General Assembly Snapshot: Loudoun’s Delegation Pushes Priorities in Richmond

Crossover day for the Virginia General Assembly is Tuesday, Feb. 5—meaning each chamber of the assembly has until then to pass any bills it wants to see made law, except for the budget. Any bills that have not passed the chamber where they were introduced by then will be left for another year.

Loudoun’s representatives in Richmond continue to push their priorities through. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bills they’re working on that are still alive in the General Assembly:

Del. John J. Bell (D-87)

  • HB 2067 would prohibit discrimination in government jobs on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, recently a hot-button issue on the Loudoun County School Board. This bill has been referred to the Committee on General Laws.
  • HB 2069 would prohibit candidates from getting campaign contributions from public service corporations such as utilities. This bill is in a subcommittee of the Committee on Privileges and Elections.
  • HB 2667, Bell’s controversial bill to begin limited distance-based tolling on the Dulles Greenway in exchange for extending guaranteed annual toll increases, is in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation.

 

Del. Karrie K. Delaney (D-67)

  • HB 1659 would require clergy to report suspected child abuse to the authorities, with an exemption for when the doctrine of their religion would require that be kept secret. A subcommittee of the House Committee for Courts of Justice has recommended sending the bill to the Committee on Appropriations. Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27) has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
  • HB 2643 would limit tolls in I-66 to $15. This bill is in the House Committee on Appropriations.

Del. Wendy W. Gooditis (D-10)

  • HB 1716 would expand the definition of “sexual abuse” to include intentional touching of any part of victim’s body, either on the skin or the material covering the body, if the victim is under the age of 13 and the act is committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify any person. This bill is in the House Committee for Courts of Justice.
  • HJ 653 would request the Department of Health study the possibility of placing naloxone in automated external defibrillator (AED) cabinets across the state. This bill is in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Rules.

Del. Dave A. LaRock (R-33)

  • HJ 683 would require the state to permanently maintain separate transportation funds, and prevents that money from being used for other purposes, commonly known as the “transportation lockbox.” This is a first step in passing a state constitutional amendment. A subcommittee of the House Committee on Privileges and Elections has recommended approval.
  • HB 2799 would require distance-based tolling on the Dulles Greenway, that the owners get no more than a “reasonable return,” and that the State Corporation Commission launch an investigation into whether the Greenway’s current tolls meet those requirements. It also requires full disclosure of the Greenway’s finances, meeting many of the local Board of Supervisors’ wishes for tighter Greenway oversight. This bill is one of several competing bills on the topic, and is in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce and Labor.

 

Del. David A. Reid (D-32)

  • HB 1704 would require that public colleges and universities give everyone who is accepted the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet developed and made available by the U.S. Department of Education— otherwise the college can’t get state funding. The Higher Education subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations has recommended supporting this bill.
  • HB 2476 would mandate that if a college or university’s average tuition increases over the last 10 years exceed the average tuition increases of all the public colleges, they cannot raise tuition the next year. Tuition and mandatory fee increases are capped at the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index multiplied by a factor based on the size of the increase in the undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees over the past 10 years. The House Education Committee recommended approving this bill, after which it was sent to the Committee on Appropriations.

Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34)

  • HB 2024 would allow retired law enforcement officers to continue to receive retirement benefits while working as school security officers. This bill is in the Compensation and Retirement subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations.
  • HB 2132 would expand the crime of abuse and neglect of an adult to include abuse and neglect people 60 years of age or older. Currently that law only applies to incapacitated adults. This bill is in the House Committee for Courts of Justice.

Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-33)

  • SJ 311 requests the Department of Housing and Community Development study Virginia’s permitting processes for broadband deployment and renewable energy construction projects. This bill is in the Senate Committee on Rules.
  • SB 1634 would allow any town to establish an economic revitalization zone to give incentives for buying real estate for economic development, a power currently only available to cities. This bill is the Senate Committee on Local Government.
  • SB 1766 would direct the state Board of Pharmacy to conduct a two-year pilot program of a controlled substance tracking system, compliant with the federal Drug Supply Chain Security Act. This bill is in the Health Professions subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health.

Sen. Richard H. Black (R-13)

  • SB 1010 would require health insurers to include coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for people with Lyme disease. This bill is in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.
  • SB 1154 would create a traffic infraction for drivers who do not give full time and attention to driving or exercise due care and decrease speed as necessary to avoid a collision. This bill, which creates an infraction less serious than reckless driving, has been a priority of Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman but opposed by Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. The bill is in the Senate Committee on Transportation.
  • SB 1468 would shift responsibility for evaluating transportation projects in Northern Virginia from the Virginia Department of Transportation to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This bill has passed the Senate and is in a subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation.

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27)

  • SB 1713 would require school boards to include training for bad weather, unsafe conditions loading or unloading, students on the wrong bus, and other situations where student safety is at risk when training bus drivers. This bill is in the Public Education subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health.
  • SB 1547 would require the Board of Medicine to regulate the practice of music therapy and set requirements for licensure to practice music therapy. This bill is in the Health Professions subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health.

Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-31)

  • SB 1133 would allow the Greenway to apply for annual toll increases equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent until 2029, and requires the Greenway to start distance-based tolling at $1 per mile. This bill is in the Senate Committee on Transportation.
  • SB 1141 would require the Board of Education and local school boards to include prevention of human trafficking in family life education. This bill has passed the Senate and is in the House Committee on Education.

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