A Senate bill extending the moratorium on permanently closing coal ash ponds appears to be the only legislation on the issue poised to move forward from this General Assembly session.
Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, introduced six pieces of legislation on coal ash, and coal ash ponds, where stored ash potentially risks contaminating groundwater.
Coming down to the wire on a critical legislative deadline, the state Senate approved re-regulating the small loan business while the House put on ice a measure that would let high interest rate internet lenders operate legally in Virginia.
Under the terms of an emerging legislative deal, Dominion Energy still won’t be able to permanently bury 4 million tons of coal ash at a site in southeastern Prince William County — yet the result doesn’t feel like much of a win to the people fighting the company’s plans.
Coming down to the wire on a critical legislative deadline, the state Senate approved a special sales tax surcharge for the Historic Triangle, intended to beef up the region’s tourism promotion efforts and lead Williamsburg to reverse the admissions tax and higher hotel and meals taxes approved last year.
Shouting “Shame, shame!” and singing “We Shall Overcome,” more than 100 women’s rights activists from across Virginia poured into the state Capitol on Friday to try to force the legislature to take action on the federal Equal Rights Amendment.
Virginia is one of the states that never ratified the Equal Rights Amendment and thus part of the reason it never made it into the U.S. Constitution.
But the issue will not go away and, on Friday, women voters sang and chanted as Republican lawmakers in Richmond refused to move a resolution to ratify the amendment out of committee to a floor debate.
With a record number of women lawmakers in Richmond and the #metoo movement roiling the nation, advocates of a federal Equal Rights Amendment have been pushing for Virginia to become one of the last two states needed to ratify the measure.
But while a Senate panel will hear arguments for the ERA on Friday, Republican leaders in the House of Delegates are refusing to hold a hearing on any of three nearly identical bills, which have bipartisan support, dimming their chances this session.
Dominion Energy has agreed to again pause its contentious plans to permanently close ponds that hold millions of tons of coal ash at four sites across the state under a compromise bill that cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.
The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted to send to the floor legislation by Sens. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, and Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield,
Del. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, on Tuesday cited the “little guy” in more ways than one as he urged lawmakers to block the utility regulation overhaul that is now backed by Gov. Ralph Northam, as well as Dominion Energy and representatives of environmental groups.
“We used to pledge to protect the little guy,” Ware said in a speech on the House floor.
The Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill intended to keep teenagers who willingly share sexually explicit images with one another from being branded felony sex offenders.
The measure, which passed on a bipartisan 35-to-5 vote, would give prosecutors the option to charge “sexting” among minors as a misdemeanor.