Federal Legislation

Proposed Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

The Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration have called for repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They have indicated that they will replace it and a number of proposals have been made for what the replacement might be.

The Congressional Budget Office recently published a report estimating that, in the first year after repeal, 18 million people would lose insurance and premiums in the non-group market would spike up to 25 percent. One of the Republican bills to repeal parts of Obamacare would result in 32 million people losing health insurance and would double the price of insurance premiums within a decade.

Virginia General Assembly

The General Assembly convened on January 11 and is scheduled to adjourn on February 25. “Crossover,” the day on which the bills that have passed one house are sent to the other house was February 8. The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene to consider the Governor’s vetoes and amendments on April 5, 2017.

The following bills and resolutions, which would affect Virginians’ heath and well being, and particularly the wellness of Virginia’s women and girls, passed the General Assembly. They are either pending action by the Governor or have been approved or vetoed by the Governor, as noted. Bills approved by the Governor will be effective July 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted. We will post information shortly regarding bills that did not pass.

The bills are organized by category:

We hope you will use the information to make your voices heard. To contact the Governor, see governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the- governors-office/. For bills that return to the legislature, you can contact your Delegate and Senator.

 

Child care and child day programs

 

HB 1568, SB 897 requires criminal history background check for specified individuals seeking employment or volunteering with listed child care providers. HB 1568 House: Passed (73-Y 21-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor. SB 897 Senate: passed (38-Y 2-N); House: Passed with amendments (77-Y 22-N); Senate: House amendments agreed to by Senate (38-Y 0-N); Governor’s action deadline March 27, 2017.

 

Crime

 

SB 1060 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor, for any person to knowingly circumcise, excise, or infibulate the labia major, labia minora, or clitoris of a minor (female genital mutilation); includes penalties for parents and guardians to consent to it or to knowingly remove or cause or permit the removal of such minor from the Commonwealth for the purposes of performing such act; provides a civil cause of action for any person injured by such circumcision, etc. Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed with substitute (100-Y 0-N) Senate: House substitute agreed to (40-Y 0-N)

 

Education (See also Mental Health)

 

HB 2282 Requires each school board to ensure that each guidance counselor and school nurse that it employs receives training on the prevention of trafficking of children using awareness and training materials provided by the Board of Education and the Department of Social Services. House: passed (95-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (40-Y 0-N); House: Rejected (0-Y 99-N); Senate insisted on substitute (40-Y 0-N) and requested conference committee. Conference Report agreed to by Senate (40-Y )-N) and adopted by House (94-Y )-N)

HB 1536 Prohibits students in public preschool through grade three from being suspended for more than five school days or expelled except for drug offenses, firearm offenses, or certain criminal acts. House passed substitute (HB1536H1) (49-Y 47-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (33-Y 7-N); House: Rejected (0-Y 100-N); Senate insisted on substitute (40-Y 0-N) and requested conference committee; Conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N); adopted by House (94-Y 0-N)

SB 997Prohibits students in public preschool through grade three from being suspended for more than ten days or expelled except for drug offenses, firearm offenses, certain criminal acts, or if the underlying conduct involves other weapons, inappropriate sexual behavior, or serious bodily injury. Senate: Passed substitute (SB997S1) (34-Y 5-N 1-A); after reconsideration of passage, passed (34-Y 6-N); House: Reported from Committee on Education with substitute (13-Y 9-N)

HB 2257Requires any high school family life education curriculum offered by a local school division to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the law and meaning of consent; House: Passed as amended (HB2257E ) (83-Y 11-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (38-Y 2-N); House: Senate substitute adopted by House (92-Y 4-N); Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

SB 1475Makes changes to family life education curriculum guidelines and curricula, including requiring curriculum guidelines to include instruction in the value of family relationships and permitting age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on sexual violence that are required to be incorporated into HS FLE curriculum to include instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity. Senate: Passed as amended (SB1475E) (37-Y 2-N); consent House: Passed as amended (HB2257E ) (83-Y 11-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (38-Y 2-N); House: Senate substitute adopted by House (92-Y 4-N); Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

 

Employee Benefits & Rights

 

SB 1412 Creates a new classification of paid leave for a state employee who adopts an infant equivalent to the amount of paid leave awarded to an employee pursuant to short-term disability for maternity leave. Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed with substitute (100-Y 0-N); Senate: Acceded to House request for substitute (39-Y 0-N); Senate: Conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N); adopted by House (95-Y 0-N

 

Family Law

 

HB 1456 Provides that the court may use the phrase "parenting time" to be synonymous with the term "visitation" in a custody or visitation order. House: Passed (99-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (37-Y 2-N); Approved by Governor .

