New state laws to go into effect July 1

 

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Below are some of the new state laws that will go into effect Friday, July 1.

CIVIL LAW

1.) HB 703/SB 415. Legal age for marriage; 18 years of age. The law provides that both parties to a marriage must be 18 years of age or older or emancipated at the time of solemnization by removing exceptions that allow marriage at a minimum age of 16 with the consent of the parent or guardian or younger than 16 in the case of pregnancy and with the consent of the parent or guardian and provides that marriages entered into in violation of this law are voidable. The law also allows a minor to petition the juvenile and domestic relations district court for emancipation based on such minor’s desire to enter into a marriage. The law provides that, to allow emancipation based on such minor’s desire to enter into a marriage, the court must make certain written findings, including that it is the minor’s own will to enter into the marriage, that the individuals to be married are mature enough to make a decision to marry, that the marriage will not endanger the safety of the minor, and that it is in the best interests of the minor to be emancipated.

CRIMINAL OFFENSES

2.) HB 1391/SB 49. Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty. The law provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) for family abuse to possess a firearm while the order is in effect. The law also provides that such person may continue to possess and transport a firearm for 24 hours after being served with the order for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm to another person. Under current law, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person subject to a protective order to purchase or transport a firearm.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS 

3.) HB 1231. Dogs injuring or killing poultry. The law allows the district court to order that any dog that has been found to have injured or killed only poultry be microchipped and either confined securely or transferred to another owner whom the court deems appropriate. Under current law, the court is required to order that such a dog be killed immediately or removed to another state.

ELECTIONS/VOTING

4.) SB 420. Voter registration; information required on voter registration application; adjudication of incapacity or felony conviction. The law removes the requirement that a person registering to vote who states that he was (i) previously adjudicated incapacitated and disqualified to vote or (ii) convicted of a felony and that his right to vote has been restored additionally provide information regarding the circumstances under which his right to vote has been restored.

FIREARMS

5.) HB 1163/SB 610. Recognition of out-of-state concealed handgun permits; photo identification. The law provides that the holder of an out-of-state concealed handgun permit who is at least 21 years of age is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia if (i) the other state has a 24-hour-a-day means of verification of the validity of the permits issued in that state, if available; (ii) the person carries a government-issued photo identification and displays it upon demand of a law-enforcement officer; and (iii) the person has not previously had a Virginia concealed handgun permit revoked. The law requires the Superintendent of State Police (Superintendent) to enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with other states that require an agreement to be in place before the state will recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. The law provides that if the Superintendent determines that another state requires the Attorney General to execute or formally approve such agreement, the Attorney General will execute or approve such agreement within 30 days of written notification by the Superintendent that the Attorney General is required to execute or approve such agreement. Current law recognizes concealed handgun permits issued by states that (a) provide a 24-hour-a-day means of verification of the validity of the permits issued in that state and (b) have requirements and qualifications that are adequate to prevent possession of a permit by persons who would be denied a permit in Virginia. In addition, the law requires the Superintendent, within 60 days of the effective date of the law, to enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition of concealed handgun permits or licenses with other states where agreements were in existence on December 1, 2015.

6.) HB 1386/SB 715. Firearms shows; voluntary background checks; penalties. The law requires the Department of State Police to be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at firearms shows if requested by a party involved in a transaction. The promoter of the firearms show shall furnish the Department of State Police sufficient facilities to perform the background checks. In order for the law to become effective, the U.S. Department of Justice must approve the policies and procedures that the Department of State Police will use to implement the provisions of the law.

GENERAL LAWS

7.) HB 1299/SB 229. Purchase of flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia by public bodies. The law provides that, effective July 1, 2017, whenever a state or local public body or school division purchases a flag of the United States or a flag of the Commonwealth for public use, such flag must be made in the United States from articles, materials, or supplies that are grown, produced, and manufactured in the United States, if available.

HEALTH

8.) HB 905. Advance disclosure of allowed amount or charge for procedure. The law requires every hospital to furnish a patient scheduled to receive an elective procedure, test, or service to be performed by the hospital, upon his request or the request of his legally authorized representative made no less than three days in advance of the date on which such elective procedure, test, or service is scheduled to be performed, with an estimate of the payment amount for which the participant will be responsible for such elective procedure, test, or service

