Frank Ruff: Bills become laws as of Saturday, July 1

Published 12:46 am Friday, June 30, 2023

A bill that requires all vehicles to be insured under a comprehensive policy. This would prevent drivers from evading insurance by paying a fee to the state. This issue costs all of us. We must pay an uninsured motorist fee to protect us should an uninsured driver cause an accident. In such a situation, your insurance company pays your bills.

A situation brought to me by a business because they were fined with no warning. This bill bars the state Department of Taxation from fining a business for not paying a litter tax until they have been billed and given time to pay.

My legislation requires better oversight of Appalachian Power by the State Corporation Commission by requiring bi-annual rate reviews rather than the current every three years. This allows both the company and the SCC to better fine tune the needs of the company. This was the model for the Dominion Power legislation that is reducing the average monthly bill by $8 a month.

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 In response to concerns about safety on our roads, including multiple deaths in Buckingham County, I offered a bill that requires horse-drawn vehicles to have either lights or reflectors when using state roads after dark.

As reported earlier, a bill that allows localities to create special tax districts, if and only if, the majority of the businesses agree and that the businesses get credit from a reduction in other taxes.

Another report earlier consolidates and streamlines Virginia’s workforce programs.

Another of my bills brings the selling of Kratom under some regulation to prevent companies from selling low quality products with no directions on dosages. Kratom is a southeast Asian compound that assists folks end addiction to opioids.

Bills to serve those who serve

Legislation for disabled veterans that requires localities to tell the veteran within 20 days if property they are considering buying qualifies for any exemption.

A bill that increases the exemption of National Guard pay income tax from $3,000 to $5,500 each year. As well, those serving in the National Guard will be allowed to enter state parks without paying an entrance fee.


Legislation passed that requires school principals to notify parents within 24 hours of finding out that a student has been bullied.


A bill that delays until July 2024 legislation that deals with official ‘farm use’ plates. The original bill passed in 2022 did not take into consideration old trailers and homemade trailers that had no identifiable vehicle number.

Another expands the authority of counties to exempt from personal property tax vehicles and trailers that are used exclusively for agriculture.


In an effort to crack down on groups that are stealing and re-selling merchandise from our stores, legislation was passed to give harsher penalties when the thefts appear to be gang related.

Similar legislation passed that focused on those who buy stolen catalytic converters and then sell them out of state. This builds on my legislation from last year that required Virginia scrap dealers to get personal information of those trying to sell them in Virginia.

Several years ago, legislation was passed that required drivers to move over if they were approaching a law enforcement or emergency vehicle on a highway. When that is not an option to do safely, you are expected to slow down as you pass the vehicle.

This year, while those in law enforcement and emergency service are important, the lives and the safety of others on our highways are no less important. Therefore, in every case when a vehicle is on the side of the road, drivers are required to move over or slow down.

Others of Interest

A bill that we started to consider last year with my legislation that would allow the Department of Behavioral Health to hire some who have been convicted of drug charges many years ago to be considered for employment. If someone has turned their lives around, they are often better prepared to assist others with addiction problems.

Legislation passed requiring only reasonable charges by railroad companies as communication companies are trying to provide broadband service. This has delayed and blocked services moving forward.

A bill to increase the pay of jurors from $30 a day to $50.

Other issues will move forward when the budget is passed in the coming weeks.

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