GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The day of the municipal building mass shooting, Republican Del. Barry Knight, who grew up in Virginia Beach and currently represents part of the city, was at a friend’s memorial service when the city manager contacted him to tell him six people had been killed.By the...
Digital town hall results released Tuesday by Gov. Ralph Northam's office show that 93 percent of the 2,000 respondents considered distracted-driving a "very serious or serious problem."They also voted it "the most serious of seven highway safety issues provided for ranking, followed closely by drunk driving," the governor's office...
FLOYD — The saga of securing money to build out Interstate 81, which runs through rural western Virginia as one of the East Coast’s arterial commercial routes, was one of the twistiest narratives of the 2019 General Assembly session.A pair of bills proposing tolls to fund interstate construction was...
The Department of Elections will hire six new employees this summer, which should help address some of the problems identified in an audit last year, officials said.The new positions, funded in the final state budget, represent the “single biggest infusion in new positions to the department as far back...
In a final, exasperated call to her landlord about a leaky roof that sent a steady stream of rain water dripping into her bedroom, Winter Whittaker threatened to take him to court.“You’re going to fix what you’re supposed to fix,” she said in the call, which she recorded.Dean Parsons,...
For the first time in decades, Virginia lawmakers have agreed to increase the minimum number of counselors required in schools.But they also decided not to fully fund those positions in the state budget.“July 1, 2019, there will be a new law in Virginia that improves the school counselor-to-student ratio...
The Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council will study a bill that would require universities to share the terms and conditions of donations from private entities.Del. David Bulova, D-Fairfax, introduced House Bill 2386 to create firm rules on when donors to public colleges and universities can be anonymous; what...
In the wake of the General Assembly's push to reform Virginia's foster care system this year, legislators seem poised to maintain the momentum into future sessions.Virginia's Commission on Youth held a foster care seminar for legislators on Monday, with presenters covering everything from how the current system works to...
Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have made it a felony homicide to sell, distribute, manufacture or gift drugs that cause a fatal overdose.The legislation was condemned by some groups who argued it would penalize those struggling with addiction for giving or selling drugs to...
Gov. Ralph Northam's administration will not veto GOP-inserted budget language that thwarts Virginia's plans to join a network of carbon-trading states, throwing a wrench into a regulation developed over nearly two years and approved by a state board last month.In a statement announcing his approval of the state budget...