Henrico County VA
General Assembly

Dating violence is a growing problem


Married couples are not the only ones affected by domestic violence. A nationwide trend of dating violence is on the rise. Dating violence can take many forms, including psychological, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. This is something Morgan Carey of Richmond knows firsthand.

Carey said the dating abuse she suffered was primarily emotional but started to take a more dangerous turn. So through Meetup.com, she started a support group for women in similar situations.

Starting the group had an unexpected benefit, Carey said. It helped her heal while it provided support for others.

Senate budget reinstates Marketplace Virginia

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.

Numerous animal-related bills pass General Assembly

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.

Contraception rights activists rally outside Supreme Court

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.

McAuliffe proposes federally funded Medicaid program

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.

Compromise reached for violence victims

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.

General Assembly braking on DUI legislation

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.

GOP House leaders request special session on Medicaid expansion

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.

Concealed weapons amendment goes to governor

A bill providing retired employees of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles an exemption from being required to obtain a concealed weapon permit was unanimously passed by the House of Delegates this week and now awaits Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s signature.

Senate Bill 279, introduced by Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, would amend Section 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia to allow retired employees of the DMV’s Law Enforcement Division the same concealed weapons permit exemptions enjoyed by Virginia State Police, Capitol Police, and local law enforcement retirees.

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