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Virginia House advances COVID-19, policing bills

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 17:48:33-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia House of Delegates today passed legislation on Thursday aimed at increasing support for the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response and advancing poicing and criminal justice reforms.

Among the measures passed legislation to combat price gouging on essential goods and services, protect the credit of tenants impacted COVID-19 and grant the Governor flexibility in enforcing executive orders through civil penalty, rather than a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The House also approved proposals that would increase accountability, transparency, and diversity in policing through the establishment of Citizen Review Panels across the state and the promotion of improved diversity on the Criminal Justice Services Board.

“This legislation will protect financial security of Virginians facing economic hardship, as well as provide important tools for the Administration to manage the spread of COVID-19 and help protect vital access to PPE for essential workers,” House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said. “We are also taking critical steps to improve policing and our criminal justice system. The legislation that the House passed today will provide critical transparency and accountability – an important step toward achieving a Commonwealth that is safer and more equitable for all Virginians.”

Bills passed in the House include:

HB 5047 - Will combat price gouging for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

HB 5093 - Will grant flexibility in enforcing executive orders through civil penalty. Under current law, the only penalty for such a violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

HB 5106 - Will protecting the credit of tenants negatively impacted by COVID-19.

HB 5055 - Will stengthen laws related to Citizen Review Panels.

HB 5108 - will diversify the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Committee on Training.