Purpose

As stated in Article 6 of the VWAA Bylaws

The Legislative Committee shall have as its purpose:

  • The monitoring of legislation in the Virginia General Assembly
  • The reporting to the Board of matters which may be of interest to the Association
  • Support of the policies approved by the membership or as directed by the Board
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LEGISLATIVE SURVEY

We surveyed our members (other than judges) to determine their views about what issues should be addressed and what position should be taken by the VWAA on those issues.

 

Legislative Positions

  1. VWAA supports legislation that promotes the interests of women in the workplace through
    • Prevention of gender discrimination in the workplace;
    • Prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  2. VWAA supports prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault through
    • Increasing remedies available in protective orders for victims of family abuse and increasing criminal penalties for family abuse;
    • Protection of victims of human trafficking and increasing penalties for human trafficking.
  3. VWAA supports public access to legal services through
    • Funding for legal aid services;
    • Increasing compensation for counsel for indigent criminal defendants
    • Increasing compensation for guardians ad litem;
    • Promoting a funded judiciary and administration, including full funding for judges and clerks.
  4. VWAA supports legislation to ensure the availability of screening tests and medical treatment for conditions that have a disparate impact on women, including but not limited to mammograms, PAP tests, and bone density scans.

New Legislation

2018 Session

HB 83: FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS; NO COST TO FEMALE PRISONERS OR INMATES

Directs the State Board of Corrections and the Director of the Department of Corrections to each adopt and implement a standard to ensure the provision of feminine hygiene products to female prisoners and inmates without charge.

HB 262: PROTECTIVE ORDERS; FAMILY ABUSE; CELLULAR TELEPHONE NUMBER OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE

Provides that as a condition to be imposed by the court on the respondent, a petitioner with a protective order issued in a case that alleges family abuse and, where appropriate, any other family or household member may be granted exclusive use and possession of a cellular telephone number or electronic device. The bill further provides that a respondent may be enjoined from terminating a cellular telephone number or electronic device before the expiration of the contract term with a third-party provider. The bill provides that the court may enjoin the respondent from using a cellular telephone or electronic device to locate the petitioner.

2017 Session

HB 1851: ASSAULT AND BATTERY AGAINST A FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD MEMBER; DEFERRED DISPOSITION; WAIVER OF APPEAL

Provides that a person charged with a first offense of assault against a family or household member who consents to probation and a deferred disposition of the charge has no right of appeal if he is subsequently found guilty of the original charge for a violation of the terms of his probation. The bill provides that a person may file a motion to withdraw his consent within 10 days of entry of the order deferring proceedings and the court shall schedule a hearing within 30 days of receipt of the motion. The bill provides further that if the person appears at the hearing and requests to withdraw his consent, the court shall grant the request, enter a final order adjudicating guilt, and sentence the person accordingly. If the person fails to appear at the hearing, the court shall deny the motion.

HB 2217: ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM; VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Expands the types of crimes victims of which are eligible to apply for the address confidentiality program to include sexual violence. The bill provides that such programs may also include specialized services for victims of human trafficking. Current law permits victims of domestic violence and stalking to apply to this program. The bill requires that sexual or domestic violence programs be accredited by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Program Professional Standards Committee to accept applications and authorizes crime victim and witness assistance programs to accept applications. The bill increases program participants' certification period from one to three years. The bill contains technical amendments.