Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to suspend part of the Voting Rights Act, Virginia's General Assembly had already passed some revisions to state election law.
Although the Commonwealth IS one of the states that the Act had mandated for Justice Department pre-clearance, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli believes at least some of the bills passed earlier this year are necessary.
Lawmakers passed them with a goal of ensuring the integrity of elections.
More bills that have become state law as of July 1st include a series of changes in education policies that were key parts of the Governor's legislative agenda during this year's General Assembly session.
While the reforms were initially met with mixed reviews, many past and present education leaders on both sides of the political aisle now say that without them, some students could fall behind.
Virginia’s next election is less than 150 days away, so pollsters in Central Virginia were surprised by their latest findings. But, the winner of the governor’s race is neither Terry McAuliffe nor Ken Cuccinelli.
When Tom Guterbock, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research, looked at the results of 900 phone calls to people in Albemarle and four surrounding counties, he was surprised. This area does tend to vote blue, but the Democratic nominee did not come out on top.
Texting-while-driving was already against the law, but now police have a new tool that will enable them to hand out more citations.
Supporters of the revised Virginia law hope that steep fines will deter drivers from taking their eyes off the road to read and send text messages.
Lawmakers overcame privacy concerns about police peering into vehicles as the evidence piled up about the growing number of deadly accidents due to texting. Bill sponsor Delegate Rich Anderson says now the law has some teeth.
Now that the state’s new transportation package is in effect, a State Senator from Northern Virginia is vowing to repeal one controversial part – a fee for hybrid vehicles.
Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria, says it’s illogical and unfair to tax hybrid technology – forcing owners to pay $64 a year.
“Y’know we have people who are paying more for their vehicles and paying higher personal property taxes to do the right thing for the environment, and they shouldn’t be taxed just for doing the right thing.”