Capital News Service

Governor orders training for ABC agents

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Wednesday meant to improve the law enforcement arm of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
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Newly approved powdered alcohol banned in Virginia

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The federal government this week approved a powder that can turn a glass of water into an alcoholic drink, but it’s unlikely that Virginians will be enjoying instant margaritas anytime soon.
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Governor praises budget’s passage

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is praising the Republican-controlled General Assembly for passing state budget amendments that will increase funding for education and provide pay raises for teachers, state troopers and other government employees.
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Marijuana extracts OK’d for epilepsy treatment

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Two types of medical marijuana extracts would be legal to possess and recommend for epilepsy treatment in Virginia under legislation passed by the state Senate on Wednesday and sent to the governor for his signature.
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Virginia bans powdered alcohol

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Cocaine isn’t the only white powder on drug authorities’ radar these days. They’re also targeting Palcohol — powdered alcohol that can turn a glass of water into a mojito. The General Assembly this week gave final approval to legislation that would outlaw the possession, sale, purchase or use of powdered or crystalline alcohol in...
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Assembly blocks out-of-state access to handgun permits

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It is now up to Gov. Terry McAuliffe whether to sign into law legislation that would prohibit certain out-of-state police agencies from accessing information regarding concealed weapon permits issued by the commonwealth of Virginia.
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Governor signs law allowing Uber, Lyft to operate

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After operating under a temporary agreement for the better part of a year, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft now have a law allowing them to transport passengers in Virginia after Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill that sets licensing procedures and standards for drivers.
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House kills anti-gerrymandering bill

Sen. John Watkins discusses his bill, SB 840, with (from left) Dels. Steven Landes, Buddy Fowler and Margaret Ransone. The three would shortly vote to table SB 840.

A bill aimed at taking some of the politics out of redistricting was struck down by a House subcommittee early Thursday morning.
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Senate passes ‘Tebow Bill’ for home-schoolers

By Peter Merholz via Wikimedia Commons

The Senate passed a bill this week that would allow home-schooled students to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, debate and band at their local public school.
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Virginia still deciding if women are equal

An ERA parade at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1979.

In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and asked the states to ratify it. Forty-three years later, Virginia is still deciding whether to ratify the ERA, which would guarantee women and men equal rights.
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Conservation easement bill passes first Senate test

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The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources has approved a bill that would establish an authority to mediate between land conservation owners and easement holders.
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Dominion bill wins final passage

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The House gave final approval Thursday to a bill that freezes Dominion Virginia Power’s base rate for five years but prevents the state from forcing the company to reimburse customers if the utility company earns excessive profits.
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Panel kills marijuana decriminalization bill

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The Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Wednesday killed a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
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Senator calls for marijuana decriminalization

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would make simple marijuana possession a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

A senator from Northern Virginia is urging the General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana possession, as about 20 other states have done.
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Senate limits out-of-state access to gun permit records

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The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit certain out-of-state police agencies from accessing information regarding concealed weapon permits issued by the commonwealth of Virginia.
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Lawmakers seek to curb heroin overdose epidemic

Carolyn Weems, who lost a daughter to heroin, speaks at a heroin overdose legislation conference in Richmond Tuesday.

Attorney General Mark Herring and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers are seeking passage of four bills addressing the heroin and prescription painkiller abuse epidemic in Virginia, including one that would hold drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths.
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Bill denying in-state tuition to immigrants fails

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The Virginia Senate on Tuesday narrowly defeated a bill to deny in-state tuition to so-called “DREAM-ers” – young adults who immigrated illegally to the U.S. as children.
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Ethics is a key issue for 2015 assembly

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With a former governor heading to prison for corruption and his successor calling for a cap on gifts to politicians, ethics reform is high on the agenda for the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 session.
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Lawmakers seek to restrict drones

Richmond lawmakers consider regulation of drones this session.

Five bills before the General Assembly would restrict the use of drones in Virginia, including one that would let localities prohibit even hobbyists from flying small unmanned aircraft.
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Coalition seeks more open state government

Ben Greenberg, legislative coordinator of Virginia Organizing, an advocacy group for low-income people and a member of Transparency Virginia.

