GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

In the waning days of the General Assembly session, Republicans in the House of Delegates steadily ratcheted up pressure on Democrats as they pushed legislative hearings on sexual assault claims against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.Meanwhile, over in the Senate where Fairfax was presiding daily over the chamber, GOP members...
Ultimately, three words led to the downfall of hands-free driving legislation that lawmakers hoped would finally allow police to crack down on widespread use of phones while driving.Legislation banning drivers from holding a phone for any reason passed the House.And it was poised to pass the Senate when an...
Virginia lawmakers took the first step to creating an independent redistricting process by approving a bill that would create a 16-member commission.The constitutional amendment has to pass the General Assembly again next year and then be approved by voters in a statewide referendum before going into effect.The amended proposal...
With race front-and-center during the General Assembly session that concluded Sunday, lawmakers approved a budget that fulfilled requests from black lawmakers to begin addressing inequities.“Poverty is a commonwealth-wide conversation and it shouldn’t be up to just the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus to discuss, it should be our collective responsibility,”...
I once got a call from a journalist frustrated by a state law that allowed the government to withhold important information.He wasn’t just frustrated with the law, he was frustrated with me because — admittedly — I didn’t catch the bill that led to the law when it...
Moments before the General Assembly adjourned for the year Sunday, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax addressed two sexual assault allegations from the dais where he presides over the Senate, tying a House GOP push for legislative hearings to the state's history of lynchings."If we go backwards to rush to judgment,...
House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed on a spending plan that halts college tuition hikes, gives raises to state employees and teachers and socks away a half billion in rainy day funding.But those are just the biggies. Here are some of the other things lawmakers slipped in that are less...
Republicans “went nuclear” Friday, as one Democratic delegate put it, announcing that they’ll hold legislative hearings on sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax with or without support from their colleagues across the aisle.Democrats — at risk of alienating two key constituencies, women and black voters — have...
Maryum Elnasseh/ Capital News Service It doesn’t take more than a brief visit to East End Cemetery to see that racial inequality impacts not only the living; it extends to the dead as well. Many of the graves in this Henrico County cemetery, the final resting place for hundreds of African-Americans...
Legislation allowing no-excuse, early absentee voting passed the General Assembly Thursday and heads for the governor's desk.Sen. Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeake, carried one bill, which was amended in a committee to be the same as a bill from Del. Nick Rush, R-Montgomery.Both versions allow registered voters to cast an absentee...