HB 2025, SB 1324 Provides that no person, as defined in the bill, shall be required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage or subject to any penalty solely on account of such person's belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman. HB 2025: House: Passed (57-Y 37-N); Senate: Reported from General Laws and Technology with amendments (8-Y 7-N). SB 1324: Senate: Passed as amended (SB1324E) (21-Y 19-N); House: adopted (54-Y 38-N); Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017. SB1324: Passed (21-Y 19-N); House: Passed with amendments (55-Y 411-N); House amendment rejected by Senate (0-Y 40-N); House: insisted on amendment; Conference: Report agreed to by Senate (20-Y 19-N); agreed to by House and adopted (57-Y 38-N)

HB 2064 Precludes a person who has been convicted of any felony defined as an act of violence from being eligible for first offender status for assault and battery against a family or household member unless the attorney for the Commonwealth does not object to the person being placed on first offender status. House: rejected Senate amendment (0-Y 99-N); Senate: insisted on amendment (40-Y 0-N): Conference report: agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N); agreed to by House and adopted (92-Y 0-N)

 

Health Insurance and Medical Assistance

 

HB 1567 Requires all entities approved by the Board of Medical Assistance Services to receive applications and to determine eligibility for medical assistance to provide each applicant information about advance directives. House: Passed (92-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor

 

Medical Practice & Health Services (see also Mental Health)

 

HB 2072 Nursing home family councils: Provides that rights of a nursing home resident's family to meet in the facility with the families of other residents of the facility by attending meetings of the family council shall not be restricted. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with amendment (40-Y 0-N); House: Adopted (97-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

SB 974 Requires the Department of Health to make information about and resources on palliative care available to the public, health care providers, and health care facilities on its website. Senate: passed 40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

SB 1179 Would require the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a workgroup to establish educational guidelines for training health care providers in the safe prescribing and appropriate use of opioids and report its progress and the outcomes of its activities to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2017. Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor (effective 2/20/17)

HB 2119 Would limit the practice of laser hair removal to a properly trained person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine or licensed as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, or to a properly trained person under the direction and supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathic medicine or physician assistant. House: Passed (90-Y 7-N); Senate: Passed Senate (25-Y 15-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 2153 Would provides that a Durable Do Not Resuscitate order or other order regarding life-sustaining treatment executed in accordance with the laws of another state in which such order was executed shall be deemed to be valid and shall be given full effect in the Commonwealth. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor

SB 1008 Clarifies the individual crimes that constitute a barrier for persons seeking employment in specified health care facilities; licensure, registration, or approval as assisted living facilities, child welfare agencies, or family day homes approved by family day systems; placement for a child; approval of foster and adoptive homes; providers of adult services and adult foster care. Adds certain offenses to the list of barrier crimes. Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Passed with substitute (100-Y 0-N); Senate: House substitute agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N)

 

Mental Health

 

HB 2258 Directs the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to report to the Governor and the General Assembly on its activities related to suicide prevention across the lifespan by December 1, 2017. House: Passed substitute (HB2258H1) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017

HB 1910, SB 1062 Adds physician assistant to the list of mental health service providers who have a duty to take precautions to protect third parties from violent behavior or other serious harm. HB1910 House: passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N); SB1062: Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor.

SB 1020 Authorizes the registration of peer recovery specialists and qualified mental health professionals by the Board of Counseling; defines "qualified mental health professional" and "registered peer recovery specialist"; requires that a such individuals provide services as an employee or independent contractor of a mental health service provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services other specified entities. Passed substitute (SB1020S1) (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (80-Y 16-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017.

SB 1117 Requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement as a school counselor to complete training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse. Senate: Passed (31-Y 9-N); House: Passed (98-Y 2-N)

 

Older Virginians

 

HB 1716 Extends the sunset date of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2020. House passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor.

