GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2021

After giving so-called skill games another year to operate in Virginia late in the 2020 General Assembly session, legislators seemed to decide the time has come to pull the plug on thousands of slots-like gambling machines that have proliferated in convenience stores, restaurants and truck stops all over the...
Advocates are heralding legislation loosening eligibility rules for food stamps as the most significant expansion of public benefits in Virginia since the state expanded Medicaid three years ago.The bill, which passed the General Assembly last month with unanimous support, will open up the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)...
When the federal Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, Virginia was one of nine states that drew special attention due to its history of racist election laws. That burden was lifted in 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided enough time had passed that Virginia and other states could...
When the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an air permit last year for a compressor station Dominion Energy wanted to site in the majority-Black community of Union Hill as part of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the judges admonished state officials that “environmental justice is not...
An increasingly vocal group of Virginia lawmakers and advocates is urging Gov. Ralph Northam to send down a legislative amendment that would make marijuana legal this year.The General Assembly recently passed a bill to legalize the drug beginning in 2024 — a three-year delay that was met with disappointment...
Just as speed limits set a maximum velocity for drivers, so too the commonwealth establishes a minimum speed limit for localities. Currently, any city or county looking to slow traffic in a busy shopping district or on a quiet residential street can go no lower than 25 mph.A...
By Yely MontanoAs a daughter of immigrants, Virginia has always been a home for my family. It wasn’t until I got older when I started hearing how other immigrant families outside of the state perceived Virginia. Virginia is unsafe for immigrants. Virginia is where the police will hand you...
Lawmakers plan to appoint six new judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals later this year as part of a plan to expand the court’s jurisdiction to all civil and criminal cases.The reform will end Virginia’s status as the only state in the country where there is no guaranteed...
The Republican Party of Virginia’s attempts to plan a party-run, statewide nominating contest during a global pandemic have been so choppy it’s still unclear if the May 8 drive-up convention at Liberty University will happen as planned.And it might only get more complicated from here.Legislation passed by the General...
St. Augustine — who famously longed for chastity and continence, but not just yet — would recognize a similar spiritual conundrum in Virginia senators on campaign finance reform.Sure thing. Just not right now.Last month, in the waning days of the 2021 General Assembly session, the Senate, on a voice...