New laws take effect in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - July 1st is the day most new laws take effect in Virginia. And this year, they cover a lot of ground, from Sunday hunting and switchblades to loud cars and cocktails.
Several hundred bills made it through the regular session of the General Assembly.
Some included an emergency clause, which meant their impacts were immediate upon the governor’s signature, but most of the them took effect Friday morning.
They include a new criminal misdemeanor for public possession of more than four ounces of marijuana, but extend the legislation that allowed cocktails-to-go for two more years.
They include new restrictions on vehicles with loud exhaust systems and legalize the possession of switchblades.
They prohibit police departments from using quotas for ticketing or arrests, but allow the use of facial recognition technology under specific circumstances.
New laws will also impact Virginia schools: requiring parents to be notified when sexually explicit material is used in the classroom, requiring principals to report certain misdemeanors to police, requiring a detailed floor plan for school safety audits and mandating instruction on gambling addiction.
There is new legislation limiting the duration of emergency orders declared by the governor, and a law that makes the votes of parole board members public records, subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
New laws will prohibit the use of cats and dogs for medical research, and allow Sunday hunting on public and private lands, except near a house of worship.
Soon, Virginians will also feel the impact of tax relief.
An increase in the standard deduction will make a difference at tax time.
Rebates of $250 for individuals and $500 for couples are expected later this year.
And the partial repeal of the grocery tax will kick in January 1.
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