For all bills introduced by Delegate Watts go to http://lis.virginia.gov/
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2018.
HB 301 – Provides for back and forth sharing of a person’s health and mental health records between local jails, juvenile facilities, and/or the state prison system.
HB 303 – Assures physical evidence recovery kit (PERK) evidence is available to the law enforcement agency investigating a suspected rape which then has the responsibility for forensic analysis within 60 days.
HB 304 – Allows predatory contractors preying on the elderly and incapacitated or committing other acts of construction fraud to be prosecuted under the Consumer Protection Act so that the case can include the history of offenses and willful violators can be charged triple damages, court costs and attorney fees.
HB 1031 – Puts an end to paying self-managed home owner associations less than professionally-managed for producing a disclosure packet electronically and provides for payment for all self-managed associations when they’re asked to produce duplicate hard copies or to expedite delivery.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2017
HB 2058 – Closes $21 million sales tax loophole caused by online providers not charging sales tax on goods warehoused in Virginia. $1.4 million earmarked for K-12, $4.7M for transportation, and $3.7M for local revenue.
HB 2072 – Nursing home administrators can’t bar family members from Family Council meetings.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2016
HB 541 – Allows police officers to divert juveniles into community programs instead of going to court
HB 543 – Authorizes mental health services for persons held in jail waiting to be transferred to another locality
HB 711 – Protects victims of domestic violence who get a protective order from being evicted if they inform the landlord of a court order granting them possession of the residence and subsequently qualify as a tenant.
HB 1158 – Establishes a comprehensive procedure to preserve physical evidence recovery kits (PERK) for victims of sexual assault, including retaining for at least 2 years if victim doesn’t contact law enforcement agency, analysis within 60 days if law enforcement is notified and victims’ notification rights.*
HB 1223 – Allows a voter to give his full name and current residence address in writing rather than orally and avoid confusion or intimidation
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2015
HB 1538 – The name on the voter’s ID does not have to be exactly the same as the name on the pollbook. A voter can’t be challenged if the name is “substantially” the same,
HB 1577 – Employers who employ a veteran with the 1st year of discharge, for a full year at the regional prevailing wage will
receive $1000 per veteran.*
HB 1578 – State Police must obtain and verify receipt of DNA samples for persons required to register on the Sex Offender Registry.
HB 1598 – Ethics reform prohibiting family members of elected officials, judges, and agency heads from soliciting or receiving gifts over
$100 within a calendar year.*
HB 1601 – Provides for collection of child support when a parent moves out of the country.
HB 1602 – Applies child support payments first to amount due for current support, with any remaining prorated towards past due amounts.
HB 2067 – Allows a property owner to reduce run-off by replacing an underground drainage system with an open stream, with simplified environmental review.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2014
HB 567 – Defines repeated, unwanted, sexual touching as groping and applies to recurring workplace sexual harassment as well as multiple stranger attacks like those that plagued Springfield neighborhoods.
HB 972 – Allows courts to decide who keeps the pet under a domestic protective order.
HB 933 – Updates Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines which were still tied to family incomes and the cost of raising children in the 1960s.
HB 1222 – Expands training law enforcement, emergency room, and school personnel in how to respond to people in mental health crisis.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2013
HB 1455 – Makes it a crime to financially exploit an elderly or intellectually disabled person through using the person’s reduced mental ability to understand what is going on.*
HB 1540 – Makes texting while driving a crime comparable to drunk driving, including $125 for the first offense, $250 for any further offenses, and points on the driver’s record.*
HB 1595 – Allows condo and homeowner associations to charge up to a 5% fee for late payments of more than 60 days if the association’s governing documents don’t mention late fees.
HB 2333 – Provides the first increase in Virginia transportation funding in 27 years! Vivian introduced funding bills every year since 2001 and the provisions for Northern Virginia that finally passed used the work she was central in developing.*
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2012
HB 408 – Protects low income elderly and disabled from losing real estate and car tax relief due to one time events such as receiving life insurance or workers’ compensation benefits.
HB 409 – Owners who repeatedly don’t pay condo or property owner association fees or who own multiple properties can be charged collection costs.
HB 417 – Allows poll workers to be inside a building if the election official marks a line 40-feet inside the entrance to prohibit electioneering beyond that point.
HB 922 – Restored real estate tax relief for all 100% disabled veterans after an Attorney General’s ruling denied relief to those with a revocable trust or a life estate. In Fairfax alone, more than 50 veterans had been denied.*
HB 1188 – Provides materials for all local schools on human trafficking, including strategies to prevent trafficking of children and the local, state, and national resources that students, parents, school resource officers, counselors, and school personnel can use.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2011
HB 1629 – Requires the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to enforce no parking as a parking violation not as a criminal trespass.
HB 1747 – Clarifies that law-enforcement agencies can possess child pornography as evidence.
