A series of laws in Virginia recently took effect and they could make life a bit easier for first responders. The bills include provisions for everything from making it easier to obtain a search warrant to tracking suspects through GPS, and on Wednesday Governor Bob McDonnell hailed the legislation as a significant step forward, The Associated Press reports.

The 20 laws were officially signed on July 1, but McDonnell recently spoke about the importance of recognizing how crucial it was that the bills were passed. The legislation was fast tracked in Virginia's Congress to ensure first responders could reap the benefits as soon as possible.

"We have a duty to honor their bravery and courage through the enhancement of well-deserved benefits for first responders and their families, and the streamlining of procedures to help them carry out the difficult jobs they do day in and day out to keep all of us safe and secure," he said at the ceremony, according to

The laws are indicative of a nationwide effort to provide first responders with more tools to do their job effectively. One of the most recent is an effort by NASA to use the Real-Time Earthquake Analysis for the Disaster Mitigation Network, a GPS network, to aid first responders, according to Engadget.