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All VBA Legislation from Sections Succeeds in General Assembly

Tuesday, March 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
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The 2018 Virginia General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on March 10.

For the VBA, it was another great year, said Jeffrey S. Palmore, the VBA legislative counsel. "All of the legislation from our sections was successful, as was the Boyd-Graves Conference legislation. We were also thrilled to see the felony threshold increase after many years of support and work on this by both the VBA and Commission on the Needs of Children."

The General Assembly adjourned without a budget so it will have to come back in Special Session to take that up. Medicaid expansion remains the primary sticking point. The budget impasse also delays finality on funding for judges.

A summary of the outcome for the 2018 VBA legislation, provided by Palmore, follows.

Business Law Section

HB 1205: Nonstock corporations; members’ meetings.

Patron: Delegate Benjamin Cline

This bill authorizes the board of directors of a nonstock corporation to determine that any meeting of members not be held at any place and instead be held by means of remote communication, if the articles of incorporation or bylaws do not require the meeting to be held at a place.

HB 1205 was passed by both the House and Senate. It was approved by the Governor (Acts of Assembly Chapter 265) on March 9, 2018, and will become effective on July 1, 2018.

Construction Law Section

HB 732 and SB 478: Contractors; work without valid Va. license, prohibited acts.

Patrons: Delegate Keith Hodges and Senator Bryce Reeves

These companion bills would clarify Virginia’s statutes dealing with enforceability of a contract by a person without a valid Virginia contractor's license.

Both bills were passed by the House and the Senate. The House bill, HB 732, has been approved by the Governor (Acts of Assembly Chapter 43) on February 26, 2018, and will become effective on July 1, 2018. The Senate version of the bill is awaiting action by the Governor.

Wills, Trusts & Estates Section

SB 78: Trust decanting; authorized fiduciary.

Patron: Senator John Edwards

This bill would make a technical change to Virginia’s trust decanting legislation that was overhauled a few years ago.

SB 78 was passed by both the House and Senate. It was signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on March 8, 2018. It is awaiting action by the Governor.

 

HB 746: Wills and revocable trusts; eliminating certain inconsistencies.

Patron: Delegate James “Jay” Leftwich

This bill eliminates certain inconsistencies between wills and revocable trusts by extending to revocable trusts: (i) revocation of benefits to a spouse and appointments to a spouse as a fiduciary upon divorce or annulment; (ii) the default rules for nonademption of certain bequests; (iii) the default rules related to the lapsing of a failed devise or bequest to the residue; and (iv) the anti-lapse rule that provides that a testamentary disposition fails when the taker predeceases the testator. The bill also provides that a court may modify the terms of a decedent's will to correct a mistake to conform to the decedent's intent, as proved by clear and convincing evidence.

HB 746 was passed by the House and Senate. It was then approved by the Governor (Acts of Assembly Chapter 44) on February 26, 2018, and will become effective on July 1, 2018.

 

HB 754: Elective share claim; calculation of the augmented estate.

Patron: Delegate James “Jay” Leftwich

This bill would make technical changes to Virginia’s augmented estate statute and corrects drafting errors from reforms the VBA proposed two years ago. It provides that a surviving spouse claiming an elective share does not have the right to claim a share of the decedent spouse's separate property at death but that the decedent spouse may satisfy the surviving spouse's right to claim a share of marital property with such separate property.

 

This bill required a little legislative maneuvering. It passed the House without issue, but some senators were concerned about it. It initially died on the Senate floor but was revived and passed two weeks later. It is awaiting action by the Governor.

Boyd-Graves Conference

HB 128: Court order; motion or petition for rule to show cause for violation.

Patron: Delegate Jason Miyares

This bill would provide clarity around the process for obtaining a rule to show cause.  The bill requires that in any civil action in a court of record, a party requesting a rule to show cause for a violation of a court order shall file a motion or petition, which may be on a form prescribed by the Office of the Executive Secretary, with the court, which shall include facts identifying with particularity the violation or which shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth such facts.

HB 128 was passed by the House and Senate. It is awaiting action by the Governor.

 

HB 1023: Foreign subpoenas; issuance by circuit court clerk of court.

Patron: Delegate Les Adams

This bill would provide that no foreign subpoena issued in the Commonwealth pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (§ 8.01-412.8 et seq.) may be issued by any person other than the applicable circuit court clerk of court in the Commonwealth.

HB 1023 was passed by both the House and the Senate. It has not yet been considered by the governor.

 

HB 1024: Attorney fees; repeals provision that allows only fee of one attorney to be taxed by court.

Patron: Delegate Les Adams

This bill repeals the provision that allows only the fee of one attorney to be taxed by the court, even if the recovering party had more than one attorney.

HB 1024 was passed by both the House and the Senate. It was approved by the Governor (Acts of Assembly Chapter 35) on February 26, 2018, and will become effective on July 1, 2018.

Commission on the Needs of Children

HB 1550 and SB 105: Grand larceny; increases threshold amount.

Patrons: Delegate Les Adams and Senator David Suetterlein

After many years of supporting and working to increase Virginia’s felony threshold, the General Assembly passed legislation to increase the threshold between petit and grand larceny from $200 to $500.

HB 1550 and SB 105, which became identical after an amendment to the House bill, were both passed by the House and Senate. Neither bill has been considered by the governor at this time, but he is expected to sign.


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