VaNews

Saturday January 21, 2017


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Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

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Executive Branch


HERRING: VIRGINIA WILL PROTECT MUSLIMS AGAINST HATE CRIMES

By ANGELA WOOLSEY, Fairfax Times

Speaking in Northern Virginia on Jan. 13, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring vowed that the Commonwealth will protect Muslim Americans and other communities vulnerable to discrimination and violence, even if newly inaugurated President Donald Trump’s administration rolls back federal policies on civil rights as some expect.

General Assembly


WORK UNDERWAY ON VIRGINIA’S OPIOID CRISIS

VCU Capital News Service

Virginia lawmakers are beginning to work on tackling the state’s opioid crisis. Several bills intended to stem the growing addiction to opioids or related consequences advanced in the legislature on Thursday. A Senate committee passed a measure directing the state Boards of Dentistry and Medicine to adopt regulations for the prescribing of opioids and products containing buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid addiction.



LAWMAKERS AIM TO INCREASE ACCESS TO OPIATE ANTAGONIST

By TAYLOR KNIGHT, Sun Gazette

Virginia lawmakers are attempting to tackle the state’s opioid epidemic with a slew of bills that aim to widen the availability of the opiate overdose medication naloxone. “We are facing a crisis in Virginia and in the nation, losing more people to opioid overdose than to car crashes,” said Rep. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax.



HOSPITALS GEAR UP FOR FIGHT OVER REGULATION

By PETER VIETH, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Paywall for some articles)

The 2017 General Assembly is expected to be a battleground for medical providers divided over the state’s tight regulation of medical start-ups. Some physicians say they should have the right to open a surgery center or other facility without having state regulators weigh the need.



IT’S A JOB TO LIVE ON $7.25 AN HOUR

By HALEY WINN, VCU Capital News Service

Athena Jones is the first person her clients see at the start of the day. She gets them out of bed, changes their clothes and makes them breakfast. Her workday consists of providing emotional and physical support, assisting clients with bathing and bathroom visits, and helping them be as independent as possible. As a home-care worker, this is Jones’ job. She does it for minimum wage — $7.25 an hour. An advocate for people who struggle to live on minimum wage, Jones traveled from Portsmouth to Richmond this week to speak to legislators...



COX, CLINE INTRODUCE BILL TO CREATE ONLINE EDUCATION AUTHORITY

Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Legislation introduced this week would establish an authority to oversee online education in the state. The bill, introduced by Dels. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, and Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, would create the Online Virginia Network Authority as an educational institution. The authority would coordinate and administer the delivery of all online courses and degree and credential programs offered by public colleges and universities or by a consortium of state schools.



KING GEORGE SUPERVISORS LOBBY FOR DISCLOSURE OF FRACKING CHEMICALS

By CATHY DYSON, Free Lance-Star

Members of the King George County Board of Supervisors have added their voices to concerns about a proposed General Assembly bill that hides from the public record what chemicals are used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Because King George “has been at the forefront of recent public discussions” about possible gas and oil drilling, the supervisors agreed Tuesday to lobby their legislators to oppose House Bill 1678. It is sponsored by Del. Roxann Robinson, R–Midlothian, and is designed to protect trade secrets of the companies involved in fracking, the process of injecting water and chemicals deep into the ground to loosen trapped gas and oil.



ADVOCATES WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERY VIRGINIA CHILD HAS ACCESS TO A NURSE WHILE IN SCHOOL

By LOUIS LLOVIO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

When Dana Hollifield first moved to Virginia in 2014 the plan was for her to continue working as a school nurse. But Virginia, unlike Massachusetts where she moved from, didn’t require that every school have a nurse on staff. That was a problem for Hollifield. ... Nurses, students and a legislator from Stafford County have joined forces to try to make sure every child in the state has access to a nurse while in school. The effort is being spearheaded by Del. L. Mark Dudenhefer, R-Stafford, who has sponsored legislation calling for every School Board to employ at least one nurse at every elementary, middle and high school, or one for every 550 students.



VIRGINIA BEACH, NORFOLK, CHESAPEAKE CONCERNED ABOUT BROADBAND INTERNET BILL

By JORDAN PASCALE AND STACY PARKER , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

The three largest cities in Hampton Roads are opposing a bill in the legislature that their leaders say would limit municipal control of their broadband infrastructure and maybe hamper their ability to bring faster internet speeds and lower prices to residents. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake passed a resolution this week coming out against HB2108, known as the Virginia Broadband Deployment Act. Norfolk is scheduled to vote on a resolution rebuking it Tuesday. The bill, introduced by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Campbell, has met significant criticism – which she argues is misguided.



