2020 General Assembly Session

Buses, Buildings, and Safety Related Legislation

2020 General Assembly Summary

Buses, Buildings, and Safety Related Legislation

Fairfax County Public Schools, Office of Government Relations

 

This report describes all of the Buses, Buildings and Safety-related legislation considered during the 2020 General Assembly Regular Session.  Bills are listed in one of three categories: Approved, Continued to 2021, or Failed. 

Approved legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2020 unless otherwise specified in the legislation itself.

Bills designated as “Continued to 2021” are effectively “Failed” for purposes of the 2020 Session, but can still be acted upon by the Committee that recommended Continuing the legislation prior to the 2021 Session (by December 3, 2020).  Even if a bill were to be acted upon prior to that deadline (which rarely occurs), it would still have to proceed through the remainder of the legislative process (pass in both chambers, signed by the Governor) during the 2021 Session.

Summaries are linked to the Division of Legislative Services’ web pages for text, up to date summary information, and fiscal impact statements. If a bill of interest is not found in one category, please check another as legislation often can fit under multiple categories.

 

UPDATED:  March 30, 2020

BUILDINGS, BUSES, AND SAFETY - PASSED

Commission on School Construction and Modernization Established; Report SB 888 (McClellan) establishes the Commission on School Construction and Modernization for the purpose of providing guidance and resources to local school divisions related to school construction and modernization and making funding recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor. The bill has a sunset date of July 1, 2026, with a provision that if the Commission does not receive funding in the appropriation act after its first year, it will sunset on July 1 of the following year.

Conditional Zoning for Solar Photovoltaic Projects HB 655 (Heretick) and SB 870 (Marsden) authorize a locality to include reasonable regulations and provisions in its zoning ordinance for a special exception for any solar photovoltaic (electric energy) project. The bills authorize the governing body of such locality to grant a condition that includes (i) dedication of real property of substantial value or (ii) substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the granting of a conditional use permit, so long as such proffered conditions are reasonably related to the project.

Construction Management Contracts; Use by Local Public Bodies HB 890 (Sickles) and SB 341 (Locke) remove the provision limiting the use of construction management contracts by local public bodies to projects with a cost expected to exceed $10 million and provides that construction management may be utilized on projects where the project cost is expected to be less than the project threshold established in the procedures adopted by the Secretary of Administration for using construction management contracts.

Control of Firearms by Localities; Permitted Events HB 421 (Price) and SB 35 (Surovell) authorize any locality by ordinance to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or any combination thereof in (i) any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes; (ii) any public park owned by the locality; (iii) any recreation or community center facility; or (iv) any public street, road, alley, sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit. Provisions limiting the authority of localities and state governmental entities to bring lawsuits against certain firearms manufacturers and others are also repealed. The bills also provide that any firearm received by the locality pursuant to a gun buy-back program shall be destroyed by the locality unless the person surrendering such firearm requests in writing that such surrendered firearm be sold. SB 35 incorporates SB 450 (Edwards), SB 505 (Edwards), SB 506 (Edwards), and SB 615 (Deeds) 

Custodial Interrogation of a Child; Parental Notification and Contact  HB 746 (Watts) requires that prior to the custodial interrogation of a child who has been arrested by a law-enforcement officer for a criminal violation, the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian be notified of the child's arrest and the child have contact with his parent, guardian, or legal custodian. Such notification and contact may be in person, electronically, by telephone, or by video conference. However, notification and contact prior to a custodial interrogation is not required if the parent, guardian, or legal custodian is a codefendant in the alleged offense; the parent, guardian, or legal custodian has been arrested for, has been charged with, or is being investigated for a crime against the child; the person cannot reasonably be located or refuses contact with the child; or the law-enforcement officer conducting the custodial interrogation reasonably believes the information sought is necessary to protect life, limb, or property from an imminent danger and the questions are limited to those that are reasonably necessary to obtain that information.

Distributed Renewable Energy HB 572 (Keam), HB 1184 (Lopez), and SB 710 (McClellan) promote the establishment of distributed renewable solar and other renewable energy. The measure removes the one percent cap on the total amount of renewable energy that can be net metered in a utility's service territory, authorizes third-party power purchase agreements for all customer classes throughout the Commonwealth, allows local governments and certain other public bodies to install solar or wind facilities of up to five megawatts on government-owned property and use the electricity for government-owned buildings, allows all net metering customers to attribute output from a single solar array to multiple meters, allows the owner of a multi-family residential building or the common areas of a condominium to install a renewable energy generation facility and sell the electricity to tenants or condominium unit owners, removes the restriction on customers installing a net-metered generation facility larger than that required to meet their previous 12 months' demand, raises the cap for net-metered nonresidential generation facilities from one megawatt to three megawatts, and removes the ability of utilities to assess standby charges. The measures also amend the Commonwealth Energy Policy to include provisions supporting distributed generation of renewable energy. HB 572 incorporates HB 912 (Simon).

Emergency Services and Disaster Preparedness Plans HB 420 (Price) directs the Department of Emergency Management (the Department) to review its emergency services and disaster preparedness programs to determine if changes are necessary to address the needs of individuals with limited English proficiency, as defined in the bill, and individuals with access or functional needs and report its findings to the Chairs of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and the House Committee on General Laws. Such report shall include any recommendations for legislation that would be required to fully address the needs of individuals with limited English proficiency and individuals with access or functional needs. The bill directs the Department to complete its review no later than November 1, 2020.

Energy Efficiency in State Buildings SB 963 (Surovell) requires the head of each state agency to designate an existing employee, known as an energy manager, who shall be responsible for implementing improvements to state buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency and climate change resiliency.

Epinephrine Required in Certain Public Places HB 1147 (Keam) allows public places to make epinephrine available for administration. The bill allows employees of such public places who are authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine to possess and administer epinephrine to a person present in such public place believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction. The bill also provides that an employee of such public place who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine and who administers or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a person present in the public place believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction, or is the prescriber of the epinephrine, shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment. The bill directs the Department of Health, in conjunction with the Department of Health Professions, to develop policies and guidelines for the recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis in public places. Such policies and guidelines shall be provided to the Commissioner of Health no later than July 1, 2021.

