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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.

General Assembly Approves $50 Civil Fine for “Dooring” Bicyclists

A bill headed to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s desk would hold car drivers responsible if they injure oncoming byciclists by opening a car door in their path. The bill would establish a $50 civil fine for drivers who open their vehicle door into oncoming traffic.

Democratic Senator Chap Petersen of Fairfax has been the patron of the bill for five years, inspired by his political director Alex Parker who was injured by a car door.

Between 2010 and 2015, 74 people, including 15 bicyclists, have been injured in 233 reported accidents caused by “dooring.”


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