State Government

Attached to State Budget
2:30 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

General Assembly Ethics Reform Package

While Virginia's former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife fight a host of charges that they contend broke no ethics laws, Virginia lawmakers have advanced a series of bills that give elected officials and lobbyists a clearer picture of what's legal and what isn't. 

State lawmakers sought to close some loopholes in existing law, while not making the requirements so burdensome that honest mistakes would be severely punished.

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Agritourism Bill
5:04 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Farm Bill Flap

Senate Bill 51 sounded like a no brainer – a way to help farmers and promote agritourism, but it turns out that measure and a similar one approved by the House could make life miserable for people who live near farms that invite people to pick their own fruit, wander through corn mazes or take part in pumpkin carving competitions. 

Senate Bill 51 prevents counties from regulating the noise and traffic generated by such events.

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Government & Politics
4:37 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Fox Pens Phase Out

A Virginia Senate bill that would limit the use of—and eventually phase out—the controversial practice of fox-penning has cleared another legislative hurdle.  

The bill, which is now a compromise version, would allow the state's 36 pens to remain open for 40 years but ban the creation of new ones. 

The measure would also cap the number of penned foxes statewide to 900—down from an average of 1200.

For those unfamiliar with the practice, trapped foxes are placed in large acre, fenced-in preserves, where dogs are allowed to chase them.

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Budget Impasse
4:30 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

General Assembly: Extending the Session...or Special Session?

The probability that the Virginia General Assembly will not complete its work by its scheduled Saturday adjournment has grown to a near-certainty. 

House of Delegates GOP leaders on Tuesday called on the Senate to set aside its version of Medicaid expansion—known as Marketplace Virginia—to speed up passage of what Republicans are calling a “clean budget” without it.  They also proposed a special session just to consider expanding the Medicaid program.

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Paying for Services
4:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Medicaid Expansion & Mental Health

Credit Kaiser Health News

As the effort continues to press the Virginia House of Delegates to jump on board with Medicaid expansion, mental health advocates are warning of what could happen if those who are uninsured remain so. 

One coalition says that while both chambers have made addressing mental health a priority this session, those who suffer from illnesses will still face many challenges if they do not have the means to pay for critical services.

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