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Issue AreaBill Title
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Bill SummaryPatron LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome LocationSubcommittee?Patron CommentsLegislator CommentsPublic In FavorPublic In OppositionOutcome
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; no excuse requiredHB 1LISPermits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code.
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Thriving EconomyVirginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices; sexual orientation and gender identity.HB 3LISAdds discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful housing practice. The bill defines "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."
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Thriving EconomyVirginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices; sexual orientation and gender identity.HB 6LISAdds discrimination on the basis of a person's source of income to the list of unlawful discriminatory housing practices. The bill defines "source of income" as any source that lawfully provides funds to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including any assistance, benefit, or subsidy program, whether such program is administered by a governmental or nongovernmental entity.
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Thriving EconomyVirginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices; sexual orientation and gender identity.HB 7LISProhibits any locality, its employees, or its appointed commissions from discriminating (i) in the application of local land use ordinances or guidelines, or in the permitting of housing developments, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, or handicap or (ii) in the permitting of housing developments because the housing development contains or is expected to contain affordable housing units occupied or intended for occupancy by families or individuals with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income of the area where the housing development is located or is proposed to be located. The bill also requires the Fair Housing Board, after determining the existence of an unlawful discriminatory housing practice and after consultation with the Attorney General, to immediately refer the matter to the Attorney General for civil action.
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EducationDisorderly conduct in public places; school activitiesHB 8LISEliminates the Class 1 misdemeanor for disrupting willfully or while intoxicated, whether willfully or not, the operation of any school or any school activity conducted or sponsored by any school if the disruption (i) prevents or interferes with the orderly conduct of the operation or activity or (ii) has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, the disruption is directed.
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EducationQualified education loan servicersHB 10LISProhibits any person from acting as a qualified education loan servicer except in accordance with provisions established by this bill. The bill requires a loan servicer to obtain a license from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and establishes procedures pertaining to such licenses. Banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and nonprofit institutions of higher education are exempt from the licensing provisions. The servicing of a qualified education loan encompasses (i) receiving any scheduled periodic payments from a qualified education loan borrower pursuant to the terms of a qualified education loan; (ii) applying the payments of principal and interest and such other payments, with respect to the amounts received from a qualified education loan borrower, as may be required pursuant to the terms of a qualified education loan; and (iii) performing other administrative services with respect to a qualified education loan. Qualified education loan servicers are prohibited from, among other things, (a) misrepresenting the amount, nature, or terms of any fee or payment due or claimed to be due on a qualified education loan, the terms and conditions of the loan agreement, or the borrower's obligations under the loan; (b) knowingly misapplying or recklessly applying loan payments to the outstanding balance of a qualified education loan; and (c) failing to report both the favorable and unfavorable payment history of the borrower to a nationally recognized consumer credit bureau at least annually if the loan servicer regularly reports information to such a credit bureau. Violations are subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2021, but provides that applications shall be accepted, and investigations commenced, by the SCC beginning March 1, 2021.
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Voter EmpowermentConstitutional amendment (voter referendum); reapportionment; technical adjustments permittedHB 14LISProvides for a referendum at the November 3, 2020, election to approve or reject an amendment that would allow the General Assembly to make technical adjustments to legislative election district boundaries in the period between decennial reapportionments, provided that the adjustment's sole purpose is to align legislative election district boundaries with the boundaries of voting precincts established in counties and cities.
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EducationPublic school buses; seat beltsHB 15LISRequires the Board of Education to make regulations to require each new public school bus purchased for the transportation of students to be equipped with a seat belt consisting of a lap belt and shoulder strap or harness in every seat. The bill requires each school board to ensure that no later than July 1, 2038, each school bus that it uses for the transportation of students is equipped with a seat belt in every seat.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; no-excuse, in-person, beginning on second Saturday immediately preceding election; applicability date; emergencyHB 18LISProvides that, beginning with the May 5, 2020, general election, no-excuse, in-person absentee voting will be available beginning on the second Saturday immediately preceding the election. The bill contains an emergency clause.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter identification; repeal of photo identification requirementsHB 19LISRemoves the requirement that voters show a form of identification containing a photograph in order to be allowed to vote. The bill requires a voter to show either his voter registration confirmation documents; his valid Virginia driver's license, his valid United States passport, or any other identification issued by the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth or any private school located in the Commonwealth; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. The bill adds language regarding identification requirements for certain voters pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.
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Energy & EnvironmentVirginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection ActHB 20LISDirects the Department of Environmental Quality to implement the final carbon trading regulation as approved by the State Air Pollution Control Board in order to establish a carbon dioxide cap and trade program that limits and reduces the total carbon dioxide emissions released by electric generation facilities and that complies with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model rule. The measure authorizes the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program. The measure requires revenues from the sale of carbon allowances, to the extent permitted by Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, to be deposited in an interest-bearing account and to be distributed without further appropriation (i) to assist counties, cities, towns, residents, and businesses affected by recurrent flooding, sea-level rise, and flooding from severe weather events; (ii) to support energy efficiency programs; (iii) to support renewable energy programs; (iv) to provide economic development, education, and workforce training programs for families and businesses in Southwest Virginia for the purpose of revitalizing communities negatively affected by the decline of fossil fuel production; (v) to the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund to fund the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program and (vi) for administrative expenses. The measure states that development of new utility-owned and utility-operated generating facilities utilizing energy derived from sunlight, or from onshore or offshore wind, to achieve the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is in the public interest and directs Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power to achieve a minimum of 50 percent of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through the development of such utility-owned and utility-operated generating facilities utilizing energy derived from sunlight, or from onshore or offshore wind. The measure provides that any retail customer that purchases electric energy from a supplier other than the incumbent electric utility serving the exclusive service territory in which such retail customer is located shall pay a non-bypassable surcharge. The measure also requires the Department to establish an allowance set-aside for any electric generation facility subject to a cap and trade program that operates according to a long-term contract as of January 1, 2020, that prohibits the recovery of allowance costs.
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Energy & EnvironmentVirginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund; grant programHB 22LISChanges the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund (the Fund) from a lending program to a grant program. The bill directs the Fund to grant money to localities to enable them to offer cost-sharing programs to help residents and businesses that are subject to recurrent flooding.
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Thriving EconomyProhibited discrimination in public employment and housing; sexual orientation or gender identityHB 23LISProhibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. Additionally, the bill adds discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful housing practice. The bill defines sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; no excuse requiredHB 25LISPermits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter registration; close of registration recordsHB 26LISReduces the period of time that registration records must be closed before a general or primary election from 21 days to 13 days. The bill adjusts other deadlines to reflect this change. The period of time that the registration records must be closed before a special election remains the same.

