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VaNews for Danica Roem

'Lunch shaming' ban moving forward in legislature

By IRENA SCHUNN, VCU Capital News Service

A Senate committee Thursday unanimously approved a bill to prohibit “lunch shaming” – the practice of singling out students who owe the school cafeteria money or cannot pay for their lunch. The Senate Education and Health Committee voted 15-0 in favor of House Bill 50, which would bar schools from giving students a hand stamp or wristband when their lunch account is empty, or ask students to do chores or throw away their meal if they cannot pay. The bill specifies that any concerns regarding students’ lunch debt must be taken up directly with their parents or guardians.

VaNews February 24, 2018

After thrills of wave election, freshmen Democrats see most of their bills die in GOP-controlled House

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

As a star of Virginia’s 2017 elections, all cameras seemed to be on Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William, earlier this year when she made history as the first transgender lawmaker sworn in to the General Assembly. When the focus turned to the arduous work of taking up the 1,610 bills filed in the House of Delegates, Roem’s national profile didn’t easily translate to personal legislative victories.

VaNews February 19, 2018

Dominion rate bill splits Prince William delegation, regardless of local power line pitch


A controversial bill to restore state regulation of electric utility rates contains a provision squarely aimed at sweetening the pot for Prince William County lawmakers; but almost all of the county’s delegation in Richmond voted against it, all the same.

VaNews February 19, 2018

New Virginia lawmakers have little luck making laws


Democrats from around the country cheered last year when a bumper crop of new candidates in Virginia surpassed all expectations, winning 15 seats previously held by Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates. Powered largely by voter dislike of President Donald Trump, the new class’ success presented a potential model for how Democrats could make similar gains in Congress and statehouses around the country in this year’s midterm elections. Many of the newly elected were new to politics, and as a group they brought a sweeping new diversity to Virginia’s legislature. But the thrill of victory in Virginia has given way to frustration,

VaNews February 16, 2018

Virginia’s New Democratic Legislators Shaping Agenda Despite Minority Status

By BRAD KUTNER, Courthouse News Service

More than a dozen new democratic legislators entered the Virginia General Assembly this year, and while many of the issues they ran on have failed to gain traction in a body the GOP has dominated for decades, their presence in the assembly chamber is already having an impact.

VaNews February 15, 2018

Legislators finding no easy fix for I-66 tolls


Democrat or Republican, county supervisor or state lawmaker, virtually no Northern Virginia politician likes the new tolling system on Interstate 66 — but that still might not provide enough pressure to convince anyone to do something about it. Since Virginia Department of Transportation officials rolled out the modified rush-hour tolling framework early last December, the levies on I-66 have attracted nationwide attention,

VaNews February 10, 2018

An in-state tuition cap? House bill advances saying colleges can't raise rates

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A move to cap Virginia’s in-state tuition at this year’s rates gained more traction Wednesday. House Bill 351, from Del. David Reid, D-Ashburn, would cap tuition rates at Virginia’s public colleges for the next four years at the 2017-18 rate charged to students. The bill was reported 15-4 out of the House of Delegates Education Committee and will now head to the chamber’s Appropriations Committee.

VaNews February 8, 2018

Bill Banning Stigmatizing School Meal Practices Advances


A bill removing stigmatizing punishments for kids who haven’t paid for school lunches advanced out of a House Education committee today. Democratic Delegate Patrick Hope’s bill instructs schools to communicate directly with parents about any school lunch debt – instead of punishing students for failing to pay.

VaNews February 8, 2018

After wave of Democratic victories, a loss of political clout for Northern Va.

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The blue wave that leveled the balance of power in the General Assembly last fall was driven largely by voters in rapidly growing Northern Virginia, who swapped veteran Republicans for Democrats in counties such as Fairfax and Prince William.

VaNews February 5, 2018

Roem proposes suicide prevention training for school staff

By CAITLIN BARBIERI, VCU Capital News Service

While campaigning door to door last year, Del. Danica Roem met a constituent who had lost her only child to suicide. The mother had one request – make suicide prevention training available to all school employees. Now Roem, D-13th District, has introduced HJ 138, a joint resolution that would request all Virginia school boards provide every employee with resources or training on how to identify students at risk of suicide.

VaNews February 1, 2018