Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will visit the Annandale campus of on Tuesday as part of his "Virginia: Growing Strong" statewide tour.
McDonnell will sign several pieces of legislation, including bills that would protect victims of sexual and domestic violence and human trafficking, at 2:30 p.m. in the after his morning visit to Fredericksburg Machine and Steel, according to a press release on his website.
Several local Annandale representatives will attend the signing, including Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th) and Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, along with NOVA Community College President Dr. Robert Templin, Jr. and NOVA-Annandale Campus Provost Dr. Barbara Saperstone.
McDonnell will sign several bills on Tuesday including:
- HB1188 / SB259, a human-trafficking bill from Watts and Del. Adam Ebbin (D-30th), respectively, that would require the Board of Education and the Department of Social Services to give awareness and training materials to all for local school staff about human trafficking and preventing the trafficking of children.
- HB1200 from David Bulova (D-37th) which would require businesses "that provide entertainment commonly called stripteasing or topless entertaining or entertainment that has employees who are not clad above or below the waist" to post a notice with the telephone number of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline in a visible place.
- HB546 from Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th), a bill that expands the definition of a "predicate criminal act" to include prostitution.
- SB300 from Del. Janet Howell (D-32nd) which changes the provisions governing protective orders issued by a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia.
- HB969 / SB301 from Del. Robert Bell (R-58th) and Howell, respectively, which would require each Virginia attorney to invite chiefs of campus police to attend the the annual Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) meeting.
- HB965 / SB302 from Del. Robert Bell (R-58th) and Howell, respectively, which would require campus police to work in conjunction with local law enforcement to assist in the investigation of deaths and alleged rapes occurring on college campuses.
- HB1033 / SB445 from Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-71st) and Sen. Jill Holtman Vogel (R-27th), respectively, a bill that would require Circuit Court Clerks to electronically enter protective order information into the Virginia State Police’s Criminal Information Network (VCIN) by the end of the business day in order to protect victims of domestic violence without delay.
- HB752 / SB459 from Del. Benjamin Clin (R-24th) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-33rd), respectively, which would make strangulation offenses punishable as a Class 6 Felony.
McDonnell's statewide tour began Monday and will last through Saturday, ending at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia Beach. The tour is "aimed at highlighting private-sector growth around the Commonwealth and celebrating bipartisan successes from the recent General Assembly session," according to the release.
"Virginia is growing strong again," McDonnell said in the press release. "While difficult economic times are not completely behind us, and Virginia will continue to face challenges on the road to recovery, the Commonwealth is showing significant signs that it is growing strong again. My cabinet and I will be crisscrossing the state to thank Virginians for their great work through tough times, and to hear directly from them what we can do in Richmond to keep Virginia growing strong in the years ahead."
McDonnell's optimism about the state's successes and growth contrasts somewhat with the results of a new poll from The Washington Post, released Monday, that shows Virginians are less optimistic with McDonnell's leadership. According to the poll, 35 percent disapprove of his leadership and 44 percent of Virginians said they believe the state is headed in the wrong direction.
The Post also reports that McDonnell's approval rating with voters has dipped from 62 percent to 56 percent, a six-point difference.