Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: March 3, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Signs 68 Bills into Law

Newly-approved measures address “conversion therapy,” baby changing facilities, and credit for community work

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced he has signed 68 pieces of legislation into law, including bills to make state facilities more inclusive, ban the harmful practice of “conversion therapy” for minors, and help returning citizens reintegrate into society.

Conversion Therapy

The measures include House Bill 386, sponsored by Delegate Patrick Hope. This legislation outlaws the harmful and controversial practice of “conversion therapy” for minors, which attempts to forcibly change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Conversion therapy sends the harmful message that there is something wrong with who you are,” said Governor Northam. “This discriminatory practice has been widely discredited in studies and can have lasting effects on our youth, putting them at a greater risk of depression and suicide. No one should be made to feel they are not okay the way they are—especially not a child. I’m proud to sign this ban into law.”

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous, destructive practice,” said Delegate Hope. “We should be supporting and celebrating our LGTBQ youth, not putting them in harm’s way.”

Baby Changing Facilities

Governor Northam signed House Bill 587, sponsored by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, which requires that space and equipment for changing babies is included when the Department of General Services develops plans for new state buildings.

“This bill will make our state government more equitable and welcoming to all,” said Governor Northam. “We want to make Virginia the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family—this measure helps get us there.”

"Making our government more inclusive means we must support the thousands of state employees and families who visit state facilities with their young children,” said Delegate Guzman. “I’m proud to see we are making progress for all parents in Virginia.”

Community Work During Incarceration

Governor Northam also signed House Bill 277, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price, a priority for the Northam administration. This bill advances criminal justice reform by allowing currently incarcerated individuals to earn credit toward paying off fines and costs through community work. Under current law, that credit was only allowed for community work done before or after incarceration.

“It’s already hard enough for our justice-involved population to reintegrate into society,” said Governor Northam. “If we can help them reduce debts they owe our courts that is one less burden they face as they work to rebuild their lives. I am pleased to sign this bill.”

“This legislation brings consistency to one’s ability to apply community service during incarceration toward fees and fines,” said Delegate Price. “If it can apply before and after, it’s only fair to permit these individuals to earn this same credit during their time of incarceration.”

Additional Measures

Governor Northam also signed the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 107: Transient occupancy tax; removes the July 1, 2021, sunset date from Arlington County’s authority to impose such a tax. This bill is identical to House Bill 62.
  • Senate Bill 140: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public institutions of higher education; information related to pledges and donations. As introduced, the bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. This bill is identical to House Bill 510.
  • Senate Bill 163: Entitlement to sales tax revenues from certain public facilities; authorized localities. This bill is identical to House Bill 906.
  • Senate Bill 269: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; proprietary records and trade secrets; affordable housing loan applications. This bill is identical to House Bill 722.
  • Senate Bill 685: Tax exemption for certified pollution control equipment and facilities; timing of certification by the state certifying authority. This bill is identical to House Bill 1173.
  • Senate Bill 701: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and Virginia Freedom of Information Act; training requirements; executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities. This bill is identical to House Bill 1527.
  • Senate Bill 703: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities; penalty. This bill is identical to House Bill 1528.
  • Senate Bill 727: Real estate tax exemption for property in redevelopment or conservation areas or rehabilitation districts. This bill is identical to House Bill 537.
  • Senate Bill 981: Professions and occupations; expediting the issuance of credentials to spouses of military service members.
  • House Bill 61: Adults sentenced for juvenile offenses; good conduct credit. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference and is identical to Senate Bill 307.
  • House Bill 65: Establishment of the Virginia Missing Child with Autism Alert Program. 
  • House Bill 134: Individualized education program teams; Department of Education to develop guidelines. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 186.
  • House Bill 136: Bail bondsman; deposit for surrender of principal for reasons other than principal’s failure to appear. This bill incorporates House Bill 138.
  • House Bill 137: Guardians ad litem for children; certification of compliance with certain standards.
  • House Bill 165: Teledentistry; definition, establishes requirements for the practice of teledentistry, etc.
  • House Bill 166: Hearing notice by localities; timely notice related to planning or zoning matter to newspaper, etc.
  • House Bill 174: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures for a buyer to beware; marine clays.
  • House Bill 175: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures for a buyer to beware; radon gas. 
  • House Bill 210: Historical African American cemeteries; adds a cemetery in Montgomery County and City of Radford.
  • House Bill 287: Department of Social Services; central registry; retention of records.
  • House Bill 306: Fees collected by circuit court clerks for recording and indexing; use of fee in preserving permanent records of the circuit courts.
  • House Bill 313: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; library records.
  • House Bill 314: Historical African American cemeteries; adds a cemetery in Loudoun County.
  • House Bill 404: Public libraries; providing an essential service to communities of the Commonwealth.
  • House Bill 436: Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act; disclosure of identifying information; pleading or affidavit.
  • House Bill 446: Department of General Services; disposition of surplus materials; donation of surplus computers; United States military.
  • House Bill 510: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public institutions of higher education; information related to pledges and donations. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 140.
  • House Bill 517: Collaborative practice agreements; adds nurse practitioners and physician assistants to list. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 565.
  • House Bill 518: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; disclosures for a buyer to beware; residential building energy analysis.  This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Housing Commission. The bill incorporates House Bill 574 and is identical to Senate Bill 628.
  • House Bill 544: Department of General Services; public posting of contract information on central electronic procurement system. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 563.
  • House Bill 548: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; records of active investigations. 
  • House Bill 595: Dealer’s license plate and special license plate combination; Department of Motor Vehicles may issue.
  • House Bill 722: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; proprietary records and trade secrets; affordable housing loan applications. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 269.
  • House Bill 967: Professions and occupations; expediting the issuance of credentials to spouses of military service members. This bill incorporates House Bill 930.
  • House Bill 993: Administration of government; boards and councils; cleanup.
  • House Bill 1098: Secretary of Administration; policy of the Commonwealth regarding employment of individuals with disabilities; report deadline.
  • House Bill 1198: Virginia Board of Workforce Development; updates as a response to federal law.
  • House Bill 1337: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
  • House Bill 1341: Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Law; applicability. The bill is a recommendation of the Code Commission.
  • House Bill 1401: Landlord and tenant; remedy for unlawful ouster; ex parte issuance of order to recover possession.
  • House Bill 1511: Towing fees; raises to $30 additional fee that can be charged for towing a vehicle at night, etc.
  • House Bill 1527: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and Virginia Freedom of Information Act; training requirements; executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 701.
  • House Bill 1528: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities; penalty. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 703.

Until the session’s final week, the Constitution of Virginia requires the Governor to act on legislation within seven days. 

The General Assembly session is scheduled to adjourn on March 7, 2020.

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