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Assembly 17

New Law Keeps Violent Felons from Automatic First Offender Status

One of the news laws now in effect aims to keep violent felons from avoiding the full weight of the domestic violence prosecution through first-offender status. 88.9 WCVE’s Saraya Wintersmith reports the Delegate who sponsored the legislation is a freshman.

Virginia Delegate Mike Mullin (D-93) says before becoming a legislator, he noticed a loophole in Virginia law in his work as criminal prosecutor.

Bill Creates Opportunities for Local Needle Exchange Programs

One of the new laws going into effect allows Virginia’s Health Commissioner to establish local and regional harm reduction programs. 88.9 WCVE’s Saraya Wintersmith reports the bill opens the way for needle-exchanges to combat drug use in Virginia.

73rd District Republican Delegate John O'Bannon sponsored the bill that authorizes the health commissioner to start harm reduction programs during declared public health emergencies.

House Rejects Medicaid Expansion -- Again

The House of Delegates has rejected Governor Terry McAuliffe’s most recent effort to draw down federal funding from the Affordable Care Act to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

Republican Delegate John O’Bannon of Henrico says Virginia has done all it can afford to do to expand the health care safety net. “Current Medicaid is 22% of the General Fund, growing at 9-10% a year, it’s still growing and it’s already crowding out other essential services like transportation and public safety,” said O’Bannon.

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