The 2015 General Assembly convened on Wednesday with an undercurrent of drama. Ostracized by his former party leaders and denounced by others, newly re-elected Democrat-turned-Independent Delegate Joe Morrissey left his jail cell and returned to his legislative office. Morrissey acknowledges that many colleagues don't want him there after his misdemeanor conviction. But the embattled delegate says his constituents DO want him there -and he's preparing to fight for that.
Voters in Virginia’s 74th district apparently weren’t bothered by democratic delegate Joe Morrissey’s questionable past in office – including a recent alleged sex scandal involving his 17-year-old receptionist – because last night, he was re-elected in a special election to fill his own seat.
Despite his sentence and a past of controversial moments as delegate, Morrissey reclaimed his seat in last night’s special election. Just hours after his resignation took effect, the lawmaker won 42 percent of the vote.
Campus police would be required to notify their local commonwealth’s attorney within 48 hours of starting a sexual assault investigation under a bill that’s been introduced at the General Assembly. Several measures have been proposed since November, when Rolling Stone magazine published allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. This bill was first introduced several years ago to make public college campuses safer and help victims obtain essential support.
2014 was a harrowing year for the University of Virginia, with the alleged kidnapping and murder of one student and charges of rape against many more. Such tragedies are not unique to UVA, but state lawmakers will likely use Charlottesville’s troubles to try and reform Virginia’s criminal code.
Governor McAuliffe has unveiled a series of legislative proposals that he says would make Virginia more welcoming to businesses. The governor says his agenda would make the Commonwealth more inviting by guaranteeing equal treatment to ALL individuals under the law.
McAuliffe says all state laws should reflect recent court authorization of same-sex marriage by changing references from “man and woman” or “husband and wife” to “spouse.”
“We needed to make sure that we are open and welcoming and that we are not putting up walls around this great Commonwealth of ours.”