by The Republican Standard staff
The Virginia General Assembly passed several small bills due to the split between the Republican-led House of Delegates and the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate. Yet the areas where they did find co-operation could matter to many Virginians as we head into Fourth of July weekend.
Enhanced Penalties for Fentanyl Manufacturing or Distribution
Reeves SB1188 Senate 35-5 House 50-42
Provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally manufactures or knowingly and intentionally distributes a weapon of terrorism when such person knows that such weapon of terrorism is, or contains, any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Universal Occupational License Recognition
McDougle SB1213 Senate 40-0 House 99-0
Establishes criteria for an individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state to apply to a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and be issued an occupational license or government certification if certain conditions are met.
Police Chiefs May Enact Local Curfews during Disturbances
Norment SB1455 Senate 27-12 House 53-45
Enables the chief law-enforcement officer of a locality to enact a curfew under certain circumstances during a civil disturbance.
Making Sure Every District has a Legislator
Suetterlein SB944 Senate 39-0 House 99-0
Requires special elections to fill a vacancy in the membership of the General Assembly be held within 30 days of the vacancy if the vacancy occurs or will occur between December 10 and March 10 which coincides with time right before and during the General Assembly session.
Pharmacist Initiation of Treatment
Suetterlein SB948 Senate 39-0 House 65-34
Allows pharmacists to initiate treatment with, dispense, or administer controlled substances or devices for the initiation of treatment of group A Streptococcus bacteria infection, influenza virus infection, COVID-19 virus infection, and urinary tract infection to persons 18 years of age or older with whom the pharmacist has a bona fide pharmacist-patient relationship in accordance with regulations set forth by the Board of Pharmacy.
Prohibiting Deceptive Ticket Resales
John Bell SB2349 Senate 40-0 House 99-0
Prohibits an Internet ticketing platform or reseller from using or displaying any trademarked or copyrighted URL or other mark or symbol of an operator, a rights holder, or a primary ticket provider without the consent of such operator, rights holder, or ticket provider and prohibits the use or display of text, images, website graphics, website display, or website addresses substantially similar to an operator’s website in a manner that could reasonably be expected to mislead a potential purchaser. A violation of the provisions of the bill constitutes a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act
Notification of Automatic Renewal or Continuous Service Offers
Dawn Adams HB1517 House 100-0 Senate 40-0
Requires suppliers of automatic renewals or continuous service offers that include a free trial that lasts more than 30 days to, within 30 days of the end of any such free trial, notify the consumer of his option to cancel the free trial before the end of the trial period to avoid an obligation to pay for the goods or services. The bill provides that failure to notify a consumer of such option is a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The bill also makes it a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act for a supplier to fail to disclose the total cost of a good or continuous service to a consumer, including any mandatory fees or charges, prior to entering into an agreement for the sale of any such good or provision of any such service.
Increased Political Action Committee Transparency
Suetterlein SB1247 Senate 40-0 House 97-0
Closes gaps in Virginia’s political action committee filing requirements that were previously exploited by bad actors.
Foreign Adversaries Prohibited from Acquiring Agriculture Land
Stuart SB1438 Senate 23-16 House 64-25
Prohibits any foreign adversary, as defined in the bill, from acquiring or transferring any interest in agricultural land, as defined in federal law, beginning January 1, 2023, and requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to compile a report annually with certain information regarding agricultural land that is under foreign ownership and submit such report to the Governor and General Assembly.
Flexible Financial Supports for Virginians with Developmental Disabilities
Suetterlein SB945 Senate 40-0 House 99-0
Directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to take steps to amend the Family and Individual Supports, Community Living, and Building Independence waivers to provide greater financial flexibility to individuals with developmental disabilities who are receiving waiver services.
Increasing Coordination for Special Education Transition
Suetterlein SB943 Senate 38-0 House 99-0
Requires each public high school in the Commonwealth to publicly identify on its official website the faculty member responsible for special education transition planning and coordination.
TikTok Prohibited on State Government Devices
McDougle SB1459 Senate 20-20 (Lt. Gov. Sears Broke the Tie) House 74-25
Prohibits any employee or agent of any public body or person or entity contracting with any such public body from downloading or using any application, including TikTok or WeChat, or accessing any website developed by ByteDance Ltd. or Tencent Holdings Ltd. on any government-issued device or government-owned or government-leased equipment.
Replacing Absentee Witness Requirement with Social Security Number
Bloxom HB1948 House 100-0 Senate 35-4
Removes the unreliable witness requirement for absentee ballots and replaces it with the requirement that the voter provide the last four digits of his social security number and his birth year. The bill provides that the unique identifier assigned to the voter in the voter registration system will be accepted in place of the last four digits of the voter’s social security number for such purposes for those voters whose registration includes a statement of affirmation that they have never been issued a social security number.
Extending Moratorium on City Annexation of Counties
Hodges HB1676 House 100-0 Senate 40-0
Extends by eight years, from 2024 to 2032, the current moratorium on city annexations and county immunity actions.
Small Business Tax Relief
McNamara HB1456 House 98-0 Senate 39-0
Makes changes to the elective entity level tax on pass-through entities effective beginning with taxable year 2021. The bill would impose the tax only on the share of income, gain, loss, or deduction attributable to eligible owners as opposed to imposing the tax on the entire entity. The bill defines “eligible owner” as an owner of a pass-through entity that is a natural person, estate, or trust. The bill also removes the requirement that to qualify for the tax election a pass-through entity must be 100 percent owned by natural persons or persons eligible to be shareholders in an S corporation.
Increasing Paid-Work Based Experiences for English Learner Students
Suetterlein SB1430 Senate 39-0 House 58-36
Requires the Department of Education to review removing barriers to English language learner students accessing paid work-based learning experiences..
Blue Headlights Prohibited
Spruill SB855 Senate 38-1 House 87-11
Prohibits the use of headlights on motor vehicles, motorcycles, autocycles, bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, personal delivery devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and motorized skateboards or scooters with aftermarket modifications that make such headlights appear as a blue light.
Enhanced Penalties for Catalytic Converter Theft
McDougle SB1135 Senate 39-0 House 75-24
Makes it a Class 6 felony for any person to sell, offer for sale, or purchase a catalytic converter from a motor vehicle exhaust system that has been detached from a motor vehicle, except when such sale, offer for sale, or purchase is made to or by a scrap metal purchaser that has adhered to the required compliance provisions.
Carrying a Switchblade Concealed Legalized
Ware HB2298 House 61-32 Senate 40-0
Removes switchblade knives from and adds stiletto knives to the list of concealed weapons the carrying of which is prohibited in public.
This article is republished from The Republican Standard with permission.