Bills eroding governmental immunity defeated in House and Senate

February 2, 2021

Two bills that sought to erode longstanding principles of governmental immunity – HB 2045 (Bourne) and SB 1440 (Surovell) – have been defeated. VACo previously wrote about these bills in the 2021 Legislative Bulletin as well as a January 29 Capitol Contact Alert.

HB 2045 (Bourne) was heard by the House Courts of Justice Committee’s Civil Subcommittee on January 29, where it was laid on the table by a vote of 6-2.  A letter will be sent from the subcommittee to the Chair of the Virginia Crime Commission, encouraging that body to take up the issue this year and continue to work on it prior to the 2022 legislative session.

SB 1440 (Surovell) was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 1, where it was passed by indefinitely by a vote of 9-5.  In voting to defeat the measure, Committee members agreed that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Civil Law Subcommittee should take up the issue after the session concludes to further study the topic.  Members noted that the subcommittee was a more proper venue for the study, as the issue is a civil law matter, and not criminal in nature.

VACo opposed these bills and was joined in opposition by a wide array of stakeholders, including representatives from VML, the Virginia Sheriffs Association, the Virginia Law Enforcement Sheriffs Association, the Virginia State Police Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association, and the Virginia Retail Federation.

VACo Contacts: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE and Chris McDonald, Esq.

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