Nick Gilmore

Everything you possibly could want to know about all things weather

Homepage: http://theweatherzone.wordpress.com

Marijuana Decriminalization May Soon Be a Reality in Virginia

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Virginia is on the verge of decriminalizing marijuana, and bills to make that happen have already passed the House and Senate. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia May Soon Add Shield Law Protections for Journalists

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Delegate Danica Roem (Credit: Ted Eytan / Creative Commons)

Journalists in Virginia may soon be getting new protections against disclosing confidential sources. Michael Pope reports.

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The General Assembly Sets its Sights on Behavioral Bills

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Making laws isn’t always about balancing the budget and drawing political boundaries. Sometimes, it’s also about some of the most human of human behaviors. Michael Pope explains.

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Bipartisan Push to Provide More Oversight of Utility Bills

general_assembly_2020A bipartisan push to take back authority over Virginia’s utilities – including Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power – is making its way through the legislature. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Gun Transfers Have Become a Sticking Point for Universal Background Checks

StateSeal00A sweeping package of new restrictions on guns has been moving through the General Assembly. But, Democrats are divided about how universal background checks should be. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Regional Minimum Wage Approach

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Religious leaders from across Virginia gather for a prayer vigil outside the Capitol. They’re calling for a $15 minimum wage across Virginia instead of the regional approach favored by the Senate. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Faith leaders from across Virginia are pressing Senate Democrats to abandon their regional approach to raising the minimum wage. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Virginia Establish a “Preclearance” Standard?

general_assembly_2020Virginia has a long history of using election rules to disenfranchise black voters, and lawmakers in Richmond are considering a check to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Michael Pope has details.

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A Look at the Faith-Based Arguments at the General Assembly

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Lawmakers in Richmond hear lots of arguments about money and statistics. But they also hear arguments based in faith. Michael Pope reports.

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VA House Weighs Possible Release for Sick and Disabled Prisoners

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Andre Daniels graduated from high school in Norfolk but found himself jobless and homeless at 21. (Credit: Johnay Hardy)

In most states prisoners with a terminal illness can be freed early, but Virginia only considers inmates with less than three months to live. Now, the legislature may change that, making several thousand prisoners eligible for compassionate release. Sandy Hausman reports.

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There’s Bipartisan Support for Criminal Justice Reform in Richmond This Year

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Criminal justice reform is one of the leading issues this year in the Virginia General Assembly, and it’s an issue that has advocates on both sides of the aisle. Michael Pope reports.

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State Democrats Want Increased Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

StateSeal00Undocumented immigrants in Virginia may be on the verge of getting new protections. Michael Pope reports.

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Some Senate Democrats Block Assault Weapons Ban

general_assembly_2020A controversial proposal to ban assault style weapons looks like it will not pass the legislature this year. The bill was a key part of Governor Ralph Northam’s gun control agenda. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Democrats Want to Raise the Minimum Wage, But Are Split Over the Details

general_assembly_2020Democrats are united in their desire to raise the minimum wage. But, they’re divided on how to make it happen. Michael Pope reports.

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State Republicans: Democratic Agenda is Too Expensive

virginia_flag_map_0Democrats are plowing through a massive agenda, everything from raising the minimum wage to addressing climate change. But, Republicans are worried about the cost of all that. Michael Pope reports.

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At the Halfway Point, What Has the New Democratic Majority Focused on in Richmond?

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are zooming through the busiest day of the General Assembly session, the final deadline for moving bills from one chamber to the other.

Michael Pope reports.

Among the legislation advancing before Tuesday’s crossover deadline: Authorizing local governments to move or remove Confederate monuments and war memorials.

Another bill advancing out of the House of Delegates would change the way Virginia’s Electoral College votes are allocated.

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With Key Vote Looming on Predatory Lending Restrictions, Some Are Worried About New Loopholes

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to crack down on high-interest loans. But, advocates against predatory lending are concerned about new loopholes that might be created in the process. Michael Pope has details.

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An Effort to Repeal Virginia’s “Right to Work” Law Has Been Shelved

StateSeal00The effort to repeal Virginia’s right to work law has failed, at least for now. Michael Pope reports.

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When Should Polls Close on Election Day?

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Democrats are taking up a number of initiatives to make voting easier, and one of those may be extending polling hours. Michael Pope reports.

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New Local Government Exchange Program Pairs Communities Across the State

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Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, left, chats with Norton Mayor Joseph Fawbush at the Executive Mansion. The two cities have been paired as part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Local Government Exchange Program. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Governor Ralph Northam is launching an effort aimed at forging new lines of communication across local governments in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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One State Lawmaker Wants to Establish an Office of New Americans

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are considering an effort aimed at helping immigrants who move to Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Virginia Consider a Regional Minimum Wage?

