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House Republicans Highlight Success


House Republicans Highlight Success of Legislative Agenda at End of the 2012 Session


RICHMOND, VA – Highlighting the legislative achievements of the 68-member strong House Republican Majority Caucus in delivering real reforms and forward-looking investments to address the concerns of the Commonwealth, Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) today highlighted the positive results of the policy initiatives advanced by House Republicans this year.  

The House of Delegates adjourned sine die late Saturday evening after a busy 2012 Regular Session which included the passage of legislation to create jobs, improve public education and reform the Virginia Retirement System for future generations. 

“While the work of the General Assembly is far from over for 2012, we passed legislation this Session in a variety of areas that will serve Virginians well for years to come.  Foremost among these accomplishments is the passage of sweeping reforms to the Virginia Retirement System which will secure the future of our state retirement plans for current employees and future generations of workers,” said Howell.  “Our work on economic development, public education and government reform will meaningfully improve the services we provide for citizens of the Commonwealth and the administration of government.  Though we have adjourned sine die, we must still pass a budget for the FY 2012-14 biennium that provides for core government services, restores the health care safety net and implements tonight’s historic reforms to the VRS.” 

Below is the outcome for a selected list of 80+ measures – grouped by topic – supported by the House Republican Majority.  In all, about 1,600 pieces of legislation were approved by the General Assembly this year.

 

 

Jobs, Energy & Economic Development Opportunities

 

HB 33 (Comstock — Fairfax)                        Passed House 69-27               Passed Senate 20-20

Encourages competitive bidding on transportation and infrastructure projects, ensures neutrality and provides that the 96 percent of Virginia’s private construction worforce who are non-unionized have a fair opportunity to compete for projects funded with our tax dollars.

 

HB 1177 (Watson – James City County)       Passed House 95-2                 Passed Senate 39-0

Encourages innovative, forward-looking energy solutions – including Virginia-based production of natural gas, coal and wind alternatives – that will insulate the Commonwealth from future volatility in the international energy market and create jobs here at home.

 

HB 714 (Kilgore — Scott)                             Passed House 95-2                 Passed Senate 40-0

Incentivizes businesses, particularly those in economically distressed ares of the Commonwealth, to create jobs by offering business-friendly tax credits for each new, full-time, in-state hire.

 

HB 1102 (Miller — Manassas)                       Passed House 88-10               Passed Senate 28-12

Solidifies Virginia’s position as a national high-tech leader by incentivizing research and development in the job-creating domestic energy sector.

 

HB 1013 (Comstock — Fairfax)                    Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Extends the current capital gains tax exemption for start-up businesses, which frees up our entrepreneurs to risk their capital and create jobs across various sectors. 

 

HB 585 (Merricks — Pittsylvania)                 Passed House 96-0                 Passed Senate 37-0

Creates an inentive program to encourage investment in small businesses, which make up the backbone of the economy, throughout the Commonwealth.

 

HB 1192 (O’Quinn – Washington)                Passed House 82-18               Passed Senate 34-4

Extends incentives - critical to rural southwestern Virginia - which promote mining of Virginia’s coal deposits, creates jobs in Virginia’s coal industry and ultimately leads to more affordable electricity for all Virginians.

 

HJ 144 (Hugo – Fairfax)                                 Passed House 97-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Designates September 21, 2012 and each successive year, as a day of appreciation and awareness of Virginia’s small business community.

 

HB 766 (Landes — Augusta)                         Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Supports Virginia’s largest industry – agriculture and forestry – by offering grants and loans to attract processing facilities that utilize Virginia-grown products.

HB 1183 (Cosgrove — Chesapeake)              Passed House 95-1                 Passed Senate 39-0

Extends various tax credits that incentivize train, maritime and shipping traffic through the Port of Virginia, a critical economic driver for the entire Hampton Roads region. 

 

HB 243 (Cline — Rockbridge)                       Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 38-0

Expands incentive eligbiility for Virginia’s manufacturers and researchers to continue their investment in Virginia by adding production capacity, utilizing cutting-edge technology and modernizing assembly processes.

 

HB 768 (Landes — Augusta)                         Passed House 97-0                 Passed Senate 39-0

Creates the new Virginia Jobs Investment Plan to coordinate workforce development training and encourage the creation of well-paid jobs.

