Capital News Service

Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University's Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program cover news for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

Lawmakers repeal ban on abortion coverage through state exchange plans

By: - February 24, 2021

By Cameron Jones/ Capital News Service The Virginia General Assembly passed two bills that repeal the ban keeping some health insurance plans sold in the state from covering abortions House Bill 1896, introduced by Del. Sally L. Hudson, D-Charlottesville, and Senate Bill 1276, introduced by Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, loosen restrictions through Virginia’s health […]

More Virginia colleges scrap traditional spring break

By: - October 20, 2020

By Anya Sczerzenie/ Capital News Service  A growing number of Virginia colleges are announcing that spring break will be canceled or modified in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Virginia Tech, located in Blacksburg, announced plans Monday. The biggest change is that the university will not have a week-long spring break. It will instead […]

Virginia lawmakers pass legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday

By: - October 20, 2020

By Sam Fowler/ Capital News Service Juneteenth has officially become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly’s special session. Juneteenth marks the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, which was the last state to abolish slavery. The companion bills were introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, and Del. […]

Bill to hold localities responsible for protest damage stalls

By: - October 1, 2020

By Ada Romano/ Capital News Service A General Assembly bill is likely dead for the session that would have held localities accountable for damages caused by protesters if an adequate police response was not provided. Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, said he proposed House Bill 5026 to assure localities provide proper police protection during protests in […]

VCU Poll: Women voters favor Biden; mixed support for mail-in voting

By: - September 18, 2020

By Anya Sczerzenie/ Capital News Service  A poll released this week by the Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government shows presidential candidate Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner leading by double-digit margins in the commonwealth. The Richmond-based university conducted a telephone poll of just over 800 adults from Aug. 28 to Sept. […]

Efforts falter to require schools to provide in-person options

By: - September 15, 2020

By Sam Fowler/ Capital News Service An effort to require Virginia school districts provide in-person classes to students with poor internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic is most likely dead. House Bill 5009, introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would require public schools to offer in-person classes to elementary, middle and high school students who have […]

More Virginia college students head into quarantine as COVID-19 cases rise

By: - August 28, 2020

By Noah Fleischman/ Capital News Service As more universities open, they’re collecting and releasing COVID-19 data and grappling with contingency plans for those who contract the disease. The University of Virginia in Charlottesville released its first set of COVID-19 testing data on Wednesday. There have been 58 total positive cases at the university since Aug. 17, including 31 […]

Bill to establish mental health alert system reports out of House committee

By: - August 26, 2020

By Andrew Ringle A bill that could reshape how law enforcement responds when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis reported out of the House Public Safety Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 13-9. House Bill 5043 by Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond, would create teams of mental health service providers, peer recovery specialists and […]

Lawmakers split over bill to ban plastic foam to-go containers 

By: - March 4, 2020

By David Tran/ Capital News Service A bill in the General Assembly that bans expanded polystyrene containers, also known as plastic foam, at all food vendors by 2025 currently is in limbo while both chambers hash out a Senate amendment rejected by the House. House Bill 533 would prohibit food vendors, including restaurants, catering trucks and […]

Bill removing race requirement in marriage records passes

By: - March 3, 2020

By Zach Armstrong/ Capital News Service  When William Christiansen married his college sweetheart, he was disturbed that they had to disclose their race to the registrar, considering they are an interracial couple. “It reminded me and my wife of a time when interracial couples were unable to get married,” said Christiansen. “It’s an unneeded reminder of […]

Bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving clears House, Senate

By: - February 19, 2020

By Andrew Ringle/ Capital News Service The state Senate voted Tuesday in favor of a bill that would prohibit holding a phone while driving a motor vehicle on Virginia roadways and which implements a penalty for the traffic violation. House Bill 874 will head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam, who has voiced support for […]

Bill to make pawpaws the state fruit delayed to 2021

By: - February 12, 2020

By Macy Pressley/ Capital News Service Countless Virginians remember biting into the custardy sweetness of a pawpaw, the peculiar combination of mango and banana filling their mouths as the drops of juice dribbled down their chins, the perfect treat for a sweltering late August afternoon.  These memories might be honored with state recognition, but not […]