Archive for February 2012

Senate Narrowly Approves Mandatory Ultrasound Bill

The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will require any woman seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound examination. House Bill 462 has been the focus of extensive debate during this year’s General Assembly. It even fell victim to national ridicule last week before being amended on the recommendation of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

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Panel Kills Franklin Charter Changes for 2012

A House subcommittee Wednesday killed a bill that would have changed the Franklin City Charter and, among other things, would have required City Council members to resign their seats to run for mayor. Sen. Harry Blevins, R-Chesapeake, introduced Senate Bill 311 at the start of the legislative session. The Senate unanimously approved it on Jan. 23, sending it to the House for consideration.

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Sixth-Grade Girls Still Must Get HPV Vaccine

The Virginia Senate has rejected a House-approved bill to repeal a law requiring girls to get a dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine before entering sixth grade. The Senate voted 22-17 to send House Bill 1112 back to the Senate Education and Health Committee, effectively killing it for this legislative session.

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Governor Signs Law Lifting Limit on Buying Guns

With the stroke of his pen Tuesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell removed the limit on how many handguns Virginians can buy each month. McDonnell, a Republican, signed legislation repealing the 19-year-old law prohibiting the purchase of more than one handgun per month. The repeal takes effect July 1.

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Law to Make Challenging Property Assessments Easier

A bill to help Virginians in appealing property assessments on wetlands is awaiting the governor’s signature. Property owners are already allowed to appeal assessments to their local board of assessors, but House Bill 80 would require that the National Wetlands Inventory Map be considered in the appeal. The Senate last week joined the House in unanimously approving the measure.

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Reeves Enjoys Success in 1st Senate Term

More than a year before last November’s elections, Spotsylvania County insurance agent Bryce Reeves started campaigning for the 17th Senate District seat. A lot of people figured he would need more than an early start: Reeves, a Republican who had never held elective office, was challenging Edd Houck, a Democrat who had held the Senate seat since 1984. But on Election Day, Reeves won – by 226 votes.

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House Restores Funding for Alicia’s Law

The House of Delegates has restored funding for Alicia’s Law, a two-year-old effort targeting sexual abuse of children, after Democrats said Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed state budget shortchanged the program. McDonnell planned to transfer $1.3 million from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, a police unit created by Alicia’s Law, to the state’s general fund. But in a unanimous vote Thursday, the House approved restoration of the ICAC funding.

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Senate Shelves Marshall’s ‘Personhood’ Bill

The General Assembly has decided to postpone until next year consideration of a bill that would grant personhood rights to a human embryo from the moment of conception. The Senate last week sent the measure, House Bill 1, back to a committee after Democrats and some Republicans said it could have unforeseen consequences. Democratic officials and abortion rights groups saw the move as a victory.

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Bills Boost Job Prospects for Veterans

Efforts to expand job opportunities for veterans are receiving overwhelming support in the General Assembly this session, but veterans’ requests for tax exemptions and easier access to retail discounts have gained little traction. Virginia’s moves to expand education and employment opportunities for veterans come on the heels of high veteran unemployment figures. The national unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan topped 12 percent late last year.

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Bills Boost Job Prospects for Veterans

Efforts to expand job opportunities for veterans are receiving overwhelming support in the General Assembly this session, but veterans’ requests for tax exemptions and easier access to retail discounts have gained little traction. Virginia’s moves to expand education and employment opportunities for veterans come on the heels of high veteran unemployment figures. The national unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan topped 12 percent late last year.

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