Consumer Protection

Bills CommitteeLast actionDate
HB 58 - Ware - Health insurance; payment to out-of-network providers, emergency services. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce(H) Incorporated by Labor and Commerce (HB1251-Torian)02/04/20
notes: Provides that when a covered person receives covered emergency services from an out-of-network health care provider, the covered person is not required to pay the out-of-network provider any amount other than the applicable cost-sharing requirement. The measure deletes a provision that allows an out-of-network provider to charge an individual for the balance of the provider's billed amount after applying the amount the health carrier is required to pay for such services. The measure also establishes a fourth standard for calculating the health carrier's required payment to the out-of-network provider of the emergency services, which standard is (i) the regional average for commercial payments for such service if the provider is a health care professional or (ii) the fair market value for such services if the provider is a facility. This fourth standard is the amount the health carrier is obligated to pay to the out-of-network provider if the amount is greater than any of the other three standards, which are (a) the amount negotiated with in-network providers for the emergency service or, if more than one amount is negotiated, the median of these amounts; (b) the amount for the emergency service calculated using the same method the health carrier generally uses to determine payments for out-of-network services, such as the usual, customary, and reasonable amount; or (c) the amount that would be paid under Medicare for the emergency service. The measure requires the health carrier to pay the required amount, less applicable cost-sharing requirements, directly to the out-of-network health care provider of the emergency services. If such provider determines that the amount to be paid by the health carrier does not comply with
HB 68 - Carter - Digital devices; deactivation or alteration of embedded software. (H) Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation(H) Left in Communications, Technology and Innovation02/11/20
notes: Prohibits the original equipment manufacturer of a digital device from deactivating embedded software, defined in the bill, in the digital device or altering embedded software so as to substantially alter the functioning of the digital device as a response to its being repaired by an independent repair provider. The measure also provides that the original equipment manufacturer of a digital device shall not be liable to an owner of a digital device for any damages resulting from repair or modification to the digital device made at the request of the owner by an independent repair provider.

HB 96 - Miyares - Power of attorney; witness or notary public. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Continued to 2021 in Courts of Justice01/31/20
notes: Requires that a power of attorney signed on or after July 1, 2020, be signed before at least one witness or a notary public.
HB 135 - Miyares - Virginia Consumer Protection Act; assignment of right to receive veterans' benefits. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce

(S) Committee on Commerce and Labor
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0438)03/25/20
notes: Provides that if any person advertises, arranges, offers, or enters into any assignment of right to receive veterans' pension or retirement benefits, such action constitutes a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act if such assignment is prohibited or void under specified federal anti-assignment acts.

HB 159 - Kory - Protective orders; prohibited contact, remote control of appliance, etc., by electronic device. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Continued to 2021 in Courts of Justice02/07/20
notes: Clarifies that a court entering a protective order may, as a condition of such protective order, prohibit the respondent from using any electronic device to remotely control any appliance, utility, or device located on or within the petitioner's residence or the curtilage thereof.
HB 174 - Krizek - Va. Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures for buyer to beware, marine clays. (H) Committee on General Laws

(S) Committee on General Laws and Technology
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0023)03/02/20
notes: Provides that the owner of residential property makes no representations with respect to whether the property is located on or near deposits of marine clays (marumsco soils). The bill also advises purchasers to exercise whatever due diligence is deemed necessary in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, including consulting public resources regarding local soil conditions and having the soil and structural conditions of the property analyzed by a qualified professional.
HB 175 - Krizek - Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures, radon gas. (H) Committee on General Laws

(S) Committee on General Laws and Technology
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0024)03/02/20
notes: Adds to the disclosure statement required to be furnished to the buyer by the owner of residential real property that the buyer beware and exercise necessary due diligence with respect to whether the property is located in a locality classified as Zone 1 or Zone 2 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Map of Radon Zones.
HB 188 - Levine - Health care services; payment estimates. (H) Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions(H) Continued to 2021 in Health, Welfare and Institutions02/04/20
notes: Requires hospitals and practitioners licensed by the Board of Medicine to provide a patient or the representative of a patient scheduled to receive a nonemergency procedure, test, or service to be performed by the hospital or practitioner with an estimate of the payment amount for which the patient will be responsible no later than one week after the scheduling of such procedure, test, or service. Currently, only hospitals are required to provide such estimate, and such estimate is required only (i) for elective procedures, tests, or services; (ii) within three days of the procedure, test, or service; and (iii) upon request of the patient or his representative.
HB 330 - VanValkenburg - Employment; covenants not to compete, definition of low-wage employees, civil penalty. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce

