Posts Tagged Special Session

Funding Dispute Could Delay Sentencing Reform Legislation

Sentencing reform is coming to Virginia, although Democrats in the House and Senate are divided on when Virginia can afford to make it happen. Michael Pope reports.

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MRAPs Have Become a Sticking Point in Military Equipment Use Debate

Lawmakers are debating a ban on some kinds of military equipment for law enforcement agencies across Virginia. As Michael Pope reports, the House and Senate are taking different approaches.

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Virginia House and Senate at Odds Over Special Session’s Next Steps

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw explaining to his colleagues the situation with the House of Delegates. The House and state Senate are now in a standoff over how to handle bills from the other body, exacerbated by lack of procedural resolution outlining rules for special session.

House Democrats and Senate Democrats are at an impasse, and leaders in both chambers are trying to figure out what to do next in the special session. Michael Pope reports.

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Lessons Learned During the 1986 Special Session

Faced with a global pandemic and undeniable evidence of police brutality, lawmakers are working their way through a hectic special session – but it’s not entirely without precedent. Cat Modlin-Jackson has this look back at a time when the legislature got together to solve a different kind of crisis.

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Virginia Senate Committee Kills Paid Quarantine Leave Bill

Lawmakers are rejecting an effort to require businesses offer paid quarantine leave. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Working to Balance the Budget… Again

Lawmakers are trying to budget the state out of the red ink created by slumping revenues tied to the economic crisis. Michael Pope reports.

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Senate Democrats Split Over State Inspections of ICE Facilities

Members of the Virginia state Senate are considering a bill that would allow state inspectors access to detention centers holding people accused of violating immigration laws. But, Senate Democrats are divided about how to handle the situation. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Blocking Police Use of Military Equipment Moves to House of Delegates

The Virginia Senate has approved a landmark bill approving policing reform. The vote came after a debate over the use of military equipment. Michael Pope has details.

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Advocates Say There’s Adequate Funding to Reinstate Healthcare Spending

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

Faced with uncertainty about the costs of the coronavirus, lawmakers hit pause on plans to spend more money on Medicaid coverage earlier this year. But, in spite of an expected revenue shortfall, policy experts say there’s plenty of money left for healthcare spending. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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Marcus Alert Legislation On its Way to the Virginia Senate

Wednesday, House lawmakers advanced a bill that would establish the Marcus Alert system. Cat Modlin-Jackson has this story about the evolving proposal, named for an unarmed Black man killed by a Richmond police officer in 2018.

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Democratic Senators Block Republican Effort to Prevent Police from Unionizing

Members of the General Assembly are about to move forward with landmark legislation to reform policing in Virginia. But, Republican efforts to reduce the influence of police unions have been unsuccessful. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Shelves COVID Workers Comp Bill for Now

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Should workers who get COVID-19 be eligible for workers’ compensation? As Michael Pope reports, lawmakers aren’t sure.

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Bill Allowing Localities to Immediately Remove War Memorials Moves to State Senate

The city of Richmond removed a statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart earlier this year. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

As the nation attempts to reckon with systemic racism, lawmakers in Virginia are moving to speed up the process of taking down Confederate monuments. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Paid Sick Days Proposal is Dead, but Virginia House Moving Forward With Quarantine Leave

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Efforts to require paid sick days during the pandemic have already fallen apart in the Senate. But, efforts are moving forward in the House for a quarantine leave. Michael Pope reports.

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Bill Adding Civil Penalty for Emergency Order Violations Passes State Senate

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What happens if someone violates the governor’s executive order on the pandemic? Michael Pope reports.

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Several Measures Move Forward, But Qualified Immunity Bill Dies in House

A suite of policing reform bills moved out of the state House Friday. But, a measure allowing civilians to sue on-duty officers for misconduct wasn’t one of them. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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New Poll: Broad Support for Paid Sick Day Policy Among Virginians

A new poll shows widespread support for paid sick days. Michael Pope reports.

You can find more information on the poll here.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: Just How Much Power Should Civilian Review Boards Have?

Should citizen review boards be able to crack down on bad cops? Michael Pope reports lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow that kind of power.

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State Lawmakers Want to Ensure a Tuition Freeze Still Happens

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Earlier this year, lawmakers set aside millions of dollars to freeze tuition rates. They shifted course and unallotted that money when COVID-19 cast a shadow of economic doubt, but now, a move to restore those funds has bipartisan support. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Virginia Senate Strikes Down COVID-19 Business Immunity Bill

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Credit: CDC

Should corporations be immune from lawsuits if customers contract COVID-19? Michael Pope reports.

