Legislative Tackle
4:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Overdose Epidemic in Virginia

Chesapeake Police Chief Kelvin Wright speaks in support of the bills.

An enormous surge in heroin and prescription-drug overdose deaths in Virginia has prompted the Centers for Disease Control to call it an epidemic.  It’s also why state lawmakers of both parties have joined together to advance a multi-faceted package of bills to tackle the challenge.  They believe it’s both a law enforcement AND a public health problem.

 

Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner reports that every region of the state has seen a spike in heroin overdose fatalities. Attorney General Mark Herring says the data confirm that.

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General Assembly
4:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Public Perplexed by Pipeline Bill

Credit www.dom.com

Regulating utilities in Virginia is a complicated job, and making sense of the rules requires expertise that few voters have, so it’s no surprise that citizens hoping to stop Dominion’s Atlantic Pipeline were alarmed by a bill that would change the way gas companies recoup their investment in pipelines.

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General Assembly's Commerce & Labor Committee
4:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Rate Freeze Debate

Credit Mark Turnauckas, Creative Commons

A state senator is proposing what sounds like a good deal for consumers – an 8-year freeze on rates charged by Virginia’s largest electric company. 

Frank Wagner says he introduced the measure so Dominion Power wouldn’t pass the costs of meeting clean air requirements on to its customers, but Attorney General Mark Herring says the measure might actually deprive consumers of rebates.  Mike Kelly speaks for the attorney general.

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Jennifer Wing is an on-call reporter and news host for KPLU. She’s from Philadelphia, but has been living in the Northwest for well over a decade. Jennifer has had many memorable KPLU radio moments over the years, but one that sticks with her is being allowed to watch a young man struggle to learn how to read. Jennifer says, “He'd made it all the way through middle school and most of high school not knowing how. He finally fell into the hands of some adults who cared enough to give him the time and attention he needed.”

Downtown Charlottesville
4:11 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Keystone XL Pipeline Protest

Credit http://keystone-xl.com

Protestors assembled in Charlottesville Tuesday to Protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. While many proponents of the Pipeline point to job creation, energy independence, and large approval ratings across the country, local Charlottesville activists believe the environmental costs of tar sands fuel, one of the dirtiest fuel sources, is too great to make the project viable.  

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Contraception and Abortion
7:50 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Lobbying for Better Access to Contraception

Credit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  On the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized abortion, hundreds of women lobbied Virginia lawmakers in person or by e-mail, asking them to increase access to contraception and repeal the state’s mandatory ultrasound law for women seeking an abortion. 

Earlier this week, they lost one important battle when a senate committee failed to vote on a bill that would have required prescription drug insurance to cover birth control.  Janice Craft-Henry is with NARAL-Pro Choice Virginia.

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Students Speak Out
7:38 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Lower Rates for Higher Education

Credit ATW80.com

About two dozen college students gathered in Richmond this week to demand lower rates for higher education.   

Among them, John Maggi, who studies at the University of Virginia. 

“In the United States, privilege is kind of what determines your educational status, especially when it comes to higher education and universities.”

Scott LeCates, an organizer with the teachers’ association in Roanoke, said debt was crippling college graduates – especially those who had chosen careers in education.

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114th Congress
7:28 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Virginia's Senators Expect to Work Across the Aisle

Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

Virginia’s two Democratic Senators are expected to hold a lot of sway as more moderate voices in the new Republican controlled Senate. 

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General Assembly 2015
7:20 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Debated in General Assembly

It's a marijuana decriminalization bill - NOT a marijuana legalization bill - that a Northern Virginia lawmaker is fighting for during this General Assembly session. Senator Adam Ebbin contends that there's a significant difference, and the legislation is necessary in order to stop making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Ebbin says many states have already recognized that criminalization of "a plant" in America has failed, and it's time Virginia recognizes that as well.

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