(S) Committee on Commerce and Labor
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0948)04/09/20
notes: Prohibits an employer from entering into a covenant not to compete with any of its low-wage employees. Any employer that violates this prohibition is subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 for each violation. The measure authorizes a low-wage employee to bring a civil action against an employer that attempts to enforce a prohibited covenant not to compete.
HB 340 - Price - Emergency laws; civil relief, citizens of the Commonwealth furloughed. (H) Committee on General Laws

(S) Committee on General Laws and Technology
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1202)04/22/20
notes: Provides a 60-day stay of an unlawful detainer for nonpayment of rent for tenants and a 30-day stay of foreclosure proceedings for homeowners and owners who rent to a tenant a one-family to four-family residential dwelling unit who request a stay and provide written proof, defined in the bill, that they are (i) an employee of the United States government, (ii) an independent contractor for the United States government, or (iii) an employee of a company under contract with the United States government who was furloughed or was or is otherwise not receiving wages or payments as a result of a closure of the United States government, defined in the bill. The bill requires homeowners and owners who rent to a tenant a one-family to four-family residential dwelling unit to request such stay of foreclosure proceedings within 90 days of a closure of the United States government or 90 days following the end of such closure, whichever is later.
HB 354 - Davis - Financial institutions; liability when instructions of attorney-in-fact disregarded. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce(H) Stricken from docket by Labor and Commerce (18-Y 0-N)01/30/20
notes: Provides that neither an individual nor his attorney-in-fact is liable to repay a loan made by a financial institution to the individual when the individual's attorney-in-fact has requested or instructed the financial institution not to lend funds to the individual and the financial institution loans money to the individual in disregard of the request or instruction.
HB 372 - Bell - Violation of protective orders; assault and battery. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Left in Courts of Justice02/11/20
notes: Removes the requirement that a violation of a protective order involving an assault and battery that is committed by the respondent against a protected party result in a bodily injury for the enhanced penalty to apply.
HB 470 - Mullin - Protective orders; petitioning court on behalf of incapacitated persons. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Left in Courts of Justice02/11/20
notes: Allows an employee of a local department of social services (local department) to petition a court on behalf of an incapacitated person for a preliminary protective order in cases of family abuse or non-family abuse. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person is an incapacitated person and lacks the capacity to file such petition for himself, the court shall grant a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the incapacitated person and may issue an order granting the preliminary protective order if other conditions required for the issuance of a preliminary protective order are met. The bill allows the employee of a local department who filed the petition to testify on behalf of the incapacitated person at any hearing for the preliminary protective order and at the full hearing on the petition. At the full hearing on the petition, the court may issue a protective order for a specified period of time, up to a maximum of two years, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee of a local department who filed the petition has proven the allegation of abuse or that the incapacitated person has been subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat.
HB 498 - Hope - Hope Card Program; permanent protective orders. (H) Committee on Appropriations(H) Left in Appropriations02/11/20
notes: Requires the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia to develop and implement a Hope Card Program (the Program) for the issuance of a Hope Card to any person who has been issued a permanent protective order by any general district court, juvenile and domestic relations court, or circuit court. The bill states that a Hope Card issued pursuant to the Program shall be a durable, plastic, wallet-sized card containing essential information about the protective order, such as the identifying information and characteristics of the person subject to the protective order, the issuance and expiration date of the protective order, the terms of the protective order, and the names of any other persons protected by the protective order.
HB 509 - Bulova - Security freezes; fees. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce

