Bill Ditching Signature Requirement for Absentee Ballots Passes State Senate

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would ditch the signature requirement for absentee ballots. Michael Pope has details.

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Debate Over Mandatory Minimum Sentences Pops Up Again in Richmond

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would transform how sentencing works in Virginia. Michael Pope has details.

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Va. News: VCU Professor’s Overdose Awareness Efforts, National Guard Music Teacher

Credit: VPAP

A VCU professor has come up with an idea he hopes will be a lifesaver for people who overdose on opioids. And a Virginia public school music teacher has been there for his students even while deployed to D.C. with the National Guard.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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State Health Officials: Demand for Vaccines Far Outpacing Actual Supply

It’s been a tough week for state and local health departments, scrambling to meet demand for COVID vaccine. Friday, they took time out to tell reporters about the challenges ahead. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Homegrown Marijuana Provision Remains in Legalization Legislation

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Lawmakers in Richmond are debating a bill that would legalize marijuana, and not just at the neighborhood store. As Michael Pope reports, people would be able to grow pot at home.

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Legislation Allowing Small Town EDA’s to Skip Public Disclosure Moves Forward in Richmond

Lawmakers are debating a way to prevent disclosure of potential conflicts of interest in economic development boards. Michael Pope explains.

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Virginia School Divisions Could Get Some Help with Expanding Broadband Access

School divisions across Virginia are struggling to make sure they have the kind of broadband connections necessary for distance learning. Michael Pope reports on a bill in the General Assembly that might help.

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Bill Moving May Local Elections to November Advances to House of Delegates

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would move all local elections from May to November. Michael Pope reports.

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Senate Committee Says No to Hate Crime Bill

Last summer’s demonstrations over racial justice and Confederate monuments are causing lawmakers to rethink the definition of a hate crime and who can be prosecuted for one.

Michael Pope reports.

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Effort to Censure State Senator Amanda Chase Moves Forward

State Senator Amanda Chase (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

Members of the Virginia state Senate are taking action to censure a senator who spoke at the rally that led to the attack on the Capitol. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Trying to Iron Out Fine Details of Potential Marijuana Legalization

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Lawmakers may be on the verge of legalizing marijuana in Virginia. But, they need to wrestle with some thorny issues first. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislation Aims to Clear Up Confusion About Conservation Easements

In Virginia, hundreds of thousands of acres of land are protected through conservation easements.

Landowners typically donate an easement to a conservation organization, and those organizations are hoping to strengthen easements’ legal standing through a bill this legislative session.

Jahd Khalil has more. 

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Bill to Abolish Death Penalty Advances in Virginia Senate

Lawmakers may be on the verge of eliminating the death penalty in Virginia.

Michael Pope has more on the arguments.

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Bill Seeking to Expand Health Insurance Coverage for Abortion Services Advances

A bill that expands insurance coverage of abortion services is moving forward in Richmond. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Investigating Police and a Fight Over Water Rates

Nearly a dozen police departments have agreed to co-operate in investigating officer involved shootings. And one town is unhappy with its water provider which happens to be the U. S. Marine Corps.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Effort to Shut Down Virginia’s Only Private Prison Dies an Early Death in Richmond

The Lawrenceville Correctional Center is the only privately-operated prison in Virginia. (Credit: geogroup.com)

Lawmakers are rejecting an effort to abolish private prisons in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Suetterlein Bill Meant to Provide More Flexibility for Schools, Not Kill Snow Days

State Senator David Suetterlein (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

After the pandemic is over, schools across Virginia might end up continuing some version of virtual education. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam: Vaccination Efforts Ramping Up, New Guidelines for Reopening Schools

Virginia’s governor announced plans to speed up vaccine distribution and the reopening of schools. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find that new guidance from the Virginia Department of Education here.

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State Senator Amanda Chase Faces Censure Resolution

Senator Amanda Chase speaks during Thursday’s Senate session. (Credit: Senate of Virginia livestream)

Lawmakers in the General Assembly are considering a censure of a Republican senator who spoke at the rally that led to the attack on the Capitol.

