Results of Va. General Assembly session

Schools, health care allotted more money

February 27, 2011

DRIVING

Approved:

SB762: Requires that emergency vehicles driving past signals at intersections stop or sound a siren before proceeding. Inspired by the death of a Fairfax woman in a collision with a police cruiser.

HB2043: Fixes a grammatical error in a law that makes passing a stopped school bus considered reckless driving.

Rejected:

SB1042: Makes texting while driving a primary offense for which a driver could be pulled over and ticketed.

SB1047 : Makes use of a cellphone a primary offense for teenage holders of provisional driver’s licenses, for which they could be pulled over and ticketed.

EDUCATION

Approved:

HB1644/SB966: Requires all children in elementary and middle schools to participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to help fight the growing problem of childhood obesity.

HB2510 /SB1459 : Begins to provide a stable funding source for colleges to avoid dramatic tuition increases. Schools would be provided financial incentives to fulfill education goals, including graduating students in four years and awarding degrees in high-demand science and technology fields.

Rejected:

HB2002: Requires colleges to charge more for out-of-state tuition in the hope that fewer students from outside Virginia would need to be admitted in the future.

HB2053 : Caps the number of out-of-state students admitted to state colleges and universities at 25 percent.

HB1550: Shifts responsibility of vetting textbooks from panels consisting mostly of schoolteachers to publishers. Companies would have to be certified with the state before their books would be approved for use in schools.

HB 2314/SB1194: Gives businesses tax credits for providing scholarships to low-income children.

ELECTIONS

Approved:

HB1507: Sets the 2011 primary date for Aug. 23 in anticipation of redistricting.

HB1843 /SB1246: Moves the date of the 2012 presidential primary election from the second Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March.

HR64: Allows search of delegate’s complete voting record by name. House only, beginning in 2012.

FORECLOSURE

Rejected:

HB2473: Prevents foreclosure sales unless proper land records have been filed in the jurisdiction where the property is located.

SB798: Requires a judicial proceeding before a home can be foreclosed upon.

HEALTH

Approved:

HB2467 /SB1062: Requires health-insurance plans in businesses that employ at least 50 people to offer coverage for autism for 2- to 6-year-olds.

SB924: Requires abortion clinics to be regulated as hospitals.

Rejected:

HB1419: Eliminates requirement that girls receive the vaccination against HPV, human papillomavirus, before entering sixth grade.

HB2147/SB1202: Forbids Virginia from offering abortion coverage as part of federal health insurance exchange.

IMMIGRATION

Rejected:

HB1430 /HB2332: Requires law enforcement officials to inquire about immigration status of everyone arrested.

HB1934: Requires Virginia State Police to enter into federal program to enforce immigration laws.

HB1465: Requires public colleges and universities to adopt written policies barring illegal immigrants from enrolling.

HB1775: Requires public schools to track the number of students who enroll without birth certificates or in classes for English as a second language.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Approved:

SB1222/HB2422: Reforms the process for getting a protective order, making it easier for people in dating relationships to get a restraining order against their partners.

SB745 : Bans synthetic marijuana and inhalable bath salts.

Rejected:

HB1669: Requires all buyers at gun shows to undergo background checks.

TEA PARTY PRIORITIES

Approved:

HB1418/ SB811: Establishes new “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate.

HJ693: Begins the process of amending the state Constitution to restrict the power of government entities to seize private property for commercial development must. It must be passed again by the legislature and approved by voters before incorporation into the Constitution.

Rejected:

HB1438: Prohibits federal government from regulating goods manufactured and sold within Virginia.

HJ542: Calls for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing federal laws to be repealed by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states.

TRANSPORTATION

Approved:

HB2527/SB1446 : Authorizes borrowing $2.9 billion over the next three years for transportation.

Rejected:

HB2000: Gives the governor an appointment to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, who would then sit on the Metro Board of Directors.

HB2404/SB1394 : Raises more than $140 million a year by designating a portion of state sales taxes to road projects in the two most congested areas of the state, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

HB2456/SB1417: Closes 333 state-owned liquor stores and replaces them with 1,000 private retail outlets. Revenue from sale of new liquor licenses intended to benefit transportation.

MISCELLANEOUS

Approved:

SB1367: Repeals a prohibition enacted last year that prevents car-title lenders from lending to out-of-state drivers.

SB1457: Allows liquor billboards in industrial and commercial areas but would ban them within 500 feet of schools, houses, places of worship and parks.

HB1476/SB1145 : Extends to 20 years the period in which a victim of childhood sexual abuse may file a lawsuit against an abuser.

SB771: Raises the cap on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits from $2 million by $50,000 a year starting in 2012.

Rejected:

HB2410: Requires Virginia employees to begin making 5 percent annual contributions to VRS and other pension reforms

SB747: Extends legal protections for gay employees in the state workforce.

SB831: Limits attorney general’s authority to issue civil subpoenas under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act for academic work at state universities.

— Rosalind S. Helderman, Anita Kumar and Fredrick Kunkle

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