(S) Committee on Commerce and Labor
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0243)03/10/20
notes: Prohibits a credit reporting agency from requiring a consumer to pay a fee to place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report. Currently, a consumer may be required to pay a fee of no more than $5 to place a security freeze on his credit report. Victims of identity theft are currently exempt from the fee.
HB 640 - Samirah - Product safety; liquid containers containing bisphenol A prohibited, civil penalty. (H) Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources(H) Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources02/11/20
notes: Prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution in the Commonwealth, beginning July 1, 2023, of any container intended for the storage of liquid food or beverages that contains the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA). The bill imposes certain requirements on any substitute chemical used by a manufacturer in place of BPA. The bill subjects any manufacturer in the Commonwealth that violates any provision of the bill to a civil penalty of $5,000 for a first offense or $10,000 for a second or subsequent offense, and it directs the funds collected to the Virginia Product Safety Fund, created by the bill. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out its provisions.
HB 658 - Convirs-Fowler - Virginia Beach mass shooting; independent commission to investigate. (H) Committee on Appropriations(H) Left in Appropriations02/11/20
notes: Establishes an independent commission to investigate the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach mass shooting (the Commission). Under the bill, the Commission will consist of 21 members appointed as follows: five members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, five members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and 10 members appointed by the Governor. The Superintendent of State Police will serve ex officio as a nonvoting member. The Commission is charged with investigating the underlying motive for the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach mass shooting, investigating the gunman's entire prior employment history with the City of Virginia Beach and his interactions with coworkers and supervisors, determining how the gunman was able to carry out his actions, identifying any obstacles confronted by first responders, identifying and examining the security procedures and protocols in place immediately prior to the shootings, examining the post-shooting communications between law enforcement and families of the victims, and developing recommendations regarding improvements that can be made in the Commonwealth%92s laws, policies, procedures, systems, and institutions, as well as those of other governmental agencies and private providers.

