GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2022

COMMENTARY

Slumlords beware: Virginia may give localities new power to go after poor housing conditions

BY: - March 30, 2022

Republicans and Democrats rarely agreed on policy proposals during the past General Assembly session. However, a bill to expand localities’ power to go after slumlords received somewhat surprising bipartisan support. If signed by the governor, in a few months’ time cities and counties across the commonwealth could begin greater enforcement of dangerous and harmful living […]

COMMENTARY

Energy security and climate change demand real action, not shaky promise of ‘low-emission gas’

BY: - March 29, 2022

By Dan Grossman Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscores the extent to which energy security is national security, not only in the U.S. but across the globe. With the current roiling of global energy markets, we need strong action to keep these resources in the pipes, rather than our atmosphere. Alarmingly, U.S. oil and gas operators […]

Kat Velkoff smiles for a photo after completing her kidney transplant

Virginia receives ‘C’ ranking for protections offered to living organ donors

BY: - March 25, 2022

The American Kidney Fund gave Virginia a “C” ranking this year for its available protections for living organ donors, a valuable source of transplants as Virginia — like many states — struggles to match supply with demand. However, legislation that’s awaiting Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s signature could improve Virginia’s grade in the future. According to the […]

COMMENTARY

We must do something to stem this wanton bloodshed

BY: - March 24, 2022

Please make them stop. I’m talking about the wanton, reckless firearm slayings that happen too often in Virginia and around the country. The victims and killers are disproportionately Black men.  This time, an African American woman, Sierra Jenkins, was caught up in the maelstrom and shot dead. The reporter for The Virginian-Pilot had just turned […]

With another basketball ad, Youngkin calls on lawmakers to finish state budget

BY: - March 23, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is calling the Virginia General Assembly back to Richmond on April 4 to finish work on the two-year state budget and dozens of other bills left in limbo when the legislature adjourned earlier this month. But instead of focusing on closed-door negotiations with Senate Democrats whose votes he needs to enact his […]

Waste industry backs bill to raise annual landfill fees

BY: - March 23, 2022

Virginia taxpayers have been putting millions every year toward the permitting and inspection of landfills and other facilities that handle nonhazardous solid waste.  Now, a bill sent to the governor’s desk would increase the fees waste operators have to pay with the goal of covering the state’s expenses.  “It just makes the landfill program self-sufficient […]

As state mental hospitals struggle, lawmakers eye the agency overseeing them

BY: - March 21, 2022

Virginia’s state-run psychiatric hospitals have been in crisis mode for years. But the last nine months have brought a series of new emergencies, from the July decision to temporarily close to new admissions to a recent lawsuit against the state for failing to admit a juvenile patient going through a mental health crisis. The turmoil […]

After years of failed attempts, Virginia is legalizing switchblades

BY: - March 21, 2022

Virginia’s last two governors vetoed efforts to soften the state’s longstanding ban on switchblades. But the easy-to-open knives will soon be legal after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a switchblade bill that passed the politically divided General Assembly with overwhelming support. Widely outlawed in the 1950s due to the perception they were the preferred weapon of […]

Legislation to crack down on marijuana products, including synthetics, heads to Youngkin

BY: - March 17, 2022

The General Assembly failed at finding a path to starting recreational marijuana sales this year, but a law outlining stricter regulations for retailers selling what one lawmaker called “juiced-up” synthetic products made its way through the legislature last week with bipartisan support. The bill, which is now before Gov. Glenn Youngkin, explicitly bans sales of […]

Youngkin calls for emergency three-month suspension of Virginia’s gas tax

BY: - March 16, 2022

Saying Virginians need immediate relief from higher gas prices, Gov. Glenn Youngkin called Wednesday for a three-month suspension of Virginia’s entire gas tax, a move that would cut about 26 cents off each gallon at a roughly $437 million cost to the state. Youngkin made the announcement at a Henrico County gas station, where he […]

Conference committee scales back SNAP benefits bill for people leaving prison

BY: - March 16, 2022

Disagreements between the House of Delegates and the Senate scaled back the scope of a bill that would have allowed people who are incarcerated to apply for food assistance before being released.  The legislature on Saturday approved conference committee changes made to Del. Mark Sickles’ HB 1270, which means the Department of Social Services will […]

A Virginia gun bill had support from gun-control groups and the NRA. It still failed.

BY: - March 15, 2022

At a legislative hearing last month, something so unusual happened some in the room joked it should go down as an important moment in history: The NRA and gun-control groups agreed a Democratic gun bill was good enough to make it through a Republican committee. “So Jesus is coming any minute,” quipped Del. Nick Freitas, […]