Archive for January 2012

A Scorecard on the Voter ID Bills

At least a half-dozen bills before the General Assembly are causing alarm among voting rights activists. They see the proposals as part of a broader trend in state legislatures across country. Last year, lawmakers in states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Tennessee passed laws requiring voters to show more identification before voting.

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Activists Turn Out for Equality Virginia’s Lobby Day

Gay rights advocates have been active at Capitol Square this legislative session, seeking laws that would ban discrimination in employment and adoptions on the basis of sexual orientation. About 75 people turned out last week for the annual Lobby Day held by Equality Virginia, which advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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House Passes Bill Lifting HPV Vaccine Rule

The Virginia House of Delegates has voted to repeal the law requiring girls to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine before entering the sixth grade. On a 62-34 vote Friday, delegates passed House Bill 1112, which would rescind the state law mandating the HPV vaccine.

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Town Hall Meeting for a Ghost Town?

When U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held a “town hall meeting” at Virginia Commonwealth University to discuss President Obama’s State of the Union address, the turnout implied more of a ghost town than a bustling institution of more 32,000 students.

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Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Reaches Senate Floor

A bill requiring a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion has cleared a crucial committee and been sent to the Senate floor for a vote next week.
All eight Republicans on the Senate Education and Health Committee voted in favor of the measure, Senate Bill 484, which was sponsored by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Winchester. All seven Democrats on the panel voted against it.

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Bills Would Mandate Drug Tests for Aid Recipients

If some state lawmakers have their way, Virginians seeking social service benefits may have to submit to mandatory drug tests before receiving public assistance. It would allow local social services departments to conduct drug tests if they have “probable cause” before allowing an applicant to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

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Bill Would Let Professors Carry Guns

Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas has proposed a bill that would allow full-time faculty members to carry guns on college campuses. House Bill 91 would ban policies by public institutions of higher education that prohibit full-time faculty members with Virginia concealed handgun permits from packing heat.

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