HB 300 (E.T. Scott  — Madison)                   Passed House 94-0                 Passed Senate 39-0

Creates the Beehive Grant Fund tax credit for new beehives of $200 per hive for registered beekeepers who have the hives inspected by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Education

 

HB1063 (Tata – Virginia Beach)                    Passed House 76-23               Failed in Senate Committee

Gives local school boards the autonomy to set the school calendar and eliminates the long-standing requirement that local school divisions obtain a “good cause” waiver to open before Labor Day.

 

HB 1107  (Greason – Loudoun)                     Passed House 94-1                 Passed Senate 40-0

Requires local school divisions to stock epinephrine, develop guidelines for emergency injections and eliminates liability for qualified school employees who responsibly administer epinephrine to students.

 

HB 1215  (R.P. Bell – Staunton)                    Passed House 92-5                 Passed Senate 35-5

Improves educational access and variety by instructing the Board of Education to develop regulations that will establish standards for accreditation of full-time, virtual public school programs in Virginia.

 

HB 250 (Cline – Rockbridge)                         Passed House 77-20               Passed Senate 36-3

Requires every local school division to monitor and annually report the percentage of its budget used for instructional costs, ensuring that our education tax dollars are going to our public school students.

 

HB 54 (Putney – Bedford)                             Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 38-0

Authorizes the issuance of public bonds to fund various capital improvements in Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

 

HB 576 (R.P. Bell – Staunton)                       Passed House 55-43               Continued in Senate to 2013

Improves accountability and teacher performance by eliminating traditional “teacher tenure” and replacing it with yearly evaluations that will determine teacher and administrator’s contract status.

 

HB 577 (R.P. Bell – Staunton)                       Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Requires teachers in Virginia’s virtual, online and college partnerships laboratory schools to submit to a background check before having direct contact with students.

 

HB 765 (Peace – Hanover)                             Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 39-1

Gives Virginia’s elementary and secondary school students more educational options by allowing Virginia’s private colleges and universities to operate college partnership laboratory programs in collaboration with local K-12 school divisions. 

 

HB 947 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                    Passed House 59-39               Failed in Senate Committee

Gives home-schooled students in Virginia the important developmental opportunity to participate in interscholastic programs – including public school sports teams – at their local public school.

 

HB 321 (Massie – Henrico)                            Passed House 54-37               Passed Senate 20-20

Offers underprivileged children in Virginia who desire to attend private schools, tuition assistance facilitated by local businesses and administered by nonprofit organizations.  Additionally expands the Neighborhood Assistance tax credit program, which services middle and lower income students with disabilities, among others.

 

 

Health Care

 

HB 1112 (Byron — Bedford)                        Passed House 62-34               Continued in Senate to 2013

Eliminates mandatory, opt-out HPV vaccines given to schoolgirls starting in the sixth grade, and replaces the mandate with an opt-in vaccination program.

 

HB 1106 (Greason – Loudoun)                      Passed House 96-1                 Passed Senate 40-0

Clarifies that the Board of Medicine has the authority to license assisted behavioral analysts and requires that the Board write regulations implementing autism insurance coverage within 280 days.

 

HB 83 (Orrock – Caroline)                             Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 38-0

Empowers patients to take a more active and informed approach to their health by requiring physicians performing mammograms to disclose breast density information directly to patients.

 

HB 885 (Hodges – Middlesex)                      Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Removes burdensome rules that required nurses fully licensed in other states to obtain a license from the Commonwealth to temporarily practice in Virginia in conjunction with school trips or summer camp programs.

 

HB 343 (O’Bannon – Henrico)                      Passed House 95-3                 Passed Senate 39-0

Creates the Virginia All Payer Claims Database which facilitates the collection and analysis of health care consumption patterns in the Commonwealth in an effort to provide optimal coverage for patients and health care providers alike.

 

HB 1273 (Peace – Hanover)                           Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 38-1

Improves patient care for those in Virginia struggling with cancer by requiring health care providers to offer affordable oral chemotherapy as well as traditional intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

 

 

Law Enforcement & Public Safety

 

HB 1037 (Poindexter – Franklin)                   Passed House 94-3                 Passed Senate 39-0

Creates the Methamphetamine Cleanup Fund and forces convicted meth manufacturers to pay for the rehabilitation or destruction of property that is unsafe due to methamphetamine damage.

