General Assembly

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20 Apr 2015

House Passes Bills Targeting Sexual Assault

Bills to aid victims of sexual assault and to protect students on college campuses have passed the Virginia House of Delegates.

20 Apr 2015

Gov. McAuliffe Vetoes 6 Redistricting Bills

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday vetoed six redistricting bills, saying they would weaken citizens’ trust in government.

17 Apr 2015

Virginia Closes Legal Gap on Human Trafficking

Twenty-five years after the hit movie “Pretty Woman,” Virginia is getting more serious about an issue that the film treats humorously – sex trafficking.

16 Apr 2015

‘It’s All About Energy,’ Governor Tells Symposium

Gov. Terry McAuliffe launched the 2015 Energy & Sustainability Conference Tuesday with a briefing on Virginia’s energy plan.

13 Apr 2015

Batting Averages Vary Among Virginia Legislators

As baseball season gets underway, here’s a question worth pondering: Who were the heavy hitters in the 2015 General Assembly?

02 Apr 2015

McAuliffe Expands Law Enforcement Access to Drones

Law enforcement officials could use drones more freely if the General Assembly approves legislative amendments proposed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

01 Apr 2015

Governor Criticized for Allowing More Surveillance

A Democratic senator, a prominent Republican and civil libertarians are blasting Gov. Terry McAuliffe for amending a bill that would protect Virginia citizens from high-tech government surveillance.

27 Mar 2015

Gov. McAuliffe Signs 733 Bills, Vetoes 17

With two days left to act on legislation passed by this year’s General Assembly, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday that he has signed 733 bills, vetoed 17 and amended 50 others, including tightening ethics reforms.

26 Mar 2015

Republicans Praise McAuliffe for Signing Budget

Republican legislators applauded Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision Thursday to sign the 2014-2016 state budget without amendments or vetoes. It was the first time since 1998 that a governor has approved a budget in toto.

24 Mar 2015

2015 Legislative Session a Mixed Bag for Immigrants

About 20 state legislators and representatives of advocacy groups have formed the New Americans Caucus to address the needs of undocumented residents and other immigrants.

10 Mar 2015

Virginia Keeps Boating Safety Law Intact

Boating safety advocates are relieved that the General Assembly defeated a proposal to exempt older Virginians from taking a state-mandated course before operating a motorboat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

31 Jan 2015

Protect Us Against Floods, Coastal Officials Say

Local, state and military officials from Tidewater want Virginia to participate in a market-based initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which they said would general $200 million to combat coastal flooding.

30 Jan 2015

Most Virginians Say Bullying Is Serious

Half of Virginians view bullying and harassment as a “very serious problem” at school, and another third think it is “somewhat serious,” according to a statewide poll.

28 Jan 2015

Don’t Start School Before Labor Day, Group Says

Virginia schools should not be allowed to start classes before Labor Day, a coalition of state legislators and tourism officials said Wednesday. They voiced support for the current law requiring schools to begin after Labor Day, the traditional end of the tourism season, unless they get permission from the state.

27 Jan 2015

House OKs Money for Veterans Care Centers

A pair of bills that would provide $66.7 million in state funding for new veterans care centers passed in the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

26 Jan 2015

#SaveJosh Campaign Inspires Legislation

Josh Hardy, a Fredericksburg boy battling a rare disease, has inspired state Sen. Bryce Reeves to sponsor legislation making it easier for terminally ill patients to obtain investigational drugs that have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

23 Jan 2015

Virginia Infrastructure Earns Grade of C-

Virginia’s bridges, roads and other infrastructure have earned a grade of C-minus from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

23 Jan 2015

Families Testify for Medical Marijuana

Four families presented emotional testimony in support of a Senate bill to allow doctors in Virginia to prescribe medical marijuana products to people suffering from epilepsy.

21 Jan 2015

Panel Kills Bills to Put Legal Ads Online

A legislative subcommittee has defeated two bills that would have allowed local governments to publish legal ads and other public notices on their websites instead of in local newspapers.

20 Jan 2015

Panel OKs Law to Protect Bicyclists

The House Transportation Committee approved a bill Tuesday to make it illegal for the operator of a motor vehicle to follow a bicycle or moped too closely.

