State Government

Medical Marijuana
8:17 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Medical Marijuana in Treating Epilepsy Moves Forward in General Assembly

Credit Photo: David Trawin, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Virginia’s medical marijuana law may soon be expanded.  The House of Delegates has given preliminary approval to legislation that would allow the prescribed use of certain oils derived from marijuana if they are used for the treatment of epilepsy.  The legislation appears to be sailing through both chambers of the General Assembly.

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General Assembly 2015
7:57 am
Tue February 10, 2015

General Assembly Check-In: How are they Doing?

  With a Democratic Governor and GOP-led General Assembly Opposition was almost guaranteed in this year’s session. McAuliffe-backed gun control measures were swiftly shot down, despite a recent Roanoke College public opinion poll depicting strong support for expanded background checks. Marijuana decriminalization and a potential minimum wage hike were also crushed.

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State Song Debate
7:49 am
Mon February 9, 2015

A State Without a Song: How Close are we to Having One Again?

Virginia’s House is set to vote on a new state song, with committee members approving one option over another - predictably, along party lines. 

The Commonwealth has been without an official song since Governor Wilder raised objections to Carry Me Back to Old Virginia, a tune with lyrics that fondly recalled a time of slavery.  Two replacements were in contention when the House Rules Committee met last week.  One is a folk classic - Oh Shenandoah, with a new set of lyrics and a new title - Our Great Virginia.

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General Assembly
4:20 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Money Committees Report Revenue Bump

There’s good news from the Governor and the heads of the General Assembly’s money committees. Despite dealing earlier with a significant revenue shortfall, the state is now seeing a $338-million revenue bump from withholding through corporate income tax and insurance premiums.

It amounts to $162 million more over the biennium after a $176 million  deposit into the Rainy Day Fund. Governor McAuliffe says it provides a little extra money to spend as the budget is crafted.

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General Assembly
3:10 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Hope Floats for end to Gerrymandering

The political cartoon that launched the term.
Credit Elkanah Tisdale

Bills to stop gerrymandering are enjoying an unusual bout of success in the General Assembly this year. While most pundits still think they'll get shot down, the head of a political training center thinks there's momentum for reform.

Ever since 1812, when Massachusetts governor Eldridge Gerry drew ridicule for his party's attempt to draw a district in the shape of a salamander, the practice has been seen as a scourge of democracy. But could Virginia end it? Bob Gibson, the director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, hopes so.

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