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HealthcareHealth benefit plans; enrollment by pregnant individualsHB 39LISRequires health carriers to allow pregnant individuals to enroll in a health benefit plan at any time after the commencement of the pregnancy, with the pregnant individual's coverage being effective as of the first of the month in which the individual receives certification of the pregnancy. The measure applies to such agreements that are entered into, amended, extended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2021.
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EducationBoard of Education; mental health break spaces; regulationsHB 40LISRequires the Board of Education to amend its regulations to require that each public school create and maintain a mental health break space within the public school building. The bill requires the Board of Education to collaborate with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in the creation of regulations for the mental health break spaces.
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HealthcareBoard of Medicine; regulations; screening for adverse childhood experiencesHB 41LISDirects the Board of Medicine to adopt regulations requiring every health care practitioner licensed by the Board who provides primary health care services to, at the time of a patient%92s first appointment, (i) provide to the patient information regarding the impact of adverse childhood experiences on physical and mental health and the risks and benefits of screening patients for adverse childhood experiences and (ii) screen patients for adverse childhood experiences that may impact a patient's physical or mental health or the provision of health care services to such patient.
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HealthcareHealth care providers; screening of patients for prenatal and postpartum depression; trainingHB 42LISDirects the Boards of Medicine and Nursing to adopt regulations requiring licensees who provide primary, maternity, obstetrical, or gynecological health care services to complete a training program on prenatal and postnatal depression in women. Such training program shall include information on risk factors for and signs and symptoms of prenatal and postnatal depression, resources for the treatment and management of prenatal and postnatal depression, and steps the practitioner can take to link patients to such resources. The bill also requires the Board of Medicine to adopt regulations requiring licensees who provide primary, maternity, obstetrical, or gynecological health care services to screen all patients who are pregnant or who have been pregnant within the previous five years for prenatal or postnatal depression or other depression, as appropriate.
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Voter EmpowermentProvisional voting; persons voting in split precincts.HB 43LISProvides that any voter who is assigned to a precinct that is split between two or more election districts and who believes he was given a ballot for the district of which he is not a qualified voter may request, prior to casting the ballot, and shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot for the district of which he believes he is a qualified voter and for the district in which the pollbook indicates he is registered. The bill requires the ballots to be sealed in envelopes labeled with the corresponding district number and then sealed in the green envelope provided for all provisional ballots. At the meeting to determine the validity of all provisional ballots offered in the election, the electoral board shall verify in which district the voter is qualified and count that ballot.

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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseasesHB 44LISAdds cancers of the colon, brain, or testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when firefighters or certain employees develop the cancer. The measure removes the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty.
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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; retaliatory discharge of employeeHB 45LISProhibits an employer or other person from discharging an employee if the discharge is motivated to any extent by knowledge or belief that the employee has filed a claim or taken or intends to take certain other actions under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. Currently, retaliatory discharges are prohibited only if the employer or other person discharged an employee solely because the employee has taken or intends to take such an action.
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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; employer to notify employee of intentHB 46LISRequires an employer whose employee has filed a claim under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act to advise the employee whether the employer intends to accept or deny the claim or is unable to make such a determination because it lacks sufficient information from the employee. If the employer is unable to make such a determination because it lacks sufficient information from the employee, the employer shall so state and identify the needed additional information. If the employer intends to deny the claim, it shall provide the reasons.
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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; foreign injuriesHB 47LISProvides that an injured employee is eligible for benefits under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when a compensable accident happens while the employee is employed outside Virginia if (i) the employment contract was not expressly for services exclusively to be performed outside Virginia and (ii) either the employer's place of business is in Virginia or the employee regularly performs work on the employer's behalf in Virginia and resides in Virginia.

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EducationDepartment of Education; pilot program; feasibility of educational placement transition of certain students with disabilitiesHB 49LISRequires the Department of Education and relevant local school boards to develop and implement a pilot program for the transition of students who are educated in private school settings pursuant to Individualized Education Programs to the appropriate public school setting in the relevant local school division for up to four years in two to eight local school divisions in the Commonwealth. In developing the pilot, the Department is required to partner with the appropriate school board employees in each such local school division to (i) identify the resources, services, and supports required by each student who resides in each such local school division and who is educated in a private school setting pursuant to his Individualized Education Program; (ii) study the feasibility of transitioning each such student from his private school setting to an appropriate public school setting in the local school division and providing the identified resources, services, and supports in such public school setting; and (iii) recommend a process for redirecting federal, state, and local funds, including funds provided pursuant to the Children's Services Act, provided for the education of each such student to the local school division for the purpose of providing the identified resources, services, and supports in the appropriate public school setting. The bill requires the Department of Education to make a report to the Governor, the Senate Committees on Education and Health and Finance, and the House Committees on Education and Appropriations on the findings of the pilot program after two and four years.
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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; occupational disease presumption; emergency medical techniciansHB 52LISEstablishes a presumption that hypertension or heart disease causing the death or disability of full-time salaried emergency medical technicians employed by the City of Virginia Beach is an occupational disease compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act.
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Thriving EconomyWorker cooperativesHB 55LISEstablishes worker cooperatives as a category of cooperative associations. A worker cooperative is a stock corporation that has elected to be governed by provisions established by this measure, which include (i) conducting its business primarily for the mutual benefit of its members, (ii) allowing only current and retired employees to be members, (iii) limiting voting rights to current employees, (iv) providing that each employee is entitled to one vote, (v) prohibiting any person from owning more than one membership share, (vi) requiring at least two-thirds of employees to own membership shares, and (vii) requiring that net earnings be paid or credited to members in accordance with the ratio that each member's amount of work performed during a period bears to the total amount of work performed by all members during that period.
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Thriving EconomyMinimum wage; tipped employees; classificationHB 56LISProhibits an employer from classifying an individual as a tipped employee if the individual is prohibited by applicable federal or state law or regulation from soliciting tips.
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Voter EmpowermentElections; date of June primary electionHB 57LISChanges the date of the primary election held in June from the second Tuesday in June to the third Tuesday in June. The bill also changes candidate filing deadlines to reflect the change of date.
