General Assembly

General Assembly
4:18 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Lawmakers Consider "Right to Try" for Terminally Ill Patients

Aimee Hardy advocates for the legislation.

Patients with a terminal illness would have expanded access to investigational drugs under Senate legislation that has been given preliminary approval by the House of Delegates. 

The bill would allow manufacturers to supply the medicine when all other treatment options have been exhausted. The legislation—which has been dubbed the “Right to Try” bill—was inspired by a young boy in the Commonwealth who fought for access to an investigational drug last year.

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Richmond's Bell Tower
12:46 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Rallying the Lawmakers

During the General Assembly session in Richmond, lawmakers are rallied to the Capitol each day by two different bell towers that ring in coordination with each other.

Each day the General Assembly is in session, Capitol Police screener Larry Toomer climbs the steps of the bell tower in Capitol Square and waits to hear the chimes from another bell tower across the street at St. Paul's Episcopal Church 

"One they start ringing, we ring right in between. When they ring, we ring. We ring. When they ring again we ring again."

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General Assembly 2015
8:34 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Lawmakers Crack Down on Cigarette Smuggling

Flickr user Fried Dough
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A Republican state senator is trying desperately to crack down on cigarette trafficking from Virginia to the Northeast, which evidence suggests is so profitable that it’s funding terrorist organizations and fuels organized crime. But several members of his own caucus in the House are standing in the way of one bill that’s passed the Senate. 

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General Assembly 2015
8:16 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Home School Sports Bill Advances in General Assembly

Flickr user Mack Male
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Some Virginia students who are home-schooled may be able to participate in public school interscholastic programs under legislation that has passed both houses of the General Assembly.  Lawmakers also sought to alleviate some concerns raised by school divisions.  

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General Assembly
7:59 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Exotic Weapons Ban Debated in General Assembly

Ballistic Knife

In Richmond, lawmakers are taking action to overturn a longstanding ban on selling blackjacks, brass knuckles, throwing stars and ballistic knives. 

Opponents of the effort say the law was originally created to undermine gang activity in Virginia, and they wonder who would want such exotic weapons.

"This bill is straight out of a Victorian crime novel."

That's Arlington Delegate Alfonso Lopez, a Democrat, who was one of the 42 votes against the bill.

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