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New Laws in Virginia as of July 1, 2023

📣 OUT NOW 📣 Today, we're diving into the latest laws that have taken effect in Virginia. From education and agriculture to criminal justice, cannabis, internet security, housing, and more, there's a lot to explore.

Read below to discover the range of new laws that are now in effect! 📝

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed hundreds of the bills passed by the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year. Most take effect July 1, as required by state law.

Read the highlights on some of those new laws below.


Sale of Farm Land to China

  • HB 2325 and SB 1438

  • Prohibits China or any "foreign adversary" from purchasing agricultural land in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Universal Occupational Licensing

  • HB 2180 and SB 1213

  • Makes it easier for individuals to qualify for a Virginia occupational license if they have met licensing standards in another state.

Sexual Harassment and Non-Disclosure Agreements

  • HB 1895

  • Prevents employers from requiring employees to sign NDAs with the purpose of concealing a sexual harassment claim, and voids any NDA that attempts to do so.

Minimum Wage for Employees With Disabilities

  • HB 1924

  • Requires employees with disabilities hired after July 1, 2023 to be paid the state minimum wage. Employees with disabilities hired before that date and who were subject to an exemption to the minimum wage will see a phased increase in wages over the next seven years.

Department of Workforce Development and Advancement

  • HB 2195 and SB 1470

  • Consolidates various workforce development and apprenticeship programs under the administration of a new agency, the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement.

Sales Tax Holidays End

  • Section 3-5.25 of the 2022 Appropriation Act and HB30

  • The annual break Virginia shoppers get from the state's 5.3% sales tax, typically during the first weekend in August, is expiring July 1. That means no tax-free hurricane preparedness items, clothing and school supplies, Energy Star items or WaterSense items this back-to-school shopping season.


Regulation of THC Products

  • HB 2294

  • Imposes additional regulation of hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating THC. Includes a permitting system, stricter labeling rules and limits the level of THC in retail hemp products.

Cannabis Advertising Restrictions

  • HB 2428 and SB 1233

  • Prohibits advertising of cannabis and related products, including synthetic THC, unless those products are legal for sale in Virginia. Includes restrictions on advertising that targets minors.


Jury Duty Pay

  • HB 2317 and SB 789

  • Increases the jury duty allowance from $30 to $50 per day.


Sexual Extortion

  • HB 2398

  • Makes it a felony to threaten to publicize nude photos of a person in order to coerce them into performing sexual acts.

Curfew During Civil Disturbance

  • SB 1455

  • Allows local law enforcement chiefs to declare a curfew under certain circumstances during a civil disturbance. The curfew may not last longer than 24 hours without approval from the local governing body, and must specify the time of curfew and the area covered.

Counsel for Indigent Defendants

  • HB 2016

  • Requires courts to appoint two attorneys to represent indigent defendants charged with a Class 1 felony, including first-degree murder.

Solitary Confinement

  • HB 2487 and SB 887

  • Restricts the use of solitary confinement and requires that anyone subject to solitary confinement receive a minimum of four hours of activities out of their cell per day.

Catalytic Converters

  • HB 2372 and SB 1135

  • Creates a presumption that someone not in the auto repair business who is in possession of a catalytic converter that has been removed from a motor vehicle is guilty of theft.

Criminalizes False 911 Reports

  • HB 1572 and SB 1291

  • Persons who make false reports of an emergency can be charged with a felony if the emergency response results in serious harm or death.

Public Transportation Drivers

  • HB 2330

  • Creates a specific law outlawing assault and battery against public transportation drivers. Conviction includes a ban from public transportation for at least 6 months.

Fentanyl as "Weapon of Terrorism"

  • HB 1682 and SB 1188

  • Adds the manufacture or distribution of fentanyl-laced products to the state law banning "weapons of terrorism."


Teacher Arrests

  • HB 1704 and SB 821

  • Requires state law enforcement agencies to notify school systems within 48 hours of the arrest of a school employee for a felony or Class 1 misdemeanor. School systems must designate an employee to receive such reports.

Notification of Bullying

  • HB 1592 and SB 1072

  • Requires schools to inform parents within 24 hours if their child is involved in an alleged bullying incident.

Threat Assessment Teams

  • HB 1916 and SB 910

  • Requires threat assessment teams at institutions of higher education to report certain threats to campus police, local law enforcement and the local Commonwealth's Attorney.

Brown v. Board Scholarships

  • HB 1419 and SB 1498

  • Extends eligibility for the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program to the descendants of people who lived in jurisdictions in Virginia where public schools were closed to avoid desegregation between 1954 and 1964 and whose educations were affected by the school closings.


