Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond

The Virginia General Assembly meets in the state capitol building in Richmond.

The Virginia General Assembly will convene beginning today in a special session that may last a maximum of 30 days. Legislators will address Virginia’s biennial budget, which has been severely impacted by the ongoing global pandemic. In addition, Gov. Ralph Northam has said he is proposing several measures to advance equity, reform policing and protect the safety, health and welfare of Virginians during this crisis.

The following legislation will be discussed during the session.

 COVID-related bills

  • HB 5019, introduced by Chris S. Runion (R-Rockingham)

Provides immunity for certain people from civil causes of action arising from any act or omission alleged to have resulted in the contraction of or exposure to the COVID-19 virus and provides immunity to persons who design, manufacture, label, or distribute any personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 virus from any civil cause of action arising out of the use of such equipment. 

  • HJ 5002, introduced by Dave A. LaRock (R-Hamilton)

Encourages making hydroxychloroquine available for treating COVID-19.

  • HB 5028, introduced Jerrauld C. "Jay" Jones (D-Norfolk)

Establishes a presumption that COVID-19 causing the death or disability of firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law-enforcement officers, first responders, health care providers, and school board employees is an occupational diseases compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. The provisions of the bill will be effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.

  • SB 5022 introduced by Jennifer A. Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach)

Establishes a presumption that COVID-19 causing the death or disability of firefighters or other certain employees is an occupational disease compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act

Tax-related bills

     •  HB 5002, introduced by Joseph P. McNamara (R-Roanoke)

Establishes an income tax subtraction for forgiveness of indebtedness on a loan received under the CARES Act through the Paycheck Protection Plan. The subtraction would be available starting in taxable year 2020.

     •    HB 5003, introduced by Joseph P. McNamara (R-Roanoke)

Directs the Department of Taxation to waive penalties for late payment of the litter tax for the taxable year beginning June 1, 2019, and ending May 31. The Department would refund any penalties already paid, provided that the tax is paid in full by Dec. 31.

    •    HB 5006, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Waives penalties and interest for six months for taxpayers who suffered a job loss, business closure or reduction in business operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The waivers apply to sales and use taxes and all local taxes that were due during a period in which the job loss, closure or reduction in operations occurred and income taxes for such taxpayers for taxable year 2019.

  • HB 5014, introduced by Jeffrey M. Bourne (D-Richmond)

Suspends temporarily the due dates and deadlines for certain fines and costs, along with the accrual of interest on such fines and costs. The provisions of the bill expire on May 1, 2021.

State of emergency-related bills

  • HB 5007, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Provides that executive orders declaring a state of emergency, and any other executive orders pertaining to such emergency, shall not have any effect beyond 30 days after the date of issuance, unless the General Assembly takes action to grant the governor additional authority to extend such an order. The bill also changes the penalty for a violation of certain executive orders from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a civil penalty of no more than $100 per violation

  • HB 5010, introduced by Les R. Adams (R-Chatham)

Limits the duration of any executive order issued by the governor pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law to no more than 60 days from the date of issuance. The bill provides that if the General Assembly does not take any action on the rule, regulation, or order within the 60 days during which the rule, regulation, or order is effective, the governor shall thereafter be prohibited from issuing the same or a similar rule, regulation, or order relating to the same emergency. 

  • HB 5025, introduced by: Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Provides that no executive order or order of the board or commissioner of health relating to a communicable disease of public health threat may impose any restriction on an individual who is not known or suspected to be infected with the disease or known to have been exposed to an individual who is known or suspected to be infected with such communicable disease of public health threat.

  • HJ 5001, introduced by Tony O. Wilt (R-Harrisonburg)

Limits the authority of the governor to issue an executive order declaring a state of emergency that restricts, limits, or prohibits otherwise lawful action by a private business, nonprofit entity, or individual for a period more than 45 days in duration without approval by the General Assembly. 

  • HJ 5003, introduced by: Michael J. Webert (R-Fauquier)

Requires the governor to convene a special session whenever declaring a state of emergency for a period that exceeds 90 days or whenever extending a state of emergency for a period that exceeds 90 days.

