(SB678)

JOINT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT

We, the conferees, appointed by the respective bodies to consider and report upon the disagreeing vote on Senate Bill No. 678, report as follows:

A. We recommend that the House Amendments be rejected.

B. We recommend that the attached Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (12106195D) be accepted with the following amendments thereto to resolve the matters under disagreement.

 

    1. Line 28, substitute, Title, after 58.1-3840,

      strike

    2. Line 40, substitute, Title, after Title 46.2

      strike

      insert

    3. Line 10213, substitute, after 108. That

      strike

      insert

    4. Line 10214, substitute, after Title 46.2

      strike

      insert

    5. At the beginning of line 10216, substitute

      strike

        all of lines 10216 through 10360

      insert

      2.2-517. Division of Consumer Counsel created; duties.

      A. There is created in the Department of Law a Division of Consumer Counsel (the "Division") that shall represent the interests of the people as consumers.

      B. The duties of the Division shall be to:

      1. Appear before governmental commissions, agencies and departments, including the State Corporation Commission, to represent and be heard on behalf of consumers' interests, and investigate such matters relating to such appearance.

      2. Make such studies related to enforcing consumer laws of the Commonwealth as deemed necessary to protect the interests of the consumer and recommend to the Governor and General Assembly the enactment of such legislation deemed necessary to promote and protect the interests of the people as consumers.

      C. In addition, the Division may inquire into consumer complaints involving towing and recovery operators and tow truck drivers regarding violations of 46.2-118, 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1.

      D. The Division, in all investigations connected with enforcing consumer laws and appearances before governmental bodies shall, on behalf of the interests of the consumer, cooperate and coordinate its efforts with such commissions, agencies and departments in ensuring that any matters adversely affecting the interests of the consumer are properly controlled and regulated. The appearance of a representative of the Division before any governmental body shall in no way limit or alter the duties of such governmental body.

      D. E. The Attorney General may employ and fix the salaries of such attorneys, employees and consultants, within the amounts appropriated to the Attorney General for providing legal service for the Commonwealth, and other services as may be provided for by law, as he may deem necessary in the operation of the Division of Consumer Counsel to carry out its functions.

      2.2-4024. Hearing officers.

      A. In all formal hearings conducted in accordance with 2.2-4020, the hearing shall be presided over by a hearing officer selected from a list prepared by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court and maintained in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. Parties to informal fact-finding proceedings conducted pursuant to 2.2-4019 may agree at the outset of the proceeding to have a hearing officer preside at the proceeding, such agreement to be revoked only by mutual consent. The Executive Secretary may promulgate rules necessary for the administration of the hearing officer system and shall have the authority to establish the number of hearing officers necessary to preside over administrative hearings in the Commonwealth.

      Prior to being included on the list, all hearing officers shall meet the following minimum standards:

      1. Active membership in good standing in the Virginia State Bar;

      2. Active practice of law for at least five years; and

      3. Completion of a course of training approved by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. In order to comply with the demonstrated requirements of the agency requesting a hearing officer, the Executive Secretary may require additional training before a hearing officer shall be assigned to a proceeding before that agency.

      B. On request from the head of an agency, the Executive Secretary shall name a hearing officer from the list, selected on a rotation system administered by the Executive Secretary. Lists reflecting geographic preference and specialized training or knowledge shall be maintained by the Executive Secretary if an agency demonstrates the need.

      C. A hearing officer shall voluntarily disqualify himself and withdraw from any case in which he cannot accord a fair and impartial hearing or consideration, or when required by the applicable rules governing the practice of law in the Commonwealth. Any party may request the disqualification of a hearing officer by filing an affidavit, prior to the taking of evidence at a hearing, stating with particularity the grounds upon which it is claimed that a fair and impartial hearing cannot be accorded, or the applicable rule of practice requiring disqualification.

      The issue shall be determined not less than ten 10 days prior to the hearing by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court.

      D. Any hearing officer empowered by the agency to provide a recommendation or conclusion in a case decision matter shall render that recommendation or conclusion within ninety 90 days from the date of the case decision proceeding or from a later date agreed to by the named party and the agency. If the hearing officer does not render a decision within ninety 90 days, then the named party to the case decision may provide written notice to the hearing officer and the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court that a decision is due. If no decision is made within thirty 30 days from receipt by the hearing officer of the notice, then the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall remove the hearing officer from the hearing officer list and report the hearing officer to the Virginia State Bar for possible disciplinary action, unless good cause is shown for the delay.

      E. The Executive Secretary shall remove hearing officers from the list, upon a showing of cause after written notice and an opportunity for a hearing. When there is a failure by a hearing officer to render a decision as required by subsection D, the burden shall be on the hearing officer to show good cause for the delay. Decisions to remove a hearing officer may be reviewed by a request to the Executive Secretary for reconsideration, followed by judicial review in accordance with this chapter.

      F. This section shall not apply to hearings conducted by (i) any commission or board where all of the members, or a quorum, are present; (ii) the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, the State Corporation Commission, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Motor Vehicles under Title 46.2 ( 46.2-100 et seq.), 58.1-2409, or Chapter 27 ( 58.1-2700 et seq.) of Title 58.1, or the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board under Chapter 15 ( 46.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 46.2, or the Board of Towing and Recovery Operators under Chapter 28 ( 46.2-2800 et seq.) of Title 46.2; or (iii) any panel of a health regulatory board convened pursuant to 54.1-2400, including any panel having members of a relevant advisory board to the Board of Medicine. All employees hired after July 1, 1986, pursuant to 65.2-201 and 65.2-203 by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission to conduct hearings pursuant to its basic laws shall meet the minimum qualifications set forth in subsection A. Agency employees who are not licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth, and are presiding as hearing officers in proceedings pursuant to clause (ii) shall participate in periodic training courses.

