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Senate Committee Passes Bill For Two New State Songs

A Senate Committee may have found a way restore a state song for Virginia. Actually, not one, but two of them.

The bill includes this song, “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” written by locals Robin Thompson and Steve Basset as the official “popular song.” Written in 1979 it is popular and catchy.

The second proposed state song is titled “Our Great Virginia,” to the melody of Shenandoah, and would be the “traditional” song.

Virginia lawmakers have fought over a new state song since “Carry Me Back To Old Virginny” was deemed racial offensive and retired in 1997.

Council Asks Mayor To Seek Regional Cooperation To Build New Ball Park

Richmond City Council has voted unanimously to ask the mayor to seek regional support to build a new minor league baseball stadium, but there is something new in this resolution.

The original resolution asked for regional participation for a new ballpark in the city, the new one asks for help with a ballpark “at a location within the Richmond region,” defined as Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover.

The mayor wanted a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom as part of  a major development project, but could not get city council to go along.

Virginia Senate Kills Bills to Limit Dominion’s Right to Survey on Private Land

Environmental and property rights advocates are pushing back on a law that allows utility companies to survey on private land without the landowner’s permission.

Critics call the current law gives utility companies a “right to trespass.”

Last year 127 landowners in Nelson County refused to let Dominion Virginia Power survey their properties for the new Atlantic Coast Natural Gas Pipeline. Dominion has since filed suit to gain access to the properties.

House and Senate Include State Worker Pay Raises in Budget

The House of Delegates and state Senate have presented their amendments to the state budget, adding pay raises for state workers and eliminating new fees proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Over the last year lawmakers had to carve $2.8 billion out of the budget due to declining revenues brought on by decreases in defense spending, but this year collections are up, giving lawmakers $162 million dollars in additional funds to work with.

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