About this Project

Since our inception in 2016, Sister District Project has supported 16 candidates for state legislature in Delaware, Virginia, Washington and Florida. 15 of those candidates were victorious. 

Our data team has tracked those 15 legislators through their 2018 legislative sessions. This mixed-methods project involved both quantitative tracking (their introduction of bills, the content and passage rate of those bills), as well as qualitative interviews with the legislators themselves to learn about their successes and challenges.

Below are some data about each of our Sister District alums.  These data can tell rich stories about the individual and collective successes of Sister District legislators, and more broadly, the critical importance of state-level policy on our daily lives.  For a synthesis of the data around specific topics, check out these pages:

Virginia

House of Delegates, 115th Congress

Session Participation By the Numbers

Delegate Seat Years in Office Floor Vote Participation Bills Introduced Bills Passed Bill Passage Rate
Jennifer Carroll Foy 2 0 99% 18 4 22%
Chris Hurst 12 0 99% 12 3 25%
Danica Roem 13 0 100% 11 0 0%
Elizabeth Guzman 31 0 100% 27 1 4%
David Reid 32 0 100% 22 1 5%
Kathleen Murphy 34 3 98% 17 1 6%
Kathy Tran 42 0 100% 13 1 8%
Lee Carter 50 0 99% 10 0 0%
Karrie Delaney 67 0 100% 10 3 30%
Cheryl Turpin 85 0 100% 6 0 0%
John Bell 87 2 100% 21 5 24%
Mike Mullin 93 2 99% 22 4 18%

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

Legislation as Chief Patron:

  • HB 112 Summons; falsely signing, misdemeanor.
  • HB 113 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount.
  • HB 126 Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission; status of parole-eligible inmates, report.
  • HB 145 Search warrant for a tracking device; delivery of affidavit.
  • HB 182 Coal combustion residuals unit; closure by 2022.
  • HB 418 Adoption; circuit court to accept a petition filed by child's foster parent.
  • HB 441 Police and court records; expungement, acquittals.
  • HB 442 Career and technical education credentials; testing accommodations for English language learners.
  • HB 443 High school graduation requirements; substitution of computer coding for foreign language credit.
  • HB 444 Parole Board; personal interviews of prisoners eligible for parole.
  • HB 445 School principals; incident reports.
  • HB 446 Drivers' license; driving on a suspended or revoked license punishable as traffic infraction.
  • HB 617 Discovery in criminal cases; duty to provide.
  • HB 618 Larceny; subsequent offenses.
  • HB 619 Alcoholic beverage control; possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by interdicted persons.
  • HB 1316 License plates, special; I SUPPORT WOMEN VETERANS.
  • HB 1429 Social Services, Department of; collection of data regarding substance abuse.
  • HB 1569 Employers; notice of work schedules, civil penalty.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB 145 Search warrant for a tracking device; delivery of affidavit.

Search warrant for a tracking device; delivery of affidavit. Provides that an affidavit for a search warrant authorizing use of a tracking device may be delivered by a judicial officer's designee or agent. Current law requires the affidavit to be delivered by the judicial officer. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Judicial Council of Virginia. This bill is identical to SB 475. 

HB 418 Adoption; circuit court to accept a petition filed by child's foster parent.

Adoption by foster parent. Directs a circuit court to accept a petition for adoption filed by the child's foster parent and to order a thorough investigation if (i) the child-placing agency holding custody of the child consents to the adoption after the child has resided in the home of such foster parent continuously for at least six months and (ii) the birth parents' rights to the child have been terminated. Current law requires a circuit court to accept such petition in such circumstances only after the child has resided in the home of such foster parent continuously for at least 18 months. The bill provides that after the child has resided in the home of the foster parent continuously for at least 18 months, the consent of the child-placing agency holding custody of the child is no longer needed in order to require the court to accept the petition and order an investigation. The bill contains an emergency clause.

HB 442 Career and technical education credentials; testing accommodations for English language learners.

Career and technical education credentials; testing accommodations for English language learners. Requires the Department of Education to develop, maintain, and make available to each local school board a catalogue of the testing accommodations available to English language learners for each certification, examination, assessment, and battery that satisfies the career and technical education credential graduation requirement. The bill requires each local school board to develop and implement policies to require each high school principal or his designee to notify each English language learner of the availability of such testing accommodations prior to the student's participation in any such certification, examination, assessment, or battery. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019.

HB553 High school graduation requirements; substitution of computer coding credit for foreign language credit.

Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Courts of Justice
  • House - Militia, Police and Public Safety

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB112: Provides that a person who signs a summons with a false name is guilty of giving a false identity to a law-enforcement officer, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Currently, such conduct is punished as forging a public record, a Class 4 felony.

HB113: Grand larceny; threshold.

Increases from $200 to $1,000 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

HB441: Expungement of police and court records; acquittals.

