As you may know, the Virginia Constitution specifies that newly enacted laws take effect on July 1st of each year. A total of 777 bills were passed by the General Assembly during the 2015 session and signed into law by Governor McAuliffe. I want to take this opportunity to call your attention to several new laws that are taking effect which may be of particular interest to you.
Brief summaries appear below of some of the more noteworthy bills that became law. A more comprehensive summary can be found by clicking here. A complete list of all 777 laws, with links to the text of each, may be found here.
HB 1286/SB 701 – Individual income tax refunds. The law allows an individual to elect to have his or her income tax refund paid by check mailed to his address. The law applies to individual income tax returns relating to taxable year 2015 and taxable years thereafter.
HB 1570/SB 1168 – Family day homes and child day centers. The law requires fingerprint-based national criminal history records checks for licensed child day centers and family day homes and requires employees and volunteers to notify the provider if they are convicted of certain crimes or subject to a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect.
HB 1785 – Campus police departments–sexual assault reporting. The law specifies that cooperation agreements between campus police and local law enforcement agencies require the notification of the local attorney for the Commonwealth within 48 hours of beginning any investigation involving felony criminal sexual assault occurring on campus property or other property related to the institution of higher education.
HB 1662/SB 1025 – Transportation network companies. The law establishes a process for the licensing of transportation network companies (referred to as TNCs, e.g. Uber, Lyft, etc.) by the Department of Motor Vehicles, provided that TNCs comply with the requirements for licensure. The law requires TNCs to screen drivers, ensure that all drivers are at least 21 years old and properly licensed to drive, and conduct background checks on all drivers including a national criminal background check, a driving history report, and status on the state and national sex offender registries.
HB 2081 – Disclosure of social media account information. The law prohibits an employer from requiring a current or prospective employee to disclose the username and password to his or her social media account. The law also prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to add an employee, a supervisor, or an administrator to the list of contacts associated with the employee’s social media account.
HB 1776/SB 1032 – Alcoholic beverage control. The law eliminates the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board and replaces it with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. The law provides for the appointment of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Authority by the Governor, to be confirmed by the General Assembly.