Posts Tagged General Assembly 2021

Lawmakers Still Need to Balance Virginia’s Budget; Where Will Teacher Raises Fit Into That Work?

Virginia’s legislative session is wrapping up, but one big piece is still missing: funding. Lawmakers are expected to reveal the budget they’ve agreed on today. Reporter Jahd Khalil says eyes are on teacher salaries.

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State Lawmakers Kick Precinct Data Legislation Down the Road

Voters may be about to get better data about elections. But as Michael Pope reports, it won’t be this year.

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The Debate Over Reforming Virginia’s Bail System Likely Won’t End This Session

Lawmakers are taking action to change how the cash bail system works. Michael Pope reports.

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Conference Committee Working on Bill Allowing Mental Health Testimony in Criminal Cases

Credit: NPR

People with developmental disabilities are incarcerated much more often than the rest of the population. But when defending themselves, they’re not allowed to introduce evidence about their mental state at the time of the alleged crime. Jahd Khalil reports on how that practice could end.

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Despite Democratic Majorities, A Ban on Assault-Style Weapons Isn’t Headed to Northam’s Desk

Lawmakers are sending the governor several bills aimed at preventing gun violence. But there’s one bill they’re not sending him. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Votes to Remove Harry Byrd Statue from Capitol Square

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

The General Assembly is about to remove a prominent symbol of its racist past from Capitol Square. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Rejects Farm Worker Minimum Wage Bill

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Senate Democrats are rejecting an effort to guarantee a minimum wage to farm workers. Michael Pope has the story.

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Legislation Requiring In-Person Instruction Currently Under Consideration by House of Delegates

On Monday, some students in Henrico County returned to in-person learning. Governor Northam has asked all schools to have an in-person option by March 15th. A bill in the General Assembly would require it by this summer. Jahd Khalil has this report from Richmond.

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Effort to Add Paid Sick Days Has Been Narrowed, More Debate Potentially on the Horizon

Senators may be on the verge of approving paid sick days. But, the bill they’re considering would be a very narrow requirement. Michael Pope reports.

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State Democrats Want to Prevent Those Convicted of Domestic Abuse From Having Firearms

Lawmakers are considering a bill designed to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Remove Byrd Statue, Rename Jefferson Davis Highway

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Lawmakers are taking action to remove some divisive symbols from public view. Michael Pope has the story.

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Legislation Would Help With Food Insecurity, During and After the Pandemic

More Virginians are having trouble getting access to food because of COVID-19. A bill before the General Assembly is looking to offer food banks assistance. But the bill also has implications after the pandemic. Jahd Khalil has details.

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Virginia Could Soon End Costly Coal Tax Credits

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would scrap tax credits for the coal industry. Michael Pope reports.

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State Democrats Working Out Differences on Gun Control Legislation

Democrats campaigned on a platform of taking action to crack down on gun violence. Now, they’re divided on some of the details. Michael Pope has the story.

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The General Assembly Has Approved Marijuana Legalization, But Details Up in the Air

The House and the Senate have both approved legalizing marijuana, although there are differences between the two approaches that still need to be worked out. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Considering Baseline Data Privacy Law

What can a company do with your personal data? That’s what lawmakers are discussing in the General Assembly. California already has its own law. Jahd Khalil reports on a data protection act proposed for Virginia.

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Legislation Moving Forward in Richmond Would Ban Guns at All Virginia Polling Places

Now that Democrats are in control of the General Assembly, firearms are prohibited in a number of places. And, one of those places might soon be a polling place. Michael Pope has the story.

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It’s Open Season for Campaign Fundraising Thanks to Mostly Online Special Session

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers are now in a General Assembly unlike any other, partly because it’s largely virtual. But, the laws around campaign fundraising also work differently. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Extending Background Check Processing Time for Gun Purchases Moving Forward

Last year, Democrats took action on a host of new gun control laws. Now, they are coming back around to make some changes. Michael Pope explains.

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Legislation Seeking to Cut Back on Court Fees Now Under Consideration by State Senate

Senators are considering a House bill that would reduce some court fines and fees. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Come Together on Virginia’s Budget

Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to balance the books during a pandemic and an economic crisis. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislation Closing Campaign Finance Loophole Moving Forward in Richmond

Virginia lawmakers may be on the verge of closing one of the most notorious campaign finance loopholes in the country. Michael Pope reports.

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DMV Data Legislation Currently Under Consideration by State Senate

Credit: Virginia DMV

Earlier this year, Virginia residents with an undocumented immigration status could apply for a Virginia driver privilege card for the first time. But advocates were concerned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could use the DMV data without a court order. Jahd Khalil has more.

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Virginia House and Senate at Standoff Over Expungement… Again

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers agree they want to make it easier to expunge old criminal records. But, for a year now Democrats who control the General Assembly have not been able to agree about how to make that happen. Michael Pope explains why.

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Virginia Senate Considering Legislation Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

Lawmakers are considering a resolution that makes a declaration about the problem of racism. Michael Pope reports.

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A Look at Some of the Transportation-Related Legislation Moving Forward at the General Assembly

Nearly half of Virginia’s carbon emissions come from transportation. The House of Delegates took on a number of bills hoping to reduce those emissions, and now they’re in the senate’s hands. Jahd Khalil has this report.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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