General Assembly

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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Home-schoolers ask governor to ‘Let Us Play’


Supporters of home-schooled students playing sports in public schools unleashed their secret weapon at the Virginia Capital on Wednesday – home-schoolers themselves.

Home-schooling advocates and their children gathered in the state Capitol to hear remarks from Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville, and Sen. Tom Garrett, R-Lynchburg, the sponsors of legislation commonly called the “Tebow bill.”

Afterward, the home-schoolers and parents signed a large card urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to sign the legislation into law. The group presented the message to the front gate guard at the Governor’s Mansion.
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No decrease in SOL testing this year


Until two years ago, Virginia third-graders were required to take four Standards of Learning exams per year. Students were tested across all disciplines and asked to demonstrate skills taught not just in third grade, but going back to kindergarten. Only five states tested young elementary school students this much.
Now, Virginia third-graders are tested only in math and reading with less cumulative material from previous grade levels. Testing was reduced in other grade levels, too. From a high of 34 SOL tests, students in the commonwealth now must pass 29 such exams before receiving a high school diploma.

A bill proposed by Sen. John Miller, D-Newport News, would have taken this a step further. Senate Bill 203 sought to roll back SOL testing to the federally mandated minimum of 17 SOLs before graduation.
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What’s alive and dead as bills ‘cross over’


Wednesday marked the midpoint of the General Assembly’s session – colloquially referred to as “crossover day.” From this day forward, the House can consider only bills passed by the Senate, and the Senate can consider only legislation passed by the House.

That is why lawmakers were in a frenzy through Tuesday trying to get their bills through their chamber of origin. Now is a good time to take stock of what measures have “crossed over” and are still alive – and what proposals are dead for the session.
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House passes McClellan’s simple assault bill

Proposal would allow some cases to be addressed without jail time

The House unanimously passed Henrico Del. Jennifer McClellan’s bill to allow simple assault against a family member to be dealt with outside of jail time.

Under existing law, assault and battery of a family member can have a more lax punishment than simple assault because of different code sections.

In Virginia, assault and battery is defined as intentional harmful contact. Assault is considered attempting or threatening to inflict bodily injury upon another, and battery is the actual contact. Therefore, if someone attempts to make contact but misses, he or she could still be found guilty of simple assault.
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House OKs bill to defund Planned Parenthood


In a swipe at Planned Parenthood, the House on Tuesday passed a bill to prohibit the Virginia Department of Health from funding clinics that provide abortions except in the case of rape or incest or if the mother’s life is endangered.

Delegates voted 64-35 along party lines for House Bill 1090, which would cut off state funding for programs or facilities that offer abortions that would not be reimbursed under Medicaid, a federal-state program for low-income Americans. Republicans supported the measure; Democrats opposed it.
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Panel kills mandatory bicycle helmet bill


Bicycling advocates are happy that legislators have killed a bill requiring all bicyclists under 18 to wear helmets in Virginia.

Helmets can keep riders safe, but mandatory helmet laws are counterproductive, according to the Virginia Bicycling Federation.

“While the Virginia Bicycling Federation encourages helmet use,” said Champe Burnley, president of the organization, “we believe that mandatory helmet laws discourage people from riding bikes, make basic transportation less accessible and as a matter of public policy, do not significantly increase bike safety.”
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House OKs amendment to increase charter schools


By a 52-47 vote, the Virginia House of Delegates Feb. 12 approved a constitutional amendment that could open the doors for more charter schools in the state.

House Joint Resolution 1, introduced by Delegate Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, would allow the State Board of Education to authorize such schools if the local school board refuses. Republicans have championed the issue, saying Virginia school districts have thwarted attempts to create charter schools, which are public schools that are freed from certain regulations and often offer innovative or specialized programs.

Increasing the number of charter schools was a priority on the GOP education agenda for this legislative session.
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Smoking in a car with kids soon may be illegal


Smoking in a car with children younger than 8 soon could be a crime in Virginia under a bill passed by the House of Delegates on Friday.

The offense would involve a fine of $100 under House Bill 1348. Defined as a secondary offense, this civil penalty would apply only to individuals who have already pulled over by police for a traffic violation.

The House passed HB 1348 on a vote of 59-38. The bill will move to the Senate next week.
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

August 2017
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The film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (PG-13) will play at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the door. Refreshments are $1 per item. For details, call 652-1460 or visit http://www.henricotheatre.us. Full text

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