 

HB 1178 (Webert – Fauquier)                        Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Protects Virginia’s children from predators by prohibiting anyone on the Sex Offender Registry from operating a charter bus used to transport children.

 

HB 173 (Loupassi – Richmond City)             Passed House 73-26               Continued in Senate to 2013

Protects Virginia’s taxpayers by requiring that non-English-speaking defendants who are subsequently found guilty of a criminal offense must pay for the cost of any interpreter used during their trial.

 

HB 279 (Iaquinto – Virginia Beach)              Passed House 87-11               Passed Senate 26-13

Keeps Virginia’s families safe on the road by requiring a person with two DUIs to have an ignition interlock installed on all their vehicles and allowing a court to order an interlock installation after a first offense DUI.

 

HB 3 (R.G. Marshall – Prince William)          Passed House 94-1                 Passed Senate 40-0

Protects Virginia’s children from predators and abusers by adding athletic coaches and individuals over 18 that are involved with youth sports organizations to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

 

HB 49 (Albo – Fairfax)                                  Passed House 94-3                 Failed in Senate Committee

Increases the punishment for DUI manslaugher to include a mandatory jail term of one to five years.

 

HB 964 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                    Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 39-0

Protects children by making it a Class 6 felony to show child pornography or a “grooming video” to a minor.

 

HB 968 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                    Passed House 75-9                 Passed Senate 37-3

Raises the penalties for repeat convictions on drug trafficking offenses with a mandatory sentence of three to 40 years for a second offense and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for a third offense.

 

HB 508 (Garrett – Lynchburg)                       Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Cracks down on use of synthetic cannabinoids criminalizing so-called “bath salts” and by including a generic description of these dangerous substances to facilitate investigation and prosecution.

 

HB 546 (Comstock – Fairfax)                        Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Includes the transportation of any person for purposes of prostitution and receiving earnings from prostitution in the category of criminal offenses that may be used in gang prosecutions, making it easier for prosecutors to put away dangerous gangs across Virginia.

 

HB 630 (Morris – Isle of Wight)                    Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Allows for forfeiture of real or personal property used in connection with criminal racketeering and also allows forfeiture of any interest or profits from property connected with criminal racketeering.

 

HB 752 (Cline – Rockbridge)                         Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Helps protect the victims of domestic abuse in the Commonwealth by making an assault or battery by strangulation punishable as a Class 6 felony.

 

HB 1271 (Jones – Suffolk)                             Passed House 95-0                 Passed Senate 36-4

Increases the penalties imposed on sexually violent predators and increases the length of time the Commitment Review Committee has to complete an assessment for purposes of civil commitment.

 

HB 389 (Gilbert – Shenandoah)                     Passed House 72-28               Failed in Senate Committee

Expands the application of the death penalty to certain accessories and principals in the second degree when a murder involved a criminal conspiracy, terrorism or murder for hire.

 

HB 963 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                    Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Targets child pornography rings by making it crime – punishable by five to 20 years in prison – to attempt to persuade an individual to provide child pornography in order to gain entry into a child pornography ring.

 

HB 1001 (Ramadan – Loudoun)                    Passed House 77-23                Continued in Senate to 2013

Directs the Virginia State Police to enter into a memorandum of agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to allow Virginia’s State Police to perform federal immigration law-enforcement functions within the Commonwealth after arrest of an illegal alien.

HB 973 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                    Passed House 83-12                Passed Senate 31-8

Substantially increases penalties for the rape, forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration of children under 13 years old, with a mandatory life sentence for adults that commit such offenses and a mandatory 25 year term for juveniles three or more years older than such a victim.

 

Government Reform & Savings

 

 

HB 1034 (Landes – Augusta)                         Passed House 96-1                 Passed Senate 38-1

Saves Virginia’s taxpayers money by withdrawing from unnecessary interstate compacts including the Southern Growth Policies Agreement as well as the Education Commission of the States.

HB 246 (Cline – Rockbridge)                         Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Improves financial accountability and planning by requiring that state tax credits expire no longer than five years from their date of origination.