      G. Notwithstanding the exemptions of subsection A of 2.2-4002, this article shall apply to hearing officers conducting hearings of the kind described in 2.2-4020 for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the Milk Commission and the Virginia Resources Authority pursuant to their basic laws.

      3.2-102. General powers and duties of the Commissioner.

      A. The Commissioner shall be vested with the powers and duties set out in 2.2-601, the powers and duties herein provided, and such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by law, including those prescribed in Title 59.1. He shall be the executive officer of the Board, and shall see that its orders are carried out. He shall see to the proper execution of laws relating to the Department. Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Commissioner shall promote, protect, and develop the agricultural interests of the Commonwealth. The Commissioner shall develop, implement, and maintain programs within the Department including those that promote the development and marketing of the Commonwealth's agricultural products in domestic and international markets, including promotions, market development and research, marketing assistance, market information, and product grading and certification; promote the creation of new agribusiness including new crops, biotechnology and new uses of agricultural products, and the expansion of existing agribusiness within the Commonwealth; develop, promote, and maintain consumer protection programs that protect the safety and quality of the Commonwealth's food supply through food and dairy inspection activities, industry and consumer education, and information on food safety; preserve the Commonwealth's agricultural lands; ensure animal health and protect the Commonwealth's livestock industries through disease control and surveillance, maintaining animal health diagnostic laboratories, and encouraging the humane treatment and care of animals; protect public health and the environment through regulation and proper handling of pesticides, agricultural stewardship, and protection of endangered plant and insect species; protect crop and plant health and productivity; ensure consumer protection and fair trade practices in commerce; develop plans and emergency response protocols to protect the agriculture industry from bioterrorism, plant and animal diseases, and agricultural pests; assist as directed by the Governor in the Commonwealth's response to natural disasters; develop and implement programs and inspection activities to ensure that the Commonwealth's agricultural products move freely in trade domestically and internationally; and enter into agreements with federal, state, and local governments, land grant universities, and other organizations that include marketing, plant protection, pest control, pesticides, and meat and poultry inspection.

      B. In addition, the Commissioner shall:

      1. Have the authority, in the same manner as provided in 59.1-308.2, to inquire into consumer complaints regarding violations of 46.2-1231 or 46.2-1233.1 involving businesses engaged in towing vehicles or to refer the complaint directly to the appropriate local enforcement officials;

      2. Establish mechanisms by which to receive complaints and related inquiries from the Commonwealth's consumers involving violations or alleged violations of any law designed to protect the integrity of consumer transactions in the Commonwealth. Such mechanisms shall include establishing a statewide, toll-free telephone hotline to be administered by the Department; publicizing the existence of such hotline through public service announcements on television and radio and in newspapers and other media deemed necessary, convenient, or appropriate; and enhancing electronic communication with the Department through computer networks such as the Internet;

      3. 2. Establish and administer programs that facilitate resolution of complaints and related inquiries from the Commonwealth's consumers involving violations or alleged violations of any law designed to protect the integrity of consumer transactions in the Commonwealth. Such programs shall be developed in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General and may utilize paid or unpaid personnel, law schools or other institutions of higher education, community dispute resolution centers, or any other private or public entity, including any local offices of consumer affairs established pursuant to 15.2-963 that volunteer to participate in a program. He shall submit an annual written report on or before January 15 to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources on his activities pursuant to this subdivision and subdivision 2 of this subsection 1 during the preceding calendar year;

      4. 3. Establish and maintain a farm-to-school website. The purpose of the website shall be to facilitate and promote the purchase of Virginia farm products by schools, universities, and other educational institutions under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Education. The website shall present such current information as the availability of Virginia farm products, including the types and amount of products, and the names of and contact information for farmers, farm organizations, and businesses marketing such products; and

      5. 4. Establish and operate a nonprofit, nonstock corporation under Chapter 10 ( 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1 as a public instrumentality exercising public and essential governmental functions to promote, develop, and sustain markets for licensed Virginia wineries and farm wineries, as defined in 4.1-100. Such corporation shall provide wholesale wine distribution services for wineries and farm wineries licensed in accordance with 4.1-207. The board of directors of such corporation shall be composed of the Commissioner and four members appointed by the Board, including one owner or manager of a winery or farm winery licensee that is not served by a wholesaler when the owner or manager is appointed to the board; one owner or manager of a winery or farm winery licensee that produces no more than 10,000 cases per year; and two owners or managers of wine wholesaler licensees. In making appointments to the board of directors, the Board shall consider nominations of winery and farm winery licensees submitted by the Virginia Wineries Association and wine wholesale licensees submitted by the Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association. The Commissioner shall require such corporation to report to him at least annually on its activities, including reporting the quantity of wine distributed for each winery and farm winery during the preceding year. The provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act shall not apply to the establishment of such corporation nor to the exercise of any of its powers granted under this section.

      4.1-207.1. Restricted wholesale wine licenses.

