Sunday, April 14, 2013
"No officer, I was just typing directions into my GPS…"
Texting while driving is dangerous, but some people do it anyway. This year, Virginia's General Assembly passed a measure that increased the fine to $125 (it was $20) for the first infraction and $250 for the second. But Virginia legislators did not pass a hands-free measure like they have in the District, and as such enforcing the law could prove difficult. The problem: Using cell phones to dial a number or setting the phone GPS is legal. “Distracted driving is a big problem, but it’s bigger than just phone use,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, to the Washington Post. “Even if a law were successful in stopping phone use and texting, it wouldn’t eliminate distracted driving.” Northern Virginia Del. Scott …
Monday, January 28, 2013
Potomac Yard Metro Tax Increment Bill was introduced by Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45th).
Alexandria city officials and members of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce are scheduled to testify in a state committee hearing Monday in support of a bill to generate state funding for a Potomac Yard Metro station. The Potomac Yard Metro Tax Increment Bill (HB-1650), introduced by Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45th), provides that if an infill Metro station is constructed in a service district in a locality—in this case, the city of Alexandria—then the locality is entitled to retain the sales and use tax revenue generated in the district to pay bonds issued to construct the station. The bill would place a $1.25 million a year cap on the tax revenue retained. The state would support approximately 10 percent of the cost of the Metro construction …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The “Reduce Gun Danger Act, “Mental Health First Aid“ proposal and “Flexible School Security Act” are designed to curb gun violence and offer protection to schools and families.
Delegate Rob Krupicka (D-45) has introduced three bills designed to curb gun violence and protect Virginia families. The package of bills “offer a coordinated first step toward addressing the current problem with gun violence, particularly in our schools,” according to a statement from Krupicka. “They give new tools and flexibility to communities so that they can better protect themselves from dangerous situations,” he said. “I am looking forward to working with colleagues from both parties on these and other measures to keep our schools and communities safe.” Bryan Porter, assistant commonwealth’s attorney for the City of Alexandria, said he supports the measures, calling the Reduce Gun Danger Act and Flexible School Security Act “common…
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Alexandria residents question the efficacy of the Marshall-Newman amendment to the Virginia Constitution.
Several Alexandrians expressed concern to state lawmakers over the Marshall-Newman amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman and questioned their legislators’ opinions on just how firmly this language was moored at a hearing Thursday at Alexandria City Hall. One such speaker, Old Town antique store owner Tom Osborne, who identified himself as active in the local chamber of commerce and a gay and lesbian Democratic club, said the amendment puts Northern Virginia “at a disadvantage.” “I know six couples who have moved out of Northern Virginia because of this,” Osborne told a panel comprised of Sens. Adam Ebbin (D-30th), Dick Saslaw (D-35th) and George Barker (D-39th) along with Dels. Rob Krupicka (D-45th) and Charniele …
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sen. Dick Saslaw says it's tough to get a bill offering more controls on guns through the Virginia General Assembly. Sen. Adam Ebbin agrees.
Trying to get more stringent gun control legislation through the Virginia General Assembly is something of a losing battle, according to at least two state lawmakers representing Northern Virginia. Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-35th) lamented that he’s tried multiple times to tighten up Virginia’s gun rights, but to little avail. He told audience members of a state legislative forum held at Alexandria’s City Hall that three years ago he introduced a bill after a man shot and killed two police officers before shooting and killing himself. Saslaw said in response, he introduced a bill making it illegal in Virginia to bring a gun onto police grounds. The Senate then narrowed that measure by making it illegal to bring a gun into a police station. House …
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Alexandria's representatives are seeking suggestions from constituents ahead of the 2013 General Assembly session.
Members of Alexandria’s Richmond delegation will assemble for a public hearing to listen to suggestions and priorities from constituents ahead of the General Assembly’s 2013 legislative session. The hearing will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 in the council chambers at City Hall. State Sens. George Barker (D-39th), Adam Ebbin (D-30th) and Dick Saslaw (D-35th) and Dels. Charniele Herring (D-46th) and Rob Krupicka (D-45th) are all scheduled to attend the hearing, which is being sponsored by the Alexandria chapter of the League of Women Voters. The 2013 General Assembly session begins on Jan. 9 and runs for 45 days. Richmond Sunlight has a detailed list of the proposed bills for the session.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
A Richmond Report from our local delegate.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
In the midst of the ongoing debate about Republican attempts to play doctor and interfere with women’s private medical decisions, the House of Delegates last week debated and voted on the budget. When Governor McDonnell introduced his budget in December, Democrats identified three major problems with it. First, a larger portion of the sales tax was diverted from the General Fund—which pays for K-12 education, higher ed, public safety, and community assistance needs for the disabled—to transportation. Over the course of several years, the percentage would rise from its current rate of 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent, which translates from almost $50 million in the first year to over $320 million by year six. Second, there were substantial cuts …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
An amended mandating ultrasounds to women seeking abortions passed the Senate on Tuesday
In a vote mostly along party lines, the Virginia Senate passed a watered-down version of the controversial ultrasound bill that mandates women receive an ultrasound before getting an abortion, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The bill once required an ultrasound in every case, even those in the first trimester that typically include a vaginal probe. But a backlash last week from protestors in Richmond, late-night comedians, and the national media prompted Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to ask for amendments to the bill that would exempt transvaginal ultrasounds. "The Senate amended the bill to exclude women who have reported to law enforcement that they are victims of rape and incest," according to the Post. "But they excluded women who know…
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Candidate for U.S. Senate says Virginia personhood and ultrasound bills overreach.
"Extreme" and "unnecessary" is how Tim Kaine, Virginia's Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, described Republican-led measures on abortion in the General Assembly. "This is government overreach at its worst," Kaine said today in a conference call from Culpeper. “What we’re seeing in Richmond now is not what Virginians expect from their leaders. What’s happening in Richmond right now is bad for Virginia women, it’s bad for Virginia’s image and it’s bad for Virginia’s businesses." Too Far? On Monday in Richmond, more than 1,000 people protested bills that would: Kaine ridiculed his opponent, Republican George Allen, for backing a personhood bill. "This is an issue I never would have thought we'd be talking about in a race," he said…
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Calls move a 'dramatic step backward' for Virginia
The Virginia Senate on Thursday passed a bill that allows private adoption agencies receiving state funding to bar gay couples from adopting children. Virginia will be only the second state in the country to pass a law that allows adoption agencies to ban gay couples from adoptions, joining North Dakota. The bill also applies to foster care agencies. Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th District), the state General Assembly's first openly gay member, who represents parts of Fairfax County, Arlington and the City of Alexandria, spoke out against the bill Thursday. "Let's be clear about what this bill is about, it has always been about denying GLBT Virginians the opportunity to form families...this has been clear since its inception," Ebbin said from the…