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Virginia Senate passes bill to make parole board votes public

Posted at 2:14 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 14:14:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require the individual votes of the parole board be made public.

SB 5012, filed by Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke County), passed the Senate 29-10 in a bipartisan vote.

The bill aims to bring transparency to the the actions of the Parole Board and make their votes public record and subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

The legislation comes after the state's official government watchdog agency released a report saying the Virginia Parole Board and its former chair violated state law and its own policies and procedures when it released a man convicted of killing a Richmond police officer.

"Virginians should know who is making these critical public safety and individual liberty decisions on the power Parole Board. It was great to see so much bipartisan support for this important sunshine reform," said Suetterlein.

The bill will now head to the House of Delegates for a vote.