Seventeen organizations that support open government in Virginia have formed a coalition to increase transparency in the General Assembly and foster greater citizen participation.
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Bill would require AG to defend Va. Constitution

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A Republican legislator from Williamsburg is pushing for a law to require the state attorney general to defend the Virginia Constitution — which the current officeholder, Democrat Mark Herring, declined to do regarding the commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage.
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Poll: Colleges should report assaults to police

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More than nine out of 10 Virginians think colleges and universities should be required to report campus sexual assaults to police, according to a statewide poll released Thursday.
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Governor outlines ‘opportunity’ agenda

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In a move he said would boost the state’s economy, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking legislators to remove the requirement that Virginia women get an ultrasound before having an abortion and to “create a more inclusive environment for LGBT Virginians and business owners.”
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Governor, delegate tout bipartisan transportation bills

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk, have joined forces to push for two bills aimed at reforming the state’s transportation system.
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Panel rejects bill to expand hate crimes law

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A Senate committee on Wednesday voted along party lines to defeat a bill to include sexual orientation and gender identification in the state’s definition of hate crimes.
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House Republicans unveil education reforms

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House Republican leaders outlined their K-12 education agenda for the 2015 General Assembly on Thursday, echoing several goals announced by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe a day earlier.
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Parents seek funding for mental health services

Steve VanHuss of Hanover County urged legislators to provide more funding to help children with mental and physical disabilities.

Central Virginia residents packed a legislative committee hearing Wednesday to call for more funding for child mental health services, more help for individuals with intellectual disabilities and tighter regulations of private homes providing day care.
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U.Va. president seeks leniency for McDonnell

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University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is among the more than 400 letter writers urging a federal judge to be lenient Tuesday in sentencing former Gov. Bob McDonnell for corruption.
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Medicaid expansion debate rages on social media

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Social media acts as the latest mouthpiece to the General Assembly stalemate, which has left the state budget in limbo and 400,000 Virginians wondering if Medicaid expansion will grant them access to health care.
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Senate budget reinstates Marketplace Virginia

By
April 11, 2014
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The battle for a passable Virginia budget continues in the General Assembly after the Senate passed a budget bill Tuesday that the House of Delegates likely will reject, replacing Medicaid with Marketplace Virginia.
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Legislation restricting fox pens awaits governor’s signature

By
March 27, 2014
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Anyone erecting or maintaining an enclosure for the purpose of pursuing, hunting or killing fox or coyote with dogs will face Class 1 misdemeanor charges if Senate Bill 42 is signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
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Sunday hunting bill signed into law

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Virginians will have the right to hunt on Sunday beginning July 1, 2014 according to a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
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GOP House leaders request special session on Medicaid expansion

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Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates have proposed a special legislative session to address the debate on Medicaid expansion just three days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn.
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CVS readies for future, will stop selling tobacco Oct. 1

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The giant U.S. pharmacy chain CVS announced it will stop selling all tobacco products nationwide as of Oct. 1, 2014.
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GA delaying individual school grading system

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The House Education Committee approved a bill delaying the implementation of a new grading system for schools this past week, but some delegates are questioning if the new system meets the needs of Virginia schools, parents and communities.
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Medicaid expansion battle foreshadows potential Va. government shutdown

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Virginia’s Republican-dominated House of Delegates and Democratic Senate both passed competing versions of a two-year, $96 billion state budget bill this past week, but not before the GOP reinforced its stern opposition to Medicaid expansion.
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Bill gives officers more options, dogs more chances

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A bill giving animal control officers flexibility in dealing with livestock-injuring dogs is heading to the desk of Gov. Terry McAuliffe for signature, after passing the Senate unanimously this week.
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Herring supports court’s gay-marriage decision

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The fight for marriage equality for same-sex couples in Virginia continues to progress through the courts this week after a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. Federal District Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down the law used in the controversial Bostic v. Rainey case as unconstitutional.
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Women’s health divides General Assembly

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The Republican-sponsored law that presently mandates ultrasound tests for women seeking abortion services may face repeal after Senate Bill 617 narrowly passed this week through the Senate’s Health and Education Committee.
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Sunday hunting bills progress through General Assembly

Two bills seeking to allow Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals on private Virginia property and state waters are progressing through the General Assembly. However, hunting with dogs or hunting within 200 yards of a house of worship would be prohibited.
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