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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 8.01-223.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 8.01-223.2. Immunity of persons for statements made at public hearing or communicated to third party.
A. A person shall be immune from civil liability for a
violation of § 18.2-499
or, a claim of tortious interference with
an existing contract or a business or contractual expectancy, or a claim of
defamation based solely on statements (i) regarding matters of public
concern that would be protected under the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution made by that person that are communicated to a third party
or (ii) made at a public hearing before the governing body of any locality
or other political subdivision, or the boards, commissions, agencies and
authorities thereof, and other governing bodies of any local governmental
entity concerning matters properly before such body. The immunity provided by
this section shall not apply to any statements made with actual or
constructive knowledge that they are false , or with reckless
disregard for whether they are false.
B. Any person who has a suit against him dismissed pursuant to the immunity provided by this section may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.