John McGuire has three bills unanimously approved by Assembly

Published 12:08 am Friday, March 8, 2024

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There are only a handful of members who can say one of their bills passed through the General Assembly without a no vote this session. District 10 State Senator John McGuire can now say he’s had three of them go through clean. 

McGuire had a number of bills pass this year, but SB222, SB603 and SB630 are unique in that they got approval from all members in both chambers.

First, let’s take a look at SB222. The goal here is to protect data and prevent any leaks. It specifically exempts cybersecurity information from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. 

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“With cyber security threats on the rise, it is imperative we take action to secure our Commonwealth’s infrastructure and protect taxpayer data,” McGuire said in a statement. 

The bill requires Virginia to keep all of a person’s cybersecurity information confidential, unless the state’s Chief Information Officer authorizes publication. It passed the House 96-0 and the State Senate 40-0. 

Another bill of McGuire’s that’s heading to the governor’s desk is SB630, with intent to label all emergency dispatchers as first responders. The argument is that since a dispatcher handles everything, such as relaying information, creating a record in the computer for computer-aided dispatch and providing life saving instructions, they should be recognized for their efforts. It also points out that because dispatchers aren’t currently labeled as first responders, they often run into lower wages and not as many high-risk benefits. 

Much like the first one we mentioned, it also passed through the House and State Senate with a clean bill of health. In the House, it passed 40-0 and in the Senate, it went through 97-0. 

John McGuire bill focuses on drug rehab

The final of McGuire’s three unanimously approved bills headed to the governor is SB603. This one will give incarcerated pregnant women preferential treatment when it comes to drug rehab programs. 

“I have visited the women’s jail in Goochland County and I’ve heard reports around the district about the challenges faced by pregnant women in jail to attend drug rehab programs,” McGuire said in a statement. “Incarcerated pregnant women (those held in federal or state prisons, jails, or juvenile detention facilities) make up one of the most vulnerable segments of society, with higher rates of mental illness, drug addiction, and histories of trauma than incarcerated men. This bill will create a work group to find answers on how to help rehabilitate young and not so young women with the triple threat of being incarcerated, being pregnant, and being addicted.”

All three bills are now waiting for Gov. Glenn Youngkin to sign them into law.