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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

Governor Creates Center for Mental Health Services

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive directive to create a center that will foster collaboration among government agencies in providing behavioral health and justice services for people with mental illnesses or other problems.

19 Mar 2015

VCU Protesters Show Support for Beaten U.Va. Studen

Virginia Commonwealth University students marched and staged a die-in Wednesday in solidarity with Martese Johnson, a black University of Virginia student who was injured when Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents arrested him outside a pub in Charlottesville.

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.

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.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

13 May 2013

Like its Clients, Drug Center Is Recovering

Rubicon Inc., a substance abuse and mental health treatment center that has served the Richmond community for more than 40 years, is trying to regain its financial footing after nearly having to close its doors last fall.

08 May 2013

Virginia’s Suicide Rate Highest in 13 Years

Virginia’s suicide rate is the highest it’s been in 13 years, according to the state’s chief medical examiner. Experts say the causes may include the poor economy and lack of mental health services.

08 May 2013

Suicide Rates by County and City

This map and data set show the 2011 suicide rate for each Virginia locality. They also show the unemployment rate for that year.

08 May 2013

Suicides: The Numbers in Virginia

Suicide rates are on the rise in Virginia — and higher than they’ve been in 13 years. Whites are far more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to commit suicide. And men commit suicide far more often than women.

12 Apr 2013

Board OKs Strict Rules for Abortion Clinics

The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to require abortion clinics to meet hospital building-code standards – rules that abortion rights activists said would force many of the state’s 20 clinics to close.

03 Apr 2013

Assembly Approves Anti-abortion Amendment

The General Assembly on Wednesday narrowly approved an amendment by Gov. Bob McDonnell that will prohibit certain health insurance companies in Virginia from providing coverage for women seeking an abortion.

23 Mar 2013

Governor Signs Law Targeting Synthetic Drugs

Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed into law legislation to expand the list of prohibited chemicals used in making synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs. McDonnell announced Wednesday that he had signed House Bill 1941, which included an emergency clause making it effective immediately.

22 Mar 2013

McDonnell Proclaims Disabilities Awareness Month

Twenty-six years ago, then-President Ronald Reagan issued a national proclamation naming March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This year, Gov. Bob McDonnell made a similar declaration in Virginia.

21 Mar 2013

Not on ‘Daily Show’ (That’s the News)

Last year around this time, Virginia was in the spotlight: Newspapers and talk show hosts, like comedian Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show,” ripped state legislators for passing a bundle of laws targeting abortion. But during the legislative session that ended last month, there was hardly a peep about the issue from members of the General Assembly.

03 Mar 2013

Bicyclists Gear Up for Next Legislative Session

Like a bicyclist who’s taken a tumble but stays in the race, Virginia bicycling advocates say they’ll push on despite disappointments they suffered during the 2013 legislative session.

28 Feb 2013

Schools to Tell Parents about Eating Disorders

Parents of Virginia public school students will be given educational information about eating disorders under a bill passed by the General Assembly.

17 Feb 2013

House Amends, OKs Soccer Goal Law

The Virginia House of Delegates on Monday passed the Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act with an amendment so that it wouldn’t take effect unless re-enacted by the General Assembly next year.

15 Feb 2013

Indoor Tanning Bill Killed in Committee

A bill to ban minors 14 and younger from tanning at a tanning salon has been killed for this legislative session.

14 Feb 2013

Senate Committee Kills ‘Tebow Bill’

A Senate committee Thursday shot down the “Tebow bill” aimed at allowing home-schoolers to participate in public schools’ sports and other extracurricular activities.

13 Feb 2013

They’ve Got Game at VCU Basketball Classic

State legislators and lobbyists battled it out on the basketball court Tuesday night to benefit Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center.

12 Feb 2013

Panel Would Delay Soccer Goal Safety Act

The House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee will consider a proposal to approve, but delay implementation of, a bill seeking to prevent injury or death from falling soccer goals.

11 Feb 2013

Governor Touts Research on Clinical Trials

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday praised the findings of a new study that says clinical trials of new drugs and other medical treatments in Virginia have boosted the state’s economy and created 76,000 jobs over the past 13 years.

11 Feb 2013

Senate OKs Mammogram Notification Bill

The Senate on Monday unanimously joined the House in passing a bill that requires women to be notified of dense breast tissue in mammogram results.

11 Feb 2013

Bill Would Block Minors from Tanning

Virginians under age 15 would no longer be able to use indoor tanning salons under legislation moving through the General Assembly.

