Virginia’s legislative season will be coming to a close this month following the conclusion of the General Assembly’s general session.
With more than 3,000 bills filed, the legislature tackled some big-ticket issues like sexual assault on college campuses, political ethics and gun control, but they still had time for the oft-overlooked issues of our day.
Here’s where these bills currently stand:
Gun rights took center stage in a number of bills this session, with varying degrees of success.
HB 1548 sought to revoke a concealed carry permit if its holder was delinquent on child support payments. It failed in committee.
Sen. Barbara Favola’s (D-Arlington) SB 943, a measure for the prevention of domestic abuse, would make it a misdemeanor for anyone convicted of stalking, assaulting a family member or sexual battery to own a firearm. The bill included a chance for appeal a year after conviction. It was left in the Finance committee.
Sen. Thomas Garrett’s SB 1132 sought to make concealed carry legal on school grounds outside of school hours. Seen as a self-defense measure, the bill was defeated in the Senate 20-18.
Following controversy raised about the reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses, Sen. Richard Black (R-Leesburg) sponsored SB 712, which would require any employee of a college or university to report a case of sexual assault to police within 48 hours. Versions of the bill passed the House moved to a conference committee in the Senate.
Following the conviction of former Gov. Bob McDonnell, a flurry of ethics bills were filed.
SB 696 would place caps on the gifts legislators and their family members could receive. It was incorporated into another ethics measure, SB 1424, which passed the legislature.
HB 1305 sought to prevent legislators from joining a government agency for a year after leaving the assembly. It was left in committee.
HB 1282 prevents any relatives of legislators from being selected by the General Assembly for judgeships. It was left in committee.
But not all the measures revolved around such hot-button issues. Here’s a look at the overlooked work of the General Assembly.
SB 781 allows drivers to pass over a double yellow line if trapped behind pedestrians, human-powered devices like skateboards, stopped vehicles or those traveling less than 25 miles per hour. The bill passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
HB 2191 says payday loan and title loan offices must be at least 10 miles away from casinos or military installations. This bill was tabled in committee.
HB 1317 would raise the threshold between speeding and reckless driving from 80 to 85 mph. This bill was left in committee.
HB 1342 extended the statutes of following too closely to apply to bicycles, electric wheelchairs, mopeds and other devices. The bill passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
HB 1379 compelled drivers passing stationary mail trucks to do so at a safe speed. The bill passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
To see if a bill became law, visit lis.virginia.gov. —Carten Cordell