By LAURA VOZZELLA AND GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam spent the first official workday of his governorship Monday watching gun-control bills he backed get killed off by former colleagues and friends in the state Senate. Two days after Northam (D) assumed office with warm wishes from both sides of the aisle, the limits of bipartisan bonhomie were on display in a Capitol narrowly controlled by Republicans. Many GOP legislators genuinely admire Northam, a former state senator and lieutenant governor, but they still intend to flex their muscle at times.
Back in 2003, then-Gov. Mark Warner visited Waynesboro to get a first-hand look at the downtown business district and the damage caused there by recent flooding. As he walked down Main Street towards the hardest hit businesses, the governor was asked about the flood and its aftermath, but also about other issues. A reporter asked him what he hoped to accomplish in the remaining two years of his term. He thought a bit, then mentioned an idea that seemed at first oddly self-serving given the reason for his visit.
By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said Monday that she intends to keep her job at a state agency while serving in the General Assembly, despite a legally murky rule laid out in the state Constitution that says “no person holding a salaried office under the government of the Commonwealth” may serve in the legislature. Adams is on unpaid leave from her job as director of the Office of Integrated Health in the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Capital News Service
The fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia has gained momentum with the national discourse about sexual harassment and gender equity and social media campaigns such as #MeToo and #YesAllWomen.
By AYA DRIOUCHE, Northern Virginia Daily
A survivor of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas helped persuade a Virginia Senate committee Monday to approve a bill outlawing bump stocks, a device that allows a rifle to mimic an automatic weapon.
By ALAN SUDERMAN , Associated Press
Newly sworn-in Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push for stricter gun laws was dealt a swift defeat Monday, with a Republican-led Senate panel blocking legislation to increase background checks and limit guns at public rallies. The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted to block legislation that would allow cities and counties to ban firearms at certain public events like the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last summer in which several participants were heavily armed. The committee also voted against a measure that would mandate background checks on all guns bought at gun shows.
By KAYLI WREN, Charlottesville Tomorrow/Daily Progress
Since the deadly Unite the Right rally Aug. 12, locals have come before Charlottesville’s City Council to demand answers about the summer, air their grievances and press for change from their government. Over the past six months, meetings have been punctuated with screaming matches, confrontations, calls to order, and even arrests.
By MICHAEL MARTZ , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Gov. Ralph Northam used his first speech to the General Assembly to seek common ground with Republicans on workforce training, education and economic development, but he also forcefully called for expansion of the state’s Medicaid program as “a matter of basic economic justice” and challenged them on hot-button Democratic political priorities.
By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
A Senate panel voted Monday to scrap a bill that would undo a utility rate freeze and lower electricity rates for most Virginia residents. For the second year in a row, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee killed a measure to undo a controversial rate freeze that locked customers of Appalachian Power Co. and Dominion Energy into base rates that earned the companies millions.
By PATRICK WILSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was greeted warmly by colleagues from both parties Monday as he began duties presiding over the state Senate. Fairfax’s November win over Republican state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, sent the lawyer and former federal prosecutor into the part-time statewide office that is considered a steppingstone to running for the governor’s mansion. Fairfax has not held elected office before.