SENATE BILL REQUIRING RESTAURANTS TO SERVE FOOD ALL TIMES ALCOHOL IS SERVED ADVANCES

Associated Press

A bill advancing in the Virginia General Assembly would require restaurants with a liquor license to serve food at all times alcohol is served. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach, said Friday the measure is intended to clarify existing rules. If a restaurant is operating properly, the bill wouldn’t cost them money, he said.



BILLS WOULD HELP, HURT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

By RODRIGO ARRIAZA, VCU Capital News Service

Three bills that would help undocumented immigrants, and one that would hurt them, have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly as state legislators tackle an issue that loomed large during the presidential election. HB 1857 would protect in-state tuition for undocumented students, while HB 2001 seeks to root out such students from Virginia’s public colleges and universities. HB 1682 would allow undocumented immigrants to get temporary driver’s licenses, as long as they are paying taxes and have auto insurance. Finally, HB 1779 would expand the state’s definition of a hate crime to violence based on someone’s immigration status.



BILL WOULD OUTLAW TETHERING DOGS, OTHER PETS

By ASHLEY LUCK, VCU Capital News Service

Citing unpredictable and sometimes extreme weather conditions throughout the year in Virginia, Del. John J. Bell, D-Chantilly, has filed a bill that would prohibit the outdoor tethering of companion animals. Tethering would be allowed only if the owner of the animal is outside and within sight of the pet, the bill says. Bell said his wife, Margaret, works to rescue and foster mistreated dogs, and that motivated him to introduce House Bill 1802.

State Elections


SECOND CANDIDATE FOR RICHMOND-AREA HOUSE SEAT SAYS DEMOCRATS 'TRIED TO HAND IT' TO BOURNE

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Richmond School Board member Jeff Bourne was officially named the Democratic nominee Friday for a Richmond-area House seat, but a second candidate who failed to qualify for a planned firehouse primary this weekend says he feels shut out by his own party. Regie Ford, a former president of the African-American-focused civic group Richmond Crusade for Voters, said he’ll run for the 71st District seat as an independent after he was unable to file his caucus paperwork and $1,500 filing fee within the 24-hour window specified by a Democratic committee.

Congress


LIBERAL VIRGINIA CONGRESSMAN, TRUMP VA. CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN FIND COMMON GROUND AT INAUGURAL

By PATRICK WILSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott of Newport News is considered liberal. Radio show host John Fredericks was pulling for and predicting a Donald Trump presidency long before most. Conservatives attack Scott over his political positions. Someone once chastised Fredericks — who served as co-chairman, then chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign — in a store because he wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat. But politics doesn’t always have to be so mean.



DEMOCRAT BOBBY SCOTT ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: “YOU CAN DISAGREE WITHOUT BEING DISAGREEABLE"

By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Rep. Bobby Scott’s lone special guest to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday might have caused some eyes to widen: It was John Fredericks, chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign. Scott, a Newport News Democrat who strongly opposes the new president’s agenda, said those on both sides of the political fence who are either happy or sad today still need to find a way to talk to each other and remember they are all Americans. “You can disagree without being disagreeable,” Scott said just before he and Fredericks left his congressional office to take their seats outside the Capitol.

Economy/Business


VOLVO CANCELS LAYOFFS; 500 JOBS SAVED

By MELINDA WILLIAMS, Southwest Times

Facebook erupted with posts Thursday afternoon from jubilant employees announcing the good news … Volvo has cancelled a pending layoff of 500 workers slated for February. “We’ve continued to monitor the ongoing reduction in new truck inventory across the industry in the weeks since the original announcement, and we’re encouraged by the trend,” said John Mies, vice president of communications for Volvo Group North America.



IN TURNABOUT, VOLVO CANCELS WORKER LAYOFFS AT VIRGINIA PLANT

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Workers at the Volvo Trucks North American truck manufacturing plant in Pulaski County received good news on Thursday: Their layoffs had been canceled. In December, Volvo announced it would eliminate 500 jobs on its second shift, effective Feb. 13, so it could adjust production to market demand. The company has since decided to keep its two shifts.



