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2011-2012 Minimum Legislative Agenda

The following agenda was crafted by the Socialist Party of Central Virginia to present some basic, achievable, legislative goals to the legislature, governor's administration, and people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We readily admit that these goals are not all it takes to transition into socialism; they are merely a minimum of goals that we can work for. We hope to bring these issues into the public discussion during the election season, and beyond into the legislative session for 2012.

Socialist Party of Central Virginia
Minimum Legislative Agenda

1) Immediate repeal of Section 15-A of the Constitution of Virginia that bans gay marriage or domestic partnerships.
Immediate passage of legislation allowing marriage rights for same-sex couples and civil unions for opposite-sex couples.

2) Immediate bans on off-shore drilling, mountain top removal mining, new coal fired plants, new nuclear reactors, and new coal ash waste sites.
Economic incentives, such as tax breaks and subsidies for individuals, electricity co-ops and companies, to invest in solar power, wind, and other energy alternatives.
Immediate cessation of subsidies, tax incentives, and state insurance for coal, nuclear, and natural gas energy sources.
Begin to return electricity production to public, citizen, and worker control through state ownership of current privately owned electric companies.

3) Collective bargaining rights for state employees to freely and legally form unions to represent their interests.
An end to Virginia’s “right to work” laws.
Allow workers to choose to form a recognized union through “card check”.
State arbitrated union contracts if no contract can be made within 90 days of forming a union.
Minimum Wage increase for tipped wage employees from $2.13 per hour to a minimum of $4.40 per hour.
Increase the minimum wage in Virginia to $8.00 per hour, with annual increases by $.75 per hour until a living wage is met, based on EPI estimations for Virginia as a whole, and with subsequent raises in the minimum to allow for annual cost of living increases.
Guarantee a minimum wage to workers with disabilities, undocumented workers, and prisoners at work

4) Increased funding of public education and higher education.
Oppose privatization of public schools and school vouchers.
Call for increased funding for higher education with goal of free higher education for all.
Remove military recruiters from Virginia’s public schools.
End Virginia’s participation in No Child Left Behind and eliminate SOLs as basis for accreditation of schools.

5) Expanded access to state ballots for alternative political parties, including a reduction of the number of signatures required for ballot access, and party name identification.
Same day voter registration.
Removal of the “Dillon Rule” from Virginia’s laws.
Automatic restoration of voting rights to convicted felons once their sentences are served.

6) Comprehensive changes to how the commonwealth treats immigrants:
Oppose the “Virginia Rule of Law Act”.
Immediate repeal of  Chapter 829 of the Code of Virginia that establishes English as the official language of Virginia.
Allow undocumented people to apply for and be issued driver’s licenses.
Allow immigrants expanded and greater access to work visas.
End imprisonment for immigrants awaiting deportation.
Allow habeas corpus rights for all immigrants, including the undocumented.

7) Increase Virginia’s corporate income tax to 9%
Change Virginia’s tax code from the current regressive model to a progressive model whereby the lowest earners are taxed at a lower rate, with higher earners paying a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes. $0-$30,000 pays 0%, $30,001-$44,999 pays 3.75%, $45,000-$69,999 pays 5.75%, $70,000-$99,999 pays 7%, $100,000-$250,000 pays 8.5%, $250,001-$999,999 pays 9%, $1,000,000 and up pays 12%
Institute statewide single payer health system.
Increase funding for community health centers.
Fully fund Planned Parenthood.
Free substance abuse treatment facilities in every locality.
Full coverage of prescription medication and alternative treatments such as alternative birthing centers and midwives.
Guarantee housing for all in Virginia with goal of eliminating homelessness.
Guarantee affordable rent based on income- no more than 20% of income towards rent.

8) Legalization of industrial hemp.
Money from the Tobacco Region Community Fund Grant Program to be used solely for the production of hemp, switch grass, misconstrues, poplar trees, algae, and kudzu for industrial use, and the production of organic produce for human consumption.
Tax breaks and subsidies for farmers using non-patented genetic material in their crops.
Immediate funding for organic and locally produced food in public school cafeterias and prisons.

9) An immediate end to Virginia’s “Drug War”.
Legalization of marijuana.
Increases in mental health facilities for all citizens including convicts. Institute a rehabilitation program rather than incarceration for drug offenders.
Comprehensive re-entry programs for all convicts re-entering society.
An end to mandatory sentencing laws for Virginia’s judges.
An end to Virginia’s “Three Strikes Law”
An immediate moratorium on executions in the Commonwealth.

10) Demand and immediate and meaningful cessation of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars due to disparate impact on Virginia’s working class.
An end to any state subsidies to corporations involved in producing military hardware or intellectual support.
A ban on military recruitment in Virginia’s public schools and colleges.
Immediate divestment of Virginia’s public monies from the state of Israel.



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