July 1 is the start date new laws passed earlier this year by the General Assembly.
Virginia moved on racial, social, and economic issues and passing the South’s strictest gun laws, broadest LGBTQ protections, highest minimum wage, and some of its loosest abortion restrictions.
Take a look:
GUNs: New laws include universal background checks on gun purchases, a red flag bill to allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others, and limited handgun purchases to one a month.
MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION: Simple possession is now a civil penalty and can be punished by a fine of no more than $25.
STATUE REMOVAL: Local governments now have the authority to remove any monuments.
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: A new law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public or private employment, public spaces and credit transactions.
ABORTION: Lawmakers undid restrictions on abortion, including a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and a requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound and counseling.
GAMBLING: Virginia legalized casinos in five cities, and online sports betting statewide.
FOOD STAMPS: People with certain drug felonies are no longer ineligible for food stamps.
ELECTION DAY: Virginia will no longer honor Confederate generals with Lee-Jackson Day, but will instead move the state holiday to Election Day. Virginia is adopting no-excuse absentee voting.
RECKLESS DRIVING: Under current law anyone caught going 81 miles per hour could face a reckless driving charge. That’s now been moved to 86 miles per hour and faster.
CLEAN ECONOMY ACT: Expansion of offshore wind and other renewables as the state moves to zero carbon emissions by 2045.
GAS AND CIGARETTE TAXES:In some parts of the state the tax will rise from about 16 cents a gallon to 34 cents a gallon. The state’s taxes on cigarettes will also double to 60 cents a pack.
Minimum Wage: Rhe state is incrementally increasing its minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026. The first increase to $9.50 an hour will take place May 1, 2021.