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Morrissey to Resign, Run for Seat; Work Release Revoked

 Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico will resign from the House of Delegates but will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat in a special election on January 13th, a day before the General Assembly session.

Morrissey was charged with inappropriate sexual relations with a minor but entered a plea deal Dec. 12 to one misdemeanor count of contributing to delinquency of a minor and was senteced to serve six months in jail with work release privileges.

Republican Speaker of the House Bill Howell called Morrissey’s announcement “deceitful, selfish and disrespectful.”

McAuliffe Gift List Mostly “Trinkets.”

Governor McAuliffe says he has not received any big-ticket gifts since taking office this year, a departure from what was commonplace under past administrations. The Governor instituted a self-imposed $100 gift limit shortly after taking office, saying it was part of an effort to clean up Virginia’s reputation.

He recently filed a statement of economic interest, which confirmed that he received mostly trinkets related to trade missions.

Governor Seeks to Cap Tax Preferences, Raise Fees

Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to cap certain tax preferences and credits and raise various fees in order to close the state’s most recent $322 million dollar budget gap.

The Governor’s budget includes no cuts to k-12 public schools and increases wages for those at the bottom of the state pay scale, particularly Sherriff’s deputies, many of whom currently qualify for food stamps.

 

McAuliffe to Make Targeted Investments As Well As Cuts

This morning (12/17) as Governor McAuliffe announces cuts to state programs and caps on certain tax preferences when he announces his biannual budget amendments.

He’ll also call for new investments in other priority areas. Among these investments Governor McAuliffe includes over $500,000 to support First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe’s hunger initiative, increasing subsidies for Virginia’s school breakfast program, largely through federal funds, by 5¢ per meal to encourage greater participation.

Governor McAuliffe To Push For One-Gun-A-Month Legislation

Governor McAuliffe is pushing for new regulations on gun ownership. The Governor presented a package of gun control measures yesterday (102/15) he said were necessary to keep Virginians safe. Among the legislation he says he will pursue during the 2015 session, is a bill that would limit handgun purchases to one a month.

Another would prohibit people subject to protective orders from possessing firearms.

Morrisey To Decide This Week; Recall Drive Fizzles; House Could Censure

Delegate Joe Morrisey says he will decide this week whether to remain in the  General Assembly, and a recall petition drive fizzles.  A potential challenger decided yesterday that a petition drive to recall Morrisey would not have enough legal basis.  But, Kevin Sullivan, a Charles City Democrat, still plans to challenge Morrisey in the June primary if he doesn’t step down.  Morrisey has said he will decid

Morrisey and Victim’s Family Attend Church; He Says Legislative Future Undecided

Henrico Delegate Joe Morrisey says he will wait to decide his political future following his recent plea in a teen sex case. Both Morrisey and some members of the alleged victim’s family attended former Richmond Mayor Leonidas Young’s Fourth Baptist Church yesterday, but sat on opposites sides and didn’t acknowledge each other.

Child Advocacy Group to Grade Judicial Nominees

Today (12/12) the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees will interview 20 judicial nominees. The national child advocacy group PROTECT will be there to grade several of the circuit court judges up for reappointment on their sentencing records on crimes against children. PROTECT wants prosecutors and judges to take child pornography and sexual exploitation more seriously.

Last year the Virginia Sentencing Commission attempted to downgrade sentencing for child pornography only to be stopped by emergency legislation passed by the General Assembly.

House GOP Proposes $100 Gift Ban for Lawmakers

The House of Delegates Republican Caucus has proposed a $100 gift ban for both tangible and intangible gifts. When he first took office Governor McAuliffe signed an executive order placing a $100 gift ban on himself, his family and his staff. His bipartisan commission on ethics reform recently recommended a $250 cap for all other elected leaders. House Republican Majority Leader Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights says the Caucus felt they should exceed that recommendation, matching the ban the Governor had set for himself.

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