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Virginia House Democrats Release Agenda for Upcoming Session

The House legislative agenda will focus on three key areas for the upcoming legislative session: Protecting Families; Keeping Virginia Healthy; Rebuilding Our Economy Stronger

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Essential Leave

Advocates for paid sick days try to build support among Virginia Senate Democrats

Before the pandemic hit, Senate Democrats stopped a proposal requiring businesses to offer paid sick days. During the pandemic, they rejected it again during a special session. Now as lawmakers prepare for the upcoming General Assembly session, advocates are hoping they've finally got a strategy to persuade reluctant Senate Democrats to approve a new law increasing the number of workers in Virginia who have access to paid sick days.

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Appealing Bad Rulings

Lawmakers to consider expanding appeals court, providing new oversight to judges.

Virginia is the only state in the country that does not guarantee a right to appeal, allowing circuit court judges to make decisions with little oversight or scrutiny. Critics have been calling for reform ever since the Court of Appeals was first created in 1985. The Supreme Court of Virginia recommended an appeal of right as a "long term goal" in 2018. Now, Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants lawmakers to add four judges and support staff "to ensure the court can hear more appeals cases in a timely manner under an increasing workload."

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Absurd Leverage

Lawmakers to reconsider mandatory minimum for assaulting law enforcement

Earlier this year, lawmakers rejected a bill that would have ditched the mandatory minimum sentence for assaulting a law-enforcement officer. Now the General Assembly is about to consider the issue again.

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A Look Inside the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Meeting Dec. 1, 2020

Highlights of discussion and actions that impact all who live, work and play in the diverse county

Dec. 1 marked the final Fairfax County Full Board of Supervisors Meeting with Public Comment of 2020.

Drawing the Line

Newly created redistricting commission zooms toward new maps in 2021

Now that voters have approved a constitutional amendment creating a new redistricting commission, the pieces have already started falling into place for how the commission will work and who will serve on it.

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December is Virginia’s Puppy Mill Awareness Month

In February, the 2020 General Assembly unanimously designated December as Virginia’s Puppy Mill Awareness Month.

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The Pandemic Election

Virginia voters support Biden, Warner and a new redistricting commission.

Twenty years ago, Virginia was a red state. Republicans scored Virginia's electoral votes in every presidential election since LBJ was reelected in 1964. Republicans held both U.S. Senate seats. The Grand Old Party had all the statewide offices, a majority of the congressional delegation and both chambers of the General Assembly. That was the environment when Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, ran for governor and lieutenant governor.

Behavioral Health Teams to Join Police on Mental Health Calls in Virginia

Marcus alert bill passes House and Senate, moves to Northam’s desk

Marcus alert bill passes House and Senate, moves to Northam’s desk

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Life Hangs in the Box Checked in Fairfax County

HR for County Schools tells staff to make a decision.

Tia Williams is an instructional assistant with diabetes and severe asthma at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

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Limiting Neck Restraints

Lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors on how to curb police use of chokeholds.

When lawmakers began their special session on criminal justice reform in August, hopes were high that the General Assembly would send the governor a bill that banned police from using chokeholds. But now that the protesters have gone home and the lawmakers have moved behind closed doors to negotiate in a secret closed-door conference committee, advocates for criminal-justice reform are worried about what will emerge in the conference report that will be presented to the House and Senate.

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An Election about Elections

Voters to determine how redistricting works next year.

When Republicans were in charge of drawing political boundaries for the General Assembly and Congress, Democrats supported an amendment to the Virginia Constitution creating a new mapmaking commission. The idea was to take the power of political gerrymandering out of the hands of the majority and hand it over to a group that wouldn’t be quite so focused on screwing the opposition. But then Democrats seized control of the General Assembly, and most House Democrats flip flopped on the issue.

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Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees Revisits July Controversy

Trustee Rosenthal apologies for ‘wrong words’ and retains board seat.

Fran Millhouser, Chair of Fairfax County Library Board, said she received "many emails voicing public concern" for statements made by Trustees Phil Rosenthal (Springfield District) and Darren Ewing (Dranesville District) during the previous board meeting in late July.

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The Fight for Paid Leave

After effort for paid sick days falters, lawmakers move toward paid quarantine leave.

The fight for paid sick days is on hold for now, and advocates have moved to a fallback position for the special session of the Virginia General Assembly: quarantine leave.

Ewing Resigns from Fairfax County Library Board

Trustee Rosenthal apologizes for disruption.

Two members of the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees, Phil Rosenthal, Springfield District Representative and Darren Ewing, Dranesville District Representative, made statements during the July 29 public meeting of the Fairfax County Library Board Trustees that caused the public, organizations, and top County leaders to voice concern.