shaping up to be one of the prominent themes of the session.

As bills continue to be filed impacting key areas of VCC advocacy such as education, poverty reduction, marriage and family life, access to health care, immigrants and refugees, and criminal justice reform, we will be on the lookout for emerging opportunities and challenges.

Caruso is executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.

Get involved

Connect: Go to vacatholic.org and click “Join us” to sign up for VCC email alerts; like the VCC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. The VCC will provide action alerts throughout the session — easy and effective ways to contact legislators before they vote on key bills.

Engage: Act on VCC action alerts. Legislators must hear from their constituents.

Be a powerful presence: Attend Defending Life Day Feb. 9 in Richmond. Join pro-life advocates from across Virginia for prayer led by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Richmond Bishop Barry C. Knestout, meetings at legislators’ offices, and Mass. Go to vaprolifeday.org to register and learn more.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2022