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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
FairfaxPlaying defense, Democratic legislators still have plenty of bills in hopper

Playing defense, Democratic legislators still have plenty of bills in hopper

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Their bills weren’t posted until right before the 2022 General Assembly session began Jan. 12, but local House of Delegates members have proposed legislation concerning tax credits, land use, weapons, health, hazing and sex trafficking.

But with Republicans in control of the House of Delegates for 2022, the agendas of local legislators – Democrats all – may prove to be challenging to make their way to success in the coming session.

Among bills filed by Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-McLean-Great Falls):

HB 392 requires the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to take certain actions upon the finding that an individual died from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. The bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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• HB 442 would create a non-refundable individual and corporate income-tax credit for employers that hire eligible workers who either are graduates of the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back Program or who graduate with a degree in cyber-security from a Virginia four-year institution of higher education.

• HB 445 would let localities require that broadband service and associated infrastructure be installed in new residential and commercial developments.

• HB 475 would add acts that further human trafficking or commercial sex trafficking to definitions of “family abuse” and “act of violence, force, or threat” used in the protective-order provisions.

• HB 476 would establish the Retail Small Business Grant Program and Fund to support existing Virginia small businesses, attract new businesses, enhance commercial activity, increase Virginia’s tax base and create new job opportunities for state residents.

• HB 525 would require higher-education institutions to maintain and publicly report hazing incidents that violated the institutions’ conduct code or federal or state laws and were reported to campus authorities or local law enforcement.

Here are some bills filed by Del. Mark Keam (D-Oakton-Vienna):

• HB 694 would establish the Commonwealth College Completion Fund and Program to administer funds to full- or part-time students enrolled at public and non-profit private institutions of higher education in Virginia.
• HB 695 would extend from 2022 to 2025 the sunset date for the worker-training tax credit.

• HB 696 would provide a sales-and-use-tax exemption for essential personal hygiene products, including non-durable incontinence products such as diapers, disposable undergarments, pads and bed sheets. Menstrual cups and pads, panty liners, sanitary napkins, tampons and other products used to absorb or contain menstrual flow also would be exempted.

• HB 702 would require an owner of a single-family detached residential property to disclose in writing to any prospective purchaser or lessee of the property’s existing lot coverage and the maximum lot coverage allowed by that locality’s zoning ordinance.

• HB 703 would authorize localities to pay initial-issuance-fee costs for development and issuance of special license plates displaying the localities’ seals, symbols, emblems or logotypes, in lieu of collecting 350 paid applications for such license plates.

• HB 709 would establish the Packaging Stewardship Program, to be run by the Department of Environmental Quality. Under the program, a producer selling products with packaging materials in Virginia would pay a fee to the department based upon the amount of packaging used and whether or not it is easily recyclable.

• HB 710 would require localities to consider, or give preference to, the status of people with disabilities in their hiring policies and practices, provided the candidates met all of the jobs’ knowledge, skills and eligibility requirements.

• HB 712 would direct the Board of Pharmacy to require all pharmacies to provide and maintain a safe sharps-disposal container on their premises for public use.

• HB 713 would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person to engage in coercive control of a family or household member.

These are some of the bills filed by Del. Marcus Simon (D-McLean):

• HB 339 would remove the city of Falls Church’s charter requirement that board and commission members be qualified voters, replacing it with an age requirement of 18 years. Members still would need to be city residents.

• HB 399 would make it a Class 5 felony to manufacture, import, sell, transfer or possess any firearm with a major component that when inspected by airport-security devices do not generate an image that accurately depicts the component’s shape. The bill also contains penalties regarding unfinished firearm frames and receivers.

• HB 972 would allow removal of certain elected officers and officers appointed to elected offices by recall referendum. This would require a recall petition to be signed by 30 percent of the total number of votes cast at the last election for that office.

• HB 973 would prohibit any person from converting for personal use contributions made to a candidate or a candidate’s campaign committee.

These are some bills filed by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington-McLean):

• HB 351 would establish a “driving-decarbonization” program and fund to assist developers with non-utility costs associated with the installation of electric-vehicle charging stations.

• HB 365 would create the Parenting Coordinator Act, which would provide a framework for the use of a parenting coordinator in actions for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment in which custody or visitation is in issue. The bill also addresses petitions for custody or visitation and written agreements between parties and parenting coordinators.

• HB 379 would let localities adopt ordinances requiring utilities, upon request of owners of buildings with one or more utility accounts and a gross floor areas of not less than 30,000 square feet, to provide the owners with aggregated, measured energy-usage data for multiple utility accounts of customers receiving service in the buildings.

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