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2015 SESSION

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Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology

Chairman: Frank M. Ruff, Jr.

Clerk: Maryann Horch
Staff: Amigo Wade
Date of Meeting: February 2, 2015
Time and Place: 45 minutes after adjournment; Senate Room A
amended to add SB 814

S.B. 674

Patron: Martin

Virginia Information Technologies Agency; email archiving. Requires any state agency in the executive branch of government that receives email services from VITA to also utilize email archiving services provided by VITA.

A BILL to amend and reenact  2.2-2012 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Information Technologies Agency; email archiving.

15100111D

S.B. 716

Patron: Lucas

Virginia Casino Gaming Commission; regulation of casino gaming; penalties. Creates the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission as the licensing body for casino gaming. The bill specifies the licensing requirements for casino gaming and imposes penalties for violations of the casino gaming law. Under the bill, casino gambling shall be limited to localities in which at least 40 percent of the land area is exempt from local real property taxation pursuant to federal law or subdivisions (a) (1) through (a) 5 and (a) 7 of Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia. The bill requires proceeds of the gross receipts tax and admission tax imposed on casino gaming operators to be paid as follows: (i) 10 percent to the locality in which the casino gaming operation is located and (ii) 90 percent into the Toll Mitigation Fund, which shall be used to mitigate the tolls established to support construction and maintenance of the Dominion Boulevard Bridge and Roadway Improvement Project and the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Extension Project.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-204, 2.2-3705.3, 2.2-3711, 4.1-100, 4.1-210, 4.1-231, and 4.1-233 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 3 of Title 11 a section numbered 11-16.1, by adding a section numbered 18.2-334.5, by adding in Article 7 of Chapter 15 of Title 33.2 a section numbered 33.2-1532, and by adding in Title 59.1 a chapter numbered 50, containing articles numbered 1 through 8, consisting of sections numbered 59.1-550 through 59.1-585, relating to the Virginia Toll Relief Act; Virginia Casino Gaming Commission; penalties.

15100154D

S.B. 814

Patron: Watkins

Electronic identity management; standards; liability. Creates the Identity Management Standards Advisory Council to advise the Secretaries of Technology and Transportation on the adoption of technical and data standards regarding the verification and authentication of identity in digital and online transactions. Electronic identity providers that adhere to the adopted standards would be immune from civil liability related to the issuance of an electronic identity credential, absent gross negligence or willful misconduct. The bill also establishes in the Code of Virginia the concept of an identity trust framework operator, an entity that establishes rules and policies for identity providers operating within the framework and issues electronic trustmarks to such providers signifying compliance with the rules and policies of that trust framework.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.3, consisting of sections numbered 2.2-435.9 and 2.2-435.10, and by adding in Title 59.1 a chapter numbered 50, consisting of sections numbered 59.1-550 through 59.1-553, relating to electronic identity management; standards; liability.

15100943D

S.B. 893

Patron: Petersen

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; working papers and correspondence exemptions for university presidents. Eliminates the working paper and correspondence record exemption for the president or other chief executive officer of any public institution of higher education in Virginia.

A BILL to amend and reenact  2.2-3705.7 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; working papers and correspondence exemptions for university presidents.

15102044D

S.B. 965

Patron: Petersen

Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; passive collection and use of personal information by law-enforcement agencies. Limits the ability of law-enforcement and regulatory agencies to use technology to collect and maintain personal information on individuals and organizations where a warrant has not been issued and there is no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity by the individual or organization. The bill authorizes law-enforcement agencies to collect information from license plate readers, provided such information (i) is held for no more than seven days and (ii) is not subject to any outside inquiries or internal usage, except in the investigation of a crime or missing persons report. After seven days such collected information must be purged from the system.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3800 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 2.2-3808.3, relating to the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; passive collection and use of personal information by law-enforcement agencies.

15103452D

S.B. 968

Patron: Ruff

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for certain health records. Clarifies that records of certain health care committees and entities, to the extent that they reveal information that may be withheld from discovery as privileged communications, are exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3705.5 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for certain health records.