Fair Employment Contracting Act; Sexual Harassment Policy HB 1228 (Tran) requires contracting agencies that employ more than five employees and that enter into government contracts of over $10,000 to include a provision in the contract requiring the contractor to provide training on the contractor's sexual harassment policy to all supervisors and employees providing services in the Commonwealth that have not received such training or any sexual harassment training required by the Department of Human Resource Management within the year in which the contract is signed and that the contractor agree to post the contractor's sexual harassment policy in a conspicuous public place in each building located in the Commonwealth owned or leased by the contractor for business purposes or the contractor's employee handbook. 

Firearms or Other Weapons on School Property HB 1080 (Hope) provides that no school board may authorize or designate any person to possess a firearm on school property other than those persons expressly authorized by statute. The bill also clarifies that no exemption exists for a special conservator of the peace to possess a firearm or other weapon on school property.

Firearms; Possession on School Property SB 71 (Lucas) adds public, private, or religious preschools and licensed child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited. The provisions of the bill regarding child day centers only apply during the regular operating hours of such child day center. Under current law, the list of such schools only includes public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high schools. The bill also provides that a licensed child day center or religious or private preschool may hire an armed security officer to provide security services.

Handheld Personal Communications Devices While Driving a Motor Vehicle HB 874 (Bourne) and SB 160 (Surovell) prohibit any person from holding a handheld personal communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Current law prohibits (i) the reading of any email or text message and manually entering letters or text in such a device as a means of communicating and (ii) holding a personal communications device while driving in a work zone. The bills expand the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are being held and used (a) as an amateur radio or a citizens band radio or (b) for official Department of Transportation or traffic incident management services. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021. HB 874 incorporates HB 377 (Willet), HB 387 (Edmunds), HB 512 (Bulova), HB 1672 (Ware) and SB 160 incorporates SB 136 (Stuart) and SB 944 (Saslaw). 

Hearing Notice by Localities; Timely Notice Related to Planning or Zoning Matter to Newspaper HB 166 (Knight) and SB 869 (DeSteph) provide that in any instance in which a locality in Planning District 23 has submitted a timely notice of public hearing to a newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality and the newspaper fails to publish the notice, such locality shall be deemed to have met certain notice requirements so long as the notice was published in the next available edition. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2022.

Lead Testing; Potable Water; Parental Notification HB 797 (Askew) and SB 392 (McPike). require each local school board's plan to test and remediate certain potable water sources to be consistent with guidance published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health. The bills require each local school board to submit such testing plan and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health. The bills also require local school boards to take all steps necessary to notify parents if testing results indicate lead contamination that exceeds 10 parts per billion.

Lead Testing; Potable Water; Child Day Programs HB 799 (Askew) and SB 393 (McPike) require licensed child day programs and certain other programs that serve preschool-age children to develop and implement a plan to test potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority. The bills require such a plan and the results of each such test to be submitted to and reviewed by the Commissioner of Social Services and the Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water. The bills stipulate that if the result of any such test indicates a level of lead in the potable water that is at or above 15 parts per billion, the program shall remediate the level of lead in the potable water to below 15 parts per billion, confirm such remediation by retesting the water, and submit the results of the retests to the Commissioner of Social Services and the Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water for review. The bills also provide such programs the option of using bottled water in lieu of testing or remediation.

Lock-Down Drills, Frequency, Exemptions HB 402 (Keam) requires every public school to hold at least one lock-down drill after the first 60 days of the school session, in addition to the two lock-down drills required to be held during the first 20 days of the school session at each such school. Current law requires each public school to hold at least two lock-down drills after the first 20 days of the school session. The bill requires pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students to be exempt from mandatory participation in lock-down drills during the first 60 days of the school session and requires local school boards to develop policies to implement such exemption.

Lock-Down Drills, Notice to Parents HB 270 (VanValkenburg) requires every public school to provide the parents of enrolled students with at least 24 hours notice before the school conducts any lock-down drill. The bill specifies that no such notice is required to include the exact date and time of the lock-down drill. 

Memorandums of Understanding; School Boards Local Law-Enforcement Agencies; Frequency of Review HB 292 (VanValkenburg) and SB 221 (Locke) shorten from every five years to every two years the frequency of the review period for memorandums of understanding between school boards and local law-enforcement agencies. The bills also require local school boards to conspicuously publish the current division memorandum of understanding on its division website and provide notice and opportunity for public input during each memorandum of understanding review period. HB 292 incorporates HB 897 (Guzman) and HB 1135 (Lopez).

Menstrual Supplies; Certain School Buildings HB 405 (Keam) and SB 232 (Boysko) require each school board to make tampons or pads available, at all times and at no cost to students, (i) in such accessible locations as it deems appropriate in each elementary school in the local school division and (ii) in the bathrooms of each middle school and high school in the local school division.

Micro-Business Participation in Local Procurement HB 558 (Lindsey) allows any locality to enact an ordinance to enhance micro-business participation in local government procurement practices. Such measures may include special designation of local micro-businesses, providing technical support to micro-businesses, setting target goals for micro-business participation in the local procurement process, and other reasonable measures intended to promote micro-business participation in the locality. "Micro-business" is defined as a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business with no more than 25 employees.

Mold Testing; Parental Notification SB 845 (Ebbin) requires each local school board to develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, a plan to remediate mold in public school buildings in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The bill requires each local school board to (i) submit such testing plan and report the results of any test performed in accordance with such plan to the Department of Health and (ii) take all steps necessary to notify school staff and the parents of all enrolled students if testing results indicate the presence of mold in a public school building at or above the minimum level that raises a concern for the health of building occupants, as determined by the Department of Health. The bill has an effective date of July 1, 2021.

Naloxone; Possession and Administration, Employee or Person Acting on Behalf of a Public Place SB 836 (Suetterlein) provides that an employee or other person acting on behalf of a public place who has completed a training program on the administration of naloxone or other opioid antagonist may possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist, other than naloxone in an injectable formulation with a hypodermic needle or syringe, in accordance with protocols developed by the Board of Pharmacy in consultation with the Board of Medicine and the Department of Health. The bill defines "public place" as any enclosed area that is used or held out for use by the public, whether owned or operated by a public or private interest. 

Numbering on Buildings; Civil Penalty HB 106 (Cole, M.L.) provides that an ordinance that requires buildings to have visible numbering may include provisions for a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for a violation that has not been corrected within 15 days of notice of such violation. Civil penalties assessed under this provision shall be paid into the treasury of the locality where the violation occurred.

Office of Drinking Water HJ 92 (Lopez) requests the Office of Drinking Water of the Department of Health to study the Commonwealth's drinking water infrastructure and oversight of the drinking water program. In conducting its study, the Office shall identify problems or issues that may result in contamination of drinking water with lead, copper, or other substances or organisms or increase the likelihood of contamination of drinking water with lead, copper, or other substances or organisms and develop recommendations for addressing such problems or issues. 

