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.
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.
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.
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.