General Assembly

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.
> Read more.

Activists turn out for Equality Virginia’s lobby day

Gay rights advocates have been active at Capitol Square this legislative session, seeking laws that would ban discrimination in employment and adoptions on the basis of sexual orientation.

About 75 people turned out last week for the annual Lobby Day held by Equality Virginia, which advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Activists spent the morning of Jan. 24 lobbying members of the General Assembly on LGBT-related legislation. That was followed by a series of workshops on various topics and a legislative reception in the evening.
> Read more.

Bill would let professors carry guns

Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas has proposed a bill that would allow full-time faculty members to carry guns on college campuses. House Bill 91 would ban policies by public institutions of higher education that prohibit full-time faculty members with Virginia concealed handgun permits from packing heat.

The Republican lawmaker’s rationale is that faculty members with guns could deter violence on campus. However, others believe the measure could backfire.
> Read more.

Marshall sees hope for ‘personhood’ bill

Now that Democrats no longer control the House or the Senate, Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, is hoping the General Assembly will pass his bill defining a human embryo or fetus is a person under the law.

House Bill 1 would provide that “unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.”

The bill, which is before the House Courts of Justice Committee, says that this “personhood” status starts “from the moment of conception.”
Marshall said HB 1 is significant for several reasons.
> Read more.

2012 Va. General Assembly Q&A

Members of the Henrico delegation respond to 5 key questions
State legislators have returned to Richmond for a 60-day session of the General Assembly, with questions about funding for transportation, education and the state’s retirement system taking center stage as the session began earlier this month. The Henrico Citizen invited each delegate and state senator whose district encompasses a portion of Henrico to provide their thoughts about the 2012 session. The answers of those who responded appear below.

1. What is the most important issue facing the General Assembly this year? Why?

Farrell – This year the most important issue facing the General Assembly is clearly the budget. There will obviously be high demands from certain state programs for funding as federal funding is falling back. Managing such demands in a concise and responsible manner will be the most challenging and critical issue facing members of the General Assembly this year.
> Read more.

County to legislature: ‘Don’t hurt us’

"Don't hurt us."

That's the clear and simple message being delivered by Henrico County's elected officials, administrators and lobbyists to the General Assembly, which convened in Richmond for a 60-day session last week.

The missive represents a change from years past, during which county officials annually presented "wish lists" of top priorities to the county's General Assembly delegation. Six years ago, that list contained 14 items. This year, it's down to just one: Do no harm.

By placing their sole focus on those three words, local officials hope to make a salient point to lawmakers: localities – Henrico included – are struggling to deal with their own financial problems and cannot afford additional funding cuts from the state.
> Read more.

New program promotes safety in digital life

Virginia students will learn the benefits and dangers of the Internet and other technology, and may be drawn to math and science careers, thanks to an online program being offered free to the state’s schools.

“Students today have access to the tools necessary to succeed – computers, the Internet, smartphones. But do they know how to leverage technology in a responsible and safe way?” said Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. “We owe it to our children and students to teach them how to use technology responsibly.”

Fornash and other officials introduced the program, called My Digital Life, at a press conference at the state Capitol on Thursday.
> Read more.

Bills would repeal HPV vaccine requirement

In 2007, the General Assembly passed a law requiring girls to be vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus before entering the sixth grade.

Now, two measures before the General Assembly would repeal that requirement: House Bill 95, proposed by Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas; and HB 1112, sponsored by Republican Delegates Kathy Byron of Lynchburg and Timothy Hugo of Centreville.
> Read more.

Butt out

Assembly tables Morrissey's cigarette bill for second straight year

Would a $100 fine and community service time stop you from flicking your cigarette butt out of your car window? Henrico Del. Joseph Morrissey, D-47th, thinks so.

For the second year, Morrissey has proposed to include cigarettes in an established bill prohibiting litter on public property or private property without consent. Any violator would be required to perform community service in litter activities and pay a $100 penalty to the Litter Control and Recycling Fund.
> Read more.

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Part One of Henrico’s Ambassador Program for Seniors (HAPS) will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. (HAPS) is a free, bi-annual program open to adults 55 or older. The program is broken into two parts and is designed to give residents the tools they need to navigate services for older adults in Henrico. Part Two will be held at the same time and location on Oct. 11. Both programs feature different speakers. Participants must have their own transportation. To RSVP, call 501-5065 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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