CUCCINELLI FILES BRIEF CHALLENGING DOMINION POWER RATES

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER , Washington Post

Bedfellows don’t get much stranger than the left-leaning Virginia Poverty Law Center and former state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli (R), the lightning-rod conservative who ran for governor and defied Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. But Cuccinelli has filed a legal brief on behalf of the VPLC in fighting one of the most powerful corporations in the state: Dominion Power.



RADFORD ARSENAL PROJECT RECEIVES $177.8 MILLION CONTRACT

By JACOB DEMMITT, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a $177.8 million contract in order to complete the final phase of a new nitrocellulose facility now under construction at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. The funding comes after years of planning and a previous $240 million contract to begin the initial project phase in 2012. With the final piece of funding in place, the facility is expected to be operational by December 2018, ... Nitrocellulose is a base ingredient for all military ammunition.

Transportation


WILL VIRGINIA BEACH GET TO KEEP $20 MILLION IN LIGHT RAIL MONEY?

By MARY BETH GAHAN, ALISSA SKELTON AND JORDAN PASCALE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Now that the majority of voters have said they don’t want light rail, the city is trying to figure out what to do with a nearly 11-mile strip of railroad line that was bought for that purpose. Virginia Beach was told to find a way to use the corridor for high-capacity transit or pay back $20 million the state pitched in to help buy the land.



SMART SCALE RECOMMENDS FUNDING FOR A FRACTION OF AREA PROJECTS

By JOSH JANNEY , Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

The Virginia Department of Transportation recommended Tuesday giving $7.055 million in state funding toward Winchester and Frederick County transportation projects, but this only covers a fraction of the roughly 15 projects the county and city applied for. The recommendation came from Virginia’s Smart Scale process, which evaluates each project’s merits using key factors, including how it improves safety and reduces congestion, and its environmental impact and cost.

Higher Education


U.VA. PRESIDENT SULLIVAN WILL LEAVE WHEN CONTRACT ENDS, ASKS BOARD TO LOOK FOR REPLACEMENT

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan said she plans to retire when her contract expires in summer 2018, announcing Friday that she has asked the board to begin the search for her successor. But Sullivan, 67, vowed she will work “at full speed for U.Va. until the very last day of my time in office.”



U-VA. PRESIDENT TERESA A. SULLIVAN ANNOUNCES SHE WILL STEP DOWN IN SUMMER 2018

By NICK ANDERSON, Washington Post

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan announced Friday that she will step down when her contract ends in summer 2018, a transition that she had telegraphed nearly two years ago amid one of the most tumultuous leadership tenures in the state flagship’s modern history.



SULLIVAN ANNOUNCES SHE IS STEPPING DOWN IN 2018

By ANNA HIGGINS, Cavalier Daily

University President Teresa Sullivan announced in an email Friday she plans on leaving the University after her contract ends in summer of 2018, and has asked the Board of Visitors to begin searching for a new president. Sullivan said the University is in a strong position to transition to new leadership since she was hired in 2010, according to the email sent out to the University community.



UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA PRESIDENT TERESA SULLIVAN TO STEP DOWN

By RYAN MURPHY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan will step down as the leader of one of Virginia’s oldest universities, the school announced Friday. Sullivan said she’d step down when her contract runs out in the summer of 2018. She announced through a statement Friday that she’d asked U.Va.’s Board of Visitors to start the search process to find her successor. “UVA is well-positioned for a transition to its ninth president,...



SULLIVAN TO STEP DOWN AS UVA’S PRESIDENT IN 2018

By DEREK QUIZON, Daily Progress

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan will be leaving her post in July of 2018. Sullivan — the university’s eighth president and the first woman to hold the position — will step down when her contract expires. “As 2017 begins, UVa is strong and positioned for even greater strength in our educational offerings, research programs, and health system,” Sullivan wrote in a statement Friday afternoon. “Given this strength, UVa is well-positioned for a transition to its ninth president.”



RADFORD UNIVERSITY WRAPS UP ITS GOAT ABUSE INVESTIGATION, ANIMAL'S STATUS REMAINS UNCLEAR

By ROBBY KORTH, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Radford University announced Friday afternoon it has concluded its investigation of four fraternities regarding the abuse of a goat and none of the fraternities will face sanctions from the incident. “No violation of the university’s Standards of Student Conduct was substantiated,” school spokesman Joe Carpenter wrote in a statement. “The university was able to conclude that one or more students did purchase and had custody of the goat in question, on or about the dates the allegations were brought to the university’s attention.

