RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — While the General Assembly has yet to finalize the state budget, both parties did make big changes.
Within 60 days, the G.A. passed several important laws, some in response to hot button issues that have been raised by important happenings in the commonwealth within the past year.
Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds successfully managed to get the time a person can be held for an emergency custody order increased from six hours to twelve.
Senator Deeds said he would commit to work toward changing how mental health services are delivered in Virginia after being stabbed multiple times by his son in the midst of a fight. The stabbing came one day after Deeds’ son was taken to a hospital under an emergency custody order. Police confirmed that Gus Deeds, 24, was brought in by the local sheriff for evaluation by mental health professionals.
Brendon’s Law was also passed, honoring Brendon Mackey who died after being shot by random celebratory gunfire on July 4th last year.
Other changes include the amount of gifts politicians can receive, in reference to former governor Bob McDonnell’s scandal.
Now, Virginians can be buried with their canine companions and dog owners can rest easier knowing that stores are now required to disclose where each new pup comes from. Standardized tests in schools have been reduced, hunting on Sunday is now allowed, fees for Hybrid drivers were repealed, and “revenge porn” is now a crime.
Some things did not change, though – the proposed minimum wage increase was shot down as well as attempts to repeal the law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion.
The G.A. plans to meet March 24th for a special session to finalize the budget.