2006 Legislative Bills
Posted June 14, 2006

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The General Assembly ended its session on March 22, 2006.  It reconvened on April 11, 2006 to review Governor's recommendations.  Of 3,287 bills introduced, 1,749 bills were passed in the House and Senate.  The Governor approved 947 bills and vetoed 15 bills.

Latest report on ten legislative bills affecting the deaf and hard of hearing in Viriginia.

To check the latest status of bills, resolutions, and amendments or check for your legislator’s name, etc., visit the Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System at  http://leg1.state.va.us/041/lis.htm

 

Legislative Bills

Committees

Last Action

House Bills    

HB 287Del. Daniel W. D. Marshall

Requires that all examinations of applicants for driver's licenses be conducted exclusively in the English language.  Use of interpreters in connection with driver's license examinations is prohibited. VDDHH has suggested language for an amendment to clarify that the bill does not prohibit sign language interpreters. Delegate Marshall’s office was receptive to this proposal.

The VAD Board has no position on this bill.

Committee on Transportation, Subcommittee #1

The committee adopted Delegate Marshall’s amendment related to qualified sign language interpreters but then they “respectfully tabled” (killed) the bill.

HB 350Del. Phillip A. Hamilton

A BILL to authorize the Governor to convey the real property held in the name of the board of visitors of the Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind, and Multi-Disabled at Hampton to the New Horizons Regional Education Center.

VAD Board is in favor of this bill.

House General Laws

3/11/06 Passed House
(54-Y 43-N)

3/11/06  Passed Senate
(20-Y 19-N)

4/11/06 House received Governor’s recommendation.

4/19/06 House rejected Governor’s recommendation 
(46-Y 52-N)

5/19/06 Vetoed by Governor * More information below.

HB 354 – Del. Phillip A. Hamilton

Authorizes the Board of Audiology and Speech-Pathology to issue a provisional license to an applicant who has met educational and exam requirements for licensure. The provisional license allows for clinical experience while under supervision in accordance with the Board's regulations.

The VAD Board is in favor of this bill.

House Education and Health

1/17/06 – Passed House
(98-0)

2/20/06 Passed Senate
(40-0)

3/26/06 Approved by Governor

HB 568 Del. Samuel A. Nixon

Communications services; various revisions to taxation thereof.  This bill establishes a new Communications Sales and Use Tax.  One part of the bill affects the way Virginia Relay is funded. It eliminates the current $0.16 telephone surcharge.  Instead, Relay will be funded by the Communications Sales and Use Tax Trust Fund.  Full authority for administration of Virginia Relay will move from the State Corporation Commission to VDDHH.

The communication sales and use tax rate will be 5% on the following:
    Local Exchange
    Paging
    Inter-Exchange (both interstate and intrastate)
    Cable Television
    Satellite Television
    Wireless
    Voice over the Internet (VoIP)

* More information below on HB568.

This bill is the same as the telephone tax bills introduced last year.

The VAD Board is in favor of this bill.

House Committee on Finance

1/26/06  Passed House on a vote of 63-35 with 2 abstentions. 

3/1/06 A Senate substitute bill was adopted by the Senate (25-Y 11-N 2-abstentions and also by the House (62-30-1).  There is no substantive change in the substitute related to Virginia Relay.

4/6/06 Approved by Governor

Law will become effective on
January 1, 2007.

HB 657 – Del. Kenneth R. Plum

Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for medically necessary habilitative services for persons younger than 19 years. The bill references “assistance, training, supervision, and monitoring in the areas of self-care, sensory and motor development, interpersonal skills, communication, and socialization” but it is not clear if this would include hearing aids for children.

The VAD Board has no position on this bill.

Committee on Commerce and Labor

The bill was carried-over in Committee until next year.

HB 1169 – Del. Albert C. Eisenberg - Provides that oral, written or sign language statements made by a juvenile criminal defendant are presumed inadmissible in a court unless reliably recorded. The presumption may be overcome if the statement is otherwise reliable and was recorded out-of-state or by a federal officer. VDDHH tries to get additional information to clarify their understanding of this bill.

The VAD Board needs clarification on this bill before taking a position.

Committee on Courts of Justice

The bill was left in Courts of Justice.

HJ 42 – Del. Robert H. Brink

Directs the Joint Commission on Health Care to study the use of foreign language interpreters in medical settings, and its effects. The study shall focus on the availability of interpreters in hospitals, free clinics, community health centers, and private offices, and the use of children as interpreters for non-English speaking family members.  While the bill does not mention sign language interpreters, it could present some opportunities.

The VAD Board has no position on this bill until it is clarified.

Committee on Rules

The bill was left in Rules.

Senate Bills    

SB 182 Sen. Linda T. Puller – This bill establishes the Community Integration and Implementation Team to assist in ongoing progress by all executive branch state agencies toward community integration of Virginians with disabilities. VDDHH would be part of this team.  The team would continue the work of the Olmstead Task Force and Implementation Team.

The VAD Board is in favor of this bill.

Senate Committee on Rules

A substitute bill was approved by the House Rules Committee (15-0) which removes the Implementation Team from the bill and identifies the Board for People with Disabilities as the staffing support agency for the Community Integration Commission.