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HealthcareBalance billing; emergency servicesHB 58LISProvides that when a covered person receives covered emergency services from an out-of-network health care provider, the covered person is not required to pay the out-of-network provider any amount other than the applicable cost-sharing requirement. The measure deletes a provision that allows an out-of-network provider to charge an individual for the balance of the provider's billed amount after applying the amount the health carrier is required to pay for such services. The measure also establishes a fourth standard for calculating the health carrier's required payment to the out-of-network provider of the emergency services, which standard is (i) the regional average for commercial payments for such service if the provider is a health care professional or (ii) the fair market value for such services if the provider is a facility. This fourth standard is the amount the health carrier is obligated to pay to the out-of-network provider if the amount is greater than any of the other three standards, which are (a) the amount negotiated with in-network providers for the emergency service or, if more than one amount is negotiated, the median of these amounts; (b) the amount for the emergency service calculated using the same method the health carrier generally uses to determine payments for out-of-network services, such as the usual, customary, and reasonable amount; or (c) the amount that would be paid under Medicare for the emergency service. The measure requires the health carrier to pay the required amount, less applicable cost-sharing requirements, directly to the out-of-network health care provider of the emergency services. If such provider determines that the amount to be paid by the health carrier does not comply with the applicable requirements, the measure requires the provider and the health carrier to make a good faith effort to reach a resolution on the appropriate amount of the reimbursement and, if a resolution is not reached, authorizes either party to request the State Corporation Commission to review the disputed reimbursement amount and determine if the amount complies with applicable requirements. The measure also provides that final diagnosis rendered to a covered person who receives emergency services for a medical condition shall not be considered in the health carrier's determination of whether the medical condition was an emergency medical condition. The measure establishes the procedure by which the regional average for commercial payments for emergency services will be calculated by the nonprofit data services organization that compiles the Virginia All-Payer Claims Database. The measure also requires health carriers to makes reports to the Bureau of Insurance and directs the Bureau to provide reports to certain committees of the General Assembly.
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EducationParental leave for school involvementHB 64LISRequires employers to grant four hours of leave annually to employees who are parents or guardians of, or who stand in loco parentis to, a school-aged child in order to attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer at the child's school, or otherwise be involved in the child's school. The employer and employee must mutually agree to the time for the leave, the leave need not be compensated, and the employer may require both 48 hours' advance notice of the leave and written verification from the school of the employee's involvement in the school.
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HealthcareHealth insurance; cost-sharing payments for prescription insulin drugsHB 66LISProhibits health insurance companies and other carriers from setting an amount exceeding $30 per 30-day supply that a covered person is required to pay at the point of sale in order to receive a covered prescription insulin drug. The measure also prohibits a provider contract between a carrier or its pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy from containing a provision (i) authorizing the carrier's pharmacy benefits manager or the pharmacy to charge, (ii) requiring the pharmacy to collect, or (iii) requiring a covered person to make a cost-sharing payment for a covered prescription insulin drug in an amount that exceeds such limitation.
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Voter EmpowermentCampaign finance; audits of campaign finance reports; certain campaign committeesHB 71LISRequires the State Board of Elections to conduct audits of the campaign finance reports filed by the campaign committees of candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and the General Assembly. The campaign committees to be audited will be selected at random, with at least 50 percent of the campaign committees for candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General and at least 10 percent of the campaign committees for candidates for the General Assembly being audited. The State Board is authorized to compel the production of all bank statements for the campaign depository; all copies of checks issued on the campaign depository; and bills, invoices, and receipts for all expenditures made by the candidate or his treasurer, of any campaign committee subject to an audit, in order to conduct the audit. The bill requires the audit to be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and any procedures adopted by the State Board, and permits the State Board to employ certified public accountants or other additional personnel to conduct the audits. If the audit results in a determination that the balance in the campaign depository does not reconcile with the amounts reported in the campaign finance reports, the State Board is required to forward its report to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth. The bill provides that discrepancies or missing information discovered during the course of an audit be handled in accordance with current law for incomplete reports, including provisions for assessing civil penalties as appropriate.
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EducationPublic schools; Mental Health First Aid trainingHB 74LISRequires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and other relevant personnel, as determined by the school board, employed on a full-time basis, to complete a Mental Health First Aid training or similar program. The bill requires each school board to provide such training and provides that a school board may contract with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a community services board, a behavioral health authority, a nonprofit organization, or other certified trainer to provide such training.
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Energy & EnvironmentElectric utilities; electric school bus pilot programHB 75LISAuthorizes Dominion Energy to implement a pilot program under which it will deploy electric school buses in participating school divisions in its service territory. The initial phase of the pilot program is limited to the deployment of 50 electric school buses at a cost of up to $13.5 million. In each of the five years thereafter, the pilot program may be expanded by up to 200 additional electric school buses at a cost of up to $54 million per year. The pilot program provides that the utility may use vehicle-to-grid technology to access electricity in the storage batteries of the electric school buses when they are not in use. The duration of the pilot program shall not exceed 10 years, though the utility may petition the State Corporation Commission to make it permanent. Program costs, including the incremental cost of the electric school buses, are recoverable through the utility's base rates.
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Energy & EnvironmentFossil fuel projects moratorium; clean energy mandates; civil penalties; Green New Deal ActHB 77LISEstablishes a moratorium, effective January 1, 2021, on approval by any state agency or political subdivision of any approval required for (i) electric generating facilities that generate fossil fuel energy through the combustion of a fossil fuel resource; (ii) import or export terminals for fossil fuel resources; (iii) certain maintenance activities relating to an import or export terminal for a fossil fuel resource; (iv) gathering lines or pipelines for the transport of any fossil fuel resource that requires the use of eminent domain on private property; (v) certain maintenance activities relating to such gathering lines or pipelines; (vi) refineries of a fossil fuel resource; and (vii) exploration for any type of fossil fuel, unless preempted by applicable federal law. The measure also requires that at least 80 percent of the electricity sold by a retail electric supplier in calendar years 2028 through 2035 be generated from clean energy resources. In calendar year 2036 and every calendar year thereafter, 100 percent of the electricity sold by a retail electric supplier is required to be generated from clean energy resources. The clean energy mandates apply to a public utility or other person that sells not less than 1,000 megawatt hours of electric energy to retail customers or generates not less than 1,000 megawatt hours of electric energy for use by the person. The Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is authorized to bring actions for injunctions to enforce these requirements. The measure requires the Department to adopt a Climate Action Plan that addresses all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, resiliency, and assistance in the transition from current energy sources to clean renewable energy. The measure provides that residents of the Commonwealth and organizations shall have the legal standing to sue to ensure that its provisions and any Climate Action Plan are enforced. The measure requires (a) a 36 percent reduction in electric energy consumption in buildings by 2035; (b) the establishment of job training programs and energy worker protections; (c) transitional assistance for workers in the fossil fuel industry and affected communities; and (d) environmental justice protections. The measure provides that any retail electric supplier that fails to meet any goal or benchmark is liable for a civil penalty equal to twice the cost of the financial investment necessary to meet such goal or mandate that was not achieved, or three times the cost of the financial investment necessary to meet such goal or benchmark that was not achieved if not met in an environmental justice community, defined in the bill.
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EducationRequired local effort for basic aid; debt service on projects in certain school divisionsHB 86LISPermits any local school board that governs a school division (i) in which the locality is designated as fiscally at-risk or fiscally distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in the most recent fiscal year or is determined to have above-average fiscal stress or high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" and (ii) for which the composite index of local ability to pay is less than or equal to 0.2000 to expend up to 25 percent of the required local effort for basic aid for debt service on school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill provides that in the event that the school division no longer meets such criteria, the local school board shall develop and implement a plan to readjust expenditures of the required local effort for basic aid over the course of no more than four fiscal years. The bill also provides that in the event that a school division that no longer met such criteria subsequently meets the criteria again after developing a plan, the local school board may seek the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to amend such plan. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2032.