Passing Stopped School Bus; Vendor; Administrative Fee HB 1427 (Krizek) authorizes a private vendor operating a video monitoring system for a school division for the purpose of recording those illegally passing stopped school buses to impose and collect an administrative fee to recover the cost of collecting the civil penalty to be paid by the operator of the vehicle.

Photo Speed Monitoring Devices; Civil Penalty HB 1442 (Jones) authorizes state and local law-enforcement agencies to operate photo speed monitoring devices, defined in the bill, in or around school crossing zones and highway work zones for the purpose of recording images of vehicles that are traveling at speeds of at least 10 miles per hour above the posted school crossing zone or highway work zone speed limit within such school crossing zone or highway work zone when such zone is indicated by conspicuously placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and that such photo speed monitoring devices are used in the area. The bill provides that the operator of a vehicle shall be liable for a monetary civil penalty, not to exceed $100, if such vehicle is found to be traveling at speeds of at least 10 miles per hour above the posted highway work zone or school crossing zone speed limit by the photo speed monitoring device. The bill provides that if the summons for a violation is issued by mail, the violation shall not be reported on the driver's operating record or to the driver's insurance agency, but if the violation is personally issued by an officer at the time of the violation, such violation shall be part of the driver's record and used for insurance purposes. The bill provides that the civil penalty will be paid to the locality in which the violation occurred if the summons is issued by a local law-enforcement officer and paid to the Literary Fund if the summons is issued by a law-enforcement officer employed by the Department of State Police. HB 1442 incorporates HB 621 (Willett) and HB 1721 (Hurst).

Prevailing Wage; Public Works Contracts, Penalty HB 833 (Carroll Foy) and SB 8 (Saslaw)  require contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency, or with a locality that has adopted an ordinance requiring the payment of prevailing wages, for public works to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and other remuneration to any mechanic, laborer, or worker employed, retained, or otherwise hired to perform services in connection with the public contract for public works at the prevailing wage rate. The provisions of the bills would not apply to any contract for public works of $250,000 or less. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry is required to determine the prevailing wage rate for such public contracts on the basis of applicable prevailing wage rate determinations made by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the provisions of the federal Davis-Bacon Act. A contractor or subcontractor who willfully employs any mechanic, laborer, or worker to perform work contracted to be done under the public contract at a rate that is less than the prevailing wage rate is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.  In addition, such a contractor or subcontractor shall be liable to such individuals for the payment of all wages due plus interest and shall be disqualified from bidding on public contracts with any public body until full restitution has been paid to the individuals. HB 833 incorporates HB 114 (Kory).

Project Labor Agreements; Public Procurement HB 358 (Lopez) authorizes any public body, including any state or local government, when engaged in procuring products or services or letting contracts for construction, manufacture, maintenance, or operation of public works, to require bidders to enter into or adhere to project labor agreements on the public works projects. HB 358 incorporates HB 122 (Carroll Foy), HB 1202 (Tran) and HB 1311 (Kory).

Public Posting of Contract Information on Central Electronic Procurement HB 544 (Carr) and SB 563 (Ruff) provide for the Department of General Services to post on its central electronic procurement system awarded contracts and any modifications to such contracts. The bills also require agencies that use the Department's central procurement website to post the same information and provides that any contract awarded pursuant to an Invitation to Bid or a Request for Proposals on or after July 1, 2021, including any subsequent modifications to the contract by a using agency, shall be posted on the Department's central electronic procurement system. The bills require a modification made by a using agency on or after July 1, 2021, to any other contract that has two or more years remaining to be posted on the Department's central electronic procurement system, along with the original contract and any previous modifications.

Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013; Eligible Security Equipment SB 594 (Hanger) classifies security-related devices located outside of the school building on school property and security-related devices located on school buses as eligible security equipment under the Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013. SB 595 (Hanger) classifies vaping detectors as eligible security equipment under the Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013. 

Student Transportation in Certain Cases HB 1208 (Tran) requires each school board that provides for the transportation of students and that has established a rule, regulation, or policy to exclude certain students who reside within a certain distance from the school at which they are enrolled from accessing such transportation to establish a process for waiving, on a case-by-case and space-available basis, such exclusion and providing transportation to any such student whose parent is unable to provide adequate transportation for his child to attend school because the parent is providing necessary medical care to another family member who resides in the same household, as evidenced by a written explanation submitted by a licensed health care provider who provides care to such family member.

School Bus Drivers; Critical Shortages HB 351 (Bell) and SB 324 (Deeds) require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the assistance of each school board or division superintendent, to survey each local school division to identify critical shortages of school bus drivers by geographic area and local school division and to report any such critical shortage to each local school division and to the Virginia Retirement System. The bills permit any school bus driver hired by a local school board in any geographic area or school division in which a critical shortage of school bus drivers has been so identified to elect to continue to receive a service retirement allowance during such employment if the driver meets certain other conditions.

School Crisis, Emergency Management, and Medical Emergency Response Plans HB 501 (Krizek) permits each school board to designate another entity or individual to participate on its behalf in the annual review of its written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan.  

School Resource Officers and School Security Officers Data HB 271 (VanValkenburg) and SB 170 (Locke) require the Department of Criminal Justice Services, in coordination with the Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice, to annually collect, report, and publish data related to incidents involving students and school resource officers. The bills also require the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety to analyze and disseminate submitted data.

School Resource Officers and School Security Officers; Training Standards HB 1419 (Jones)  and SB 171 (Locke) require school resource officers and school security officers to receive training specific to the role and responsibility of a law-enforcement officer working with students in a school environment that includes training on (i) relevant state and federal laws; (ii) school and personal liability issues; (iii) security awareness in the school environment; (iv) mediation and conflict resolution, including de-escalation techniques such as physical alternatives to restraint; (v) disaster and emergency response; (vi) awareness of cultural diversity and implicit bias; (vii) working with students with disabilities, mental health needs, substance abuse disorders, or past traumatic experiences; and (viii) student behavioral dynamics, including current child and adolescent development and brain research.

Solar Energy Projects; National Standards HB 656 (Heretick) and SB 875 (Marsden) authorize a locality to include in its zoning ordinance provisions to incorporate generally accepted national standards for the use of solar panels and battery technologies for solar photovoltaic (electric energy) projects.  

