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Virginia eugenics bill stalled

Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:46 PM

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A bipartisan proposal to compensate Virginia's involuntary sterilization victims has been stalled by its potential price tag, a report said.

The measure, HB1529, introduced in the state House of Representatives by Republican Delegate Bob Marshall and co-sponsored by Democratic Delegate Patrick Hope, authorizes payments of $50,000 to surviving victims of a decades-long state policy of eugenics aimed at weeding out what the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot termed "defective members of society" in a forced sterilization campaign from 1924 to 1979.

Staff analyses indicate the number of remaining victims is unknown but the proposed payments could total up to $73 million.

The bill was sent to the Appropriations Committee but was not acted on, the newspaper said, adding the committee has no meetings scheduled before Tuesday's deadline for House action on the bill.

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