      The Board may grant a wholesale wine license to a nonprofit, nonstock corporation created in accordance with subdivision B 5 4 of 3.2-102, which shall authorize the licensee to provide wholesale wine distribution services to winery and farm winery licensees, provided that no more than 3,000 cases of wine produced by a winery or farm winery licensee shall be distributed by the corporation in any one year. The corporation shall provide such distribution services in accordance with the terms of a written agreement approved by the corporation between it and the winery or farm winery licensee, which shall comply with the provisions of this title and Board regulations. The corporation shall receive all of the privileges of, and be subject to, all laws and regulations governing wholesale wine licenses granted under subdivision 2 of 4.1-207.

      4.1-223. Conditions under which Board shall refuse to grant licenses.

      The Board shall refuse to grant any:

      1. Wholesale beer or wine license to any person, unless such person has established or will establish a place or places of business within the Commonwealth at which will be received and from which will be distributed all alcoholic beverages sold by such person in the Commonwealth. However, in special circumstances, the Board, subject to any regulations it may adopt, may permit alcoholic beverages to be received into or distributed from places other than established places of business.

      2. Wholesale beer license or wholesale wine license to any entity that is owned, in whole or in part, by any manufacturer of alcoholic beverages, any subsidiary or affiliate of such manufacturer or any person under common control with such manufacturer. This subdivision, however, shall not apply to (i) any applicant for a wholesale beer or wine license filed pursuant to subdivision B 3 b of subsection B of 4.1-216 or (ii) the nonprofit, nonstock corporation established pursuant to subdivision B 5 4 of 3.2-102 in exercising any privileges granted under 4.1-207.1.

      As used in this subdivision, the term "manufacturer" includes any person (i) who brews, vinifies or distills alcoholic beverages for sale or (ii) engaging in business as a contract brewer, winery or distillery that owns alcoholic beverage product brand rights, but arranges the manufacture of such products by another person.

      3. Mixed beverage license if the Board determines that in the licensed establishment there (i) is entertainment of a lewd, obscene or lustful nature including what is commonly called stripteasing, topless entertaining, and the like, or which has employees who are not clad both above and below the waist, or who uncommonly expose the body or (ii) are employees who solicit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

      4. Wholesale wine license until the applicant has filed with the Board a bond payable to the Commonwealth, in a sum not to exceed $10,000, upon a form approved by the Board, signed by the applicant or licensee and a surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth as surety, and conditioned upon such person's (i) securing wine only in a manner provided by law, (ii) remitting to the Board the proper tax thereon, (iii) keeping such records as may be required by law or Board regulations, and (iv) abiding by such other laws or Board regulations relative to the handling of wine by wholesale wine licensees. The Board may waive the requirement of both the surety and the bond in cases where the wholesaler has previously demonstrated his financial responsibility.

      5. Mixed beverage license to any member, agent or employee of the Board or to any corporation or other business entity in which such member, agent or employee is a stockholder or has any other economic interest.

      Whenever any other elective or appointive official of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof applies for such a license or continuance thereof, he shall state on the application the official position he holds, and whenever a corporation or other business entity in which any such official is a stockholder or has any other economic interests applies for such a license, it shall state on the application the full economic interest of each such official in such corporation or other business entity.

      6. License authorized by this chapter until the license tax required by 4.1-231 is paid to the Board.

      9.1-102. Powers and duties of the Board and the Department.

      The Department, under the direction of the Board, which shall be the policy-making body for carrying out the duties and powers hereunder, shall have the power and duty to:

      1. Adopt regulations, pursuant to the Administrative Process Act ( 2.2-4000 et seq.), for the administration of this chapter including the authority to require the submission of reports and information by law-enforcement officers within the Commonwealth. Any proposed regulations concerning the privacy, confidentiality, and security of criminal justice information shall be submitted for review and comment to any board, commission, or committee or other body which may be established by the General Assembly to regulate the privacy, confidentiality, and security of information collected and maintained by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;

      2. Establish compulsory minimum training standards subsequent to employment as a law-enforcement officer in (i) permanent positions, and (ii) temporary or probationary status, and establish the time required for completion of such training;

      3. Establish minimum training standards and qualifications for certification and recertification for law-enforcement officers serving as field training officers;

      4. Establish compulsory minimum curriculum requirements for in-service and advanced courses and programs for schools, whether located in or outside the Commonwealth, which are operated for the specific purpose of training law-enforcement officers;

      5. Establish (i) compulsory minimum training standards for law-enforcement officers who utilize radar or an electrical or microcomputer device to measure the speed of motor vehicles as provided in 46.2-882 and establish the time required for completion of the training and (ii) compulsory minimum qualifications for certification and recertification of instructors who provide such training;

      6. Establish compulsory training courses for law-enforcement officers in laws and procedures relating to entrapment, search and seizure, evidence, and techniques of report writing, which training shall be completed by law-enforcement officers who have not completed the compulsory training standards set out in subdivision 2, prior to assignment of any such officers to undercover investigation work. Failure to complete the training shall not, for that reason, constitute grounds to exclude otherwise properly admissible testimony or other evidence from such officer resulting from any undercover investigation;

      7. Establish compulsory minimum entry-level, in-service and advanced training standards for those persons designated to provide courthouse and courtroom security pursuant to the provisions of 53.1-120, and to establish the time required for completion of such training;

      8. Establish compulsory minimum entry-level, in-service and advanced training standards for deputy sheriffs designated to serve process pursuant to the provisions of 8.01-293, and establish the time required for the completion of such training;

      9. Establish compulsory minimum entry-level, in-service, and advanced training standards for persons employed as deputy sheriffs and jail officers by local criminal justice agencies and for correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections under the provisions of Title 53.1, and establish the time required for completion of such training;

      10. Establish compulsory minimum training standards for all dispatchers employed by or in any local or state government agency, whose duties include the dispatching of law-enforcement personnel. Such training standards shall apply only to dispatchers hired on or after July 1, 1988;

      11. Consult and cooperate with counties, municipalities, agencies of the Commonwealth, other state and federal governmental agencies, and with universities, colleges, community colleges, and other institutions, whether located in or outside the Commonwealth, concerning the development of police training schools and programs or courses of instruction;

      12. Approve institutions, curricula and facilities, whether located in or outside the Commonwealth, for school operation for the specific purpose of training law-enforcement officers; but this shall not prevent the holding of any such school whether approved or not;

      13. Establish and maintain police training programs through such agencies and institutions as the Board deems appropriate;

      14. Establish compulsory minimum qualifications of certification and recertification for instructors in criminal justice training schools approved by the Department;

      15. Conduct and stimulate research by public and private agencies which shall be designed to improve police administration and law enforcement;

      16. Make recommendations concerning any matter within its purview pursuant to this chapter;

      17. Coordinate its activities with those of any interstate system for the exchange of criminal history record information, nominate one or more of its members to serve upon the council or committee of any such system, and participate when and as deemed appropriate in any such system's activities and programs;

      18. Conduct inquiries and investigations it deems appropriate to carry out its functions under this chapter and, in conducting such inquiries and investigations, may require any criminal justice agency to submit information, reports, and statistical data with respect to its policy and operation of information systems or with respect to its collection, storage, dissemination, and usage of criminal history record information and correctional status information, and such criminal justice agencies shall submit such information, reports, and data as are reasonably required;

      19. Conduct audits as required by 9.1-131;

      20. Conduct a continuing study and review of questions of individual privacy and confidentiality of criminal history record information and correctional status information;

      21. Advise criminal justice agencies and initiate educational programs for such agencies with respect to matters of privacy, confidentiality, and security as they pertain to criminal history record information and correctional status information;

      22. Maintain a liaison with any board, commission, committee, or other body which may be established by law, executive order, or resolution to regulate the privacy and security of information collected by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof;

      23. Adopt regulations establishing guidelines and standards for the collection, storage, and dissemination of criminal history record information and correctional status information, and the privacy, confidentiality, and security thereof necessary to implement state and federal statutes, regulations, and court orders;

      24. Operate a statewide criminal justice research center, which shall maintain an integrated criminal justice information system, produce reports, provide technical assistance to state and local criminal justice data system users, and provide analysis and interpretation of criminal justice statistical information;

      25. Develop a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan for strengthening and improving law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice throughout the Commonwealth, and periodically update that plan;

      26. Cooperate with, and advise and assist, all agencies, departments, boards and institutions of the Commonwealth, and units of general local government, or combinations thereof, including planning district commissions, in planning, developing, and administering programs, projects, comprehensive plans, and other activities for improving law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice throughout the Commonwealth, including allocating and subgranting funds for these purposes;

      27. Define, develop, organize, encourage, conduct, coordinate, and administer programs, projects and activities for the Commonwealth and units of general local government, or combinations thereof, in the Commonwealth, designed to strengthen and improve law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice at every level throughout the Commonwealth;

      28. Review and evaluate programs, projects, and activities, and recommend, where necessary, revisions or alterations to such programs, projects, and activities for the purpose of improving law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice;

      29. Coordinate the activities and projects of the state departments, agencies, and boards of the Commonwealth and of the units of general local government, or combination thereof, including planning district commissions, relating to the preparation, adoption, administration, and implementation of comprehensive plans to strengthen and improve law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice;

      30. Do all things necessary on behalf of the Commonwealth and its units of general local government, to determine and secure benefits available under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-351, 82 Stat. 197), as amended, and under any other federal acts and programs for strengthening and improving law enforcement, the administration of criminal justice, and delinquency prevention and control;

      31. Receive, administer, and expend all funds and other assistance available to the Board and the Department for carrying out the purposes of this chapter and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended;

      32. Apply for and accept grants from the United States government or any other source in carrying out the purposes of this chapter and accept any and all donations both real and personal, and grants of money from any governmental unit or public agency, or from any institution, person, firm or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any arrangements pursuant to this section shall be detailed in the annual report of the Board. Such report shall include the identity of the donor, the nature of the transaction, and the conditions, if any. Any moneys received pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the state treasury to the account of the Department. To these ends, the Board shall have the power to comply with conditions and execute such agreements as may be necessary;

      33. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and execution of its powers under this chapter, including but not limited to, contracts with the United States, units of general local government or combinations thereof, in Virginia or other states, and with agencies and departments of the Commonwealth;

      34. Adopt and administer reasonable regulations for the planning and implementation of programs and activities and for the allocation, expenditure and subgranting of funds available to the Commonwealth and to units of general local government, and for carrying out the purposes of this chapter and the powers and duties set forth herein;

      35. Certify and decertify law-enforcement officers in accordance with 15.2-1706 and 15.2-1707;

      36. Establish training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel in the handling of family abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking cases, including standards for determining the predominant physical aggressor in accordance with 19.2-81.3. The Department shall provide technical support and assistance to law-enforcement agencies in carrying out the requirements set forth in 9.1-1301 and shall by December 1, 2009, submit a report on the status of implementation of these requirements to the chairmen of the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees;

      37. Establish training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel in communicating with and facilitating the safe return of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease;

      38. Establish compulsory training standards for basic training and the recertification of law-enforcement officers to ensure sensitivity to and awareness of cultural diversity and the potential for biased policing;

      39. Review and evaluate community-policing programs in the Commonwealth, and recommend where necessary statewide operating procedures, guidelines, and standards which strengthen and improve such programs, including sensitivity to and awareness of cultural diversity and the potential for biased policing;

      40. Publish and disseminate a model policy or guideline that may be used by state and local agencies to ensure that law-enforcement personnel are sensitive to and aware of cultural diversity and the potential for biased policing;

      41. [Expired.]