Strip Searches of Children HB 1544 (Carter) provides that no child under the age of 18 shall be strip searched or subjected to a search of any body cavity by a law-enforcement officer or a jail officer. The bill provides exceptions for (i) children committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice or confined or detained in a secure local facility for juveniles or a jail or other facility for the detention of adults; (ii) persons in custodial arrests for a traffic infraction, Class 3 or 4 misdemeanor, or violation of a city, county, or town ordinance that is punishable by no more than 30 days in jail where there is reasonable cause to believe on the part of a law-enforcement officer that the individual is concealing a weapon; or (iii) persons taken into custody by or remanded to a law-enforcement officer pursuant to a circuit or district court order.  

Stun Weapons; Prohibits Possession on School Property, Exempts Holder of Concealed Handgun Permit SB 173 (Hanger) allows the holder of a valid concealed handgun permit to possess a stun weapon on school property while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. The bill also allows a stun weapon to be stored in a closed container in a motor vehicle while such vehicle is on school property.

Unmanned Aircraft; Local Regulation of HB 742 (Bulova) authorizes a political subdivision, by ordinance or regulation, to regulate the take-off or landing of certain unmanned aircraft on property owned by the political subdivision in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Department of Aviation. The bill requires the locality to report the ordinance or regulation to the Department and directs the Department to publish a summary on the locality's website. The bill also directs the Department, by January 1, 2021, to develop rules and regulations specific to take-offs and landings in consultation with representatives of the unmanned aircraft system industry, small and medium-sized businesses utilizing unmanned aircraft systems, localities, and other stakeholders. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021. HB 742 incorporates HB 311 (Gooditis) and HB 1227 (LaRock).

Utility Easements; Location of Broadband HB 831 (Carroll Foy) and SB 794 (Lewis) declare that it is the policy of the Commonwealth that (i) easements for the location and use of electric and communications facilities may be used to provide or expand broadband or other communications services; (ii) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services is in the public interest; (iii) the installation, replacement, or use of public utility conduit, including the costs of installation, replacement, or use of conduit of a sufficient size to accommodate the installation of infrastructure to provide or expand broadband or other communications services, is in the public interest; (iv) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services (a) does not constitute a change in the physical use of the easement, (b) does not interfere with, impair, or take any vested or other rights of the owner or occupant of the servient estate, (c) does not place any additional burden on the servient estate other than a de minimis burden, if any; (iv) has value to the owner or occupant of the servient estate greater than any de minimis impact; and (v) the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within easements, appurtenant or gross, are merely changes in the manner, purpose, or degree of the granted use as appropriate to accommodate a new technology. The measures further provide that (1) absent any express prohibition on the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services in an easement that is contained in a deed or other instrument by which the easement was granted, the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within any easement shall be deemed, as a matter of law, to be a permitted use within the scope of every easement for the location and use of electric and communications facilities and (2) subject to compliance with any express prohibitions in a written easement, any incumbent utility or communications provider may use an easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed. The measures provide that any incumbent utility or communications provider may use a prescriptive easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed. SB 794 incorporates SB 302 (Stanley) and SB 539 (Peake).

Virginia Clean Economy Act HB 1526 (Sullivan) and SB 851 (McClellan) would establish a schedule by which Dominion Energy Virginia and American Electric Power are required to retire electric generating units located in the Commonwealth that emit carbon as a byproduct of combusting fuel to generate electricity and by which they are required to construct, acquire, or enter into agreements to purchase generating capacity located in the Commonwealth using energy derived from sunlight or onshore wind. The measures replace the existing voluntary renewable energy portfolio system (RPS) program with a mandatory RPS. Under the mandatory RPS, Dominion Energy Virginia and American Electric Power are required to produce their electricity from 100 percent renewable sources by 2045 and 2050, respectively. A utility that does not meet its targets is required to pay a specific deficiency payment or purchase renewable energy certificates. The proceeds from the deficiency payments are to be deposited into an account administered by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, which is directed to distribute specific percentages of the moneys to job training and renewable energy programs in historically-disadvantaged communities, energy efficiency measures, and administrative costs. The measures require the State Air Pollution Control Board to adopt regulations to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from certain electricity generating unit in the Commonwealth and authorizes the Board to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances to carry out the purposes of such regulations and to utilize its existing regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electric power generating facilities. Among other things, the measures also (i) require, by 2035, American Electric Power and Dominion Energy Virginia to construct or acquire 400 and 2700 megawatts of energy storage capacity, respectively; (ii) establish an energy efficiency standard under which each investor-owned incumbent electric utility is required to achieve incremental annual energy efficiency savings that start in 2022 at 0.5 percent for American Electric Power and 1.25 percent for Dominion Energy Virginia of the average annual energy retail sales by that utility in 2019 and increase annually; (iii) exempt large general service customers from energy savings requirements; (iv) revise the incentive for electric utility energy efficiency programs; (v) provide that if the Commission finds in any triennial review that revenue reductions related to energy efficiency measures or programs approved and deployed since the utility's previous triennial review have caused the utility to earn more than 50 basis points below a fair combined rate of return on its generation and distribution services or, for any test period commencing after December 31, 2012, for Dominion Energy Virginia and after December 31, 2013, for American Electric Power, more than 70 basis points below a fair combined rate of return on its generation and distribution services, the Commission shall order increases to the utility's rates for generation and distribution services necessary to recover such revenue reductions; (vi) establish requirements regarding the development by Dominion Energy Virginia of qualified offshore wind projects having an aggregate rated capacity of not less than 5,200 megawatts by January 1, 2034 and that in constructing any such facility, the utility shall (a) identify options for utilizing local workers; (b) identify the economic development benefits of the project for the Commonwealth, including capital investments and job creation; (c) consult with relevant governmental entities, including the Commonwealth's Chief Workforce Development Officer and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, on opportunities to advance the Commonwealth's workforce and economic development goals, including furtherance of apprenticeship and other workforce training programs; and (d) give priority to the hiring, apprenticeship, and training of veterans, local workers, and workers from historically economically disadvantaged communities; (vii) require each utility to include, and the Commission to consider, in any application to construct a new generating facility the social cost of carbon, as determined by the Commission, as a benefit or cost, whichever is appropriate; (viii) remove provisions that authorize nuclear and offshore wind generating facilities to continue to be eligible for an enhanced rate of return on common equity during the construction phase of the facility and the approved first portion of its service life of between 12 and 25 years in the case of a facility utilizing nuclear power and for a service life of between 5 and 15 years in the case of a facility utilizing energy derived from offshore wind; (ix) remove a provision that declares that planning and development activities for new nuclear generation facilities are in the public interest; (x) increase the limit from 5000 megawatts to 16,1000 megawatts on those solar and onshore wind generation facilities that are declared to be in the public interest and increases the limit from 16 megawatts to 3000 megawatts on those offshore wind generation facilities that are declared to be in the public interest; (xi) amend the net energy metering program by increasing the maximum capacity of renewable generation facilities of participating nonresidential eligible customer-generators from one to three megawatts, increases the cap on the capacity of generation from facilities from the customer's expected annual energy consumption to 150 percent of such amount for customers in Dominion Energy Virginia's service territory, increase each utility's systemwide cap from one percent of its adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year to six percent of such amount, five percent of which is available to all customers and one percent of which is available only to low-income utility customers; (xii) establish the Percentage of Income Payment Program (PIPP), which caps the monthly electric utility payment of low-income participants at six percent, or, if the participant's home uses electric heat, 10 percent, of the participant's household income, require the Commission to issue its final order regarding the PIPP by December 31, 2020, and require the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Social Services to convene a stakeholder group to develop recommendations for implementing the PIPP and to submit the stakeholder groups recommendations to the Chairs of the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor by December 1, 2020; (xiii) increase the cap on third party power purchase agreements to 500 megawatts for jurisdictional customers and 500 megawatts for nonjurisdictional customers of Dominion Energy Virginia and to 40 megawatts for customers of American Electric Power; (xiv) require each investor-owned utility to consult with the Clean Energy Advisory Board in how best to inform low-income customers of opportunities to lower electric bills through access to solar energy; (xv) require the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy in consultation with the Council on Environmental Justice to prepare a report to the Chairs of the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor that determines if the implementation of the measure imposes a disproportionate burden on historically disadvantaged communities; (xvi) require the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, in consultation with the State Corporation Commission and the Council on Environmental Justice and appropriate stakeholders, to report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2022, any recommendations on how to achieve 100 percent carbon free electric energy generation by 2045 at least cost for ratepayers; and (xvii) provide that it is the policy of the Commonwealth that the State Corporation Commission, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Virginia Council on Environmental Justice, and other applicable state agencies, in the development of energy programs, job training programs, and placement of renewable energy facilities, shall consider those facilities and programs being to the benefit of low-income geographic areas and historically economically disadvantaged communities that are located near previously and presently permitted fossil fuel facilities or coal mines. SB 851 incorporates SB 532 (Edwards) and SB 876 (Marsden).