The Office of the State Inspector General or such other person or entity under the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security will staff the Commission, as designated by the Governor. The expenses of the Commission will be paid from existing appropriations to the Office of the State Inspector General or any agency under the Secretary, as determined by the Governor. The Commission has a sunset date of November 1, 2022.
HB 737 - Watts - Nursing homes; standards of care. (H) Committee on Appropriations(H) Left in Appropriations02/11/20
notes: Requires regulations establishing the staffing and care standards in nursing homes to require a minimum number of hours of direct care services to each resident per 24-hour period, which minimum increases in specified phases from 3.5 hours to 4.1 hours.
HB 789 - Bagby - Consumer lending; replaces references to payday loans with term "short-term loans." (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1215)04/22/20
notes: Replaces references to payday loans with the term "short-term loans." The measure caps the interest and fees that may be charged under a short-term loan at an annual rate of 36 percent, plus a maintenance fee; increases the maximum amount of such loans from $500 to $2,500; and sets the duration of such loans at a minimum of four months, subject to exceptions, and a maximum of 24 months. Short-term loan licensees are required to make a reasonable attempt to verify a borrower's income and may not collect fees and charges that exceed 50 percent of the original loan amount if such amount is equal to or less than $1,500 and 60 percent of the original loan amount if such amount is greater than $1,500. The measure amends the requirements for motor vehicle title loans, including requiring licensed lenders to use a database to determine a prospective borrower's eligibility for a loan and prohibiting loans to a borrower who has an outstanding short-term loan. The measure sets a 36-percent annual interest rate cap on open-end credit plans and allows a $50 annual participation fee. A violation of these provisions is made a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The measure amends provisions of the Consumer Finance Act to, among other things, allow licensed lenders to use the services of access partners and establish requirements that loans be between $300 and $35,000; be repayable in substantially equal installment payments; have a term of no fewer than six and no more than 120 months; charge not more than 36 percent annual interest and a loan processing fee; and require licensees to post a bond. The measure prohibits credit service businesses from advertising, offering, or performing other services
HB 841 - Murphy - Guardianship; appointment of counsel for respondent, presence of respondent at hearings. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Incorporated by Courts of Justice (HB862-Levine)01/31/20
notes: Provides that a court shall appoint counsel for a respondent upon the filing of a petition seeking guardianship if the respondent is not represented by counsel. Under current law, court appointment of counsel is discretionary. The bill further provides that, except for good cause shown, a respondent shall be present at a hearing and given an opportunity to be heard on a petition to appoint a guardian and at all other stages of the guardianship proceedings. Under current law, the respondent shall be present if he requests to be present or if his presence is requested by the guardian ad litem. The bill further provides that a court shall require a petitioner to pay or reimburse the respondent's costs and fees if the court finds that the petitioner initiated a guardianship proceeding in bad faith or not for the benefit of the respondent and prohibits a petitioner from initiating any other guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. Under current law, payment or reimbursement is discretionary. The bill further requires that a petitioner certify in the petition for appointment as guardian, conservator, or both that he has notified certain relatives of the respondent of his intent to petition the court to act as such guardian, conservator, or both, and that such relatives have waived their right to serve in such a capacity and instead designate such petitioner to serve in such a capacity.
HB 843 - Murphy - Motor vehicle title loans, payday loans, etc.; interest rate. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce(H) Incorporated by Labor and Commerce (HB789-Bagby)01/21/20
notes: Caps the rate of interest that may be charged on motor vehicle title loans, payday loans, and open-end credit plans at 36 percent per year. The bill prohibits a lender from charging a membership fee, participation fee, or transaction fee in connection with any such extension of credit. The bill also caps the maximum rate of interest that a licensed consumer finance company may charge on any loan at 36 percent annually and eliminates the existing provision that permits such licensees to charge any agreed-upon amount of interest on consumer finance loans over $2,500.
HB 856 - Murphy - Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty. (H) Committee on Public Safety(H) Incorporated by Public Safety (HB1004-Mullin)01/24/20
notes: Provides that a court shall order a person subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) to (i) within 24 hours, surrender any firearm possessed by such person to a designated local law-enforcement agency or sell or transfer any firearm possessed by such person to a dealer or to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm and (ii) certify in writing that such person does not possess any firearms or that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred and file such certification with the clerk of the court that entered the protective order within 48 hours after being served with a protective order. The bill provides that any person who fails to certify in writing in accordance with this section that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred or that such person does not possess any firearms is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides procedures for designating a local law-enforcement agency to receive and store firearms, as well as a process to retrieve such surrendered firearms. The bill also makes it a Class 4 felony for any person to sell, barter, give, or furnish any firearm to any person he knows is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm who is the subject to a permanent protective order.
HB 919 - Levine - Preliminary protective orders; hearing dates. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice(H) Left in Courts of Justice02/11/20
notes: Allows the full hearing resulting from the issuance of a preliminary protective order to be heard on the same hearing or trial date as a related criminal offense if such hearing or trial date has already been set for a date later than 15 days after the issuance of the preliminary protective order. Current law requires that a full hearing be held within 15 days of the issuance of a preliminary protective order in every instance. The bill also requires an extended preliminary protective order to specify that the respondent may at any time file a motion requesting an earlier or later hearing date and that the order shall remain in effect until the hearing. The bill requires a copy of any motion requesting a hearing to dissolve such order or requesting an earlier or later hearing date be served by personal service by the primary law-enforcement agency responsible for service and entry of protective orders. The bill contains technical amendments.
HB 956 - Ayala - Virginia Consumer Protection Act; prohibits advertising for sale of devices targeting children. (H) Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation(H) Continued to 2021 in Communications, Technology and Innovation01/27/20
notes: Prohibits the advertising or offering for sale of Internet-connected devices for which the target market consists of consumers below 18 years of age by making it unlawful under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
HB 1265 - Carroll Foy - Consumer finance companies; loans, licensing. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce(H) Incorporated by Labor and Commerce (HB789-Bagby)01/21/20
notes: Requires the State Corporation Commission, as a condition of licensing a consumer finance company, to find that the applicant will not make consumer finance loans at the same location at which the applicant makes payday loans or motor vehicle title loans. The measure also (i) sets the minimum and maximum amounts of a consumer finance loan at $500 and $35,000, respectively; (ii) requires that such loans be installment loans with a term that is not less than six months nor more than 120 months; (iii) sets the maximum annual interest rate on such loans at 36 percent; (iv) authorizes late payment fees of $20, provided that they are set forth in a contract; (v) authorizes loan processing fees of the greater of $75 or five percent of the principal amount of the loan but not to exceed $150; and (vi) increases from $15 to $25 the amount of a bad check fee.
HB 1296 - Helmer - Motor vehicle title loans, payday loans, consumer finance loans, etc.; interest rate. (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce(H) Incorporated by Labor and Commerce (HB789-Bagby)01/21/20
notes: Caps the rate of interest that may be charged on motor vehicle title loans, payday loans, and open-end credit plans at an annual rate that is 25 percent higher than the federal funds rate in effect on the date the loan was made. The bill prohibits a lender from charging a membership fee, participation fee, or transaction fee in connection with any such extension of credit. The bill also imposes the same maximum interest rate on loans made by a licensed consumer finance company and eliminates the existing provision that permits such licensed companies to charge any agreed-upon amount of interest on consumer finance loans over $2,500. The measure caps the allowable amount of repossession and sales fees in connection with a motor vehicle title loan; imposes restrictions on open-end lending; and prevents payday lenders and other lenders from using a credit services business license to extend credit that is for less than $5,000, has a term of less than one year, is provided under an open-end credit plan, or has an interest rate that exceeds 36 percent per year. A violation of the open-end lending provisions is made a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
HB 1540 - Collins - Behavioral health providers; barrier crimes, exceptions. (H) Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

