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Bills from Democratic senators now face Republican House of Delegates

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Crossover arrived Feb. 15 at the Virginia General Assembly and local state Senators – all Democrats – have passed bills that now will head to the Republican-controlled House of Delegates for passage, deferral or doom.

In addition to working on budgetary bills, state Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston-Arlington) has had bills pass in the Senate that would:

• On an emergency basis authorize issuance of nearly $100.87 million in bonds for capital projects at James Madison University and Virginia Tech (SB 93).

• Advance Virginia’s date of conformity with the Internal Revenue Code from Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021 (SB 94).


• Update the six-year capital-outlay plan for projects funded wholly or partially from general-funds resources (SB 115).

Bills passed by State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington-McLean-Loudoun) would:

• Require contractors working on roof replacements based on energy performance to acquire a roofing subcontractor via competitive negotiations (SB 13).

• Direct the Board of Pharmacy to form a stakeholder work group to evaluate barriers and participation challenges for prescription-drug-donation programs (SB 14).

• Establish family-leave insurance as a class of insurance (SB 15).

• Allow a planning commission to extend the 60-day period for making a comprehensive-plan-amendment recommendation to a governing body, if so requested by the applicant (SB 35).

• Require the Commonwealth Council on Aging to submit by Oct. 1 each year an electronic report of its activities and recommendations to the governor, General Assembly and Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (SB 48).

• Remove from the definition of “critically missing adult” the requirement that authorities believe the adult was abducted (SB 49).

• Establish the Foster Care Prevention Program to facilitate placement of children with relatives and ensure those relatives had the necessary resources for proper childcare (SB 56).

• Establish the School Health Services Committee to advise the General Assembly and other policy markers on proposals requiring school boards to provide certain health services in schools (SB 62).

• Provide for provisional licensure for up to three years of teachers licensed or certified outside the United States (SB 68).

• Prohibit rental agreements from having provisions that prohibit the operation of licensed and authorized childcare services (SB 69).

• Add the Arland D. Williams Jr. Bridge to the list of spans subject to the Potomac River Bridges Towing Compact, which gives Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia authority to remove disabled and abandoned vehicles from those bridges (SB 131).

• Provide financial assistance and payment plans for uninsured hospital patients (SB 201).

• Adjust law-enforcement rules pertaining to emergency custody, temporary detention, transfer of custody and alternative custody (SB 268).

• Set solar-ready roof requirements for state agencies and localities, plus energy-positive building designs for schools (SB 290).

• Give out-of-state healthcare practitioners the temporary authorization to practice in Virginia (SB 317).

• Modify rules for campaign advertisements, independent expenditures and electioneering communications (SB 318).

• Require recovery residences to disclose their certifications, and credentialing entity, to potential customers (SB 622).

• Require employers to provide paid sick leave to home health workers who provide agency-directed services (SB 624).

• Provide financial incentives to electric customers who complete solar installations and energy-efficiency projects (SB 625).

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax-Vienna), who has gained attention for his amendment to a bill that would end mandatory masking in schools, also passed legislation that would:

• Allow hunting on Sundays on private or public land, as long as it occurs farther than 200 yards away from a place of worship (SB 8).

• Allow the awarding of attorney fees in eminent-domain cases in which there is a judgment for a property owner and the judgment is not paid within the legally required time limit (SB 9).

• Allow people affected by quarantine orders to appeal to the Circuit Court (SB 46).

• Remove the requirement that a retired law-enforcement officer be employed full-time at the time of retirement in order to purchase his or her service handgun (SB 207).

• Require disclosure of contributions by some contractors bidding for projects involving public higher-education institutions (SB 210).

• Allow properly certified optometrists to perform certain kinds of laser surgeries on patients’ eyes (SB 375).

• Allow qualified people incarcerated in local or state correctional facility to petition the circuit court for a change in their sentences (SB 378).

• Allow minors engaged in prostitution not to be proceeded upon as delinquent, but instead referred for assessment at the local social-services department (SB 664).

• Redefine “lost profits” when determining compensation in eminent-domain cases (SB 666).

• Direct the Department of Housing and Community Development to produce a plan that addresses broadband affordability and equity (SB 716).

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