GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2020

Some Virginia inmates could see their sentences cut nearly in half under legislation aimed at rewarding good behavior and participation in prison rehabilitation programs.Bills advanced by Democrats in the House and Senate would dramatically expand the state’s existing earned sentence credit program, which currently caps sentence reductions tied to...
Proposals to address rising numbers of unpaid utility bills during a time of mass unemployment have faced uphill battles during the special session of the General Assembly convened in part to address the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.In the two weeks since the session began, the House of Delegates...
Update: The House version of this legislation was pulled from the agenda Thursday, which appears to end the debate on this topic for the special session. Legislators could revisit the issue when they return in January.It’s a short bill filled with lawyerly jargon. But it’s one that could have...
First came rising waters and flooded roads. Then came evacuations. An Aug. 15 storm that stalled over Central Virginia and dropped almost 10 inches of rain on parts of Chesterfield County highlighted a threat that the state has long been aware of but, with climate change, is becoming ever more...
By Andrew RingleA bill that could reshape how law enforcement responds when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis reported out of the House Public Safety Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 13-9.House Bill 5043 by Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond, would create teams of mental health service providers,...
Lawmakers in the House of Delegates gave a preliminary thumbs up Tuesday to legislation banning police from using tear gas and rubber bullets --- so-called nonlethal weapons that departments around the state and country have deployed in response to recent widespread civil unrest.“It’s currently legal for police in Virginia...
Gov. Ralph Northam has signaled he intends to revive an old debate about how much out-of-state trash Virginia accepts by including in his administration’s budget proposal an order for the state to develop a plan to require landfill operators to pay a statewide tipping fee for solid waste.“The governor...
As Virginia Democrats advanced sweeping police reforms during a special legislative session that began last week, GOP lawmakers assailed the proposals as an attack on law enforcement.But with a handful of exceptions, police groups are now backing many of the reforms contained in an omnibus bill moving through the...
When he presented his pandemic-era budget proposal to the General Assembly this week, Gov Ralph Northam said that, just as it is in family budgeting, “cash is king.” In other words, a year of crisis and financial uncertainty is no time to start spending on new things.As legislators began...
Over the strong objection of Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration, a Senate committee advanced a bill that would curtail emergency decisions made by the state health commissioner, in part spurred on by frustration with the administration's initial refusal to release information on nursing homes experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.Five of the Senate...