2001 Legislative Bills
Updated July 16, 2001

House Bills | Senate Bills | Budget Amendment | Resolutions | For Your Information | General Assembly Session Statistics | Legislative Legend

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The 2001 General Assembly session convened on January 10, 2001.  2,644 bills (some continued from last year) and resolutions were filed this year, 22 percent fewer than in last year's 60-day session.  The changeover date was February 6, 2001 (when bills passed in the House went to the Senate or vice versa, for consideration).  The 46-day session ended on February 24, 2001.

The General Assembly changed its rules this year to require members to file more bills earlier and to limit the number of bills that could be filed after the session started.  "This drop in the number of bills filed is surely good news for fans of limited government," Senate Majority Leader Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, said.

To check the latest status of bills, resolutions, and amendments or check for your legislator’s name, etc.,
click Legislative website at  http://legis.state.va.us./online/v.htm
.



 

House Bills

HB 1846 – Virginia Relay
Patron:  Robert G. Marshall

To create the Consumer Advisory Board for Virginia Relay within the Department for the  Dead and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) to provide consumer advice on Virginia’s telecommunications  relay service to state agencies as to whether it is meeting the needs of its clients and to assist in providing information about access to services.  Funding will come from a portion of the proceeds from the telecommunications relay service fund collected by the State Corporation Commission  (SCC).  This bill contains a technical amendment to the Code of Virginia.  FYI, SCC collects about $8 million a year.

Status:  In 2000, this bill, formerly known as HB 1054, was recommitted to the Senate Finance Committee for further study due to some concerns about the cost of the bill.  HB 1846 was recently stricken at request of its patron in the General Laws sub-committee (25-Y, 0-N), 1/29/01, due to strategy change.  VDDHH requested the bill be withdrawn and Verizon also opposed it.  New strategy:  VDDHH received word from Virginia Attorney General that VDDHH has the authority to establish regulations for the Consumer Advisory Board and that SCC will provide $268,000 to support the Board activities and for technical assistance/education on relay services.

Comment:  The VAD Board fully supported this bill.

HB 1625 Guide, Hearing and Service Dogs in Training
Patron: Robert Tata

To provide that persons designated as guide, hearing or service dog trainers representing an accredited organization that trains and certifies such dogs have the right to be accompanied by dogs at least six months of age with clear, visible designation as guide, hearing or service dogs in training, i.e., wearing a jacket identifying the service dog organization or wearing a jacket identifying the recognized guide, hearing or service dog organization , provided such person is an experienced trainer of the organization identified on the jacket., on all common carriers and any public conveyance or mode of transportation, and in restaurants, hotels, lodging places, places of accommodation, amusement or resort, or other places to which the general public is invited.  Such persons shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog.

Status:  Passed in House (block voted 98-Y, 0-N), 1/22/01.  Passed in Senate (40-Y, 0-N), 2/12/01.  Approved by the Governor, 3/20/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board was in full support of the bill.

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Senate Bills

SB 1191 – Hearing Aids
Patron:  R. Edward Houck

To require health insurers, health maintenance organizations and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services.  Such coverage shall include one hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear, up to a cost of $1,200, every 48 months.  The insured may choose a higher priced hearing aid and pay the difference in cost above $1,200, with no penalty to the insured or the hearing aid provider.

Status:  This revised bill , formerly known as SB 272, was referred to Commission on Mandated Health Benefits under Senate Commerce for study, and the Commission turned it down last summer. Passed in Senate (30-Y, 0-N), 1/30/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board fully endorsed this bill.

 SB 1192 – Hearing Aids
Patron: R. Edward Houck

To require the state employee health care plan to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services.  Such coverage shall include one hearing aid per hearing-impaired ear, up to a cost of $1,200, every 48 months.  The covered person may chose a higher priced hearing aid and pay the difference in cost above $1,200, with no penalty to the covered person or the hearing aid provider.

Status:  In 2000, this revised bill, formerly  known as SB 271, was referred to Commission on Mandated Health Benefits under Committee on Finance for study and the Commission turned it down last summer. SB 1192 is now in the Committee on Finance, 1/10/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board fully endorsed this bill.

 SB 1004 Employees with Disabilities Tax Credit, etc.
Patron: Patricia S. Ticer

To extend the employees with disabilities tax credit to taxable year 2005, also to expire in taxable year 2005, for employees who educate or train disabled employees to fill a high technology field jobs, such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, computer programming, engineering, and electronics.  The Secretary of Technology must certify that the worker training program qualifies as worker training in a high technology field. The amount of the credit is in the actual amount an employer spent on such worker training program in that taxable year.