Virginia Energy Plan; Commonwealth Energy Policy HB 714 (Reid) and SB 94 (Favola) adopt findings that climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for Virginia, that swift decarbonization and a transition to clean energy are required to meet the urgency of the challenge, and that the Commonwealth will benefit from being a leader in deploying a low-carbon energy economy. The measures state that the Commonwealth recognizes that the following objectives will advance the health, welfare, and safety of Virginians: (i) establishing sufficient supply and delivery infrastructure to enable widespread deployment of distributed energy resources; (ii) maximizing energy efficiency programs in order to produce electricity cost savings and to create jobs and revenue from the energy efficiency service sector; (iii) establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals across Virginia's economy that reach net-zero emissions by 2045; (iv) requiring that pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions be determined; (v) enabling widespread integration of distributed energy resources into the grid; (vi) mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritizing investment in these communities; (vii) developing the carbon-free energy resources required to fully decarbonize the electric power supply of the Commonwealth including deployment of 30 percent renewables by 2030 and realizing 100 percent carbon-free electric power by 2040; and (viii) ensuring that decision-making is transparent and includes opportunities for full participation by the public. The measures also state that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to (a) ensure the adequate supply of natural gas necessary to ensure the reliability of the electricity supply and the needs of businesses during the transition to renewable energy; (b) establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards across all sectors of Virginia's economy that target net-zero emissions carbon by 2045; (c) enact mandatory clean energy standards and overall strategies for reaching net-zero carbon in the electric power sector by 2040; (d) equitably incorporate requirements for technical, policy, and economic analyses and assessments that recognize the unique attributes of different energy resources and delivery systems to identify pathways to net-zero carbon that maximize Virginia's energy reliability and resilience, economic development, and jobs; and (e) minimize the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on economically disadvantaged or minority communities and prioritize investment in these areas. The measures also require that the Virginia Energy Plan identify actions consistent with the goals of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2045 and include an inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions for the four years preceding the issuance of the Plan.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Architectural and Professional Engineering Term Contracts SB 368 (Bell) decreases the population threshold from 78,000 to 50,000 for a locality to qualify for the exceptions from the $150,000 single-project fee limit for architectural and professional engineering term contracts and the $750,000 annual aggregate total limit for all such projects.and SB 487 (Bell) increases the aggregate limit for architectural and engineering services contracts for localities for projects performed in a one-year contract term from $6 million to $8 million and for environmental location, design, and inspection work regarding highways and bridges by the Commissioner of Highways for projects performed in an initial two-year term contract from $5 million to $8 million.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Determination of Nonresponsibility, Local Option HB 1201 (Tran) and SB 380 (McPike) allow any locality to include in the Invitation to Bid criteria that may be used in determining whether a bidder who is not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation is a responsible bidder. Such criteria may include a history or good faith assurances of (i) completion by the bidder and any potential subcontractors of specified safety training programs established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; (ii) participation by the bidder and any potential subcontractors in apprenticeship training programs approved by state agencies or the U.S. Department of Labor; or (iii) maintenance by the bidder and any potential subcontractors of records of compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Process for Competitive Negotiation HB 1078 (Hope) provides that, except with regard to contracts for architectural, professional engineering, transportation construction, or transportation-related construction services, a public body may include a proposer's employment of persons with disabilities to perform the specifications of the contract as a factor in evaluating a proposal.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Purchase Programs for Recycled Goods, Climate Positive Materials HB 454 (Wyatt) directs the Department of General Services to make state agencies aware of the availability of recycled materials and products certified as climate positive. The term "climate positive" is defined as having a negative carbon footprint.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Small Purchases HB 452 (Murphy) and SB 650 (Boysko) increases from $100,000 to $200,000 the small purchases exemption under the Virginia Public Procurement Act for single or term contracts for goods and services other than professional services. The bills also remove outdated provisions related to informal solicitations required to be posted on the Department of General Services' central electronic procurement website.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Statute of Limitations On Actions On Construction Contracts HB 1300 (Hurst) and SB 607 (Norment) provide that no action may be brought by a state public body on any construction, architectural, or engineering contract, including construction management and design-build contracts, unless such action is brought within fifteen (15) years after completion of the contract, and provides that no action may be brought by a state public body more than five years after written notice of a defect or breach is delivered to the contractor. The bills also modify the time frame during which a public body may bring an action against a surety on a performance bond to within five years after completion of the work on the project. Current law allows a public body, other than the Department of Transportation, to bring such an action within one year after (i) completion of the contract, including the expiration of all warranties and guaranties, or (ii) discovery of the defect or breach of warranty that gave rise to the action.  HB 1300 incorporates HB 847 (Runion) and SB 607 incorporates SB 195 (Cosgrove).

