Saturday, February 16, 2013
Legislators join activists, fellow lawmakers in Richmond to call for change.
Saturday, February 16
By Amber Galaviz, Capital News Service State officials joined gay rights activists at a press conference Thursday to discuss their disappointment in Virginia's failure to repeal the state's constitutional ban against same-sex marriage in this year's General Assembly session. “I believe that marriage is about loving, committed couples wanting to make lifelong promises to each other – take care of each other, be responsible for each other and support each other,” Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) said at the event at the General Assembly Building. “And I think that if anybody – gay, straight – wants to stand up in front of their family and friends and make that commitment to grow old together, it’s not for me, or the judge or the state to …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Virginia senators say GOP redistricting plan is unconstitutional; Republican legislators say proposal helps the state better comply with the Voting Rights Act.
Wednesday, January 23
By Mark Robinson, Capital News Service Virginia Democrats continued to call a Republican-backed plan to redistrict the state's senate seats unconstitutional on Wednesday -- but GOP leaders say the measure could actually help the Commonwealth better comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. After Republicans narrowly passed a bill Monday that included an amendment to redraw the lines of several state senate districts, the result of which in many cases was more seats with GOP-leaning voters, Democrats took to the Senate floor Tuesday to blast the measure, calling it unconstitutional. In remarks on the Senate floor on Monday, the bill's sponsor, Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, said the move would create a sixth majority-African American …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Some politicians, activist groups decry Monday proposal that could redistrict five Democratic senate districts.
Virginia’s State Senate narrowly passed a bill Monday night that could change the map of senate and house districts across the state. The Senate bill, which squeezed through with a 20-19 vote, shifts the districts of five senate Democrats—three representing Northern Virginia—toward more Republican-voting areas. (See a map of the proposed redistricting in the media box to the right.) Under the proposal, the districts of John Edwards (D-21st) Dave Marsden (D-37th), George Barker (D-39th), Chuck Colgan (D-29th) and John Miller (D-1st) would all change. None of those senators represent Loudoun now, nor would they if the bill is approved. Virginia’s legislature last redistricted House and Senate districts in 2011. Republican Sen. John Watkins (…
Monday, January 14, 2013
Leesburg's Del. J. Randall Minchew among those who support bill, which would elevate penalty for texting while driving to include possible jail time and up to $2,500 fine.
A bill introduced in the Virginia General Assembly would make texting while driving a more serious offense — and the penalties upon conviction would be up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. It's not the first time such a measure has been proposed. But advocates say a recent court ruling that differentiates texting while driving from reckless driving should give them the support they need to get the bill through the General Assembly this year. "There's usually about 10 texting bills a year, and they usually all get killed," said state Del. Scott Surovell. "This year, something's going to change." State Del. J. Randall Minchew (R-10th), whose district includes Leesburg, has signed on to support the House bill, which would …