With the new year, comes new laws. Several state laws will go into effect Saturday, and a lot of them will most certainly have an effect on our day to day lives
Here are some details about a few of them:
Left lane fines
Slower drivers who camp out in the left lane can be fined $100 (HB2201). Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, told WTOP radio the change would address “a particularly pervasive and ever-growing problem of cars going grossly under the speed limit in the left lane.” He hopes the new penalty would encourage drivers to move over and cut down on road rage from drivers stuck behind slowpokes.
Don’t call it a visitation
Judges will be allowed to use the words “parenting time” instead of “visitation” in custody cases (HB1456). Del. Dave Albo, R-Fairfax, said a partner who practices family law suggested it because parents who don’t get “visitation” rights say they feel like second-class parents.
Birth control access
Women will be able to get a full year’s prescription for birth control at one time (HB2267). Currently women can get only one or three months’ at a time. Advocates say women are more likely to use birth control continuously and consistently if they have a full year’s worth, leading to significant drops in unintended pregnancies and abortions.
State pay raises
If you’re a state trooper or other employee, a public school teacher or a state college faculty member, you’ll see some more income through the budget (HB1500). State employees will get a 3 percent raise and teachers a 2 percent raise. State trooper starting wages are going up significantly, and the budget also addressed pay compression for more veteran members of the force. Raises go into effect July 10 and will be reflected in the first August paychecks.
Driver’s ed to teach police interaction
Young drivers will be taught “appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers” in public school driver’s education courses (HB2290). It aims to cut down on confusion and fear during traffic stops and would cover law enforcement procedure and how drivers should respond.
Outdoor drinking in certain areas
You’ll be able to buy a drink at one tavern, carry it outdoors and even to another establishment in certain pedestrian-friendly commercial districts under a new type of alcohol license (HB1987). The law was created for a Northern Virginia mixed-use center. Officials from Virginia Beach’s Town Center, one of the few Hampton Roads places that may qualify, have said they are not likely to pursue such a license. It does leave the door open for a developer to bring the idea to Hampton Roads.
The state can now sell 151-proof neutral grain alcohol like Everclear. Previously, it could only sell 101 proof. But it still can’t sell the strongest version – 190 proof.
Driver’s license suspension, marijuana, and court fee payment plans
Those convicted of a first-time marijuana offense will avoid an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension (SB 1091). Another new law will make it easier for people with court debts to enter into a deferred or installment payment plan to avoid having their licenses suspended (HB2386). The bill sets a down-payment limit of $100.
What to do after a car crash
Drivers will be required to move a vehicle from the road after a breakdown, accident or another emergency that did not result in injury or death if the vehicle is movable and the driver is capable of safely doing so (HB2022). Del. Ron Villanueva, R-Virginia Beach, hopes it decreases the length of time that crashes tie up interstates.
Airbnb/short-term rental registries
Local governments will be allowed to create registers of those who offer their property for short-term rentals through online sites like Airbnb (SB1578). The registries would give officials name and address information needed to regulate and tax the rentals. Those who don’t register could be fined up to $500.
Ticket buyers will be able to resell tickets on any online platform (HB1825). Some sellers, like Ticketmaster, now require ticket holders to resell on their secondary-seller platform.
Schedule your vehicle inspections
Drivers will be able to schedule their annual vehicle inspections with auto shops that have more than one inspection lane (SB 1507). One lane would have to remain first-come, first-served.
Hunters can make a new fashion statement this deer season. The law adds “blaze pink” or a hot pink color to the types of hunting apparel required during the regular firearms or special muzzle-loading rifle seasons (HB1939).
Electronic hunting license
Hunters, who were required to have their paper license on them when hunting, can carry an electronic version instead.
No peeping Toms
If you use an electronic device to enter the property of another or secretly peep or spy into someone’s property, it can be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Lifetime pet licenses
Localities can offer lifetime dog or cat licenses. The law sets the maximum tax for a lifetime license at $50.
Principals must notify the parent of any student involved in any bullying of the status of any investigation within five school days .
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*original article posted https://pilotonline.com/news/government/virginia/article_a8920f09-658d-58d1-805b-9b0b84269408.html*