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2007 Legislative Summary

Religious Freedom
HB 3082 Patroned by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge) and promoted by Home School Legal Defense, this bill will codify an expanded view of religious liberty. The bill is similar to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and similar to legislation passed in twenty other states to protect religious freedom. It puts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into the state code, ensuring that religious liberty will only be restricted if it 1) furthers a compelling government interest and 2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. PASSED (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

Community College Transfer Grant Program
HB 1681 Patroned by Delegate Vincent Callahan (R-McLean), this bill provides a grant for qualified students who obtain an associate’s degree from a Virginia community college with a 3.0 average and transfer to a public or private four-year college or university in the Commonwealth. PASSED (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

HPV or the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Requirement
SB 1230, patroned by Senator Janet Howell (D-Reston), and HB 2035, patroned by Delegate Phillip Hamilton (R-Newport News), require girls to receive three properly spaced doses of (HPV) vaccine, with the first dose given before a female child’s entry into sixth grade. A parent or guardian may elect for his daughter NOT TO RECEIVE this vaccine after reviewing materials describing the link between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. The bill includes a delayed effective date of October 1, 2008. PASSED. (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

Public/Private Education Investment Tax Credit
HB 1843, patroned by Delegate Chris Saxman (R-Staunton), would have provided a tax credit in the form of a scholarship for public, private, or homeschooled students. Non-profit organizations could have established a scholarship fund and businesses and individuals who donated to the fund could have obtained a tax credit. FAILED (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

Retail Sales Tax Exemption on Computer Purchases
HB2167, patroned by Benjamin Cline (R-Richmond), would have established a three-day period when there would be no sales tax on the purchase of computers, computer software, and hand-held devices. Cost limits would apply. FAILED (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

Cell Phone Restrictions for Teens
SB 1039, patroned by Senator Jay O’Brien (R-Clifton), prohibits the use of cell phones by drivers under the age of 19 while operating a motor vehicle even if they are using a hands-free device. Exceptions include cell phone use in an emergency or when the teen is parked or stopped. Police officers can ticket violators $50, but only if they are stopped for another traffic offense. PASSED. (Update Feb. 28, 2007)

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