While the state budget and Medicaid expansion dominated news coverage of the General Assembly this year, lawmakers also worked on a wide array of other issues.
A young boy’s accidental death prompted a law to make celebratory gunfire that results in serious injury a felony. To deter human trafficking, pandering that involves a minor is also now a felony. And a new law by Delegate Rob Bell punishes vindictive on-line postings.
“The issue with revenge porn is when someone uses nude images of another person, and it was done with the intent to intimidate or coerce or harass that person and it’s done maliciously, we decided that that’s something that we think should be illegal here in Virginia.”
Delegate Todd Gilbert sponsored ethics reform that limits gifts to elected officials.
“It also includes a $250 per item cap on what we’re calling tangible gifts.”
He says it closes loopholes that surfaced in corruption allegations against former Governor Bob McDonnell.
“We would require gifts to spouses and immediate family members—that being dependent children in the home—to be reported.”
Gifts from personal friends are still exempt from disclosure, but anyone seeking business with the state cannot be considered a friend. The law also creates an ethics advisory council, but its funding was vetoed.