Saturday, February 16, 2013
Legislators join activists, fellow lawmakers in Richmond to call for change.
Saturday, February 16
By Amber Galaviz, Capital News Service State officials joined gay rights activists at a press conference Thursday to discuss their disappointment in Virginia's failure to repeal the state's constitutional ban against same-sex marriage in this year's General Assembly session. “I believe that marriage is about loving, committed couples wanting to make lifelong promises to each other – take care of each other, be responsible for each other and support each other,” Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) said at the event at the General Assembly Building. “And I think that if anybody – gay, straight – wants to stand up in front of their family and friends and make that commitment to grow old together, it’s not for me, or the judge or the state to …
Friday, February 15, 2013
Senate Committee Kills ‘Tebow Bill’ on Thursday night, but some Patch readers think proposal should be voted into law.
Virginia's Senate Education and Health Committee shot down a bill Thursday that would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in public schools’ sports teams. Committee members killed House Bill 1442 — also known as the “Tebow bill" — on a 7-8 vote, shelving it for the remainder of this legislative session. But should the bill have reached the full Senate floor? In a Patch blog post, Fairfax County School Board member Ryan McElveen highlighted the defeat of the bill as one of the three most important actions residents could advocate for this session as Richmond pressed on with what he called an "educational extremism." The school board voted to advocate against the proposal, McElveen wrote, "because, in short, the bill would …
Monday, January 28, 2013
A $2,500 credit for small businesses employing public university grads is on hold after subcommittee members ask for legislation that would include private colleges.
Monday, January 28
By Michael Shuster, Capital News Service A bill that would have given Virginia small businesses a $2,500 tax credit for hiring the state's public university graduates was tabled by House subcommittee members who said the offer should also apply to graduates of Virginia's private institutions. House Bill 1303, introduced by Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), would have created an incentive system for small businesses that hired people holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a public institution of higher education in Virginia, giving a $2,500 corporate income tax credit for each new full-time position created and filled after Jan. 1 of this year. Businesses could have claimed the credit after the graduate had been employed for …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Petersen: Republican effort to end winner-take-all system is 'anti-Democratic'
A Republican-led effort to end the Old Dominion's traditional winner-take-all approach to picking a president has drawn national attention and could weaken the influence of voters in urban areas like Northern Virginia. The bill, authored by state Sen. Charles Carrico, a Galax Republican, would divvy up electoral college votes based on who wins each of this state's 11 congressional districts. Carrico has said that the current system casts aside the wishes of rural voters and that his bill is an attempt to even the playing field, according to the Roanoke Times. More broadly, proponents in the GOP say the new system would better reflect the popular vote. The bill heads to the full Senate Privileges and Elections Committee next week. Gov. Bob …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell tours state Thursday asking for support, says plan could jumpstart several projects in Northern Virginia.
Gov. Bob McDonnell spent Thursday traveling across the state to urge area business leaders and residents to support his “Virginia’s Road to the Future” transportation plan, saying his proposal could help jumpstart a number of projects in Northern Virginia that have seemed to stall. The plan has gotten mixed reviews from some state legislators so far this session, but a new poll from Christopher Newport University showed 63 percent of Virginia voters support McDonnell's plan, which hinges on doing away with the state’s 17.5 cents per gallon gas tax and increasing the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent. The poll, released Thursday, surveyed 1,015 people across the state on a number of issues, including the governor's plan. …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
On 40th anniversary of landmark court decision, Favola tells those gathered at a Richmond rally that 2012 legislation on abortion, women's rights were terrible mandates.
Wednesday, January 23
By Katherine Johnson, Capital News Service Abortion rights supporters made their way to the state Capitol grounds on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and to look to the future of women’s rights in Virginia. The landmark case decided that women’s right to privacy includes the right to have an abortion. A crowd of a few hundred gathered to listen to Virginia legislators in support of women’s rights, including Democratic Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st), whose district includes parts of McLean and Tysons Corner. The rally served as a reminder to women’s rights and reproductive rights advocates to continue their efforts, especially after last year’s turbulent General Assembly session, when …
Monday, January 21, 2013
Some politicians, activist groups decry Monday proposal that could redistrict five Democratic senate districts.
Virginia’s State Senate narrowly passed a bill Monday night that could change the map of Senate and House districts across the state. The Senate bill, which squeezed through with a 20-19 vote, shifts the districts of five Senate Democrats—three representing Northern Virginia—toward more Republican-voting areas. (See a map of the proposed redistricting in the media box to the right.) Under the proposal, the districts of John Edwards (D-21st) Dave Marsden (D-37th), George Barker (D-39th), Chuck Colgan (D-29th) and John Miller (D-1st) would all change — and those changes would cause ripple effects to surrounding districts. Virginia’s Legislature last completed redistricting in 2011. Republican Sen. John Watkins (R-10th) defended the bill as "…
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Legislators discussed priorities for Virginia's 2013 General Assembly in Wednesday town hall.
On Wednesday evening, when Virginia Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd District) announced her plans to introduce legislation that would fix a loophole allowing Virginia residents to purchase firearms from some dealers at gun shows without undergoing background checks, more than 200 McLean residents showed their support with a round of applause. Similar legislation has been introduced during past legislative sessions, but has not passed, Howell said. "I’m hopeful that this year we’ve had tragedies of such magnitude that reason will prevail," she said. But reforming the Commonwealth's gun control laws is only one of many legislative priorities lawmakers representing McLean voiced Wednesday during a town hall meeting at the McLean Community Center. …