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Bill subjecting Va. Parole Board to FOIA passes House of Delegates 95-5

A bill to classify Virginia Parole Board votes as public information and subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), originally introduced by Delegate Wren Williams (R - Stuart) on Jan. 19 has passed the Virginia House of Delegates with a 95-5 vote, Williams’ office said in a news release Feb. 16.

according to the release, Williams submitted this legislation as a response to the series of scandals pertaining to the Parole Board’s votes and disregard for legal guidelines, which led to convicted murderers and cop-killers being released on the street with no notice given to victims’ families. Williams’ bill spearheads the Republican-led effort to make the Parole Board’s actions more accountable and transparent.

“The Virginia Parole Board is made up of public servants who can have a massive impact on the lives of Virginians,” Williams was quoted as saying in the news release. “With a single vote, they can release a dangerous killer into a neighborhood and make victims relive the worst moments of their lives again.”

“Before now, votes of the board were shielded from the Freedom Of Information Act. ”

“With HB1303 passing, we are fulfilling the promise we made to Virginians and bringing these votes into the sunlight,” Williams concluded.

Attorney General Jason Miyares was quoted in a news release as saying, “Last year the Virginia Parole Board, while ‘drunk with power’ released murders and cop killers without notifying the victims This legislation will make the parole process in Virginia more transparent and ensure parole board members are held accountable to the public.”

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