15101515D

S.B. 969

Patron: Ruff

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); exception to open meeting requirements. Clarifies that the gathering or attendance of two or more members of a public body (i) at any place or function where no part of the purpose of such gathering or attendance is the discussion or transaction of any public business, and such gathering or attendance was not called or prearranged with any purpose of discussing or transacting any business of the public body, or (ii) at a public forum, candidate appearance, or debate, the purpose of which is to inform the electorate and not to transact public business or to hold discussions relating to the transaction of public business, even though the performance of the members individually or collectively in the conduct of public business may be a topic of discussion or debate at such public meeting, is not a meeting under FOIA. The bill contains a technical amendment.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3701 and 2.2-3707 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exception to open meeting requirements.

15101552D

S.B. 1015

Patron: Cosgrove

Advertisement of foreclosure sale by a trustee or trustees in execution of a deed of trust; time-share properties. Allows the optional streamlined advertisement of a time-share property being foreclosed upon, requiring publication of the time, place, and date of sale; identification of the time-share being sold; contact information for obtaining further information about the sale; and a website address where more complete information and documentation can be obtained. The bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Housing Commission.

A BILL to amend and reenact 55-59.3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to advertisement of time-share estate foreclosure sales.

15100558D

S.B. 1038

Patron: Hanger

Investment in research and technology. Makes changes to the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), including adding a federal research facility located in the Commonwealth to the list of entities eligible to apply for a grant, and clarifies that the length of time that a business has been incorporated does not affect an entity's eligibility for an award. The bill requires that the Secretary of Technology approve the guidelines developed by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (IEIA) for the administration of the CRCF. The bill also transfers the authority to appoint members to the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee from the IEIA to the Governor and streamlines membership criteria.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-225, 2.2-2220.1, 2.2-2221, and 2.2-2233.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to investment in research and technology in the Commonwealth.

15101144D

S.B. 1109

Patron: Stuart

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); open meeting exemptions; discussions relating to cybersecurity. Expands the open meeting exemption for the discussion of plans to protect public safety as it relates to terrorism and security of governmental facilities to include the discussion of specific cybersecurity threats or vulnerabilities, including the discussion of related records excluded from FOIA, where discussion in an open meeting would jeopardize the safety of any person or the security of any facility, building, structure, information technology system, or software program.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; open meeting exemptions; discussions relating to cybersecurity.

15101863D

S.B. 1126

Patron: Hanger

Resource management plans; consideration of certain records in closed meetings. Adds to the list of purposes for which public bodies may hold closed meetings the purpose of discussing certain records that contain information collected pursuant to the creation of a resource management plan. The bill permits only specified review committees or boards to close their meetings, or portions of their meetings, when discussing the records. The bill does not remove the general bar against closed meetings when the records have been transformed into an aggregate form or when the person who is the subject of the regulations has consented to their release.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3711 and 10.1-104.7 of the Code of Virginia, relating to resource management plans; closed meetings.

15100909D

S.B. 1129

Patron: Stuart

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for public safety; cybersecurity. Expands the current record exemption for plans and information to prevent or respond to terrorism to include information not lawfully available to the public regarding specific cybersecurity vulnerabilities or security plans and measures of an entity, facility, network, software program, or system. The bill contains technical amendments.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3705.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for public safety; cybersecurity.

15101862D

S.B. 1157

Patron: Cosgrove

Condominium Act and Property Owners' Association Act; notice of sale under deed of trust. Clarifies that the required notice of a sale under a deed of trust applies to individual residential lots located in a development subject to the Property Owners' Association Act. The bill also provides that upon receipt of such notice, the governing body of a unit owners' association or of a property owners' association, on behalf of the association, shall exercise whatever due diligence it deems necessary with respect to the unit or lot subject to such sale to protect the interests of the association.

A BILL to amend and reenact  15.2-979 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding sections numbered 55-79.84:01 and 55-516.01, relating to the Condominium Act and the Property Owners' Association Act; notice of sale under deed of trust.

15101710D

S.B. 1158

Patron: Garrett

Statewide Fire Prevention Code; State Fire Marshal; consumer fireworks; penalties. Authorizes the use of consumer fireworks in the Commonwealth. The bill defines "consumer fireworks" as small fireworks devices (i) containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion and (ii) complying with certain federal regulations regarding composition and labeling. The bill provides that the storage and transportation of consumer fireworks are to be considered the same hazard class as 1.4G explosives under the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) and Uniform Statewide Building Code. In addition, the bill excludes from the provisions of the SFPC the use of consumer fireworks on residential or agricultural property with the consent of the owner of such property or when the fireworks are being transported from a locality where they were legally obtained to a locality where they are legally permitted. Current law only excludes the use of permissive fireworks on private property. The provisions of the bill have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2016.

