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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 kill legislation to protect student journalists

By: - January 29, 2019

By Saffeya Ahmed/ Capital News Service A legislative panel rejected a bill protecting student journalists from administrative censorship on a tie vote Monday. House Bill 2382, sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, would have protected free speech for student journalists in public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as public institutions of higher education. […]

Senate panel rejects ban on offshore oil drilling

By: - January 25, 2019

By Serena Fischer/ Capital News Service A bipartisan bill to ban oil drilling off Virginia’s coast was shot down on a 9-6 vote in a Senate committee Thursday. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources killed SB 1573, which sought to prohibit permits for oil and gas exploration or drilling “in the beds […]

Senate panel kills bill to update law for same-sex parents

By: - January 24, 2019

By Jayla Marie McNeill/ Capital News Service A Senate committee has killed a bill to remove gender-specific pronouns from parentage laws. The legislation would have made state laws more inclusive of same-sex couples, while also reflecting federal law. “Our code is out of compliance,” said Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, who introduced the bill. “The commonwealth, […]

Lobbying ‘Day of Action’ brings hundreds to Richmond

By: - January 22, 2019

By Caitlin Morris/ Capital News Service Hundreds of political activists from across Virginia were in Richmond on Monday to lobby in favor of driving rights for undocumented immigrants, a higher minimum wage and voting rights for felons. The New Virginia Majority, a civic engagement group that focuses on marginalized communities, held its fifth annual Day […]

Some energy donors gave Democrats more than Republicans

By: - January 18, 2019

Editor’s Note: See below for correction from VCU’s Capital News Service. By Daniel Berti/Capital News Service In a break from past years, some large energy-related political donors gave more money to Virginia Democrats than to Republicans in 2018, according to campaign finance reports posted Friday by the Virginia Public Access Project. For example, United Co., […]

How to watch the General Assembly from anywhere

By: - January 15, 2019

By Owen FitzGerald/ Capital News Service As legislators gather in Richmond for the 2019 General Assembly session, citizens in the far corners of the commonwealth might feel distanced from their elected representatives. But any computer or cellphone user with internet access can watch live and recorded video of state lawmakers in action. The House and Senate […]

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Herring chastises panel for rejecting hate crime bill

By: - January 15, 2019

By Jayla Marie McNeill/ Capital News Service Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring expressed disappointment Monday after a legislative committee rejected a bill to expand Virginia’s definition of hate crime to include gender, sexual orientation, disability and gender identity. “The General Assembly has sent a clear message to those who feel vulnerable to hate and […]

Amendment to restore felon voting rights dies along party lines

By: - January 10, 2019

By Katja Timm/ Capital News Service For now, Virginia will remain among a trio of states — joining only Kentucky and Iowa — with a lifetime ban on voting rights for people convicted of a felony. On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections killed an attempt to allow Virginians who have been convicted of […]

Gov. Ralph Northam

Lawmakers have mixed reactions to governor’s address

By: - January 10, 2019

By Corrine Fizer/ Capital News Service From attracting high-tech businesses to improving access to health care services, Gov. Ralph Northam’s State of the Commonwealth speech touted wins and legislative proposals that both parties celebrated, though Republicans blasted his ideas on taxes and spending. The 2019 General Assembly session marks Northam’s second year in office and the […]

Before legislative session, a serving of eggs and a prayer for civility

By: - January 9, 2019

By Evie King /Capital News Service As legislators, faith leaders and others tucked into their scrambled eggs and fresh fruit cups, two slideshow screens at the front of the room rotated Bible verses speaking to the theme of the 53rd annual General Assembly Prayer Breakfast: civility and reconciliation. Politicians who packed the ballroom at the […]