Sunday, April 14, 2013
"No officer, I was just typing directions into my GPS…"
Texting while driving is dangerous, but some people do it anyway. This year, Virginia's General Assembly passed a measure that increased the fine to $125 (it was $20) for the first infraction and $250 for the second. But Virginia legislators did not pass a hands-free measure like they have in the District, and as such enforcing the law could prove difficult. The problem: Using cell phones to dial a number or setting the phone GPS is legal. “Distracted driving is a big problem, but it’s bigger than just phone use,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, to the Washington Post. “Even if a law were successful in stopping phone use and texting, it wouldn’t eliminate distracted driving.” Northern Virginia Del. Scott …
Sunday, March 17, 2013
The bill will generate $880 million for statewide transportation projects, and Northern Virginia is guaranteed a piece.
The recently passed Virginia transportation funding bill isn't perfect, but it was reached through compromise - that was the message conveyed Tuesday night by local members of the Virginia General Assembly to the South County Federation. "The bill is pretty bullet proof," said Del. Dave Albo (D-42nd), a House representative on the transportation bill conference committee. "And if the money is not use for roads, the bill stipulates that all the revenue sources cease to exist… There's going to be some things in there you don't like, there are some things I don't like. It's not a perfect plan." The transportation bill will generate $880 million in new revenue for state roadway projects, and Fairfax County will see $47.6 million annually and…
Friday, February 15, 2013
House subcommittee rejects Senate amendment to allow Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms.
Friday, February 15
By Shelby Mertens, Capital News Service A House subcommittee has rejected the Senate’s proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms starting in 2017. Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Lynchburg, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 276. The amendment passed in the Senate on Jan. 28 with a 25-15 bipartisan vote: 16 Democrats and nine Republicans voted for it, while 11 Republicans and four Democrats opposed it. When the Senate resolution “crossed over” to the House this week, however, it ran into trouble. The proposed amendment was assigned to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections. This week, that panel’s Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee recommended tabling the bill, killing it for …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Burke Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st) and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th) voted against the measure that would give all schools letter grades.
Saturday, February 9
By Samantha Morgan, Capital News Service Gov. Bob McDonnell praised the Virginia House of Delegates after legislators bassed a bill Monday he said would provide a simpler way to understand a school’s performance and the state’s accreditation system. Delegates voted 54-40 to approve House Bill 1999, which would require the Virginia Board of Education to grade each school on an A-F scale. Burke area representative Del. Dave Albo (R-42nd) voted for the measure while Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41st) and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th) voted against the measure. The bill, sponsored by Del. Thomas “Tag” Greason (R-Landsdowne), is part of McDonnell’s K-12 legislative agenda. Under the bill, the board would develop a grading system for all schools by…
Monday, February 4, 2013
Virginia State Sen. Chap Petersen among those praised for introducing safety legislation last month in first Bicycle Action Day in Richmond.
Monday, February 4
By Katherine Johnson and Blake Belden, Capital News Service State Sen. Chap Petersen, whose District includes a part of Chantilly, was among the legislators who joined Virginia bicyclists on Jan. 29 for a Bicycle Action Day in Richmond, an event designed to support state legislators who are introducing bills that aim to make roads and biking safer across the Commonwealth. About 15 bicyclists – members of RideRichmond, a nonprofit organization of bicycle enthusiasts, and their supporters – met on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and biked to the General Assembly Building to demonstrate support for legislation that would require drivers to give bicycles more room on the road. “It’s our day to be supportive and loud,” RideRichmond…
Senators Marsden and Saslaw both voted in favor of the constitutional amendment.
Monday, February 4
By Shelby Mertens, Capital News Service Starting in 2017 Virginia voters could have the opportunity to re-elect the governor to a second consecutive term if the House joins the Senate in seeking to amend the state’s Constitution. The Senate this week approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow governors to serve two terms in a row. The vote was 25-15. SJ 276 was co-sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Dels. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) and David Ramadan (R-South Riding). The state senators representing Burke—Sen. Dave Marsden and Sen. Dick Saslaw—both voted in favor of the constitutional amendment. Sen. Chap Petersen and Sen. George Barker voted against the amendment. The resolution now moves to the House of …
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 Burke representatives Dave Marsden (D-37th) and George Barker (D-39th) would change, along with John Edwards (D-21st), Chuck Colgan (D-29th) and John Miller (D-1st). Virginia’s legislature last redistricted House and Senate districts in 2011. Republican Sen. John Watkins (R-10th) defended the bill as "an effort to create …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Some Virginia delegates support the 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, D-Mount Vernon. "This year, something's going to change." Surovell is the attorney who represented the family of Kyle Rowley, a college student who was killed in 2011. …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Dels. Dave Bulova, Eileen Filler-Corn, David Bulova, Vivian Watts, Sens. Dick Saslaw, Chap Petersen, and other lawmakers gather in Richmond for the 2013 Virginia General Assembly.
The Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday for its 2013 session at the state Capitol in Richmond with lots of hot-button issues before them such as transportation, school security, gun laws and uranium mining. As they arrived today, lawmakers likely saw several hundred protesting demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate demonstrating outside of the Capitol. According to Richmond Sunlight, the 100 members of the House of Delegates have filed 1,153 bills and the 40 members of the Senate have filed 597. The 140 elected representatives are from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House. The Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Senators Dave Marsden, Chap Petersen, Dick Saslaw, George Barker, and Dels. David Bulova, Vivian Watts, Eileen Filler-Corn, and David Albo are heading to Richmond for the 2013 session of Virginia's General Assembly.
The Virginia General Assembly will convene at noon Wednesday for its 2013 session. In odd-numbered years, the General Assembly meets for 30 days, with the option to extend the session for a maximum of another 30 days. The General Assembly consists of the House of Delegates with 100 members and the Senate with 40 members. The 140 elected representatives are from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. Area representatives are: Virginia Senate 2013 Senator Chap Petersen Elected in 2007; Democrat; District 34 Contact Petersen at: email@example.com; 804-698-7534 Senator Dick Saslaw Member since 1989; Democrat; District 35 Contact Saslaw at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 804-698-7535 Senator Dave Marsden …