A BILL to amend and reenact 18.2-85, 27-34.4, 27-95, 27-96.1, and 27-97 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Statewide Fire Prevention Code; State Fire Marshal; consumer fireworks; penalties.

15103254D

S.B. 1198

Patron: Wagner

Administrative Process Act; legislative review of regulations. Extends the period during which the relevant standing committee of both houses of the General Assembly or the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules may transmit, with the Governor's concurrence, a statement directing the suspension of the effective date of a portion or all of a final regulation. Under current law, the statement must be filed within the 30-day final adoption period. The bill provides that if the promulgating agency has specified a later effective date, the statement may be transmitted at any time prior to the specified later effective date. The bill also includes technical amendments.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-4013 and 2.2-4014 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Administrative Process Act; legislative review of regulations.

15100017D

S.B. 1281

Patron: Wexton

Administrative Process Act; exemptions for certain industries regulated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Permits the Criminal Justice Services Board to establish training standards for private security professionals, bail bondsmen, bail enforcement agents, and special conservators of the peace without utilizing the Administrative Process Act. Under current law, the establishment of training standards for law enforcement, corrections officers, and certain others is exempted.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-4002 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Administrative Process Act, exemptions for certain industries regulated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

15103230D

S.B. 1305

Patron: Reeves

Unclaimed property; death master file. Requires insurance companies to perform a semiannual comparison of their in-force policies, annuities, and retained asset accounts issued in the Commonwealth after January 1, 2016, against the U.S. Social Security Administration death master file or its equivalent to identify potential death master file matches. If a match between information contained in the death master file and an in-force policy, annuity, or account is found, the measure requires the insurance company, within 90 days of obtaining such information, to complete a good faith effort to verify the death of the individual through other available records and information. If the individual's death is confirmed and a beneficiary or authorized representative has not communicated with the insurance company within the 90-day period, it shall take reasonable steps to locate and contact the beneficiary or beneficiaries or authorized representative. If the beneficiaries or owners cannot be found, the benefits are presumed abandoned and the insurance company is required to report and remit the benefits to the State Treasurer under the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. The requirements do not apply to any life or endowment insurance policy, annuity, or retained asset account for which the insurance company is receiving premiums outside of the policy account value by check, bank draft, payroll deduction, or any other similar method of active premium payment within the 18 months immediately preceding death master file comparison. The State Treasurer, in consultation with the Commissioner of Insurance, may adopt rules and regulations that (i) limit the insurance company's comparison to the death master file to its electronic searchable files; (ii) approve a plan and timeline for converting the insurance company's files to electronic searchable files; (iii) exempt an insurance company from the death master file comparison requirements or permit such comparisons to be conducted less frequently if compliance would impose a financial hardship; or (iv) establish a plan and timeline that phases in compliance with these requirements. The measure also includes provisions allowing an insurance company to report and remit the proceeds to the State Treasurer on an early reporting basis, without further notice to or consent by the State Treasurer, after attempting to contact the beneficiary.

A BILL to amend and reenact 55-210.2 and 55-210.4:01 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the disposition of unclaimed property; funds owing under insurance policy, annuity, or retained asset account; use of death master file.

15103498D

S.B. 1309

Patron: Ruff

Charitable gaming. Renames the Charitable Gaming Board the Board for Charitable Gaming (the Board), designates the Board as a supervisory board for the purposes of charitable gaming, and sets out the powers and duties of the Board. The bill (i) transfers the responsibility for the administration of charitable gaming from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Board; (ii) sets up a special fund for the administration of charitable gaming; (iii) requires the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create an Office of Charitable Gaming within the Department; (iv) requires the Board, when the account for the Board shows expenses allocated to it for the past biennium to be more than 10 percent greater or less than moneys collected by the Board, to revise the fees levied by it for issuing charitable gaming permits and supplier registrations, or renewal thereof, so that the fees are sufficient but not excessive to cover expenses; (v) reduces the number of members of the Board from nine to eight, designates the appointing authority for Board members, and sets out eligibility for service on the Board; (vi) authorizes the Board to investigate any charitable gaming activity not specifically authorized by law or Board regulations; and (vii) requires organizations that conduct certain charitable gaming to obtain a permit from the Board. The bill contains technical amendments.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-107, 2.2-2455, 2.2-2456, 2.2-3705.6, 18.2-340.15, 18.2-340.16, 18.2-340.18, 18.2-340.20, 18.2-340.23, 18.2-340.24, 18.2-340.25, 18.2-340.26:1, 18.2-340.27, 18.2-340.29, 18.2-340.30, 18.2-340.31, 18.2-340.33 through 18.2-340.36, and 58.1-3 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 19 of Chapter 24 of Title 2.2 sections numbered 2.2-2456.1 and 2.2-2456.2, relating to charitable gaming.