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Voter EmpowermentElections; campaign finance; filing schedule for persons with multiple campaign committeesHB 88LISRequires any person who is named as the candidate on the statement of organization for more than one campaign committee to file reports for all such committees on the same schedule as any such committee.
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Voter EmpowermentCongressional and state legislative districts; written descriptions of boundaries not requiredHB 105LISRemoves the requirement that the Division of Legislative Services prepare written descriptions of the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. The bill does not affect provisions under current law that district boundaries are legally defined by the county and city boundaries reported in the decennial Census reports and by reference to precincts, parts of precincts, and census blocks listed in the Statistical Reports for each district.

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Voter EmpowermentLegal holidays; Lee-Jackson Day; Election DayHB 108LISDesignates Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as a state holiday and removes Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday.
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EducationPublic elementary and secondary school students; suspension and expulsion; sufficient causeHB 109LISProvides that in no case shall sufficient cause for the suspension or expulsion of a student from attendance at a public elementary or secondary school include only instances of truancy or nonviolent behavior. Current law provides that in no cases may sufficient cause for suspensions include only instances of truancy.
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Energy & EnvironmentRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; trading allowance reserve account; facilities with long-term contractsHB 110LISProvides that if the Commonwealth becomes a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or another carbon dioxide cap and trade program with an open auction of allowances, the Department of Environmental Quality shall establish an allowance reserve account for any electric generation facility that operates according to a long-term contract that was executed prior to May 16, 2017, and prohibits the recovery of allowance costs. The bill provides that such a facility shall be allocated free allowances from the reserve account sufficient to cover its annual compliance obligation for the duration of the long-term contract.
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Voter EmpowermentCampaign finance; prohibited contributions to candidatesHB 111LISProhibits any candidate from soliciting or accepting a contribution from any public service corporation, as defined in § 56-1, or any political action committee established and administered by such a corporation.
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EducationPublic schools; standard diploma requirements; dual-enrollment and work-based learning optionsHB 112LISRequires the Board of Education to include in its standard diploma graduation requirements the options for students to complete a dual-enrollment course or high-quality work-based learning experience.
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HealthcarePrograms to address career fatigue and wellness in certain health care providers; civil immunityHB 115LISExpands civil immunity for health care professionals serving as members of or consultants to entities that function primarily to review, evaluate, or make recommendations related to health care services to include health care professionals serving as members of or consultants to entities that function primarily to address issues related to career fatigue and wellness in health care professionals licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine or licensed as a physician assistant. The bill also clarifies that, absent evidence indicating a reasonable probability that a health care professional who is a participant in a professional program to address issues related to career fatigue or wellness is not competent to continue in practice or is a danger to himself, his patients, or the public, participation in such a professional program does not trigger the requirement that the health care professional be reported to the Department of Health Professions. The bill contains an emergency clause.

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Thriving EconomyWorkers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseasesHB 121LISAdds cancers of the colon, brain, and testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer.
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Thriving EconomyVirginia Minority Business Commission; reportHB 124LISEstablishes a 13-member legislative Commission to promote the growth and competitiveness of Virginia minority-owned businesses. The bill provides that the Commission sunsets on July 1, 2023.
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Energy & EnvironmentIncreasing the maximum allowable rates of special regulatory taxes that can be imposed by the State Corporation Commission on public service companiesHB 129LISIncreases the maximum allowable rates of several taxes, known as special regulatory taxes, that apply to public service companies such as those that provide water, heat, light, or power. The bill increases the maximum allowable rate of the gross receipts tax from 0.2 percent to 0.26 percent, increases the maximum allowable rates of three electricity consumption taxes that are measured per kilowatt hour, and increases the maximum allowable rate of the natural gas consumption tax from $0.0020 per cubic foot to $0.0026 per cubic foot.
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Voter EmpowermentSample ballots; color of paper of unofficial sample ballotsHB 146LISRemoves the restriction on unofficial sample ballots being printed on yellow paper. With this bill, unofficial sample ballots are prohibited only from being printed on white paper. The bill contains technical amendments for clarity and readability.

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Thriving EconomyHousing authorities; housing research and studiesHB 147LISRequires the Virginia Housing Development Authority and local housing development authorities to undertake and carry out studies and analyses of housing needs and the meeting of such needs and to make the results of such studies and analyses available to the public and the building, housing, and supply industries. The bill also allows the Virginia Housing Development Authority to engage in research and disseminate information on the subject of housing.
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Thriving EconomyRight to workHB 153LISRepeals the provisions of the Code of Virginia that, among other things, prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership in the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise.
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HealthcareTeledentistry.HB 165LISDefines "teledentistry," establishes requirements for the practice of teledentistry, establishes requirements for the taking of dental scans for use in teledentistry by dental scan technicians, and clarifies requirements related to the use of digital work orders for dental appliances in the practice of teledentistry.

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Energy & EnvironmentElectric utilities; fuel cost recoveryHB 167LISRequires an electric utility, as a condition of approval of any request by an electric utility for recovery through its fuel factor of costs incurred under a natural gas capacity contract not previously subject to review in a fuel factor case, to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the utility has (i) determined that the utility cannot meet its service obligations without an additional fuel resource; (ii) identified and determined the date and amount of the new fuel resource it needs; (iii) objectively studied all available alternative fuel resource options, including options other than a new capacity contract or contracts to meet the identified and determined need; and (iv) determined that the pipeline capacity contract or contracts are the lowest-cost available option, taking into consideration fixed and variable costs and a reasonable projection of utilization.
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Voter EmpowermentPresidential electors; National Popular Vote CompactHB 177LISEnters Virginia into an interstate compact known as the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. Article II of the Constitution of the United States gives the states exclusive and plenary authority to decide the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact. A state may withdraw from the compact; however, a withdrawal occurring within six months of the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President has qualified to serve the next term.

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Voter EmpowermentDetermination of tie votes; recounts; special electionsHB 178LISProvides that, in elections for the General Assembly and local offices, if two or more persons have an equal number of votes, and a higher number than any other person, there shall be a recount of the vote without any action being required by any of the candidates receiving the equal number of votes. The bill also provides that, except in the case of a recount of an election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General, if the recount court finds that each party to the recount has received an equal number of votes, there shall be a special election held to determine which candidate is elected to the office. Only one recount of any election is permitted.
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Voter EmpowermentRecounts; procedure for certain ballotsHB 179LISRequires recount officials to segregate all ballots for which there is a question regarding the ballot's validity prior to the conclusion of the recount of each precinct. The bill provides that the recount court may not consider the validity of any ballots not set aside prior to the conclusion of the recount of each precinct.
