General Assembly

Study or Skip? College Students on 10th District Senate Seat

Oct 21, 2015

With two weeks left before election day... candidates for Richmond’s contested 10th district Senate seat Tuesday night. It's a critical seat, but behind every student who follows local elections, there are a couple more who don't. 

The auditorium was almost full with students who clearly care about politics.

In the running: Democrat Dan Gecker, Republican Glen Sturtevant, Marleen Durfee, an independent and Carl Loser, a libertarian.

"These are the people who determine are laws, determine how high our college tuition is and things like that."   

In one month, Virginians will head to the polls to elect all 140 members of the House of Delegates and state Senate.  But according to a recent Christopher Newport University survey, only 34% of voters say they have followed news about the General Assembly candidates—even though partisan control of the closely divided Senate is at stake.  Although some of the seats are fiercely contested, a lack of competition throughout the state may be part of the problem.

Virginia Senate Votes to Adjourn Special Session

Aug 17, 2015

Governor McAuliffe called the General Assembly into special session to redraw the Commonwealth’s congressional district boundaries, but Republican lawmakers first used the opportunity to try to advance their own selection to the state Supreme Court. 

The day’s sessions turned into a tug-of-war between supporters of McAuliffe’s interim nominee, Justice Jane Marum Roush, and advocates of the GOP’s choice, state Court of Appeals Judge Rossie Alston. 

State legislators meet in a special session Monday to discuss how they will redraw congressional boundaries after two courts ruled the current map is unconstitutional, but lawmakers are likely to divide along partisan lines.

Under a federal court order, Virginia’s legislature has until September first to come up with a new map that eliminates racial gerrymandering – drawing strangely shaped districts that minimize the influence African Americans can have in electing candidates to Congress. Dale Eisman is with the watchdog group Common Cause.

A coalition of nonprofit and advocacy organizations says the General Assembly’s legislative process needs to be more open and clear to the public.  

Members of “Transparency Virginia” attended more than three-quarters of the Assembly’s 101 committee and subcommittee meetings during its recent session.  They found a less-than-stellar record of adequate notice for meetings, recorded votes, and full consideration of bills.

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