Provides that a court that enters a judgment acquitting a person of a criminal charge shall, upon the motion of the person acquitted of such charge, enter an order requiring the expungement of the police and court records relating to the charge. Currently, such a person may file a separate petition for the expungement of such records; however, except in certain cases involving misdemeanor charges, the person is not entitled to an order of expungement, and the court hearing the petition must find that the continued existence and possible dissemination of such records causes or may cause circumstances that constitute a manifest injustice to such person before such an order will be entered.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 147 FOIA; scholastic records, student handheld mobile telephone numbers, etc.
  • HB 634 Two-way video testimony; reports by Chief Medical Examiner.
  • HB 486 Alcoholic beverage control; granting of certain mixed beverage licenses.
  • HB 488 Blacksburg, Town of; amending charter, clarifies voting on proposed ordinance.
  • HB 489 Registration and licensing of vehicles; payment of local taxes and fees.
  • HB 710 Children's Ombudsman, Office of the; created.
  • HB 1075 Poaching; revocation of hunting, trapping, or fishing license and privileges.
  • HB 1187 Natural gas companies; right of entry upon property.
  • HB 1188 Natural gas pipelines; contingency plan, dischares, penalty.
  • HB 1436 Prescription drugs; price transparency.
  • HB 1457 Employers and potential employers; civil immunity, reports of violent behavior by an employee.
  • HB 1501 Standards of Learning Innovation Committee; adoption of recommendations.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

  • HB 489: Closes loophole to help localities collect delinquent vehicle property taxes and fees
  • HB 488: Amendment to the Charter of the Town of Blacksburg about voting on ordinances.
  • HB 486: Technical change to an ABC license for the Old Price's Fork Elementary School property.

Committee Assignments

House - Education

House - Science & Technology

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB710 Office of the Children's Ombudsman.

Creates the Office of the Children's Ombudsman to provide ombudsman services, including investigation of complaints, advocacy, and information for children, parents, and citizens involved with child-serving agencies, defined in the bill.

HB1075 Poaching; revocation of hunting, trapping, or fishing license and privileges.

Requires a court to revoke for a period of 12 months the hunting, trapping, or fishing license of any person convicted of taking, or attempting to take, any wild bird, wild animal, or fish during the closed season.

HB1436 Prescription drug price transparency.

Requires every manufacturer of a prescription drug that is made available in the Commonwealth and has a wholesale acquisition price of $10,000 or more for a single course of treatment to report to the State Health Commissioner no later than July 1 of each year information related to the cost of developing, manufacturing, and marketing the prescription drug; any changes in the average wholesale price and average wholesale acquisition cost of the prescription drug; the amount of profits derived from sale of the prescription drug; and the total amount of financial assistance provided to consumers of the prescription drug. The bill adds this reported data to the list of reports that the Commissioner causes to be published on a website maintained by a nonprofit entity with which the Commissioner has entered into a contract for such purpose.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 556 State Corporation Commission; intervenor compensation.
  • HB 559 Conflict of Interests Acts, State & Local Gov't, & General Assembly; post-service restrictions.
  • HB 561 State Corporation Commission; increases number of members.
  • HB 562 Campaign finance; prohibited contributions to candidates.
  • HB 938 Cold case searchable database; Superintendent of State Police may establish and maintain.
  • HB 940 Freedom of Information Act Ombudsman; created, Attorney General to appoint.
  • HB 1113 Health insurance; coverage for autism spectrum disorder.
  • HB 1309 Protected information; newspersons engaged in journalism.
  • HB 1477 School boards; establishes several requirements relating to school meals.
  • HB 1478 Health insurance; coverage for prosthetic devices.
  • HB 1603 Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; charges for the production of public records.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

None

Committee Assignments

House - Counties, Cities & Towns

House - Science & Technology

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB559: Extends the "revolving door" prohibition applicable to state officers and employees and members of the General Assembly.

State officers and employees, as defined in § 2.2-3104, are currently prohibited from lobbying the agency of which they were an officer or employee for one year after the termination of public employment or service; the bill extends that prohibition to three years and further prohibits lobbying before the General Assembly during that period. Members of the General Assembly are currently prohibited from lobbying the General Assembly or any legislative agency for one year after the termination of public service; the bill extends that prohibition to three years.

HB562: Campaign finance; prohibited contributions to candidates.

Prohibits 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.

HB940: Office of the Attorney General; Freedom of Information Act Ombudsman created.

Provides for the Attorney General to appoint a Freedom of Information Act Ombudsman to promote compliance by state agencies with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

HB1477: Expanding school lunch access. 

Would require each school board to (i) require each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program and the federal School Breakfast Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to make meals available pursuant to such programs to any student who requests such a meal, regardless of such student's family income or whether such student has the money to pay for the meal or owes money for meals previously provided, unless the student's parent has provided written permission to the school board to withhold such a meal from the student, and (ii) adopt policies prohibiting any school employee from (a) requiring a student to throw away a meal after the meal has been served because the student does not have the money to pay for the meal or owes money for a meal previously provided and (b) requiring a student who does not have the money to pay for a meal or who owes money for a meal previously provided to do chores or other work to pay for the meal.

