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Deeds Mental Health Taskforce Sets 2015 Agenda

The legislative work group on mental health services led by Senator Creigh Deeds met Thursday (4/16) to lay out its agenda for the rest of the year.

Senator Deeds says mental illness is a complex category of problems that requires treatment tailor made to the individual.

The group will hold three 2-day sessions across the state before the end of the year. It will discuss policy recommendations, hear from the public and visit mental health treatment providers in various settings, including hospitals, Community Service Boards, jails and prisons.

Kaine Calls for Background Checks on Anniversary of Virginia Tech Massacre

In a floor speech yesterday commemorating the 32 lives lost 8 years ago at Virginia Tech, Senator Tim Kaine called on Congress to pass universal background checks for gun sales.

The Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho had been adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous in a Virginia court and was barred by federal law from purchasing or owning firearms, though he was not given a background check when he purchased his murder weapons from a licensed dealer.

Legislature Upholds McAuliffe’s Vetoes, Rejects Surveillance Amendments

The General Assembly accepted all of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s 17 vetoes to legislation passed this year but rejected his amendments to bills regulating the use of surveillance technology such as drones and license plate readers by law enforcement officers.

The Governor amended bills that would allow law enforcement to use drones to collect evidence without a search warrant.

General Assembly Upholds Governor’s Vetoes

It’s a busy day (April 15) at the State Capitol as the General Assembly has returned to town to consider Governor McAuliffe’s amendments and vetoes to legislation passed during the 2015 session.

The "Tebow bill" that would allow home-schooled students to participate in public school athletics programs is now dead. The House failed to override the Governor's veto.

General Assembly Delays Ethics Vote

The General Assembly has delayed action until Friday on the Governor McAuliffe’s amendments to the omnibus ethics bill passed this session.

The delay stems from a language error.

Governor McAuliffe had intended to amend the legislation to make the 100-dollar gift ban an annual limit as opposed to allowing an unlimited amount of 100-dollar gifts. While most lawmakers seem comfortable with this, some Republicans expressed concerns that the amendment actually imposes a 100-dollar lifetime cap on gifts from a single donor.

General Assembly To Consider Governor’s Amendments

The General Assembly will reconvene today (April 15) at the State Capitol to consider Governor Terry McAuliffe’s amendments and vetoes to legislation passed during the 2015 legislative session, including bills that try to balance law enforcement’s use of surveillance technology with the individual right to privacy.

Governor McAuliffe amended a bill that would limit the amount of time that data collected by police license plate readers can be kept by law enforcement from one week to 60 days.  

Judge Rejects Morrissey’s Ballot Claim

A Richmond Circuit Court judge has rejected former Delegate Joe Morrissey’s request for an injunction to stop the printing of ballots in Virginia’s 16th  state Senate District. 

Morrissey says the Democratic party improperly rejected hundreds of signatures for his petition to run in the June 9th primary.  

All told, 750 of the 972 signatures Morrissey gathered were found invalid for various reasons. A Virginia Democratic Party spokeswoman says many were collected from outside the district. 

State Board of Elections Decertifies Over 500 Touch Screen Voting Machines

The State Board of Elections has voted to decertify over 500 voting machines on the WinVote system.

The machines are currently used in 30 localities across the state, including several precincts in Richmond and Henrico. They’ve been found to have insecure wireless connections and widespread problems were reported with voting machines during the November election last year prompting a recently completed review.  

The board hopes to move localities to newer systems that have a paper trail to verify that voters have selected the candidate of their choice.  

McAuliffe, Warner Endorse Clinton

Governor Terry McAuliffe and Senator Mark Warner both expressed support for Hillary Clinton Monday as she begins her campaign for president.

McAuliffe, a long time Clinton ally and family friend who ran her 2008 campaign for President, says he’s excited about the announcement.

Senator Tim Kaine also has endorsed Clinton. Both Virginia Senators have been mentioned as possible running mates for the former Secretary of State.

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has also expressed interest in seeking the Democratic nomination for President but has yet to formally announce.


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