Water Management Program; Legionella Bacteria SB 410 (Hashmi) requires each school board to maintain a water management program for the prevention of Legionnaires' disease at each public school building in the local school division. The bill requires the Department of Education to make recommendations for the establishment, maintenance, and validation of water management programs in public school buildings and to notify each local school board of its recommendations no later than July 1, 2021, the date on which the provisions of the bill requiring school boards to maintain such water management program become effective.

Zoning for Wireless Communications Infrastructure HB 554 (VanValkenburg) authorizes a locality to disapprove an application submitted for an administrative review-eligible project or for any zoning approval required for a standard process project that proposes to locate a new structure, or to co-locate a wireless facility, in an area where all cable and public utility facilities are required to be placed underground by a date certain or encouraged to be undergrounded as part of a transportation improvement project or rezoning proceeding as set forth in objectives contained in a comprehensive plan, on grounds that an applicant has not given written notice to adjacent landowners at least 15 days before it applies to locate a new structure in the area.

   

BUILDINGS, BUSES, AND SAFETY - CONTINUED TO 2021

Certain Early Childhood Care and Education Programs; Parents of Enrolled Children; Car Seats HB 1432 (Sullivan) would require the Department of Social Services to adopt regulations to require the parent of any child who attends any certified preschool, child day center, child day home, or family day home, including any registered family day home, to provide an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate car seat for his child on any day on which the child attends a field trip that requires the use of such a car seat. The bill would require the Board of Education to adopt the same regulations for any Virginia Preschool Initiative program or early childhood special education program licensed by the Board of Education and direct any Head Start program offered in the Commonwealth to adopt the same requirement.

Climate Change; State, regional, and local planning; HB 672 (Willet) would establish a policy of the Commonwealth to prevent and to minimize actions that contribute to the detrimental effects of climate change in the Commonwealth. The bill would require any state agency to examine any new regulation in furtherance of this policy. The bill would require local and regional planning commissions to consider the impacts from and causes of climate change in adopting a comprehensive plan, regional strategic plan, or zoning ordinance.

Legal Notices; Online Publications HB 712 (Hope) would provide that, where any ordinance, resolution, notice, or advertisement is required by law to be published in a newspaper, such ordinance, resolution, notice, or advertisement instead may be published in an online publication, subject to certain requirements specified in the bill. HB 712 incorporates HB 588 (Guzman).

Mental Health Break Spaces; Regulations HB 40 (Samirah) would require the Board of Education to amend its regulations to require that each public school create and maintain a mental health break space within the public school building.

School Modernization Loan Interest Rate HB 1633 (Edmunds) would require the Board of Education to establish a program to use Literary Fund proceeds to subsidize interest payments on certain loans made by the Virginia Public School Authority to local governing bodies and school boards for the design and construction of new school buildings and facilities or the modernization and maintenance of existing school buildings and facilities as follows: for school divisions in localities determined to have above-average or high fiscal stress by the Commission on Local Government in its most recent version of such report, the Board shall subsidize up to 100 percent of the interest due on such loan.

 

BUILDINGS, BUSES, AND SAFETY - FAILED

Alcoholic Beverage Control; Possession or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages at School-Sponsored Activities; Penalty HB 1142 (Tran) would have prohibited persons from possessing or drinking alcoholic beverages while attending a public elementary or secondary school-sponsored activity hosted at a non-school facility. A violation of the provisions of the bill would have been a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Building and Fire Codes; Notice Requirements SB 141 (Stuart) would have required that notice mandated by the Statewide Fire Prevention Code or the Uniform Statewide Building Code be provided to the owner of the building, structure, property, or premises in question by the enforcement agency or local building department, respectively.

Calling Auxiliary Police Officers Into Service SB 152 (Stanley) would have clarified that a locality may call into service or provide for calling into service auxiliary police officers at any time for the purpose of assisting in or providing school security services to Virginia public elementary and secondary schools.

Capital Murder of a Person in a School Setting; Penalty SB 331 (Stuart) would have provided that the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another when such person is upon the property of any child day center, any public, private, or religious preschool, elementary school, middle school, or high school, or any institution of higher education is punishable as capital murder, a Class 1 felony. The bill would also have provided that any person convicted of such offense shall be sentenced to no less than a mandatory minimum term of confinement for life.

Carrying Weapon Into Building Owned or Used by the Commonwealth or Political Subdivision Thereof; Penalty HB 1510 (McQuinn) would have made it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first or second offense for a person to transport any gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind; frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile, or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon; or other dangerous weapon into a building owned or used by the Commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof for governmental purposes. The bill would have provided exceptions for law-enforcement officers, conservators of the peace, magistrates, court officers, judges, city or county treasurers, commissioners or deputy commissioners of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, authorized security personnel, and active military personnel while in the conduct of such individuals' official duties. The offense of this or certain other firearms offenses would have been punishable as a Class 6 felony.

Clean School Bus Grant Fund and Program HB 1140 (Keam) would have established the Clean School Bus Grant Fund and required the Department of Education to establish the Clean School Bus Grant Program for the purpose of awarding grants from the Fund on a competitive basis to school boards for the complete replacement of existing diesel school buses with electric school buses no later than 2030, the implementation of recharging infrastructure or other infrastructure needed to charge or maintain such electric school buses, and workforce development and training to support the maintenance, charging, and operation of such electric school buses and developing education outreach to promote the Program.

Concealed Handgun With a Permit; Employees of Any Agency of the Commonwealth or Political Subdivision Thereof HB 669 (Cole) would have provided that, notwithstanding any other provision of law or any rule, regulation, or workplace policy to the contrary, an employee of any agency of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof with a valid concealed handgun permit may possess or carry a concealed handgun at his workplace.