HB 1922 Clarifies that all cases involving suspected financial exploitation of an adult shall be immediately referred to local law enforcement for investigation; in cases of where losses to the adult are suspected to be greater than $50,000, local department of social services or adult protective services hotline immediately refer the matter and documentation to the State Police for investigation. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (40-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 1946 Amends provisions related to the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and its access to and handling of certain information and records to conform to federal requirements and remove ambiguities; prohibits interference with or retaliation or reprisals against the Office or its representatives or designees or against a good faith complainant; requires the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to promulgate regulations regarding the investigation of allegations of interference, retaliation, or reprisals and the implementation of sanctions; requires the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services to put in place mechanisms to ensure the Office can carry out specified functions. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 2304 Would have the Department of Medical Assistance Services require all individuals who administer preadmission screenings for long-term care services to receive training on and be certified in the use of the Uniform Assessment Instrument and require DMAS to develop a training and certification program, guidelines for a standardized preadmission screening process, and strengthen oversight of the preadmission screening; other requirements for contracts and reporting. House: Passed with Appropriations Committee substitute (HB2304H2) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (40-Y 0-N); House: rejected Senate substitute (0-Y 100-N); Senate insisted on substitute (39-Y 0-N); Conference report agreed to by House and adopted (94-Y 1-N); agreed to by Senate (40-Y )-N)

 

Public Assistance (TANF, Food stamps)

 

HB 2207 Requires the Department of Social Services to monitor all requests for replacement of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards issued to food stamp program recipients; restricts replacement if request is excessive, as defined in the bill. House: Passed (70-Y 29-N); Senate: Passed with amendment (20-Y 19-N); House: Senate amendment rejected (1-Y 94-NSenate: ); Conference report agreed to by Senate (21-Y 19-N); Conference agreed to by House and adopted (65-Y 30-N)

 

Reproductive Health

 

HB 2264 Prohibits the Department of Health from spending any funds on an abortion that is not qualified for matching funds under the Medicaid program or providing any grants or other funds to any entity that performs such abortions; prioritizes the types of entities that the Department of Health contracts with or provides grants to for family planning services. House: Passed (60-Y 33-N) Senate: Passed (20-Y 19-N); Vetoed by Governor; House: Sustained Governor’s veto (62-Y 33-N)

HB 2267 Requires any health benefit plan that provides coverage for hormonal contraceptives to cover up to a 12-month supply of hormonal contraceptives when dispensed or furnished at one time; does not require a provider to prescribe, furnish, or dispense 12 months of self-administered hormonal contraceptives at one time. The measure also provides that it shall not be construed to exclude coverage for hormonal contraceptives as prescribed by a provider for reasons other than contraceptive purposes, such as decreasing the risk of ovarian cancer or eliminating symptoms of menopause, or for contraception that is necessary to preserve the life or health of an enrollee. House: Passed (94-Y 1-N); Senate: Passed (34-Y 6-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HR 268 Recognizes January 22 as the Day of Tears in Virginia. Adopted (57-Y 36-N)

 

Substance Use, Controlled Substances

 

HB 1750 Provides that a pharmacist may dispense naloxone in the absence of a patient-specific prescription pursuant to a standing order issued by the Commissioner of Health authorizing the dispensing of naloxone or other opioid antagonist used for overdose reversal in the absence of an oral or written order for a specific patient issued by a prescriber. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor.

HB 2161 Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a workgroup to develop educational standards and curricula for training health care providers in the safe and appropriate use of opioids to treat pain while minimizing the risk of addiction and substance abuse; to report its progress and the to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2017. House: Passed with amendments (HB2161E) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor (effective 2/23/17)

HB 2163, SB 1178 Provides that for the purpose of treating substance use disorder, products containing buprenorphine without naloxone shall be issued only for a patient who is pregnant; sunsets on July 1, 2022. HB2163: House: Passed substitute (HB2163H1) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with substitute (40-Y 0-N); House: Substitute agreed to; adopted emergency (98-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017; SB1178: Senate: Senate: Passed with amendment (SB1178E) (39-Y 0-N); House: passed with substitute (97-Y 0-N); Senate: House substitute agreed to (40-Y 0-N);Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 1453 Allows a specified persons authorized by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to train individuals on the administration of naloxone for use in opioid overdose reversal and to dispense, in specified circumstances, naloxone to a person who has completed a training program on the administration of naloxone for opioid overdose reversal. House: Passed substitute (HB1453H1) (97-Y 0-N): Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor (effective 2/23/17)

HB 2162 Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a work group to study barriers to treatment of substance-exposed infants in the Commonwealth to review current policies and practices, identify barriers to treatment and develop legislative, budgetary, and policy and report findings to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2017. House: Passed as amended (HB2162E) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor (effective 2/23/17)

