Nick Gilmore

Everything you possibly could want to know about all things weather

Homepage: http://theweatherzone.wordpress.com

Despite Republican Calls for a Short Session, General Assembly to Continue This Week

The General Assembly session is now at its midpoint. Republicans tried to force Democrats into a shorter session, but that strategy failed. Michael Pope has details.

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Va. News: Virginia Beach Controversy, Civic Engagement Legislation

Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Virginia is about to enact a law that will make it easier for students to publicly engage in politics thanks to Republicans and Democrats working together. And a reminder in Virginia Beach that Americans have the right to be crude.

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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Virginia Senate Follows House’s Lead, Votes to Legalize Marijuana

Lawmakers are moving forward with legalizing marijuana. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Advances Bill Seeking to Expand the State’s Court of Appeals

Lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that could dramatically change the legal system in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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House of Delegates Votes to Abolish Death Penalty

Friday, the House of Delegates voted to abolish the death penalty by a vote of 57 to 41. Virginia’s now poised to be the first state in the south to abolish the death penalty. As Jahd Khalil reports, Friday’s vote in the House of Delegates comes after an emotional debate the day before.

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Northam: Virginia School Divisions Should Offer an In-Person Option by March 15th

After the pandemic caused Governor Ralph Northam to close Virginia’s public schools last spring, he says it’s now time to reopen. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Benefits of Birding in a Pandemic

Scott Karr at his store, Wild Birds Unlimited of Charlottesville

COVID-19 is not a risk to birds. In fact, the pandemic has been very good for our feathered friends. Sandy Hausman spoke with the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Charlottesville.

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State Education Officials Say Many Students Have Some Catching Up to Do Thanks to the Pandemic

The pandemic prompted Virginia public schools to call off the Standards of Learning test used to assess student achievement statewide, but other measures point to trouble at a time when many kids are expected to learn online. Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Legislation Ending Session Immunity for State Lawmakers Dies in Senate Committee

Elected officials like to tell voters they’re just like everybody else. But, they actually have immunity from prosecution during the General Assembly session. Michael Pope has details.

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Bill Requiring Absentee Ballots to be Recorded in Precincts Where Voters Live Moves Forward

As more and more voters move toward absentee voting, important data about the geography of elections is not being collected. Michael Pope reports on an effort to fix that problem.

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House of Delegates Set to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Friday

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Last year, Virginia decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Thursday, the House of Delegates discussed the issues involved with legalizing it. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Virginia Senate Passes Death Penalty Abolition Bill

Virginia has executed more people for a longer period of time than any other state. But, that’s about to change. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Adding More Transparency to New Redistricting Commission Advances

Last year was a census year. That means this year Virginia is redrawing legislative districts. And a piece of legislation seeks to add transparency, and accessibility, to the process. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Criminal Justice Reform: Should Virginia Remove Presumptions Against Bail?

State Senator Creigh Deeds (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

Lawmakers are talking about a number of ways to reform the criminal justice system. And, one way is to change how the cash bail system works. Michael Pope reports.

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The Legislative Effort to Make Environmental Justice Part of Virginia’s Code

Last year Virginia enacted the Virginia Environmental Justice Act. It made environmental justice the policy of the Commonwealth. Jahd Khalil has more on a bill to put it into action in each level of government.

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Drop Boxes and Mail-In Ballots: Should Pandemic-Related Election Changes Be Permanent?

Many of the pandemic-related changes to Virginia elections might end up being permanent. Michael Pope explains why.

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Effort to End Qualified Immunity Shelved This Session, Likely to Become Campaign Issue

Lawmakers are rejecting efforts to end qualified immunity for police officers. Michael Pope reports.

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VDH: Vaccine Administration Ramping Up, More Doses Expected Next Week

Last week, officials admitted Virginia had one of the worst state rates for administering vaccine on hand. This week, the news is better. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Ending the Death Penalty: What Financial Impacts Could Virginia See?

Lawmakers are considering legislation to abolish the death penalty in Virginia. Michael Pope reports on the potential financial implications.

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Effort to Abolish the Panic Defense in Virginia Clears Hurdle in House of Delegates

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would create new protections for people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Weigh the Very Nuanced Issue of Conviction Expungement

Lawmakers are trying to work their way through a number of complicated issues this year. One of the most nuanced issues this year is how to expunge old convictions. Michael Pope has details.

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Should Guns Be Allowed at Virginia’s Capitol Square?

Credit: VA Capitol Police Twitter Page; @VaCapitolPolice

Rising concern over the safety of lawmakers and the public is causing lawmakers to reconsider where guns are allowed near the state Capitol. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senators Censure Amanda Chase

State Senator Amanda Chase (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

Members of the Virginia Senate are taking action to censure one of their own. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate to Decide Fate of Paid Sick Days Legislation

As the pandemic continues to grip Virginia, lawmakers are debating paid sick days. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Says More Vaccines On the Way, Promises Transparency

The COVID-19 vaccination effort has been a confusing one in Virginia up until this point. The governor worked to address frustration with the process Wednesday. Nick Gilmore reports.

The governor has also extended restrictions put in place last month to cut down on further spread of COVID-19 through the end of February. They were originally set to expire this week.

“We are ramping up vaccinations. This is no time to let down our guard,” he said.

Those restrictions include a stay-at-home order from 12 to 5am each day, a universal mask mandate for everyone five and older and a cap on social gatherings to 10 people.

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Bill Adding Additional Scrutiny for Precinct Decisions Advances

Lawmakers are considering several changes to how elections work in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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‘Right to Appeal’ Legislation Clears One Hurdle in Virginia Senate

Lawmakers in Virginia are considering a proposal that would make a major change to the legal system in Virginia. Michael Pope has details.

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Challenges Abound for Vaccination Efforts in Virginia’s Rural Communities

Dr. Richard Williams (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

This week, some of Virginia’s rural health districts have begun the second round of COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to immunizing people in group 1B. That’s putting a strain on health districts on the Eastern Shore, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Pamela D’Angelo spoke with the doctor who’s heading up efforts there.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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