      42. Establish a Virginia Law-Enforcement Accreditation Center. The Center may, in cooperation with Virginia law-enforcement agencies, provide technical assistance and administrative support, including staffing, for the establishment of voluntary state law-enforcement accreditation standards. The Center may provide accreditation assistance and training, resource material, and research into methods and procedures that will assist the Virginia law-enforcement community efforts to obtain Virginia accreditation status;

      43. Promote community policing philosophy and practice throughout the Commonwealth by providing community policing training and technical assistance statewide to all law-enforcement agencies, community groups, public and private organizations and citizens; developing and distributing innovative policing curricula and training tools on general community policing philosophy and practice and contemporary critical issues facing Virginia communities; serving as a consultant to Virginia organizations with specific community policing needs; facilitating continued development and implementation of community policing programs statewide through discussion forums for community policing leaders, development of law-enforcement instructors; promoting a statewide community policing initiative; and serving as a statewide information source on the subject of community policing including, but not limited to periodic newsletters, a website and an accessible lending library;

      44. Establish, in consultation with the Department of Education and the Virginia State Crime Commission, compulsory minimum standards for employment and job-entry and in-service training curricula and certification requirements for school security officers, which training and certification shall be administered by the Virginia Center for School Safety pursuant to 9.1-184. Such training standards shall include, but shall not be limited to, the role and responsibility of school security officers, relevant state and federal laws, school and personal liability issues, security awareness in the school environment, mediation and conflict resolution, disaster and emergency response, and student behavioral dynamics. The Department shall establish an advisory committee consisting of local school board representatives, principals, superintendents, and school security personnel to assist in the development of these standards and certification requirements;

      45. Establish training standards and publish a model policy and protocols for local and regional sexual assault response teams;

      46. License and regulate property bail bondsmen and surety bail bondsmen in accordance with Article 11 ( 9.1-185 et seq.);

      47. License and regulate bail enforcement agents in accordance with Article 12 ( 9.1-186 et seq.);

      48. In conjunction with the Virginia State Police and the State Compensation Board, advise criminal justice agencies regarding the investigation, registration, and dissemination of information requirements as they pertain to the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act ( 9.1-900 et seq.);

      49. Establish minimum standards for (i) employment, (ii) job-entry and in-service training curricula, and (iii) certification requirements for campus security officers. Such training standards shall include, but not be limited to, the role and responsibility of campus security officers, relevant state and federal laws, school and personal liability issues, security awareness in the campus environment, and disaster and emergency response. The Department shall provide technical support and assistance to campus police departments and campus security departments on the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures, including but not limited to: the management of such departments, investigatory procedures, judicial referrals, the establishment and management of databases for campus safety and security information sharing, and development of uniform record keeping for disciplinary records and statistics, such as campus crime logs, judicial referrals and Clery Act statistics. The Department shall establish an advisory committee consisting of college administrators, college police chiefs, college security department chiefs, and local law-enforcement officials to assist in the development of the standards and certification requirements and training pursuant to this subdivision;

      50. Establish compulsory training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel regarding death notification;

      51. Assess and report, in accordance with 9.1-190, the crisis intervention team programs established pursuant to 9.1-187;

      52. Establish, publish, and disseminate a model policy or guideline for law-enforcement personnel for questioning individuals suspected of driving while intoxicated concerning the physical location of that individual's last consumption of an alcoholic beverage and for communicating that information to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board;

      53. Establish training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel assigned to vehicle patrol duties that embody current best practices for pursuits and for responding to emergency calls;

      54. Establish training standards and publish a model policy for law-enforcement personnel involved in criminal investigations that embody current best practices for conducting photographic and live lineups;

      55. In conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, advise law-enforcement agencies and attorneys for the Commonwealth regarding the identification, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking offenses using the common law and existing criminal statutes in the Code of Virginia; and

      56. Register tow truck drivers in accordance with 46.2-116 and carry out the provisions of 46.2-117; and

      57. Perform such other acts as may be necessary or convenient for the effective performance of its duties.

      46.2-116. Registration with Department of Criminal Justice Services required for tow truck drivers; penalty.

      A. As used in this section and 46.2-117, 46.2-118, and 46.2-119:

      "Consumer" means a person who (i) has vested ownership, dominion, or title to the vehicle; (ii) is the authorized agent of the owner as defined in clause (i); or (iii) is an employee, agent, or representative of an insurance company representing any party involved in a collision that resulted in a police-requested tow who represents in writing that the insurance company had obtained the oral or written consent of the title owner or his agent or the lessee of the vehicle to obtain possession of the vehicle.

      "Department" means the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

      "Tow truck driver" means an individual who drives a tow truck as defined in 46.2-100.

