Note: bill status current as of 2/17/22. For up to date information, visit lis.virginia.gov.
HB 4 School principals; incident reports. Requires that school principals report to law enforcement certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense and report to the parents of any minor student who is the specific object of such act that the incident has been reported to law enforcement. Under current law, principals are required to make such reports only for such acts that may constitute a felony offense. Status: Passed House (59-Y, 40-N). Reported from Senate Committee on Education & Health with amendments (10-Y, 5-N)
HB 127 Academic year Governor’s Schools; certain practices prohibited and permitted. Prohibits any academic year Governor’s School or governing board member, director, administrator, or employee thereof from (i) discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin; (ii) engaging in proxy discrimination, as defined in the bill, in student admissions; or (iii) seeking information on students’ race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin during the application process for admission to such school unless expressly required by federal law, and to the extent it is required by federal law, the bill requires such information to be withheld to the maximum extent practicable from any individual involved in admissions decisions to the end that admissions decisions are blind as to the applicants’ race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin. The bill permits any academic year Governor’s School or governing board member, director, administrator, or employee thereof to use traditional academic success factors, as defined in the bill, in student admissions and provides that such use presumptively does not constitute proxy discrimination. The bill also contains provisions relating to evidentiary burdens of proof in certain causes of action involving such proxy discrimination or traditional academic success factors. The bill requires each local school board that jointly manages and controls a regional academic year Governor’s school to collaborate to ensure that each public middle school that is eligible to send students to attend such Governor’s school offers coursework, curriculum, and instruction that is comparable in content and in rigor in order to provide each student in each such middle school with the opportunity to gain admission to and excel academically at such Governor’s school. Status: Passed House (50-Y, 48-N). Assigned to Senate Committee on Education & Health
SB 739 Public elementary and secondary schools and public school-based early childhood care and education programs; student instruction; masks. Requires, except in the case of the 10 unscheduled remote learning days otherwise permitted by law or in certain cases of student discipline, each school board to offer in-person instruction, as defined in the bill, to each student enrolled in the local school division in a public elementary or secondary school for at least the minimum number of required annual instructional hours and to each student enrolled in the local school division in a public school-based early childhood care and education program for the entirety of the instructional time provided pursuant to such program. The bill permits, notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation, rule, or policy implemented by a school board, school division, school official, or other state or local authority, the parent of any child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, or in any school-based early childhood care and education program, to elect for such child to not wear a mask while on school property. The bill provides that no parent making such an election shall be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child’s health or education status and no student shall suffer any adverse disciplinary or academic consequences as a result of this parental election. Status: Passed House and Senate. Signed into law by the Governor.
HB 563 School division maintenance reserve tool; School Construction Fund and Program established. Requires the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of General Services, to develop or adopt and maintain a data collection tool to assist each school board to determine the relative age of each public school building in the local school division and the amount of maintenance reserve funds that are necessary to restore each such building. The bill requires each school board to provide to the Department of Education in a timely fashion the local data that is necessary to ensure that such tool remains relevant and useful for the determination of maintenance reserve needs. The bill requires the Department of Education to consider converting or using as a template the Department of General Services’ Real Estate and Assets Management system for tracking buildings and infrastructure maintenance status to meet the above requirement to maintain such a tool. The bill also establishes the School Construction Fund and Program for the purpose of awarding grants to local school boards to fund the construction of new public school buildings or the renovation or expansion of existing public school buildings in the local school division. The bill requires any revenues remaining in the Gaming Proceeds Fund after certain enumerated appropriations are made to be appropriated to the School Construction Fund. Status: Passed House (100-Y, 0-N).
HB 346 College partnership laboratory schools; application and establishment. Permits any public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education to apply to the Board of Education (the Board) to establish a college partnership laboratory school as a new school or through the conversion of all or part of an existing school. Under current law, only public and private institutions of higher education that operate approved teacher education programs are permitted to apply to the Board to establish such a school and no explicit provision is made for the conversion of an existing school. The bill permits college partnership laboratory schools to enter into a memorandum of understanding with any individual or entity to provide apprenticeships, career training, and curriculum support to carry out the provisions of law relating to such schools. The bill requires the Board, in reviewing such applications, to give substantial preference to any application from a historically black college or university and any application to establish a college partnership laboratory school in an underserved community, which the bill defines as a geographical area that is served by public schools in which a high percentage of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch, as determined by the Board. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Assigned to Senate Committee on Education & Health.
