State Government

Small Farms
5:26 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Legislation Eases Agritourism Obstacles

If Governor McAuliffe agrees, small farmers could operate agritourism activities under less restrictive regulations … thanks to legislation that has now passed both houses of the General Assembly.  The new law would prohibit local governments from requiring special-use permits and imposing stringent noise regulations unless there’s a substantial impact on public welfare or safety. 

While small farmers embraced this bill, they did not get everything they wanted during the legislative session.

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Gathering & Storing Personal Data
4:21 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Personal Privacy Protection Caucus

License Plate Reader

A bipartisan group of state senators and delegates has formed the General Assembly’s first-ever “Personal, Privacy Protection Caucus” of lawmakers. 

Their goal is to refine the law to prevent state and local governments from large-scale gathering and storage of personal data—especially if it takes place without individual warrants. 

The members say they're also trying to strike the right balance between public safety and Fourth Amendment protections.

The caucus plans to hold hearings and consult law enforcement this year to craft new legislation.

 

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Equal Protection
1:39 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Federal Judge Rules VA's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional

Reaction to federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s ruling that struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban was swift—with fervent discussion among Virginia lawmakers, a news conference from the state Attorney General who rallied against the law, and gay couples who try, but fail, on Valentine's Day to get marriage licenses. 

 

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Government & Politics
4:57 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

General Assembly Update

Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell and other GOP members of that chamber are characterizing the first half of the General Assembly session as a success.

Howell says many of their key initiatives have passed, and they worked well with Democrats. But when asked if the House will work with the Senate on passing Medicaid expansion, GOP leaders still say they just don't see that happening.

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Snow Storm Preparations
8:46 am
Wed February 12, 2014

State of Emergency: What Does It Mean?

The season’s first major snow storm is well on its way and as a result, Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency. 

A state of emergency means that state agencies are at the ready to assist local governments, and provide a quick response wherever and whenever they are needed in the state.

State agencies include the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation and the Virginia National Guard, just to name a few. It also means electric, phone and cable utility companies are standing by to assist with any and all outages.

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