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General Assembly 2020

Updated: Mar 30, 2020


Divine 9 organizations in the greater Richmond area host advocacy days at the Virginia Capitol each year while General Assembly is in session to meet with legislators and advocate for policies that can positively impact our communities. Here's a look back at how some of those policies faired during this year's General Assembly session.


Access to Healthcare

SB 946 (Sen. Locke) State plan for medical assistance; doulas - continued


HB 1445 (Del. Price) Reproductive health services; health benefit plans to cover costs of specified health care services. - continued


Criminal Justice Reform and Violence Prevention

SB 793 (Sen. McClellan) Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. - passed


SB 1, HB 119 (Sen. Stanley and Del. Lopez) Driver's license; suspension for nonpayment of fines or costs. Repealing the requirement that the driver's license of a person convicted of any violation of the law who fails or refuses to provide for immediate payment of fines or costs be suspended. - passed


HB 2 (Del. Plum) Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty. Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and directs the Department of State Police (the Department) to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. - passed


HB 78 (Del. Kory) Prohibits a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of assault and battery of a family or household member from possessing or transporting a firearm. - left in committee


HB 85 (Del. Carter) Abolishes the death penalty, including for those persons currently under a death sentence. - left in committee


HB 972 (Del. Herring) Decriminalizes marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $25. Under current law, a first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum jail sentence of 30 days, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. - passed


HB 422 (Del. Carroll Foy) Establishes the Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Grant Fund and Program, to be administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, for the purpose of awarding grants to the Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Roanoke for the purpose of performing community assessments for youth and gang violence prevention. - passed


Federal and State Funding for Education

SJ 15 (Sen.s Locke, Boysko) Teacher licensing process; Department of Education to study the teacher licensure process and the assessment requirements therein for any inherent biases that may prevent minority teacher candidates from entering the profession. - passed


Equality

HB 394 (Del. Ward) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Director of; position created. - passed


SB 636, HB 1325 (Sen. Surovell and Del. Bagby) Racial inequity; repeals numerous obsolete and discriminatory Acts. - passed


SB 50, HB 1514 (Sen. Spruill and Del. McQuinn) Virginia Human Rights Act; racial discrimination, hair. - passed


SJ1ER, HJ1ER (Sen.s McClellan, Locke and Del. Carroll-Foy) United States Constitution; ratifies and affirms Equal Rights Amendment. - passed


Voting Rights

SB 111, HB 1 (Sen.s Howell, Locke, Spruill and Del. Herring) Absentee voting; no excuse required. - passed


SB 65 (Sen. Locke) Voter identification; repeal of photo identification requirements. - passed


Fair Representation

SB 204 (Sen.s Lucas, Locke, Boysko and Favola) Redistricting; role of Supreme Court of Virginia. - left in committee


HB 1256, (Del. Price) Virginia Redistricting Advisory Commission; established. - failed in Senate


HB 177 (Del.Levines) Presidential electors; National Popular Vote Compact. - continued to 2021, effectively failed for 2020 presidential election


Transportation

HB 1541 (Del. McQuinn) Creation of the Central Virginia Transportation Authority; funding. - passed


HB 585 (Del. Guzman) Comprehensive plan; certain localities to promote transit-oriented development. Requires that each city with a population greater than 20,000 and each county with a population greater than 100,000 consider incorporating into the next scheduled and all subsequent reviews of its comprehensive plan strategies to promote transit-oriented development for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through coordinated transportation, housing, and land use planning. - passed (overlaps with Environmental Justice)


Economic Empowerment

HB 395 (Del. Ward) Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2020; to $9.50 per hour effective July 1, 2021; to $11 per hour effective July 1, 2022; to $12 per hour effective July 1, 2023, to $13.50 per hour effective July 1, 2025; and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2026 unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The measure also provides that the Virginia minimum wage applies to persons whose employment is covered by the FLSA and to public employees. - passed


Environmental Justice

HB 704, SB 406 (Sen. Hashmi, Del. Keam) Virginia Environmental Justice Act; States that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote environmental justice and ensure it is carried out throughout the Commonwealth. - passed


HB 585 (Del. Guzman) Comprehensive plan; certain localities to promote transit-oriented development. Requires that each city with a population greater than 20,000 and each county with a population greater than 100,000 consider incorporating into the next scheduled and all subsequent reviews of its comprehensive plan strategies to promote transit-oriented development for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through coordinated transportation, housing, and land use planning. - passed (overlaps with Transportation)

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