HB 1009 Department of Education; policy on sexually explicit content in instructional material. Requires the Department of Education to develop and each local school board to adopt model policies for ensuring parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to (i) ensuring parental notification; (ii) directly identifying the specific instructional material and sexually explicit subjects; and (iii) permitting the parent of any student to review instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests. The bill provides that the local school board model policies may be more comprehensive than the model policies developed by the Department. The bill requires the Department to develop such model policies no later than July 31, 2022, and requires each local school board to adopt policies consistent with this act no later than January 1, 2023. The bill states that the provisions of the bill shall not be construed as requiring or providing for the censoring of books in public elementary and secondary schools. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 47-N)
HB 340 Board of Education; high school graduation; alternative pathways to the advanced studies diploma. Directs the Board of Education to establish two pathways to the advanced studies high school diploma, and associated diploma seals for students who successfully follow and demonstrate excellence on such pathways: one pathway that requires advanced coursework in a career and technical education field but does not require coursework in world language and another pathway that requires advanced coursework in world language but does not require coursework in a career and technical education field. Status: Passed House (54-Y, 45-N). Assigned to Senate Committee on Education & Health.
HB 472 Income tax; standard deduction. Increases the standard deduction, starting with taxable year 2022, from $4,500 to $9,000 for single filers and from $9,000 to $18,000 for married filers (one-half of such amount in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). The increase would remain in effect until taxable year 2026, when the standard deduction is scheduled to be reduced to $3,000 for single filers and to $6,000 for married filers. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N).
HB 90 Sales tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products. Sales tax; exemption for food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products. Exempts food purchased for human consumption and essential personal hygiene products (the grocery tax) from all state, regional, and local sales taxes. The bill dedicates state sales tax revenue to provide a supplemental school payment to counties and cities. For fiscal year 2023, the payment is the county or city’s fiscal year 2022 distribution of revenue from the grocery tax. For fiscal year 2024 and after, the payment is the previous year’s payment multiplied by the county or city’s local sales tax index, defined in the bill as the ratio by which sales tax revenues in a county or city for the current year exceed the previous year’s revenues. Status: Passed House (80-Y, 20-N).
HB 1144 Rate of tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. Lowers the rate of tax on gasoline and diesel fuel on July 1, 2022, from 26.2 cents per gallon to 21.2 cents per gallon on gasoline and from 27 cents per gallon to 20.2 cents per gallon on diesel fuel, the rates that were in effect before July 1, 2021. The bill provides that the rate of tax on gasoline and diesel fuel will return to 26.2 and 27 cents per gallon, respectively, on July 1, 2023, and will be indexed based on the change in the United States Average Consumer Price Index; thereafter, the rate will be indexed annually. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N).
HB 935 Income tax refunds for individuals or married persons filing a joint return. Provides an income tax refund of up to $300 for individuals and up to $600 for married persons filing a joint return for taxable year 2021 on or before November 1, 2022. The bill provides that the refund shall not exceed the taxpayer’s tax liability. Status: Passed in House (98-Y, 0-N).
HB 1128 Income tax; military benefits subtraction; emergency. Establishes an income tax subtraction for up to $20,000 of military benefits in taxable year 2022, up to $30,000 in taxable year 2023, and up to $40,000 in taxable year 2024 and each year thereafter. The bill defines military benefits to include military retirement income and benefits paid to the surviving spouse of a veteran. The bill contains an emergency clause. Status: Passed House (98-Y, 0-N, 2-Absentions)
HB 1203 Department of Veterans Services; Suicide Prevention Coordinator; position created; report. Establishes the position of Suicide Prevention Coordinator (the Coordinator) in the Department of Veterans Services to support and closely coordinate effective mental health care services for military service members and veterans and their families. The bill directs the Coordinator to report by December 1 of each year through the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services to the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, the Governor, and the General Assembly on the work of the Coordinator and any legislative recommendations. Status: Passed House (100-Y, 0-N). Referred to Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology.
HB 1090 Voter identification; identification containing a photograph required. Requires presentation of a form of identification containing a photograph in order to vote. The bill repeals the provisions of law permitting a voter who does not have one of the required forms of identification to vote after signing a statement, subject to felony penalties for false statements, that he is the named registered voter he claims to be. Instead, the bill provides that such voter is entitled to cast a provisional ballot. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections.
HB 34 Absentee voting; return of absentee ballots; drop-off locations. Repeals the provisions of law providing for the establishment of drop-off locations for the return of absentee ballots. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 47-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections.
HB 39 Absentee voting in person; available beginning on the fourteenth day prior to election; hours of operation. Limits absentee voting in person to the two weeks immediately preceding an election. During these two weeks, the bill requires that absentee voting in person be available Monday through Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections.