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Some State Lawmakers Worry Pandemic Could Stymie Civic Education Effort

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1The pandemic has played havoc with many aspects of education. Efforts to get high school students to register to vote are still moving forward, even though many schools are virtual. Michael Pope reports.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: House Committee Revives Effort to End Qualified Immunity

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Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond)

The state’s special session over police reform took a turn Tuesday after members of the House Appropriations Committee revived a bill allowing citizens to sue law-enforcement officers for misconduct. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports the latest on the controversial move to end qualified immunity.

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Budget Restraints Halt Some Policing Reforms in Richmond

StateSeal00Lawmakers are focused on reworking the budget and reforming police practices, but these issues aren’t mutually exclusive. Monday, members of the House budget committee weighed the costs of some of the criminal justice measures moving through their chamber. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: Bill to Limit Pretextual Stops Advances in House and Senate

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Lawmakers are moving forward with efforts to crack down on a controversial practice of pretextual policing. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Crime Commission Recommends Conviction Expungement System

virginia_flag_map_0Virginia is one of the few states where it’s almost impossible for someone to get rid of a conviction. But, that might be about to change. Michael Pope has the story.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Drop Box Funding Passes In Virginia House and Senate

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a plan to spend $2 million to help voters cast ballots during the pandemic. But, critics say they are opening the door to vote harvesting and election fraud. Michael Pope has details.

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State Lawmakers Working to Publicize Virginia Parole Board Votes

virginia_flag_map_0Lawmakers in Richmond are debating ways to shed more sunlight on the actions of the Virginia Parole Board. Michael Pope has the story.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Drop Boxes Legislation Moves Forward in Virginia Senate

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a plan to fund drop boxes for ballots across Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Senate Moves Forward Bill Removing Mandatory Minimums Related to Police Assault

General Assembly 2020Mandatory minimum sentences have been controversial in Virginia since the 1990s, when many new mandatory minimums were added to the code. Now lawmakers are moving in the other direction. Michael Pope has details.

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Guzman Bill Providing Paid Quarantine Leave Moves to House Appropriations Committee

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Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán

Public health officials have recommended self-isolation for people who’ve come down with or come into contact with COVID-19. For many caregivers and workers, staying home means losing days or weeks of wages. Cat Modlin-Jackson has details.

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Committee Kills Vaccine Opt-Out Legislation

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Credit: CDC

What happens when a vaccine for COVID-19 comes online? Tuesday, Republican lawmakers pushed legislation that would’ve limited mandates on immunizations. Cat Modlin-Jackson has this report.

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COVID-Altered Budget: Can State Lawmakers Squeeze in Funding for Clerk Positions?

StateSeal00Some of Virginia’s understaffed courts won big earlier this year when legislators approved funding for new district clerk positions. But their gain was lost to pandemic budget freezes, leaving court administrators to struggle under the weight of a workload that’s only grown because of COVID-19. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Voting in a Pandemic: State Lawmakers Working to Establish Protections for November Election

General Assembly 2020With a little more than two months to go before the nation’s first pandemic presidential election, lawmakers in Virginia’s General Assembly are fast tracking a measure to establish socially-distant election protocols. Monday, members of the House of Delegates pushed full speed ahead. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

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Legislating in the Era of COVID: Zoom Meetings and Electronic Votes

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Republican Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment says the Senate has never voted on anything virtually, and he warns it will be a “dangerous precedent” to start voting via Zoom during Monday’s Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee meeting.

Members of the Virginia Senate are joining the era of Zoom, voting electronically during a special session. Michael Pope reports.

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ICE Facilities Could Be Subject to Virginia Regulators Under Boysko Legislation

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State Senator Jennifer Boysko (Credit: Senate of Virginia)

State regulators may be on their way to inspect detention centers holding people accused of violating immigration laws.

Michael Pope reports.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: Should Juries Still Hand Down Sentences in Virginia?

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Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) arguing in favor of the bill ahead of a long weekend break of the special session.

The state Senate is breaking from the Special Session for a long weekend. But, before they left Richmond, they moved a sentencing reform effort forward. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Weigh Options to Help Relieve Eviction Crisis

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Credit: NPR

The economic fallout of COVID-19 has amplified Virginia’s eviction crisis, leaving lawmakers to negotiate a solution that would keep both tenants and landlords from going under. Members of the House and Senate have proposed rules mandating payment agreements, but they’re not entirely on the same page. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Several Criminal Justice Reform Bills Quickly Pass Through Senate Panel

StateSeal00Lawmakers are back in Richmond, and they’re already taking action on reforming policing. Michael Pope reports.

