General Assembly

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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General Assembly 2015
8:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

School Divisions Could Have Flexibility in Graduation Requirements

In Richmond, members of the General Assembly are moving forward with the plan to change high school graduation requirements. The bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of standardized tests.

The House Education Committee is moving forward with a bill that would give local school divisions more flexibility in how they determine graduation requirements. The idea is to let administrators ditch standardized tests in favor of other assessments, like a science project or a research essay.

"I don't think it undermines the accountability."

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General Assembly 2015
7:59 am
Fri January 30, 2015

One Gun Control Bill Survives General Assembly Scrutiny

Virginia lawmakers have been mulling over a series of gun bills-and only one gun-control measure has survived a Senate Committee.  While the bill has lost some of its teeth, its sponsor says it nevertheless makes progress in the fight against domestic violence. 

Senator Barbara Favola's bill was originally defeated. But a Senate Committee reconsidered it and passed a watered-down version that was sent to the Finance panel.

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