As we March into Spring the 2015 legislative process continues forward. The General Assembly has convened and has communicated legislation to the Governor’s desk for his signature of approval. This opens a window of time in which the Governor has time to decide whether or not to approve a given piece of legislation. The Governor’s deadline to act on a legislative item is March 29th. I was excited to see that this past week the Governor signed a number of bills into law. I am happy to see that a number of my legislative items were among the bills approved.
I have listed below legislation of mine that has been approved by the Governor.
Vehicle illuminated identification systems. Allows emergency vehicles to be equipped with illuminated identification systems that assist aircraft in reading numbers and other identifying markings on the roofs of the emergency vehicles.
Legislation that amends the code of Virginia to update language in regards to United States Postal Service inspectors.
Antique vehicle exhaust systems. Exempts an antique motor vehicle manufactured prior to 1950, provided that the engine is comparable to that designed as standard factory equipment for that particular vehicle and that the exhaust system in good working order, from the requirement that motor vehicle exhaust systems "prevent excessive or unusual noise."
Legislation that amends the code of Virginia to update the taxation of forest products. Therefore, clarifying and updating the process so that the code better serves the logging industry, the manufactures using wood products, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
HB 1392 (Chief Co-Patron with Delegate Garrett)
Department of Motor Vehicles; emergency contact program. Provides that DMV may establish an emergency contact program to allow customers to give DMV the name of an emergency contact person and related emergency contact information, which the customer may update or delete electronically at any time, to be kept in the customer's DMV record and made available to law-enforcement officers in emergency situations. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2016.
I am also proud to announce that the governor has signed our legislation that codifies hemp farming in the code of Virginia. This bill allows the cultivation of industrial hemp by licensed growers as part of a university-managed research program. The bill directs the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt relevant regulations and establish an industrial hemp research program to be managed by public institutions of higher education. This Bill will pave the way for Legal Hemp farming the day the Federal Government decides to pass legislation repealing the ban of this industrial product.
I will continue to track Legislation as the Governor’s deadline for vetoing legislation approaches, and will keep you appraised of the legislative process. Please continue to check in for updates. I will continue to brief you on legislation the General Assembly worked on this past year. I would like to close this letter by thanking the constituents of the 59th House of Delegates District for giving me the opportunity of representing our community in Richmond. It has been an honor to work on legislation that will help make a difference in the Commonwealth.