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Voter EmpowermentGeneral Assembly meetings; streaming and recordingHB 182LISRequires the Clerk of the House of Delegates and the Clerk of the Senate to ensure that every (i) subcommittee or committee meeting of a standing committee of the General Assembly, regardless of meeting date, and (ii) floor session of the House of Delegates or the Senate, including any joint session of the houses, is streamed with closed captioning, recorded and archived. The bill defines "stream" and specifies that a qualifying meeting is one the date and time of which have been scheduled on a public website of any agency of the General Assembly for at least one hour prior to the meeting and that takes place in the State Capitol, the Pocahontas Building, or the General Assembly Building in Richmond. The bill has a delayed effective date of October 1, 2020.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter registration by mail; certain first-time voters permitted to vote by absentee ballotHB 185LISAdds to the list of exceptions to the requirement that first-time voters who registered to vote by mail must vote in person those voters who are entitled under current law to vote by absentee ballot because they are confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor.

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Voter EmpowermentElection day page program; central absentee voter precinctHB 186LISRemoves the prohibition against an election day page program being conducted in a central absentee voter precinct.

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Voter EmpowermentElections; same-day registration; in-person absentee and election day votingHB 187LISProvides an exception to the closing of registration records for any person who (i) is qualified to register to vote, (ii) is unregistered or registered in a locality in which the person no longer resides but is otherwise entitled to vote by absentee ballot, (iii) desires to vote absentee in person at the time that they present themselves to be registered, and (iv) provides proof of residency. The bill also permits same-day registrants to vote absentee and provides an excuse for election day absentee voting for such voters. The bill requires all voters who register to vote under the provisions of this bill to fill out an absentee application, including the required oath, in order to vote.
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HealthcareHealth care services; payment estimatesHB 188LISRequires hospitals and practitioners licensed by the Board of Medicine to provide a patient or the representative of a patient scheduled to receive a nonemergency procedure, test, or service to be performed by the hospital or practitioner with an estimate of the payment amount for which the patient will be responsible no later than one week after the scheduling of such procedure, test, or service. Currently, only hospitals are required to provide such estimate, and such estimate is required only (i) for elective procedures, tests, or services; (ii) within three days of the procedure, test, or service; and (iii) upon request of the patient or his representative.
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HealthcareBalance billing; emergency servicesHB 189LISProvides that when a covered person receives covered emergency services from an out-of-network health care provider, the covered person is not required to pay the out-of-network provider any amount other than the applicable cost-sharing requirement. The measure deletes a provision that allows an out-of-network provider to charge an individual for the balance of the provider's billed amount after applying the amount the health carrier is required to pay for such services. The measure also establishes a fourth standard for calculating the health carrier's required payment to the out-of-network provider of the emergency services, which standard is (i) the regional average for commercial payments for such service if the provider is a health care professional or (ii) the fair market value for such services if the provider is a facility. This fourth standard is the amount the health carrier is obligated to pay to the out-of-network provider if the amount is greater than any of the other three standards, which are (a) the amount negotiated with in-network providers for the emergency service or, if more than one amount is negotiated, the median of these amounts; (b) the amount for the emergency service calculated using the same method the health carrier generally uses to determine payments for out-of-network services, such as the usual, customary, and reasonable amount; or (c) the amount that would be paid under Medicare for the emergency service. The measure requires the health carrier to pay the required amount, less applicable cost-sharing requirements, directly to the out-of-network health care provider of the emergency services. If such provider determines that the amount to be paid by the health carrier does not comply with the applicable requirements, the measure requires the provider and the health carrier to make a good faith effort to reach a resolution on the appropriate amount of the reimbursement and, if a resolution is not reached, authorizes either party to request the State Corporation Commission to review the disputed reimbursement amount and determine if the amount complies with applicable requirements. The measure also provides that final diagnosis rendered to a covered person who receives emergency services for a medical condition shall not be considered in the health carrier's determination of whether the medical condition was an emergency medical condition. The measure establishes the procedure by which the regional average for commercial payments for emergency services will be calculated by the nonprofit data services organization that compiles the Virginia All-Payer Claims Database. The measure also requires health carriers to makes reports to the Bureau of Insurance and directs the Bureau to provide reports to certain committees of the General Assembly.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter identification; repeal of photo identification requirements; additional forms of identification accepted; signed statement in lieu of required form of identification; penaltyHB 190LISRemoves the requirement that voters show a form of identification containing a photograph in order to be allowed to vote. The bill requires a voter to show one of the following: his voter registration confirmation documents; his valid Virginia driver's license, his valid United States passport, or any other identification issued by the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth or any private school located in the Commonwealth; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. A voter who does not show one of the required forms of identification when offering to vote is required to sign a statement that he is the named registered voter he claims to be in order to be permitted to cast a ballot. Such statement is signed subject to felony penalties for making false statements, punishable as a Class 5 felony. A voter who does not show one of the required forms of identification and does not complete or sign the statement shall be offered a provisional ballot according to the provisions of current law. The bill adds language regarding identification requirements for certain voters pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; counting military and overseas absentee ballots received after close of polls on election dayHB 191LISProvides that absentee ballots cast by military and overseas absentee voters that are (i) received after the close of the polls on any election day but before 5:00 p.m. on the second business day before the State Board meets to ascertain the results of the election and (ii) postmarked on or before the date of such election are to be counted if the voter is found entitled to vote. Under current law, such ballots cast by military and overseas absentee voters are counted in this manner regardless of the date of any postmark if the absentee ballot was requested on or before, but not sent by, the deadline for making absentee ballots available. The bill provides that a postmark includes any other official indicia of confirmation of mailing by the United States Postal Service or other postal or delivery service.
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EducationState Board for Community Colleges; degree completion agreements; plan and frameworkHB 194LISRequires the State Board for Community Colleges to develop and distribute to each comprehensive community college, no later than December 31, 2020, a plan and framework for agreements between two or more comprehensive community colleges that would facilitate associate degree completion by enhancing access to coursework at each such institution through online education and other innovative distance education methods.

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EducationState Council of Higher Education for Virginia; course credit for dual enrollment; strategies for enhancing opportunitiesHB 195LISRequires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in consultation with each public institution of higher education and in collaboration with the Department of Education, to include in its policy for granting undergraduate course credit to any entering student who has successfully completed a dual enrollment course strategies for public high schools and institutions of higher education to enhance dual enrollment opportunities for students.
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EducationDepartment of Education; financial literacy objectives; mathematics Standards of Learning; reportHB 197LISRequires the Department of Education to determine and report to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 2020, the feasibility of incorporating the Board of Education's student financial literacy objectives into the appropriate pre-high school mathematics Standards of Learning.
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Voter EmpowermentRecounts; special election to be held in the case of a tie voteHB 198LISProvides that if, after a recount of an election, the recount court finds that each party to the recount has received an equal number of votes, there shall be a special election to determine which candidate is elected to the office. This provision would not apply in cases of recounts of elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General; the Constitution of Virginia sets out the process for determining a winner in the case of tie votes for statewide offices.