Virginia Other


VA. SUPPORTERS, PROTESTERS TAKE TO THE MALL FOR TRUMP'S INAUGURATION

By PATRICK WILSON AND MICHAEL THOMPSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Barrie Buck of Lynchburg, who owns an auto repair shop with 15 employees, had never attended a presidential inauguration, but on Friday he packed a ham sandwich and rode an Amtrak train to Washington to see President Donald Trump’s inauguration from the National Mall. Virginians from across the state headed to Washington to praise or decry the inauguration of the nation’s 45th president.



FREDERICKSBURG-AREA RESIDENTS ATTEND TRUMP'S INAUGURATION

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star

Henry Basilica popped up from his seat on the Virginia Railway Express train. He’d just overheard a lady behind him say she had two spare tickets to the presidential inauguration. “How much are the two extra tickets going for?” asked Basilica, 19, a senior at Spotsylvania County’s Riverbend High School. He voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, but that didn’t matter on Friday. The high-schooler had a chance to witness history: Republican Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as 45th president of the United States.



WOMEN’S MARCH DRAWS HAMPTON ROADS FEMINISTS

By ADRIENNE MARIE MAYFIELD AND AMY POULTER, Southside Daily

While thousands protested outside of President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, a larger, planned protest aims to draw masses on Saturday – including several people from Hampton Roads. The “Women’s March on Washington” will draw feminists from across Hampton Roads, including Iva Robinette, of Norfolk, who said she plans to march in solidarity with Planned Parenthood.



"THIS IS A MOMENTOUS DAY" AND "HE'S NOT A LEADER": HAMPTON ROADS WATCHES THE INAUGURATION

By KATHERINE HAFNER AND LEE TOLLIVER , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

As prayers were spoken prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration as the country’s 45th president, Allan Parker and Gene Kline watched from the bar at Chix Seaside Grille and Bar on Atlantic Avenue. On TV, Mike Pence and Trump took their oaths of office. “This is a momentous day,” Kline said. “A Republican is back in office.” The two love plenty about the new president, especially how he’s not politically correct.



PROTESTERS TAKE TO THE STREETS OF RICHMOND FOR ANTI-TRUMP RALLY

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Under a heavy police escort, roughly 200 protesters marched peacefully through the streets of Richmond for three hours Friday night, chanting in rage against newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. Apart from a few tense shouting matches, the protest was largely free of drama as police closed roads to traffic for the march as its wound its way from Jackson Ward to Broad Street, Monument Avenue and the Fan District before circling back to its starting point in Abner Clay Park.



LARGE CROWD GATHERS IN FREDERICKSBURG FOR ‘SILENT INAUGURATION’

By AMANDA VICINANZO, Free Lance-Star

While thousands of Americans flocked to Washington on Friday to celebrate the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Hurkamp Park in downtown Fredericksburg was buried under a sea of colorful umbrellas as several hundred people gathered for a “silent inauguration.” The pouring rain didn’t stop hundreds of Fredericksburg area residents from venturing out of the comfort of their homes and offices into the cold to observe 15 minutes of silence at noon as the new president took the oath of office.



MASS PREP RALLY DRAWS STUDENTS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO PROTEST TRUMP INAUGURATION

By RILEY WALSH, Cavalier Daily

Over 50 students and community members gathered on the Rotunda steps to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. The group faced the Lawn and chanted slogans such as “The people united will never be defeated.” They also held signs with messages like “Stop Trump” and “Hoos against hate.”



DEFIANT UVA STUDENTS, FACULTY DISCUSS POLITICS UNDER TRUMP

By DEREK QUIZON, Daily Progress

About 50 University of Virginia students showed up to the Rotunda to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday morning. The students, some of whom walked out of class to be at the demonstration, held signs and chanted anti-Trump slogans before marching across the Lawn to Robertson Hall. “The next four years will require commitment from all of us,” said Wes Gobar, a third-year student who helped to organize the event.



COUNTER-INAUGURATION EVENT IN BLACKSBURG DRAWS DISCUSSION OF RESISTANCE

By ROBBY KORTH, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Hundreds of people gathered downtown in an effort to promote resistance to President Donald Trump on the day he was sworn in. The Friday event, dubbed “Inaugurate Resistance,” brought out familiar faces who have become a staple of activism in the college town as well as students and locals who were drawn into activism for the first time. It was held inside the Lyric Theatre.



