A Proven Record Improving Education and Safety for Virginia Students

Senator Black is a husband, father, and grandfather. He has three children and fourteen grandchildren. He has spent his lifetime in service to his country and the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect his family, and yours.

College Safety Bill

During the 2015 Legislative Session, Senator Black passed an important piece of legislation designed to protect women on college campuses. SB 712 requires public colleges to report an alleged campus sexual assault to police within 24 hours of notification.

Sen. Black, who has overseen the prosecution of hundreds of rape cases, said quickly involving law enforcement is the best way to ensure that investigations are handled properly.

“Instead of having the colleges just sweep these things under the table, we force them to go into the law enforcement arena, where they’re handled in a routine fashion.”

Under the mandatory reporting bill, any faculty member, administrator or full-time staff member of a public college or university would face a misdemeanor charge for failing to report an alleged sexual assault to police. Crisis center counselors would be exempt from the requirement.

Senator Black dedicated this law to Hannah Graham and her parents. During the 2015 Legislative Session, Senator Black spoke with Hannah’s parents about this bill and they shared ideas about ways to perfect this legislation. If the police had been alerted to the multiple rape allegations of Hannah Graham’s attacker, it is likely that he would have been in jail and unable to hurt others.

SB712 puts the protection of our students ahead of the protection of a college’s reputation. We have given the police the tools they need to protect students from sexual predators.

Dealing With Untested Rape Kits

In 2014, Senator Dick Black introduced Senate Bill 658, which required the Department of Forensic Science to do an audit on Rape Kits that have never been tested. This bill passed and the audit reported 2,369 untested Rape Kits are gathering dust in Virginia.

The Washington Post reported that in a quarter of the 2,369 cases documented by the report, the victim chose not to participate in the police investigation. In nearly 600 cases, police deemed the kit unnecessary. In 444 cases, prosecutors declined to pursue the case. In about 250 cases, police said the complaint was false or unfounded.

"I prosecuted many rape cases when I was a military prosecutor. Putting away rapists is not an easy task. However, the DNA from rape kits can be vital in getting serial rapists off the streets and behind bars. If the evidence from a rape case is too weak to get a conviction, I found that a strong case could be built if the same DNA was found in several rape cases. I hope that by requiring Virginia to test these untested Rape Kits, we may be able to build up weaker cases by proving a pattern by a serial rapist."

The Washington Post stated, "Natasha Alexenko, founder of the Rape Kit Action Project, said that 'it's very unusual' for lawmakers and officials to be as proactive as they have been in Virginia."'

SOL and Education Reform As a sitting member of the Education and Health Committee, Senator Black has supported numerous education reform bills such as:
  • HB 930: which reduced the excessive number of SOL testing on students in grades three through eight by nearly 23%, while maintaining high standards;
  • HB 1612: which protects student data privacy by putting security systems in place in our schools to protect that data and give parents access to it;
  • HB 1616: which requires each sequence of courses constituting a career and technical education program to be aligned with national certification requirements, if any, unless such program is offered by industry in cooperation with a local school board;
  • HB 1626: the "Tim Tebow Bill," which would have allowed home schooled children to play high school sports.
  • HB 1676: which permits local school boards to enter into agreements for dual enrollment with colleges and educational institutions that offer a career and technical education curriculum;
  • SB 588: would have given school boards the ability to review suspensions and expulsions in cases where new information has come to light.
  • SB 724: passed out of the House and the Senate and would have blocked the implementation of Common Core in Virginia, had Governor McCauliffe not vetoed the bill.
  • SB 727: which repealed the A-F school grading system, giving teachers in under performing schools a chance at turning their students around.
  • SB 1248: which took the first step towards creating apprenticeships, internships, and job shadow programs in a variety of trades and skilled labor positions.


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