      "Towing and recovery operator" means any person engaging in the business of providing or offering to provide services involving the use of a tow truck and services incidental to use of a tow truck. "Towing and recovery operator" shall not include a franchised motor vehicle dealer as defined in 46.2-1500 using a tow truck owned by a dealer when transporting a vehicle to or from a repair facility owned by the dealer when the dealer does not receive compensation from the vehicle owner for towing of the vehicle or when transporting a vehicle in which the dealer has an ownership or security interest.

      B. On and after January 1, 2013, no tow truck driver shall drive any tow truck without being registered with the Department, except that this requirement shall not apply to any holder of a tow truck driver authorization document issued pursuant to former 46.2-2814 until the expiration date of such document. Every applicant for an initial registration or renewal of registration pursuant to this section shall submit his registration application, fingerprints, and personal descriptive information to the Department and a nonrefundable application fee of $100. The Department shall forward the personal descriptive information along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining a national criminal history record check regarding such applicant. The cost of the fingerprinting and criminal history record check shall be paid by the applicant.

      The Central Criminal Records Exchange, upon receipt of an applicant's record or notification that no record exists, shall make a report to the Department. If an applicant is denied registration as a tow truck driver because of the information appearing in his criminal history record, the Department shall notify the applicant that information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange contributed to such denial. The information shall not be disseminated except as provided in this section.

      C. No registration shall be issued to any person who (i) is required to register as a sex offender as provided in 9.1-901 or in a substantially similar law of any other state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction; (ii) has been convicted of a violent crime as defined in subsection C of 17.1-805; or (iii) has been convicted of any crime involving the driving of a tow truck, including drug or alcohol offenses, but not traffic infraction convictions. Any person registered pursuant to this section shall report to the Department within 10 days of conviction any convictions for felonies or misdemeanors that occur while he is registered with the Department.

      D. Any tow truck driver failing to register with the Department as required by this section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. A tow truck driver registered with the Department shall have such registration in his possession whenever driving a tow truck on the highways.

      E. Registrations issued by the Department pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period not to exceed 24 months, unless revoked or suspended by the Department in accordance with 46.2-117.

      46.2-117. Revocation and suspension of registration of tow truck driver; notice and hearing; assessment of costs.

      A. Upon receipt of written notice from the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Office of the Attorney General that it has obtained a civil judgment against a tow truck driver for a violation of subsection A of 46.2-118 or 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1 or upon the failure of a tow truck driver to report to the Department within 10 days any conviction for a felony or misdemeanor that occurred while he is registered in accordance with 46.2-116, the Department may revoke or suspend the registration of a tow truck driver after notice and hearing as provided in subsection C.

      B. Furthermore, the Department shall, after notice and hearing as provided in subsection C, revoke or suspend the registration of a tow truck driver for:

      1. Conviction of any crime for which a person must register as a sex offender as provided in 9.1-901 or in a substantially similar law of any other state, the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction;

      2. Conviction of a violent crime as defined in subsection C of 17.1-805; or

      3. Conviction of any crime involving the driving of a tow truck, including drug or alcohol offenses, but not traffic infraction convictions.

      C. Before suspending or revoking any registration, reasonable notice of such proposed action shall be given to the tow truck driver by the Department in accordance with the provisions of 2.2-4020 of the Administrative Process Act. In suspending or revoking the registration of a tow truck driver, the Department may assess the tow truck driver the cost of conducting the hearing unless the Department determines that the violation was inadvertent or done in a good faith belief that such act did not violate a statute. Any costs assessed by the Department shall be limited to (i) the reasonable hourly rate of the hearing officer and (ii) the actual cost of recording the hearing.

      46.2-118. Prohibited acts by tow truck drivers and towing and recovery operators.

      A. No tow truck driver shall:

      1. Use fraud or deceit in the offering or delivering of towing and recovery services;

      2. Conduct his business or offer services in such a manner as to endanger the health and welfare of the public;

      3. Use alcohol or drugs to the extent such use renders him unsafe to provide towing and recovery services;

      4. Obtain any fee by fraud or misrepresentation;

      5. Remove or tow a trespassing vehicle, as provided in 46.2-1231, or a vehicle towed or removed at the request of a law-enforcement officer to any location outside the Commonwealth; or

      6. Violate, or assist, induce, or cooperate with others to violate, any provision of law related to the offering or delivery of towing and recovery services.

      B. No towing and recovery operator shall:

      1. Use fraud or deceit in the offering or delivering of towing and recovery services;

      2. Conduct his business or offer services in such a manner as to endanger the health and welfare of the public;

      3. Use alcohol or drugs to the extent such use renders him unsafe to provide towing and recovery services;

      4. Neglect to maintain on record at the towing and recovery operator's principal office a list of all drivers employed by the towing and recovery operator;

      5. Obtain any fee by fraud or misrepresentation;

      6. Advertise services in any manner that deceives, misleads, or defrauds the public;

      7. Advertise or offer services under a name other than one's own name;

      8. Fail to accept for payment cash, insurance company check, certified check, money order, or at least one of two commonly used, nationally recognized credit cards, except those towing and recovery operators who have an annual gross income of less than $10,000 derived from the performance of towing and recovery services shall not be required to accept credit cards, other than when providing police-requested towing as defined in 46.2-1217, but shall be required to accept personal checks;

      9. Fail to display at the towing and recovery operator's principal office in a conspicuous place a listing of all towing, recovery, and processing fees for vehicles;

