A Slew of New State Laws Go into Effect Saturday

July 1 means a new set of laws in Virginia.

Close to 900 bills were passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year, and they address a range of issues, from birth control to hunting attire. Here’s are some of the highlights:


HB 1842, Higher proof
Raises the max proof of neutral grain spirits that may be sold through Virginia ABC retail stores without a permit from 101 proof to 151 proof.


HB 1938, Slingbow
Authorizes the use of a slingbow to hunt deer and small game when a hunter is licensed to hunt with a bow and arrow.

HB 1939, Blaze pink
Allows hunters to wear blaze pink instead of blaze orange hunting apparel when required during firearms deer hunting season or the special season for hunting deer with a muzzle-loading rifle.


HB 2267, Birth control
Allows doctors to prescribe women 12 months’ worth of contraceptives.

HB 2317, Needles for addicts
Allow local health departments to provide clean needles to drug addicts.


HB 2165, Tighter restrictions on opioid prescriptions
Mandates all opioid prescriptions be electronically submitted to pharmacies.

HB 1885, Tighter restrictions on opioid prescriptions
Prohibits doctors from prescribing more than a seven-day supply of controlled substances containing opioids. Exceptions would be made for cancer and chronic pain patients.

HB 1750, Easier access to naloxone
Lets pharmacists dispense naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, to patients who don’t have a prescription.

HB 1453/SB 848, Dispensing of naloxone
Expands the people who may provide training for or dispense naloxone, along with several other provisions to expand access to naloxone, such as liability protections for a person who is acting in good faith and allowed to dispense naloxone. This law went into effect in February, and was introduced by Del. Dave A. LaRock (R-33) and Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-33).

HB 1642/SB 1031, Possession and administration of naloxone
Allows employees of the Department of Forensic Science, employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and employees of the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services to administer naloxone.



HB 1392, School security officers carrying a firearm
Allows school security officers to carry firearms at work if they were a law enforcement officer within the last ten years, retired in good standing, met training and qualification requirements, and the school board grants that officer the authority.

HB 1401, Free speech on campus
Prohibits public higher-education institutions from restricting the free speech of any person on campus beyond what is called for in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

HB 1663/SB 1493, Teacher computer training
Requires Northern Virginia Community College and the state Department of Education to contract for computer science training and professional development for public school teachers throughout the state, with the goal of improving computer science literacy among public school students. Introduced by Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-32).

HB 1709, Principals reporting bullying
Requires that the rules on bullying in each school board’s student code of conduct will require the principal to notify that parent of any student involved in alleged bullying of the status of the investigation within five days of the alleged incident.

HB 1981, School Divisions of Innovation
Requires the state Board of Education to create regulations for designating School Divisions of Innovation. Local school divisions in this program can be exempted from certain regulations and adopt alternative policies for administrators, teachers, and staff to meet the students’ needs and improve learning; performance; and college, career, and citizenship readiness. Introduced by Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-32).

HB 2040, Enrollment agreements with postsecondary schools
Requires postsecondary schools to enter an enrollment agreement with each student they enroll. That agreement includes disclosures set out by the state council. Introduced by Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34).

HB 2174, Student/teacher ratio reports
Requires school boards to create an annual report on actual student/teacher ratios in middle and high schools. Introduced by Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34).

HB 2282, Child trafficking prevention
Requires the state board of education to develop guidelines for training school counselors, school nurses, and other relevant school staff on the prevention of child trafficking.

HB 2332, Teacher pay
Defines the state’s stated goal to pay its teachers at a competitive rate as being at or above the national average teacher compensation. The law does not set out the source of that information; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for an elementary school teacher is $59,020; for a middle school teacher, $59,800; and for a secondary school teacher, $61,420.


HB 1763, Specialty license plate
Creates a new specialty license plate aimed at reducing distracted driving. Introduced by Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-32).

HB 2201, Blocking fast lane
Makes the fine for blocking the “fast lane” a mandatory $100, instead of up to $250.

Compiled by Renss Greene and Danielle Nadler.

Leave a Reply