February 2011

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28 Feb 2011

Catholics Celebrate Legislative Wins

As the 2011 General Assembly session drew to a close, leaders of the Virginia Catholic Conference celebrated their victories and prepared for next year’s fights.

28 Feb 2011

CNS Stories for Week 7 (Feb. 21-27)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “State Budget Restores $17 Million for VCU” … “Abortion Regulations Could Close Clinics” … “Heart Attack Death Rates Plummet” … “Lawmakers Honor Football Star, Philanthropist.”

26 Feb 2011

Mothers Will Get Baby’s DNA Sample

Virginia hospitals will have to offer new mothers a take-home DNA sample from their baby under a bill approved at the request of the forensic sleuth who inspired the fictional crime fighter, Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

26 Feb 2011

CNN Anchor Discusses Life, Work, World

The Emmy-winning anchor for CNN spoke to and took questions from a sold-out audience at the Richmond Forum this weekend, discussing his background, career and world events.

26 Feb 2011

Rally Supports Wisconsin Workers

Several hundred Virginians rallied on the Capitol lawn in support of public employees in Wisconsin, who may lose their collective bargaining rights under legislation proposed by that state’s governor, Scott Walker.

26 Feb 2011

Support for Planned Parenthood

Supporters of Planned Parenthood gathered on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to voice opposition to abortion-clinic regulations passed by the General Assembly and recent national attacks on the organization.

25 Feb 2011

Tribute to Unwitting Medical Contributor

Members of the Virginia General Assembly honored Henrietta Lacks’ memory and presented her family with a resolution highlighting “her amazing legacy, which has altered medical research and care and relieved the suffering of untold millions.”

23 Feb 2011

Lobbyists, Politicians Face Off In Court

Legislators and lobbyists battled it out Tuesday night during the final week of the General Assembly’s 2011 session. Except this time, differences were settled on the basketball court, not in the Capitol.

22 Feb 2011

New Law Targets Cyberbullying

Think before you text: A bill would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to use a cellular telephone or other wireless device to transmit a text message that contains “profane, threatening, or indecent language.”

22 Feb 2011

Kids Hook Assembly Into Honoring Fish

Michele Ferrel’s fourth-grade class made history Tuesday, turning their class project to make the striped bass the state saltwater fish a reality. The House of Delegates, in an 80-16 vote, passed Senate Bill 940, which designates the striped bass as the state saltwater fish.

21 Feb 2011

CNS Stories for Week 6 (Feb. 14-20)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “Senate Panel Is Immigration Bill Graveyard” … “Teachers Rally for Public School Funding” … “Scholarships Help High School Students SOAR” … “Brunswick Prison May Remain Vacant.”

21 Feb 2011

At Least 4 of LeMunyon’s Bills Will Pass

As the 2011 legislative session enters its final week, the General Assembly has passed four measures proposed by Delegate Jim LeMunyon, R-Oak Hill, and five more of his bills are still alive.

20 Feb 2011

Assembly Tightens Sex Offender Laws

Adults convicted of sexually violent offenses would be barred from entering school buses and would have to submit a DNA sample under two bills headed toward approval in the General Assembly.

20 Feb 2011

‘One-Stop’ Licensing for New Businesses

New businesses would have an easier time getting licenses and completing other paperwork under a bill proposed by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, and passed by the General Assembly.

19 Feb 2011

Russians Get Taste of Virginia Politics

The Virginia General Assembly usually focuses on state issues. But last week, some of the attention at the statehouse was on international visitors – a delegation of Russian officials learning about American government.

19 Feb 2011

Democrats Eat Up Criticism of Republicans

About 1,400 people attended Virginia Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where party stalwarts discussed their core values and criticized the state’s Republican leadership.

19 Feb 2011

O’Malley: GOP Lives in ‘Wonderland’

Republican governors are living in “Wonderland,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told about 1,400 fellow Democrats at Virginia’s 2011 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday night.

19 Feb 2011

Kaine Mulling Run for Senate

Tim Kaine needs more time to think. Virginia’s former governor and the current chairman of the Democratic National Committee spoke at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where he addressed speculation around a possible run for U.S. Senate.

19 Feb 2011

Brunswick Prison May Remain Vacant

It looks like the Brunswick Correctional Center will remain empty for a while longer. A budget amendment proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to repurpose the prison has stalled in the General Assembly.

14 Feb 2011

CNS Stories for Week 5 (Feb. 7-13)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “House to Post Delegates’ Voting Records” … “License Plates Would Memorialize Tech Shootings” … “Get Flu Vaccine, Health Officials Urge” … “Bill Seeks Continuity on Franklin School Board.”

13 Feb 2011

Bills Seek Health-Care Jobs for Veterans

Legislation headed toward approval in the General Assembly would allow veterans to count their military health-care training and experience toward certification as nurses and other medical professionals in Virginia.

13 Feb 2011

House Passes Coal Mine Safety Act

A Senate bill that would bring the state’s Coal Mine Safety Act up to current federal law and industry standards has been passed by the House.

13 Feb 2011

Her Dream: To Help Other Immigrants

She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2007, graduating magna cum laude. She accomplished that feat in just three and a half years while working 30 hours a week. Today, she is a waitress, babysitter and sometime interpreter. She also is an undocumented immigrant.

10 Feb 2011

More Stability for Franklin School Board

Members of the Franklin City School Board would serve staggered terms under a House-approved bill aimed at correcting the appointed body’s “out of whack” rotation cycle.

07 Feb 2011

CNS Stories for Week 4 (Jan. 31-Feb. 6)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “Generating Interest in Renewable Energy” … “Redistricting Commission Holds First Meeting” … “Bill Mandates Autism Insurance Coverage” … “Southampton Couple Inspires Agriculture Community.”

06 Feb 2011

Virginia May Create ‘Veterans Courts’

The House of Delegates has unanimously passed a bill that could provide treatment instead of jail for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury and run into trouble with the law. House Bill 1691, introduced by Delegate Christopher P. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, allows localities to establish “policies and procedures for service members who are nonviolent offenders.”

05 Feb 2011

Faith and Hope in Fighting Childhood Obesity

On United Methodist Day at the General Assembly, church leaders held a press conference to discuss childhood obesity and legislation to fight it.

05 Feb 2011

Senate OKs Storage Tank Safety Bill

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill setting stricter environmental requirements for above-ground fuel storage tanks at the Fairfax city “tank farm.”

03 Feb 2011

Flu Season Is Back with a Bang

As the weather warms slightly, cases of influenza in Virginia are increasing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between Jan. 23 and Jan. 29, Virginia was one of 30 states where flu has been widespread.