HB1309: Freedom of the press.

Provides that no newsperson engaged in journalism shall be compelled to testify about, disclose, or produce protected information, as defined in the bill, except when the court finds that (i) the protected information is highly relevant and necessary to the proof of an issue material to an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding, (ii) the protected information is not obtainable from any alternative source, (iii) the Commonwealth or locality exhausted all reasonable methods for obtaining the protected information from all relevant alternative sources; and (iv) there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure of the protected information. The bill further provides that any information obtained in violation of the provisions of the bill shall be inadmissible for any purpose in an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

As Chief Patron:

  • HB 250 Virginia Fire Services Board; changes membership.
  • HB 251 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments.
  • HB 252 High school staffing; mental health counselors.
  • HB 253 Special education aides; caseload.
  • HB 254 Human Resource Management, Department of; duties of department, employee communication.
  • HB 255 Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program; established.
  • HB 256 Income tax, state, and property tax; exemption for substantial-capacity solar equipment.
  • HB 416 Workers' compensation; audits of employer's premises.
  • HB 417 Sentencing guidelines; modification, new sentencing proceeding.
  • HB 419 Juveniles; increases minimum age for trial as adult.
  • HB 970 Motor vehicle fuels; sales tax in certain areas of the Commonwealth, price floor.
  • HB 971 Fair Housing Law; unlawful discrimination, gender identity.
  • HB 972 Income tax, state; increases deduction for senior citizens.
  • HB 973 Employees; paid medical and family leave, civil penalties.
  • HB 974 Medical marijuana; written certification by physician for treatment.
  • HB 975 Electric utilities; new generation sources.
  • HB 976 Felony conviction; compensation for wrongful incarceration.
  • HB 977 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
  • HB 978 Electric utilities; net energy metering, standby charges.
  • HB 983 Street gangs; predicate criminal acts, penalty.
  • HB 1289 Passing stopped school buses; local ordinances.
  • HB 1290 Tethered unmanned aircraft systems; use by law-enforcement agency.
  • HB 1345 Absentee voting; deadline for requesting a mailed absentee ballot.
  • HB 1447 Higher educational institutions, public; tuition, immigration status.
  • HB 1448 Land preservation; special assessment, agricultural use.
  • HB 1449 Family and Individual Support Waiver; reduce or eliminate the waiting list.
  • HB 1594 Crime victims and witnesses; immigration status.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB 976 Felony conviction; $15,000 grant of compensation for wrongful incarceration (unanimously passed House and Senate).

Establishes a process for a person wrongfully incarcerated to submit a written request to the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia for the disbursement of the transition assistance grant of $15,000 for payment from the Criminal Fund; provides a 30-day timeframe, or as soon as practicable, within which such grant must be paid; and removes the provision that such grant amount be deducted from any compensation awarded for wrongful incarceration. Current law does not specify the process by which the person wrongfully incarcerated requests and receives such grant.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Privileges & Elections
  • House - Counties, Cities & Towns

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB252: High school staffing; mental health counselors.

Requires each school board to employ at least one mental health counselor per 250 students in each high school in the local school division.

HB255: Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program.

Establishes the Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of funding and providing on a competitive basis grants to local school boards to establish and maintain public preschool programs for children who reside in the local school division.

HB971: Fair Housing Law; unlawful discrimination; gender identity.

Adds discrimination based on gender identity as an unlawful housing practice under the Virginia Fair Housing Law. The bill also defines "gender identity."

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB350 Full-day kindergarten program; implementation in school divisions.
  • HB351 Higher educational institutions, public; tuition and room and board, enrollment.
  • HB352 Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988; toll rate approval by State Corporation Commission.
  • HB353 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
  • HB354 School calendar; opening day of school year.
  • HB355 Virginia Fuels Tax Act; refueling vehicles.
  • HB356 Voter registration; notification of denial.
  • HB357 Voting; ballots cast during court-ordered extended polling hours.
  • HB469 Electric vehicle; establishes tax credit on purchase or lease price.
  • HB470 Dependents of disabled veterans; waiver of tuition and mandatory fees.
  • HB471 Small businesses, new; state and local tax and regulatory exemptions.
  • HB472 Workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases.
  • HB473 Virginia Public Procurement Act; use of best value contracting.
  • HB474 Solar energy collection devices; land lease program for installation.
  • HB475 Commercial motor vehicles; certain high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
  • HB476 Community service careers; tuition and fee waivers at higher educational institutions.
  • HB477 Guardianship; communication between incapacitated persons and others.
  • HB478 Domestic violence-related misdemeanors; enhanced, penalty.
  • HB1218 Residual parental rights; termination if in child's best interest, foster care placement.
  • HB1219 Parental rights; annual foster care review.
  • HB1326 Virginia Retirement System; E-911 dispatchers.
  • HB1356 Transient occupancy tax; expands tax in Northern Virginia statewide.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB1219: Restoration of parental rights.

Provides that, at an annual foster care review hearing, the court shall inquire as to whether a child who is the subject of such hearing prefers that the court investigate the possibility of restoring the parental rights of such child's parent or parents, provided that such child meets criteria under which his parent or parents are otherwise eligible for such restoration. Where such child expresses such a preference, an investigation will be undertaken to determine whether such restoration is in the child's best interest; if so, a petition for restoration can be filed. 

Committee Assignments

House - Counties, Cities & Towns

House - Transportation

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB476: Community service careers; tuition and fee waivers at public institutions of higher education.

Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to establish and administer a community service career incentive program by which any student who is enrolled at a public institution of higher education, who intends to pursue a community service career in an area of the Commonwealth in which there is a high need for professionals in such community service career, and meets certain other eligibility criteria, may apply to the Council for a renewable waiver of tuition and mandatory fees, including room and board.

HB478: Domestic violence-related misdemeanors; enhanced penalty.

Punishes a misdemeanor offense of violating a protective order, assault and battery against a family or household member, or stalking as a Class 6 felony if the person charged has been previously convicted of any of these offenses, however punished, or of assault or bodily wounding within the preceding 20 years and the victim of the prior and the instant offenses is the same.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB168 Class size limits; establishes maximum of 24 students in science laboratory classes in grades 6-12.
  • HB169 Lyme disease; information disclosure requirement, sunset.
  • HB285 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Scholarship Pilot Program; VCCS shall establish, report.
  • HB295 Resident stickers; turns in certain residential areas.
  • HB650 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
  • HB651 Protective orders; possession of firearms, penalty.
  • HB652 School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments.
  • HB653 Employers; sexual harassment training, penalty.
  • HB654 Alcoholic beverage control; distiller licensee, commission from sales on licensed premises, etc.
  • HB655 Conflict of Interests Act, State and Local Government; disclosure by local government officers.
  • HB659 Distance learning reciprocity agreements; out-of-state providers.
  • HB660 Death investigations; Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
  • HB661 Assault and battery against a family or household member; enhanced penalty.
  • HB662 American Legion Bridge; VDOT to submit a plan for remediation of bridge.
  • HB1542 Postsecondary schools; SCHEV to adopt regulations to secure funds to manage financial liabilities.
  • HB1543 Workers' compensation; tolling of statute of limitations.
  • HB1544 Firearms; possession, etc., following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes, penalty.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB 662 - American Legion Bridge, VDOT Remediation Plan. Department of Transportation to submit a plan for the remediation of the American Legion Bridge.

Directs the Department of Transportation to complete the initial design and related assessments for remediating the American Legion Bridge and to submit the design and assessments in a report to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session.

Committee Assignments

House - General Laws

House - Transportation

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB168: Class size limits; grades six through 12; science laboratory classes.

Establishes a maximum class size of 24 students in science laboratory classes in grades six through 12.

HB650: Purchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty.

Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts from this provision (i) persons who have been issued a certificate by the Department of State Police under certain circumstances and with an enhanced background check, (ii) law-enforcement agencies and officers, (iii) state and local correctional facilities, (iv) licensed private security companies, (v) persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, (vi) persons whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, (vii) purchases of handguns in a private sale, and (viii) purchases of antique firearms.

HB651: Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.

Provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) to possess a firearm while the order is in effect. Under current law, only a person subject to a permanent protective order for family abuse is prohibited from possessing a firearm while the order is in effect.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 1058 Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act; secure return of voted military-overseas ballots.
  • HB 1059 Deleterious substances; discharge into state waters.
  • HB 1060 Electric utilities; net energy metering, program cap.
  • HB 1061 Blind or vision impaired; rehabilitative manufacturing and services industries.
  • HB 1062 Misdemeanor sexual offenses; eliminate statute of limitation for prosecuting misdemeanor violations.
  • HB 1109 Wages; payment for overtime work, penalties.
  • HB 1111 STEAM programs; establishes STEAM Education Fund.
  • HB 1253 Electric utility regulation; net energy metering by municipalities.
  • HB 1279 Higher educational institutions, public; policy.
  • HB 1329 Government Data Collection & Dissemination Practices Act; dissemination of information.
  • HB 1461 Immigrant Assistance, Office of; created.
  • HB 1462 Virginia Human Rights Act; sexual harassment, contracting agencies.
  • HB 1463 Higher educational institutions; course credit for serving in Armed Forces.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB1061: Blind or vision impaired; rehabilitative manufacturing and service industries; sales of goods.

Updates terminology regarding manufacturing and service industries operated by the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired for the employment of individuals who are blind or vision impaired. The bill repeals the requirement that public and private entities must register with the Department in order to authorize their identification of goods as being made by the blind and repeals the prohibition on and penalties for falsely identifying goods for sale as having been made by individuals who are blind.

