RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that he has patroned 11 bills and chief co-patroned 2 bills that have passed in the House of Delegates this Session. Today marks the midpoint of Session, also known as Crossover Day, where the House and Senate must complete work on their respective bills so that they may go over to the other body for consideration.
“I am very pleased that so many pieces of my legislation have been so successful this year. I believe we put together a strong package this year, and I am thrilled to see so many of these important measures advance.” said Delegate Bell. “I am hopeful that this legislation will continue to advance in the Senate.”
The most recent legislation to pass are House Bills 72 and 218.
House Bill 72 would require highway work zones to be clearly marked with warning signs and attached flashing lights. This legislation passed in the House of Delegates today unanimously. House Bill 218 requires local school divisions to ensure that the Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams consider the specific communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and address those needs in the child’s IEP. It passed in the House today with a vote of 98-1.
“I am glad to see both of these bills pass in the House of Delegates.” said Delegate Bell. “House Bill 72 was brought to me by a constituent, and will provide additional protection for highway workers, as well as drivers throughout the Commonwealth. House Bill 218 was also brought by a constituent, and if passed will help improve the educational opportunities for deaf children. I hope that each of these bills will continue to gain support in the State Senate.”
The other legislation that has advanced out of the House for the 2012 Session is as follows:
House Bill 48 codifies a version of the "castle doctrine," allowing the use of physical force, including deadly force, by a person in his dwelling against an intruder in the dwelling who has committed an overt act against him or another person who is lawfully in the dwelling. This bill passed in the House of Delegates with a vote of 70-38.
House Bill 74 reduces the time limit for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect from 72 hours to 24 hours. Additionally, it provides that the person who receives the report shall notify the person who makes the initial report when the abuse or neglect has been reported to local or state authorities. This bill passed in the House with a vote of 96-0.
House Bill 98 Amends the definition of the practice of athletic training so that licensed physical therapists may no longer direct such practice. It passed in the House with a vote of 98-0.
House Bill 217 provides that the provisions of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act do not apply to personal information systems maintained by the Department of Social Services related to child welfare, adult services or adult protective services, or public assistance programs when requests for personal information are made to the Department of Social Services. Such personal information requests are required to be made to the appropriate local department of social services. It passed with a vote of 98-0.
House Bill 576 makes several changes to the processes by which teachers and certain administrators are evaluated and retained. Specifically, it replaces the current continuing contract system with a term contract of three years and requires new hires to have a five year probationary period. It also requires annual evaluations of teachers, principals, and superintendents and includes student performance as a significant factor in these evaluations, and requires that force-reduction measures consider performance rather than seniority. It passed with a vote of 55-43.
House Bill 577 clarifies that teachers of online courses and in college partnership laboratory schools shall, as a condition of employment requiring direct contact with students, provide written consent and the necessary personal information to obtain a search of the registry of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect maintained by the Department of Social Services. It passed with a vote of 100-0.
House Bill 578 requires the Board of Education to develop licensure criteria for teachers who teach only online courses. The bill also provides that teachers who hold a Board issued five-year renewable license may teach online courses for which they are properly endorsed. This bill passed with a vote of 100-0.
House Bill 1215 requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations establishing standards for accreditation of public virtual schools that enroll students full time. This bill passed with a vote of 92-5.
House Bill 1216 provides that when a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance involves a tract of land owned by the Commonwealth or by the federal government, and when the proposed change affects only a portion of the larger tract, notice need be given only to the owners of those properties that are adjacent to the affected area of the larger tract. This bill passed with a vote of 98-0.
Additionally, he was the chief co-patron of two pieces of legislation that have advanced out of the house.
House Bill 14 provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily injury. This legislation is identical to Delegate Bell’s House Bill 47, which was stricken. This bill passed in the House with a vote of 75-22.
House Bill 263 provides that the Director of the Department of General Services and not the Director of the Division of Purchases and Supply has the authority to grant exemptions from mandatory procurement of articles produced or manufactured by persons confined in state correctional facilities. This bill incorporated Delegate Bell’s House Bill 90, and passed in the House with a vote of 100-0.
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