StateSeal00Lawmakers in Richmond are moving forward with increasing the minimum wage. But, some are pressing for regional variation. Michael Pope reports.

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House of Delegates Poised for Key Vote on Non-Discrimination Policies

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are about to vote Wednesday on a bill that would create new protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Michael Pope reports.

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The Push for SLAPP Lawsuit Protections in Virginia

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Lawmakers are considering bills aimed at preventing frivolous lawsuits designed to silence political opponents. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislative Panel Backs Local Control Over Monuments

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A group of Charlottesville residents advocate for local control of war memorials, including Confederate monuments, during a Virginia Senate committee meeting. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Localities in Virginia are one step closer to having control over Confederate monuments in their region. A bill ceding that power passed out of a key committee for the first time time Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Shopping Carts Are a Problem in Northern Virginia, and One Lawmaker Wants to Fix That

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Lawmakers are taking action aimed at removing abandoned shopping carts from creeks in Northern Virginia. Although, it could end up allowing a local government near you to take action. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Monuments Prove to Be a Topic of Debate for Lawmakers in Richmond

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A statue of segregationist Harry Byrd stands at Virginia’s capitol.

Statues of Robert E. Lee and Harry Byrd have become flashpoints for lawmakers this year. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Localities Be Able to Tax Plastic Bags?

general_assembly_2020Local governments across Virginia may be getting the ability to impose taxes on plastic bags. Michael Pope reports.

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An Effort to Bring Ranked Choice Voting to Virginia Elections is Gaining Traction

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers are considering a number of bills aimed at making Virginia elections more efficient and effective. Michael Pope reports that one of those efforts, ranked choice voting, is moving forward.

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Will Virginia Lawmakers Implement Another Tuition Freeze This Year?

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Credit: Taber Andrew Bain / Creative Commons

For two decades, tuition at Virginia’s universities was on the rise. That ended last year after a massive new investment in higher education was available only to schools who agreed to cap their tuition rates. But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s unclear whether lawmakers will make the same move this year.

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What Exactly is “Milk?”

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Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

Lawmakers are currently weighing in on a bill that would create a legal definition for milk. Michael Pope reports.

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Workplace Protections Haven’t Always Included Domestic Workers, Some Lawmakers Want to Change That

StateSeal00Democrats in Richmond are pushing a hike in the minimum wage, hoping to make life easier for low-income working Virginians. But without another change in the law, that increase won’t apply to domestic workers. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Full Virginia House and Senate to Soon Consider Reigning In Car Title and Payday Lenders

virginia_flag_map_0Virginia may be on the verge of losing car-title lenders and payday lenders. But, as Michael Pope reports, several other low-interest lending companies may be moving in to take their place — if lawmakers take action to prevent high-interest lending.

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The Push for Paid Family Leave in Virginia is Drawing Flak From Small Businesses

general_assembly_2020Democrats are pressing for paid family medical leave legislation. But, as Michael Pope reports, business groups are pushing back.

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Lawmakers Push to Impose Stricter Regulations on Student Loan Servicers

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Senator Janet Howell is pushing a bill she calls the Borrowers Bill of Rights, which she says will protect borrowers from shady practices by having state regulators crack down on egregious practices. (Credit: Michael Pope)

From car-title loans to student debt, lawmakers are hoping this will be the year when the General Assembly takes on predatory lenders. Michael Pope has this report on an effort to regulate student loan servicing companies.

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“And We’re Not Paying Them for That” Educators Flock to Richmond Requesting More Funding, Better Pay

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Educators from across Virginia join hands in massive “Red4Ed” rally in Capitol Square, calling on lawmakers to fully fund request from the Virginia Board of Education. They say educators are overworked and short staffed. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Educators from across Virginia are in Richmond today, pressing lawmakers to fully fund education this year. Michael Pope reports from Capitol Square.

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Could This Be the Year Virginia Lawmakers Crack Down on Predatory Lenders?

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Delegate Lamont Bagby of Henrico County has legislation that would drastically reduce the interest limit on car title and payday loans. (Credit: Creative Commons)

Legislation aimed at reigning in high-interest loans will get attention in the state Senate Monday. Michael Pope reports.

