Column: General Assembly Halftime Report

Column: General Assembly Halftime Report

If you haven’t been following the General Assembly this year, I thought it would be appropriate to fill you in on the first half of the session. The House and Senate have each heard their own member’s bills, and those that survive now take a journey to the other side of the Capitol to test their fate. Eleven of the bills I have introduced have made it out of the Senate, six have been passed by for the year, and three did not make it out of the Senate committees.

Here is what my bills that passed the Senate will accomplish:

If you are towed in Northern Virginia, you can be towed to the nearest lot even if it crosses county lines.

Individuals who suffer an alcohol or drug overdose will be required to receive follow up treatment information in emergency rooms.

No one may carry a pneumatic gun (air gun) on public school property (with some exceptions for legitimate events); some of these weapons are deadly.

Individuals on the sex offender registry will receive yearly updates on changes to the legal requirements under which they must live.

If you buy a car from a dealer who goes out of business, you will now have a remedy to receive the title and registration from the lender who financed the car dealer’s inventory.

Colleges and universities will be required to conduct public hearings before initiating any road construction, or traffic calming measures.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will be required to coordinate, to ensure that road construction money is prioritized for our most congested intersections and corridors.

A license plate has been created to honor the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings, with proceeds going to the Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation.

School Administrators will be required to notify parents when their child is being questioned for serious disciplinary matters, beyond exegete circumstances.

*100 percent disabled veterans will be able to receive property tax relief, even though their home may be placed in a trust.

*The Attorney General may now represent individuals who have been asked by the Circuit Court to run companies with disputed ownership, if they are sued as a result of their work for the Court.

I think many of you know that this has been a year of profound change, and seeming contradiction. We are in the process of making it harder to vote, but easier to buy a gun. When the Federal Government passed the Federal Affordable Healthcare Act, many in the Commonwealth saw it as an intrusive overreach into our personal medical lives. This year we are passing legislation dictating to doctors and women, what procedures they must undergo prior to a woman receiving a constitutionally protected abortion. The mandatory ultrasound is an intrusive procedure that is not medically necessary; this bill is aimed solely at limiting abortion rights. We are also making it legal for private adoption agencies, who receive state funds, to discriminate against prospective parents based on their ideological and religious beliefs. While this bill is aimed at making it harder for gay couples to adopt, it may be used by these agencies to deny adoptions to parents of different faiths, or to people they have philosophical differences with.

We are not done yet, and many of these bills will still have to survive the budget process. Even when bills are passed by both the House, and the Senate, if money cannot be found to fund them, they will not be turned into law.