GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2020

In the wee hours of an unseasonably balmy, humid Sunday in mid-March, legislative staff on the ninth and 10th floors of Capitol Square’s decrepit, old General Assembly Building had opened their windows wide to mitigate the swelter from unrelenting, clanking steam radiators. Beyond exhaustion from a week of late...
By Ada Romano/ Capital News Service A General Assembly bill is likely dead for the session that would have held localities accountable for damages caused by protesters if an adequate police response was not provided. Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, said he proposed House Bill 5026 to assure localities provide proper police...
Long before the COVID-19 recession put millions of Virginians on the precipice of losing their homes, the commonwealth already suffered from the country’s worst eviction epidemic. After five Virginia cities landed in the top 10 of Princeton University’s Eviction Lab rankings in 2016, the data served as a clarion...
House and Senate budget writers presented their proposed amendments to Gov. Ralph Northam’s retooled spending plan Friday. Here’s a first look at where the two chambers landed on funding for schools, criminal justice reform, evictions and past-due utility bills.The legislation is on its way to the floor of each...
Lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly are on track to give citizen boards brand new authority to investigate and discipline local police officers accused of misconduct.But while Democratic majorities in the House and Senate agree the panels should have teeth, the two chambers are still at odds over key...
Two bills aimed at bringing more transparency to the Virginia Parole Board won bi-partisan support in the Senate but died Tuesday at the hands of Democrats in the House of Delegates.The bills, proposed by GOP senators upset by the board’s recent parole decisions, would have required board members to...
With no clear end in sight to the Virginia General Assembly’s ongoing special session, Gov. Ralph Northam is again asking the State Corporation Commission to extend an existing moratorium on utility disconnections.The current ban is set to expire on Wednesday. But in a letter sent earlier this week, Northam...
By Sam Fowler/ Capital News Service An effort to require Virginia school districts provide in-person classes to students with poor internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic is most likely dead. House Bill 5009, introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would require public schools to offer in-person classes to elementary, middle and high...
If open-government advocates have their way in Richmond, relatives of crime victims and the news media may finally learn more details about a host of violent incidents – many that are several years old and votes of the State Parole Board will be pulled into the light of day.It’s...
For the third time in two weeks, lawmakers in the General Assembly voted down a measure aimed at rolling back qualified immunity for police officers.The bill, which died twice in the House only to twice be revived days later, hit what appears to be a more permanent dead end...