15103328D

S.B. 1342

Patron: Puller

Residential Improved Accessibility and Universal Visitability Grant Program. Establishes a grant program for homeowners and contractors for the purchase or construction of new residences or renovations to existing residences designed to improve accessibility or to provide universal visitability. The grant program would be administered by the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development. Subject to the appropriation of funds by the General Assembly, the Director would be authorized to award up to $1 million in grants each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2016, of which the Director would allocate 50 percent for the purchase or construction of new residences and 50 percent for the retrofitting or renovation of existing residences. The maximum grant allowed would be (i) $5,000 for the purchase or construction of a new residence or (ii) 50 percent of the amount expended, but not to exceed $5,000, for the retrofitting or renovation of an existing residence.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 36-139.01, relating to grants for purchase of new residences or the costs of real property improvements designed to improve accessibility or universal visitability.

15103067D

S.B. 1377

Patron: Hanger

Department of General Services; state-owned communication towers; charges for use. Removes the requirement that the amount charged to lease use of a state-owned communication tower be commensurate with the amount paid for use of comparable space on similar towers.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-1150.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to Department of General Services; state-owned communication towers; charges for use.

15103832D

S.B. 1390

Patron: Marsden

Virginia Condominium Act; meetings of the unit owners' association; quorum. Provides for a unit owners' association or unit owner to petition the circuit court to order a meeting of the unit owner's association for the purpose of the election of officers if (i) no annual meeting has been held due to the failure to obtain a quorum of unit owners as specified in the condominium instruments, and (ii) the unit owners' association has made good faith attempts to convene a duly called annual meeting of the unit owners' association in three successive years that have been unsuccessful due to the failure to obtain a quorum.

A BILL to amend and reenact 55-79.76 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Condominium Act; meetings of the unit owners' association; quorum.

15103003D

S.B. 1402

Patron: Cosgrove

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; open meeting exemption for gang-related activities. Authorizes a public body to convene a closed meeting for consultation with or briefings by staff members, legal counsel, or law-enforcement or emergency service officials concerning criminal street gang-related activities.

A BILL to amend and reenact 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; open meeting exemption for gang-related activities.

15103994D

S.B. 1438

Patron: Wexton

State and local government employees; prohibited use of state funds to pay membership dues for private organizations. Prohibits the use of state funds to pay the individual membership dues or enrollment fees of a state or local employee to join a private organization without the prior written consent of the employee.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 2.2-2902.2 and by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 15 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-1512.5, relating to state and local government employees; prohibited use of state funds to pay membership dues for private organizations.

15103246D

S.B. 1445

Patron: Martin

Appraisal management companies; payment of fees to appraisers; disclosure. Provides for an appraisal management company to compensate appraisers at a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisals being performed in the market area of the property being appraised. The bill also requires an appraisal management company to provide a separate statement to the client disclosing (i) the fees paid to an appraiser for appraisal services and (ii) the fees charged by the appraisal management company for services associated with the management of the appraisal process.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 54.1-2022.1, relating to appraisal management companies; payment of fees to appraisers; disclosure.

15103447D

S.B. 1449

Patron: Saslaw

Virginia Energy Economic Development Advisory Board; Governor's Energy Fund; report. Establishes the Governor's Energy Fund (the Fund) to award incentive grants in the form of reduced electricity rates consisting of (i) special rate classes, (ii) temporary rate credits, or (iii) any other methodology that may be authorized by law. The bill also creates the Virginia Energy Economic Development Advisory Board to advise the Governor on the award of energy incentive grants from the Fund.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 2.2-215.1 and by adding in Chapter 24 of Title 2.2 an article numbered 25, consisting of sections numbered 2.2-2478 through 2.2-2483, relating to Virginia Energy Economic Development Advisory Board; Governor's Energy Fund; report.

15102132D