These past weeks the Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation to address COVID-19 and to enact comprehensive police and criminal justice reform.
The bills now “crossover” to the Senate for their approval where, in many cases, there is a similar bill that was also passed by that body.
This week, we passed the following bills:
- HB 5049 A bill to demilitarize police departments by prohibiting the acquisition and use of certain military-style weapons by law enforcement agencies;
- HB 5116 Requires businesses to provide paid quarantine “sick” leave for Virginia workers;
- HB 5043 Creates a statewide “Marcus Alert” system which sets up mobile mental health crisis units to respond to 9-1-1 calls, to replace the role law enforcement plays in situations involving people facing a mental health crisis;
- HB 5148 Increases earned prison sentence credits for certain crimes as an incentive for good behavior;
- HB 5013 Eliminates qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. The a Senate defeated this bill. This issue will be studied for the 2021 session;
- HB 5146 Reforms Virginia’s laws related to expungement of police and court records for certain misdemeanors and some felony convictions following completion of their sentence and after eight years of good behavior.
In the House we are continuing to work on the biennial budget. We must address additional funding needs for the reform measures we passed during the special session.
Priorities for funding include:
- Broadband access to support K-12 remote learning for all students,
- Investment in higher education,
- Advancements in telehealth, and
- Extended housing protections for Virginia residents during the pandemic.
- Criminal justice and police reform measures.
I support these measures and will continue to voice my support as they “crossover” to the Senate.
Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, or concerns.
You may contact my office by email at DelKMurphy@house.virginia.gov
Thank you for your continued support!
Delegate Kathleen Murphy