A bill in the Virginia legislature is one step away from reaching the governor’s desk to be signed into law that would create a statute of limitations for collecting medical debt in the state.
The bill, HB 573, passed in the state House of Delegates last month by a vote of 88-11, and passed in the state Senate yesterday by a vote of 40-0. It now has to go back to the House of Delegates for one more procedural vote before it is shipped to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk to be signed into law or vetoesd. It was introduced by Rep. Nadarius Clark, a Democrat in his first term of office in the state legislature. When he was elected last November, the 26-year-old was the youngest Democrat ever elected to the state legislature and the first African-American to represent his District.
The bill reduces the statute of limitations on medical debt to three years from five.
“So many times we see that people have these ghost bills that come back to haunt them 20 or 25 years later, 30 years later,” said Clark, in a published report. “And now they have garnishments coming out or different things happening. And it was completely out of their mind and out of their thoughts, and now they are struck with a burden.”
If enacted, the law would go into effect on July 1, 2022.