 

HB 465 (Albo – Fairfax)                                Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Makes Virginia’s government more user friendly by creating an annual report and organization chart showing in detail how the state government is organized.

 

HB 550 (Comstock – Fairfax)                        Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Allows state government agencies to submit required reports to the Governor or Executive Branch in written or electronic format.

 

HB 777 (Landes – Augusta)                           Passed House 93-0                 Passed Senate 37-0

Creates a new Joint Subcommittee that will evaluate various state tax preferences to ensure incentives and tax policies in the Commonwealth reap the maximum possible benefit for Virginia’s taxpayers.

 


HB 869 (Rust – Fairfax)                                 Passed House 74-24               Passed Senate 24-15

Eliminates mandatory urban development areas (UDAs) in high growth and high density communities throughout the Commonwealth and replaces them with optional UDAs at the discretion of each locality.

 

HB 5 (R.B. Bell – Albemarle)                        Passed House 83-14               Passed Senate 22-16

Narrows the definition of “public use” following the Kelo decision, and protects personal and business investments in the Commonwealth by including lost profits and access in the event private property is taken under Virginia’s eminent domain power.

 

HB 263 (Peace – Hanover)                             Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 36-3

Eliminates the requirement that state government entities purchase furniture and various other products produced by the Virginia Correctional Enterprises Program if a business in Virginia’s private sector offers an identical product at a lower price point.

 

HB 1291 (Gilbert – Shenandoah)                   Passed House 88-8                 Passed Senate 34-6

Eliminates and consolidates various boards, agencies and commissions that are duplicative or unnecessary, saving Virginia’s taxpayers from needless government spending.

 

HB 1295 (Byron – Bedford)                          Passed House 89-0                 Passed Senate 35-3

Eliminates a wide variety of state mandates on localities and regional government entities including reporting on urban development areas, state oversight of automatic red light monitoring and administrative library internet use policies.

                                                                                                                       

HB 1130 (W.J. Howell – Stafford)                Passed Hose 60-34                 Passed Senate 34-6

Creates a hybrid plan for new state employees who enroll in the Virginia Retirement System beginning in 2014 and requires existing employees contribute 5 percent to their existing defined benefit retirement program with a matching 5 percent pay offset.

 

 

Transportation

 

HB 1245 (May – Loudoun)                            Passed House 97-0                 Passed Senate 39-0

Expands the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board to include two new Virginia members, improving the representation and service of the Commonwealth’s interests on this important interstate Board.

 

HB 353 (J. Cox – Hanover)                            Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Makes various reforms to Virginia’s commercial driver licensing laws and adds new weight compliance agents to issue civil citations to the overweight commercial vehicles that do disproportionate damage to Virginia’s roadways.

 

HB 601 (LeMunyon – Fairfax)                       Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 39-1

Adds the Secretary of Transportation to the membership of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in order to increase responsiveness to the needs of Northern Virginians.

 


HB 625 (LeMunyon – Fairfax)                       Passed House 91-6                 Passed Senate 39-0

Protects Virginians on and off the roadways by requiring localities in Northern Virginia to consider the effect changes to a comprehensive plan might have on congestion and mobility in the event of a homeland security emergency.

 

HB 97 (Wilt – Rockingham)                           Passed House 87-10               Passed Senate 38-2

Reverses the ban on motorcycles driving two abreast in a single lane on Virginia’s roadways.

 

HB 806 (May – Loudoun)                              Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Implements a series of fees based on the extent to which a vehicle is overweight in an effort to improve the condition and maintenance of Virginia’s roadways.

 

HB 945 (Villanueva – Virginia Beach)           Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Eases the requirements for performance and payment bonds on transportation-related projects funded by the Commonwealth.

 

HB 1248 (Lingamfelter – Prince William)      Passed House 59-34               Passed Senate 20-20

Provides additional transportation maintenance and construction funding through innovative revenue streams including paid naming rights for infrastructure.

 

 

Veterans & Military

 

HB 190 (O'Bannon – Henrico)                       Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 39-0

Clarifies the real estate tax exemption law by allowing for the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services to provide assistance to disabled veterans in obtaining the exemption, and in appealing adverse rulings.