(S) Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1092)04/10/20
notes: Adds additional crimes to the list of barrier crimes for which an exception is available in the case of employment with an adult substance abuse or mental health program at community services boards and private providers of behavioral health services licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The bill also allows the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to hire individuals convicted of various barrier crimes in a position of employment at a state facility if the Department determines that the individual has been rehabilitated successfully and is not a risk to individuals receiving services.
HB 1553 - Willett - Debt settlement services providers; licensure and regulation by State Corporation Commission. (H) Committee on Appropriations

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0785)04/07/20
notes: Provides for the licensure and regulation of debt settlement services providers by the State Corporation Commission. The measure defines "debt settlement services" as any action or negotiation initiated or taken by or on behalf of any consumer with any creditor of the consumer for the purpose of obtaining debt forgiveness of a portion of the credit extended by the creditor to the consumer or reduction of payments, charges, or fees payable by the consumer. The measure prohibits licensees from accepting a fee from consumers prior to providing the consumers' requested debt settlement services. The requirements imposed by this measure on licensed providers of debt settlement services are similar to those applicable to agencies providing debt management plans. The measure provides for civil penalties against licensees that violate these requirements, grants consumers a private right of action against licensees, and makes a violation a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The licensing and regulation of debt settlement services providers has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2021. The measure directs the State Corporation Commission to establish a procedure to be in effect by March 1, 2021, for any person to apply prior to July 1, 2021, for a license that will become effective when the licensing requirements of this measure become effective on July 1, 2021.
HB 1563 - Leftwich - Sex offenders in emergency shelters; notification, registration, penalty. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice

(S) Committee on the Judiciary
(S) Failed to report (defeated) in Judiciary (6-Y 8-N)02/19/20
notes: Provides that a registered sex offender who enters an emergency shelter designated by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and operated in response to a declared state or local emergency shall, as soon as practicable after entry, notify the shelter's staff that such person is a registered sex offender. The bill provides that any person who fails to notify the shelter's staff of his status as a registered sex offender is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The bill provides that the shelter's staff may request a law-enforcement officer or agency to access the publicly available information on the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry regarding such person and use such information to ensure the safety of all persons in the shelter. The bill also provides that the state emergency operations plan and each political subdivision emergency operations plan shall (i) set forth the procedures for persons required to register or reregister who enter an emergency shelter to provide the required notification and (ii) provide for the accommodation in an emergency shelter of persons required to register or reregister with due regard to the health and safety of all persons in the emergency shelter. The bill requires that the Department of State Police provide to any registered sex offender at the time of his initial registration a summary of his obligation to inform the staff of an emergency shelter of his status as a registered sex offender.
HB 1658 - Head - Adult protective services; creates central registry. (H) Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions(H) Continued to 2021 in Health, Welfare and Institutions02/04/20
notes: Adult protective services; central registry. Creates a central registry of founded complaints of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation to be maintained by the Department of Social Services. The bill establishes (i) investigation requirements for local departments of social services related to complaints of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation; (ii) record retention and disclosure requirements for the Department and local departments; (iii) notice requirements related to findings by local departments and central registry entries; and (iv) an appeals process to contest the findings of a local department related to founded reports of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

HB 1663 - Sickles - Discrimination; prohibited in public accommodations, etc., causes of action. (H) Committee on Appropriations

