This Friday will be the last day for each chamber to vote on bills that originated in their own body. That means there will be some LATE nights this week. There’s still much work to do during this short 30 day session.
Check out the interesting bills voted on so far:
Worker’s Comp presumption of liability:HB1985 (Hurst-HD12) assumes it’s an occupational disease if health care workers get sick or die from COVID-19. HB2207 (Jones-HD89), SB1342 (Vogel-SD27), and SB1375 (Saslaw-SD35) assume the same for law enforcement, fire, EMT.
Vaccine delivery facilitation: HB2333 (Bagby-HD74) and SB1445 (Dunnavant-SD12) creates a program for health care workers to volunteer to administer vaccinations, and a process by which a list of qualified volunteers is distributed.
COVID-19 treatment considered emergency services by DMAS: HB2124 (Lopez-HD49) directs Department of Medical Assistance Services to consider COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination to be emergency services covered under federal law for those who are undocumented.
Employer reporting COVID-19 outbreaks:SB1362 (Lewis-SD6) would require employers with 30 or more employees to report to the Department of Health when the workplace has three or more confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Unemployment eligibility: HB2037 (Tran-HD42) would allow those who refuse to work due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis, providing care to someone with COVID19, or who has a reasonable belief his workplace is not compliant with health standards to collect unemployment.
Anti-vaxxer bills: Anti-vaxxers Amanda Chase-SD11 and Dave LaRock-HD33 (who coincidentally continue to lie about the 2020 Presidential election and both were at the US Capitol on January 6th) watched their HB2242, SB1450, SB1449, HJ573 stating that the vaccine will be voluntary and that workplaces, public spaces, schools, insurance etc. cannot discriminate based on whether someone has been vaccinated die in committee.
…and more bills
Styrofoam packaging ban: HB1902 (Carr-HD69) would require large chain restaurants cease using styrofoam food containers effective July 2023, and all restaurants by July 2025.
Local Food & Farming grants:HB2068 (Rasoul-HD11) creates the Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program to support local food production and sustainable farming, including farmer’s markets.
Censuring Amanda Chase: The Senate voted this week on SR91 (Bell-SD13), censuring Senator Chase tor conduct unbecoming a state senator, after she repeatedly lied about the 2020 Presidential election, incited her supporters to riot at the US Capitol, and lied on the Senate floor. She had her last remaining committee assignment stripped, and lost her seniority. Three Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to censure her, while 6 others did not vote.
Ghost guns:HB2276 (Simon-HD53) bans the manufacture, transfer, or possession of a firearm that cannot be detected by x-ray machines used at airport security.
Increase Motor Vehicle Liability Coverage:SB1182 (Surovell-SD36) increases the amount of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage for injury, death, or property damage.
Firearms at polling places:HB2081 (Levine-HB45) bans firearms within 40′ of any building used as a polling place.
Medicaid 12-month birth control:SB1227 (Boysko-SD33) allows Medicaid to pay for a 12-month supply of hormonal birth control medication.
Disability discrimination:HB1848 (Sickles-HD43) adds discrimination based on disability to the Virginia Human Rights Act.
Marijuana legalization: The House and the Senate are still working through lots of details in the proposed marijuana legalization bills (SB1406, Ebbin-SD30 and Lucas-SD18; and HB2312, Herring-HD46). There is some chance that parts of the legislation (the legalization and expungements) would take place earlier than other parts (the regulatory environment and licensing).
Other criminal justice bills: The House and Senate will also have to work out pretty significant differences in their expungement reform bills (HB2113, Herring-HD46; and SB1339, Surovell-SD46); and their bills to eliminate mandatory minimums (SB1443, Edwards-SD21; and HB2331, Mullin-HD93).
If any of the above bills are important to you, now is the time to contact your legislators and tell them how this bill affects you and your family. Contact information for Delegates and Senators can be found HERE; if you aren’t sure who represents you, put your address in HERE to find out.
Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Network
PO Box 2612, Merrifield Virginia 22116-2612 United States