  • SB 5001, introduced by Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg)

Limits the duration of any executive order issued by the governor pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law to no more than 30 days from the date of issuance. 

  • SB 5008, introduced by David R. Suetterlein (R-Salem)

Limits the duration of any executive order issued by the governor pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law to no more than 45 days from the date of issuance. 

  • SB 5025, introduced by Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg)

Provides that any emergency order or regulation adopted by the Board of Health shall be valid for no more than 30 days and that such order may be extended by the Board of Health for a subsequent period of 30 days.

  • SB 5026, introduced by Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg)

Requires the commissioner of health to make available to the public information about confirmed cases of a communicable disease at nursing homes in the commonwealth when a public health emergency related to such communicable disease has been declared. 

  • SB 5039, introduced by David W. Marsden (D-Fairfax)

Grants the governor authority, during a disaster caused by a communicable disease of public health threat for which a state of emergency has been declared, to establish a program through which the governor may purchase personal protective equipment for private, non-governmental entities.

Education-related bills

  • HB 5008, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Requires, in the event that a public school in the commonwealth is closed for in-person instruction for 30 or more days during a school year, the parent of an enrolled student who withdraws his child to receive, upon request, an education voucher to cover the expenses of providing home instruction or tuition and fees at a nonpublic school for such student for the remainder of the school year. 

  • HB 5009, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Requires each school board to provide in-person instruction to any student whose primary residence is not capable of receiving internet access at speeds greater than 10 MBps download speed and one MBps upload speed. 

  • HB 5011, introduced by Michael J. Webert (R-Fauquier)

Requires, in the event that any school board does not provide the option of in-person instruction as the sole method of instruction for any enrolled student, the parent of any such student who withdraws his child to receive, upon request, an education voucher to cover the expenses of providing in-person instruction in an alternative setting. 

Requires each local school board to employ at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position in each elementary school, middle school and high school.

  • SB 5020, introduced by Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield)

Provides that, if a school operates a reduced schedule and the school offers online or virtual learning as a substitute for in-person attendance, it shall deposit a portion of unused funds resulting from the reduced schedule in a voucher account for each student, for use on programs operated by the school division or other educational options, whether public, private or parochial.

  • SB 5021, introduced by Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield)

Provides that if a school board requires students to engage in virtual learning for any reason, whether full time or part time, and a computer and internet service to connect to the curriculum is required, then the school board must provide appropriate technology devices to every student enrolled in the school system so they may access the learning platform and provide adequate internet service to a student's household at no cost if a student's family income is below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. 

  • SB 5028 introduced by Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg)

Prohibits the governor from issuing any rule, regulation or order pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law affecting the operation of any public or private elementary or secondary school in the commonwealth.

Public safety and law-enforcement-related bills

  • HB 5012, introduced by Les R. Adams (R-Chatham)

Provides that a law enforcement officer may bring an action against any person, group of persons, organization, or corporation, or the head of such organization or corporation, to recover damages, together with reasonable costs and attorney fees, sustained by the officer during the performance of official duties; for the abridgment or deprivation of the officer's rights arising out of performance of official duties, and sustained by the officer when a knowingly false complaint regarding the conduct of the officer is filed.

  • HB 5013, introduced by Jeffery M. Bourne (D-Richmond)

Creates a civil action for the deprivation of a person's rights by a law enforcement officer and provides that a plaintiff may be awarded compensatory damages, punitive damages, and equitable relief, as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs. 

  • HB 5015, introduced by Jason S. Miyares (R-Virginia Beach)

Provides that the Parole Board shall contact the victim prior to making any decision to release any inmate on discretionary parole and that the victim may present virtual testimony to the board concerning the impact that the release of the prisoner will have on the victim.

Establishes the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission Accreditation Grant Fund and the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission Accreditation Grant Program.

  • HB 5026, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Provides when a locality intentionally or negligently fails to provide an adequate police response to prevent property damage, the locality shall be responsible to the property owner or business owner for the damages.

  • SB 5002, introduced by Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-Gloucester)

Prohibits the use of neck restraints by law-enforcement officers. 

