Have an enjoyable and safe fourth of July. There are several events scheduled in the Hampton Roads area for celebrating Independence Day. You may want to celebrate the Fourth at the Fort. This year, in addition to the fireworks displays on July 5, the legacy and connections of “Freedom’s Fortress” will also be honored. Enjoy!
July 1 is not only the beginning of a new fiscal year; it is also the day that all the laws passed during the legislative session will come into effect. I discussed some of the new laws during Hampton Branch NAACP monthly meeting. Congressman Bobby Scott followed with an update from the U.S. Congress. Listed below are a few of those laws:
Increased age to buy tobacco and nicotine: You’ll have to be 21 to purchase tobacco or nicotine products such as cigarettes and vape devices. If you have a valid military ID, you’ll still be able to buy them at 18.
Courts will no longer suspend drivers’ licenses for unpaid fines and costs: If you owe court fines, you will no longer have your driver’s license taken away. More than 627,000 people who had a suspended license because of unpaid court costs will have their licenses reinstated.
Cruelty to animals: Punishes anyone with two to 10 years in jail and up to a $100,000 fine if found guilty of torturing an animal. Current laws says the animal has to die for the person to be guilty.
Lottery winners can remain anonymous: If you win more than $10 million through the Virginia Lottery, you don’t have to publicly disclose your name or personal information.
Tolls suspended during evacuations: During a state of emergency, toll operators will be required to suspend toll collection on designated mass evacuation routes.
Cellphones in construction zones: Holding a cellphone while driving in a highway work zone will be punishable by a $250 fine.
Rear-facing child seats: All children must sit in rear-facing child safety seats in cars until they are 2 years old or reach the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing seat.
Written rental agreements: Landlords will be required to provide a written rental agreement for tenants.
On June 24th, just two weeks shy of the special session called by Governor Ralph Northam, there was a discussion held about gun violence. The discussion was hosted by Secretary Brian Moran and it included Hampton elected officials and other stakeholders.
I was extremely pleased to have been invited to the Y. H. Thomas Community Center Meet and Greet. The room was filled with leaders from the City of Hampton, community partners, neighborhood leaders and elected officials. A special thank you goes to the center’s Board of Directors and to Tina Banks-Gray, the Executive Director for hosting the evening. I was especially honored to have been named to the center’s Advisory Council. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work. Former Council member and Y. H. Thomas Community Center’s biggest cheerleader Will Moffett was honored with his very own WALL OF FAME. Congratulations.
As always it is a pleasure to serve you in the 92nd House District. Thank you.
Delegate Jeion A. Ward
Virginia House of Delegates
Ninety-Second House District