GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

Denille Francis spends a lot of time waiting, but without much hope.She waits to see if her 10-year-old son, Quinn, will ever get the funding he needs from the state. Quinn has Down syndrome and a host of other health problems. His therapies and numerous medical interventions are rarely...
Virginia prison officials say they’re on the leading edge of corrections reform for “operating without the use of solitary confinement.”But Derek Cornelison, a 34-year-old inmate at Red Onion, one of the state’s two supermax prisons in Wise County, says he and dozens of other prisoners have remained isolated in...
Virginia’s liquor ratio law will stay in place for at least one more year.The Senate’s Subcommittee on Alcoholic Beverage Control decided to scrap an idea that would have gotten rid of the ratio for restaurants that make $500,000 or more in food sales.“It seemed like a lot of people...
Earlier this year, lawmakers warned representatives from Virginia's hospitals and health plans that if they didn't find a solution to balance billing, the General Assembly would.And with a handful of bills filed, legislators appear eager to tackle the problem head-on this session.Balance billing occurs when an out-of-network provider bills...
By Katja Timm/ Capital News ServiceFor 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...
By Corrine Fizer/ Capital News ServiceFrom 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...
This week the State Corporation Commission  approved a request from Appalachian Power Company  to offer its more than 500,000 Virginia customers the option of buying electricity entirely from renewable sources. The sources will be primarily wind and hydro, with some solar to be added as it gets built.Participants who...
By Evie King /Capital News ServiceAs 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...
Some lawmakers already sported wry smiles as Sarah Stanton, a staff member with the Division of Legislative Services, walked to a lectern in late November to deliver a presentation on Virginia's Certificate of Public Need, or COPN, program."Everybody's favorite topic," she said sarcastically, and both the crowd behind her...
Last in a series looking ahead to the General Assembly session that starts Wednesday.Expect much of the environmental debate this session, for the third year in a row, to center on Dominion Energy's plans to close coal ash impoundments containing millions of tons of the potentially toxic by-product of...