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TRIO OF ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PUBLIC SAFETY BILLS GO TO GOVERNOR
Richmond--A trio of bills from Attorney General Mark Herring to protect the public and hold criminals accountable now await the Governor's signature after successfully passing both houses of the General Assembly. These bills were either drafted by or introduced at the request of Attorney General Herring and his staff.
"I appreciate the hard work of the patrons who guided these bills through the legislative process and the members of my team who drafted and advocated for these important measures," said Attorney General Herring. "We've been working closely with the General Assembly in recent weeks and will continue to do so as they consider several important public safety bills remaining before them."
Attorney General's bills currently awaiting the Governor's signature include:
HB 1112, Synthetic/Analog Drugs (Garrett)
Attorney General Herring carried the original synthetic/analog drug bill as a state senator. This bill was developed with assistance from the Attorney General's office to give prosecutors and law enforcement officials more tools to keep dangerous synthetic drugs off the streets and away from young people. The bill updates some definitions based on the latest chemistry, makes selling or distributing these substances a class 5 rather than class 6 felony, and establishes a faster process for the Board of Pharmacy to add designer drugs to the controlled substances schedule so that they can respond more quickly to emerging threats.
HB 1233, Address Confidentiality (Toscano)
This bill, drafted by Attorney General's staff and introduced on his behalf, extends the Address Confidentiality Program to victims of stalking. As with victims of domestic violence, protecting residential address information can be critical for the safety of victims of stalking who move to addresses unknown to their perpetrators. This legislation allows victims to protect their residential address from public disclosure when applying for services from state and local agencies.
HB 1248, Self authentication of 911 phone calls (Surovell)
This bill, introduced at the request of Attorney General Herring's public safety staff, will make it easier to admit 911 calls in criminal proceedings. As long as the recording is authenticated by the custodian of the record, such as an emergency communications center manager, it will be considered admissible in court, similar to the way a toxicology or autopsy report is handled. The current rules require a complex and burdensome process for authenticating and admitting 911 calls. The bill has support from the Fraternal Order of Police and the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys.
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