  • SB 5003, introduced by Richard H. Stuart (R-Stafford)

Establishes the Commission on Civil Rights and Policing for the purpose of reviewing civil justice, civil liberties and policing in the commonwealth and making policy recommendations to the General Assembly.

  • SB 5005, introduced by Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-Gloucester)

Adds to the powers and duties of the Department of Criminal Justice Services regarding the oversight and evaluation of criminal justice training academies approved by the Department. 

  • SB 5006, introduced Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-Gloucester)

Allows a person to petition for the expungement of the police and court records relating to his conviction for misdemeanors and certain felonies if he has been granted a simple pardon for the crime. 

Provides that in a criminal case the court shall ascertain the extent of the punishment unless the accused has requested that the jury ascertain punishment or was found guilty of capital murder. If a jury cannot agree on a punishment, the court shall declare a mistrial. 

  • SB 5009, introduced by Mark J. Peake (R-Lynchburg)

Allows a person to petition for expungement of a deferred disposition dismissal for underage alcohol possession or using a false ID to obtain alcohol when the offense occurred prior to the person's 21st birthday, all court costs and fines and orders of restitution have been satisfied and the person seeking the expungement is at least 21 years of age and has no other alcohol-related convictions. 

  • SB 5010, Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-Gloucester)

Increases the penalty for committing an assault or an assault and battery against a judge, magistrate, law enforcement officer, correctional officer, person involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates, firefighter or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel from a Class 6 felony to a Class 5 felony with a mandatory term of confinement of one year. 

  • SB 5012, introduced by David R. Suetterlein  (R-Salem)

Provides that individual votes of the members of the Virginia Parole Board shall be public records and subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

  • SB 5013, introduced by Richard H. Stuart (R-Stafford)

Provides that a summons for a violation of possession of marijuana shall contain the option for the person charged to prepay the civil penalty.

  • SB 5014, introduced by John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke)

Requires all law enforcement officers to complete crisis intervention team training.

  • SB 5016, introduced by John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke)

Repeals the abolition of parole

  • SB 5017, introduced by: Jennifer B. Boysko (D-Fairfax)

Provides that the term "local correctional facility" shall also include any facility owned, maintained, or operated by any political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions of the commonwealth that is used for the detention or incarceration of people pursuant to a third-party contract with the federal government or any agency thereof.

  • SB 5018, introduced by John J. Bell (D-Ashburn)

Provides that any person serving a sentence imposed upon a conviction for a felony offense, other than a Class 1 felony, who is terminally ill or permanently physically disabled is eligible for consideration by the Parole Board for conditional release. 

  • SB 5019, introduced by Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania)

Increases the penalty for committing an assault or an assault and battery against a judge, magistrate, law-enforcement officer, correctional officer, person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates, firefighter or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel from a Class 6 felony to a Class 5 felony with a mandatory term of confinement of one year. And provides that if such violation occurs during a state of emergency then such person is guilty of a Class 3 felony with a mandatory term of confinement of two years.

  • SB 5029, introduced by L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth)

Changes from primary offenses to secondary offenses the possession of marijuana and the traffic infractions of operating a motor vehicle without a light illuminating a license plate, without an exhaust system that prevents excessive or unusual levels of noise, with certain sun-shading materials and tinting films and with certain objects suspended in the vehicle. 

  • SB 5030, introduced by Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton)

This bill outlines steps for policing reform, acquisition of military property and training of officers in de-escalation techniques.

  • SB 5032, introduced by Scott A. Surovell (D-Prince William)

Eliminates the mandatory minimum term of confinement for an assault and battery committed against a judge, magistrate, law-enforcement officer, correctional officer, person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates, firefighter or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel and provides that such crime can no longer be committed as a simple assault and must result in a bodily injury.

  • SB 5033, introduced by Scott A. Surovell (D-Prince William)

Provides that, upon the agreement of the commonwealth and the defendant, a trial court may defer proceedings; defer entry of a conviction order, if none, or defer entry of a final order; and continue the case for final disposition, on such reasonable terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the parties. 

Provides that any person serving a sentence imposed upon a conviction for a felony offense, other than a Class 1 felony, who is terminally ill or permanently physically disabled is eligible for consideration by the Parole Board for conditional release. 

