Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Virginia State Del. Barbara Comstock remains ahead in overall funds, but Murphy has raised more money in 2013.
The money race for 34th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates has begun, and Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock is ahead of Democratic challenger Kathleen Murphy. But Murphy raised more in the first quarter of 2013, according to campaign finance reports available through the Virginia Public Access Project. The two candidates have less than seven months left to campaign for the 34th District seat ahead of the Nov. 5 election, which also includes Virginia's governor and lieutenant governor races and all seats in the Virginia House of Delegates. The 34th District Great Falls and parts of Tysons, Vienna, McLean and Loudoun County. Murphy began the year with a balance of $0 and raised $127,256 through March 31 Comstock began the year …
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, …
Monday, April 1, 2013
Significantly more Virginians support same-sex marriage than did in 2006, when Virginia voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
As nationwide support grows for same-sex marriage, so goes Virginia. Forty-six percent of Virginians oppose same-sex marriage and 45 percent support allowing it, according to a poll from the University of Mary Washington. That’s a marked change from 2006, when 57 percent of Virginia voters approved an amendment to the Virginia Constitution defining marriage as something between one man and one woman. Researchers from Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of the University of Mary Washington surveyed more than 1,000 Virginia residents between March 20 – 24 this year, completing the survey just as the U.S. Supreme Court started hearing arguments on two cases related to same-sex marriage rights. Decisions in those cases are pending…
Monday, February 25, 2013
McLean's Del. Barbara Comstock voted against the budget, which included $3.4 million to add 1,700 in-state undergraduate seats at Virginia universities.
Monday, February 25
By Jessica Dahlberg, Capital News Service As the 2013 legislative session came to a close, the Virginia General Assembly approved amendments to the state’s two-year budget Saturday that included expanding Medicaid and spending more money on education. The amendments were passed by both the House (on an 83-17 vote) and the Senate (31-8) after tense discussions over Medicaid, which provides medical care for lower-income residents. Legislators agreed to expand the program if certain reforms are made. Del. Barbara Comstock (R-McLean) was the only McLean-area legislator to vote against the budget. See vote tally below. The reforms will make Medicaid look similar to non-government health insurance policies, according to legislators. Under the …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
McLean-area Sens. Janet Howell and Barbara Favola both voted for the final bill, which is expected to raise $880 million a year for roads and mass transit.
Sunday, February 24
By Stephen Nielsen, Capital News Service A divided Virginia Senate on Saturday passed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature issue of the 2013 legislative session – a bill to overhaul the state’s system for funding transportation. McLean-area Sens. Janet Howell and Barbara Favola supported the legislation, but some other Northern Virginia senators voted against it, including Sen. Chap Petersen. Just hours before the session’s end, the Senate voted 25-15 for House Bill 2313, which will raise about $880 million a year more for roads and mass transit by increasing sales taxes while lowering the fuels tax. “This is truly the best we’re going to get,” Howell said. HB 2313, which was negotiated by a conference committee and approved 60-40 by the House …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Favola on the federal Health Benefits Exchange program (or virtual marketplace) for insurance.
Wednesday, February 20
The following opinion column was submitted by state Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington. Patch is happy to consider opinion articles for publication. We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity and brevity. Email your letters to the editor to email@example.com. The Virginia General Assembly will soon enact legislation that directs the State Corporation Commission to perform plan management functions for participation in a federal health benefits exchange (HBE) program. The exchange will function as a virtual marketplace where families can shop and compare insurance policies, with the help of a consumer navigator, to find the appropriate policy for their needs. Thanks to new rules, shoppers in the exchange can be assured that any …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Bill comes with harsher penalties and makes texting while driving a primary offense.
A bill that would impose tougher penalties on those convicted of texting while driving cleared the state Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the desk of Gov. Bob McDonnell. The bill increases the fine to $250 — up from $20 — for the first texting-while-driving offense and $500 for each subsequent conviction. It also makes texting while driving an aggravating circumstance to reckless driving, and so anyone convicted of such would face a mandatory minimum $500 penalty if they were texting while they were driving recklessly. Texting while driving would also become a primary offense, which means police can stop someone on the suspicion that a driver is texting; current law allows police to charge someone with texting while driving only if they'…
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Virginia voters wishing to cast an absentee ballot would still be required to give a reason. The proposed bill is heading to the Virginia House of Delegates.
A bill designed to alleviate privacy concerns about the absentee voting process could be heard by the full House of Delegates as early as Tuesday. The legislation would still require a person to give a valid reason to vote absentee, but certain personal information would no longer be required on the application. "It's important that we not set up artificial roadblocks to voting absentee," said Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin, the bill's sponsor. "While some of my colleagues seem to not want to make it easier to vote, I was happy that we are removing an unnecessary roadblock — or, an unnecessary invasion of privacy." The bill is a far cry from no-excuse absentee voting, sometimes called early voting, which would give any registered voter the …
The bill is designed to help grow the burgeoning data center industry in Northern Virginia.
Bills designed to support the growing data center industry in Northern Virginia passed in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate last week with wide bipartisan support. McLean Del. Barbara Comstock introduced legislation to “create a separate classification, for purposes of permitting localities to set a lower personal property tax rate, on computer equipment and peripherals used in a data center.” (HB 1699) Comstock released this statement: "The data center industry is projected to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years. This bill will help Virginia continue to be a leader in this 21st century marketplace,” Comstock said. “Data center jobs and investment are a critical element in diversifying Virginia's technology…
Friday, February 15, 2013
The bill that would make texting while driving a primary offense with a fine of $250 has received wide bipartisan support, and several other bills are under consideration.
The Virginia Legislature is vetting a number of bills that would implement harsher texting while driving laws. Last week, the house passed a bill (HB 1907) that increases the fine for the first texting-while-driving offense to $250 upon conviction, and $500 for each subsequent conviction. The current fine is $20. The bill passed the House in a 92-4 vote, and was unanimously supported by the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday. Del. Barbara Comstock, who represents McLean, is a patron. The bill is currently being vetted by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. The legislation would make texting while driving a primary offense, which means police can stop someone just on the suspicion that a driver may be texting at the wheel. …