10 McClellan-Patroned Laws Go into Effect Today
RICHMOND, Va. – Today, 10 bills chief-patroned by Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) in the 2022 Session became law. The 10 McClellan bills will expand access to the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange to lower health care costs; preserve evidence from sexual assault for at least 10 years; strengthen prevention programs for at-risk youth; protect Virginians from unwanted digital flashing; and, preserve historic African-American cemeteries established between 1900 and 1948. All bills received bipartisan support.
Sen. McClellan also had three bills advance during special session, which are pending communication to the Governor for his action: SB 471 making changes to the state Literary Fund school construction loan program to make more money available to local school divisions through loans with lower interest rates; SB 473 to create The School Construction Fund and Program to provide grants to school boards to finance school construction and modernization; and SB 490 amending the state Standards of Quality to ensure that every elementary school has a full-time principal.
“These new laws will make health care more affordable, keep Virginians safe, support at-risk young Virginians, and preserve our history,” Sen. McClellan said. “We have major work to do to continue to improve the lives of Virginians and strengthen our communities. I look forward to building on that work next session.”
The following McClellan bills become law today:
Health Exchange Navigators (SB 469): Sen. McClellan’s bill will increase access to the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange, enabling Virginians to save money on health care. The bill directs the Exchange to develop a budget and plan for enhanced marketing and navigator services. McClellan and Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) sponsored legislation in 2020 creating the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange. This bill is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Health Care as part of its study addressing health insurance marketplace affordability in the individual market. Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) carried companion legislation, HB 312, which also takes effect today.
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Delinquency Prevention and Youth Development (SB 485): Sen. McClellan’s bill strengthens the Delinquency Prevention and Youth Development Act (DPYDA). Passed in 1979, the DPYDA focuses on funding prevention services for at-risk youth before they enter the juvenile justice system. Sen. McClellan’s bill provides greater flexibility for localities, removing burdensome administrative responsibilities for localities to access DPYDA funding, and providing clearer guidelines for how localities could use the funding.
Unsolicited Intimate Digital Images (SB 493): Sen. McClellan’s bill helps protect Virginians from unsolicited intimate digital images by establishing a civil penalty for an adult who knowingly sends an intimate image digitally to another adult who has not consented to or has expressly forbidden receipt of such image. SB 493 only applies to senders, recipients, and images involving individuals above the age of 18, as minors are protected by other laws. Sen. McClellan worked on a bipartisan basis on this legislation with Senators Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier) and Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), and Delegates Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) and Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield).
Physical Evidence Recovery Kits (SB 658): Sen. McClellan’s bill requires that physical evidence recovery kits in Virginia be stored by law enforcement for 10 years, or, in the case of a minor victim, until 10 years after the victim turns 18. Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) carried companion legislation, HB 719, which also takes effect today.
Virginia History and Culture
Historic African-American Cemeteries (SB 477): Under current law, historic African-American cemeteries established before 1900 are eligible for maintenance and preservation support through the Virginia Historical African American Cemeteries and Graves Fund. However, some historic cemeteries – such as Woodland Cemetery in Henrico County founded in 1916 – are not eligible for the fund. Sen. McClellan’s bill changes the establishment date eligibility from 1900 to 1948, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racially segregated cemeteries. Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond) carried the House companion, which also takes effect today.
Central Virginia Transportation Authority (SB 476): Sen. McClellan’s bill adds a representative of Richmond International Airport as a member of the Central Virginia Transportation Authority (CVTA). The CVTA currently includes ex-officio members from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Port Authority, the airport Greater Richmond Transit Company, and the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Adding an airport representative provides the CVTA a more complete picture of regional transportation needs and issues. Delegate McQuinn carried the House companion bill, HB 138, which also takes effect today.
Capital Region Airport Commission Enabling Act (SB 478): Sen. McClellan’s bill authorizes the Capital Region Airport Commission – the entity that owns and operates Richmond International Airport – to make charitable donations and provide assistance to educational and charitable entities, organizations and programs. These endeavors will be designed to foster an appreciation by the public of the importance of aviation, assist the public in aviation travel, or help develop and educate the next generation of aviation professionals in the Commonwealth. Delegate McQuinn carried the House companion, which also takes effect today.
Children’s Museum (SB 470): Sen. McClellan’s bill grants easements for the Children’s Museum of Virginia to access the new parking deck and green space that will be shared space between the Children’s Museum and the Science Museum of Virginia.
9-10. Code Commission Bills: McClellan introduced two bills recommended by the Virginia Code Commission to make technical amendments to sections of the Code of Virginia dealing with The Administrative Process Act (SB 480) and Health Services (SB 479).