  • SB 5035, introduced by Ghazala F. Hashmi (D-Midlothian)

Authorizes a locality to establish a law enforcement civilian review board. 

  • SB 5037, introduced by Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington)

Changes the membership of the Committee on Training by requiring that one member be an attorney representing the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, one member be an attorney representing civil liberty groups and one member be a mental health provider.

Provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall support the development and establishment of a mental health first response and alert system that uses mobile crisis co-response team programs in areas throughout the commonwealth. 

  • SB 5040, introduced by Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria)

Provides that the attorney general may assist in the prosecution of certain felony offenses committed by law-enforcement officers during the performance of their official duties.

Public health-related bills

  • HB 5016, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania)

Eliminates the authority of the commissioner of health to require immunization of individuals who object to such administration on religious grounds.

  • HB 5018, introduced by Michael J. Webert (R-Fauquier)

Provides that any system created by the Department of Health to receive information regarding an alleged violation of an order or regulation of the Board of Health or the commissioner of health enacted in response to a public health emergency related to a communicable disease of public health threat shall require, for each report received, the name, address, telephone number and email address of the individual making the report and makes knowingly making a false report a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

  • HB 5023, introduced by Kathy J. Byron (R-Lynchburg)

Provides that any emergency order or regulation adopted by the Board of Health shall be valid for no more than 45 days and that such order may be extended by the board for a subsequent period of 45 days, provided that the board provides notice and receives public comment. The bill also limits the duration of any executive order issued by the governor pursuant to his powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law to no more than 45 days from the date of issuance.

Firearms-related bills

  • HB 5020, introduced by Glenn R. Davis (R-Virginia Beach)

Provides that any local ordinances that prohibit the possession, carrying or transportation of any firearms, ammunition or components or combination shall not apply to a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit.

  • HB 5024, introduced by Glenn R. Davis (R-Virginia Beach)

Eliminates the Class 1 misdemeanor penalty for a person who purchases a firearm from another person without obtaining the required criminal history record information check and eliminates the question on the form provided to a firearm dealer by the Department of State Police asking whether a prospective purchaser of a firearm has ever been the subject of a mental health temporary detention order and subsequently agreed to a voluntary admission.

  • SB 5041, introduced by Richard H. Stuart (R-Westmoreland)

Amends the delayed enactment clause for Chapter 390 and the delayed enactment clause for Chapter 1130 of the Acts of Assembly of 2020 so that the provisions of such chapters will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, instead of Jan. 1, 2021. The bill has an emergency clause.

Miscellaneous bills

•                HB 5004, introduced by Emily M. Brewer (R-Suffolk)

Makes discretionary the requirement to conduct a formal, appropriate ceremony when issuing original driver's licenses to persons under the age of 18.

•                HB 5001, introduced by Mark L. Cole (R-Spotslyvania)

Requires all Department of Motor Vehicles customer service centers to be open and accept walk-in customers six days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. This requirement would expire upon the expiration or revocation of all states of emergency declared by the governor related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • HB 5021, introduced by Glenn R. Davis (R-Virginia Beach)

Prohibits any local ordinance or resolution granting or permitting collective bargaining from permitting consideration during collective bargaining negotiations of any action or discussion regarding the hiring, firing or discipline of a local employee. 

  • HB 5027, introduced by Glenn R. Davis (R-Virginia Beach)

Provides that any person who operates a business in the Commonwealth that is forced to close as a result of any emergency order of the Board of Health or Commissioner of Health who contests such order and prevails on the merits of the case is entitled to recover from the Department of Health an amount equal to two times the total amount of civil penalties levied against such person as a result of such order and $10,000 per day for each day that the business was closed as a result of such order.

  • SB 5031, introduced by Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton)

Recognizes the 19th day of June of each year, also known as Juneteenth, as a legal holiday in the commonwealth.

  • SB 5036, introduced by Jeremy S. McPike (D-Dale City)

Provides that no limitation on the number of special events that may be held by a local special events licensee shall be imposed during the effective dates of any rule, regulation, or order that is issued by the Governor or State Health Commissioner to meet a public health emergency and that effectively reduces allowable restaurant seating capacity. 

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