GA’s Saturday adjournment imperiled, eliminating a prosecutor-defender pay gap, peregrine falcon cam, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Tuesday’s Democratic primary saw record turnout, with about 1.3 million Virginians casting votes.—The Washington Post

• It’s looking less and less likely that General Assembly lawmakers will be able to finish their work in time to adjourn as scheduled on Saturday. “We will take whatever time is necessary to complete the people’s business,” said a spokesman for House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Gov. Ralph Northam this week signed legislation that bans discrimination on the basis of hair texture or style, making Virginia the fourth state to do so.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Northam also signed legislation doubling the state’s felony larceny threshold to $1,000.—Daily Press

• Lawmakers gave final passage to legislation that would prohibit employers from firing or retaliating against employees who discuss or disclose their wages to other workers.—The Roanoke Times

• They also finalized legislation to prohibit the public from coming in contact with “dangerous animals.” The bill initially intended to stop the Natural Bridge Zoo from selling elephant rides but was ultimately amended to exempt elephants after the zookeepers traveled to Richmond to testify to their animal’s gentle demeanor.—The Roanoke Times

• Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, got into a heated hallway argument about energy policy with Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, after legislation opposed by Dominion briefly passed. “At one point, Lucas threatened to ‘break his (expletive) arm.’ The two later patched things up, Lucas said.”—Associated Press

• “Richmond would have to start working on a short-term plan and long-term fix for city sewage flowing into the James River during heavy rains under legislation headed to Gov. Ralph Northam.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Senate voted down legislation that would have made primaries the default method for picking General Assembly candidates.—Daily Press

• A Senate committee voted down legislation aimed at eliminating a pay gap between local prosecutors and public defenders by requiring local governments who supplement prosecutors’ salaries to do the same for defenders.—VPM

• Virginia is one of 19 states suing “to stop the Trump administration from diverting billions of dollars from the military toward a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.”—Politico

• The owner of Vienna Arsenal, a gun store in Fairfax County, reported 25 weapons stolen in a burglary this week.—The Washington Post

• “Teachers across Chesterfield County staged a symbolic walkout Tuesday afternoon, briefly leaving their buildings during a teacher workday to rally for better pay and increased funding for the local school system.”—Chesterfield Observer

• The state game department relaunched its livestream of a peregrine falcon nest on top of a downtown Richmond high-rise.—Associated Press

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