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.
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.
The Virginia Senate has approved legislation to repeal the state law passed two years ago that requires women to have an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. The measure was initially defeated—then in a dramatic reversal, was revived.
Bill sponsor Senator Mamie Locke said ultrasounds may not be medical necessary, and those that are can be performed without this law.
A person in a mental health crisis may be kept in custody for evaluation for up to 24 hours under legislation that has cleared the Virginia Senate.
The new, 24-hour limit passed over the objections of some in the law enforcement community, who worried that such a lengthy period may divert deputy sheriffs who are detaining the patient from other public safety priorities.
But the bill passed unanimously after an impassioned plea from the Senator who was most recently impacted by flaws in the state’s mental health system.