RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) today announced that his bill (HB 2473) to protect victims of domestic violence by increasing penalties for stalking when also violating a protective order has passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 91 to 6.
“As Delegate, I have worked to toughen the Commonwealth’s laws related to domestic violence,” said Cline. “I am pleased that my bill to further protect victims of stalking and other forms of domestic violence has passed the House of Delegates. I look forward to its advancement through the General Assembly and to the Governor’s desk.”
HB 2473 expands the list of offenses that may be counted as prior convictions for the purposes of enhancing the penalty for a third conviction for violating a protective order. Under the bill, a previous conviction for stalking in violation of § 18.2-60.3 could be counted as a prior conviction in order to raise the penalty for a third conviction for violating a protective order from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony.
Cline represents the 24th House District, including the Cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, Bath County, Rockbridge County, and parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties. He was elected in 2002, and re-elected to his eighth term in November 2015. Cline is a member of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Courts of Justice Committee. He also serves on the Board of Project Horizon, a local nonprofit dedicated to reducing domestic violence in the Rockbridge County area.