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Efforts to Ease Access to Abortion Find Success in House and Senate

StateSeal00Now that Democrats have the majority they’re looking to make it easier for women to access abortions. This week, committees in both Virginia’s House and Senate have given their stamp of approval to legislation that would roll back abortion restrictions put in place under Republicans. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Along Party-Line Vote, Virginia Senate Passes Red Flag Law

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A controversial measure that would make it possible for police to temporarily take guns from someone deemed a danger to themselves or others passed Virginia’s Senate Wednesday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Governor Northam Weighs In On Paid Sick Days Debate

governor-northam-official-photo_800Lawmakers are debating a proposal to require businesses offer paid sick days to their employees. But, Democrats are divided over which businesses would be required to do that. Michael Pope has details.

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The Effort to Remove Virginia’s Outdated Laws

StateSeal00The Virginia General Assembly is celebrating its 401st year. It has plenty of relics, including many old and outdated laws. As Michael Pope reports, lawmakers are hard at work updating some of them.

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State Republicans Are Now the Ones Seeing Their Gun-Related Legislation Killed

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Firearms are becoming one of the hottest issues of the General Assembly session this year, although Republicans aren’t having much luck with their bills. Michael Pope has more details.

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Advocates Press Lawmakers to Raise the Minimum Wage, Support Home Healthcare Workers

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Labor unions and their supporters rally Tuesday for raising the minimum wage and passing a homecare workers bill of rights. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Labor unions didn’t have much luck when Republicans were in power. But now that Democrats are in control of the legislature, groups that support workers are excited about having their agenda moving through the General Assembly. Michael Pope reports.

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“We’re Here to Represent the 2nd Amendment” Pro-Gun Rally in Richmond Ends Without Violence

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Thousands of pro-gun advocates flocked to the streets of Richmond Monday. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Some 22,000 supporters of gun rights voiced their opposition today/Monday to legislation being considered by the General Assembly.

And, though they were less conspicuous, people calling for more restrictions on guns were also there.

Michael Pope and Mallory Noe-Payne share some of the voices around today’s/Monday’s rally at the state capitol.

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Legislation Making Menstrual Products Available to Virginia Students Moves on to Full Senate

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Senator Jennifer Boysko has introduced a bill that would require school boards across Virginia to make pads and tampons available at all times at no cost to students. (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

Lawmakers are considering a bill to make menstrual products available at all schools in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Some Groups Will Stay Away, as the Capitol Prepares for a Busy “Lobby Day”

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Richmond, state and capitol police are all preparing for a busy day Monday, as thousands are expected to descend on the state capitol.

Just outside the Capitol building, fencing has already been put in place around a specific area. There will be one point of entry. Anyone who enters this space will have to go through a metal detector, and per an emergency order from the governor, guns will not be allowed.

But step outside Capitol Square and anything goes because the city of Richmond isn’t allowed to ban guns. Several roads will be blocked from traffic and a heavy police presence is to be expected.

In addition to the gun rallies, Monday is expected to be business as usual for the legislature. Both the House and the Senate will be gaveling in and meeting.

Dueling gun control rallies in Virginia’s capitol Monday are garnering national attention, but there are plenty of other groups that normally lobby Monday and now have to rethink their plans. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has announced they will be cancelling their planned rally on Monday. In a statement, the group’s state director Lori Haas says they refuses to engage with those who would harm them.

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Some Former Journalists in the General Assembly Are Working to Protect Freedom of Press

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Chris Hurst, a former anchor at WDBJ, has a bill that would give new protections to student journalists to protect them from administrators who want to suppress reporting. (Credit: Virginia General Assembly)

Press freedom and access to information are issues that might get more traction this year now that Democrats have taken control of the General Assembly. Michael Pope reports.

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This Year’s Lee-Jackson Day Might Be the Last

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Friday is a state holiday, Lee-Jackson Day, honoring Confederate leaders. But, this year may be the last one it’s on the calendar. Michael Pope reports.

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“Credible Threats” Lead to Emergency Declaration, Weapons Ban Ahead of Rally

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Governor Ralph Northam, along with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and other state officials, announce security the security plans. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Governor Ralph Northam is declaring a state of emergency in advance of rallies planned for the state capitol Monday.

Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia General Assembly Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment

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Advocates and lawmakers celebrate passage of the ERA outside the House of Delegates Chamber. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

In a series of votes Wednesday, Virginia approved resolutions to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

That means enough states have now approved the measure guaranteeing gender equality to enshrine it in the U. S. Constitution. But more legal battles are likely ahead. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Business Groups Are Lining Up Against Democratic Efforts to Help Virginia Workers

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Business leaders from across Virginia appear at a press conference announcing united opposition to raising the minimum wage, mandating paid family leave and overturning the right-to-work law. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Democrats in the General Assembly are planning to move forward with a number of bills designed to help workers. But, those efforts will have serious opposition. Michael Pope reports.

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