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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.

Northam Breaks Tie to Defeat Bill to Expand Concealed Carry Rights

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate Monday (2/1) to defeat a bill that would have eliminated the permit requirement for concealed handguns.

Openly carrying a firearm without a permit is legal in Virginia.

The bill patroned by Republican Senator Dick Black of Loudon would have allowed gun owners to conceal carry without a permit.

Democratic Senator Chap Petersen of Fairfax says requiring people to register for concealed carry keeps them accountable.

Gun Deal Reaches Rare Compromise

Governor Terry McAuliffe, State lawmakers and advocates appear to have reached a rare compromise on one of the most divisive issues in politics, the balance of gun rights and gun violence prevention. The deal would reverse Attorney General Mark Herring’s opinion late last year, which ended concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with dozens of other states.

In exchange gun rights proponents have agreed to prohibit those who have a permanent protective order for domestic violence against them from carrying a firearm.

Showdown This Week on Governor’s Supreme Court Appointment

Republicans hoping to replace a Virginia Supreme Court Justice installed by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe say lawmakers will vote this week on whether she should remain on the court.

Republicans have protested the Governor’s appointment of Justice Jane Marum Roush in July, saying he left them out of the process.

Republicans want Court of Appeals Judge Rossie Alston instead.

House Republicans Roll Out Education Agenda

House Republicans rolled out their education agenda today (1/26) at the State Capitol, with many of the bills focusing on school choice.

One bill would increase the tax credit for donations to nonprofit scholarship groups from 65-90%.

Another would give students the option to transfer to any school within their school district.

There’s also a proposal to create Education Savings Accounts to give parents the ability to put their kids in private schools.

Several bills would aim to expand access to early childhood education, but not universal Pre-K.

Transgender Restroom Case Goes to Federal Appeals Court Wednesday

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear oral arguments Wednesday morning (1/27) in the ACLU case against the Gloucester County School Board for what they say are discriminatory restroom policies for transgender students.

Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender Junior at Gloucester High School was born female but identifies as male.

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