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Legislation Update: Senate Bill 154 and House Bill 1173

Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:00 am

Since last week, there has been movement on two pieces of legislation that are of interest to the local area. This is where they stand:

• The Sunday Hunting bill, Senate Bill 154, introduced by
Phillip Puckett (D-38), passed the Virginia Senate
29-10. The bill would allow Sunday hunting under certain
circumstances: a person may hunt waterfowl, subject to the re-
strictions that are imposed by the Director of the Department
of Game and Inland Fisheries as well as by a landowner and
his immediate family; or a person with written permission may
hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including nuisance
species, if they hunt on the landowner’s property. But people
cannot hunt within 200 yards of a house of worship, nor can
they hunt deer with dogs on Sunday. The legislation and its
sister bill, House Bill 1237, have met with stern opposition
from most constituents in the Northern Neck. Area’s represen-
tatives Del. Margaret Ransone, Sen. Richard Stuart and Sen.
Ryan McDougle have all opposed Sunday hunting.

• House Bill 1173, introduced by Del. Keith Hodges (R-98),
passed the Virginia House of Delegates 93-1.  The bill would
allow any locality that does not operate a municipal separate
sewer system (MS4) to opt out of establishing Virginia
Stormwater Management Programs. Those localities who opt
out would then have their stormwater programs managed by
the Department of Environmental Quality. The legislation
seeks to address concerns that representatives from the region
had with rural localities managing their own programs, includ-
ing the up-front costs associated with engineer contracts as
well as site plans. As of press time, the Senate is considering
the bill. An emergency clause that was attached to HB 1173
during House sessions would make the legislation, if signed by
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va), effective immediately.