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COVID-19 Prompts Cuts to Education in Revised Northam Budget

governor-northam-official-photo_800Governor Northam’s revised budget bill proposes cuts for education and a boost to Medicaid spending. But, the loss for schools isn’t necessarily a gain for healthcare. Cat Modlin-Jackson reports.

Here’s the full report from the Commonwealth Institute.

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Lucas Charges Had Lawmakers Buzzing on First Day of Special Session

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President Pro Tempore of the Senate Louise Lucas
moves that the Senate adjourn until, ending the chamber’s first day of special session. Lucas has been the center of attention this week because the Portsmouth Police Department
is charging her with “injury” to a Confederate monument (Credit: Michael Pope)

As lawmakers arrived in Richmond for a special session to rewrite the budget and adopt criminal justice reform, lawmakers are buzzing about one of their own members charged with a felony. Michael Pope has the story.

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State Lawmakers to Take Another Crack at Paid Sick Days Proposal

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Credit: NPR

Earlier this year, lawmakers considered and rejected a proposal to require employers offer paid sick days. Lawmakers will be considering it again during a special session this week. Michael Pope reports.

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In the Age of COVID-19, Should Every Virginia School Have a Nurse?

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Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

School systems across Virginia are trying to figure out how they can reopen for face-to-face classes. And, they might be getting some help from lawmakers. Michael Pope reports.

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Wastewater, Runoff from Stormwater, Agriculture Slow Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

ChartVirginians are heading to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for a break from the COVID-19 pandemic – fishing, kayaking, and swimming. Throughout the summer pollution closes access to some of those waters. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation took a critical look at whether Virginia is meeting pollution reduction goals. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

Here is the full CBF report.

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COVID-19 Prompting At Least One State Lawmaker to Rethink License Ceremonies

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The pandemic has upended many aspects of day to day life, including teenagers who get their first driver’s license. And as Michael Pope tells us, lawmakers are considering upending a long-standing tradition.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: Should Lawmakers Implement a Court Fee Moratorium?

finesLawmakers are about to arrive in Richmond to start considering a number of criminal justice reforms. One issue that might be on the agenda is a moratorium on court fines and fees. Michael Pope reports.

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Balancing the Budget: How Should Virginia Handle Economic Situation Amid the Pandemic?

StateSeal00Lawmakers are headed back to Richmond this month to put together a new budget, one that takes into account the new economic situation presented by the pandemic. And, they’ll be considering a number of proposals for raising new revenue. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers Face Even More Calls to Transform Police Ahead of Special Session

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Lawmakers are headed to Richmond later this month to consider a host of criminal justice reform efforts. And, they’ll be under intense pressure to take action. Michael Pope reports.

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As the Pandemic Continues, Should Next Month’s Special Session Go Virtual?

virginia_flag_map_0Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a special session to reconsider the budget and take up criminal-justice reform efforts. They’ll probably be there in-person, although Michael Pope reports some House members are pushing for a virtual session.

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Special Session Demonstrates Issues with Guns in Public Spaces

StateSeal00Lawmakers are returning home to their districts this week after a special session on gun control empty handed. Michael Pope reports Republicans blocked all reform efforts, even ones suggested by Republicans.

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What to Expect From This Week’s Special Legislative Session

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond once again this week to consider gun-control legislation in the wake of the Virginia Beach shooting. Michael Pope has this preview.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been filing gun-related legislation to be considered during the session.

That includes Democratic Senator John Edwards. He has a bill that would allow local governments to ban firearms from meeting places like city council chambers.

Edwards has tried to get the measure passed before on behalf of Roanoke’s city council.

Other proposed legislation from Democratic lawmakers would reinstate Virginia’s one handgun purchase-a-month law, allow courts to remove guns from people deemed a risk to themselves or others, and make the penalty for leaving a loaded gun where a child can get it a felony.

Republican legislation includes efforts to increase the penalties for using a firearm during a crime, brandishing a gun at a law enforcement officer, and allowing state and local government employees to carry their gun on the job if they also have a concealed carry permit.

Republican Senator Amanda Chase says gun owners who are following the law shouldn’t be penalized for the bad behavior of others.

This November, ever seat in the General Assembly will be on the ballot — all 100 seats in the House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the state Senate.

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