Michael Pope reports.

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2021 Session Starts with Familiar Debate Over Abortion Legislation

Lawmakers are back in session, and they’re debating a familiar topic of disagreement: abortion. Michael Pope reports.

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The 2021 General Assembly Session is Now Underway

Lawmakers are back in session at the General Assembly for a session unlike any other. Michael Pope reports.

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Taking a Look at What to Expect from the 2021 General Assembly Session

Lawmakers are about to begin the 2021 General Assembly session. They’re already at odds with each other over how long the session will last. Michael Pope has that story.

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One State Senator’s Push to Close Virginia’s Only Private Prison

The Lawrenceville Correctional Center is Virginia’s only privately-operated prison facility. (Credit: geogroup.com)

State lawmakers are about to consider a bill that would outlaw private prisons. Michael Pope reports.

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Security Plans for General Assembly Session Ongoing

When Twitter permanently banned President Donald, it cited plans for attacks on unnamed state capitols.

Jahd Khalil has more on Virginia’s preparations for the General Assembly session, which begins Wednesday. 

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Some Members of Virginia Delegation Weigh In on Potential Trump Removal

Credit: NPR

Congress is considering several efforts to remove the president from office. Michael Pope spoke with some members of Virginia’s delegation.

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New Rules and Relief Programs Now in Effect for Virginia Tenants and Landlords

2020 exposed the need for eviction prevention measures in Virginia.

Now, a set of rules and relief programs are in place that could help both landlords and tenants cope with financial challenges in the coming year.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has this look at where things stand. 

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Two Virginia Republicans Defend Their Votes on Electoral College Objections

All four Republicans in Virginia’s Congressional delegation voted for objections to certifying Joe Biden’s election.

Michael Pope spoke to two of them who are defending those votes.

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Some Critics Say Citizen Members of Virginia’s New Redistricting Commission Aren’t Balanced

Credit: NPR

Last year, voters approved a new commission to draw political boundaries for the General Assembly and Congress. Now, that commission is taking shape. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam: Teachers and Childcare Workers to Be Included in Next Round of Vaccines

Governor Ralph Northam

Virginia has begun vaccinating people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, Governor Ralph Northam has provided a roadmap for the state’s next steps. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Could a Proposal to Add Paid Sick Days Make it Through This Year’s General Assembly Session?

Lawmakers are about to begin a new General Assembly session, and resume an ongoing debate over paid sick days. Michael Pope reports.

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Length of Session may be an Early Fight in 2021 General Assembly

Virginia’s part-time legislature meets for 60 days in even-numbered years and 30 days in odd-numbered years. So the session that begins on January 13 is supposed to be a short one. 

After a long special session last summer, some lawmakers are determined to adjourn on time, but as Sandy Hausman reports, that may not happen.

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Some State Republicans Want to “Sunset” Any Legislation Passed During a Virtual Session

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers are about to begin the 2021 session of the General Assembly, and Republicans are not happy about meeting virtually. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: A Christmas Miracle and Chaperones at the Shopping Mall

Teens continue to attract scrutiny at shopping malls across Virginia. And the winner of the 1958 Miss Virginia Pageant has experienced something that looks very much like a Christmas miracle.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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General Assembly to Consider New Legal Requirements for Farm Workers

Credit: Dave McLear / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/dmclear/4935228492/in/photolist-8w7kuq-oDFm1Q-osGy9p-cYZbSm-oiNbpf-oMsucd-88iv6e-p3YcNH-QZJEVX-fA1Kou-5jhfU6-f8MABz-6W5mfc-8KEUz4-8C5pCb-aQ1KPi-KzL5st-AZaxJL-2MThFW-5aqUwM-nTqEnD-Vh55GJ

Later this month, lawmakers in Richmond will consider a bill meant to help farm workers. Michael Pope has the story.

