New state laws introduced July 1

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By Landmark News Service

Nearly 1,800 laws were passed during the 2017 General Assembly and many will affect our daily lives after taking effect July 1. Here are a few:

Left lane fines
Slower drivers who camp out in the left lane can be fined $100 (House Bill 2201). Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, told WTOP radio the change would address “a particularly pervasive and ever-growing problem of cars going grossly under the speed limit in the left lane.”
He hopes the new penalty would encourage drivers to move over and cut down on road rage from drivers stuck behind slowpokes.

Don’t call it visitation
Judges will be allowed to use the words “parenting time” instead of “visitation” in custody cases (HB1456). Del. Dave Albo, R-Fairfax, said a partner who practices family law suggested it because parents who don’t get “visitation” rights say they feel like second-class parents.

Birth control access
Women will be able to get a full year’s prescription for birth control at one time (HB2267). Currently women can get only one or three months at a time. Advocates say women are more likely to use birth control continuously and consistently if they have a full year’s worth, leading to significant drops in unintended pregnancies and abortions.

State pay raises
If you’re a state trooper or other employee, a public school teacher or on a state college faculty, you’ll see some more income through the budget (HB1500).
State employees will get a 3 percent raise and teachers a 2 percent raise. State trooper starting wages are going up significantly, and the budget also addressed pay compression for more veteran members of the force. Raises go into effect July 10 and will be reflected in the first August paychecks.

Blaze pink
Hunters can make a new fashion statement this deer season. The law adds “blaze pink” or a hot pink color to the types of hunting apparel required during the regular firearms or special muzzle-loading rifle seasons (HB1939).

21st Century hunting license
Hunters, who were required to have their paper license on them when hunting, can now carry an electronic version instead.

Driver’s ed to teach police interaction
Young drivers will be taught “appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers” in public school driver’s education courses (HB2290). It aims to cut down on confusion and fear during traffic stops and would cover law enforcement procedure and how drivers should respond.

Outdoor drinking in certain areas
You’ll be able to buy a drink at one tavern, carry it outdoors and even to another establishment in certain pedestrian-friendly commercial districts under a new type of alcohol license (HB1987).

Stronger booze
The state can now sell 151-proof neutral grain alcohol like Everclear. Previously, it could only sell 101 proof. But it still can’t sell the strongest version — 190 proof.

Driver’s license suspension, marijuana and court fee payment plans
Those convicted of a first-time marijuana offense will avoid an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension (Senate Bill 1091). Another new law will make it easier for people with court debts to enter into a deferred or installment payment plan to avoid having their licenses suspended (HB2386). The bill sets a down-payment limit of $100.

What to do after a car crash
Drivers will be required to move a vehicle from the road after a breakdown, accident or other emergency that did not result in injury or death if the vehicle is movable and the driver is capable of safely doing so (HB2022). Del. Ron Villanueva, R-Virginia Beach, hopes it decreases the length of time that crashes tie up interstates.

Airbnb/short-term rental registries
Local governments will be allowed to create registers of those who offer their property for short-term rentals through online sites like Airbnb (SB1578). The registries would give officials name and address information needed to regulate and tax the rentals. Those who don’t register could be fined up to $500.

Ticket reselling
Ticket buyers will be able to resell tickets on any online platform (HB1825). Some sellers, like Ticketmaster, now require ticket holders to resell on their secondary-seller platform.

Schedule your vehicle inspections
Drivers will be able to schedule their annual vehicle inspections with auto shops that have more than one inspection lane (SB1507). One lane would have to remain first-come, first-served, the only current option.

No peeping Toms
If you use an electronic device to enter the property of another or secretly peep or spy into someone’s property, it can be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Lifetime pet licenses
Localities can now offer lifetime dog or cat licenses and sets the maximum tax for a lifetime license at $50.

Bullying notification
Principals must notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged bullying incident of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation of bullying.