Status: In 2000 this revised bill (formerly known as SB 271) was referred to Commission on Mandated Health Benefits under Committee on Finance for study and the Commission turned it down last summer.  Passed in Senate (39-Y, 0-N), 2/5/01.  Tabled in House Corporations, Insurance & Banking, 2/15/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board supported this bill.

SB 1200 Health Care Coverage; Infant Hearing Screenings
Patron: J. Randy Forbes

To amend and add a section to the Code of Virginia requiring health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing subscription contracts for health care coverage to provide coverage for infant hearing screenings and certain other audiological examinations for state employees. It also includes those in foster homes or private institutions or placed through state and local subsidized adoptions and medical assistance (Medicaid).

Status:  Passed in Senate (39-Y, 0-N), 1/25/01.  Passed in House (block vote 99-Y, 0-N), 2/12/01.  Approved by the Governor, 3/25/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board supported this bill.

SB 1340 Advisory Commission on Schools for Deaf and Blind
Patron: W. Henry Maxwell

To increase the membership of the Advisory Commission on the Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind from 10 to 12 members adding two more citizen members; one be a parent of a sensory impaired multi-disabled student who is currently attending or has attended the Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind and Multi-Disabled at Hampton and the other be a current member of the State Board of Education.

Status:  Passed in Senate (39-Y, 0-N), 2/5/01.  Passed in House (block vote 99-Y, 0-N), 2/16/01.  Approved by the Governor, 3/25/01.

Comment:  The VAD Board endorsed this bill.

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Budget Amendments

HB 1600 – Budget Bill
Patron Vincent F. Callahan, Jr.

SB 800 – Budget Bill
Patron:  John H. Chichester

These bills are formally introduced to appropriate the public revenue for the two years, 2001 and 2002.  The various amendment item numbers are assigned by the Legislative Information Services as budget amendments are processed.  Among them that affect us are:

 In HB 1600 and SB 800:

As soon as budget numbers will be given soon, we are asking Delegate Karen Darner of Arlington and Senator Warren Barry of Centreville to submit the outreach budget amendment as follows.

We propose that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia allocate $489,044 in General Funds to the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) to be used for Outreach Services respecting the unique needs of citizens of Virginia who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing and  who use different modes of communication.  Outreach services are to include education on prevention, a variety of issues, peer counseling, and independent living needs pertaining to people who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. 

Funds will be administered through the VDDHH by means of contractual agreements. They will be used to expand outreach services through private contracts with consumer controlled resource centers for deaf and hard of hearing people, Centers for Independent Living, and other organizations which meet the criteria.

Breakdown of $489,044:

VDDHH Staff and Operations - 1 new staff to provide training and support to outreach contractors

Total: $69,044 for one FTE (full-time employee).

Outreach Contractors - $10,000 per Planning District for outreach contracts to provide information and education that will support the independence and self-sufficiency of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Total: $220,000

Technology/Technical Assistance - Expansion of current state Technology Assistance Program and TAPLOAN program to make more technology available to contractors, enabling demonstration and loan to consumers and families so they can make informed decisions before purchasing equipment.

- CART and interpreting for meetings and events of support groups such as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Northern Virginia United for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Tidewater Association for Hearing Impaired Children, Virginia Chapter of Cochlear Implant Users and local groups, Virginia Association of the Deaf chapters.

Total:  $200,000

Note:  There are four budget amendments (2 in House and 2 in Senate) requesting additional funding of $200,000 to $403,486 for outreach services for VDDHH.  (See Items 298 #1s, 298 #2, and 298 #3s for VDDHH).

Final budget amount: $100,000.

Others:

Item 158 #2s Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton
FY 02 $165,000 for two teachers and a technology specialist.

Item 158 #3s Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton
FY 02 $150,000 for architectural and engineering study on remodeling the Stuart Building for ED/Special Education students with hearing impairments.

Item 159 #1s Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton
FY 02 $68,000 for increasing the teaching contract of instructional personnel from 190 days to 196 days for VSDB teachers.

Item 157 #1s Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind, and Multi-Disabled at Hampton
FY 02 $40,000 for same as in Item 159 #1s for VSDBMD teachers.

