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House Rules Committee Passes Resolution Calling For US Constitutional Convention

There is a move in the General Assembly to call a constitutional convention to reduce both the federal deficit and federal powers over the states.

The House rules committee passed two resolutions backed by conservative republicans, libertarians and constitutionalists.

It would take a minimum of 34 states to petition congress. So far only Alaska, Florida, and Georgia are looking at similar proposals.

Legislators Seek Pay Raise for Corrections Officers

Several lawmakers have submitted budget amendments for a 5% increase in salary for state corrections officers.

These officers are paid disproportionately less than other law enforcement officers in federal corrections facilities and sheriff’s deputies in local jails. A recent study ranked Virginia as the 48th lowest for corrections officer compensation. Several studies show that corrections officers have even higher levels of PTSD than combat veterans.

Measure to Repeal Same Sex Marriage Ban Dies in Senate Committee

The state Senate Privileges and Elections Committee has killed a measure that would start the process to repeal the 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex-marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage in Virginia when it refused to intervene following a lower court decision overturning the state’s ban on the practice in October.

The bill’s patron, Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, says the constitution and the code need to accurately reflect the law of the land.

Voter Registration Bill Fails in Senate

A bill that would require voters to register by party was killed in the Senate on a vote of 19 to 21.

The bill’s patron Republican Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg says the legislation would give each party the flexibility to set the rules of participation for each nominating cycle.

Should a voter choose not to register with a particular party, they could register as an independent.

Bills Aim to Tighten Regulations for Daycares Following Midlothian Fire Death

Over 20 bills have been introduced this session to increase regulation for child-care providers following a high profile incident last year in which a toddler from Midlothian lost his life.

Sixty children have died in Virginia daycares over the past decade, 40 of those were in unlicensed facilities.

Virginia does not require daycare providers be licensed unless they provide care for 6 or more children. Several bills would lower that threshold to 3 or 1.

Another bill would require fingerprint background checks for those who provide childcare.

Schapiro: Morrissey's New Charges; McAuliffe Out of Hospital; US 460 Deal Blasted

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist and WCVE analyst Jeff Schapiro discusses the latest charges against Del. Joe Morrissey, the Governor's injuries, the legislative attack on the McDonnell administration's transportation policies, and the General Assembly's narrow refusal to ban in-state tuition for certain undocumented immigrants.

Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana Faces Uphill Climb

A bill to decriminalize marijuana faces an uphill climb at the General Assembly. The bill would reduce the penalty for simple possession from a misdemeanor charge to a civil penalty of $100 and adult users would no longer lose their driver’s licenses if convicted of marijuana possession.

Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin of Alexandria is the bill’s patron.

The bill has been reintroduced for years only to be killed before it ever reaches the floor.

Virginia arrests 20,000 citizens per year for cannabis possession.

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