3/3/06 Passed House
(Y-100 0-N)

3/7/06 Passed Senate
(39-Y 0-N)

4/19/06 Governor’s recommendation adopted.

SB 545 – Sen. Walter A. Stosch - Establishes a scholarship program on behalf of disabled students in the Commonwealth to provide scholarships to a private school of choice for students with disabilities for whom an individual education plan has been written. The student's parent also has the option to enroll the student in another public school in the division, or in another public school in an adjacent division. Only nonsectarian private schools in Virginia holding a license to operate as a school for students with disabilities may participate in the Scholarship Program. The bill also requires the Board of Education to issue guidelines to aid local school divisions and private schools in the implementation of the Program.

The VAD Board has no position on this bill.

Committee on Education and Health.

The bill was carried over to 2007 in Senate Education and Health.

SB 676 Sen. Emmett W. Hanger

Directs the Board of Education to develop a plan for the consolidation of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind at Staunton and the Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind and Multi-Disabled at Hampton. The consolidation plan must provide for, among other things, the continuation of a state-administered residential school in the Staunton area designed to accommodate up to 150 residential students and a regional program in Hampton to provide day services for multi-disabled students with vision or hearing impairments designed to accommodate up to 75 students. In developing the plan, the Board must consider whether the consolidation of the schools could result in the reduction of any services to students with visual or hearing impairments and, if so, must include alternatives for providing such services to affected students in the Commonwealth. The Board must report its plan for the consolidation of the schools to the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, and the House Committee on Education by November 30, 2006The bill calls for the plan to include consideration for the recognition and preservation of the history of the existing schools.

The VAD Board is in favor of this bill.

Senate Committee on Education and Health

2/8/06  Senate Finance Committee adopted a new substitute bill.  This version of the bill is similar to the previous substitute but it clarifies the language related to buildings and property no longer necessary for special educational purposes.

2/14/06 Amended Bill Passed Senate (40-0)

3/11/06 Passed House
(52-Y 45-N)

3/11/06  Passed Senate
(21-Y 18-N)

4/11/06 Senate received Governor’s recommendation.

4/19/06 House rejected
Governor’s recommendation
(45-Y 50-N)

5/19/06 Vetoed by Governor *

More information below.

 

More information on HB 568:

A $0.75 "911 Tax" will be applied to each local exchange line (landline) and the current $0.75 "911 Fee" will continue to be applied to each wireless number.

The state communications sales and use tax, and state 911 fees and taxes replace the following currently billed taxes and fees:

Local Consumer Utility Tax (LCUT)

Local Gross Receipts Tax (BPOL) - (Only the portion above 0.5% currently billed to customers, where applicable)

Local E-911

Virginia Relay Fee

Cable Franchise Fee

 A statewide rights-of-way use fee will be applied to all cable TV service lines as is currently applied on all local exchange telephone lines. The rate of the fee will be the same as determined annually by the Virginia Department of Transportation in accordance with § 56-468.1 of the Virginia Code.

 The sales and use tax, 911 tax, and the cable rights-of-way fee assessed on consumers of video services from a single provider will be remitted to the Virginia Department of Taxation, which will administer the distribution of the Communications Sales and Use Tax Trust Fund within 30 days of receipt of the collections for a given month. The rights-of-way use fee assessed on consumers of both cable video services and voice services from a single provider will be remitted in accordance with subsection I of § 56-468.1. The 911 fees will be remitted directly to the Wireless 911 Board for administration.

The redistribution of taxes and fees is intended to be revenue neutral to localities and the Wireless 911 Board and shall cover the current cost of the Virginia Relay Center.

 

More information on HB 354/SB 676

HOUSE BILL 350 and SENATE BILL 676 would consolidate the two Schools for the Deaf and Blind into one school in Staunton, provide for a continuing regional program in Hampton, and convey the existing Hampton property to a specific nonprofit entity.

The Governor announced his veto on HB 354/SB 676 on May 19, 2006 with his statement as follows:

"The issue of consolidation has been debated for a number of years. While a consensus exists on consolidation at Staunton, there is disagreement on the appropriate approach going forward for the Hampton property," Governor Kaine said. "The enrolled bills, while good faith efforts, do not achieve the necessary consensus about future use of the Hampton school and associated programs.  Thus, I am vetoing this legislation, but I will continue to work with the patrons and all stakeholders to craft a consensus during the ongoing budget discussions and in the future."

 

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General Assembly Session Statistics

 

Bills and Resolutions introduced:

    Passed

    Failed

 

Of the 1,749 passed bills:

    Approved by Governor

    Vetoed by Governor

    Pending

3,287

1,749

1,538

 

 

947

15

787

 

53.2 %

46.8 %

 

 

54.1 %

0.9 %

45.0 %

 

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Legislative Legend

HB
SB

HR
SR

HJR
SJR

Y
N

House Bill 

Senate Bill

House Resolution

Senate Resolution

House Joint Resolution

Senate Joint Resolution

Yes

No

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Gary wants to thank the following people for their help in up-to-date
reporting on legislative bills, budget amendments, and  resolutions:

Leslie Hutcheson Prince (VDDHH) and Fred Yates
 


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