Time is flying here in Richmond. We have completed our fourth week of Session. This is the last full week before cross over on February 10th. Cross over is a term we use in the General Assembly where all action on bills must be completed by the Legislative body they originated so that they can be reported to the second part of the legislature. This allows the other body to hear and weigh our decisions. Bills that pass both the House and Senate will report to the Governor. This time crunch makes for one hectic week here in Richmond, and business has often ran late into the evening.
The long hours have paid off and the General Assembly has put forth a number of bills that have addressed tough issues in the Commonwealth.
I am proud to announce that HB 2320, on which I am a chief co-patron, has passed its third reading and was passed with no opposition on the House Floor. HB 2320 will codify legal hemp farming in Virginia, and prepares the Commonwealth for the day the Federal Government lifts its restrictions. However, in the interim, our bill allows the Commonwealth to move forward on the research and development of this product. I look forward to the day the Federal Government allows Hemp Farming to once again become a staple economy in the United States.
This week my legislation HJR 644 and HB 1686 passed out of committee and was passed by the House of Delegates. HJR 644 requests the Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia Association of counties to encourage local governments to recognize the benefit of sharing wireless internet access with local law-enforcement officers. It is my hope that by allowing law enforcement to be able to stop at local schools and use their wifi we can hopefully increase the safety of our schools.
I am also proud to announce that HB 1686 has passed the House of Delegates. This bill allows private land owners the right to grow and harvest game fish from enclosed bodies of water. I am proud to help extend this right to landowners in the State of Virginia.
I am also happy to announce that HB 1392, on which I am a chief co-patron, has passed the House of Delegates and will be headed to the Senate. HB 1392 establishes a voluntary emergency contact program that would allow law enforcement officers the ability to contact next of kin in emergency situations.
HB 1287 is another bill I would like to highlight passing out of the House of Delegate’s. This bill Requires that any action for the forfeiture of property used in connection with the commission of a crime be stayed until the person whose property is the subject of the forfeiture action has been convicted of the crime and has exhausted all appeals.
Additional information about any legislation in the presented in the commonwealth, can be found at lis.virginia.gov. This website is a great resource to the public, and allows for Citizens to easily track and navigate a legislative session. Please contact my office for any help or tips in using this website.
If you have any concerns, questions, comments or issues that I or my Aide, Eric, can help you with, please contact us at 804-698-1059 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov.