Government & Politics

General Assembly 2015
7:45 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Ethics Reform Passed in Final Hours of General Assembly Session

State and local officials would be governed by tougher ethics rules under legislation that passed the General Assembly during the final hours of the 2015 session.  The bills make it illegal for lobbyists, their clients, and anyone who seeks to do business with the state or local governments to give an official a gift worth more than $100. 

The bills lower the gift cap from $250 to $100, require on-line reporting of gifts worth more than $50, and erase the distinction between tangible and intangible gifts, such as meals or travel.  

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more
Scrambling for Plan B
12:29 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Obamacare on the Ropes

One of the biggest Supreme Court cases of this term could wipe away the insurance subsidies that tens of thousands of Virginians now rely on under the Affordable Care Act.

Remember the last time the Supreme Court took up so called Obamacare? It surprised Court watchers by ruling the individual health insurance mandate is constitutional under Congress’ power to tax.

“Perhaps the celebration of a five to four ruling that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional might have been premature.”

Read more

Pages