Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Senate group opts to ban investing on death
General Assembly Notebook
The latest from our Blue Ridge Caucus politics blog
- Hurt’s private equity, auditing bills win committee approval
- Goodlatte asks Park Service to consider Natural Bridge
From The Roanoke Times
A Senate committee endorsed legislation Monday that prohibits investment pools from profiting off the deaths of strangers.
House Bill 2766, sponsored by Republican Del. Morgan Griffith of Salem, seeks to stop the practice known as "life insurance- and life annuities-based certificates," under which investors agree to pay the life insurance premiums on consenting adults.
When the adult dies, a portion of the insurance payout often goes to a charity or nonprofit group specified by the deceased, but only after investors take their share first.
Griffith's bill states that a beneficiary must have an "insurable interest" - in other words, family, business or economic connections - to the insured person or be a nonprofit organization to receive the death benefits.
Representatives of several companies that operate the certificates, known as LILACs, said the bill would put their companies out of business in Virginia and potentially affect charities. The bill would not apply to LILACs that have already been formed.
"I still see it as gambling on another person's life for profit," Griffith said.
The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted 15-0 to send the bill to the Senate floor.
- Kevin Miller
Bill requiring accurate school crime reports heads to Warner
Legislation inspired by underreported crime statistics in Roanoke schools is headed to Gov. Mark Warner's desk for his signature.
House Bill 1716 states that principals and superintendents "shall accurately indicate" to the state Department of Education any crimes, arrests or charges against students that were previously reported by law enforcement officers.
Del. William Fralin, R-Roanoke, introduced the legislation in response to public outcry over news in 2003 that Roanoke school officials were underreporting crimes committed on school property, occasionally over the protests of police assigned to those schools.
Several school resource officers were reassigned during the ensuing spat, fueling cries of a cover-up.
State code already required school principals, superintendents and state education officials to report crimes. However, Fralin's bill is intended to eliminate discrepancies between the types of crimes police report and those eventually passed on to the state Department of Education.
The bill passed both the House and Senate on a unanimous vote.
- Kevin Miller