Here's a sample of some new laws that went into effect yesterday:
- Mandatory ultrasound within 48 hours of an abortion (transvaginal requires consent).
- Families of fifth grade girls will no longer be offered vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) which prevents cervical cancer
- Identification required to vote (pending DOJ approval)
- Virginians can now sue if someone negligently injures their fetus (e.g. in a car accident)
- Adoption agencies are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, race or religion
- Taxpayers may donate to foundations that support private schools and take a 100%/dollar-for-dollar credit against their taxes. Donations to other needy charities still get only a regular deduction.
- Virginians can now buy more than one handgun per month or more than twelve handguns per year
- Virginians employed by local governments can now keep their guns in their cars on local government property
- Electricity generated by pig waste now gets the same credit as wind and solar under Virginia's renewable energy standards
- Ignition Interlock Devices required for restricted license after convictions of driving while intoxicated
- Must pay sales taxes on all purchases from Amazon.com (actually effective 9/1/13, but is a law without further action starting 7/1/12)
Not many of my constitutents would consider any of the foregoing priorities (the last two are debatable).
Needless to say, we have made zero progress on transportation funding. Schools are still funded below 2007 levels. We are not in compliance with federal health insurance reform because we have not raised our Medicaid eligibility or set up a state healthcare exchange.
Hopefully, we will do better in the 2013 session.
(Editor's Note: This was originally published as a blog post on The Dixie Pig on July 1.)