General Assembly

General Assembly
4:37 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Virginia Lawmakers Pass State Budget

No post session per diems, last-minute deals, and burning of the midnight oil this year. While the votes were not unanimous, Senate and House lawmakers have passed a state budget that includes pay raises for state employees, college faculty, state police, and teachers.

House Minority Leader David Toscano argued that law enforcement, school faculty, and other employees are still without the support they need.

"The budget doesn't go far enough, but it is a process and we'll continue to make it---push to make it better, not just this year, but in years ahead."

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General Assembly
4:18 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Tighter Guidelines on Home Daycare Providers

Recent tragedies where children have died under the care of unlicensed daycare providers have prompted the General Assembly to pass measures to strengthen Virginia’s licensing guidelines.

Delegate Bob Orrock's bill would require licensed home daycare providers to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. His bill also lowers the requirement for licensure from 6 children to 5. A Senate version leaves it at 6, but counts the provider's own children.  Orrock says some proposals have been far-reaching.

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General Assembly 2015
9:03 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Humane Pet Sales Bill Clears Both Houses in General Assembly

Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Sales of dogs and cats in Virginia would be governed by tougher restrictions under legislation that has passed both houses of the General Assembly.  The bill limits pet shops to selling dogs that were obtained from humane societies, public or private animal shelters, and qualified breeders. One goal is to close the loopholes in state law that have allowed puppy mills some latitude to sell in the Commonwealth.

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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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