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Registration Deadline Today for March 1st Primary

Virginians who are not registered to vote, but want to cast ballots in the March 1st primary, need to get it done today (2/8). Today is the deadline to register.

Virginia voters do not register by party and any registered voter may choose to cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican primary, and voters in the Republican primary won’t have to sign a statement affirming they are Republicans. The State Board of Elections has rescinded that requirement requested by the GOP.

Congressman Randy Forbes Ready To Jump To 2nd Congressional District

Fourth District Republican Congressman Randy Forbes appears set to “jump” districts today (2/8). Forbes is apparently ready to move to the 2nd, safer now for Republicans, since Richmond and Petersburg have been moved to the 4th, where black voting strength has been increased.

Republican Scott Rigell is retiring from the 2nd, has been urging Forbes to make the move and will join him today on a Facebook announcement at 1:30 p.m. that he says will be “big news.”

Term Limit Amendment Bill Pushed to 2017

A bill to create a Constituional Amendment setting term limits for Virginia legislators has been shelved until 2017.

Freshman Senator Amanda Chase focused on term limits in her campaign, and says it’s time to change the make-up of the state legislature. Chase added that it’s important for legislators to understand the needs of the Commonwealth. Her bill would create a Constitutional Amendment for members of the General Assembly, limiting senators to 3 four-year terms and members of the house to 6 two-year terms.

Drug Transparency Bill Shelved for the Year

The Senate Education and Health Committee has killed for the year a bill that would ask pharmaceutical companies to offer an explanation if their drug treatments exceed $10,000. The bill would ask companies to share the costs of developing, manufacturing, and marketing such medications which industry representatives say this would unfairly require them to reveal inside information accessible to their competitors.

Richmond Circuit Court Denies Limits Legislative Privilege in Redistricting Case

The nonpartisan redistricting advocacy group One Virginia 2021 is challenging 11 state legislative districts held by members of both parties, saying the boundaries are not compact and contiguous as required by the state constitution.

A separate motion from House Republicans to stay the case pending the outcome of a separate challenge to Virginia’s house districts was also denied.

The trial is expected to proceed in late summer or early fall.

Non-Partisan Redistricting Bills Killed in House Subcommittee

Several bills that would have taken some of the politics out of redistricting were rolled together and killed Tuesday (2/2) in a House subcommittee.

House Privileges and Elections Chair, Republican Mark Cole of Spotsylvania says the bills were premature, as the General Assembly is not scheduled to redraw it’s districts again for 5 years.

Brian Cannon, Spokesman for the non-partisan redistricting advocacy group One Virginia 2021 says it’s easier to set the rules fairly now, when the future partisan make up of both chambers is unknown.

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