10 Feb 2013

Bill Would Block Minors from Tanning

Virginians under age 15 would no longer be able to use indoor tanning salons under legislation moving through the General Assembly.

09 Feb 2013

Ban on Smoking in Cars Dies in House

A Senate bill that would have banned smoking in cars carrying children under age 15 was tabled Friday by a House committee.

09 Feb 2013

Debate Continues on Birth Control Insurance

Experts locked horns Thursday over whether certain employers should be exempt from new required contraception insurance because of their religious convictions.

07 Feb 2013

Coalition Pushes for Medicaid Expansion

State budget language adopted by the House Appropriations Committee would delay the expansion of Medicaid and other benefits of the new federal health-care law in Virginia, a statewide group said Wednesday.

06 Feb 2013

Live-blog: Health Care Debate

The First Freedom Center in Richmond is hosting a debate over the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement that religiously affiliated organizations and businesses must provide contraception insurance coverage for their employees. The panelists include Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and Kevin Walsh, associate professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

05 Feb 2013

Bill Would Crack Down on Unethical Bar Owners

The Senate is poised to pass a bill to revoke the liquor licenses of bars and restaurants that file false tax returns or other financial information with government regulators.

03 Feb 2013

Table Talk Focuses on Women’s Issues

Virginia’s fight over reproductive rights usually happens during rallies and protests on the grounds of the Capitol or during intense debate on the floor of the House or Senate. But last week, the League of Women Voters of Virginia discussed the issue in a calmer setting – during a Wednesday morning tradition called the Women’s Roundtable.

31 Jan 2013

Senate Bans Smoking in Cars with Kids

The Senate today passed a bill to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a child under 15 is present.

26 Jan 2013

Sidebar: In Gun Debate, Legislators Target Mental Health

Virginia’s General Assembly is also focused on preventing campus shootings like the one at Virginia Tech, but gun control is only one segment of the issue.

25 Jan 2013

Biden Invites VCU into National Discussion

While Virginia Commonwealth University isn’t the center of the gun debate triggered by December’s school shootings in Connecticut, Vice President Joe Biden got VCU’s help Friday in continuing the national dialogue on the matter.

22 Jan 2013

Restroom Access Act Killed by Subcommittee

A legislative panel has killed a bill designed to give Virginians suffering from Crohn’s disease or similar medical conditions immediate access to a toilet.

21 Jan 2013

A Rally for Those With Mental Disabilities

About 100 people, led by the Coalition for Virginians with Mental Disabilities, rallied at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square on Monday to encourage legislators to improve services for people with mental disabilities.

20 Jan 2013

Bills Would Ban Smoking in Cars with Kids

A bill to forbid smoking in cars carrying children is dead in the House, but a similar proposal remains alive in the Senate.

10 Jan 2013

Helping Virginians With Crohn’s Disease

Virginians suffering from Crohn’s disease or similar medical conditions would have the right to use a store’s employee restroom when they have an urgent need for a toilet, under a bill before the General Assembly.

09 Jan 2013

Reproductive Rights Still a Focus at Capitol

About 30 abortion rights activists from the Cooch Watch protest group lined the streets outside of the 47th annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Wednesday morning. Around the same time, about two dozen anti-abortion groups from across the country joined the Virginia Society for Human Life at its “Stand Up for Life” gathering.

07 Sep 2012

Activists use humor to score attorney general

A group of activists has founded Cooch Watch to monitor and poke fun at Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s conservative attorney general and tea party darling.

16 May 2012

Advocates Laud Mental Health Settlement

Calling it a “historic opportunity,” mental health advocates are awaiting a judge’s approval of a settlement agreement that would improve the lives of thousands of Virginia’s intellectually disabled citizens.

16 May 2012

Son’s Future Is ‘Constant Worry on Our Minds’

A Mechanicsville family faces uncertainty because of shortcomings in Virginia’s mental health care system. As they age, the parents of 22-year-old Justin Palmore worry what will happen to him – and whether he will be forced into an institution.

13 May 2012

New Law Will Improve Breast Cancer Detection

Beginning July 1, women getting mammograms will learn whether they have dense breast tissue that could hide cancer. A new law addresses the test’s failure to detect certain cancers in women with dense breast tissue.

30 Apr 2012

Governor Signs Six Bills to Combat Cancer

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday ceremonially signed six pieces of legislation that will further cancer-related research, treatment and education.