Absentee Ballots

  • HB 1948

  • Removes the witness signature requirement on mail ballots and instead requires those voting by mail to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number.


Firearm Safety Tax Credit

  • HB 2387

  • Creates an income tax credit of up to $300 for the purchase of firearm safety devices, including gun safes and locks, for taxable years 2023 through 2027.


  • HB 2298

  • Removes switchblade knives from the list of concealed weapons that are prohibited from being carried in public. Adds stiletto knives to the prohibited list.

Concealed Carry Permits

  • Virginians can now take safety and training courses with the United States Concealed Carry Association to prove competency for a concealed handgun permit, in addition to the National Rifle Association, local law enforcement and other entities.



  • HB 2007

  • Requires public bodies to list fee assessments and pricing for Freedom of Information Act requests, either on their website or in a written policy.

Parole Board Disclosure

  • HB 2169 and SB 1361

  • Removes provisions that exempted certain records related to Parole Board deliberations and decisions from disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.


Right to Worship

  • HB 2171

  • In emergency declarations, prohibits the governor from imposing closures or limitations on places of worship that are more restrictive than those placed on businesses and secular organizations.


Defibrillators in Schools

  • SB1453

  • School boards will be required to make plans to put automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in every public elementary and secondary school in the local school division. This law requires the health department to publish a list of available public and private programs, grants, or finding sources to fulfill the law by Aug. 1, 2024.

Hearing Aids for Children

  • SB 1003

  • Requires health insurance providers to cover hearing aids for minors, when recommended by a doctor.


  • HB 1602 and SB 1418

  • Removes requirement that health care providers maintain a physical presence in the Commonwealth to be eligible to serve Medicaid patients.


"Green Book" Sites

  • HB 1968

  • Requires the Department of Historic Resources and other government agencies to create historic site signs identifying locations and businesses in the Commonwealth that were safe for traveling Black Americans during the Jim Crow era.


Tenant Rights

  • HB 1635

  • Allows tenants to end their lease and receive a full refund of all deposits and rent paid if the premises contain serious health or safety risks that existed at the beginning of residency.

Local Housing Policies

  • HB 2046 and SB 839

  • Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to conduct a housing needs assessment for the state every five years, along with a housing plan. Also requires localities to submit annual reports listing changes to housing policies.


Pornography Age Verification

  • SB 1515

  • Requires pornographic websites to verify the age of users and prevent children under the age of 18 from accessing pornography.

TikTok Ban on Government Devices

  • 2023 Session / Chapter 768

  • All employees or members of a “public body,” including state lawmakers, city council and school board representatives and more, are banned from downloading or using TikTok and WeChat on government devices or while connected to any network owned by the state. This includes phones, desktop computers, laptops, tablets and other devices that connect to the internet.


Local Enforcement Action

  • SB 1495

  • This law creates a new cause of action for a person negatively affected by some type of local government enforcement action (for example zoning enforcement actions or decisions) if the local government’s action willfully disregards the law or regulations. In court, a case like this requires a high standard of proof, but if the person who is negatively affected is successful in court, they will be entitled to compensatory damages and may be awarded attorney’s fees and costs


Virginia National Guard Passport

  • HB 1388

  • This law creates the Virginia National Guard Passport, which provides free entry to all 41 state parks for active Virginia National Guard members and their immediate family members traveling in the same vehicle.


Towing Operator Fees

  • HB 1516

  • Requires towing and recovery operators to allow the owner of a towed vehicle to retrieve personal items without paying a fee.

Blue Headlights

  • SB 855

  • Prohibits the use of blue headlights on motor vehicles.

Expanded Move-Over Rules

  • HB 1932

  • Drivers already have been required to move over a lane when possible for emergency vehicles, tow trucks and Virginia Department of Transportation workers. The rules expand to include any vehicle pulled off the main lanes with flashers, flares or any other warning signs displayed. If it’s impossible to move over, drivers should slow down.


SCC Control of Dominion Energy Rates

  • HB 1770 and SB 1265

  • Strengthens the State Corporation Commission's authority to review the earnings of electric utilities and to adjust rates paid by electric customers downward if utility earning exceeds established ranges. Previously, utilities could keep some profits that exceeded the upper range. The SCC authority takes effect for rate reviews starting in 2024.


Pony of the Commonwealth

  • HB 1951 and SB 1478

  • Lawmakers passed a bill to make the Chincoteague Pony – from the commonwealth’s Chincoteague Island — Virginia’s official pony.


For more information and sources on today's post, visit the links below.


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