Control of Firearms in Local Government Buildings; Waiver of Sovereign Immunity HB 1382 (Campbell) would have provided that any locality that adopts an ordinance or policy that generally prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in any building owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes shall waive its sovereign immunity protection with regard to any civil claim for damages brought by an individual who claimed his injuries are the result, at least in part, of such ordinance or policy. In such instance, a locality would have been subject to an ordinary negligence standard for its invitees. 

Electric School Bus Pilot Program HB 75 (Kory) would have authorized Dominion Energy to implement a pilot program under which it will deploy electric school buses in participating school divisions in its service territory. The initial phase of the pilot program would have been limited to the deployment of 50 electric school buses at a cost of up to $13.5 million. In each of the five years thereafter, the pilot program may have been expanded by up to 200 additional electric school buses at a cost of up to $54 million per year. The pilot program would have provided that the utility could have used vehicle-to-grid technology to access electricity in the storage batteries of the electric school buses when they are not in use and the primary purpose of electric school buses is student transportation and if the Phase II utility's use of the battery compromised the school boards' ability to transport the students either through bus unavailability or insufficient charge, then the Phase II utility would have compensated the school board. The duration of the pilot program would not have exceeded 10 years, though the utility may petition the State Corporation Commission to make it permanent. Program costs, including the incremental cost of the electric school buses, would have been recoverable through the utility's base rates. SB 988 (Lucas) and SB 1096 (Lucas) would have authorized Dominion Energy Virginia to implement projects designed to encourage the proliferation of school buses that are fueled in whole or in part by electricity, along with associated charging and other infrastructure, for the purpose of transporting students and that may have also served as electric grid stabilization or peak shaving resources. Under an electric school bus project, Dominion would have been able to purchase, own, manage, or control electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; enter into third-party agreements for the purchase, lease, or use of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; enter into agreements with any the school board of any public school division located in the Commonwealth for joint ownership of or for leasing on commercially competitive terms of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; provide financial incentives or rebates to any school board to promote or facilitate the purchase and ownership by such public school board of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; and engage in other activities to promote the development and proliferation of electric school bus transportation in the Commonwealth. The bills also would have provided a tax exemption for electric school buses and associated charging and other infrastructure that is related or incidental to an authorized electric school bus project.

Firearm-Free Zones Designated by the Commonwealth or a Locality; Waiver of Sovereign Immunity HB 162 (McGuire) would have provided that if the Commonwealth designated any property owned by it or if any locality designated such locality or any part of such locality as a firearm-free zone, the Commonwealth or such locality waives its sovereign immunity as it relates to any injuries sustained by persons lawfully present in such firearm-free zone.

Green New Deal Act; fossil fuel projects moratorium, clean energy mandates, civil penalties HB 77 (Rasoul) would have established a moratorium, effective January 1, 2021, on approval by any state agency or political subdivision of any approval required for electric generating facilities that generate fossil fuel energy through the combustion of a fossil fuel resource; import or export terminals for fossil fuel resources; certain maintenance activities relating to an import or export terminal for a fossil fuel resource; gathering lines or pipelines for the transport of any fossil fuel resource that requires the use of eminent domain on private property; certain maintenance activities relating to such gathering lines or pipelines; refineries of a fossil fuel resource; and exploration for any type of fossil fuel, unless preempted by applicable federal law.

Key Boxes On High-Risk Structures HB 1732 (Miyares) would have directed the Board of Housing and Community Development to require that all high-risk structures, defined in the bill, have key boxes installed in strategic locations on the outside of such structures. The bill would have required that such key box contain keys or other credentials or access cards that may have been necessary for law-enforcement officials to gain access to such structure or an area within such structure during an emergency.

Local Government Buildings; Dangerous Weapons; Penalty HB 1312 (Kory) would have prohibited the possession or transport of guns or other weapons designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind; frames, receivers, mufflers, silencers, missiles, projectiles, or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon; or certain other dangerous weapons in any building owned or used by a locality for governmental purposes in the Commonwealth. A violation would have been punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Possession of Ammunition on School Property; Penalty HB 318 (Kory) would have provided that a person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if he knowingly possesses ammunition for a firearm upon the property of any public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high school, including buildings and grounds; that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or any school bus owned or operated by any such school.

Potable Water HB 1085 (Hayes) would have established minimum requirements for the installation of water bottle filling stations and drinking fountains in new public-school buildings, additions to existing public-school buildings, and alterations to existing public school buildings estimated to cost $50,000 or more. The bill would have required the Board of Education to amend its regulations to require local school divisions to allow all students to carry and utilize a water bottle while at school. SB 299 (Stanley) would have required each local school board to install at least one purified water bottle filling station in every public school in the local school division.

Prevailing Wage; Public Works Contracts With Localities; Penalty HB 1203 (Tran) and SB 180 (Favola) would have required contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a locality for public works to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and other remuneration to any mechanic, laborer, or worker employed, retained, or otherwise hired to perform services in connection with the public contract at the prevailing wage rate. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry would have been required to determine the prevailing wage rate for such public contracts on the basis of applicable prevailing wage rate determinations made by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the provisions of the federal Davis-Bacon Act.

Public School Assistance Fund and Program SB 4 (Stanley) would have created the Public School Assistance Fund and Program, to be administered by the Department of Education, for the purpose of providing grants to school boards to be used solely for the purpose of repairing or replacing the roofs of public elementary and secondary school buildings in the local school division.

Public School Buses; Decals; "In God We Trust" HB 710 (Rush) would have permitted local school boards, notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, to display decals containing the motto "In God We Trust" on public school buses, provided that no such decal obstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus.

Purchases of Materials Made in the United States SB 369 (DeSteph) would have directed the Department of General Services to develop and maintain a guidance document assisting state public bodies to purchase iron and steel that are made in the United States and manufactured goods with at least 50 percent of the constituent parts and materials originating in the United States.

Risk Management Plan; Coverage for Injury or Death on Public School or College Property; Concealed Handgun Prohibition SB 476 (Chase) would have provided that the risk management plan established by the Division of Risk Management shall include coverage for any claim made by or on behalf of any person who is injured or killed upon any buildings, grounds, or properties owned or leased by a public elementary or secondary school or institution of higher education as a result of the criminal act of a third party if an armed security officer was not present on the premises and the carrying of a concealed handgun on such buildings, grounds, or properties was prohibited by regulation. The bill would have also provided that, in addition to providing for the actual damages arising from the person's injury or death, the coverage shall include an additional amount of $350,000.