HB 1893 – Brings human trafficking fully under Virginia’s abduction and kidnaping laws. (Anyone who participates in any way to bring about an abduction is as guilty as the person who actually holds the person and – as it relates to most human trafficking – the penalty is 20 years to life. Abduction of anyone under 18 for the purpose of manufacturing child pornography was added to Virginia law. In addition, where a connection to an abduction can’t be proven, anyone who benefits from making anyone engage in forced labor or services, concubinage,
prostitution, or the manufacture of any obscene material or child pornography can be sentenced to 2 to 10 years in prison.) *
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2010
HB 220 – Re-defines a polling place entrance so that volunteers can stand under most overhangs in bad weather.
HB 222 – Allows Springfield Mall and Tysons Corner to be developed using urban road standards that are pedestrian-friendly and increase access to the Metro Station.
HB 227 – Puts the school – not the court – in control of establishing the conditions under which a person on the sex offender registry may be on school grounds.
HB 228 – Allows couples to get annual car tax relief when their car is in a revocable living trust to avoid it being tied-up in probate if one of them died.
HB 346 – Comprehensively revises the Small Estate Act to allow many families to avoid the cost and delay of probate. (An heir can get immediate access to an account un $2,400 in addition to being able to pay funeral expenses of up to $3,500. After 60 days, an heir can gain access to assets of up to $15,000 and no financial institution can deny access to assets of up to $50,000 if all heirs agree in writing.)
HB 349 – Provides the vice chairs as well as the chairs of the Board of Veteran Services, Joint Leadership Council, and Veteran Services Foundation can represent their organizations on each other’s boards.
HB 468 – Allows a resident to be paid to handle homeowner association financial records; eliminates volunteers having to be certified as if they were professionals; and ensures there’s a representative of volunteer-run HOAs on the state regulatory board.
HB 1232 – Creates a special license plate for Washington Capitals hockey team fans with $15 of the $25 fee going to local charities.*
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2009
HB 1899 – Allows the circuit court of Fairfax County to delay appointing commissioners until after the Virginia Supreme Court gets back the questionnaires sent to potential jurors.
HB 2197 – Protects ballot confidentiality if election officials provide language assistance and allows party representatives to act as interpreters.
HB 2199 – Allows authorities appointing certain members of the Board of Veteran Services to remove their appointee rather than the Governor controlling the removal.
HJ 788 – Designates the internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, as the Day of Remembrance in Virginia.
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2008
HB 277 – Allows neighborhood traffic calming on Highland Ave even though it is the sole access to the industrial park.
HB 278 – Requires next of kin be able to view a body without delay to confirm the identification.
HB 466 – Provides Fairfax County can continue legal action it has started to stop zoning violations (such as multi-family rentals in a single family home) even if a property owner transfers ownership.
HB 467 – Speeds up getting election results by allowing polling places to use the internet to report to the electoral board.*
HB 469 – Waives the fee for a duplicate driver’s license if person is on active military duty outside the U.S.A.
HB 470 – Prohibits loitering in a street right-of-way where it presents a public safety hazard.
HB 575 – Allows suits against un-licensed contractors under the Consumer Protection Act so that the case can include the history of offenses and willful violators can be charged triple damages, court costs and attorney fees.
HB 576 – Provides for sharing mental health records necessary for treatment or monitoring between and among mental health professionals, the judicial branch, healthcare providers, and law enforcement.*
HB 1043 – Prohibits rape victims from being required to submit to a lie detector exam as a condition of proceeding with the investigation of the offense.
HB 1044 – Includes the use of computers in certain sex offenses involving children on the Sex Offender Registry and clarifies that an out-of-state convictions have the same status as a Virginia conviction.
HB 1051 – Provides there is no cap on medical malpractice suit settlements for injuries or death caused by nursing home business decisions such as staffing, security, maintenance, or food preparation – the cap only applies to healthcare services.*
Bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law in 2007
HB 2282 – Provides qualified military survivors and their children will receive free board and room, required fees and institutional charges, books and supplies, as well as tuition at any public institution of higher education.*
HB 2284 – Simplifies employer tax withholding filings by making all deadlines the 25th day of the following month.
HB 2287 – Expedites counting absentee ballots for timely reporting of election results.
HB 2290 – Established Nursing Facility Quality Improvement Program using fines for violations to provide on-site training and quality improvement assistance at nursing homes not in compliance with state regulations,
HB 2610 – Increased registration fees for heavy trucks by $28 million annually and raised an additional $0.2million by making the registration fees for trailers and semitrailers the same as for passenger vehicles.*
HB 2636 – Establishes a pilot program to provide geriatric mental health services to people over age 65 with serious mental illness and provide psychiatric consultation and staff training to the staff of long-term care facilities.*
Selected bills introduced by Delegate Vivian Watts signed into law from in 1996 – 2006 included:
HB 588 and 590 – These anti-gang measures treat brandishing a machete the same as burning a cross.
HB 1065 – Penalties for filing incomplete campaign finance report were increased.
HB 1066 – Leaving a child alone with a non-family registered sex offender is parental neglect/abuse.
