Here are just some of Rosalyn’s legislative items from the 2019 session:
SB 1406 – K-12 School Counselor Staffing Ratio. This legislation, included in Governor Northam’s budget amendment proposals, will modify the current school counselor ratio to set out a phased-in plan to increase the minimum staffing ratio for school counselors from 1:500 to 1:250 by 2022.
Budget Amendment, Budget Item 136: $25 million for at risk add on funding as directed to underserved school districts.
SB 1195 – School Based Health Centers. Seeks to establish and formalize a statewide affiliate organization that will serve as a support to localities interested in implementing new or improving existing school-based health centers in their communities. It will help align and organize various efforts and interested parties working on improving behavioral and medical health access in schools across the Commonwealth.
SB 1405 -Pharmacy Counseling Medicine Disposal. Allows a pharmacist to include information regarding the proper disposal of medicine when giving counsel to a person who presents a new prescription for filling.
SB 1197 – Pharmacies Freedom of Choice. Requires carriers that provide exclusive provider policies and contracts to allow consumers freedom of choice for pharmacy benefits. This requirement currently applies to health insurers, health services plans, and health maintenance organizations in Virginia.
JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SB 1200 – Minimum Wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2019, to $13 per hour effective July 1, 2020, and to $15 per hour effective July 1, 2021, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
SB 1189 – Grocery Investment Fund. Creates the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects in underserved communities.
SB 1667 – Non-Payment of Child Support. Makes child support payment plans more affordable by reducing down payment. Current law holds that individuals in these payment plans will have their licenses suspended; my bill moves to eliminate the license suspension requirement.
SB 1199 -Ban the Box. Prohibits state agencies from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the applicant has ever been arrested or charged with any crime. The bill prohibits state agencies from asking an applicant if he has ever been convicted of any crime unless the inquiry takes place after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment, which offer may be withdrawn if the applicant has a conviction record that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the position. The prohibition does not apply to applications for employment with law-enforcement agencies, certain positions designated as sensitive, or in instances where a state agency is expressly permitted to inquire into an individual’s criminal history for employment purposes pursuant to any provision of federal or state law.
SB 1196 – Property Tax Exemption. Provides that, for purposes of the real property tax exemption for the elderly and disabled, certain improvements to exempt land and the land such improvements are situated on shall be included as part of the dwelling and exempt from tax.
SB 1192 – Affordable Housing – City of Richmond. Adds the City of Richmond to the list of localities with authority to provide for an affordable housing dwelling unit program.
SB 1198 – Elections; absentee voting; no-excuse, in-person. Allows qualified voters to vote absentee in person without providing an excuse for not being able to vote in person on election day. The bill retains the statutory list of specific reasons allowing a voter to cast an absentee ballot by mail.
RESOLUTIONS AND CO-PATRON LEGISLATION
SJ 287 – Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Day. This day commemorates his role as a key strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and his dedication to reshaping the hearts and attitudes of our country.
SB 1355 – Coal Ash. A bipartisan compromise that ensures long term clean closure of coal ash ponds by employing a combination of recycling and on site/off site landfilling in secure lined facilities. It minimizes cost to the ratepayer wherever possible and caps the amount that Dominion Energy can put back into the base rate. It also ensures minimal impact on localities and their respective traffic patterns.
SB 1469 – Timber Theft. Provides that a person who buys and removes timber from a landowner’s property is guilty of timber theft if he fails to pay the landowner by the date specified in their agreement or, if there is no written agreement, within 60 days of removing the timber.
SJ 284- Equal Rights Amendment Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was proposed by Congress in 1972.