Higher education; handling of sexual assault cases. (SB712)

Introduced By

Sen. Dick Black (R-Leesburg) with support from co-patrons Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria), Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), Sen. Toddy Puller (D-Mount Vernon), and Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Higher education; reporting of sexual assault; penalty. Requires any faculty member, administrator, or full-time staff member employed by a public institution of higher education who through the course of his employment obtains information alleging that a criminal sexual assault has occurred to report within 48 hours such information to law enforcement. The bill provides that a person in violation of the reporting requirement is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/04/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15101205D
12/04/2014Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/16/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB712)
01/20/2015Assigned Education sub: Higher Education
01/26/2015Reported from Education and Health with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/26/2015Committee substitute printed 15104284D-S1
01/26/2015Rereferred to Courts of Justice
01/26/2015Substitute bill reprinted 15104284D-S1
01/27/2015Incorporates SB734
01/27/2015Incorporates SB1252
01/27/2015Incorporates SB1275
01/27/2015Incorporates SB981
02/03/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB712S1)
02/09/2015Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2015Committee substitute printed 15104955D-S2
02/09/2015Incorporates SB734
02/09/2015Incorporates SB981
02/09/2015Incorporates SB1252
02/09/2015Incorporates SB1275
02/10/2015Read second time
02/10/2015Reading of substitute waived
02/10/2015Committee substitute rejected 15104284D-S1
02/10/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15104955D-S2
02/10/2015Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB712S2
02/10/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2015Passed Senate (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2015Assigned Education sub: Higher Education
02/12/2015Placed on Calendar
02/12/2015Read first time
02/12/2015Referred to Committee on Education
02/16/2015Reported from Education with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2015Committee substitute printed 15105075D-H1
02/17/2015Read second time
02/18/2015Read third time
02/18/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15105075D-H1
02/18/2015Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB712H1
02/18/2015Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (100-Y 0-N)
02/18/2015VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (100-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2015House substitute rejected by Senate (2-Y 36-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2015House insisted on substitute
02/23/2015House requested conference committee
02/24/2015Senate acceded to request (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2015Conferees appointed by Senate
02/24/2015Senators: Smith, Black, Cosgrove
02/25/2015Conferees appointed by House
02/25/2015Delegates: Bell, Robert B., Massie, Toscano
02/27/2015C Amended by conference committee
02/27/2015Conference substitute printed 15105673D-S3
02/27/2015Conference report agreed to by House (94-Y 0-N)
02/27/2015VOTE: ADOPTION (94-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2015Conference report agreed to by Senate (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/06/2015Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB712ER)
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
03/18/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB712ER)
03/27/2015Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/14/2015Placed on Calendar
04/15/2015Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015Passed by temporarily
04/15/2015House concurred in Governor's recommendation (98-Y 0-N)
04/15/2015VOTE: ADOPTION (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/15/2015G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/15/2015Reenrolled bill text (SB712ER2)
04/15/2015Signed by President as reenrolled
04/15/2015Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/15/2015Enacted, Chapter 745 (effective 7/1/15)
04/15/2015G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0745)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 7 minutes.


Safer Virginia writes:

Students in higher education institutions should be presumed intelligent enough to report crimes of all types, including sexual assault. Faculty and staff should not be placed in the role of policing the campus under threat of being found guilty of a crime if they fail to do so.

If colleges truly want to help students, professors should be trained to encourage them to seek professional help or institutional resources, such as the counseling services offered by many colleges. Professors should also motivate students to report the crime to law enforcement. If a student refuses these services, professors should leave reporting the crime up to the victim. College students are adults, and it is their right to decide to report crimes against them.
"Forcing Professors to Report Assault Is Wrong." The Columbia Chronicle. Editorial Board, 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.

KAB writes:

I strongly disagree. I am a staff member at VCU, and I do not want to see a Sandusky experiment here. We all have the responsibility as stewards of higher education to protect vulnerable students. Clearly, people are failing to report these crimes, and we all must be held accountable.