HB 1801 – A funding authority and governing board established to managed Virginia biotech investments and grants.
HB 2084 – Local government’s role in administering VDOT road construction projects was claried
HB 2362 – State licensure of assisted living facilities was reformed for appropriate care for residents with mental illness, mental retardation, substance abuse, and other behavioral disabilities.*
HB 2564 – Criminal penalties for child sexual abuse are higher when committed by a parent or grandparent
HB 422 – Contractors without the required license for the performing the work can be fined up to $500 / day.
HB 791 – A $25 million a corporate tax loophole closed that used holding companies to avoid tax liability*
HB 907 – Patients in Veteran Care Centers to receive additional community-based services.
HB 2245 – Non-violent felons can be put on work-release within 6 months of the end of their sentence
HB 2254 – Teachers who may be subject to a reduction in force must be notified within 2 weeks of approval of the school budget but no later than June 1st
HB 2257 – Limited the number of passengers under 18 allowed in a vehicle with an under 18-year-old driver
HB 671 – If convicted of DUI a 2nd time within 10 years, person will lose his driver’s license for 3 years
HB 771 – Statewide Transportation Plan must prioritize projects using statewide comparisons
HB 773 – Animal control officers will receive training in recognizing and reporting child abuse
HB 1307 – Employers using a genetic test against an employee or prospective employee are subject to actual or punitive damages, including back pay with interest.
HB 924 – Closed loophole of refusing a blood or breath test being used to escape a drunk driving conviction
HB 1661 – Prohibits life and health insurers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence
HB 2014 – A child who witnessed a murder is allowed to testify by closed circuit television away from the accused
HB 2259 – Makes it a felony to make a written threat and a misdemeanor to make a verbal threat to kill or do bodily harm on school property or at a school event
HB 2704 – Vaccinations and pharmacist services authorized by physicians must be covered by insurers and HMOs
HB 309 – Retail employees who sell guns must pass same background check as someone who buys a gun
HB 923 – Long-term care insurance policies must return unearned premiums to insureds if policy is cancelled
HB 1731 – Persons over 18 can get up to 10 years for using internet to commit sex crimes involving children including trafficking*
HB 1732 – The separate crime of “marital rape” was reformed to parallel the “force, threat or intimidation” language of the crime of rape. (In 2005, treating marital rape different from any other rape was removed completely from the Code.)
HB 1848 – Person’s name can be taped-over on a temporary disabled parking mirror hanger. (In 2010, name, age, and sex were removed completely to make people less vulnerable to potential criminal acts.)
HB 2058 – Child victims can testify by closed-circuit television in criminal and civil cases.
HB 2061 – Acupuncturists can practice independent of referrals by a physicians.
HB 2274 – Low income senior citizens may enroll tuition-free for academic credit
HB 583 – Changes in family abuse or stalking protective orders including time extension of emergency orders, electronic transfer of information to VCIN, use of the criminal trespass statute, and warrantless arrests for brandishing a firearm.
HB 861 – Persons named in the deceased’s advanced medical directive (not just family members) may request an autopsy and control funeral decisions.
HB 1044 – Persons charged with sex offenses that could carry a life sentence for a 2nd conviction should be denied bail.
HB 1926 – Established the same criminal penalties for possession, distribution, or administering Rohypnol (used as the “date-rape” drug) as a Schedule I drug (ie, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.)
HB 2071 – Reforms in family abuse protective orders including timely entry of information into VCIN, immediate oral or electronic entry of a preliminary protective order, issuance of an order based on evidence that future harm is probable without requiring proof that abuse has previously occurred, and police authority to make arrests without having witnessed the assault or abuse.
HB 347 – Non-Virginia residents can serve as guardians or to be executors of a will
HB 1062 – Local governments given spot blight abatement authority to make repairs needed for public safety and recover the cost through liens or re-sale of any property condemned for human habitation over a year.
Vivian also served in the House of Delegates from 1982 – 1985 before she resigned to accept the cabinet post of Virginia Secretary of Transportation and Public Safety. Her most significant accomplishment in those 4 years was being a key player in change the highway funding formula to funnel over 80% of construction dollars to localities based on current population. Her work is summarized in the news clips below:
Some of the other bills Delegate Watts introduced 1982 – 1985 that were passed into law:
- Protects the interests of children living in Virginia with a parent who didn’t appear before a non-Virginia court that granted the divorce;
- Allowed court documents be microfiched;
- Expedites undergrounding electric transmission lines;
- Established consistent standards for college and university decisions on granting in-state tuition;
- Requires that all the children owed support be considered in awarding support for another child;
- Study of how residency and eligibility for in-state tuition is established for attending Virginia’s public universities and colleges
- Permits 4-way stop signs in Fairfax County;
- Set the penalties and interest for late tax payments at same rate as federal government’s;
- Allows local police to ticket handicap parking violators;
- Requires commonwealth attorney’s involvement in prosecuting serious OSHA violations;
- Extends aid to dependent children (“welfare”) through age 19 if they’re still in high school