GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

While the legalization of marijuana in the commonwealth remains elusive, potential economic benefits may persuade Virginia legislators to lift restrictions on the plant’s cousin, hemp, bringing the state in line with new federal regulations.  The 2019 session of the General Assembly saw the filing of five new bills that would...
By Saffeya Ahmed/ Capital News Service A legislative panel rejected a bill protecting student journalists from administrative censorship on a tie vote Monday. House Bill 2382, sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, would have protected free speech for student journalists in public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as public...
During the course of their time in foster care, some children might pass through multiple foster homes and interact with a variety of adults, potentially placing their personal information at risk. A bill sponsored by Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk, is aiming to eliminate that problem by freezing the youths' credit...
Hundreds of teachers and public education advocates marched through Richmond on Monday to demand more money for teacher pay, school support staff and other educational needs. Teachers from across the state told stories of not being able to afford supplies to make the signs they carried, limiting how often they...
A House Republican leader wants to advance tax conformity and funnel money from federal tax changes into a new fund instead of using it for budget changes. Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, added some twists to his previously straightforward tax conformity bill. Virginia would adopt conformity —  a regular, usually non-debated...
Like a school of fish in a sea of predators, many of the hundreds of bills filed during every General Assembly session fail to advance to even a floor vote, never mind the governor's desk. Every week, we'll bring you a sampling of the legislation left on the cutting room...
Starting last year, state employees have the option of shopping for their health care services. Through their health plans, they can shop for procedures like X-rays or mammograms, and if they choose a cheaper option, they pocket some of the savings. During the 2018 General Assembly session, the attempt to bring...
If a cigarette is unlit, it won’t do you any harm, said Keith Andes, president of the Richmond Association of Firefighters. “But the moment you light that cigarette — or the moment you enter that burning building — all kinds of chemicals are now affecting you," Andes said. Andes was...
A campaign to make Virginia the last state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment hit another dead end in the House of Delegates on Friday, where Republicans on the body's election's committee blocked its consideration on a party-line vote. The move likely means the amendment is dead for the...
Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, says he hasn't made up his mind about whether he'll seek re-election this year, when every seat in the state Senate and House of Delegates is up. "I'm weighing all my options," he told a Mercury reporter Thursday. "I've made no decision." Wagner, chairman of the...