February 2015

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28 Feb 2015

General Assembly Finalizes Ethics Bill

The results are in. All of the General Assembly’s work on ethics reform in the 2015 session came to an end Friday with the passage of a 98-page bill that lawmakers hailed as a significant accomplish, but some critics said it still needs work.

26 Feb 2015

Seeking the Right to Breast-Feed in Public in Virginia

The two mothers were working in parallel paths, attempting to update the law on breast­feeding in Virginia. It is one of three states – along with South Dakota and Idaho – where women lack the right to breast­feed in public.

26 Feb 2015

Teen Inspires Food Allergy Awareness Law

Food allergies are an unappetizing part of life for 14-year-old Claire Troy and her family. Eating out is a “hassle,” because the Troys never know whether a restaurant will be sensitive to the needs of customers who might be allergic to what is on the menu.

26 Feb 2015

Gov. McAuliffe Signs Medical Marijuana Bills

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law Thursday legislation to decriminalize two medical marijuana derivatives for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.

24 Feb 2015

Rep. Scott: Let Independent Panel Draw Districts

U.S. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, a Democrat representing Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, says the General Assembly should take some of the politics out of redistricting by having an independent commission redraw political boundaries.

24 Feb 2015

Assembly OKs a 2-Song Solution

The House of Delegates joined the Senate on Tuesday in approving both “Our Great Virginia” and “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as official state songs. But will Gov. Terry McAuliffe sign the legislation into law?

21 Feb 2015

From Designer Clothes to Orange Robes

A remorseful Maureen McDonnell stood Friday in a federal courtroom where she had been convicted of taking bribes and asked a judge for leniency. He responded by sentencing the former first lady to 12 months and one day in prison.

20 Feb 2015

A Portrait of Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell has been painted in two different lights: as a selfless, hardworking, dedicated mother, wife and community leader, and as a hostile and greedy woman responsible for ruining the career of her husband, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, and sending him to jail.

20 Feb 2015

Maureen McDonnell, In Her Own Words

In her first public statement on the corruption scandal, Maureen McDonnell testified Friday that she was responsible for her family’s political fall from grace.

20 Feb 2015

Key Documents in Maureen McDonnell Sentencing

Here are some important documents that were filed in U.S. District Court in preparation for today’s sentencing.

20 Feb 2015

House OKs Transporting Loaded Shotguns

Virginians who have a concealed handgun permit could legally transport loaded shotguns in vehicles under a bill that passed the House of Delegates on a split vote this week.

17 Feb 2015

Senate Passes ‘Tebow Bill’ for Home-schoolers

The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would allow home-schooled students to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, debate and band at their local public school.

17 Feb 2015

Battered Wife Must Pay Abuser Alimony

A Richmond woman’s harrowing story prompted a state legislator to propose a bill that would prohibit courts from awarding alimony to a spouse who has been convicted of domestic violence. The bill failed.

16 Feb 2015

Virginia Still Deciding If Women Are Equal

In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and asked the states to ratify it. Forty-three years later, Virginia is still deciding whether to ratify the ERA, which would guarantee women and men equal rights.

16 Feb 2015

Bill Would Help Taxpayers, Habitat for Humanity

Delinquent property owners could settle their tax bills by donating their property to Habitat for Humanity or a similar nonprofit, under legislation moving through the General Assembly.

15 Feb 2015

FAA Proposes Rules on Commercial Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday proposed rules governing commercial drone use that would open the airspace to thousands of operators nationwide.

13 Feb 2015

Progress (or Lack of) on the ERA in Virginia

A brief history of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to ratify it in the Old Dominion

13 Feb 2015

Dominion Bill Wins Final Passage

The House gave final approval Thursday to a bill that freezes Dominion Virginia Power’s base rate for five years but prevents the state from forcing the company to reimburse customers if the utility earns excessive profits.

13 Feb 2015

Bill Seeks to Tamp Down Cigarette Trafficking

Sen. Bryce E. Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, urged the General Assembly on Friday to pass a bill that would crack down on cigarette trafficking and, by extension, the funding of terrorist groups.

10 Feb 2015

House Passes Ethics Bill

The House of Delegates on Tuesday passed a bill that would limit gifts accepted by Virginia politicians to $100.

09 Feb 2015

House Considers Expanding Halifax Board Of Supervisors

The House of Delegates is considering a bill to add a ninth member to the Halifax County Board of Supervisors so that votes don’t deadlock in a tie.

08 Feb 2015

Drug Can Reverse Heroin Overdoses

As opiate overdose deaths rise in Virginia, the General Assembly is moving to approve legislation intended to curb the epidemic.

08 Feb 2015

Senate OKs Bill to Regulate Restraint, Seclusion

Restraint and seclusion of students in public schools would be more carefully regulated under a bill that has cleared the Senate and is now before the House of Delegates.

08 Feb 2015

Senate Pops Proposal to Ban Balloon Releases

The Senate has rejected a bill to ban the intentional release of balloons into the atmosphere, which environmentalists say kill turtles, sea birds and other marine animals.

07 Feb 2015

Committee Sends Ethics Bill to Senate

The Senate Rules Committee is advancing legislation that tightens the code of ethics for politicians by prohibiting them from receiving gifts worth more than $100.

05 Feb 2015

More Crimes May Trigger DNA Collection

The House Courts of Justice Committee voted 11-9 Wednesday to endorse a bill that would bank DNA samples from more misdemeanor convictions, such as stalking and assault and battery.

05 Feb 2015

Senate OKs Amendment to Boost Charter Schools

Virginia could see a surge in charter schools in coming years as a constitutional amendment begins the long, slow journey from the capitol floor. The Virginia senate today narrowly passed a joint resolution that would amend the Constitution of Virginia to allow the Board of Education to establish the specialty schools.

04 Feb 2015

ACLU Praises Asset Forfeiture Reform

By Morgan White Capital News Service RICHMOND – The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is praising the Virginia House of Delegates for passing a bill that would require a conviction in asset forfeiture cases – curbing what one critic called “policing for profit.”

03 Feb 2015

Bills Would Allow Crowdfunding for Businesses

Imagine you have an innovative business idea but not enough money to turn it into reality. You soon might have a new option – crowdfunding – thanks to legislation moving through the General Assembly.

01 Feb 2015

Panel Shelves Bill to Change Rezoning Process

The Virginia Association of Counties received its wish when a bill to change local governments’ rezoning process was killed in a House subcommittee this past week.