GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

Virginia's foster care system is in dire straits. It is struggling to care for some of the state's most vulnerable children, whose basic health and safety needs sometimes go unmet by local departments. And the state, which has oversight of the whole system, has taken a hands-off approach to...
Danielle Kinder has teaching in her family tree — her mom presides over a high school classroom down the hallway from her in Russell County and her sister used to be with them too before switching to elementary school.But teaching in Russell County is difficult. It’s the second lowest-paying...
The Virginia Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment on Tuesday afternoon, with the chamber's 19 Democrats and seven Republicans voting in favor.The Senate has passed the amendment before. The bigger lift for advocates who want to see Virginia become the 38th and final state to ratify the amendment will...
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...
Worried about getting left behind by a high-profile push to expand gambling, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe said Tuesday it’s seeking immediate state approval for a casino in Norfolk.“While the Pamunkey Tribe believes the implications of expanded gaming on this scale may benefit from further consideration and study, if the...
By Jayla Marie McNeill/ Capital News ServiceVirginia 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...
In an ideal world, we might expect agencies charged with protecting people and the environment to always do the right thing within the limits of the law regardless of who sits in the governor's mansion. But because we live in the real world, of course, political leadership matters a...
Two former journalists want to give reporters in Virginia protections if they refuse to reveal confidential sources.Del. Danica Roem, D-Manassas, was the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times in Northern Virginia from 2006-2015. Roem introduced the same proposal — called a shield law — last year,...
A bill that would eventually raise Virginia's minimum wage to $15 an hour will go before the full Senate after a surprise bi-partisan vote Monday."That Virginia is getting more expensive is something we need to look at as we go along," said Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, who chairs...
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...