School Buildings; Assessments; Compliance HB 1446 (Aird) would have required any local school board in a local school division that is under a division-level corrective action plan, contains any school that is under a corrective action plan, or receives at-risk add-on payments pursuant to the general appropriation act to annually assess each school building in the local school division for compliance with the Board of Education's minimum standards for school buildings and report the results to the Board.

School Buses; Seat Belts  HB 15 (Krizek)  would have required the Board of Education to make regulations to require each new public school bus purchased for the transportation of students to be equipped with a seat belt consisting of a lap belt and shoulder strap or harness in every seat. The bill would have required each school board to ensure that no later than July 1, 2038, each school bus that it uses for the transportation of students be equipped with a seat belt in every seat.

School Construction Fund and Program HB 1274 (O’Quinn) and SB 1087 (Pillion) would have established the School Construction Fund as a special nonreverting fund in the state treasury and would have required the Department of Education to establish the School Construction Program for the purpose of providing grants from the Fund, subject to certain conditions, to school boards that leverage federal, state, and local programs and resources to finance the design and construction of new school buildings and facilities or the modernization and maintenance of existing school buildings and facilities.

School Facility Modernization SB 6 (Stanley) would have provided for a statewide referendum on the question of whether the General Assembly shall issue state general obligation bonds in the amount of $3 billion for the purpose of K-12 school building construction, repair, or other capital projects related to the modernization of school facilities. The results would have been advisory only and are intended only to demonstrate the preference of the citizens of the Commonwealth on the issuance of such bonds. The referendum would have been held at the November 2020 general election.

School Guardian Fund and Program; Establishment SB 691 (Obenshain) would have established the School Guardian Fund and required the Virginia Center for School and Campus safety to establish and administer the School Guardian Program for the purpose of providing grants from the Fund on a competitive basis to school boards for the appointment or hiring of school guardians, which the bill defines as any individual, including any school resource officer, school security officer, or other school board employee, who is hired or appointed by a school board to carry a firearm on school property during normal school hours for school security purposes. The bill would have required each such school guardian to receive an annual stipend of $500 for the performance of his duties. The bill would have required the Center to establish training and screening standards for such school guardians that include, at minimum, a requirement to receive a psychological screening and a drug screening prior to the commencement of school guardian duties and adopt such other rules and policies as it deems necessary for the administration of the Program, including rules and policies for grant applications and awards.

School Resource Officer in Every School; School Resource Officer Supplementary Fund Created HB 424 (McGuire) would have required each local school board to place a school resource officer in each public elementary and secondary school. The bill provides that 44 percent of revenues from taxes on alcohol licenses, distilled spirits, and beer and wine coolers shall accrue to the School Resource Officer Supplementary Fund, created by the bill, which would have been used to fund the costs of the school resource officer requirement.

School Resource Officers; Custodial Interrogation; Parental Consent HB 718 (Reid) would have prohibited each school resource officer from conducting a custodial interrogation, which the bill defines as any interview of a public elementary or secondary school student conducted by a school resource officer in such circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to consider himself to be in custody associated with arrest and during which the school resource officer takes actions or asks questions that are reasonably likely to elicit responses from the student that could incriminate him, without the written consent of the student's parent.

Security of Public Property SB 319 (Chase) would have provided that any property owned by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or used by a public body, where firearms have been prohibited by law shall have law-enforcement officers or armed security officers on the premises to provide security services.

Uniform Minimum Standards for Modern Public School Buildings SB 5 (Stanley) would have required the Board of Education to prescribe by regulation uniform minimum standards for the erection of modern public school buildings and the modernization of existing public school buildings for the purpose of promoting positive educational outcomes for each public elementary and secondary school student. The bill would have required such regulations to include uniform minimum modern public school building standards that promote the delivery of instruction that complies with the Standards of Learning by addressing enrollment capacity and available space and the health and safety of each enrolled student. The bill would have required each school board, once every three years, to assess and report to the Board the extent to which each public school building in the local school division complies with such uniform minimum standards and submit to the Board a long-range plan for compliance with such uniform minimum standards, including an assessment of the cost of such compliance, in any case in which the school board determines that a public school building in the local school division does not comply with such standards.

Use of Handheld Personal Communications Devices; School Zones and School Property; Penalty SB 932 (Kiggans) would have added school crossing zones and school property to the locations in which a driver is prohibited from holding a handheld personal communications device in his hand while driving a motor vehicle, with certain exceptions. The bill would have provided that a violation is punishable by a mandatory fine of $250.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Best Value HB 359 (Lopez) would have permitted public bodies to consider best value concepts when procuring construction services. HB 1488 (Hudson) would have clarified the definition of "best value." SB 475 (Bell) would have authorized any public body to procure construction on a best value procurement basis using a numerical scoring system consisting of the following: technical solution, 30 percent; past performance, 30 percent, including price history of cost overruns, schedule history of on-time delivery, and  contractor performance ratings from the immediately preceding five-year period; and  price, 40 percent.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Cooperative Procurement; Construction HB 467 (Keam) would have allowed public bodies to utilize cooperative procurement for construction projects not exceeding $200,000.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Definition of Small Business; LGBT-Owned Business HB 1709 (Heretick) would have amended the definition of small business to include LGBT-owned businesses, defined in the bill, for purposes of programs administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Preference for Contractors Using Automatic Billing Verification Software HB 685 (LaRock) would have required that, for any bid on a contract in excess of $500,000 and requiring work to be performed using a computer, all state agencies give preference to responsive and responsible bidders that agree to verify the hours worked on the associated contract and billed to the agency by using automatic billing verification software that meets certain standards. The bill would have provided that any data collected by such automatic billing verification pursuant to a contract with a state agency would have been considered accounting records belonging to the contractor; however, contractors are prohibited from selling or transferring such data or using it for any other purpose or manner other than to verify and manage the hours worked on the associated contract and billed to the agency.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Cooperative Procurement; Construction SB 418 (Petersen) would have allowed public bodies to utilize cooperative procurement for construction projects not exceeding $200,000.

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Professional and Information Technology Project Services Contracts; Verification of Work  HB 133 (Miyares) would have required state agencies contracting for professional and information technology project services to include provisions in such contracts that require contractors to install software that allows for verification of the number of hours worked on a project using a computer.

Volunteer School Security Officers by Local School Boards and Private or Religious Schools SB 1091 (Stanley) would have allowed local school boards and private or religious schools to employ volunteer school security officers, giving these officers the same authority and restrictions as provided to full time school security officers.