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(H) Failed to pass in House03/12/20
notes: Creates explicit causes of action for unlawful discrimination in public accommodations and employment in the Virginia Human Rights Act. Currently, under the Act there is no cause of action for discrimination in public accommodations, and the only causes of action for discrimination in employment are for (i) unlawful discharge on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including lactation, by employers employing more than five but fewer than 15 persons and (ii) unlawful discharge on the basis of age by employers employing more than five but fewer than 20 persons. The bill allows the causes of action to be pursued privately by the aggrieved person or, in certain circumstances, by the Attorney General. The bill prohibits discrimination in public and private employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. Additionally, the bill (a) prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran; (b) prohibits discrimination in credit on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, disability, and status as a veteran; and (c) adds discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a veteran as an unlawful housing practice. The bill makes technical
SB 33 - Surovell - Consumer finance companies; loans, licensing. (S) Committee on Commerce and Labor(S) Left in Commerce and Labor02/12/20
notes: Requires the State Corporation Commission, as a condition of licensing a consumer finance company, to find that the applicant will not make consumer finance loans at the same location at which the applicant makes payday loans or motor vehicle title loans. The measure also (i) sets the minimum and maximum amounts of a consumer finance loan at $500 and $35,000, respectively; (ii) requires that such loans be installment loans with a term that is not less than six months nor more than 120 months; (iii) sets the maximum annual interest rate on such loans at 36 percent; (iv) authorizes late payment fees of $20, provided that they are set forth in a contract; (v) authorizes loan processing fees of the greater of $75 or five percent of the principal amount of the loan but not to exceed $150; and (vi) increases from $15 to $25 the amount of a bad check fee.
SB 144 - Stuart - Protective orders; issuance upon convictions for certain felonies, penalty. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1005)04/09/20
notes: Authorizes a court to issue a protective order upon convicting a defendant for a felony offense of (i) violating a protective order, (ii) homicide, (iii) kidnapping, (iv) assaults and bodily woundings, (v) extortion, or (vi) criminal sexual assault. The bill provides that the duration of such protective order can be for any reasonable period of time, including up to the lifetime of the defendant, that the court deems necessary to protect the health and safety of the victim and may only prohibit (a) acts of family abuse or of violence, force, or threat against the victim or criminal offenses that may result in injury to the person or property of the victim and (b) such contacts by the defendant with the victim as the court deems necessary for the health or safety of the victim. The bill provides that a violation of a protective order issued upon conviction of one of the enumerated offenses is punishable as contempt of court or in the same manner as criminal violations of other protective orders are punished. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act.
SB 145 - Stuart - Protective orders; violations, penalty. (S) Committee on the Judiciary(S) Failed to report (defeated) in Judiciary (7-Y 8-N)01/27/20
notes: Provides that any person who commits any assault, assault and battery, or bodily wounding upon any party protected by a protective order is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Currently, the Class 6 felony is only applicable if the person commits an assault and battery that results in serious bodily injury to the protected party.

SB 172 - Favola - Health insurance; definitions, payment to out-of-network providers, emergency services. (H) Committee on Appropriations

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1081)04/10/20
notes: Provides that when a covered person receives covered emergency services from an out-of-network health care provider, the covered person is not required to pay the out-of-network provider any amount other than the applicable cost-sharing requirement. The measure deletes a provision that allows an out-of-network provider to charge an individual for the balance of the provider's billed amount after applying the amount the health carrier is required to pay for such services. The measure also establishes a fourth standard for calculating the health carrier's required payment to the out-of-network provider of the emergency services, which standard is (i) the regional average for commercial payments for such service if the provider is a health care professional or (ii) the fair market value for such services if the provider is a facility. This fourth standard is the amount the health carrier is obligated to pay to the out-of-network provider if the amount is greater than any of the other three standards, which are (a) the amount negotiated with in-network providers for the emergency service or, if more than one amount is negotiated, the median of these amounts; (b) the amount for the emergency service calculated using the same method the health carrier generally uses to determine payments for out-of-network services, such as the usual, customary, and reasonable amount; or (c) the amount that would be paid under Medicare for the emergency service. The measure requires the health carrier to pay the required amount, less applicable cost-sharing requirements, directly to the out-of-network health care provider of the emergency services. If such provider determines that the amount to be paid by the health carrier does not comply with
SB 197 - Cosgrove - Oral threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family, etc.; penalty. (S) Committee on the Judiciary(S) Passed by indefinitely in Judiciary (8-Y 6-N)01/27/20
notes: Provides that any person who orally threatens another person in person to kill or do bodily injury to such other person or any member of the other person's family, and the threat places such other person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily injury to himself or his family member, is guilty of a Class 5 felony. The bill also provides that any person who orally threatens to kill or do bodily harm to another person in person (i) on the grounds or premises of any elementary, middle, or secondary school property; (ii) at any elementary, middle, or secondary school-sponsored event; or (iii) on a school bus to any person or persons is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
SB 201 - Lucas - Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act; telephone solicitation calls. (S) Committee on Commerce and Labor(S) Incorporated by Commerce and Labor (SB812-Morrissey) (15-Y 0-N)02/09/20
notes: Provides that for the purposes of the Virginia Telephone Privacy Act (the Act), "telephone solicitation call" includes any text message sent to any wireless telephone with a Virginia area code, or to a wireless telephone registered to any natural person who is a resident of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of offering or advertising any property, goods, or services for sale, lease, license, or investment, including offering or advertising an extension of credit. The bill prohibits a telephone solicitor from engaging in any conduct that results in the display of false or misleading caller identification information on the called party's telephone. The bill increases the amount of damages and the amount of the civil penalty for violations of the Act from $500 for each such violation to $500 for a first violation, $1,000 for a second violation, and $5,000 for each subsequent violation and increases to $5,000 the maximum civil penalty the court may impose for a willful first or second violation.
SB 352 - Lucas - Guardianship and conservatorship; supported decision-making alternative. (H) Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