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Voter EmpowermentPresidential electors; National Popular Vote CompactHB 199LISEnters Virginia into an interstate compact known as the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. Article II of the Constitution of the United States gives the states exclusive and plenary authority to decide the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Under the compact, Virginia agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact goes into effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have joined the compact. A state may withdraw from the compact; however, a withdrawal occurring within six months of the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President has qualified to serve the next term.
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Voter EmpowermentElections; same-day registration; in-person absentee and election day votingHB 201LISProvides an exception to the closing of registration records for any person who (i) is qualified to register to vote, (ii) is unregistered or registered in a locality in which the person no longer resides but is otherwise entitled to vote by absentee ballot, (iii) desires to vote absentee in person at the time that they present themselves to be registered, and (iv) provides proof of residency. The bill also permits same-day registrants to vote absentee and provides an excuse for election day absentee voting for such voters. The bill requires all voters who register to vote under the provisions of this bill to fill out an absentee application, including the required oath, in order to vote. This bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2022.
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Voter EmpowermentOfficers of election; timing of additional training following change in law or regulationHB 202LISRequires the additional training for officers of elections occurring after a change in an election law or regulation to take place not less than three days prior to the first election occurring after the law or regulation has taken effect. Under current law, such training is required to take place not later than three days prior to the November general election following the enactment of the law or regulation.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; counting military and overseas absentee ballots received after close of polls on election dayHB 203LISProvides that absentee ballots cast by military and overseas absentee voters that are (i) received after the close of the polls on any election day but before 5:00 p.m. on the second business day before the State Board of Elections meets to ascertain the results of the election and (ii) postmarked on or before the date of such election are to be counted if the voter is found entitled to vote. The bill provides that a postmark includes any other official indicia of confirmation of mailing by the United States Postal Service or other postal or delivery service. Under current law, such ballots cast by military and overseas absentee voters would be counted in this manner regardless of the date of any postmark, but only if the absentee ballot had been requested on or before, but not sent by, the deadline for making absentee ballots available.
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Energy & EnvironmentSmall renewable energy projects; permit by rule processHB 205LISProvides that any proposed wind energy project with a project boundary located less than two miles from a jurisdictional boundary is not qualified for a permit by rule from the Department of Environmental Quality. The measure also (i) requires the engineering certification for a wind energy project to state the amount of energy projected to be generated by the facility, on an annual average basis, based on wind studies conducted at the proposed project site for a minimum of two years; (ii) requires the Department to hold a public hearing; (iii) limits eligibility for wind-powered generation facilities to make use of the permit by rule process to those that have a rated capacity not exceeding 100 megawatts and disturb fewer than 50 acres in the complete construction of the project including access roads; and (iv) reduces the maximum capacity for facilities that generate electricity only from sunlight from 150 megawatts to 100 megawatts.
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Energy & EnvironmentElectric utility regulation; retail customer choiceHB 206LISReplaces the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act with a system under which retail customers will be able to purchase electricity from the retail electric provider of their choice. The measure requires each incumbent investor-owned utility, electric cooperative, and municipal electric authority by January 10, 2021, to file with the State Corporation Commission a plan by which it will separate its customer energy services business activities that are otherwise also already widely available in the competitive market from its regulated utility activities by September 1, 2021, and to separate its business activities into an electric distribution utility, an electric transmission utility, a power generation company, and a retail electric provider, or into a single electric transmission and distribution utility, by January 1, 2022. Such separation may be accomplished by creating separate investor-owned companies, cooperatives, or municipal electric authorities or through the sale of assets to a third party. The measure provides consumer safeguards, including requirements that a retail customer have the right to choose a retail electric provider and to have access to providers of energy efficiency services, to on-site distributed generation, and to providers of energy generated by renewable energy resources. When customer choice commences, a retail electric provider that is serving a retail customer on December 31, 2021, may continue to serve that customer until the customer chooses service from a different retail electric provider. If the Commission determines that a region served by an incumbent electric utility is unable to offer fair competition and reliable service to all retail customer classes on January 1, 2022, the measure requires the Commission to delay customer choice for the region. The Commission may use pilot projects to evaluate the ability of each region served by an incumbent electric utility to implement customer choice. After January 1, 2022, an incumbent electric utility may not sell electricity or otherwise participate in the market for electricity except for the purpose of buying electricity to serve its own needs or while competition for the region served by the utility is delayed. The measure requires the Commission to designate, through a bid process or other method, retail electric providers to serve as providers of last resort, which will be required to offer a customer retail service at a rate approved by the Commission. Metering services will be provided by an area's incumbent electric utility or the electric distribution utility separated from the incumbent electric utility. Each electric distribution utility is required to bill a customer's retail electric provider for non-bypassable delivery charges equal to the sum of electric utility charges by customer class based on a forecasted 2022 test year and the generic customer classes and generic rate design established by the Commission and a system benefit fund fee. The system benefit fund fee will be allocated to retail electric customers on the basis of the amount of kilowatt hours used and will be set by the Commission in an amount to cover the costs of customer education programs, a percentage of income payment plan, weatherization programs, and energy efficiency programs. The measure requires electric distribution utilities to deploy advanced metering and meter information networks for all of their residential customers and nonresidential customers within three years after the start date of customer choice, the costs of which shall be recovered by a non-bypassable surcharge. The measure authorizes the Commission to mitigate market power abuses associated with the transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity. The measure requires the Commission by March 1, 2021, to establish an independent distribution system operator (IDSO) that will operate and plan the distribution systems of all electric distribution utilities and perform other duties, including ensuring open access to the distribution systems for all buyers and sellers of electricity on nondiscriminatory terms. The IDSO's costs will be recovered through a reasonable and competitively neutral rate or fee that is within a range determined by the Commission. Distribution utilities are required to transfer the management and control of their distribution system assets to the IDSO and to observe the IDSO's policies, rules, guidelines, and procedures. By January 1, 2021, each electric utility is required to file proposed tariffs for its open-access distribution service, and the Commission is required to set tariffs for electric utility services and the system benefit fund fee for each utility by January 1, 2022. The rates are required to afford the utility a reasonable opportunity to recover its reasonable costs and a reasonable rate of return, fairly allocate the utility's costs among customers, and provide an appropriate price signal to customers with respect to renewable energy. The measure requires incumbent retail electric providers to make available from January 1, 2022, until January 1, 2027, to residential and small commercial retail electric customers in its former service area utility "price to beat rates" that are six percent less than the incumbent electric utility's corresponding average rates that were in effect on January 1, 2019, adjusted to reflect the wholesale power cost basis. Incumbent retail electric providers are prohibited from charging these customers rates that are different from the price to beat until the earlier of 36 months after the date customer choice is introduced or the date that at least 40 percent of the electric power consumed in the utility's service area before customer choice is committed to be served by independent retail electric providers. The measure requires that retail electric providers be certified by the Commission and that aggregators register with the Commission. The measure establishes a Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) providing financial assistance for residential customers whose household income is at or below 150 percent of the federal nonfarm poverty level. Under the PIPP, the level