Our General Assembly was hard at work this year passing new laws for the Old Dominion. They passed, and the Governor signed, 64 of them. Among them are the following:
Our state liquor stores will now be allowed to carry 151-proof clear grain alcohol. Most other states already allowed such sales.
It will now be up to a Judge’s discretion whether or not to suspend the driver’s license of someone caught with a small amount of marijuana. In the past it was an automatic 6 month suspension of a license to drive.
Health insurance companies will now be required to cover a year of prescription birth control. (Did Republicans back this bill?)
Increases for police and state employees, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The state’s new $107 billion two-year budget will boost the starting salary for new officers of the Virginia State Police from $36,207 to $44,290. The increase includes the 3 percent raise for all state employees, and an additional boost of $6,793 a year that also will go to state police veterans.
At the Division of Capitol Police, starting salaries will increase by $6,750 a year, and veteran officers will receive an increase of $4,355 a year.
In addition to the 3 percent raise for all state employees, the budget includes an additional 2 percent pay increase for workers in high-turnover, high-stress positions, such as nurses and aides at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents and other state behavioral health facilities.
The budget also gives the state’s share of a 2 percent raise for teachers, sheriff’s deputies and other state-supported local employees, and faculty at colleges and universities.
The budget gives an additional 1 percent to faculty at higher education institutions that didn’t give faculty raises or bonuses last year, after a shortfall triggered the suspension of a budgeted state raise.
One of my favorite new laws is a fine of $100 for those who are dawdling in the left lane of a highway. (The Greenway toll road seems to always have slow drivers in the left lane.)
The Ticket Resale Rights Act brought to the General Assembly by David Albo (R-Fairfax), will make it easier to resell event tickets.
No one can be paid for registering voters thus removing an incentive for fraudulent voter registrations.
Senator Dick Black (R-13) sponsored and helped pass a bill that makes female genital mutilation illegal.
See more of the 64 new laws here.