(S) Committee on the Judiciary
(H) Continued to 2021 in Health, Welfare and Institutions02/25/20
notes: Requires a guardian ad litem in a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian or conservator to include in his report to the court information as to whether a supported decision-making agreement, as defined in the bill, is a viable option in lieu of guardianship or conservatorship.
SB 355 - Cosgrove - Assisted living facilities; regulations regarding audio-visual recording of residents, report. (H) Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

(S) Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0848)04/07/20
notes: Directs the Board of Social Services (the Board) to promulgate regulations by July 1, 2021, governing audio-visual recording of residents in assisted living facilities and requires the Department of Social Services to convene a workgroup of stakeholders to make recommendations on such regulations. The workgroup shall report its recommendations to the Board and the General Assembly by December 1, 2020.
SB 372 - Saslaw - Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty. (S) Committee on the Judiciary(S) Incorporated by Judiciary (SB479-Howell) (13-Y 1-N)01/22/20
notes: Provides that a court shall order a person subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) to (i) within 24 hours, surrender any firearm possessed by such person to a designated local law-enforcement agency, or sell or transfer any firearm possessed by such person to a dealer or to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm, and (ii) certify in writing that such person does not possess any firearms or that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred and file such certification with the clerk of the court that entered the protective order. The bill provides that any person who fails to certify in writing in accordance with this section that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred or that such person does not possess any firearms is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides procedures for designating a local law-enforcement agency to receive and store firearms, as well as a process to return such surrendered firearms. The bill also makes it a Class 4 felony for any person to sell, barter, give, or furnish any firearm to any person he knows is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm who is the subject to a permanent protective order.
SB 388 - McPike - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; return of security deposit. (H) Committee on General Laws

(S) Committee on General Laws and Technology
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0823)04/07/20
notes: Requires the landlord to return the tenant's security deposit, minus any deductions or charges, within 45 days of the termination of the tenancy or the date the tenant vacates the dwelling unit, whichever occurs last. Under current law, the 45-day period to return the security deposit begins on the date of the termination of the tenancy.
SB 421 - Locke - Consumer lending; replaces references to payday loans with term "short-term loans." (H) Committee on Labor and Commerce

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1258)04/22/20
notes: Replaces references to payday loans with the term "short-term loans." The measure caps the interest and fees that may be charged under a short-term loan at an annual rate of 36 percent, plus a maintenance fee; increases the maximum amount of such loans from $500 to $2,500; and sets the duration of such loans at a minimum of four months, subject to exceptions, and a maximum of 24 months. Short-term loan licensees are required to make a reasonable attempt to verify a borrower's income and may not collect fees and charges that exceed 50 percent of the original loan amount if such amount is equal to or less than $1,500 and 60 percent of the original loan amount if such amount is greater than $1,500. The measure amends the requirements for motor vehicle title loans, including requiring licensed lenders to use a database to determine a prospective borrower's eligibility for a loan and prohibiting loans to a borrower who has an outstanding short-term loan. The measure sets a 36-percent annual interest rate cap on open-end credit plans and allows a $50 annual participation fee. A violation of these provisions is made a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The measure amends provisions of the Consumer Finance Act to, among other things, allow licensed lenders to use the services of access partners and establish requirements that loans be between $300 and $35,000; be repayable in substantially equal installment payments; have a term of no fewer than six and no more than 120 months; charge not more than 36 percent annual interest and a loan processing fee; and require licensees to post a bond. The measure prohibits credit service businesses from advertising, offering, or performing other services
SB 479 - Howell - Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty. (H) Committee on Public Safety

