Unmanned aircraft systems; use by public bodies during execution of a search warrant, exception. (SB1301)

Introduced By

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond) with support from co-patron Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Limitations on use of drone aircraft; penalties. Creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for the operation, manufacture, sale, or distribution of an unmanned aircraft system (drone) as a weapon or to deliver a weapon. The bill provides that no governmental agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal or regulatory violations, including the Department of State Police, nor any local law-enforcement department, may 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 governmental use of such an aircraft. Law-enforcement officers and other public officials may operate a public unmanned aircraft system and disclose personal information from such operation under certain emergency situations without a warrant. The bill also provides that it is not unlawful for a public institution of higher education or other research organizations and institutions to operate a drone aircraft solely for research and development purposes. The bill contains extensive procedural guarantees against the release of personal information and establishes reporting requirements by agencies and courts with respect to use of and data collected by such aircraft. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/14/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15102937D
01/14/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/30/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB1301)
02/09/2015Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (12-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2015Committee substitute printed 15104945D-S1
02/10/2015Read second time
02/10/2015Reading of substitute waived
02/10/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15104945D-S1
02/10/2015Passed by temporarily
02/10/2015Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1301S1
02/10/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2015Passed Senate (21-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2015Placed on Calendar
02/12/2015Read first time
02/12/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/13/2015Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2015Committee substitute printed 15105072D-H1
02/16/2015Read second time
02/17/2015Passed by for the day
02/18/2015Passed by for the day
02/18/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB1301H1)
02/19/2015Passed by for the day
02/20/2015Passed by for the day
02/23/2015Passed by for the day
02/24/2015Read third time
02/24/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15105072D-H1
02/24/2015Amendments by Delegate Cline agreed to
02/24/2015Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendments SB1301H1
02/24/2015Passed House with substitute with amendments (99-Y 0-N)
02/24/2015VOTE: PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2015House substitute with amendments agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2015Title replaced 15105072D-H1
03/06/2015Enrolled
03/06/2015Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1301ER)
03/06/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB1301ER)
03/06/2015Signed by Speaker
03/07/2015Signed by President
03/10/2015Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on 3/10/15
03/10/2015G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Sunday, March 29, 2015
03/27/2015Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/14/2015Placed on Calendar
04/15/2015Senate rejected Governor's recommendations #1,#2,#4 (12-Y 27-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015Senate rejected Governor's recommendation #3 (17-Y 22-N) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015Reconsideration of Governor's recommendation #3 agreed to (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015Senate rejected Governor's recommendation #3 (17-Y 23-N) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015Communicated to Governor
04/30/2015G Approved by Governor-Chapter 774 (effective 7/1/15)
04/30/2015G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0774)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 5 clips in all, totaling 27 minutes.

Comments

ACLU-VA Privacy Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports this legislation that regulates the use of drones by government agencies. The legislation requires a search warrant for drone use by law or regulatory enforcement agencies and establishes reporting requirements so that the public is aware of the uses being made of drones. The bill also requires approval to purchase drones from the legislature or local governing bodies as appropriate. The bill also makes it a crime for any person to operate a weaponized drone in the Commonwealth.

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports this legislation that regulates the use of drones by government agencies. The legislation requires a search warrant for drone use by law or regulatory enforcement agencies and establishes reporting requirements so that the public is aware of the uses being made of drones. The bill also requires approval to purchase drones from the legislature or local governing bodies as appropriate. The bill also makes it a crime for any person to operate a weaponized drone in the Commonwealth.