Archive for January, 2016

Legislator Withdraws Bill Raising Oyster Leases

Friday, January 29th, 2016

By Kyle Taylor
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia watermen can heave a sigh of relief after a legislator withdrew his bill to increase the cost to lease the bottom of state-owned waterways for growing oysters and clams.

Perhaps one of Virginia’s best bargains, the annual right for leasing oyster planting grounds will remain only $1.50 per acre. Senate Bill 298, proposed by Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach, would have raised the annual rent to $5,000 per acre for leasing planting grounds within 1,000 feet of shoreline residences.

(more…)

Virginia Officials Reach Compromise on Gun Laws

Friday, January 29th, 2016

By Rachel Beatrice
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – State officials from both political parties have reached a sweeping compromise on gun laws that would continue Virginia’s agreements with other states regarding concealed carry permits, prevent the subjects of protective orders from possessing guns and encourage, but not require, background checks at gun shows.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe – accompanied by Democratic and Republican lawmakers – announced the agreement Friday, calling it “the first meaningful steps on preventing gun violence in 23 years.”

(more…)

Senate Passes Bill Targeting Vultures

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

By James Miessler
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The black vulture of Virginia has found itself in the crosshairs of legislation passed by the Senate this week.

Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson, would authorize the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to make agreements with government agencies and with farmers and other people to control the black vulture population.

(more…)

House Passes ‘Tebow Bill’ to Help Home-Schoolers

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

By Matt Chaney
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – For the third year in a row, the Virginia House of Delegates has passed a version of the “Tebow bill,” opening the door for home-schooled students to participate in after-school sports and other activities sponsored by their local public schools. (more…)

Bill Would Remove Sales Tax on Tampons

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

By Margaret Carmel
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia’s sales tax covers almost everything you buy, from athletic socks to zippers. But it doesn’t apply to medicine, contact lenses and certain other personal health items. Now, the General Assembly is considering adding feminine hygiene products to the list of exemptions.

(more…)

Lawmaker Asks Governor to Delay Revoking Gun Permits

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

By Rachel Beatrice
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A Republican state legislator is urging Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to delay the revocation of reciprocal agreements Virginia has with 25 states on whether to honor their concealed handgun carry permits.

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter of Woodbridge made the request in a letter this week to McAuliffe.

(more…)

Senate Panel OKs Bill Legalizing Fireworks Sales

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

By Matt Chaney
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Despite concerns about fire safety, a Senate committee has recommended approval of a bill to legalize the sale of fireworks in Virginia.

The Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology voted 8-5 in favor of the legislation proposed by one of its members, Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Hadensville. He said the bill could generate millions of dollars in sales taxes on a product he says is used illegally throughout the state anyway.

(more…)

GOP Lawmakers Seek Crackdown on Domestic Abuse

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

By Brian Williams
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Legislators want tougher penalties for domestic violence.

Dels. Rob Bell of Albemarle and Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah – both Republicans – said Thursday that their proposals would impose tougher penalties for habitual domestic violence offenders while empowering women with methods that protect them during vulnerable moments.

(more…)

Mixed Views about Bills to Increase Alcohol Sales

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

By Matt Chaney
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia restaurant owners have mixed perspectives on legislation that would allow their establishments to sell more alcoholic beverages.

Two Republican lawmakers from Virginia Beach – Sen. Bill DeSteph and Del. Scott Taylor – have proposed changing the 20-year-old requirement that restaurants and caterers with liquor licenses limit their alcohol sales to 55 percent of their total revenue. This means that under the current law, a little less than half of all sales in restaurants must come from food. Wine and beer sales are not considered in this ratio.

(more…)

Republicans Decry Virginia as ‘Soviet Union of Health Care’

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

By Matt Chaney
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A group of Virginia lawmakers called for legislation to reform Virginia’s “monopolistic” and “inefficient” health care system.

“With the Affordable Health Care act taking place several years ago, we’re hearing outcries from people about the high deductibles and the out-of-pocket costs,” Del. Kathy Byron, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Commerce and Labor, said during a press conference Wednesday.

(more…)