By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post
A Virginia lawmaker blasted fellow Republicans as “disgusting” cowards Thursday for rejecting his bill to regulate the use of bathrooms and locker rooms in schools, highway rest stops and other government-owned buildings. “You campaign one way and come down here and kill things silently,” Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William) fumed at members of a GOP-controlled House subcommittee after they used an unrecorded voice vote to dispatch with his bill.
Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will be pushing legislation again this session to promote direct primary care agreements, in which patients pay a fee for unlimited primary care. Del. Steven Landes outlined Republicans' health care priorities in a speech on the House floor Thursday.
By WYATT WILLIAMS, New York Times
...In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly.” But the first time Will Harris saw a bald eagle on his farm, six years ago, Franklin’s lesson was one he had not yet learned.
By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Virginia won’t be following North Carolina’s lead on transgender bathroom laws after a Republican-controlled House of Delegates subcommittee voted Thursday to kill one of the most controversial bills of the 2017 session. Sponsored by conservative Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, House Bill 1612 would have required schools and governments to keep bathrooms, locker rooms and showers strictly segregated by birth sex rather than gender identity or run the risk of being sued.
By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Del. Kathy Byron’s bill that could limit municipal broadband initiatives across Virginia is “too restrictive,” said a top official from the Center for Innovative Technology. While Byron, R-Bedford, has said much of her proposed legislation comes directly from CIT’s recommendations, the bill does not align with the organization’s best practices, said Sandie Terry, the vice president of broadband.
Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe was trying to defend his administration from a questionable line of attack by Republicans when he said the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s “problems have persisted over the terms of five previous governors and 21 General Assembly sessions.” Some defense: “They’re no good either” is hardly an exoneration. If McAuliffe’s statement is accurate, it amounts to an indictment of the culture of governance in state government generally.
By JORDAN PASCALE AND STACY PARKER , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
The two 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 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.
By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to skip President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, but travel to Washington the day after to rally with a leading abortion-rights advocate. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said at a Capitol news conference Thursday that he and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam would accompany Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards at Saturday’s Women’s March.
By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Saying (once again) that something needs to be done to address the regular flow of predatory lending bills crossing his desk as chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, pulled his own proposal to crack down on Internet loans and called for lenders, consumer advocates and legislators to get together after the General Assembly session to work on a comprehensive reform.
A bill that would create a new cabinet-level position to address coastal flooding issues in Virginia has cleared an early hurdle. The measure from Sen. Lynwood Lewis, a Democrat, would create the position of Secretary for Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation. Lewis said Thursday that Hampton Roads is the second-largest population center threatened by sea level rise and the state needs a "one-stop shop" to consolidate efforts to deal with flood prevention.