For the 2021-2022 school year, Virginia’s schools will be required to provide both full-time in-person and virtual learning options to students, thanks to Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 1303. A bipartisan effort in the House Education committee led to a bill that passed out of the House of Delegates 88 to nine, and was approved by the Senate on Thursday 36 to three. Although Republicans weren’t able to get support for an emergency clause that would have triggered the requirements before July, Governor Ralph Northam is also calling for schools to begin phasing in in-person learning.Read More
Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler’s (D-Virginia Beach) HB 2254 passed with unanimous support in the House of Delegates. The bill would ban people from sending unsolicited obscene images to others. But after the House sent the bill to the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted eight to five to table the bill February 17, citing concerns that the bill could be applied too broadly.Read More
Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 1303 requiring schools to provide both in-person and virtual learning options is still moving through the House of Delegates, but slowly. Dunnavant’s bill earned bipartisan support in the Senate, thanks in part to support from Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond.) But a House Education subcommittee initially introduced several amendments to the bill that would effectively leave the status quo intact, prompting opposition from House RepublicansRead More
A bill in the state Senate that would prohibit prisons and juvenile facilities run by the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) from placing offenders in solitary confinement was reported out of the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee on Friday.
Specifically, Senate Bill 1301 does not outright ban the use of solitary confinement – defined as 17 or more hours in a cell for juveniles and 20 or more hours for adult prisoners – but more so restricts the practice and implements safeguards against misuseRead More
Legislation to remove most mandatory minimum sentences in Virginia advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday through a 9-6 party-line vote.
Senate Bill 1443 would end the mandatory minimum prison time for more than 200 crimes in the Commonwealth that carry the specific punishments, including assault and battery, rape and other sexual crimes, drug distribution and possession, child pornography as well as driving under the influence (DUI).Read More
The Senate of Virginia on Friday will vote to pass legislation out of the body that would allow for private health insurance companies offering plans through the state exchange to have the option for abortion coverage.
Senate Bill 1276 was introduced by Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City), who is also a gubernatorial candidate seeking the Democratic nomination, and co-sponsored by three other Democratic legislators.Read More
Three Virginia state Senators called for Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday to reopen public schools across the Commonwealth and mandate in-person learning as an option for families struggling with virtual instruction.
Just hours before the General Assembly kicked off its 2021 session, Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond City), Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) and Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) held a press conference to discuss the matter.Read More
The Virginia General Assembly 2021 regular session is right around the corner on January 13 and the Democrats will again be calling all the shots for the legislature thanks to their majority in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.
This means that the agendas and priorities of Democrats in the Senate – as well as their counterparts in the House – have quite a good chance of passing through each chamber if broadly supported. Yet, what exactly are Senate Democrats focusing on?Read More
After Governor Ralph Northam made a number of proposals to the state’s biennial budget on Wednesday, several Republican legislators rebuked the Democrat’s recommendation to expand the Virginia Court of Appeals and claimed he was trying to pack the court.
Northam presented his budget proposals during a virtual meeting with the House of Delegates and Senate appropriation committees.Read More
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) announced Monday that the Virginia House of Delegates would continue to meet virtually during the upcoming 2021 General Assembly regular session, just as they did during the special session, because of the current status of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the emailed statement, Filler-Corn’s decision was made after discussions with the Clerk of the House and officials from the Virginia Department of Health, which includes a letter from Virginia State Health Commissioner, Norman Oliver, strongly recommending the House hold sessions virtually “to the greatest extent possible.Read More
Last week Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation into law from the Virginia General Assembly special session, which gives judges sentencing power instead of juries in most criminal cases.
Sponsored by Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond City), Senate Bill 5007 changes a 224-year practice in the Commonwealth where juries had the authority to pass sentences after a conviction had been made.Read More
If elected governor, Justin Fairfax is determined to bring the Commonwealth and its residents out from underneath the current issues plaguing Virginia brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic and a destructive political landscape.
Last month Lt. Gov. Fairfax officially announced his entrance into the 2021 gubernatorial election, hoping to follow in the footsteps of former state governor L. Douglas Wilder and become the second black man elected to the Executive Mansion.Read More
During potentially the final day of the lengthy 2020 special session, Senate legislators adopted and passed the conference committee report on a bill that allows judges in certain criminal cases to issue the sentences instead of the jury.
The conference report that was unanimously agreed upon by the six conferees, two Republicans and two Democrats, passed the Senate by an almost exact party line vote of (Y-22 N-16).Read More
The Virginia state Senate Committee on Local Government passed by for the day a House bill that would authorize localities to remove, relocate or alter memorials for war veterans, including the Civil War.
Through a voice vote, House Bill (HB) 5030 was passed by for the day with the understanding that the committee chair will write a letter to the Department of Historic Resources and the Attorney General’s office for a better understanding on the memorials and of any potential legal ramifications from the bill.Read More
Richmond firefighters responded to 48 fires believed to be protest-related causing more than $4 million in estimated losses from late May to mid-June, according to internal fire & EMS department analysis obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD).
From May 29, the Friday after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minnesota, to June 15th eight buildings, 16 dumpsters, six vehicles as well as other fires involving trash or debris, according to the RTD.Read More