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State Senator Don McEachin Set To Announce Run for Congress in the 4th District

State Senator Don McEachin is set to announce he will run for Congress in Virginia’s redrawn 4th district.

Senator McEachin, a Democrat from Henrico, turned in his paperwork and petitions yesterday (3/14) with 3,000 signatures, three times the required number, and will make his formal announcement today.

The UVA law school graduate is an attorney in private practice and has served in the General Assembly for 16 years.

General Assembly Doubles Funding for Bay Cleanup

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says cleanup efforts received a significant boost in funding from this year’s General Assembly, and is on track for a complete restoration by 2025.

The General Assembly approved almost $62 million to help farmers with better practices. Peggy Sanner, Attorney for Chesapeake Bay Foundation says that’s double last year’s allocation.

There is $59 million to improve wastewater treatment plants. Hanover will get $157,000, Richmond $3.5 million and Hopewell $35 million over the next three years.

Harrington Approves Of Assembly's Sexual Assault Bills

The mother of Morgan Harrington says bills passed this year by the General Assembly to fight sexual assault will save girls from sexual victimization when they take effect.

The bills will integrate dating violence and sexual assault prevention into family life education in schools, require the retention of physical evidence from rape cases and provide better training for law enforcement officers who investigate the cases.

Gil Harrington’s daughter Morgan was just 20 when she was raped and murdered.

McAuliffe Vetos Coal Tax Credit

Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill to renew existing coal tax credits that supporters say support jobs in Southside and Southwest Virginia.

Governor McAuliffe invited the press into his office at the state capitol as he vetoed the bill in front of the cameras, saying the coal tax credit doesn’t work. McAuliffe says he has the votes to ensure the legislature cannot override this veto.

Assembly Works Towards Transparency In Drug Costs

The General Assembly is set to take some small steps toward bringing greater transparency to the costs of prescription drugs.

Republican Senator Emmett Hanger of Augusta tried unsuccessfully earlier this session to require pharmaceutical companies to offer an explanation if their drug treatments exceed $10,000.

Drug-makers said sharing the costs of developing, manufacturing and marketing such medications would give inside information to their competitors.

Governor Vetoes Bill to Prohibit Localities from Removing War Memorials

Governor McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited cities and counties from removing war memorials, including Civil War Monuments that recall the South’s history of slavery.

Supporters of the bill said it would protect the state’s historical record, opponents said that it would stymie local debate over how to treat painful symbols of the Confederacy.

The Governor said “these discussions are difficult and complicated, unique to each community, and the bill would have effectively ended what he called “these important discussions.”

State Invests in Mental Health

The state will invest $31 million in mental health services and substance abuse treatment in the agreement budget lawmakers are expected to pass Friday (3/11). The money will increase capacity for treatment through prevention and community based services.

Democratic Senator Barbara Favola of Fairfax says she’s particularly excited about $3.5 million in new spending for child psychiatric and crisis intervention services.

Favola says localities will be able to leverage the state’s investment with their local dollars for maximum impact.

McCollough Elected To Supreme Court Of Virginia

Partisan gridlock over Virginia's high court is drawing to a close today (3/10). The election of a Supreme Court Justice comes a day after one candidate withdrew from consideration and another appeared for an interview before the House Courts of Justice Committee.

Democrat David Toscano labeled the election process “sloppy.”

Stephen McCullough received 66 votes in the House and 21 in the Senate.

The Virginia Supreme Court Clerk says there is no swearing-in date scheduled for the now Justice-Elect Stephen McCullough.

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