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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Va. House blocks localities from regulating drones


The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to prohibit local governments from regulating unmanned aircraft, as Charlottesville tried to do in 2013 when it declared the city a “No Drone Zone.”

Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, said the goal of his legislation is to have uniform rules about drones across the commonwealth – and not different regulations in each locality. He said the House Courts of Justice Committee will explore the issue.

“What the bill says is that no locality may regulate this until … the courts committee comes up with a way to make sure that we have an across-the-board way to regulate drones,” Kilgore told delegates during a discussion of House Bill 412 on Monday.
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Patient First no longer accepting new Anthem patients


Virginia’s largest provider of primary and urgent health care, Patient First, has stopped accepting new patients insured by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, citing Anthem’s “reduction in the reimbursement rates paid.”

The change, which took effect Feb. 2, also excludes all Anthem members with HealthKeepers Plus plans, even people who are existing patients at Patient First.

Ian Slinkman, the director of marketing and public relations at Patient First, said in an email, “The costs for delivering care increase year over year. Every one of the other Virginia payors with whom we contract understands this and provides reasonable trend increases that enable us to maintain our high levels of access and service.”
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Poll finds support for more school funding


In a poll conducted by the Virginia Education Association, most Virginians say the state budget doesn’t adequately cover the needs of the state’s public schools or properly compensate teachers. The poll found that 66 percent of respondents feel that the current budget for public schools is not enough.

“The public is squarely behind the need to improve funding for our public schools,” said Meg Gruber, president of the VEA. “Members of the House and Senate deliberating the budget need to know that as it stands now, Virginia is 41st in the country on funding public schools.”
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McClellan’s bill for school resource officers passes House


The House easily passed a bill by Henrico Del. Jennifer McClellan that would relieve school resource officers of their current duty to enforce school board rules and codes of student conduct.

The bill, HB 487, passed 95-2 Thursday and awaits discussion in the Senate Committee on Education and Health. Del. James LeMunyon, R-67, and Del. Brenda Pogge, R-96, were the only legislators to vote against the bill.
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House committee to weigh Farrell’s workers’ compensation reform bill


A key House committee plans to review a bill by Henrico Del. Peter Farrell that he said would make workers’ compensation more fair and transparent.

The bill, HB378, would establish fee schedules for medical services. Farrell said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the bill’s future.

“For at least four or five years now, we’ve been trying to figure out how to come up with a more transparent reimbursement system in our workers’ compensation world in Virginia,” he said.
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Senate passes McEachin’s toxic waste inventory bill


The Virginia Senate passed a bill by Henrico Sen. Donald McEachin to require the Department of Environmental Quality to create an inventory of toxic waste sites not managed by the EPA.

The legislation, SB 227, passed Friday 38-1. Sen. Richard Black, R-13, was the only vote against the bill. Despite multiple attempts, Black could not be reached for a comment.

The victory for McEachin comes the day after his environmental agenda took a devastating blow in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, of which he is a member.
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Panel backs ‘religious freedom’ to reject same-sex marriage


Government officials who are authorized to perform marriages could refuse to marry same-sex couples under a bill approved Monday by the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee over the objections of LGBT advocates.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Virginia and other groups opposed Senate Bill 41, which also states that religious organizations and their employees may deny “services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges” for a marriage if it would “violate a sincerely held religious belief.”

Splitting along party lines, the committee voted 8-7 in favor of SB 41, which was sponsored by Sen. Charles Carrico, R-Galax.
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Next phases underway in FBI headquarters relocation


Federal officials have begun the next phases in the possible relocation of the FBI’s headquarters to Virginia or Maryland.

Last week, the Obama Administration approved a $1.4 billion budget request as the next segment of funding for the new headquarters.

On Jan. 22, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced its next steps in selecting potential sites for the new facility. Two communities in Prince George’s County, Md., as well as Springfield, Va., are the three finalists for the headquarters.
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

July 2017
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Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) will hold its eighth-annual awards banquet March 30 at Glen Allen H.S. The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is open to the public and will include recognition of individuals and organizations responsible for Henrico PAL’s 10 years of success in the community. Keynote speaker for the event is the new University of Richmond Spiders Head Football Coach Russ Huseman. National PAL Executive Director Joseph Persichini and former Henrico PAL and 2011 National PAL Youth of the Year winner Aubrey Temple are also scheduled to speak. For information about the event, contact Sgt. (Retired) Kenneth Ragland at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 878-1830. Full text

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