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Resolutions

HJ 548 Health: Education Program on Hearing Loss Prevention
Patron: Harvey B. Morgan

To request the Commissioner of Health to implement an education program on prevention of hearing loss.  This resolution notes the injurious effects of loud noises and sustained loud noise.  The State Department of Health has examined strategies to prevent hearing loss from loud noises, known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).  An education program for elementary school children was identified as an appropriate response to this issue.

Status:  Reported from Committee on Rules with substitute (addition of VDDHH's name) and passed in House (98-Y, 1-N), 2/2/01.  Passed in Senate (40-Y, 0-N), 2/13/01.

SJ 329 Study: Virginians with Disabilities 
Patron:  Yvonne B. Miller

To request the Virginia Departments of Social Services, Rehabilitative Services, and Medical Assistance Services to study the feasibility of developing a data collection system for Virginia-specific information about persons with disabilities looking toward the possible implementation of the Federal “Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999” on the state level.

Status:  Stricken at request of Patron in Committee on Rules, 2/5/01.

SJ 355 Study: Employment Opportunities for Workers with Disabilities
Patron : Patricia S. Ticer

To request the state-level Disability Commission to study the feasibility of offering tax and other incentives to technology companies as means to create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities (those persons with a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et. Seq.) in positions that require an education or training in computer programming, engineering, electronics, or other technology fields.

Status:  Passed by indefinitely (failed) in Senate Finance Committee (14-Y, 0-N), 1/30/01.

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For Your Information

SB 836 Electric Power-Assisted Bicycles
Patron: John C. Watkins

This bill defines “electric power-assisted bicycle, etc. Its last section has an amendment which states that it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, bicycle, ……..on the highways in the Commonwealth while using earphones on or in both ears.  The definition of earphones does not cover any prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing.

Status:  Passed in Senate (39-Y, 0-N), 1/16/01.  Passed in House (block 100-Y, 0-N), 2/21/01.  Approved by the Governor, 4/9/01.

HB 1252 License Tax on Ownership of Dogs or Cats
Patron: Robert H. Brink

To increase the maximum amount that the governing body of a county or city may impose as a license tax on the ownership of a dog or cat from $10 per year to $25 per year. One of its provisions that says that no license tax shall be levied on any dog that is trained and serves as a guide dog for a blind person, that is trained and serves as a hearing dog for a deaf or hearing impaired person or that is trained and serves as a service dog for a mobility-impaired person.

Status: This bill was introduced in the 2000 General Assembly, continued to 2001 in Agriculture and left in Committee on Agriculture, 12/20/00.

HB 2392 School Accreditation: SOL Scores of Certain Students
Patron: James H. Dillard II

To provide that scores on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments of students who (i) have transferred into a school during the school year in which they are required to take the assessment; (ii) have been identified as having limited English proficiency (LEP); or (iii) have been identified as disabled and whose education is subject to an individualized education plan (LEP may be considered in the determination of the relevant school's accreditation rating only if such inclusion benefits the school's rating.  The Board of Education is to include in the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) the terms and conditions under which such scores of these students may be considered in determining the school's accreditation rating.

Status:  Stricken at request of Patron in Education subcommittee (23-Y, 0-N), 2/2/01.  This bill was defeated due to tremendous group effort of many groups of parents, Centers for Independent Living, disability groups, etc., due to possible violation of the Civil Rights Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the American with Disabilities, and the Elementary and Secondary School Act.

HB 2738 Early Intervention Services System
Patron: Kenneth R. Plum

To require the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with the agencies that participate in the early intervention system, to promulgate emergency regulations and adopt policies and procedures necessary to assure consistent access to services, including uniform statewide procedures for public and private providers to determine parental liability and to charge fees for early intervention services in accordance with federal law and regulations.  The bill requires the local interagency coordinating councils to implement such uniform statewide procedures for the charging of fees.

Status: Passed in House (99-Y, 0-N), 2/5/01.  Passed in Senate (40-Y, 0-N), 2/20/01.  Approved by the Governor, 3/27/01.

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General Assembly Session Statistics
 as of May 16, 2001

Bills and Resolutions introduced:
Continued
Passed
Failed
Approved by Governor
Vetoed by Governor

2,645
553
1,382
1,816
875
11



  (43.2%)
  (55.7%)
  (63.3%)
  (0.8%)


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Legislative Legend

HB
SB

HR
SR

HJR
SJR

Y
N

means House Bill 
Senate Bill

House Resolution
Senate Resolution

House Joint Resolution
Senate Joint Resolution

Yes
No

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Special thanks to Cheryl Heppner for some up-to-date reporting on some bills and budget amendments.

 

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