There are some new laws for Virginians that became effective as of July 1. Listed below are of some of those new laws.
House Bill 1907 and Senate Bill 1222. Police are now allowed to stop and ticket people for texting while driving. Fine increased from $20 to $125 for a first offense.
It had been a secondary offense, meaning police could ticket it only if a driver is stopped for a superseding violation such as speeding.
The new law also provides for enhanced fines for texting drivers who are convicted of reckless driving.
House Bill 1524. Exempts records of minors participating in parks and recreation programs from public view under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Senate Bill 1335. Removes public access to concealed handgun permit records.
House Bill 2346. Requires every public school to have at least two lock-down drills per year.
House Bill 1871. Will require school boards to define bullying and include policies and procedures for combatting it in their student codes of conduct.
House Bill 1999. Imposes on individual schools an A-through-F grading system to assess its performance. It requires the State Board of Education to approve student growth indicators for use in accrediting schools by July 31.
House Bill 2151 and Senate Bill 1223. Requires annual performance evaluations for teachers, principals and assistant principals of public schools. It also extends the probationary period before teachers are eligible for continuing contracts from three to five years.
House Bill 2344. This new law requires local school divisions to establish threat-assessment teams and critical incident response training programs.
House Bill 2028 and Senate Bill 986. This law will now require cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for all public school teachers and nearly all high school students.
Senate Bill 1378. Provides for at least one year in prison for people convicted of buying firearms in Virginia for the purpose of reselling the weapon to a buyer the seller knows is prohibited from possessing a gun.
House Bill 1783 and Senate Bill 1017. This law will increase the penalty for possession of contraband cigarettes with intent to distribute.
House Bill 1617 and Senate Bill 107. The law will now allow religious or political student organizations at Virginia public colleges to expel members who disagree with their missions.
To see the rest of the laws that went into effect on July 1, please read The Central Virginian’s July 4 edition.