      10. Fail to have readily available at the towing and recovery operator's principal office, at the customer's request, the maximum fees normally charged by the towing and recovery operator for basic services for towing and initial hookup of vehicles;

      11. Knowingly charge excessive fees for towing, storage, or administrative services or charge fees for services not rendered;

      12. Fail to maintain all towing records, which shall include itemized fees, for a period of one year from the date of service;

      13. Willfully invoice payment for any services not stipulated or otherwise incorporated in a contract for services rendered between the towing and recovery operator and any locality or political subdivision of the Commonwealth;

      14. Employ a driver required to register as a sex offender as provided in 9.1-901;

      15. Remove or tow a trespassing vehicle, as provided in 46.2-1231, or a vehicle towed or removed at the request of a law-enforcement officer to any location outside the Commonwealth;

      16. Refuse, at the towing and recovery operator's place of business, to make change, up to $100, for the owner of the vehicle towed without the owner's consent if the owner pays in cash for charges for towing and storage of the vehicle;

      17. Violate, or assist, induce, or cooperate with others to violate, any provision of law related to the offering or delivery of towing and recovery services; or

      18. Fail to provide the owner of a stolen vehicle written notice of his right under law to be reimbursed for towing and storage of his vehicle out of the state treasury from the appropriation for criminal charges as required in 46.2-1209.

      46.2-119. Complaints against tow truck drivers or towing and recovery operators; enforcement by the Office of the Attorney General.

      A. Any consumer aggrieved by the actions of a (i) tow truck driver for an alleged violation of subsection A of 46.2-118 or 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1 or (ii) towing and recovery operator for an alleged violation of subsection B of 46.2-118 or 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1 may file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Office of the Attorney General for appropriate action in accordance with this section and any other applicable law.

      B. The Attorney General may cause an action to be brought in the appropriate circuit court in the name of the Commonwealth to enjoin any violation of 46.2-118, 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1. The circuit court having jurisdiction may enjoin such violations notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law. In any action under this section, it shall not be necessary that damages or intent be proved to establish a violation. The standard of proof at trial shall be a preponderance of the evidence. The circuit court may issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of 46.2-118, 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1.

      C. In any action brought under this section, the Attorney General may recover damages and such other relief allowed by law, including restitution on behalf of consumers injured by violations of 46.2-118, 46.2-1217, 46.2-1231, or 46.2-1233.1, as well as costs and reasonable expenses incurred by the Commonwealth in investigating and preparing the case, including attorney fees.

      46.2-1206. Surrender of certificate of title, etc., where motor vehicle acquired for demolition; records to be kept by demolisher or scrap metal processor.

      No demolisher or scrap metal processor who purchases or otherwise acquires a motor vehicle for wrecking, dismantling, or demolition shall be required to obtain a certificate of title for the motor vehicle in his own name. After the motor vehicle has been demolished, processed, or changed so that it physically is no longer a motor vehicle, the demolisher or scrap metal processor shall surrender to the Department for cancellation the certificate of title, Vehicle Removal Certificate, properly executed vehicle disposition history, or sales receipt from a foreign jurisdiction for the vehicle. The Department shall issue the appropriate forms for the surrender of sales receipts, certificates of title, vehicle disposition histories, and vehicle removal certificates.

      Demolishers and scrap metal processors shall keep accurate and complete records, in accordance with 46.2-1608, of all motor vehicles purchased or received by them in the course of their business. Demolishers and scrap metal processors shall also collect and verify:

      1. The towing company's name and, if applicable, the license number issued to the towing company by the Virginia Board for Towing and Recovery Operators,;

      2. One of the ownership or possession documents set out in this section following verification of its accuracy, and;

      3. The driver's license of the person delivering the motor vehicle. If the delivering vehicle does not possess a license number issued by the Virginia Board for Towing and Recovery Operators, the; and

      4. The license plate number of the vehicle that delivered the motor vehicle or scrap shall also be collected and maintained.

      In addition, a photocopy or electronic copy of the appropriate ownership document or a Vehicle Removal Certificate presented by the customer shall be maintained. Ownership documents shall consist of either a motor vehicle title or a sales receipt from a foreign jurisdiction or a vehicle disposition history. These records shall be maintained in a permanent ledger in a manner acceptable to the Department at the place of business or at another readily accessible and secure location within the Commonwealth for at least five years. The personal identifying information contained within these records shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure through the ultimate destruction of the information. Disclosure of personal identifying information by anyone other than the Department is subject to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S.C. 2721 et seq.).

      If requested by a law-enforcement officer, a licensee shall make available, during regular business hours, a report of all the purchases of motor vehicles. Each report shall include the information set out in this chapter and be available electronically or in an agreed-upon format. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or who falsifies any of the information required to be maintained by this article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense. Any licensee or scrap metal processor who is found guilty of second or subsequent violations shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Department shall also assess a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Those penalties shall be paid into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

      If the vehicle identification number has been altered, is missing, or appears to have been otherwise tampered with, the demolisher or scrap metal processor shall take no further action with regard to the vehicle except to safeguard it in its then-existing condition and shall promptly notify the Department. The Department shall, after an investigation has been made, notify the demolisher or scrap metal processor whether the motor vehicle can be freed from this limitation. In no event shall the motor vehicle be disassembled, demolished, processed, or otherwise modified or removed prior to authorization by the Department. If the vehicle is a motorcycle, the demolisher or scrap metal processor shall cause to be noted on the title or salvage certificate, certifying on the face of the document, in addition to the above requirements, the frame number of the motorcycle and motor number, if available.

