Similar Bills, Different Fates

Ideas that went nowhere when Republicans controlled the Virginia legislature are now moving forward under Democrats. Below are 88 bills killed in committee last year that -- by the halfway point of this year -- made it to the House or Senate floor.


HB757Bans criminal history questions on government employment applications
HB55Creates corporate structure for worker cooperatives
HB932Removes professional certification requirement for natural gas auto mechanics
HB833, SB8Requires government contractors to pay employees prevailing wage
HB337, SB48Prohibits firing/disciplining employees who file unpaid wage complaints
HB336, SB49Authorizes state to investigate an employer's failure to pay wages
HB825Establishes paid family and medical leave benefits
SB7Increases minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025
HB798Prohibits retaliation against employees who report violation of the law
HB553Requires legislative branch to adopt Commonwealth Workplace Harassment Policy
HB46Requires employers to notify employees of their intention regarding workers comp claims

Public Safety

HB264, SB263Requires concealed firearm training to be done in person
HB812, SB69Limits handgun purchases to one a month
SB35Gives localities authority to prevent the carrying of firearms at permitted events in a public space
SB64Makes paramilitary activity intended to intimidate a class 5 felony
SB70Requires universal background checks for firearm purchases
SB1019Ties retirement age for law-enforcement officers to Social Security Act
HB246Requires localities to adopt written policy for police use of body-worn cameras
HB35, SB103Makes inmates who were sentenced as juveniles eligible for parole after serving 25 years
HB33, SB793Reinstitutes parole for certain inmates
SB493Allows consideration of parole for terminally ill and geriatric inmates

Social Issues

HB1537, SB183Gives localities power to move Civil War monuments
HB6Bans housing discrimination based on public assistance income
HB7Bans housing discrimination based on sexual orientation/gender identify
HB1252Prevents discrimination in apprenticeship programs
HB1250Prevents use of "bias-based" profiling by police
SB936Allows qualified charitable gaming organizations to put on Texas Hold'em poker events
HB896Repeals online lottery ticket sales; directs Virginia Lottery to regulate sports betting
SB742Prohibits sales of dogs or cats in which animal is subject to repossession upon default of loan
HB276, HB618, SB179Expands hate crimes to include targeting for sexual orientation/gender identify
HB1429Prevents health insurance from discriminating based on gender identity
HB623Removes prohibition on same-sex marriage and uses gender neutral terms for spouses in code


HB100, SB325In criminal cases, potential jurors can be informed about possible range of punishment
HB995, SB788Increases threshold for grand larceny from $500 to $1,000
HB1522Prevents forfeiture of property without finding of guilt
HB298, SB724Increases statute of limitations to prosecute child sexual offenses
HB253Third conviction of distributing images results in sex offender listing
HB266Prevents adding interest on traffic/criminal fines
HB787Allows multi-jurisdictional grand juries to investigate crimes involving discrimination


HB375Clarifies students' rights in higher education arbitration disputes
HB1322Prevents questions about criminal history on college applications
HB499Requires creation of performance standards for public universities
HB232Requires Dept. of Elections to provide voter registration forms to colleges
HB420Requires school emergency plans to address students with limited English proficiency
HB1143Includes behavioral analysts in count of school support staff
HB256Prevents finding students guilty of disorderly conduct when on school property
HB270Requires parental notice before school lock-down drills
HB74Requires teachers to complete mental health first aid training


HB849Subjects online political advertisements to same disclosure rules as other ads
SB455Extends deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from overseas and military voters
HB196Enhances employment discrimination protection for local election officials
HB1210Provides non-English election materials
HB198Requires a special election in cases of a tie vote
HB177Requires Va. presidential electors to vote for winner of national popular vote
HB213Add student id from out-of-state college as acceptable voter photo ID


SB34Allows DMV to issue limited duration driver's credentials for certain non-citizens
HB34, SB439Allows first-time drunk drivers to petition for interlock restricted license
HB1644Prevents passing of cars stopped at crosswalk
HB15Requires seat belts on school buses
HB561Requires consideration of evacuation routes in prioritizing transportation funding


HB552Excludes FDA-approved birth control from definition of abortion
HB572, SB710Promotes distributed renewable solar energy
HB997, SB675Removes the expiration date on fingerprint background checks for child care providers
SB33Caps interest charged in consumer loans to 36%
HB534Authorizes localities to impose tax on plastic bags
HB1354Establishes a Plastic Pollution Prevention Advisory Council
SB208Creates civil cause for action against contractors who fail to pay labor and materials
HB852Requires annually information security awareness training for state employees
HB1030Pilot program for underground electrical transmission lines
HB819Allows SCC to assess fines for real estate settlement kickbacks regardless of licensure status
HB361Creates income tax credit for eligible family care expenses
SB553Creates new rights for cotenants in sale of inherited property

Source: Virginia's Legislative Information System. Bill descriptions written by VPAP staff.

Methodology: VPAP drew up a list of bills that were introduced in the 2019 session and died in committee in their chamber of origin and, then found similar bills that were introduced in the 2020 session but were approved by committees and sent to the floor of their chamber of origin. Two bills were considered the same, or "semantically similar", if the summary text, as drafted by the Division of Legislative Services, was identical or nearly identical. This semantic similarity is calculated based on variations of the "TF-IDF" and "cosine similarity" algorithms.