31 Bills Plus in Alexandria and Mount Vernon

31 Bills Plus in Alexandria and Mount Vernon

Keeping sex offenders out of schools, protecting homes from foreclosure, and more.

The second week of the General Assembly is in the books and I am carrying thirty-one bills and over a dozen budget amendments. Several saw movement this week. 

Earlier this year, it was discovered that a guidance counselor was working in Glasgow Middle School two years after having been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. It is not clear whether the Chesterfield County Sheriff failed to notify Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) or whether FCPS failed to take action after receiving notice. His employment was discovered after he was charged with solicitation a second time and discovered at that time.

My legislation requires the Secretary of Education to publish a written list with fax, email, and postal addresses for notification, requires notification of all arrests and convictions in writing by certified first class mail or fax and email so that there is a paper trail. The Fairfax County guidance counselor also lied about his employment so the legislation requires law enforcement to run an employment check with the Virginia Employment Commission. Hopefully, with these changes no further sex offender notifications will be lost in the system. My bill passed out of committee unanimously and will be on the floor this week.

Fort Belvoir also came to me because Virginia Law restricts their law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes that cross the boundary from the military base like stalking. My legislation to allow Army and Air Force Police to investigate crimes that cross lines passed out unanimously. 

Two years ago, we passed legislation that prohibited foreclosing on someone’s home if a judgment does not exceed $25,000. However, there is an exception for Homeowner and Condominium Associations who can initiate a foreclosure proceeding if you own as little as $1. Attorneys have made me aware of associations and law firms who have initiated foreclosure proceedings over amounts as small as a few hundred dollars while demanding thousands in attorney’s fees to terminate foreclosure sales. The homeowners associations complained that they needed to be able to threaten to take people’s homes to make them pay their assessments and my bill was referred to the Virginia Housing Commission to be studied over the next year.

The Fairfax County Circuit Court also asked me to carry legislation to assist with the procurement of interpreters for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Fairfax County Circuit Court has seen a shortage of these interpreters post-pandemic and would like to procure them from a larger pool. The bill passed unanimously. 

I am also carrying a bill that expands Virginia’s Lemon Law to a business that has less than five vehicles. A malfunctioning vehicle can be destructive to a small business owner. Manufacturers are in a much better position to deal with lemons than our local car dealerships. My legislation was reported by the Transportation Committee and will be voted on this week.

I am also carrying several budget amendments to help our area including appropriations to help the Gum Springs Museum, the Wish Center in Hybla Valley, the Ecumenical Community Helping Others organization in Springfield, and the Lorton Community Action Center. I am also carrying legislation to appropriate funds to provide body cameras to the Virginia State Police which have already been deployed for all of our local police departments.

If you have any questions or feedback on the session, please email me at scott@scottsurovell.org.