Sunday, April 7, 2013
Virginia's legislature passed an amendment prohibiting some insurance companies from providing abortion coverage.
This week, Virginia’s legislature approved a measure by Gov. Bob McDonnell that prohibits certain health insurance companies from providing coverage for women seeking an abortion. The exceptions to the insurance coverage rule are in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. While the new Virginia legislation isn’t as restrictive of abortions as recent legislation passed in North Dakota and Alabama, critics are concerned about the financial effect the legislation may have on a woman’s decision. Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) said, “Women should be able to make decisions about their own health care without interference from politicians here in the state Capitol.” The Virginia Society for Human Life, an anti-abortion group, …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
When Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is throw into the poll as an independent, poll numbers barely move.
If Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling throws his hat into the Virginia governor’s race, the race could tilt very slightly toward Democrat candidate and McLean resident Terry McAuliffe, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. McAuliffe and Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are statistically tied in a February Quinnipiac University poll of Virginia registered voters about the two-way governor’s race—each candidate has 38 percent. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,112 registered Virginia voters; the survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. When Bolling is thrown into the mix, McAuliffe gets 34 percent of the votes and Cuccinelli gets 31 percent—almost within the margin of error—and Bolling gets 13 percent. Bolling …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Governor sends letter to president, congressional delegation.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday sent a letter to President Barack Obama and the Old Dominion's congressional delegation calling for immediate action to prevent automatic spending cuts under sequestration. The $1.2 trillion in cuts — meant to force Congress to compromise, which hasn't happened — are slated to go into effect March 1. That deadline has been pushed back several times as lawmakers have brokered Band-Aid solutions. "The automatic sequestration reductions mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are already having a significant adverse effect on the Commonwealth," McDonnell wrote. "When fully implemented, they could force Virginia and other states into a recession. Sequestration-mandated reductions will be implemented …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Sen. Janet Howell voted in favor of the proposal, but the Virginia House and Senate will still have to come together on a comprehensive package.
Tuesday, a Senate Finance Committee passed a transportation plan for Virginia that varied from Gov. McDonnell's proposed transportation funding proposal. The Senate Finance Committee plan differs from Gov. McDonnell's proposal in key ways—it raises the gas tax instead of eliminating it, for example. (See the summary of the HB 2313 substitute in the media box at right for additional details.) The plan (which was not itself a bill but does move the discussions forward) passed on a 9 - 6 vote with bipartisan support. Sen. Janet Howell, who represents parts of Falls Church, McLean, Tysons Corner, Reston and surrounding areas, is on the Senate Finance Committee. In an email to Patch, Sen. Howell said she voted in favor of the bill, along …
The governor visited Fairfax County on Monday to rally support for his transportation bill, promising some money to reduce fees on the Dulles Toll Road.
Gov. Bob McDonnell made a stop in Northern Virginia on Monday afternoon to urge locals to push their representatives to support his divisive transportation-funding package, which the state Senate is scheduled to vote on again Tuesday. The governor said his proposal, which failed to pass the Senate in a partisan, 20-20 vote last week, would raise about $3 billion for road and transit improvements over the next five years. The bill would eliminate the state’s 17.5-cents-per-gallon gas tax and raise the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent. The House last week amended their version of the bill, eliminating a $100 alternative vehicle fee for owners of hybrid cars and prohibiting tolls on I-95 south of Fredericksburg. Senate …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Funding package was derailed by Virginia Senate Democrats late Tuesday, though the House version of the legislation still has a chance for approval.
Wednesday, February 6
By Whitney Spicer and Alix Hines, Capital News Service All 20 of Virgina's Democratic senators — including McLean's own Sens. Barbara Favola and Janet Howell — voted against Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation plan late Tuesday, effectively blocking the Senate's version of the proposal for this legislative session. The move makes it less likely Gov. Bob McDonnell will pass a transportation package in his last year in office. While the House amended and approved a version of the plan, HB 2313, earlier Tuesday, sending it to the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Democrats "vowed to block any proposal that generated less than $1.2 billion a year in new roads money," the Washington Examiner reports. That opposition is what doomed SB 1355 on …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Gov. Bob McDonnell's task force focusing on school safety in Virginia releases initial recommendations.
Tuesday, February 5
By Blake Belden, Capital News Service Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging state legislators to approve recommendations from his School and Campus Safety Task Force that would increase sentences for illegally buying guns, require mandatory lockdown drills at schools and establish more comprehensive suicide prevention programs, among other suggestions. McDonnell sent the General Assembly a letter outlining initial recommendations from the panel, which the governor established in the wake of December’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children. In the letter, McDonnell highlighted those recommendations he wants legislators to give the "most priority": 10 of them involve public safety (including …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Educators don't support arming teachers or principals, but would welcome more trained, armed School Resource Officers "if money was no issue."
A group of educators from one of Fairfax County's largest teachers' unions says it doesn't want guns in schools, according to a survey released Thursday morning by the union, which goes on to say security personnel "can help address a portion of the issue (of school security), but they cannot fix the entire problem." The results come after nearly 500 members of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers responded to a survey on school safety and security — in an effort to make teachers' voices a larger part of state and nationwide conversations about gun control and schools, according to the federation's president, Steve Greenburg "The issue of guns being brought to schools and the issue of making our schools more secure is a complex effort…
Monday, January 14, 2013
Group charged with evaluating school safety says it'll focus on experts and fact, not emotion.
Monday, January 14
By Whitney Spicer, Capital News Service Members of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s School and Campus Safety Task Force vowed Monday their recommendations on keeping Virginia’s schools safe would be based on fact and not emotion. The task force – charged with evaluating the safety of schools and campuses throughout the state – was assembled by McDonnell in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last month in Newtown, Conn. “I thought in the wake of that terrible tragedy, it would be prudent to get all of our leading experts from all disciplines together to gather around a table or two, and talk about what can we do better,” McDonnell said. After a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, some …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
In light of Sandy Hook shootings and ahead of Virginia General Assembly kickoff this week, union turns to members to get opinion on guns in schools and what safe schools should look like.
In the weeks since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., politicians and advocacy groups have issued recommendations for how schools can try to prevent the tragedy — which killed 26 students and school employees — from happening again. A voice so far largely absent from those discussions in Fairfax and Northern Virginia: teachers. One of Fairfax County's largest teachers unions is hoping to change that, launching Tuesday a security and schools survey asking its 4,265 members about the use of guns in schools, where the system could use extra security personnel, how safe schools are now and how to make them safer, among other topics. "What I see more and more of is politicians posturing up and taking positions …