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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Combat Student Debt

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing legislation to help Virginians refinance their student debt and give new borrowers better information about the terms of their loans.

There’s over $1.3 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt nationally and Democratic Delegate Marcus Simon of Fairfax, says it’s starting to cripple the economy as people in their 20’s and 30’s wait longer to form households.

Efforts to Decriminalize Adultery Fail Again In General Assembly Committee

Efforts to decriminalize adultery in Virginia have failed again. Legislation that would have changed adultery from a criminal to a civil offense was killed after minimal debate in a Senate committee yesterday (1/18).

The law is hardly ever enforced, but complicates divorce proceedings because spouses can invoke their Fifth Amendment shield against self-incrimination in a criminal case, and without an admission, adultery can be hard to prove.

Hundreds Rally at the State Capitol on Both Sides of the Gun Debate

Hundreds off from work today (1/18) came to Capitol Square to lobby their lawmakers and protest, some for expanded gun rights, others for more gun control.

Speaking at a rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Republican Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle attacked Attorney General Mark Herring’s administrative action banning concealed handgun reciprocity.

Speaking to a rally later in the day for gun violence prevention, Attorney General Herring said Virginia is not doing nearly enough to prevent gun violence.

Petersen Introduces Bill to Swap Local Car Tax for Gas Tax

In 1998 former Governor Jim Gilmore and the General Assembly eliminated the state car tax in favor of a local car tax.

Now Democratic Senator Chap Petersen of Fairfax has a bill to completely scrap the tax for non-commercial vehicles in favor of a local 5¢ per gallon gas tax.

Senator Petersen says the car tax is inequitable and administratively inefficient. Petersen’s bill would require a constitutional amendment, passing the General Assembly twice and then going to the voters for approval on the ballot.

McAuliffe Previews State of the Commonwealth Speech

Tonight (1/13) at the midpoint of his term, Governor Terry McAuliffe will deliver his annual State of the Commonwealth address.

He will ask the General Assembly to support his two-year legacy budget, which includes a billion dollars in new investment for education.

While the Governor has fought hard in previous years with the Republican controlled legislature over Medicaid expansion and gun control, he warned them not to get bogged down in petty partisan battles.

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