General Assembly

General Assembly 2015
7:58 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Tie-Breaking Vote Sends Employment Discrimination Bill Forward

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam casts the tie-breaking vote.
Credit Anne Marie Morgan

Public employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity would be prohibited under legislation that has passed the Virginia Senate.  The bill inserts a policy into state law that has been adopted through executive order by Governor McAuliffe and several other gubernatorial 

  administrations. The commonwealth’s Lieutenant Governor played a key role in the legislation’s passage.

Senator Barbara Favola argued that steps to prohibit workforce discrimination are needed.

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Part 2 of 2
8:31 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Medicaid Expansion: Good for the Economy?

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

Virginia’s Medicaid program provides healthcare for poor children, the elderly and disabled, but working adults rarely qualify.  Experts say as many as 400,000 people could get insurance if the state were to expand its Medicaid program, but there’s another reason why some lawmakers support that idea – it could be good for the economy. 

Opponents say Virginia can’t afford to expand Medicaid - even with the federal government paying 90-100% of the bill, but supporters say failing to expand the program will be even more expensive.

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General Assembly 2015
8:03 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Bill Allowing Guns on School Grounds Shot Down

Senator Chap Peterson argues against the bill.
Credit Anne Marie Morgan

The Virginia Senate has shot down legislation to allow people with concealed-carry permits to possess a handgun on school property after normal school hours.  The bill applied only to those times when no school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities were taking place. Questions about how residents would determine which events are school-sponsored were an insurmountable hurdle to some lawmakers.

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General Assembly 2015
8:22 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Proposed Bill would Reign In Lawmaker Spending on Private Law Firms

Senator Mark Obenshain
Credit HuffingtonPost.com

It’s not unusual for Attorneys General or Governors to hire counsel from private law firms when they believe they need special expertise or legal services. Now a bill to rein in spending and hold both officeholders accountable for outside counsel they seek on the taxpayer's dime has passed the State Senate. They also would have to explain why the special counsel IS in the public interest before entering into a contract.

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App-Based Service Rules
8:46 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Cab Drivers Rally for More Ride Sharing Regulations

Flickr user Emanuele
Credit Creative Commons

In Richmond, hundreds of taxicab drivers from across the commonwealth are at the Capitol to rally for new regulations for app- based, ride hailing companies. 

Earlier this week, lawmakers struck a deal with Uber and Lyft to create new regulations for the ride-hailing companies.

"Under the old rules, basically the taxicab rules, the ability to operate Uber and Lyft was going to expire soon."

That's Republican Delegate Tim Hugo of Centreville.

"So they needed some sort of authority granting them the ability to operate in Virginia."

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