Equality in the Commonwealth

Elections; same-day registration, in-person absentee and election day voting, effective clause (HB 201)

Provides an exception to the closing of registration records for any person who (i) is qualified to register to vote, (ii) is unregistered or registered in a locality in which the person no longer resides but is otherwise entitled to vote by absentee ballot, (iii) desires to vote absentee in person at the time that they present themselves to be registered, and (iv) provides proof of residency. The bill also permits same-day registrants to vote absentee and provides an excuse for election day absentee voting for such voters. The bill requires all voters who register to vote under the provisions of this bill to fill out an absentee application, including the required oath, in order to vote.

Independent Living Community Ombudsman, Office of; established, report (HB 324)

Establishes, in the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Office of the Independent Living Community Ombudsman, to promote and protect the interests of residents of independent living communities in the Commonwealth. The bill defines "independent living community" as any congregate care housing arrangement reserved for residents 55 years of age or older who do not require assistance with activities of daily living from staff of the independent living community and that includes the provision of two or more of the following services: meals, transportation, laundry, or housekeeping, when such services are provided pursuant to an agreement between the resident and the congregate care housing provider or between the resident and a third party that delivers such services at the premises of the independent living community.

My Virginia Plan; multiple employer retirement plan for private employers and their employees (HB 775)

Establishes the My Virginia Plan Board (the Board) and directs the Board to create the My Virginia Plan (the Plan) to allow employees of private employers in the Commonwealth to contribute to a defined contribution retirement plan overseen by the Board. The bill allows all self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and nongovernmental employers to allow their employees to participate in the Plan. It provides for automatic enrollment of an employer's employees if such employer chooses to participate in the Plan. The bill authorizes the Board to contract with third parties to implement and administer the Plan.

Equity in Education

College and Career Readiness Steering Committee; Secretary of Education to establish. (HB 958)

Requires the Secretary of Education to establish a 21-member College and Career Readiness Steering Committee to (i) develop and oversee implementation of a strategic plan for ensuring that all students in the Commonwealth, and particularly subgroups of students who have been historically underserved, graduate from high school (a) meeting the requirements for an advanced studies diploma, (b) having had the opportunity to participate and succeed in pathways that integrate rigorous academic instruction aligned with the Standards of Learning, including career and technical education, work-based learning, wraparound services, and opportunities to earn credit for postsecondary education while enrolled in high school, and (c) having had a high school experience that is aligned with expectations for postsecondary education and employer demand and (ii) provide certain recommendations, guidance, leadership, goals, and assistance relating to the implementation of such strategic plan.

STEAM programs; establishes STEAM Education Fund (HB 953)

Establishes the STEAM Education Fund for the purpose of awarding grants in amounts not to exceed $50,000 annually to any public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth at which at least 25 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch that provides an academic class, curriculum, or activity focused on a science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics (STEAM) discipline.

Fighting for families

Criminal sexual assault; definition of intimate parts. (HB 323)

Includes in the definition of "intimate parts," for the purposes of criminal sexual assault, the chest of a child under the age of 15.

Inclusive Economy

Study; Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to study the emergence and integration (HJ 82)

Requests the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority to identify blockchain technology research and economic development opportunities with the goal of creating a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology. In conducting its study, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority shall analyze and consider (i) economic development opportunities in the Commonwealth available through the utilization of blockchain technology; (ii) different types of blockchain technology and the feasibility of economic development for each type; (iii) the creation of a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy to encourage commercial activity in the blockchain technology sector; (iv) opportunities for deployment of blockchain technology in state government; and (v) strategies to incentivize the development of blockchain companies in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority shall submit its report to the Governor and the 2021 and 2022 Regular Sessions of the General Assembly.

Protecting our State with Cyber Security

Children's online privacy protection; release of personal information prohibited. (HB 955)

Prohibits any person who operates a website for commercial purposes and who collects or maintains personal information from or about the users of or visitors to such website or online service from releasing personal information collected from minor for any purpose, except where the personal information is provided to a person other than an operator that provides support for the internal operations of the website, online service, online application, or mobile application of the operator, excluding any activity relating to targeted marketing directed to minors, and does not disclose or use that personal information for any other purpose. The measure also requires operators to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information collected from children. A violation is a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act

Cybersecurity Advisory Council; created, report (HB 322)

Creates the Cybersecurity Advisory Council to (i) assist the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency with the development of policies, standards, and guidelines for assessing security risks, determining appropriate security measures, and performing security audits of government electronic information; (ii) make recommendations to the CIO regarding strategies to strengthen the Commonwealth's cybersecurity; and (iii) analyze and investigate breaches of the information technology security of any independent agency or any agency or other entity within the executive branch, legislative branch, or judicial branch of state government. The bill requires the Council to submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Cybersecurity; care and disposal of customer records security for connected devices. (HB 954)

Requires any business to take all reasonable steps to dispose of, or arrange for the disposal of, customer records within its custody or control containing personal information when the records are no longer to be retained by the business by shredding, erasing, or otherwise modifying the personal information in those records to make it unreadable or undecipherable. The measure requires any business that owns, licenses, or maintains personal information about a customer to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information in order to protect the personal information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. A violation of these requirements constitutes a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.