Committee Assignments

House - Privileges & Elections

House - Science & Technology

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB1058: Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act

Secure return of voted military-overseas ballots by electronic means; pilot program. Requires the State Board of Elections to establish and supervise a pilot program for the secure return of voted military-overseas ballots by electronic means from those uniformed-service voters.

HB1059: Discharge of deleterious substance into state waters; notice

Requires any person who unlawfully discharges any deleterious substance into state waters to give written notice to the State Water Control Board. Current law requires written notice to be given only to the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill also requires the Board or the Department to give the reported discharge information to local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations as soon as practicable after receiving it.

HB1329: Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act

Dissemination of information concerning religious preferences and affiliations. Prohibits any state agency maintaining an information system that includes personal information from disseminating to federal government authorities information concerning the religious preferences and affiliations of data subjects for the purpose of compiling a list, registry, or database of individuals based on religious affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity.

HB1461: Office of Immigrant Assistance created 

Establishes in the Department of Social Services an Office of Immigrant Assistance (the Office) to assist persons lawfully entering the United States and the Commonwealth for the purpose of becoming citizens.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 460 Workers' compensation; retaliatory discharge of employee.
  • HB 461 Workers' compensation; employer to notify employee of intent to accept or deny claim.
  • HB 462 Workers' compensation; foreign injuries.
  • HB 463 Meal breaks for employees; civil penalty.
  • HB 464 Pedestrians; drivers yielding the right-of-way.
  • HB 465 Watercraft; increases sales and use tax rate.
  • HB 466 Payday loans & motor vehicle title loans; purchase from federally chartered financial institution.
  • HB 467 Coal ash; recycling or reuse.
  • HB 468 Digital devices; deactivation or alteration of embedded software.
  • HB 705 Broadband services; prohibited features.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

None.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Militia, Police and Public Safety
  • House - Finance

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB460: Workers' compensation; retaliatory discharge of employee

Prohibits 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.

HB463: Meal breaks for employees; civil penalty

Requires employers to provide employees with unpaid break times for meals. Employers that violate this measure are subject to a civil penalty.

HB705: Broadband services; prohibited features 

Prohibits a provider of broadband services from offering or renewing services to consumers within any locality in the Commonwealth in which certain media is throttled, blocked, or prioritized on the basis of its content, format, host address, or source.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 106 Kinship Guardianship Assistance program; established.
  • HB 109 School divisions, certain; development of plan to fund and phase in full-day kindergarten.
  • HB 700 School readiness; tax credits established for five categories of expenditures.
  • HB 703 Lethality assessment program; Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish.
  • HB 704 Arbitration agreements; unconscionable and unenforceable provisions, sexual harassment and assault.
  • HB 727 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusion of records relating to public safety.
  • HB 1237 Assault and battery against a family or household member; first offense, enhanced penalty.
  • HB 1293 Unemployment compensation; increases penalty for failure to file reports.
  • HB 1419 Public schools; instructional time.
  • HB 1561 Settlement agreements; indemnification provision declared void & waiver of sexual harassment claim.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB 727 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusion of records relating to public safety. Allows certain protections to prevent revealing details of safety systems of the rail systems during an investigation of an incident.

HB 1293 Unemployment compensation; increases penalty for failure to file reports. Increases the penalty, from $75 to $300, that the Virginia Employment Commission is required to assess an employer who fails to file a report required under Title 60.2 (Unemployment Compensation) with respect to wages or taxes.

HB 1419 Public schools; instructional time. Establishes minimum instructional hours in four academic disciplines (English, mathematics, science, and history and social science). Authorizes inclusion of unstructured recreational time (recess) in total instructional hours where that time is intended to develop teamwork, social skills, and overall physical fitness.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Health, Welfare, and Institutions
  • House - Transportation

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB704: Arbitration agreements; unconscionable and unenforceable provisions; sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Provides that any provision of an arbitration agreement that has the purpose or effect of concealing the details regarding a claim of sexual harassment or sexual assault is unconscionable and unenforceable.

HB109: School divisions, certain; development of plan to fund and phase in full-day kindergarten.

Requires each local school board that does not offer a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division to develop a plan to fund and phase in a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division and submit the plan to the General Assembly.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB 264 Oyster-planting ground; transfer or assignment of lease to locality.
  • HB 265 Election day; extending polling hours.
  • HB 266 Hate crimes; gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, penalty.
  • HB 420 Teachers; model exit questionnaire, statewide implementation.
  • HB 1344 Va. Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act; establishing funding source to affected locality.
  • HB 1371 Higher educational institutions, public; tuition and mandatory fee waivers.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

None

Committee Assignments

  • House - Education
  • House - Privileges & Elections

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB265: Election day; extending polling hours.

