Redskins stadium dreams, delaying criminal justice reforms, an end to fornication charges, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Smyth, is facing accusations he used his privilege as a state lawmaker to continue cases in state court to delay a domestic violence case against one of his legal clients for more than a year and a half.—Associated Press

• Lawmakers are considering giving the Redskins a sports betting license in an effort to lure the team’s new stadium to Virginia.—The Washington Post

• A Bristol woman says she was paid $100 cash, housed in a free hotel room and given free meals to travel with her church to Richmond and attend a General Assembly committee meeting in support of a casino proposal city leaders are pushing.—The Roanoke Times

• Democratic majorities are delaying consideration of most major criminal justice reform proposals until next year, including a package of bills backed by Northam to reinstate parole and legislation to make it easier to expunge criminal records.—The Washington Post

• The House approved a proposal to create a high school focused on recovery from drug addiction. “Many of the things that test your sobriety are right there in front of you in your traditional high school setting,” said the measure’s patron, Del. Carrie Coyner, R-Chesterfield.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The “Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” aimed at reining in the student loan industry, cleared the Senate. It passed the House last month.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• After making him wait a week and opining that they’d actually like to see the law pass, the Democrat-controlled House Rules Committee let Del. Wendell Walker, R-Lynchburg, withdraw his bill calling for the removal of a statue of Harry F. Byrd from Capitol Square. Walker said he didn’t actually want to remove the statue and was only trying to make a political point about statue removal.—The Roanoke Times

• “Lawmakers are closing a legal loophole that could charge unmarried people with a crime for having consensual sex.”—Capital News Service

• The General Assembly is advancing about 20 bills aimed at making life easier for immigrant families in Virginia, including a measure to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.—The Washington Post

• State regulators found repeated water quality violations along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline even as work has slowed for the winter.—The Roanoke Times

• “A deputy sheriff must face trial on a claim she violated the First Amendment rights of a Spotsylvania County woman by offering to buy another deputy lunch if he issued her a traffic ticket in retaliation for critical Facebook posts and other statements.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Hampton Roads could see more than a foot and a half of higher water levels by 2050 as sea level rise continues to accelerate, posing problems for much of the U.S. coastline, according to a new report.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney forgave $3.3 million in utility fees he said the city’s school district owed. School officials said they appreciated the gesture, but questioned why the city was charging in the first place when the city, not the school system, technically owns the buildings.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Last summer, 10 guards and nurses at a Chesterfield jail were hospitalized after they said fentanyl found in an inmate’s cell made them sick. But it turned out to be a case of group hysteria: testing revealed the drugs were actually a prescribed antihistamine and antidepressant. “Even a super-potent fentanyl powder — unless you stir it up and put it in front of you and breathe it up your nose — is not going to cause you to get sick,” said a VCU toxicologist.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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