AT A VIRGINIA PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLINIC, PRACTITIONERS WORRY FOR THEIR PATIENTS

By ARI SHAPIRO, NPR

From her desk in Roanoke, Va., Patrice Campbell books appointments for the 15 Planned Parenthood clinics across the region. Right after the election, she noticed a huge increase in calls, many of them asking for the same thing. "We've seen where a lot of patients — I would say maybe 50 to 70 percent of patients — [are] eager to get in for long-term contraceptives," Campbell says. "So their focus is, I need to get an IUD before Jan. 20 because an IUD can last for five, even 10 years."

Local


PETERSBURG RESIDENTS ASK COURT TO OUST MAYOR AND FORMER MAYOR FROM CITY COUNCIL

By K. BURNELL EVANS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Petersburg residents who say their elected leaders are to blame for the city’s financial woes took their case to court Friday with dual petitions to oust the mayor and former mayor from their City Council seats. Volunteers and community activists have for months been gathering the legally required number of signatures from registered voters of Wards 3 and 5 to ask for the removal of Mayor Samuel Parham and W. Howard Myers, whose term as mayor ended this month. Both are up for re-election next year.

Online News


HOW THE SENATE'S RUSSIAN MEDDLING PROBE ALMOST BLEW UP

By AUSTIN WRIGHT AND MARTIN MATISHAK, Politico

Sen. Mark Warner couldn’t believe what his Republican counterpart on the Senate Intelligence Committee had just done. With no advance notice, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) declared to reporters that his panel wouldn’t look into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow as part of its investigation of Russian interference in the election. So Warner, a Virginia Democrat who is the panel’s ranking member, promptly enlisted every Democrat on the committee to oppose Burr’s move and presumably boycott the investigation if he didn't reverse himself, according to congressional sources.



LIKE PAYING TOLLS? YOU'RE LIKELY TO LOVE TRUMP'S INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

By TRAVIS FAIN AND DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

After the failure to build U.S. 460 and the lopsided Midtown/Downtown tunnel deal, much of Hampton Roads is wary of public-private road deals. But nationally they may be on the cusp of heyday. President Donald Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure proposal isn't built on $1 trillion in federal spending. Much of it relies on tax credits and other incentives to bring private money to the table.



‘THRESHOLD LEVEL’ OF LEAD DETECTED IN W&M DORMITORY TAP WATER

By ANDREW HARRIS, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily

Students living in William and Mary’s Jefferson Hall have been alerted that a “threshold level” of lead has been detected in the dormitory’s tap water. William and Mary students received an email from Deb Boykin, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life, Friday afternoon regarding drinking water in campus residences.


Today's Sponsor:

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Virginia hospitals are there when we need them most, 24/7/365. Keeping hospitals strong is good for our communities and the Commonwealth. Visit www.ISupportVirginiaHospitals.com.

Editorials


LANDES SHOULD WITHDRAW COURTHOUSE BILL

News Leader Editorial (Metered Pay Wall)

What's worse? A legislator who introduces a bill that would overrule an overwhelming voter mandate, or one who claims ignorance when the legislation he introduces would do just that? Whichever way you answer, the legislator in question is Del. R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, who introduced HB 2192 on Jan. 11. The upshot of the bill, if enacted, would be to allow Augusta County to build a new courthouse without voter approval so long as it remains somewhere in the city of Staunton — anywhere in Staunton — at any cost, abandoning the historic downtown courthouse that voters thought they were preserving when they turned down a referendum to move the county seat in November. The voters who spoke so clearly would get no more say in the matter.



WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THE DECLINE IN ABORTION?

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Recent figures show that abortions in the U.S. have fallen to the lowest level since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in its landmark Roe v. Wade case. That’s good. Bill Clinton was right when he said, in 1992, that abortion should be “safe, legal — and rare.” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, which studies abortion, attributes the decline to two factors: wider availability of better contraception, and more legal restrictions on abortion in the states. There’s a third, intriguing potential explanation called the Roe Effect.

Columnists


CHESLEY: RECTIFYING THE WAY WE TREAT MENTALLY ILL INMATES

By ROGER CHESLEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Tragedy sometimes forces inert lawmakers and passive government officials to fix things – finally. Accidental deaths at coal mines lead to safety regulations and better equipment. A child killed while crossing a busy intersection spurs traffic engineers to install stop lights. So it is with the commonwealth’s handling of mentally ill inmates, after the ghastly death of Jamycheal Mitchell in August 2015. A spate of bills has been introduced this session at the General Assembly that would improve practices, divert certain inmates to “crisis stabilization units” instead of a magistrate, and require first aid training for sheriffs’ and correctional officers.