Keam Begins Third Term, Introduces 10 Bills

Proposed laws deal with a variety of issues, from cyberbullying to FOIA requests.

Del. Mark Keam, D-Vienna, represents part of McLean in the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond. Photo courtesy Keam's office
Del. Mark Keam, D-Vienna, represents part of McLean in the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond. Photo courtesy Keam's office

Virginia state Del. Mark L. Keam, a Vienna Democrat whose district includes part of McLean, started his third term in the state House by introducing 10 bills dealing with an array of topics, from cyberbullying to Freedom of Information requests.

In January 2010, Keam began his service in House of Delegates as the most junior member — assigned number 100 out of 100 members in the House. Now, he ranks 64 in seniority.

Keam sits on four House committees. He already served on the finance, education and agriculture committees, and this year he was also added to the House Courts of Justice Committee.

Only four out of 33 House Democrats hold four committee memberships, according to Keam's office.

Keam's office released the following information about the 10 bills he introduced:

HB 829 would prohibit the sale or use of automated sales suppression devices, which are electronic tools that help criminals falsify records of cash registers to avoid paying the full amount of sales taxes owed to the state.

HB 830 would prohibit any employer from denying initial employment based on the applicant’s military status, in an effort to reduce unacceptably high rate of unemployment among our military veterans.

HB 831 would create a working group to study and make recommendations related to the provision of care for individuals with dementia residing in nursing homes and facilities in the Commonwealth, as more and more Virginians live longer while facing a shortage of qualified caretakers.

HB 832 would create a working group to study the effectiveness of communication and cooperation among law enforcement and behavioral health services providers in an effort to create a seamless web of services for all Virginians who face dangerous mental health challenges.

HB 833 would create a new category of leave for workers called, “Safe Days,” which would allow employees to take paid days off to seek medical attention or counseling assistance should they become victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

HB 834 would expand the existing Virginia law that prohibits harassment by computer to also include bullying behavior as that term is already defined in Virginia law, to address “cyber bullying.”

HB 835 would add the presence of any underground pipelines or storage tanks carrying hazardous material such as natural gas or oil to the list of items to be disclosed by owners or sellers of residential properties, to raise awareness of such potential hazards to homeowners.

HB 836 would provide workers with the option of receiving their pay from their employers through prepaid debit cards, instead of the current policy that allows employers to choose the debit card payment option for their workers.

HB 837 would amend the Virginia Freedom of Information Act by requiring government agencies to post on their websites a range of charges that they may assess to members of the public for complying with FOIA requests.

HB 838 would address an inconsistency in the voting process by treating all absentee ballots to be accepted the same way, whether they were mailed to Virginia from within the Unites States or from overseas.


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