Many new laws go into effect today, July 1, that were passed during the 2022 General Assembly session. With a divided government and a Republican Governor, we did not see the same volume of progressive policies passed as we have over the last two years. However, my colleagues and I were glad to pass many prudent changes to current law which will increase the quality of living for Virginia residents. Some of these include:
The Virginia Literacy Act: Increases access to literacy specialists in schools, requires school boards to establish literacy division-wide literacy plans and offer literacy intervention services for struggling students.
Protecting Consumer Data: Closes loophole allowing third-party data aggregators to retain data after a consumer requests to be opted out of data collection.
Prosecuting Stalkers: Allows for the prosecution of stalkers in Virginia if the stalker is committing the act from a location outside the Commonwealth.
Hospital Price Transparency: Requires every hospital to make information about standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital available on the hospital’s website by July 1, 2023.
Preventing College Hazing: Requires that all institutions of higher learning provide anti-hazing training, establish uniform standards for hazing violations, maintain a publicly available database of hazing violations by organizations, and provide safe harbor from discipline for drug or alcohol violations for good faith reports of hazing.
Cracking Down on Youth Gambling: Prohibits any person under 21 years of age from using any electronic gambling terminal.
Stopping Noise Pollution: Allows police to stop drivers who have intentionally altered their mufflers to increase their volume or intensity.
Ending “Quota” Ticketing: Prohibits police departments form establishing a formal or informal quota that requires a law-enforcement officer to make a specific number of arrests or issue a specific number of summonses within a designated period of time.
Lowering Healthcare Costs: Requires hospitals to enter into payment plans for services rendered to uninsured patients.
Supporting Family Leave: Establishes family leave insurance as a class of insurance policy covering an employee’s income loss due to the birth of a child or adoption of a child, placement of a child with the employee for foster care; care of a family member who has a serious health condition.
Addressing Human Trafficking: Requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish training standards for law-enforcement to recognize, prevent, and report suspected human trafficking.
Prosecuting Unsolicited Sexting: Creates a civil penalty for sending of nude photos via the internet or text message to a person who did not consent or requested not to receive such photos.
Protecting Living Organ Donors: Prohibits insurance discrimination based on donating an organ such as a kidney to a person in need.
Preserving Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Allows localities to levy a fine for parking a non electric vehicle in an explicitly designated electric vehicle charging station.
Reducing Business Tax Burden: Partially restored the net interest deduction for Virginia businesses which was removed by the Trump tax bill.
If you are interested, you can find a summary, compiled by the Division of Legislative Services, of most major legislative changes here.
While these were important changes which will have a meaningful impact to Virginians, the Republican House blocked critical proposals to preserve marriage equality, expand protections for women’s healthcare, and remove dangerous guns from our communities. I hope you will chip in what you can today to support my work to hold our Senate majority and win back a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates.
It is my continued honor to serve the 30th District,