Join us on         

Politics

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.

Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Extracts for Epilepsy

A bill legalizing two marijuana extracts to treat epilepsy were passed by the Virginia Senate yesterday (2/5) by an overwhelming majority.

Democratic Senator Dave Marsden of Fairfax introduced the bill that would allow doctors to legally prescribe and dispense Cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil, the derivatives used to control epileptic seizures.

In a dramatic event two weeks ago during the bills infancy, a young girl had a seizure during the bill’s presentation in committee while she and her mother waited to speak in favor of the legislation.

House Republicans Unveil Mental Health Plan

House Republicans have introduced an alternative proposal to the Governor’s Access Plan for the state’s most severely mentally ill.

The GOP says Governor McAuliffe did not have the authority to create a new benefits program on his own without legislative approval. They say their 124 million dollar plan will benefit 30,000 Virginians, 10,000 more than the Governor’s.

It would provide targeted behavioral health and substance abuse treatment with case management and care coordination through existing provider networks as well as prescription drug benefits.

Campus Sexual Assault Bills Advance

Bills to reform universities’ policies on campus sexual assault response are advancing through Virginia House and Senate committees.

One bill would require universities to identify on students’ transcripts if they have been expelled or suspended for violations of the schools code of conduct.

Another bill would require university police to immediately inform prosecutors once a sexual assault investigation begins and regularly inform them of their progress. However, the victim’s name would be withheld if she does not give her consent.

Virginia Committee Kills Child Labor Tobacco Farming Bill

A bill that would ban child labor in tobacco fields has been killed by the Virginia House of Delegates Commerce and Labor committee.

According to a report by the group Human Rights Watch, children as young as 7 are working in tobacco fields in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, where 90 percent of U.S. tobacco is grown.

Virginia’s current laws do not prevent children ages 14-17 from working on a tobacco farm though those under 14 are required to have parental consent.

Virginia Senate Defeats Guns in Schools After Hours

The state Senate defeated a bill that would allow guns on school buses and grounds after school hours.

Bill patron Sen. Thomas Garrett says gun-free school zones don’t make schools safer, but leave them defenseless.

Critics say the bill would make it difficult for gun-owners to know when they can carry on school property, because some after hours activities are sanctioned by the school and others aren’t.

The bill failed on a vote of 20-18 with several Republicans voting with Democrats against the measure.

House Passes Equity Crowd Funding Bill

The House of Delegates has passed a bill to expand crowdfunding options for entrepreneurs seeking capital for their startup business.

Established crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Go-Fund-Me and Indie-Go-Go are currently successfully raising money in Virginia. Under that model investors donate capital to startups or receive some of the companies new product.

The legislation would open up opportunities for equity crowdfunding, allowing investors to own a small stake in a Virginia startup businesses.

Pages

Subscribe to Politics