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Wednesday April 16th 2014

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New Laws Take Effect in VA

Here are some of the new laws that take effect in Virginia on July 1, 2013.

SB969, The 1950 law against “lewd and lascivious cohabitation” is repealed. (Chapter 621)

HB1783 and SB1017, Increases the penalty for possession of contraband cigarettes with intent to distribute. (Chapters 567 and 623)

HB1617 and SB1074, Allows religious or political student organizations at Virginia public colleges to expel members who disagree with their missions. (Chapters 696 and 701)

HB1981, Outlaws the surreptitious use of electronic tracking devices to track a person’s movement without consent. (Chapter 434)

HB1907 and SB1222, Allows police to stop and ticket people for texting while driving and increasing fines for it from $20 to $125 for a first offense. It had been a secondary offense, meaning police could ticket it only if a driver is stopped for a superseding violation such as speeding. The law also provides for enhanced fines for texting drivers who are convicted of reckless driving. (Chapters 790 and 752)

HB1524, Exempts records of minors participating in parks and recreation programs from public view under the Freedom of Information Act. (Chapter 554)

HB1639, Exempts correspondence by members of the General Assembly and their aides from public view under the Freedom of Information Act. (Chapter 199)

HB1855, Exempts Virginia Department of Aviation records from the Freedom of Information Act. (Chapter 574)

HB2280, Exempts records of public disaster recovery plans from the Freedom of Information Act. (Chapter 600)

SB1335, Removes public access to concealed handgun permit records. (Chapter 659)

HB 2012 and SB1331, Imposes a two-year moratorium on drone surveillance aircraft by police or local governments. (Chapters 755 and 796)

HB1682 and SB706, Prescribes harsher penalties for those convicted of financially exploiting mentally incapacitated people. (Chapters 419 and 452)

HB2346, Requires every public school to have at least two lock-down drills per year. (Chapter 609)

HB1871, Requires school boards to define bullying and include policies and procedures for combatting it in their student codes of conduct. (Chapter 575)

HB1999, Imposes on individual schools an A-through-F grading system to assess its performance and requires the State Board of Education to approve student growth indicators for use in accrediting schools by July 31. (Chapter 672)

HB2151 and SB1223, Requires annual performance evaluations for teachers, principals and assistant principals of public schools and extends the probationary period before teachers are eligible for continuing contracts from three to five years. (Chapters 588 and 650)

HB2344, Requires local school divisions to establish threat-assessment teams and critical incident response training programs. (Chapter 710)

SB893 and HB1468, Adds employees of local governments and local health departments to those allowed to possess and administer epinephrine, used in medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, asthma and acute allergic reactions. (Chapters 617 and 337)

HB2028 and SB986, Requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for all public school teachers and nearly all high school students. (Chapters 498 and 530)

HB1933, Requires doctors to provide patients they test for the crippling, tick-borne Lyme disease with written information that the tests can sometimes fail to accurately detect the presence of the disease. (Chapter 215)

SB1378, Provides for at least one year in prison for people convicted of buying firearms in Virginia for the purpose of reselling the weapon to a buyer the seller knows is prohibited from possessing a gun. (Chapter 797)

HB2313, Overhaul’s Virginia’s transportation funding system, changing the fuel tax structure, raising sales taxes, imposing a fee on hybrid vehicles and authorizing regional tax increases for Hampton Roads and northern Virginia to generate more than $1 billion annually for repairing Virginia’s existing roads and bridges and new highway construction. (Chapter 766)