New Virginia laws set to take effect Wednesday

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Several new laws are set to take effect Wednesday in Virginia. Here are a few highlights:

Social media: Employers cannot ask employees or prospective employees for the username and passwords of social media accounts.

Breastfeeding: Women can breastfeed anywhere the mother is lawfully present. A rally to celebrate the new law is happening at Maymont Park Wednesday at 11 a.m. More than 100 people are expected to come out.

Campus sex assault: Lawmakers have approved several measures related to campus sex assault violence. They include requiring campus police departments to notify local prosecutors within 48 hours of starting any investigation into possible felony sexual assault and requiring university registrars to put a note on the transcripts of any student who is suspended, expelled or withdraws from school for reasons related to an offense involving sexual violence.

Medical marijuana: The law provides an “affirmative defense” for epilepsy patients who have a doctor’s note to use cannabidiol oil for treatment.

State song: Virginia how has two official state songs. The official traditional song is “Our Great Virginia” and the official popular song is “Sweet Virginia Breeze.”

Police drones: The law requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant for use of unmanned aircraft systems.

Traffic: Drivers can now be cited for following too closely to a bicycle or moped. You can now cross a double-yellow line, when safe, to pass a bike or a pedestrian. Additionally, the “Move Over” law is also being expanded as of this morning. Before today, you only had to move over for emergency responders, but now you will need to move over for any vehicles performing roadside services.

Hemp: Farmers can now grow industrial hemp as part of a university-managed research program.

Military: Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will now be eligible for veteran ID cards in the Commonwealth, which also allows them to get military discounts at participating businesses. The first applicants for those cards will be honored at a ceremony later today.

Click here for a look at all the new laws in Virginia from the Division of Legislative Services. You can also check out the online version of Virginia’s code by clicking here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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