Legislators look at 2019 session

Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) discusses the recently completed General Assembly session along with state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) and Dels. Marcus Simon (D-53rd), Kathleen Murphy (D-34th) and Rip Sullivan (D-48th) at a March 14, 2019, Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce breakfast. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

Local members of the House of Delegates have notched plenty of legislative successes so far in this year’s General Assembly session.

Del. Marcus Simon (D-McLean) has seen these bills pass:

• HB 10 would prohibit any person from acting as a qualified education loan servicer except in accordance with provisions established by the bill. Loan servicers would have to obtain a license from the State Corporation Commission. Banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and nonprofit institutions of higher education are exempt from the licensing provisions. The House passed the bill Jan. 27 on an 84-15 vote and it now has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

• HB 145 would require the Department of Education to develop and make available to each school board, no later than Dec. 31, 2020, model policies concerning treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools that address common issues regarding such students. The House passed the bill Jan. 31 on a 61-37 vote, reconsidered it, then passed it again that same day on a 62-36 vote.

• HB 259 would provide that in cases where a defendant’s competency is primarily compromised due to an ongoing and irreversible medical condition, and medical or educational records support the diagnosis, a court may find the defendant unrestorably incompetent to stand trial and proceed with the disposition of the case based on that recommendation. People found unrestorably incompetent to stand trial would be prohibited from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm.

The House passed the bill 97-0 on Jan. 28 and it now resides with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

• HB 849 would subject political-campaign advertisements placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform to the same disclosure requirements to which print media, television and radio advertisements are subject. The House passed the bill 100-0 Jan. 30 and it has been referred to the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.

• HB 1041 would require the state registrar, upon request of a person and in accordance with Board of Health requirements, to issue a new birth certificate to show a change of sex of the person and, if a certified copy of a court order changing the person’s name is submitted, to show a new name. The House passed this bill Feb. 3 on a 52-44 vote.

Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-McLean-Great Falls) has seen these bills advance:

• HB 598 would create an annual mixed-beverage license that could be granted to persons operating food concessions at performing-arts facilities in Fairfax County. The House passed the bill 90-6 on Jan. 29 and it has been referred to the Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services.

• HB 840 would require health insurers, health-care subscription plans and health-maintenance organizations that include coverage for medicines to classify medically necessary formula and enteral-nutrition products (ones delivered via a patient’s gastrointestinal tract) as medicine and include coverage for such products for covered individuals needing treatment for inherited metabolic disorders. The House approved the bill 99-0 on Feb. 3.

Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington-McLean) has had these bills pass:

• HB 275 would increase from 11 to 12 the maximum number of authorized general-district-court judgeships in the 19th judicial district, as recommended by the Committee on District Courts in 2018. The House passed the bill 87-11 on Jan. 28 and it has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. A similar bill by Sen. Petersen passed the Senate 40-0 on Feb. 3.

• HB 276 would include within the definition of “hate crime” a criminal act committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification and require the reporting of the commission of such crimes to the Virginia State Police. The House passed the bill Jan. 28 on a 61-37 vote and it has been sent to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

• HB 674 would create a procedure by which any attorney for the commonwealth or any law-enforcement officer may apply to a General Distrit Court, Circuit Court or Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court judge or magistrate for an emergency 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 passed the House Jan. 30 on a 52-46 vote and has been sent to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

• HB 834 specifies when courts could permit notices of orders of publication (such as for lawsuits) to be given by electronic means in addition to, or in lieu of, publication in a newspaper. The House passed the bill Jan. 28 on a 97-0 vote and it has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

• HB 835 would authorize a water or sewer public utility acquiring a water or sewer system to elect to have its rate base established by using the fair market value of the system’s assets instead of the system’s depreciated original cost. The House passed the bill Feb. 3 on a 99-0 block vote.

Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna) has had these bills pass:

• HB 402 would require every public school teaching up through sixth grade to hold at least one lock-down drill after the first 60 days of the school session and every public school teaching seventh grade or higher to hold at least two lock-down drills after the first 60 days of the school session, in addition to the two lock-down drills required to be held during the first 20 days of the school session. Current law requires each public school to hold at least two lock-down drills after the first 20 days of the school session. The House of Delegates approved the bill 97-0 on Jan. 28.

• HB 465 would extend from Jan. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2020, the prohibition on offering motorized skateboards or scooters, bicycles or electric power-assisted bicycles for hire in any locality that has not enacted any licensing ordinance, regulation or other action regulating such business. The House of Delegates approved the bill, which contains an emergency clause, on Jan. 29 on a 93-5 vote.

• HB 466 would allow localities with populations greater than 50,000 to waive license requirements for businesses with gross receipts of $200,000 or less. Under current law, the limit for such waivers gross receipts of less than $100,000. The bill passed in the House Jan. 21 on a 98-1 vote and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations.

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