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State Lawmakers to Consider School Nurses Definition Later this Month

Credit: NPR

As public schools are working towards a potential reopening in 2021, lawmakers are taking a look at school nurses. Michael Pope reports.

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A Change to Virginia’s Excise Peanut Tax Could Be on the Table Next Month

As lawmakers are preparing for the upcoming General Assembly session, they’re considering one bill aimed at an important staple of Virginia’s agriculture sector. Michael Pope explains.

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Census 2020 and Virginia’s “Disappearing White Majority”

Credit: Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

The 2020 Census is likely to show a Virginia that’s very different than the one from a decade ago. Michael Pope has this preview of what people can expect to learn from the numbers.

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An Increase to the Minimum Wage in Virginia Currently Doesn’t Apply to All Workers

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed an increase to the minimum wage in Virginia. But there’s one group of low-wage workers who won’t see an increase. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Christmas Joy to People and Pets

Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Christmas can bring joy to dogs as well as people and two of the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link prove the point. More now from Fred Echols.

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New Report Suggests a Long Recovery from COVID-19 Ahead for Virginia

It could take years for Virginia’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the headline from Old Dominion University, which has released its annual look at the Commonwealth’s economy.

Nick Gilmore explains. 

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While Unemployment Lingers in Some Job Sectors, Others Bounce Back

(Credit: Virginia Economic Development Partnership)

Most parts of Virginia’s economy are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

But, as Michael Pope reports, it’s not all doom and gloom.

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Advocates Press for more Racial, Geographic Diversity in Redistricting Commission Applicants

For the first time ever, citizens will play a role in drawing new lines for the General Assembly and Congress.

And as Michael Pope reports, the deadline for people to apply is fast approaching.

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Eagles Imperiled in Virginia

The Wildlife Center of Virginia sees 30 to 40 injured eagles each year. Two-thirds have some degree of lead poisoning. (Credit: Wildlife Center of Virginia

Forty years ago, bald eagles were endangered in this country due to lost habitat, illegal shooting and contamination of their food.  Today, the national bird has made a comeback with more than 10,000 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states.

But here in Virginia, experts say one threat remains, and they’re hoping the problem can be fixed as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Right to Appeal or Court Packing? A Look at the Move to Expand Virginia’s Court of Appeals

Virginia’s Court of Appeals currently has 11 members. Some lawmakers, including Governor Ralph Northam, want to expand that number to 15. (Credit: Court of Appeals of Virginia website)

Lawmakers are about to consider a proposal to expand the appeals court in Virginia. Michael Pope explains why.

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Coping with Holiday Depression

Kim Penberthy is a PhD psychologist and co-author of Living Mindfully Across the Lifespan. (Credit: UVA Photo)

The holidays can be stressful, even in normal times, and mental health experts say the situation is much worse for many people during the pandemic.

Sandy Hausman spoke with one psychologist at the University of Virginia about coping strategies.

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Cutting Carbon: Should Virginia Join the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Virginia is working with several other states to cut carbon emissions. But, the Commonwealth is not part of a new compact of states raising revenue to take action. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Fireworks Feud and Internet from the Space

A southwest Virginia community that has almost no high speed internet service will soon be getting it from space. And a request that Orange County allow regular fireworks displays in a rural area drew a lot of support but very little of it came from Orange County.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Wildlife Center of Virginia Sees Record Number of Patients

Warmer winter weather means some bears are not hibernating. (Credit: Wildlife Center of Virginia)

When the pandemic hit Virginia, the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro figured fewer people would be in their cars, and the population of injured animals would probably drop.  Instead, it’s set a record as Sandy Hausman reports.

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The Economic Impact of COVID-19 is Hurting Certain Parts of Virginia More than Others

The economic crisis is hitting some parts of Virginia harder than others. Michael Pope has the story.

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Amanda Chase’s Recent Comments Sparking Chatter About Removing Her from State Senate

State Senator Amanda Chase

Fallout from President Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election may be extending into the Virginia state Senate. Michael Pope reports.

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