Below you will find a listing of legislations passed during the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session that will have an influence on Virginia’s fire and emergency services. The following legislations will become effective on July 1, 2014
• HB561 (Bulova) and SB282 (Cosgrove) – This legislation affords the Virginia Fire Services Board the flexibility to meet up to six times per year. Currently, the Board is limited to four meetings annually.
• HB730 (Lingamfelter) and SB381 (Reeves) – This legislation transfers the responsibility for overseeing and coordinating efforts to strengthen homeland security from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to the Secretary of Public Safety. The legislation renames the secretariats the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and enables Virginia to better prepare for, evaluate, and respond to emergencies and disasters.
• HB785 (Cole) and SB494 (Marsh) – This legislation transfers the administrative management of the Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity (RCIP) from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Executive Director of the Department of Fire Programs. Previously, the Dept of Agriculture was responsible for the registration of the fire safe cigarettes sold in Virginia and the State Fire Marshal’s Office within the Department of Fire Programs, was responsible for the inspection of the RCIP cigarettes. This will move all aspects of this program to Fire Programs and creates a more efficient registration and management process.
• HB1196 (Cline) – Among other things, this legislation allows the secretary of an organized fire–fighting company to appoint a designee to file the active list of members with the clerk of the circuit court where such company is located.
• HJ103 (Jones) – This resolution directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study Virginia‘s Line of Duty Act, the current and projected future costs of benefits awarded thereunder, and the advisability of coordinating those benefits with additional benefits paid under other state and federal programs. JLARC shall complete its final review and findings by November 30, 2015.
• SB352 (Reeves/Howell) – This legislation provides that where a sealed pack is labeled as containing cigarettes, such labeling shall be prima facie evidence that the contents of the pack are cigarettes.
• SB364 (Reeves/Howell) – The legislation prohibits persons who have been convicted of selling, purchasing, or possessing, etc., unstamped cigarettes for the purpose of evading taxes and persons convicted of possession with intent to distribute tax–paid, contraband cigarettes from being authorized holders of cigarettes.
• SB365 (Reeves/Howell) – This legislation provides that counterfeit and contraband cigarettes that have been forfeited to law enforcement do not have to be destroyed, but may be used by law enforcement for the conduct of undercover operations. The bill also allows law–enforcement agencies to possess for investigative purposes cigarettes without tax stamps.
• SB490 (Norment) – This legislation amends the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act to require a landlord to install carbon monoxide alarms upon the written request of a tenant. The bill also provides that the landlord may charge a reasonable fee for the installation of the alarms and that the installation must be in compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code.