Youngkin signs bills on education, health and transportation

(The Center Square) – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed nearly 50 bills over the weekend, addressing education, health, transportation, public safety and other policies.

“We are here to provide solutions to the problems that matter to Virginians and we are working everyday to serve our parents and students, veterans and law enforcement,” Youngkin said in a statement. “I thank these bipartisan legislators for their ability to find common sense solutions for their constituents and the Commonwealth.”

Five of the bills focused on education. The governor signed House Bill 741, which requires schools to create detailed and accurate floor plans for each school building for annual school safety audits. The bills also include House Bill 418 will end the Reading Recovery Program for at-risk students because it fails to address key deficiencies of struggling young readers. Another bill, House Bill 1146, allows community college and other governmental entities to train and test for commercial drivers’ licenses.

The governor also signed six health-related bills. These include House Bill 598, which streamlines the certification process for surgical technologists and House Bill 555, which allows health care providers to notify patients electronically when their patient records are transferred. House Bill 738 and Senate Bill 691 requires that court orders that evaluate a defendant’s competency to stand trial be provided by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Nine of the bills are meant to improve public safety. House Bill 283 and Senate Bill 467 directs the Department of Criminal Justice services to create training standards for police to recognize, prevent and report human trafficking. House Bill 756 and Senate Bill 614 compels magistrates to submit a checklist for bail determination form to the commonwealth’s attorney within 24 hours of conducting a bail hearing for a person arrested for a violent act.

Seven bills that were signed into law affect transportation. House Bill 67 is meant to improve road safety. It requires that commercial vehicles that transport loads extending more than four inches past the side of the vehicle or more than four feet beyond the vehicle mark the load with at least one red or orange fluorescent warning flag. House Bill 179 and Senate Bill 186 are meant to close loopholes on farm use placards.

The governor also signed bills to reduce the regulatory burden on best management practices for farmers and to remove the fee for state boat ramps. He also signed House Bill 1019 and Senate Bill 444, which accelerate broadband deployment on state-owned property and House Bill 774 and Senate Bill 499, which establish a task force to analyze the life cycle of renewable energy facilities.

Several larger bills are still being debated in the General Assembly in a special session that began on Monday. This includes the state budget bill and the spending and tax cut proposals included in the proposed budget. Lawmakers are also still debating the details of a plan to provide millions of dollars to the Washington Commanders to construct an NFL stadium in northern Virginia and funding for university-run K-12 lab schools.