Government & Politics

Government & Politics
4:37 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Fox Pens Phase Out

A Virginia Senate bill that would limit the use of—and eventually phase out—the controversial practice of fox-penning has cleared another legislative hurdle.  

The bill, which is now a compromise version, would allow the state's 36 pens to remain open for 40 years but ban the creation of new ones. 

The measure would also cap the number of penned foxes statewide to 900—down from an average of 1200.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, trapped foxes are placed in large acre, fenced-in preserves, where dogs are allowed to chase them.

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Budget Impasse
4:30 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

General Assembly: Extending the Session...or Special Session?

The probability that the Virginia General Assembly will not complete its work by its scheduled Saturday adjournment has grown to a near-certainty. 

House of Delegates GOP leaders on Tuesday called on the Senate to set aside its version of Medicaid expansion—known as Marketplace Virginia—to speed up passage of what Republicans are calling a “clean budget” without it.  They also proposed a special session just to consider expanding the Medicaid program.

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Paying for Services
4:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Medicaid Expansion & Mental Health

Credit Kaiser Health News

As the effort continues to press the Virginia House of Delegates to jump on board with Medicaid expansion, mental health advocates are warning of what could happen if those who are uninsured remain so. 

One coalition says that while both chambers have made addressing mental health a priority this session, those who suffer from illnesses will still face many challenges if they do not have the means to pay for critical services.

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Compromise Not Ruled Out
5:03 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Veterans' Benefits Bill Blocked

Lawmakers in the region are upset a bill to expand veterans benefits was defeated in the U-S Senate.

The veterans bill would restore a cost of living pay increase for veterans, expands health care services and pays for reproductive services for troops wounded in recent wars.

Now it’s back to the drawing board after Senate Republicans opposed the $21-billion cost of the bill, which Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says is a setback.
 

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Government & Politics
9:15 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Felon Voting Rights Still a Work In Progress

Many federal lawmakers are echoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s call to restore voting rights to felons in Virginia. 

In a couple states felons can vote while in prison. In many right after they leave the gates their voting rights are restored. Not in Virginia.

The commonwealth is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t restore voting rights upon being released from prison or completing probation or parole, which Attorney General Holder says is unjust.

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