Government & Politics

General Assembly 2015
7:20 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Debated in General Assembly

It's a marijuana decriminalization bill - NOT a marijuana legalization bill - that a Northern Virginia lawmaker is fighting for during this General Assembly session. Senator Adam Ebbin contends that there's a significant difference, and the legislation is necessary in order to stop making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Ebbin says many states have already recognized that criminalization of "a plant" in America has failed, and it's time Virginia recognizes that as well.

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Surveillance Legislation
4:37 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Privacy Versus Public Safety

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

Since 9/11, police have been given greater freedom to spy on citizens and to limit civil liberties, presumably to assure public safety, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia thinks they’ve gone too far and is fighting back with several bills in Richmond. 

Sitting outside the General Assembly between committee hearings this week, the executive director of Virginia’s Civil Liberties Union lamented what she sees as a dangerous loss of privacy in this country. 

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Law & Crime
8:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Outdated Trafficking Laws Could Soon Be Reformed

Virginia lawmakers say while they ARE crafting more laws to nab sex traffickers, the perpetrators they label as "evil" are getting more aggressive and elusive—which is why it's time to create one standalone statute to be able to prosecute the traffickers. 

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114th Congress
7:22 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Virginia's House Representatives Outline Priorities on Capitol Hill

Flickr User Ron Cogswell
Credit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  Virginia's House delegation in Washington has a long wish list in the new Congress.  

Virginia lost a lot of seniority when the new Congress was seated earlier this month. So now twelve term Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte is the commonwealth's most senior member. As chair of the Judiciary Committee he's spearheading the GOP's efforts on immigration. At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters he laid out his to do list which includes an attempt to unwind the president's move to keep some five million undocumented workers in the country. 

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Holding Lawmakers Accountable
7:38 am
Mon January 19, 2015

New Coalition Aims to Keep General Assembly Transparent

There's a new coalition in town, and it aims to police the General Assembly and its policies so that citizens are always in the know. “Transparency Virginia” introduced itself to the public this week, and says it has a non-confrontational yet aggressive agenda to promote best practices in public accountability. 

Virginia Coalition for Open Government's Megan Rhyne says the legislative process isn't as open to the public as it should be. It's why Transparency Virginia was formed and will focus on three areas this year.

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