Unusual Bills to Watch During the Va. General Assembly Session - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Unusual Bills to Watch During the Va. General Assembly Session

Posted: Jan 09, 2018 1:25 PM Updated:
The Virginia General Assembly The Virginia General Assembly

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Hundreds of bills have already been filed as lawmakers return to Richmond for the Virginia General Assembly session convening Wednesday.

This year's biggest agenda item will be passing the biennial state budget, but lawmakers also will discuss all manner of other issues during the 60-day session. Here's a look at some of the more unusual bills already filed:

CURSING

Republican Del. Michael Webert has filed a bill that would eliminate the crime of profanely swearing or cursing in public, currently punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

This will be Webert's third try at getting the legislation passed. In the past two years, his bill has died in committee.

FORNICATING

One measure already filed aims to repeal "the crime of fornication, i.e., voluntary sexual intercourse by an unmarried person."

The bill is being sponsored by Del. Mark Levine, a Democrat from Alexandria. Levine told The Virginian-Pilot that the fornication law is "obviously outdated, it's silly, and it's unconstitutional." It's important to clean up the state code and get archaic rules off the books, he said.

RACCOON HUNTING

A bill from Del. Terry Kilgore, the GOP leader of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, would remove several Sunday-specific limitations on hunting -- among them, a ban on hunting raccoons.

Current law permits the hunting or killing of raccoons on Sunday only until 2 a.m.

The measure also removes the prohibition on hunting deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the assistance of dogs on Sunday, with certain exceptions.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

A measure from Republican Del. Richard "Dickie" Bell would crack down on distracted driving by prohibiting motorists from having an animal on their lap while driving.

While current law already prohibits checking emails or texting while operating a moving vehicle, the bill would go further by more broadly banning people from "using their hands to use a handheld personal communications device" while driving.

Democratic Sen. David Marsden has also introduced a bill prohibiting drivers from having animals on their laps.

STATE SALAMANDER

A measure from Del. Eileen Filler-Corn would officially designate the red salamander as the state salamander of Virginia.

If the bill passes, the salamander would join other animals such as the dog, fish, bat, bird and snake with official state designations.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware State Auditor Does Not Seek Re-election

    Delaware State Auditor Does Not Seek Re-election

    Feb 17, 2018 11:41 PM2018-02-18 04:41:00 GMT
    Saturday, February 17 2018 11:41 PM EST2018-02-18 04:41:58 GMT
    DOVER, De.- Delaware state auditor, Tom Wagner, has announced he will not seek re-election this year. Wagner was appointed to the position in 1989 and was elected to his seventh term in 2014. He’s one of two Republicans elected to statewide office. More
    DOVER, De.- Delaware state auditor, Tom Wagner, has announced he will not seek re-election this year. Wagner was appointed to the position in 1989 and was elected to his seventh term in 2014. He’s one of two Republicans elected to statewide office. More
  • Maryland Statehouse Hopeful Says He'll Still Hold Gun Raffle

    Maryland Statehouse Hopeful Says He'll Still Hold Gun Raffle

    Feb 17, 2018 9:16 PM2018-02-18 02:16:00 GMT
    Saturday, February 17 2018 9:16 PM EST2018-02-18 02:16:48 GMT
    A candidate for a Maryland House seat has pledged to hold a campaign fundraiser that includes raffling off an AR-15 assault rifle, the same type used in the Florida school shooting this week.More
    A candidate for a Maryland House seat has pledged to hold a campaign fundraiser that includes raffling off an AR-15 assault rifle, the same type used in the Florida school shooting this week.
    More
  • Freshmen Democrats See Most Bills Die in GOP-Led House

    Freshmen Democrats See Most Bills Die in GOP-Led House

    Feb 17, 2018 9:14 PM2018-02-18 02:14:00 GMT
    Saturday, February 17 2018 9:14 PM EST2018-02-18 02:14:01 GMT
    More than a dozen Democrats were elected to Virginia's House last fall, riding a wave of resentment against President Donald Trump. But they're having trouble keeping their bills alive in the Republican-led chamber.More
    More than a dozen Democrats were elected to Virginia's House last fall, riding a wave of resentment against President Donald Trump. But they're having trouble keeping their bills alive in the Republican-led chamber.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices