The Virginia General Assembly’s 2013 session has come to a close. Legislators passed bills that will not only pay for road improvements, but also will require photo IDs at the polls and get tougher on those who text while driving. They also voted to ramp up protection at public schools by funding school safety prevention measures and by requiring anti-bullying policies.
Here is how some of the bills fared:
HB1981, Del. Joe May (R-33)
Makes it illegal to use electronic tracking devices to track a person’s location for “intentionally deceptive means and without consent” and could result in up to a $500 fine.
SB971, Sen. Dick Black (R-13)
Requires physicians to provide each patient who is tested for Lyme disease with a written notice about Lyme disease.
HB1337, Del. Mark Cole (R-88)
Requires voters to produce photo identification at the polls.
SB1324, Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-4)
Requires any school that has been denied accreditation and permits any school that has been accredited with warning for three consecutive years to be transferred to the Opportunity Educational Institution and Board for five years.
HB1907, Del. Richard Anderson (R-51)
Makes texting while driving a primary offense and increases the penalties. Provides that driving while texting is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $250 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $500. Currently, it is only a secondary offense with penalties of $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses.
HB 2343, Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-29)
Establishes funds to be used to make grants and loans to local school divisions for capital infrastructure improvements to address school safety, security, and violence prevention needs. A school division will be required to provide a minimum 10 percent project match for a loan from the fund and a minimum 50 percent project match for a grant from the fund.
HB2012, Del. Benjamin L. Cline (R-24)
Places a moratorium on the use of drones by state and local law enforcement and regulatory entities until July 1, 2015, except in defined emergency situations.
HB1468, Del. Tag Greason (R-32)
Adds employees of local governing bodies and health departments to the list of those permitted to possess and administer epinephrine and who will not be held liable for civil damages when certain conditions are met.
HB923, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31)
Exempts concealed weapons permit information from public disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
HB1871, Jennifer McClellan (D-71)
Require school boards to adopt anti-bullying policies.
HB947, Robert Bell (R-58)
Would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in public school sports. Defeated in Senate Education and Health Committee.
HB1336, Del. David Ramadan (R-87)
Would have a $250 income tax credit for employees who telework a minimum of 20 hours per week. It passed in the House 59-38-1; failed in the Senate.
HB1467, Del. Tag Greason (R-32)
Would have made local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and eliminate the post-Labor Day opening requirement. It passed in the House 72-28; failed in the Senate.
SB1372, Sen. John Edwards (D-21)
Would have required the Department of State Police to be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at gun shows. It was defeated in the Courts of Justice Committee.
HB2025, Del. Patrick Hope (D-47)
Would have required a background check for any firearm purchase and required the Department of State Police to establish a process for sellers to obtain such a check from licensed firearm dealers. The Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety passed by the bill indefinitely.