Extends from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the time at which polls close on election day. The bill aligns candidate filing deadlines and party nomination deadlines with the closing of polls.

HB266: Hate crimes; gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation; penalty.

Adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the categories of victims whose intentional selection for a hate crime involving assault, assault and battery, or trespass for the purpose of damaging another's property results in a higher criminal penalty for the offense. The bill also adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation status to the categories of hate crimes that are to be reported to the central repository of information regarding hate crimes maintained by the Virginia State Police. The bill provides that a person who is subjected to acts of vandalism to his real or personal property, where such vandalism is motived by gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, may bring a civil action to recover his damages. The bill also provides that no provider or user of an interactive computer service on the Internet shall be liable for any action voluntarily taken by it in good faith to restrict access to material that the provider or user considers to be intended to incite hatred on the basis of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB58 State agencies; use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on outdoor lighting fixtures.
  • HB59 Transportation, Department of; use of practical design methods.
  • HB89 Conditional rezoning proffers; affordable dwelling units.
  • HB90 Teacher grievance procedures; hearing, three-member fact-finding panel.
  • HB91 Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence.
  • HB97 Virginia Public Procurement Act; methods of procurement, single or term contracts.
  • HB98 Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive negotiation for professional services.
  • HB107 Workers' compensation; disease presumptions, correctional officers.
  • HB108 Correctional officers; survey upon resignation, etc., report.
  • HB131 Health insurance; coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs.
  • HB132 Controlled substances containing opioids; limits on prescription.
  • HB134 Value engineering; raises minimum project cost.
  • HB135 Dissemination of juvenile record information; emergency medical services agency applicants.
  • HB258 Computer trespass; penalty.
  • HB268 Absentee voting; Intelligent Mail barcode required on return envelopes.
  • HB269 Virginia National Guard; state active duty pay.
  • HB279 RICO Act; computer crimes, penalty.
  • HB286 Food and drink sanitary requirements; exception for dogs in wineries
  • HB646 Tethering animals; adequate shelter and space.
  • HB647 Virginia Public Procurement Act; architectural and professional engineering term contracts.
  • HB709 Zoning; violation, penalties.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB286 Food & Drink Sanitary Requirements: allows dogs in wineries.

Provides that a companion animal, as defined in § 3.2-6500, may be allowed inside or on the premises of a licensed winery or farm winery, provided that the presence of the companion animal in such areas is unlikely to result in contamination of food, food contact surfaces, or food packaging materials.

HB97 Virginia Public Procurement Act; methods of procurement, single or term contracts.

Increases the maximum permissible aggregate or sum of all phases of single or term contracts for professional services that may be procured without requiring competitive negotiation from $60,000 to $100,000.

HB134 Value engineering; raises minimum project cost.

Raises the minimum project cost requiring the use of value engineering from $5 million to $15 million. The bill exempts projects that are designed utilizing (i) a design-build contract or (ii) the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 from the value engineering requirements.

HB135 Dissemination of juvenile record information; emergency medical services agency applicants.

Provides that juvenile record information maintained in the Central Criminal Records Exchange may be disseminated (i) to the State Health Commissioner or his designee for the purpose of screening any person who applies to be a volunteer with or an employee of an emergency medical services agency and (ii) to the county, city, or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer located in a locality that has adopted an ordinance to conduct investigations of employment applicants for the purpose of screening any person who applies to be a volunteer with or an employee of an emergency medical services agency.

HB709 Zoning; Violation, Penalties.

Increases the maximum fine for misdemeanor conviction of a zoning violation from $1,000 to $2,500. The bill also increases the maximum fine for failure to remove or abate the zoning violation after conviction from $1,500 to $2,500 for succeeding 10-day periods.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Appropriations: Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Technology
  • House - Appropriations: Elementary & Secondary Education
  • House - Counties, Cities & Towns
  • House - Militia, Police & Public Safety

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HJ35: Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Virginia Redistricting Commission.

Establishes the seven-member Virginia Redistricting Commission to redraw congressional and General Assembly district boundaries after each decennial census of the United States. The Commission is directed to certify district plans for the General Assembly within 30 days of receipt of the new census data or by June 1 of the year following the census, whichever is earlier, and for the House of Representatives within 60 days of receipt of the census data or by July 1 of the year following the census, whichever is earlier. The amendment requires that districts be drawn using the Shortest Split methodology, which divides the geographic area of the Commonwealth into two halves of approximately equal population based on the official decennial census redistricting numbers, choosing the shortest possible dividing line to split the state. The division of halves shall continue until the required number of districts is achieved. The Commission is required to make adjustments to the resulting maps as may be necessary to achieve compliance with the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and is authorized to make adjustments to the resulting maps so that district boundaries coincide with existing political boundaries and take into account geographic features.

HB131: Health insurance; coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs.

Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts, whose policy, contract, or plan includes coverage for prescription drugs, to provide coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs that are prescribed to a covered individual with an opioid dependence disorder. "Alternative pain management prescription drugs" are defined as either abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs or non-opioid analgesic drugs. Alternative pain management prescription drugs are required to be on a tier that has cost-sharing requirements that do not exceed those of opioid analgesic drugs. The requirement applies to analgesics prescribed in connection with an acute medical condition but not for a chronic medical condition.

HB132: Limits on prescription of controlled substances containing opioids.

Prohibits a prescriber providing treatment for a patient in an emergency department of a corporation, facility, or institution licensed to provide health care from prescribing a controlled substance containing an opioid in a quantity greater than a 10-day supply, as determined in accordance with the prescriber's directions for use.

HB279: RICO Act; computer crimes; penalty.

Adds certain felony offenses contained in the Virginia Computer Crimes Act as qualifying offenses under the Virginia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Such crimes include computer fraud, transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, using a computer to gather identifying information, and theft of computer services.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron)

  • HB4 Case management system; public accessibility.
  • HB15 Student discipline, alternative; assault and battery without bodily injury.
  • HB197 Prescription monitoring program; definitions, requirement for filling prescriptions.
  • HB201 Restitution; enforcement.
  • HB202 Court fines and costs; community service.
  • HB203 Sentence reduction; substantial assistance to prosecution.
  • HB207 Motor vehicles; operating with accumulated snow or ice, penalty.
  • HB208 Sexual battery; penalty.
  • HB209 Duty to take reasonable precautions; criminal conduct of a third party.
  • HB210 Juvenile and domestic relations district; pretrial appeals by the Commonwealth.
  • HB213 Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; formal advisory opinions, immunity.
  • HB502 Criminal street gang; predicate offenses, penalty.
  • HB503 Prescription Monitoring Program; disclosure of information, fitness to work evaluations.
  • HB504 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; definition of 'custodian.'
  • HB506 Improper driving; use of handheld communication device while driving vehicle.
  • HB507 Standards of Quality; instructional programs and positions, dual language teachers.
  • HB510 Handheld personal communications device; prohibition on use while driving.
  • HB641 Prescription Monitoring Program; recipients of dispensed Schedule II drugs.
  • HB1260 Admission to bail; human trafficking.
  • HB1443 Concealed handguns; retired law-enforcement officers may carry without a permit, etc.
  • HB1511 Service of process; investigator employed by an attorney for the Commonwealth.
  • HB1528 Electric utilities; retail competition.

Bills Sponsored (Chief Patron), Signed into Law

HB202 Court fines and costs; community service.

Requires a court assessing fines and costs against a person for conviction of a crime to inform such person of the availability of earning credit toward discharge of the fine or costs through the performance of community service and provide such person with written notice of terms and conditions of the community service program.

HB507 Standards of Quality; instructional programs and positions; dual language.

Provides that (i) the instructional programs for students with limited English proficiency implemented by each local school board may include dual language programs whereby such students receive instruction in English and in a second language and (ii) the additional full-time equivalent instructional positions for students identified as having limited English proficiency that are funded pursuant to the general appropriation act may include dual language teachers who provide instruction in English and in a second language.

HB1260 Admission to bail; human trafficking.

Adds the charges of (i) taking or detaining a person for the purposes of prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse, (ii) receiving money from procuring or placing a person in a house of prostitution or forced labor, (iii) receiving money from the earnings of a prostitute, and (iv) commercial sex trafficking where the alleged victim is a family or household member to the list of crimes for which there is a rebuttable presumption against admission to bail.

HB1511 Service of process; investigator employed by an attorney for the Commonwealth.

Provides that certain investigators employed by an attorney for the Commonwealth while engaged in the performance of their official duties shall not be considered a party or otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy and, thus, are authorized to serve process.

Committee Assignments

  • House - Commerce & Labor
  • House - Counties, Cities & Towns
  • House - Courts of Justice

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB208 Sexual battery; penalty.

Removes the requirement that sexual battery be committed by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse.

HB502 Criminal street gang; predicate offenses; penalty.

Adds sexual battery to the list of predicate criminal acts that, if committed by a member of a criminal street gang, may be subject to additional criminal penalties in addition to the penalties associated with the underlying offense.

HB213 Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; formal advisory opinions; immunity from civil penalty.

Requires that formal advisory opinions issued by the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council (Council) be approved by the Council and, after such approval, be published on the Council's website.

