Equality groups to host House of Delegates candidate forum Oct. 24


Four equality organizations are partnering to host a Virginia House of Delegates candidate forum in Henrico Oct. 24.

The forum is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Ridge Elementary School, preceded at 5:45 p.m. by a "Meet the Candidate" session.
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72nd District Republican Primary – Ernesto Sampson, Edward Whitlock


In preparation for Tuesday's primary elections, the Henrico Citizen invited the candidates for every race that impacts Henrico County to answer several questions about themselves. The responses of those in this election who replied appear below:
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68th District Democratic Primary – Dawn Marie Adams, Ben Pearson-Nelson, Mary Jo Sheeley


In preparation for Tuesday's primary elections, the Henrico Citizen invited the candidates for every race that impacts Henrico County to answer several questions about themselves. The responses of those in this election who replied appear below:
> Read more.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

For third year, governor vetoes ‘Tebow bill’


Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed the so-called Tebow bill that would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in high school sports.

“Participation in athletic and academic competitions is a privilege for students who satisfy eligibility requirements,” McAuliffe wrote in vetoing HB 1578, sponsored by Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville. “Opening participation in those competitions to individuals who are not required to satisfy the same criteria codifies academic inequality in interscholastic competition.”

This is the third consecutive year that Bell has shepherded such legislation through the General Assembly only to be stopped at the governor’s office.
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VanValkenburg to seek 72nd District seat


Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg recently announced his intention to seek the party nomination for the 72nd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. VanValkenburg is a government and civics teacher at Glen Allen High School and has worked in the school system for 12 years. He is a University of Richmond graduate.

The 72nd District seat has been held by Republican Jimmie Massie since 2008.
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Senate passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood


The Senate on Tuesday narrowly passed a bill to curtail funding for Planned Parenthood and other health centers that perform abortions.

The Senate voted 20-19 along party lines in favor of HB 2264, sponsored by Del. Benjamin Cline, R-Amherst.

The bill states that the Virginia Department of Health “shall not enter into a contract with, or make a grant to, any entity that performs abortions that are not federally qualified abortions or maintains or operates a facility where non-federally qualified abortions are performed.”
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Senate approval sends ‘Tebow Bill’ to McAuliffe


The Virginia Senate narrowly approved a bill Monday that would allow home-schooled students across the commonwealth to play high school sports.

HB 1578, commonly known as the “Tebow Bill,” would eliminate a statewide ban prohibiting home-schooled students from participating in high school athletics and other interscholastic activities.

The Senate voted 22-18 in favor of the measure. Democratic Sen. Lynwood Lewis of Accomac joined the 21 Republican senators in voting for the bill, which had been approved by the House last month.
> Read more.

UVA student from Henrico helps call attention to need for sexual assault education


When one of her friends was sexually assaulted her second semester at the University of Virginia, Hannah Shadowen, a UVA student and Henrico County native, said she knew she had to do something.

“I supported her through that, and it was really hard, but I was like I need to be more informed, and I want to change this, so this doesn’t happen here,” Shadowen said.

Shadowen joined One Less, an all female-identifying, gender non-conforming sexual assault prevention group run by UVA students. Through her participation in One Less, Shadowen has visited other organizations on campus to discuss healthy relationships, sexual violence, the meaning of consent, intimate partner violence, and survivor support.
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Senate approves criminal penalties for female genital mutilation


The Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill that would criminalize the act of female genital mutilation by categorizing it as a class one misdemeanor.

The bill was originally proposed by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, but was later incorporated into bill SB1060, introduced by Sen. Dick Black, R-Leesburg.

“It is estimated that over 200 million females around the world have undergone some form of FGM,” Dunnavant said. “Our state is listed as one where women and girls are at the highest risk of being victims. These statistics are alarming, and I think something needs to be done to address this issue here in the Commonwealth.”
> Read more.

Democrat Jeff Bourne elected to Virginia House


Jeff Bourne, a member of the Richmond School Board, easily won a special election Tuesday for the Virginia House of Delegates. Bourne, the Democratic nominee in the race, will represent the 71st House District, which includes parts of Richmond and Henrico County.

With all precincts reporting, Bourne received 3,708 votes, almost 90 percent of the ballots cast. The second-place candidate, Libertarian John W. Barclay, got about 7 percent. Regie Ford, an independent candidate, received about 3 percent.

Bourne fill the seat vacated by a fellow Democrat, Jennifer McClellan, who was elected to the state Senate last month.
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Virginia likely to ease rules on marijuana


Virginia won’t be pulling a Colorado by decriminalizing marijuana this year. But the state might relax its penalties for possessing marijuana and its rules on who can use marijuana products for medical reasons.

Legislators this session introduced more than a dozen marijuana-related proposals. A Senate committee last week killed two bills to decriminalize the substance, and a House bill likely will die this week.

However, lawmakers seem amenable to making marijuana products more available for medical purposes and to being more lenient with Virginians convicted of simple possession of marijuana.
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‘Left-lane bandits’ may face $250 fine


The House of Delegates has approved a bill that would impose a mandatory $250 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways. HB 2201 was introduced by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, and co-sponsored by Democrats Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church and Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax to show bipartisan support for the measure. O’Quinn said this is something that affects all Virginians, regardless of which side of the aisle they align themselves with.

“It doesn’t matter which corner of the commonwealth you come from,” he said when addressing the bill on the House floor Monday. “It doesn’t matter which interstate or four-lane highway that you have going through the districts you represent. I guarantee you are going to encounter this many times, even if you’re on the highways for just a few minutes.”
> Read more.

House panel OKs bills targeting opioid crisis


A House committee has approved seven bills aimed at fighting the opioid crisis in Virginia. The legislation would limit the prescription of medications containing opioids, establish guidelines for the use of opioids to treat pain and make opioid overdose reversal drugs more easily available.

The House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the proposals and sent them to the full House of Delegates for consideration.

On an average day, three Virginians die of a drug overdose, according to State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine. In November, she and Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
> Read more.

McAuliffe boasts Virginia employment records


RICHMOND – After giving a report at a meeting of the National Governors Association this week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he is proud of how well Virginia is doing economically.

“I just gave the State of the State, and I almost feel bad for those other 49 governors. I don’t know what they do every day because we live in the greatest state in the greatest nation on Earth,” McAuliffe said at the Virginia Municipal League Day at the Capitol.

Virginia has reached its highest level of employment in history, with more than 4.2 million workers in the commonwealth, McAuliffe said.
> Read more.

McAuliffe vows to veto anti-abortion bills


Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke Jan. 19 in support of legislation proposed by members of the Women’s Health Care Caucus and vowed to veto bills he believes would endanger women’s reproductive rights. McAuliffe said legislators should learn from controversies in North Carolina following the passage of what he called “socially divisive bills.” McAuliffe said he told the General Assembly not to send him these types of bills because they have no chance of becoming law.

“I have sent a strong message already. They have an abortion bill, a 20-week abortion bill, that was signed on by, I think, eight members of the General Assembly. I have made it very clear I will veto it. That bill has zero chance of becoming law in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
> Read more.

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