20 Jan 2015

Committee Rejects Minimum Wage Hike

RICHMOND – Voting along party lines, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday killed a bill to raise Virginia’s minimum wage to $8 an hour and then gradually to $10.10 an hour.

19 Jan 2015

Bill would require AG to defend Va. Constitution

by Ashley Jordan, Capital News Service A Republican legislator from Williamsburg is pushing for a law to require the state attorney general to defend the Virginia Constitution – which the current officeholder, Democrat Mark Herring, declined to do regarding the commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage. House Bill 1573, which was proposed last week by Del. […]

16 Jan 2015

2 Bills Target Human Trafficking at General Assembly

Two bills before the General Assembly would impose harsher penalties on people convicted of human trafficking and fund services to help victims of the crime.

15 Jan 2015

How Virginians Feel about Campus Safety

How safe are college campuses in Virginia? |Create infographics

13 Jan 2015

Bill Would Address Reporting of Sexual Assaults

A state legislator from Northern Virginia urged her colleagues Tuesday to pass a bill requiring that campus sexual assaults be reported promptly to the local commonwealth’s attorney instead of being handled solely by campus and local police.

11 Jan 2015

Ethics Reform

With a former governor heading to prison for corruption and his successor calling for a cap on gifts to politicians, ethics reform is high on the agenda for the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 session.

08 Jan 2015

House Republicans Unveil Education Reforms

House Republican leaders outlined their K-12 education agenda for the 2015 General Assembly on Thursday, echoing several goals announced by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe a day earlier.

07 Feb 2014

Sunday Hunting Bills Progress Through General Assembly

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two bills seeking to allow Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals on private Virginia property and state waters are progressing through the General Assembly. However, hunting with dogs or hunting within 200 yards of a house of worship would be prohibited. The House passed House Bill […]

07 Feb 2014

Revenge-Porn Bill Gains Momentum in House

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND — Revenge pornography is one step closer to criminalization in Virginia after recent amendments to House Bill 326 helped pave the way for the proposed legislation to clear the House of Representatives. Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, is the chief patron of the bill, which would classify the unlawful […]

07 Feb 2014

Bill Seeks Anti-violence Funds Consolidation

By Dana Carlson Capital News Service RICHMOND —  The 53 sexual and domestic-violence organizations in Virginia could serve victims better if a House of Delegates Appropriations committee acts on a bill to streamline the funding these organizations rely on. House Bill 1, the first piece of legislation filed in the 2014 General Assembly session, would […]

07 Feb 2014

Reorganized Senate Committee Passes Abortion Bills

By Chris Suarez Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two abortion-related bills were passed this past week by The Virginia Health and Education Senate Committee a day after the House of Delegates struck down a pair of identical measures in committee. The Senate bills — SB617 and SB618 — introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton — […]

07 Feb 2014

House GOP Debates Medicaid Expansion Rejection Methodology

By James K. Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – House Republicans are echoing national GOP rhetoric in rejecting the Medicaid expansion, strongly backed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Delegate James “Jimmie” Massie, R-Richmond, said Obamacare could likely “implode.” Massie said he handles the “business side” of Medicaid reform. “I would say (it’s not going) particularly […]

06 Feb 2014

Red Light Cameras Remain Legal

By Quinn Casteel Capital News Service RICHMOND – Red light cameras will remain legal in Virginia for at least another year, as the House Transportation Committee defeated a bill this past week that would have forced the discontinuation of such photo-monitoring systems. The committee voted 13-8 against House Bill 973, sponsored by Delegate Benjamin Cline, […]

06 Feb 2014

Democrats Take Control of Virginia Senate

By Eric Luther and Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – Democrats regained control of Virginia’s Senate this past week after Lynwood Lewis, D- Norfolk, assumed the District 6 seat vacated by Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam after an 11-vote victory against his Republican opponent. Lewis’s installation split the state Senate 20-20, with Northam casting […]

06 Feb 2014

Bill Seeks to Restrict Local Agritourism Regulation

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND — An agritourism bill that would restrict local regulation of customary agricultural and farm activities has passed the Senate. Senate Bill 51 would prohibit Virginia counties from regulating the management of agritourism for-profit events; the sale of agricultural or silvicultural (forest) products or related items; the preparation or […]

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 […]