9.) SB 701. Cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil; permitting of pharmaceutical processors to manufacture and provide. The law authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The law sets limits on the number of permits that the Board may issue and requires that the Board adopt regulations establishing health, safety, and security requirements for permitted processors. The law provides that only a licensed practitioner of medicine or osteopathy who is a neurologist or who specializes in the Page 8 June 2016 In Due Course treatment of epilepsy may issue a written certification to a patient for the use of cannabidiol oil or THCA oil. The law also requires that a practitioner who issues a written certification for cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil, the patient issued such certification, and, if the patient is a minor or incapacitated, the patient’s parent or legal guardian register with the Board. The law requires further that a pharmaceutical processor shall not provide cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil to a patient or a patient’s parent or legal guardian without first verifying that the patient, the patient’s parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor or incapacitated, and the practitioner who issued the written certification have registered with the Board. Finally, the law provides an affirmative defense for agents and employees of pharmaceutical processors in a prosecution for the manufacture, possession, or distribution of marijuana. An enactment clause provides that except for provisions requiring the Board to promulgate regulations, the provisions of the law do not become effective unless reenacted by the 2017 Session of the General Assembly.

REGULATION OF COMMERCE 

10.) HB 775/SB 646. Fantasy Contests Act; registration required; conditions of registration; civil penalty. The law creates the Fantasy Contests Act (the Act), which applies to fantasy contests with an entry fee offered in Virginia. The law defines “fantasy contest” as any online fantasy or simulated game or contest in which (i) the value of all prizes and awards offered to winning participants is established and made known to the participants in advance of the contest; (ii) all winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals, including athletes in the case of sports events; and (iii) no winning outcome is based on the score, the point spread, or any performance of any single actual team or combination of teams or solely on any single performance of an individual athlete or player in any single actual event. The law requires a fantasy contest operator, as a condition for registration, to establish procedures that include ensuring that players who are the subject of a fantasy contest are restricted from entering a fantasy contest that is determined, in whole or part, on the accumulated statistical results of a team of individuals in which such players are participants. The law requires operators of fantasy contests to register annually with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and to contract with a testing laboratory to verify the procedures for fantasy contests. The law sets forth penalties for violation of the Act. The law provides that fantasy contests conducted in accordance with these measures are not illegal gambling.

TRAFFIC OFFENSES

11.) HB 1348. Smoking in motor vehicles; presence of minor under age eight; civil penalty. The law provides that any person who smokes in a motor vehicle, whether in motion or at rest, when a minor under the age of eight is in the motor vehicle is subject to a civil penalty of $100. The offense may be charged on a uniform traffic summons form. The law provides that such violation is a secondary offense

12.) SB 117. Opening and closing motor vehicle doors. The law requires drivers to wait for a reasonable opportunity to open vehicle doors on the side adjacent to moving traffic. A violation constitutes a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $50.

WILDLIFE

13.) HB 584. Feeding of deer prohibited. The law authorizes a city or town to adopt an ordinance to prohibit the feeding of deer. The penalty for violating the ordinance is a $50 fine.

TRANSPORTATION 

14.) HB 1069. Toll collection procedures, fees, and penalties; period of nonpayment; notice of unpaid tolls; reciprocity agreements and enforcement. The law requires the Department of Transportation to allow E-ZPass account holders to provide an email or phone number and to electronically notify account holders of a toll violation and further requires toll operators to notify the Department of such toll violations. The law amends the definition of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes to ensure that mass transit vehicles and commuter buses meet the high-occupancy requirement. The law lengthens, from 30 to 60 days, the time period before the administrative fee increases from $25 to $100 for all toll violations. The law decreases the civil penalties for an unpaid toll violation on the HOT lanes, making them equal to civil penalties for other toll violations, and allows the HOT lanes operator to offer reduced civil penalties if the owner of the vehicle pays within 14 days prior to the hearing date, which is also permitted for other toll operators. For violations on any toll road, the law provides that for a first conviction there is a cap of $2,200 on civil penalties and administrative fees. The law also provides for a 10-day grace period for unpaid tolls and requires toll operators to attempt to process and collect unpaid tolls twice during such period. The law allows the Governor to enter into agreements on behalf of the Commonwealth with other states to provide for the enforcement of tolling violations occurring in Virginia on out-of-state residents and to enforce tolling violations in other states on Virginia residents. Reciprocity agreements with other states would provide for notification of the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or other similar entity in another state so that violators who have not paid would have their registration suspended in accordance with the agreement. The law allows for agreements between toll operators or high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes operators and DMV to include necessary information to enforce reciprocity agreements. The law states that a toll violation on the HOT lanes is a traffic infraction and that a HOT lanes operator shall mail the statutorily required invoice for unpaid tolls, as is the case for other toll violations. The law clarifies references to the issuance of summonses for toll violations and requires toll operators to attempt to collect tolls through a debt collector before mailing a summons. The law provides for a two-year statute of limitations for all toll violations.

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