January 2014

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31 Jan 2014

Tunnel Construction Relief Bills Killed

By Lauren McClellan Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two bills that would have provided monetary relief to Hampton Roads area businesses affected by construction on the Downtown Tunnel have been killed in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 292, introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, D- Portsmouth, would have established the Downtown Tunnel Construction Relief Grant Fund. […]

31 Jan 2014

State Declines Department Of Corrections Study

By Eric Luther Capital News Service RICHMOND – A resolution allowing government agencies to examine employment conditions of penitentiaries statewide was tabled this week by the General Assembly’s Committee on Rules. The resolution, proposed by Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler, D- Jarratt, would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study employee health […]

31 Jan 2014

Cox aide is valued partner in district representation

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND — The aide walked into the giant sixth floor office of House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, and presented papers to his boss. The two traded a few words, nodded and a decision was made. Legislative aide and chief of staff William J. Flanagan has spent the […]

31 Jan 2014

Bills Seek to Protect Responders from Reckless Driving

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND — “Andrew’s Law,” legislation that would punish as a felony reckless driving that seriously injures or kills an on-duty responder or highway worker, will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee next week. The legislation, a combination of House Bill 1148 and Senate Bill 293, was introduced after […]

31 Jan 2014

Grant Would Fund Active-Shooter Training

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – A bill is advancing through the House that would grant “active shooter” training funds to smaller police forces, which currently have no budget to accommodate the over-time pay to prepare for mass shootings. Delegate Mike Webert, R-Marshall, said the Fauquier County Sheriff Department recently integrated an active […]

30 Jan 2014

Bill Seeks Compensation for Dog-Ravaged Livestock

By Jessi Gower Capital News Service RICHMOND — Livestock and poultry owners in rural areas of Virginia may find some solace in the coming weeks if Senate passes House Bill 54, which guarantees monetary compensation for owners whose livestock and poultry that have been killed or injured by dogs. Virginia is currently home to more […]

30 Jan 2014

Sea of Japan Debate Places McAuliffe, Virginia in Bind

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND — A bill that reflects a nearly 70-year-old tension between two East-Asian countries has pushed the Virginia General Assembly into the middle of an international debate just more than three weeks into session. House Bill 11 passed the House Education subcommittee this week, bringing the commonwealth one step […]

29 Jan 2014

GOP Aims To Uphold Marriage Ban

By Eric Luther Capital News Service RICHMOND — Virginia’s House of Delegates is poised to vote this week on a bill allowing legislators to defend any law the governor and attorney general decide not to uphold on behalf of the state. House Bill 706, proposed by Delegate C. Todd Gilbert, R- Shenandoah, would permit a […]

27 Jan 2014

Climate Change Activists March On Virginia Capitol

By Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – More than 70 activists descended on the Virginia Capitol this past week, calling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe to take a more aggressive stance against climate change. The event was organized in conjunction with Virginia Conservation Network Lobby Day by Appalachian Voice Environment Virginia, the Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter […]

24 Jan 2014

‘Bailey’s Law’ Awaits Senate Vote

By Jessi Gower Capital News Service RICHMOND – More than 100 animal rights activists met on the Capitol grounds Jan. 23 to rally and show support for a pet “lemon law.” Senate Bill 228 would require pet dealers to fully disclose all breeder and health information for each animal, and guarantee that the animal will […]

24 Jan 2014

Trial date set for McDonnells

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND — A trial date has been set for former Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen for July 28, following a Friday arraignment at a Richmond federal courthouse. Both pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges. Federal authorities say the McDonnells repeatedly asked Johnnie Williams, a Richmond […]

24 Jan 2014

Privacy Concerns Table Search, Seizure Bill

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND — A bill that would give Virginia police power to search private computers without a secondary search warrant was tabled after a committee determined the bill’s language failed to protect Fourth Amendment rights. According to Delegate Mike Webert, R-Marshall, who is chief patron of the bill, the purpose […]

24 Jan 2014

Bill Aims to Prorate Waste Disposal Fees

By Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – A bill allowing Southampton County residents to pay monthly waste disposal fees as part of their electric bills is awaiting a hearing in the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee of the House of Delegates. House Bill 62, introduced by Delegate Roslyn Tyler, D-Jarratt, would allow Southampton County […]

24 Jan 2014

Tidewater Toll Revisions Criticized

By Lauren McClellan Capital News Service RICHMOND — Critics of the proposed Hampton Roads tolls are unsatisfied by the new governor’s initiatives reducing – and in some cases eliminating — those tolls, which are scheduled to take effect Feb. 1. This past week Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels would not charge […]

23 Jan 2014

Delegate Fowler Begins Legislative Career

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. — Delegate Hyland “Buddy” Fowler (R-Ashland) takes a moment to share a laugh with his legislative aide Dale Hargrove Alderman in Fowler’s office at the General Assembly Building in Richmond. Fowler and Alderman joyfully reminisce about Fowler’s time as a legislative aide for Alderman’s father Delegate Frank […]

23 Jan 2014

Homeschool Sports Access Banks on Senate Shakeup

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND –After nearly a decade of debate, some Virginia legislators are hopeful homeschooled students will soon be allowed to participate in public school sports. House Bill 63, which was proposed by Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, progressed through the House of Delegates’ Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee this past week […]

23 Jan 2014

Va. Senate Committee Says ‘No’ To Dreamers

By Chris Suarez Capital News Service RICHMOND — Virginia Senate legislation designed to give in-state tuition to undocumented childhood arrivals was defeated this past week by a Health and Education Committee vote of 6-7. Senate Bill 249, patroned by Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, and known as the Virginia DREAM Act, sparked heated rhetoric on whether […]

22 Jan 2014

Bills Seek E-cig Ban for Minors

By Dana Carlson Capital News Service RICHMOND — Electronic cigarettes could be banned from the hands of minors as Virginia legislators in the House and Senate push for regulation. In response to the growing number of young people experimenting with smokeless tobacco products, Virginia lawmakers have introduced House Bill 1111, House Bill 26, House Bill […]

22 Jan 2014

Tighter Regulations Sought on Cash-For-Phone Kiosks

By Mike Denison Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS – The premise seems simple: drop off an unwanted phone at a recycling kiosk, receive instant cash and keep precious metals out of landfills. Consumers and the environment both win. But, according to some politicians, so do phone thieves. This fear has led some Maryland lawmakers to push […]

21 Jan 2014

Kilgore, Carrico Poll Constituent Priorities

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. — Southwest Virginians asked for more coal mining jobs, hospitals and drug testing of welfare recipients, and less gun control, in an hour-long telephone town hall conducted this past week by Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, and Sen. Charles Carrico, R-Galax. Other topics discussed included same-sex marriage […]

13 Jan 2014

McAuliffe Inauguration Renews Campaign Promises

By James K. Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – Tight security and steady rain Saturday did not dampen the spirit or the campaign promises of Democrat Terry McAuliffe as he became Virginia’s 72nd governor. McAuliffe, who has never held elected office, won this past November’s nationally watched election against conservative, Tea Party-endorsed Republican candidate Ken […]

11 Jan 2014

McAuliffe Inaugurated as Governor

CNS reporter and photojournalist Dana Carlson documented Saturday’s inauguration of Virginia’s new governor, Terry McAuliffe.