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2018 Legislation

Elections & Voting Rights

SB 602 Allows no-excuse in-person absentee voting three weeks prior to election day.
Referred to interim joint committee.
SB 4 Enables adults 65+ to vote absentee without additional excuses.
Referred to interim joint committee.
SB 6 Allows those who learn of last-minute business travel or family emergencies by noon on the Friday before election day to participate in emergency voting on Monday before election day.
Referred to interim joint committee.
SB 7 Requires candidates to include campaign bank account numbers on statements of organization.
Defeated in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, 4-10.
SB 8 Simplifies absentee voting return envelopes to align with federal absentee ballot standards.
Referred to interim joint committee.
SB 589 Allows election pages to count unmarked ballots.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.
SB 604 Ensures that in-person absentee voters who are in line at the time polling locations close are able to cast their ballot that day.
Referred to interim joint committee.
SB 739 Clarifies that former candidates for office must file a final finance report with the general registrar of the locality where they sought office.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.

LGBT Equality

SB 3 Removes provisions in the Code of Virginia prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 7-8.
SB 202 Prohibits LGBT discrimination in public employment.
Passed by indefinitely in the House General Laws subcommittee, 5-2, after passing the Senate, 29-10.
SB 603 Removes gendered terms with regards to marriage and associated rights.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 7-8.
SJ 1 Repeals Virginia’s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage.
Continued to the 2019 legislative session.

Gun Violence Prevention

SB 1 Prohibits bump stocks, trigger cranks and other devices that increase the rate of semi-automatic firearms to resemble that of machine guns.
Passed by indefinitely in the Senate Finance Committee, 10-6, after passing the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 11-4.
SB 2 Makes it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a loaded firearm in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 6-9.
SB 5 Implements universal background checks for any firearm sale or transfer.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 6-9.

Social & Criminal Justice Reform

SB 111 Reduces penalty for possession of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil penalty.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 6-9.
SB 578 Allows a judge discretion as to whether or not to suspend a driver's license in cases involving non-payment of court costs and fines.
Continued to the 2019 legislative session.
SB 920 Reduces the waiting period from 10 years to 8 years, after conviction of non-violent felony drug possession offenses, for those seeking to adopt children.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.
SB 921 Amends legislation from 2017 to clarify that exterior building plans for single family homes are available to the public, and building plans can be used by relevant government agencies and can be used in the Board of Zoning appeals process.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.

Local Government

SB 733 Provides localities authority to relocate monuments constructed prior to 1900 to city-owned history museums within a quarter-mile of the monument’s original location.
Defeated in the Senate Local Government Committee, 5-7.
SB 588 Allows museums to purchase annual special event ABC licenses.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.

Health & Education

SB 605 Prohibits public school employees from recommending any employee suspected of sexual misconduct to another employer, unless the employee has been exonerated.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.
SJ 47 Designates the third week of September as Fall Prevention Awareness Week.
Passed the General Assembly.
SJ 74 Encourages Department of Health and Human Resources, Department of Education, and other state agencies to explore the feasibility of developing common applications for state services.
Passed the Senate, 40-0, defeated in the House Rules Subcommittee.

State Government

SJ 8 Allows Virginia Governors to serve two consecutive terms. Would not take effect until after 2021 general elections.
Continued to the 2019 legislative session.
SB 606 Establishes an Office of Immigrant Assistance within the Department of Social Services.
Defeated in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee, 7-8.

Lending & Taxation

SB 918 Ensures that professional licenses cannot be suspended or revoked as a penalty for falling behind on student loans.
Passed the General Assembly, signed by Governor Ralph Northam, to become effective July 1.
SB 963 Provides a 90% Virginia Income Tax Credit for taxpayers contributing to the Commonwealth Competitiveness Fund. Moneys in the fund shall be used for exclusively public purposes, with 10% of the Fund allocated to children qualifying for the federal Free Lunch Program.
Defeated in the Senate Finance Committee, 4-12.

Public Safety

SB 919 Allows the court to punish motorists who seriously injure or kill pedestrians or cyclists as a result of careless or distracted driving, with a six month driver’s license suspension, fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail, in addition to any other applicable penalties.
Defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, 6-7.