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Gov. Youngkin signs 100+ bills into law

Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed more than 100 bills into law. Summaries will be reported during the coming weeks.

Below is a summary of some of the bills that were signed:

HB 938 (Robinson) - Board of Education; stakeholder group; evaluation of and recommendations for certain current and proposed policies and performance standards for public elementary and secondary schools. Requires the Board of Education to collaborate with the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Secretary of Education to convene a group of stakeholders to include parents, public school principals, public school superintendents, public school board members, public school teachers, institutions of higher education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, industry partners and employers, and other concerned stakeholders to evaluate, to implement where possible, and to otherwise make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the following goals: (i) promoting excellence in instruction and student achievement in mathematics; (ii) expanding the Advanced Studies Diploma as an option for students in public high schools in the Commonwealth; (iii) increasing the transparency and honesty of performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth; (iv) ensuring that performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools prioritize the attainment of grade-level proficiency and growth during the course of a school year and from school year to school year in reading and mathematics for all students, especially in grades kindergarten through five; (v) ensuring that the Commonwealth’s proficiency standards on Standards of Learning assessments in reading and mathematics are maintained; and (vi) ensuring a strong accreditation system that promotes meaningful accountability year-over-year. The bill requires the Secretary of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, no later than November 30, 2022, to report to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health the results of such evaluation and recommendations to achieve such goals.

SB 656 (Dunnavant) - Department of Education; local school boards; policies on sexually explicit content in instructional material. Requires the Department of Education to develop no later than July 31, 2022, model policies and each local school board to adopt no later than January 1, 2023, policies for ensuring parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to (i) ensuring parental notification; (ii) directly identifying the specific instructional material and sexually explicit subjects; and (iii) permitting the parent of any student to review instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests. The bill provides that the local school board policies shall be consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies developed by the Department. The bill states that the provisions of the bill shall not be construed as requiring or providing for the censoring of books in public elementary and secondary schools.

HB 225 (Coyner) & SB 321 (Vogel) - Health insurance; definition of autism spectrum disorder. Provides that for the purposes of required health insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, “autism spectrum disorder” means any pervasive developmental disorder or autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the most recent edition or the most recent edition at the time of diagnosis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association and “medically necessary” means in accordance with the generally accepted standards of mental disorder or condition care and clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, site, and duration, based upon evidence and reasonably expected to do any of the following: (i) prevent the onset of an illness, condition, injury, or disability; (ii) reduce or ameliorate the physical, mental, or developmental effects of an illness, condition, injury, or disability; or (iii) assist to achieve or maintain maximum functional capacity in performing daily activities, taking into account both the functional capacity of the individual and the functional capacities that are appropriate for individuals of the same age.

SB 202 (Newman) - Study; Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security; increase use of alternative custody arrangements for individuals subject to an emergency custody or temporary detention order; report. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, together with the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, to study options to increase the use of alternative custody arrangements for individuals who are subject to an emergency custody or temporary detention order and to report his findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committees on Education and Health and Finance and Appropriations by October 1, 2022.

HB 236 (Orrock) Board of Education; authority to temporarily extend certain teachers’ licenses. Permits the Board of Education to grant a two-year extension of the license of any individual licensed by the Board of Education pursuant to its statutory authority whose license expires on June 30, 2022, in order to provide the individual with sufficient additional time to complete the requirements for licensure or license renewal. The bill contains an emergency clause.

HB 223 (Coyner) & SB 437 (Dunnavant)- Insurance for employees of certain public school foundations. Provides that any locality may provide group life, accident, and health insurance programs for employees of certain public school foundations.

SB 212 (Kiggans)- Special license plates; United States Navy; Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Fund. Authorizes the issuance of revenue-sharing special license plates with a design that incorporates the emblem of the United States Navy to active members and certain veterans of the United States Navy. The bill provides that unremarried surviving spouses of such service members may also be issued such special license plates. The bill creates the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Fund to utilize funds from the license plate fees to support the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in Virginia.

HB 1278 (Wiley) - Conveyance of certain property; conditions. Authorizes the Department of Wildlife Resources to convey certain property to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Any deed of conveyance shall include a condition that the property be open to public use, including public fishing, and shall provide that the property shall revert to the Commonwealth if the condition is not met.

SB 221 (Obenshain) - Indexing of wills; pilot program in Rockingham County. Permits the clerk of the Rockingham County Circuit Court to establish a pilot project for an index of wills lodged for safekeeping, with a searchable database available to the public.

SB 227 (Obenshain) - Misdemeanor sexual offenses where the victim is a minor; statute of limitations; penalty. Provides that the prosecution of the misdemeanor offense of causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent where the alleged adult offender has consensual sexual intercourse with a minor who is 15 years of age or older at the time of the offense shall be commenced no later than five years after the victim reaches majority provided that the alleged adult offender was more than three years older than the victim at the time of the offense. Under current law, the prosecution of such offense shall be commenced within one year after commission of the offense.

HB 238 (Orrock) - Land use assessment; forms. Provides that the forms used for revalidation of applications for land use assessment shall be prepared by the Department of Taxation. Under current law, such forms are prepared by the locality. The bill directs the Department to seek input from localities across the Commonwealth in developing such forms.

HB 235 (Orrock) - Rehabilitation hospitals; arrangements for follow-up care. Directs the Board of Health to convene a work group to provide recommendations regarding regulations requiring hospitals to develop protocols for connecting patients receiving rehabilitation services to necessary follow-up care. The bill requires the work group to report its recommendations to the Board of Health by October 1, 2022.

More bill summaries in the coming days.

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