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      McDonnell signs seven bills to improve school, student safety

      Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law today seven pieces of legislation designed to improve school safety.

      According to a statement from the governor's office, the new legislation, passed by the General Assembly, "focuses on reducing risks for Virginia students by making it illegal for sex offenders to operate or ride on school buses, increases penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses, makes certain drugs and bath salts controlled substances, expands existing laws making obscene language sent by electronic means a crime, and provides localities the ability to install video cameras on buses to protect students. Additional legislation requires a survey of students to be conducted by the Department of Health to identify other risk factors faced by students and improve substance abuse programs."

      Additional legislation requires a survey of students to be conducted by the Department of Health to identify other risk factors faced by students and improve substance abuse programs.

      These new laws will go into effect July 1, 2011: HB2043 - Reckless driving for failing to stop at a school busHB1911 - Video-monitoring on school busesHB2066 - Prohibiting sex offenders on school busesHB2059 - Extends existing prohibition on use of obscene languageHB2026 - Prohibits sex offenders from operating school busesHB1434 - Banning synthetic cannabinoids and bath saltsSB1094 - Youth health risk survey