GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

Adrian Teran-Tapia/ Capital News ServiceAnimal welfare advocates cheered legislation passed during the 2019 General Assembly session which increased penalties for animal cruelty and mandated that pets receive more room to roam if tethered outside.“Overall, this year’s General Assembly brought significant victories for Virginia’s dogs and cats,” said Matthew Gray of...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.Past efforts to reform step therapy in Virginia have been met with resistance from health insurance companies. But this year's bipartisan push to reform the practice — which can...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.Gov. Ralph Northam appointed a new state Board of Elections while a bill that would change the makeup and responsibilities of the board is on his desk for consideration.Last...
Legislation passed by the General Assembly this year will require the Department of Corrections to provide an annual report on its use of solitary confinement, which is facing growing scrutiny around the country.Lawmakers and advocates called it an important first step to understanding a practice that, confusingly, the state...
A professional medical organization and the Virginia Board of Health are uneasy about language in the proposed budget that they say will essentially eviscerate a newly launched, two-year pilot program that provides low-income women with contraception.The Virginia section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG, has...
When the General Assembly session opened Jan. 9, legislators were presented with dozens of bills designed to save money for consumers, lower energy consumption, provide more solar options and set us on a pathway to an all-renewables future.Almost none of these measures passed, while bills that benefited utilities...
By Kaytlin Nickens “Working in the trenches, side by side with people,” as Zann Nelson said, highlighted the beliefs her father instilled in her youth. Growing up in Culpeper County, Nelson said she learned of a deeper truth to American history, and her father reminded her that people should be...
Supporters of hands-free driving legislation that fell apart in the final hours of this year's legislative session are hoping Gov. Ralph Northam will revive the bill."Hands free is not over," says Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, who has been working on the legislation for seven years.The governor has the power to...
Most days, Charles Garratt is the only person in the Bath County registrar’s office, processing voter registration applications, making sure all the technology is up to date and training other people. “Back in the days of paper ballots and wooden boxes, there was less to do,” he said. “Now the...
By Daniel Berti/ Capital News Service  When someone is charged with a crime, prosecutors and judges want to make sure the defendant shows up for court. So they usually require the person to put up cash bail — money the defendants forfeit if they skip town. But now, many officials — from local...