(S) Committee on the Judiciary
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP1260)04/22/20
notes: Prohibits any person subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) from knowingly possessing a firearm while the order is in effect, provided that for a period of 24 hours after being served with a protective order such person may continue to possess such firearm for the purposes of selling or transferring it to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm. A violation of this provision is a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides that a court shall order a person subject to a permanent protective order to (i) within 24 hours, surrender any firearm possessed by such person to a designated local law-enforcement agency or sell or transfer any firearm possessed by such person to a dealer or to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm and (ii) certify in writing that such person does not possess any firearms or that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred and file such certification with the clerk of the court that entered the protective order within 48 hours after being served with a protective order. The bill provides that any person who fails to certify in writing in accordance with this section that all firearms possessed by such person have been surrendered, sold, or transferred or that such person does not possess any firearms is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides procedures for designating a local law-enforcement agency to receive and store firearms, as well as a process to return such surrendered firearms. The bill also makes it a Class 4 felony for any person to sell, barter, give, or furnish any firearm to any person he knows is prohibited from po
SB 534 - Vogel - Hope Card Program; permanent protective orders, effective clause. (H) Committee on Appropriations

(S) Committee on Finance and Appropriations
(H) Left in Appropriations03/03/20
notes: Requires the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia to develop and implement a Hope Card Program (the Program) for the issuance of a Hope Card to any person who has been issued a permanent protective order by any general district court, juvenile and domestic relations court, or circuit court. The bill states that a Hope Card issued pursuant to the Program shall be a durable, plastic, wallet-sized card containing essential information about the protective order, such as the identifying information and characteristics of the person subject to the protective order, the issuance and expiration date of the protective order, the terms of the protective order, and the names of any other persons protected by the protective order. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act.
SB 574 - Mason - Protective orders; petitioning court on behalf of incapacitated persons. (S) Committee on the Judiciary(S) Stricken at the request of Patron in Judiciary (13-Y 0-N)01/27/20
notes: Allows an employee of a local department of social services (local department) to petition a court on behalf of an incapacitated person for a preliminary protective order in cases of family abuse or non-family abuse. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person is an incapacitated person and lacks the capacity to file such petition for himself, the court shall grant a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the incapacitated person and may issue an order granting the preliminary protective order if other conditions required for the issuance of a preliminary protective order are met. The bill allows the employee of a local department who filed the petition to testify on behalf of the incapacitated person at any hearing for the preliminary protective order and at the full hearing on the petition. At the full hearing on the petition, the court may issue a protective order for a specified period of time, up to a maximum of two years, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee of a local department who filed the petition has proven the allegation of abuse or that the incapacitated person has been subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat.
SB 1042 - Obenshain - Wills; presumption of undue influence. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice

(S) Committee on the Judiciary
(H) Continued to 2021 in Courts of Justice02/24/20
notes: Wills; presumption of undue influence. Codifies the common law test for establishing undue influence upon a testator in the execution of a will. The bill further provides that if evidence is presented to establish the elements required for such a presumption, a jury sitting as trier of fact shall be instructed that it may presume that the will was executed under undue influence.

SB 1072 - Mason - Guardian or conservator; prohibition against appointing certain persons. (H) Committee for Courts of Justice

(S) Committee on the Judiciary
(G) Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0649)04/02/20
notes: Prohibits the court from appointing as guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person (i) the attorney for the petitioner or an attorney or employee of the same law firm as the attorney for the petitioner or (ii) except for good cause shown, any attorney, or attorney associated with or employee of the same law firm, who has represented the petitioner in any other matter within the three calendar years preceding the appointment. The bill permits the court to order the costs for the guardian or conservator to be paid by the petitioner.
SB 1077 - Chase - Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act; telephone solicitation calls. (S) Committee on Commerce and Labor(S) Left in Commerce and Labor02/12/20
notes: Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act. Provides that for the purposes of the Virginia Telephone Privacy Act (the Act), "telephone solicitation call" includes any text message sent to any wireless telephone with a Virginia area code, or to a wireless telephone registered to any natural person who is a resident of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of offering or advertising any property, goods, or services for sale, lease, license, or investment, including offering or advertising an extension of credit. The bill prohibits a telephone solicitor from engaging in any conduct that results in the display of false or misleading caller identification information on the called party's telephone.