      46.2-1217. Local governing body may regulate certain towing.

      The governing body of any county, city, or town by ordinance may regulate services rendered pursuant to police towing requests by any business engaged in the towing or storage of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. The ordinance may include delineation of service areas for towing services, the limitation of the number of persons engaged in towing services in any area, including the creation of one or more exclusive service areas, and the specification of equipment to be used for providing towing service. The governing body of any county, city, or town may contract for services rendered pursuant to a police towing request with one or more businesses engaged in the towing or storage of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. The contract may specify the fees or charges to be paid by the owner or operator of a towed vehicle to the person undertaking its towing or storage and may prescribe the geographical area to be served by each person providing towing services. The county, city, or town may establish criteria for eligibility of persons to enter into towing services contracts and, in its discretion, may itself provide exclusive towing and storage service for police-requested towing of unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicles. Such criteria shall, for drivers of tow trucks and towing and recovery operators, be no less restrictive than those established pursuant to Chapter 28 ( 46.2-2800 et seq.) of this title and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

      Prior to adopting an ordinance or entering into a contract pursuant to this section, the local governing body shall appoint an advisory board to advise the governing body with regard to the appropriate provisions of the ordinance or terms of the contract. The advisory board shall include representatives of local law-enforcement agencies, towing and recovery operators, and the general public.

      "Police-requested towing" or "police towing request," as used in this section, includes all requests made by a law-enforcement officer of the county, city, or town or by a State Police officer within the county, city, or town pursuant to this article or Article 2 ( 46.2-1209 et seq.) of this chapter and towing requests made by a law-enforcement officer at the request of the owner or operator of an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle, when no specific service provider is requested by such owner or operator.

      If an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle is located so as to impede the free flow of traffic on a highway declared by resolution of the Commonwealth Transportation Board to be a portion of the interstate highway system and a law-enforcement officer determines, in his discretion, that the business or businesses authorized to undertake the towing or storage of the vehicle pursuant to an ordinance or contract adopted pursuant to this section cannot respond in a timely manner, the law-enforcement officer may request towing or storage service from a towing or storage business other than those authorized by such ordinance or contract.

      If an unattended, abandoned, or immobile vehicle is towed as the result of a police-towing request, the owner or person having control of the business or property to which the vehicle is towed shall allow the owner of the vehicle or any other towing and recovery business, upon presentation of a written request therefor from the owner of the vehicle, to have access to the vehicle for the purpose of inspecting or towing the vehicle to another location for the purpose of repair, storage, or disposal. For the purpose of this section, "owner of the vehicle" means a person who (i) has vested ownership, dominion, or title to the vehicle; (ii) is the authorized agent of the owner as defined in clause (i); or (iii) is an employee, agent, or representative of an insurance company representing any party involved in a collision that resulted in a police-requested tow who represents in writing that the insurance company has obtained the oral or written consent of the title owner or his agent or the lessee of the vehicle to obtain possession of the vehicle. It shall be unlawful for any towing and recovery business to refuse to release a vehicle to the owner as defined in this section upon tender of full payment for all lawful charges by cash, insurance company check, certified check, money order, at least one of two commonly used, nationally recognized credit cards, or additional methods of payment approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Thereafter, if a towing and recovery business refuses to release the vehicle, future charges related to storage or handling of the vehicle by such towing and recovery business shall be suspended and no longer payable.

      The vehicle owner who has vested ownership, dominion, or title to the vehicle shall indemnify and hold harmless the towing and recovery operator from any and all liability for releasing the vehicle to any vehicle owner as defined in this section for inspecting or towing the vehicle to another location for the purpose of repair, storage, or disposal.

      59.1-473. Legal action or arbitration.

      A. The remedies afforded by this chapter are cumulative and not exclusive and shall be in addition to any other legal or equitable remedies otherwise available to the consumer.

      B. In addition to any other remedies otherwise available to him, any consumer who suffers loss as a result of any violation of this chapter may bring an action to recover damages. Such damages may also be recovered through the arbitration mechanism described in subsection C.

      C. All persons subject to this chapter shall have the option of submitting any disputes arising under the provisions of this chapter to the arbitration mechanism established and administered by the Dispute Resolution Unit of the Office of Consumer Affairs, Division of Consumer Protection, pursuant to subdivision B 3 2 of 3.2-102. Such mechanism shall ensure that the arbitration is conducted by a neutral third party.

    6. After line 10888, substitute

      insert

        115.  That the Governor may transfer any employee within a state agency established, abolished or otherwise affected by the provisions of this act, or from one such agency to another, to support the changes in organization or responsibility resulting from or required by the provisions of this act.

        116.  That the provisions of this act shall be deemed to have been enacted prior to any other legislation enacted by the 2012 Session of the General Assembly that adds to, repeals, or amends and reenacts any portion of this act. Any such other legislation enacted shall be deemed to have so added to, repealed, or amended and reenacted this act.

         

        Respectfully submitted,

        Senator Ryan T. McDougle

        Senator Stephen H. Martin

        Senator J. Chapman Petersen

        Conferees on the part of the Senate

        Delegate C. Todd Gilbert

        Delegate S. Chris Jones

        Delegate Matthew James

        Conferees on the part of the House


Legislative Information System