Washington

STATE SENATE

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Manka Dhingra, Legislative District 45

Bills Sponsored

  • SB6566 - Exempts minors from crimes of sexually explicit conduct under certain circumstances, focusing on education regarding especially 'sexting.' 
  • SB6502 - Concerning expanding eligibility for essential needs and housing support for the aged, blind or disabled.
  • SB6503 - Implementing child support pass-through payments. Could help increase family incomes up to 20%
  • SB6445 - Providing post-secondary education to incarcerated individuals
  • SB6334 - Revises/modernizes revisions in child support & health care programs
  • Enacted into law
  • SB6251 - Property tax exemptions for veterans, disabled and qualifying seniors 
  • SB6297 - Sets provisions governing firearms possession by those found incompetent to stand trial when there is history of violence
  • SB6298 - Adds domestic violence harassment to list prohibiting possession of firearms
  • SB6314 - Extending existing state property tax exemption for seniors/disabled to local regular property taxes
  • SB6188 - Encouraging fairness in disciplining peace officers 
  • SB6217 - Provides review standards to for determining conditional/unconditional releases of sexually violent predators.
  • SB6025 - Adds recovery support treatment for therapeutic courts to increase success
  • SB6051 - Authorizes a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 
  • SB6124 - Clarifies that court hearings under involuntary commitment act may be conducted by video

Bills Sponsored, Passed into Law

  • SB6334: Concerning implementation of mandatory provisions of the federal rule on flexibility, efficiency, and modernization in child support enforcement programs regarding health care coverage.  Revises and modernizes revisions in child support and health care programs. 
  • SB6298: Adding domestic violence harassment to the list of offenses for which a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Adds domestic violence harassment to list of offenses for which a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
  • SB6188: Encouraging fairness in disciplining peace officers
  • SB6051: Concerning the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  Authorizes a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
  • SB6124: Clarifying that court hearings under involuntary commitment act may be conducted by video

Committee Assignments

  • Transportation
  • Law & Justice
  • Human Services & Corrections

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

SB6502: improving housing stability for people with disabilities and seniors by amending eligibility for the essential needs and housing support and the aged, blind, or disabled assistance programs.

SB6025: Adds additional recovery support and treatment services that may be paid from the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (Account) for an individual drug court participant's substance use treatment program, and removes a list of non-qualifying treatment services.

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Florida

House of representatives, 120th Regular Session

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Margaret Good, District 72

Bills Co-Sponsored

  • HB 227 - First Responders Entitled to Workers' Compensation for PTSD
  • HB 2017 Jewish Family and Children's Services of the Suncoast - Children's Crisis Teams
  • HB 2057 Coastal Behavioral Healthcare - Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team
  • HB 2071 The Salvation Army Sarasota Area Command - Residential Substance Abuse Recovery and Treatment Services
  • HB 2097 Sarasota Bay Watershed Restoration Project
  • HB 2099 Coastal Behavioral Healthcare - Veteran's Court
  • HB 2123 Sarasota County - Dona Bay Watershed Restoration Project
  • HB 2185 Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Master Site Plan
  • HB 2395 University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee-Operational Support
  • HB 2513 Veteran's Treatment Court - Sarasota County
  • HB 2705 New College of Florida – Multi-Purpose Building for Growth
  • HB 2783 University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee-STEM Programs at Mote Marine Laboratory 

Bills Sponsored, Passed into Law

None

Committee Assignments

House—Education

Notable Bills Proposed, Failed to Pass

HB 227. Provides that first responders are entitled to workers' compensation benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder in specified circumstances; provides standard of proof of such disorder & requirements relating to such benefits; provides time for notice of injury or death; requires employing agency to provide mental health training; provides declaration of important state interest.

 
 

Delaware

SENATE, 148th General Assembly

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stephanie hansen, district 10

Bills Sponsored

  • SB 41: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COVERAGE FOR SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS AND DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCY. 
  • SB 97: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE RULES OF THE ROAD. 
  • SB 107 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HEALTHY SCHOOLS INDOOR ENVIRONMENT PORTAL.

Bills Sponsored, Passed into Law

SB 41 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COVERAGE FOR SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS AND DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCY. 

In an effort to reduce overdose deaths relating to the growing epidemic of opioid addiction, this Act requires carriers to provide coverage for medically necessary inpatient treatment of alcohol and drug dependencies and prohibits carriers from imposing precertification, prior authorization, pre-admission screening, or referral requirements for the diagnosis and treatment, including in-patient treatment, of drug and alcohol dependencies. 

SB 97 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE RULES OF THE ROAD.

This bill allows Delaware Department of Transportation authorized vehicles to be able to use the shoulder of the road when responding to emergencies. Department of Transportation staff must respond to emergencies along the road to assist police, fire and paramedics with establishing maintenance of traffic. By allowing the use of the shoulder of the road staff will be able to respond in a timely manner.

SB 107 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HEALTHY SCHOOLS INDOOR ENVIRONMENT PORTAL

This bill requires the Division of Public Health and the Department of Education to collaborate with local school districts to find ways to help improve the indoor environment in schools. The bill also requires the Division of Public Health to establish an online portal on the DHSS website through which it will provide technical expertise and exchange information with local school districts in order to help improve the air quality and overall indoor environment in schools. The bill also requires the Department of Education to notify local school districts of the portal every year.

Committee Assignments

  • Agriculture
  • Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy
  • Health, Children & Social Services
  • Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee
  • Sunset
  • Transportation