By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor General Assembly
UPDATE: JULY 21, 8:45 P.M. – Two-term Fairfield District School Board member Lamont Bagby today easily won a special election for the 74th District Virginia House of Delegates seat.
Bagby defeated independent David Lambert, son of late state senator Benjamin Lambert, 84 percent to 15 percent in a sparsely attended election. Less than 5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. The district includes portions of eastern and northern Henrico, two precincts in Richmond and all of Charles City County. Nearly 88 percent of the ballots cast came from Henrico.
Members from each branch of the Virginia legislature and health officials from across the commonwealth collaborated on improvement and implementation of mental-health crisis response at an April governor’s taskforce meeting.
Despite ongoing turmoil throughout the state government over the issue of including Medicaid expansion in a final budget, legislators from both chambers and the governor’s office agreed that the recently-passed mental health crisis response bills should receive ample funding.
"Even though we don’t have a budget, we have a basic consensus between the House and the Senate as far as funding level (for mental health crisis response bills)," said Sen. Emmett Hanger, R - Mount Solon.
The battle for a passable Virginia budget continues in the General Assembly after the Senate passed a budget bill Tuesday that the House of Delegates likely will reject.
The Senate form of the budget, Senate Bill 5003, includes the private health care plan Marketplace Virginia and removes the Medicaid-expansion pilot program proposed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
With the 2013-2014 Virginia General Assembly session officially complete, animal activists and lovers around the state can celebrate the legislative passage animal-related bills received over the past few months.
Four bills dealing with animal/pet welfare and rights were passed this session, including the heavily talked about Senate Bill 228, which also known as Bailey’s Law.
Women’s choice advocates rallied outside the Supreme Court this past Tuesday in support of the Affordable Care Act birth-control benefit as the oral arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius were heard.
Despite the frigid temperatures and precipitation, representatives of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and other volunteers from across the state and the country shared the message: birth control is not my boss’ business.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe addressed critics of Medicaid expansion as part of Virginia’s biennial budget by proposing a two-year pilot program he says would close the commonwealth’s healthcare gap without financial penalty to the state.
McAuliffe’s 45-minute address signified the beginning of the General Assembly’s special session, which was scheduled in effort to reach an agreement on the roughly $96 billion two-year budget currently at odds over expanding Medicaid coverage to more than 400,000 currently uninsured Virginians.
A bipartisan compromise has been reached to provide additional state funding and resources to victims of sexual and domestic violence after anti-violence bills were struck down in the General Assembly.
House Bill 885, which originally extended the time bracket for filing claims to the Criminal Injury Compensation Fund, now includes the increased emergency awards for victims of crime through the CICF that were contained in the failed House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 4, according to HB885 sponsor Delegate Christopher Peace, R-Hanover.
Virginia passed landmark DUI legislation in 2012, requiring anyone convicted of a DUI in the commonwealth -- whether it’s a first or 31st offense -- have an ignition interlock device installed in their car.
After the passage of the milestone law, advocates are not surprised that further DUI legislation has been stunted in the past two sessions.
Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates have proposed a special legislative session to address the debate on Medicaid expansion just three days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn.
The House and Senate are less than one-tenth of one percent (or $26 million) apart from compromising on a two-year, $96 billion state budget agreement, but GOP leadership reinforced its position Tuesday that Medicaid Expansion does not belong in the budget bill.
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CalendarInnsbrook After Hours will present OAR, with special guests Allen Stone & Brynn Elliot, at 6 p.m. Their 8th studio album is “The Rockville LP.” Gates open at 5 p.m.… Full text