 

HB 253 (Stolle – Virginia Beach)                   Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Expands the hiring preference in state employment for veterans to include the surviving spouse or child of a veteran killed in the line of duty. 

 

HB 395 (Ransone – Westmoreland)               Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Authorizes the State Comptroller to release payments, advanced from the death benefits due to the beneficiary of a deceased person under the Line of Duty Act, to a funeral service provider for burial and transportation costs.

 

HB 719 (Yancey – Newport News)               Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Allows a permanently disabled veteran to obtain at no cost a combined hunting and fresh water fishing license or either a hunting or a fishing license.

 

HB 730 (Dudenhefer – Stafford)                   Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Grants full voting privileges to the ex-officio members of the Board of Veterans Services to include the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Veterans Services Foundation and the Chairman of the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations.

 


HB 922 (Lingamfelter – Prince William)        Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Expands the eligibility of the real estate tax exemption law to include primary residencies held in certain trusts and primary residencies held by a surviving spouse.

 

HB 933 (Lingamfelter – Prince William)        Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 38-0

Clarifies various aspects of the disabled veterans property tax exemption, including that a veteran or their spouse does not lose the exemption due to extended stays in the hospital or at nursing facilities.

 

HB 943 (Lingamfelter – Prince William)        Passed House 97-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Reduces by five years the time of service requirement for certain law enforcement officers in order for such officer to purchase his or her service handgun.

 

HB 573 (D.W. Marshall – Danville)               Passed House 94-0                 Passed Senate 40-0

Honors our service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice by requiring that all flags at any building owned by the Commonwealth be flown at half staff or mast for one day when any member of the United States armed forces, a police officer, or a firefighter who is a resident of Virginia is killed in the line of duty.

 

HB 686 (O’Quinn – Washington)                  Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 37-0

Authorizes the issuance of special license plates to veterans of Operation Desert Shield or Operation Desert Storm.

 

HB 1121 (M.K. Cox – Colonial Heights)       Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 39-0

Improves claims service for veterans in the Commonwealth by increasing the ratio of claims agents to 1 for every 23,000 veterans.

 

Other Improvements to Virginia’s Quality of Life

 

HB 523 (Farrell — Henrico)                           Passed House 98-0                 Passed Senate 37-2

Protects Virginians and their homes following the Louisa Earthquake by requiring fire insurance companies to give clear, written notice if they exclude earthquake related coverage in their policies.

 

HB 305 (Crockett-Stark – Wythe)                 Passed House 100-0               Passed Senate 40-0

Increases the Department of Emergency Management’s oversight of crisis and emergency management plans developed by institutions of higher learning across the Commonwealth.

 

HB 1 (Marshall, R.G. Prince William)       Passed House 66-32               Continued in Senate to 2013

Recognizes that unborn children, from conception onward, enjoy the rights and privileges of any other citizen in the Commonwealth.

                                

HB 1153 (Massie Henrico)                        Passed House 99-0                 Passed Senate 38-0

Brings Virginia’s tax code into greater conformity with federal tax code.



HB 462 (Byron – Bedford)                            Passed House 61-35               Passed Senate 21-19

Requires women to have an external ultrasound as part of Virginia’s informed consent law before having an abortion.

 

HB 940 (Lingamfelter – Prince William)        Passed House 66-32               Passed Senate 21-19

Strengthens the right to bear arms in the Commonwealth by repealing the long-standing ban on purchasing more than one handgun per month.

 

HB 85 (Greason – Loudoun)                          Passed House 95-3                 Passed Senate 40-0

Extends for another year the option for green vehicles to use High Occupancy Vehicles lanes regardless of the number of passengers.

 


 

NOTE:  The above list of over 80 bills and resolutions is not intended to be a complete record of all legislation sponsored and passed by the 68-member strong House Republican Majority in the 2012Regular Session.  The short summaries above are provided only for convenience and are not meant to be a complete description of the highlighted legislation.  For more details about a bill or resolution, contact the delegate who patroned the measure or click on the number, which links to the General Assembly’s Legislative Information Service (LIS).  LIS provides the entire legislative history and actual text of all bills and resolutions, amendments and conference reports, as passed by both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia.

 

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