The new laws are part of sweeping reforms implemented after the Democrats took control of each branch of government in the Commonwealth.
Some of the new laws include:
Death penalty: In March, Virginia became the first southern state to eliminate the death penalty. Previously, the Commonwealth had executed more people than any state other than Texas.
Marijuana reform: Starting July 1, Virginia residents will be able to smoke marijuana at home, but public smoking will be illegal. The substance will also remain banned from schools and vehicles. Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana will also be legal.
New firearm laws: If you’re convicted of assaulting a family member – or someone in your household – you’re also barred from buying guns for three years in the Commonwealth. In addition, guns will no longer be permitted on the capitol grounds in Richmond, nor will they be permitted within 40 feet of polling places.
Balloon release ban: The release of non-biodegradable balloons will now be banned in Virginia in an effort to cut down on litter.
Littering fines doubled: The fine for littering in Virginia will be doubled – from $250 to $500.