HB 1786, SB 1086 Provides that if a local department of social service responds to a report of suspected abuse or neglect of a child, the local department shall complete a report and enter it into the statewide automated system maintained by DSS; requires family assessment or investigation if a report or complaint of suspected child abuse or neglect is based on suspected substance abuse by the mother; specifies information to be collected; requires mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect to make reports. HB1786: House: Passed substitute (HB1786H1) (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor. SB 1086: Senate: Passed substitute (SB1086S1) (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (99-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 1885, SB 1232 Requires a prescriber registered with the Prescription Monitoring Program to request information about a patient from the Program upon initiating a new course of treatment that includes prescribing of opioids anticipated, at the onset of treatment, to last more than seven days; sunset for this requirement extended from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2022. HB 1885: House: Passed substitute HB1885H1 (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Governor recommendation to House; House: Concurred in Governor’s recommendation and adopted (100-Y 0-N); Senate: concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N); Governor's recommendation adopted, effective July 1, 2017. SB 1232: Senate: Passed substitute (SB1232S1) (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Governor recommendation to Senate; Senate concurred in Governor’s recommendation (39-Y 0-N); House: Concurred in Governor’s recommendation and adopted (93-Y 0-N); Governor's recommendation adopted, effective July 1, 2017

HB 2165, SB 1230 Requires a prescription for any controlled substance containing an opiate to be issued as an electronic prescription and prohibits a pharmacist from dispensing a controlled substance that contains an opiate unless the prescription is issued as an electronic prescription, beginning July 1, 2020; requires the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a work group to review actions necessary for the implementation of the bill and evaluate hardships on prescribers and make recommendations for any extension or exemption processes and report its progress to the Chairmen of the House Comm. on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Comm. on Education and Health by November 1, 2017 and a final by November 1, 2018. HB 2165: House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor (see bill re effective date) SB 1230: Senate: Passed (39-Y 0-N); House: Passed with amendments (96-Y 0-N); Senate: agreed toHouse amendments (40-Y 0-N); Governor’s Action Deadline March 27, 2017

SB 1027 Authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy 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. Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed with substitute with amendment (99-Y 0-N); House: Passed Emergency (99-Y 0-N); Senate: House substitute with amendment agreed to by Senate (38-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

HB 2167, SB 1180 Directs the Boards of Dentistry and Medicine to adopt regulations for the prescribing of opioids and products containing buprenorphine; requires Prescription Monitoring Program to provide annual report to the Joint Commission on Health Care on the prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines. HB 2167: House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed with amendment (40-Y 0-N); House: Senate amendment agreed to by House, adopted emergency (97-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017; SB 1180: Senate: Passed with amendment (SB1180E) (39-Y 0-N): House: Passed with amendment (97-Y 0-N); Senate: House amendment rejected (0-Y 40-N); House insisted on amendment; Conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) and House, adopted emergency (99-Y 0-N)

 

Tobacco and Smoking

 

HB 1950 Requires localities that impose a tax and require stamps as evidence of payment to provide a refund for any stamps that are returned to the locality. House: Passed (95-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (38-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor

 

Youth (see also Education, Mental Health)

 

HB 1751, SB 1050 Expands the mission of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to include the reduction and prevention of substance use by youth in the Commonwealth. HB 1751 House: Passed (92-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor. SB 1050 Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor

HB 2215 Moves the requirement that a child be a citizen or legal resident of the United States from the definition of "child with special needs" to the eligibility criteria for the adoptive parents of such child to receive adoption assistance; modifies the exception to the eligibility requirement that efforts be made to place the child in an adoptive home without the provision of adoption assistance to include consideration of the child's best interest due to factors such as the child's development of significant emotional ties with his foster parents while in their care, provided that the foster parents wish to adopt the child; modifies other requirements for a child with special needs to receive certain types of adoption assistance and for a child who is between the ages of 18 and 21 to receive adoption assistance. House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Senate: Passed (40-Y 0-N); Approved by Governor.

SB 865 Exempts the transfer of a dirk, switchblade knife, or bowie knife between family members or for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity from the current prohibition against selling, bartering, giving, or furnishing such weapons to a minor. Senate: Passed (21-Y 19-N); House: Passed (59-Y 40-N)

SB 868 Requires the State Board of Social Services to promulgate regulations that require local departments of social services to respond to valid reports and complaints alleging suspected abuse or neglect of a child under the age of two within 24 hours of receiving such reports or complaints. Senate: passed substitute (SB868S1) (40-Y 0-N); House: Passed (97-Y 0-N); Governor's Action Deadline March 27, 2017

SB 1315 Requires that possession of any firearms or other weapons in a foster home comply with federal and state laws and that the individual providing foster care services store all firearms, other weapons, and ammunition in a locked closet or cabinet unless they are being lawfully carried on the individual's person. Senate: Passed (38-Y 2-N); House: Passed (65-Y 35-N)