GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2020

Alongside an interminable back and forth concerning elephant rides at a roadside zoo, it was one of the stranger subplots of this year’s legislative session: A freshman Republican lawmaker proposed a bill to remove a statue of Harry Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square.He said he only did it because...
The laws governing Virginia’s soon-to-launch medical marijuana program are once again getting a little looser.In the four years since its inception, it has morphed from a CBD-only-program limited to patients with intractable epilepsy to a full-fledged medical marijuana program that includes products ranging from vape pens to lollipops.This year,...
By Daphna Nachminovitch If you've never heard of Envigo — a facility on more than 330 acres in Cumberland County that has operated under the radar since 1967 — let me give you a glimpse inside. Last fall, PETA released video footage taken at Envigo's facility by USDA inspectors, which documented critical violations of federal...
Protesters in cars honked endlessly as they circled the Capitol. The Speaker of the House collapsed on the dais as she led a floor session. A lawmaker cast votes from a Plexiglas enclosure.The typically sleepy reconvened session of the Virginia General Assembly on Thursday fully reflected the bizarre world...
Lawmakers were back in Richmond Wednesday for the reconvened, or veto, session, when they act on gubernatorial vetoes and amendments. But, given the pandemic, it was one like no other, drawing right wing protesters opposed to Gov. Ralph Northam's stay-at-home order and other social distancing restrictions.To keep be able...
A loophole in state law that exempts Virginia’s largest dog-breeding facility from state oversight will stand for another year after lawmakers rejected a flawed amendment intended to close the exemption.Gov. Ralph Northam offered the amendment that would have extended state inspections and regulation to the Covance Research Products facility...
The General Assembly narrowly agreed to a four-month delay for the state’s first minimum wage increase in more than a decade.Under legislation passed last month by newly elected Democratic majorities, the minimum wage would have increased from $7.25 to $9.50 on Jan. 1. Gov. Ralph Northam, citing economic turmoil...
The Virginia Lottery is still running during the COVID-19 pandemic, but its March profits dropped 28 percent, according to a new agency report.The Lottery took in $48 million in profits for March, down more than a quarter compared to the same month last year.Though Gov. Ralph Northam has shut...
By Keith PerriganOver the last several weeks our commonwealth has dealt with a tremendous amount of troubling news.However, high poverty school divisions, especially small and rural school divisions, got some much needed good news this weekend when Gov. Ralph Northam proposed amendments to dedicate a portion of the...
Gov. Ralph Northam’s 144 budget amendments aren’t just about cutting new spending as Virginia braces itself for at least $1 billion in revenue losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.They are also, in one instance, about birds — specifically, gull-billed terns — and a massive expansion of the...