Right to Farm Act. Expands the definition of agricultural operations to include the commerce of farm-to-business and farm-to-consumer sales. The commerce and sale of certain items, such as art, literature, artifacts, furniture, food, beverages, and other items that are incidental to the agricultural operation, and constitute less than a majority amount of production or sales, or less than a majority of annual revenues from such sales, are defined as part of the agricultural operation. The bill gives persons engaged in agricultural operations a cause of action against the county or any official or employee of the county for violations of the Right to Farm Act. Two provisions of the bill are retroactively effective to the original enactment of the Right to Farm Act on July 1, 1981. The first is expansion of the definition of agricultural operation; the second asserts that any ordinance directed at persons, property, or activity on land that is zoned agricultural or silvicultural that seeks to restrict free speech or the right to assembly, among other rights, is null and void.
MEMBERS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE:
Sherwood (Chairman), Ware, R.L., Wright, Orrock, Scott, E.T., Marshall, D.W., Poindexter, Pogge, Knight, Edmunds, Wilt, Morefield, Webert, Ransone, Fariss, Plum, Lewis, Bulova, Sickles, James, Torian, Keam
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., House Room C
Limitations on use of drone aircraft. Provides that no state agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations, including but not limited to the Department of State Police nor any department of law enforcement of any city, county or town, shall procure a public unmanned aircraft system (drone aircraft) without the approval of the General Assembly or the local governing body, respectively. The bill requires a warrant for use of such an aircraft. The bill also provides that it is not unlawful for any law-enforcement officer or other public official to operate a public unmanned aircraft system and disclose personal information from such operation if such officer reasonably determines that an emergency situation exists that involves immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person and the situation requires operation of a public unmanned aircraft system before a warrant authorizing such interception can, with due diligence, be obtained and there are grounds upon which such a warrant could be entered to authorize such operation. The bill also provides that it is not unlawful for a public institution of higher education to operate a public unmanned aircraft system solely for research or academic purposes. The bill also contains extensive procedural guarantees against release of personal information and contains reporting requirements by agencies and courts with respect to use of and data collected by such aircraft.
Drones; moratorium. Places a moratorium on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local law enforcement and regulatory entities until July 1, 2014.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1/2 hour after adjournment, House Room C
Prevent infringement of private property rights under the United Nations Agenda 21. Precludes the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from adopting or implementing policy recommendations as may be required by the United Nations' Agenda 21 that infringe upon or restrict private property rights without due process.
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m., 6th Floor Speaker's Conference Room
Electric utilities; advanced meters. Prohibits any electric utility from installing an advanced meter on a customer's premises or requiring a customer to use any advanced meter unless the customer has requested it. An advanced meter is a meter that is capable of measuring, recording, storing, and reporting usage according to predetermined time criteria and that allows two-way communications suited for demand-response programs. Electric utilities are also required to uninstall an advanced meter at a customer's request; prohibited from giving any meter use data from an advanced meter to any person other than the electric utility; prohibited from shutting off service to a customer based on the amount of electricity the customer uses or the customer not having or using an advanced meter; prohibited from imposing any disincentive on a customer for not agreeing to the installation or use of an advanced meter; prohibited from obtaining data from an advanced meter more than once per month unless requested by a customer; and required to notify customers in writing that the installation and use of an advanced meter is not mandated by state law and is not permitted without the customer's request. The measure also repeals an existing provision that prohibits an investor-owned electric utility participating in an energy efficiency program from connecting advanced metering technology and equipment on the customer's side of the interconnection without the customer's express consent.
Monday, 1/2 hour after adjournment, Senate Room B
Detention and removal of a citizen from the Commonwealth by the federal government. Provides that the Secretary of Public Safety shall request from the U.S. Secretary of Defense that, when an agency of the federal government detains any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-81, § 1021 [providing for detention of any person "who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks" or "who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces"]), the U.S. Secretary of Defense shall provide notification within 12 hours of the detention to both the Secretary of Public Safety and the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained and that the U.S. Secretary of Defense or his designee shall seek authorization from the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained prior to removal of the citizen from the locality. The bill also provides that if the U.S. Secretary of Defense fails to comply with either such request, funds appropriated for implementation or continuation of memoranda of understanding entered into by cabinet secretaries shall be contingent upon authorization by an act of the General Assembly in a subsequent year.