General Assembly

During its recent session, Virginia's General Assembly took action on the Governor's Access Plan, which is a limited mental health and medical benefits package for a group of low-income adults in the Commonwealth. But what does it do, who is eligible, and what are its limitations? 

Lawmakers approved a variation of the program granted by the federal government at the behest of Governor McAuliffe.  Mira Signer with the National Alliance for Mental Illness says the benefits are for the seriously mentally ill between the ages of 21 and 64.

Bills that REALLY crack down on those who first exhibit signs of domestic abuse and strengthen penalties for sex traffickers are some of the public safety measures that the General Assembly recently sent to Governor McAuliffe.  The governor is also reviewing a potential new law that’s designed to take the temptation out of smuggling cigarettes.  

CBS News

One of the state's greatest proponents in the General Assembly for mental health reforms says when it comes to progress made during this legislative session, it's a mixed bag. Senator Creigh Deeds says the MOST important legislation he sponsored actually died in the House of Delegates. 

Should they be signed into law by Governor McAuliffe, bills recently passed by the General Assembly would modify some of the scrutiny of school systems that meet state standards.  The state would also create a different method to inform parents of how well those schools are doing.

After educators lambasted the state's A-F grading system created a few years ago, lawmakers crafted a new method to measure school performance. Bill sponsor Delegate Tag Greason says this gives the Board of Education authority to redesign a more comprehensive school performance report card.

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The 2015 legislative session in Virginia may be remembered for expanding access to medical marijuana and excusing Dominion Power from government oversight of its rates, but it could also be known for what didn’t happen. 

When President Obama announced that children raised in this country by undocumented parents could remain here legally, states had to decide whether to grant them in-state tuition.  Two lawmakers introduced bills to deny it, but Delegate Alfonso Lopez says neither was approved.