of payment responsibility to be borne by an eligible customer is based on a percentage of the customer's income. Participants in the PIPP will receive a monthly credit for the amount by which the participant's actual monthly bill for electric service or the statewide average monthly bill amount for that month, whichever is less, exceeds 10 percent of the participant's monthly household income if the participant's residence's primary source of space heating is electricity or six percent of the participant's monthly household income if the participant's residence's primary source of space heating is natural gas or propane. The Commission is also required to establish and implement a home weatherization program. The measure requires the IDSO to identify the achievable cost-effective energy efficiency potential for each electric distribution utility service area in the Commonwealth and, if it determines that an electric distribution utility service area has achievable cost-effective energy efficiency potential, to issue a solicitation for bids from persons to develop and implement energy efficiency programs that achieve this potential. The measure authorizes any distributed electricity generation owner to connect distributed electricity generation to an electric distribution utility system and authorizes a retail electric provider to contract with a distributed electricity generation owner to provide that surplus electricity produced by distributed electricity generation is made available for sale to the retail electric provider and that the net value of that surplus electricity valued at the energy price at the location of the distributed electricity generator is credited to the distributed electricity generation owner. The measure provides that electric authorities and municipalities that provide electric transmission or distribution service are subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission. The measure recasts the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation as the Commission on Retail Electric Choice and extends its sunset until July 1, 2022. The measure limits the powers of electric cooperatives and eliminates their authority to operate prepaid metering systems. The measure eliminates the requirement that the Commission find that a utility's proposed construction of a new generation facility of 100 megawatts or more is necessary to enable the utility to furnish reasonably adequate service and facilities at reasonable and just rates. The measure also provides that customers who are participating in net energy metering programs and third party power purchase programs may continue to do so under certain circumstances.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; no excuse; permanent absentee voter listHB 207LISPermits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code. The bill also provides for a special application by which any registered voter may apply to receive absentee ballots for all elections in which he is eligible to vote. A voter on the permanent absentee voter list remains on the list until the voter requests in writing to be removed from the list, the voter's registration is canceled or placed on inactive status pursuant to law, or an absentee ballot sent to the voter is returned as undeliverable.
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Voter EmpowermentElections; absentee voting by persons age 65 or olderHB 208LISEntitles persons who will be age 65 or older on the date of an election for which an absentee ballot is requested to vote absentee.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; no excuse requiredHB 209LISPermits any registered voter to vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he is qualified to vote. The bill removes the current list of statutory reasons under which a person may be entitled to vote by absentee ballot and removes references to those reasons from other sections of the Code.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter identification; accepted forms of identification; student identification card issued by out-of-state institution of higher educationHB 213LISAdds to the list of acceptable forms of voter identification a valid student photo identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in any other state or territory of the United States. Current law allows students from any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth to use their student photo identification cards for purposes of voting.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter registration; preregistration for persons age 16 or olderHB 215LISPermits a person who is otherwise qualified to register to vote and is 16 years of age or older, but who will not be 18 years of age on or before the day of the next general election, to preregister to vote. The preregistration does not entitle such a person to vote in any election except as already permitted by law. The bill requires the Department of Elections to maintain a record of all preregistered voters in the Virginia voter registration system, which shall automatically register a person who is preregistered upon that person reaching 18 years or age or becoming eligible for advance registration as already permitted by law, whichever comes first. The bill requires the Department to provide to the general registrars voter confirmation documents for such voters.
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Voter EmpowermentNomination of candidates for elected offices; primary election or partisan nomination process required; restrictions on nomination method selected by political party; party identification on ballotsHB 216LISRequires each candidate who has been nominated by a political party or in a primary election to be identified by the name of his political party. The bill removes the restrictions on candidates for elected school boards and soil and water conservation districts from being nominated by a partisan nomination method or at a primary election. The bill further provides that a political party committee may not select a nomination method that will have the practical effect of excluding participation in the nominating process by qualified voters who are unable to attend meetings because they are (i) a member of a uniformed service, as defined in § 24.2-452, on active duty; (ii) temporarily residing outside of the United States; (iii) a student attending a school or institution of higher education; or (iv) a person with a disability.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter registration; automatic voter registrationHB 219LISProvides for the automatic electronic transmission by the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Department of Elections of certain information for any individual who (i) is not registered to vote; (ii) is of sufficient age to register to vote; (iii) conducts a transaction with the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a new driver's license or special identification card or replace, renew, or update an existing driver's license or special identification card; and (iv) in the course of such transaction provides documentation demonstrating United States citizenship or answers affirmatively when asked if he is a United States citizen. Any such individual is given a printed registration notice that (a) states that the individual will be registered to vote based on the information provided and that the individual should decline registration if he does not meet eligibility requirements, (b) explains the eligibility requirements, and (c) provides instructions for how he may decline registration. The Department of Elections is required to transmit the information to the appropriate general registrar, along with any information indicating ineligibility. The Department of Elections is required to establish security requirements for transmission of information about potential registered voters and to report certain information regarding voter registration. The bill removes the requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles offer, accept, receive, and send voter registration applications.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; postage prepaid on return envelopeHB 220LISRequires the envelope provided to an absentee voter for the return of the absentee ballot to include prepaid postage.
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EducationDepartment of Education; recommendations for improving civic educationHB 223LISRequires the Department of Education to develop and report to the Board of Education, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than July 1, 2021, recommendations for improving civic education for each public elementary and secondary school student in the Commonwealth, including strategies for (i) expanding their level of civic knowledge, (ii) increasing their respect for the political history of the Commonwealth and the United States, (iii) mitigating the politically polarizing effects that the mainstream media can have on such students, and (iv) helping such students become civically and politically engaged in a rational and civil manner.
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EducationStudents who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programsHB 226LISProhibits public schools from joining an organization governing interscholastic programs that does not deem eligible for participation a student who (i) receives home instruction; (ii) has demonstrated evidence of progress for two consecutive academic years; (iii) is in compliance with immunization requirements; (iv) is entitled to free tuition in a public school; (v) has not reached the age of 19 by August 1 of the current academic year; (vi) is an amateur who receives no compensation but participates solely for the educational, physical, mental, and social benefits of the activity; (vii) complies with all disciplinary rules and is subject to all codes of conduct applicable to all public high school athletes; and (viii) complies with all other rules governing awards, all-star games, maximum consecutive semesters of high school enrollment, parental consents, physical examinations, and transfers applicable to all high school athletes. The bill provides that no local school board is required to establish a policy to permit students who receive home instruction to participate in interscholastic programs. The bill permits reasonable fees to be charged to students who receive home instruction to cover the costs of participation in such interscholastic programs, including the costs of additional insurance, uniforms, and equipment. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2025.