HB 1140 Voter registration; cancellation of registration; notice requirement. Requires general registrars to provide notice of the cancellation of a voter’s registration to the voter by mail, to the address listed in the voter’s registration record, and by email, to the email address provided on the voter’s registration application, if one was provided. Status: Passed House (100-Y, 0-N)
HB 927 Elections; absentee voting; ballots to be sorted and results to be reported by precinct. Provides that absentee ballots processed at a central absentee precinct must be sorted by the precinct to which the voter who cast the absentee ballot is assigned and that the resulting vote totals from such ballots must be reported separately for each voter precinct. Status: Passed in House (100-Y, 0-N), Referred to Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections
HB 185 Voter registration; registration permitted up to and including the day of the election. Repeals a provision that would permit any person who is qualified to register to vote to register to vote in person up to and including the day of the election, notwithstanding any deadline for the close of registration records. The repeal will limit the persons who are entitled to register to vote after the close of registration records to (i) any member of a uniformed service of the United States who is on active duty, (ii) any person residing temporarily outside of the United States, and (iii) the spouse or dependent residing with someone listed in (i) or (ii). Status: Passed House (52-Y, 47-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections.
HB 131 Virginia Retirement System; enhanced retirement benefits for 911 dispatchers. Adds 911 dispatchers to the list of local employees eligible to receive enhanced retirement benefits for hazardous duty service. Under current law, localities may provide such benefits to first responders, including firefighters and emergency medical technicians, and certain other hazardous duty positions. The bill provides that such benefits would be available only to dispatchers hired starting on or after January 1, 2022. Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 2-N) with a letter for a JLARC study.
HB 735 Department of Corrections; earned sentence credits. Repeals the four-level classification system for the awarding and calculation of earned sentence credits currently set to go into effect on July 1, 2022. Under current law, a maximum of 4.5 sentence credits may be earned for each 30 days served. Status: Passed House (51-Y, 49-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Rehabilitation & Social Services.
HB 833 Group violence intervention; establishment of Operation Ceasefire Grant Fund. Creates the Operation Ceasefire Grant Fund (the Fund) to be managed by the Office of the Attorney General. The bill provides that moneys in the Fund shall be used to implement violent crime reduction strategies, to provide training for law-enforcement officers and prosecutors, to provide equipment for law-enforcement agencies, and to award grants to organizations that are involved in group violence intervention efforts. The bill defines “group violence intervention” as comprehensive law-enforcement, prosecutorial, and community-based initiatives, substantially similar to Operation Ceasefire as implemented in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Gang Reduction Programs implemented in Los Angeles, California, and Richmond. Status: Passed House (59-Y 40-N), Referred to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.
HB 1198 Attorney General; instituting or conducting criminal prosecutions for cases involving criminal sexual assault. Authorizes the Attorney General to institute or conduct criminal prosecutions in cases involving violations of criminal sexual assault when such crimes are committed against children. Status: Passed House (51-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
HB 873 School boards; employment of school resource officers or school security officers. Requires each school board to (i) enter into a collaborative agreement with the local law-enforcement agency to employ at least one school resource officer or (ii) employ at least one school security officer in each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division. The bill prohibits the Board of Education from granting any school board a waiver from such requirement but permits the Board of Education to grant a partial waiver to allow the sharing of a single school resource officer or school security officer by two different public schools that (a) are adjoining or are within close proximity to each other and (b) share facilities such as parking. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N).
HB 1303 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Virginia Parole Board member votes. Makes the Virginia Parole Board subject to existing FOIA laws. Status: Passed House (95-Y, 5-N). Referred to Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology.
HB 304 Abortion; born alive infant; treatment and care; penalty. Requires every health care provider licensed by the Board of Medicine who attempts to terminate a pregnancy to (i) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of an infant who has been born alive following such attempt as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age and (ii) take all reasonable steps to ensure the immediate transfer of the infant who has been born alive to a hospital for further medical care. A health care provider who fails to comply with the requirements of this act is guilty of a Class 4 felony and may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Medicine. The bill also requires every hospital licensed by the Department of Health to establish a protocol for the treatment and care of an infant who has been born alive. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Education & Health.
HB 212 Provision of abortion; right to informed consent. Requires physicians and authorized nurse practitioners to follow certain procedures and processes to effect a pregnant woman’s informed written consent prior to the performance of an abortion. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on Education & Health.
HB 775 Religious freedom; applicability of certain executive orders. Provides that no rule, regulation, or order issued by the Governor or other governmental entity pursuant to the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000 applies to the exercise of religion in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship. Status: Passed House (51-Y, 46-N). Referred to Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology
SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
HB 827 Control of firearms by localities. Removes the authority for a locality by ordinance to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or any combination thereof in (i) any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes; (ii) any public park owned or operated by the locality; (iii) any recreation or community center facility; or (iv) any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N). Referred to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
HB 509 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Repeals the procedure by which any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a general district court, circuit court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge or magistrate for an emergency substantial risk order to prohibit a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. The bill also removes the substantial risk order registry for the entry of orders issued. Status: Passed House (52-Y, 48-N).