Gov. McAuliffe signs two bills into law protecting children of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Terry McAuliffe visited Newport News Tuesday morning to sign two bills that focus on children’s health and safety.

10 On Your Side was at McIntosh Elementary as McAuliffe signed the legislation.

Governor McAuliffe signed Senate Bill 211, which requires physical activity at Virginia schools. The first piece of legislation requires schools to offer elementary students opportunities for physical activity as part of their regular school day, which includes 20 minutes per day or 100 minutes each week.

However, State Senator John Miller, who fought for the bill for five years, was notably missing. Senator Miller passed away on April 2. His wife, Sharron Miller, spoke to 10 On Your Side after McAuliffe signed the bill that her husband worked on.

“It was just convincing folks on both sides of the aisle, as you well know, that’s where he worked from the center and that was important to him and should be important to all elected officials and that’s the way we get things done in Virginia,” said Miller. “At the end of the day, it’s part of his legacy that I’m most proud of, and that is the education, the exercise and the ability to combat childhood obesity.”

Lt. Governor Ralph Northam also joined Governor McAuliffe and the First Lady. The bill is an extension of Senator Miller’s tireless efforts. Northam and Miller were seatmates in the State Senate.

“Signing the physical activity bill that we worked on for five years, believe or not, and it’s nice to have it come to fruition,” said Northam. “John and I are true friends, what a terrible loss and we will keep his work in memory.”

The second piece of legislation signed, House Bill 1189, is related to child care safety. Under law, it is now a Class 4 felony if providers don’t have a license or have their license revoked and who cause or allow serious injury to occur to a child while in their care.

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