Virginians are one step closer to getting insurance policies they can read and understand because of a bill approved by the Virginia House of Delegates today.
The measure, which passed 97 to 0, empowers the auto insurance carriers to write their policies in language policy holders can easily comprehend.
The legislation, which has been long sough by its principal sponsor, Del. Robert E. Washington (D-Norfolk), and had acquired 55 copatrons, will now be sent to the Senate for action.
Under terms of the legislation, a new automobile would carry a special sticker and its first inspection would not be required until a year after it was bought.
Easter relief for unemployment victims of the energy crisis was sought today by Del. Archibald A. Campbell (D-Wythe) in a bill that would suspend the normal seven-day waiting period before applicants for unemployment insurance can receive their first checks.
The measure, which would remain in effect only till April 1, would be applicable only to those who lost their jobs because of Gov. Mills E. Godwin's executive order requiring businesses to shorten their working hours in order to conserve fuel.
The legislation states that policies should be in "simplified and readable" language, but gives no examples of phrases that would be used in the new policies.
In other action, the House gave tentative approval to a bill allowing schools that were closed recently because of bad weather or the energy crisis to make up only 15 of the missed days. State law normally requires schools to be open 180 days a year.
There was no opposition to the bill, which would not require the schools to make up more than 15 missed days even if the total was then still less than 180. The bill also states that teachers' salaries should not be cut for the days not made up and that if they are cut, states aid to the school system would be reduced by the same amount.
Preliminary House approval was also given to a bill exempting new cars from their first six-month inspection. Virginia motorists now are required to have all vehicles inspected every six months. An amendment was added that also would exempt without brakes from the inspection requirment.
In another development, Sen. A. Joseph Canada Jr. (R-Virginia Beach) announced he is launching a statewide campaign to get an advisory referendum on the Equal Rights Amendment.
Canada, whose vote against ERA spelled defeat for the amendment last week in the Senate, said he has received nearly 2,500 letters since his vote, the majority of which favor a referendum.
Canada, who is seeking the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, said he is sending petitions requesting a referendum to each of the letter-writers so they can mail them to their representatives.
Canada said the Senate's vote on ERA was "an exercise in futility . . . since the House had already killed the measure.