GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

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...
Gov. Ralph Northam and several Democratic lawmakers presented a suite of bills Monday that would remove Virginia’s voter identification requirement, allow no-excuse absentee voting and limit the size, source and use of campaign donations.Many of the proposals have been around for years, some since the 1990s, Northam said. They...
A Virginia lawmaker carrying legislation to legalize casino gambling wants to ban unregulated slot-like games that have popped up in gas stations, convenience stores and bars around the state.Though the machines look and function like slot machines, manufacturers of the games argue they don't violate the state's prohibition on...
Next in a series looking ahead to the General Assembly session that starts this week.An unprecedented study released earlier this year by researchers at Princeton University put Virginia on blast: The state’s cities have among the highest eviction rates in the country.In the months that followed, policy makers, tenant...
It’s not just the federal government shutdown that could delay tax refunds this year.If Virginia lawmakers can’t decide what to do about federal tax changes and an estimated $594 million more coming to the state because of some of those changes, correct state tax refunds could take some...
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam rolled out a package of seven gun-control measures Friday he said he hoped would find bipartisan support when the General Assembly convenes next week.Among them: universal background checks, a revival of the state’s one-hand-gun-a-month law and a ban on assault weapons.Republican leaders have so far...
Tucked away in Gov. Ralph Northam's proposed budget amendments is a plan to study how gambling expansion could play out in Virginia.As drafted, the study wouldn't be completed until November, well after this year's General Assembly session concludes and lawmakers will have voted on a slew of proposals to bring...
Next in a series looking ahead to the General Assembly session that starts next week.For years, restaurant owners have struggled through the tangled bureaucracy of getting and keeping state permission to serve liquor.Virginia’s alcohol control laws — from its decision to keep retail liquor sales under the state’s purview...