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EducationHigher education; students and student organizations; remedies for certain violationsHB 228LISPermits any student or student organization aggrieved by a violation of certain provisions of law relating to campus free speech by a public institution of higher education or any employee of such institution acting in his official capacity to (i) bring a cause of action against such institution or employee for appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, monetary damages, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs; (ii) assert such violation as a defense or counterclaim in any disciplinary action or civil or administrative proceeding brought against such student or student organization; and (iii) pursue any other remedy available to such student or student organization.
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EducationPublic institutions of higher education; per student enrollment-based funding; noncredit workforce training programsHB 229LISRequires the per student enrollment-based funding provided to public institutions of higher education to include funding for each Virginia student enrolled in a noncredit workforce training program. Under current law, per student enrollment-based funding follows each Virginia undergraduate student.
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EducationChildren with disabilities; alternative placements; state fundsHB 231LISRequires the parent of any child with a disability who is placed in a public school pursuant to his individualized education program who subsequently places his child in a nonpublic school setting to receive from the school board, upon request, the applicable Standards of Quality per pupil state funds appropriated for public school purposes and apportioned to the school division, including the per pupil share of state sales tax funding in basic aid and any state per pupil share of special education funding for which the child is eligible, to pay for tuition and fees associated with such nonpublic school setting, subject to such rules, regulations, or procedures as the Department of Education may establish. The bill requires each such parent to submit annually to the division superintendent an evaluation or assessment that indicates that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress.
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Voter EmpowermentDistribution of mail voter registration application forms; certain public and private institutions of higher educationHB 232LISRequires the Department of Elections to provide a reasonable number of mail voter registration application forms to public institutions of higher education, nonprofit private institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program, and any other education institution that is authorized to issue bonds. The bill requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to assist the Department by providing a list of such institutions and by requesting those institutions to make the mail voter registration application forms available to students.
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EducationTeacher compensation; at or above national averageHB 233LISRequires public school teachers to be compensated at a rate that is at or above the national average. Under current law, compensation at such rate is aspirational. The foregoing provisions of the bill have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2025. The bill requires funding to be provided on an incremental basis pursuant to the general appropriation act to implement such teacher compensation rate by the effective date.
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Energy & EnvironmentSecretary of Commerce and Trade; development of a Virginia Offshore Wind Master PlanHB 234LISDirects the Secretary of Commerce and Trade to develop a Virginia Offshore Wind Master Plan that identifies specific measures that will facilitate the establishment of the Hampton Roads region as a wind industry hub for wind energy projects off the nation's Atlantic coast and incentivize the creation of employment opportunities in offshore wind projects and related infrastructure. The plan is to be developed in consultation with the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority and a work group composed of representatives of interested persons. The measure requires the Secretary to submit the plan to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2020.
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Voter EmpowermentVoter registration; automatic voter registrationHB 235LISProvides for the automatic electronic transmission by the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Department of Elections of certain information for any person coming into an office of the Department of Motor Vehicles or accessing its website in order to (i) apply for, replace, or renew a driver's license; (ii) apply for, replace, or renew a special identification card; or (iii) change an address on an existing driver's license or special identification card if the person indicates that he is a United States citizen and is 17 years of age or older and, at the time of the transaction, does not decline to have his information transmitted to the Department of Elections for voter registration purposes. The option to decline to have his information so transmitted shall be presented at the time of one of the specified transactions with the Department of Motor Vehicles and shall be accompanied by a warning that intentionally making a materially false statement during the transaction is punishable under Virginia law as a felony. Upon receipt of the information collected to ensure that the person meets all voter registration eligibility requirements, the Department of Elections is required to determine whether the person is already registered to vote. If the person is not already registered to vote, the Department of Elections is required to transmit the information to the appropriate general registrar. The bill repeals the requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles offer, accept, receive, and send voter registration applications.
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Voter EmpowermentState Board of Elections; increasing membership and terms; Commissioner of Elections; role and eligibility; reportHB 236LISIncreases the membership of the State Board of Elections from three members to five members and increases the terms of Board members from four years to five years. Representation is given to each of the political parties having the highest and next highest number of votes in the Commonwealth at the preceding gubernatorial election, with three Board members being of the party of the Governor. Terms are initially staggered. The bill provides that a Commissioner of Elections, who acts as the principal administrative officer of the Department of Elections, shall be appointed by the Governor. Persons engaging in certain partisan activities, persons related to persons engaging in certain partisan activities, and persons related to members of the State Board are prohibited from serving as the Commissioner of Elections.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; deadline for returning absentee ballotHB 238LISProvides that any absentee ballot that is returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted if the voter is found entitled to vote. The bill contains technical amendments.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; deadline for applying for an absentee ballot to cast other than in personHB 239LISExtends the deadline for a voter to apply for an absentee ballot that is to be cast by mail from the seventh day prior to the election to the eleventh day prior to the election. The bill also adjusts the deadline for applications for multiple elections for uniformed and overseas voters and for emergency applications and absentee ballots for persons incapacitated or hospitalized.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; annual applications for eligible absentee votersHB 240LISProvides that any person who is eligible for an absentee ballot pursuant to law and who is likely to remain so eligible for the remainder of the calendar year shall be eligible to file a special annual application to receive ballots for all elections in which he is eligible to vote in that calendar year. This application requires a statement signed by the voter that he is eligible for an absentee ballot pursuant to law and is likely to remain so eligible for the remainder of the calendar year. Under current law, such a special annual application is available to persons who are eligible to vote absentee due to a disability or illness and are likely to remain eligible to vote absentee due to such disability or illness.
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Voter EmpowermentProtected voter status; certain evidence not requiredHB 241LISRemoves the requirement that a person who is in fear for his personal safety from another person who has threatened or stalked him must provide evidence that he has filed a complaint with a magistrate or law-enforcement official against such other person in order to be granted protected voter status. The bill does not eliminate the requirement that he submit a signed written statement that he is in fear for his personal safety for him to be granted protected voter status.
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Voter EmpowermentAbsentee voting; emergency votingHB 242LISProvides a process by which a qualified voter is permitted to vote by absentee ballot when an emergency either prevented him from applying for an absentee ballot by the deadline or will prevent him from voting in person on election day. The bill also provides for the Commissioner of Elections to take administrative action to facilitate absentee voting by those persons providing emergency or other services in an area in which a state of emergency has been declared. The bill contains technical amendments that consolidate current Code sections regarding emergency absentee voting.
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EducationDisorderly conduct; studentsHB 256LISProvides that a student at any elementary or secondary school is not guilty of disorderly conduct in a public place if the disorderly conduct occurred on school property or a school bus.
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