Sunday, April 7, 2013
Virginia's legislature passed an amendment prohibiting some insurance companies from providing abortion coverage.
This week, Virginia’s legislature approved a measure by Gov. Bob McDonnell that prohibits certain health insurance companies from providing coverage for women seeking an abortion. The exceptions to the insurance coverage rule are in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. While the new Virginia legislation isn’t as restrictive of abortions as recent legislation passed in North Dakota and Alabama, critics are concerned about the financial effect the legislation may have on a woman’s decision. Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) said, “Women should be able to make decisions about their own health care without interference from politicians here in the state Capitol.” The Virginia Society for Human Life, an anti-abortion group, …
Friday, February 15, 2013
Virginia will remain among the 21 states that do not give home-schoolers access to play public school sports.
Friday, February 15
By Paige Baxter, Capital News Service. A Senate committee Thursday stopped the “Tebow bill” aimed at allowing home-schoolers to participate in public schools’ sports and other extracurricular activities. The Senate Education and Health Committee defeated House Bill 1442 on a 7-8 vote, taking the matter off the table for this legislative session. All of the Republicans on the committee voted in favor of HB 1442, except Sen. Harry Blevins (R-Chesapeake), who joined the seven Democratic committee members —including Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) in opposing the bill. Do you think the bill should have made it to the Senate floor? Speak out here. The legislation is nicknamed for NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who as a home-schooler in Florida played …
Friday, January 25, 2013
Howell was a sponsor of bill that would demand background checks at gun shows.
A Virginia Senate bill co-sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) that would close the "gun-show loophole" allowing people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check died in committee Wednesday. The committee voted 8-7 to stop SB 1001 from going forward. Lawmakers were unable to work out a compromise, even after Sen. William Stanley (R-Franklin County) said last week he would work with Sens. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond), and Don McEachin (D-Henrico), to reach a deal. Stanley has since told colleagues on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee that he is close to crafting a measure, but doesn't feel the details can be worked out this session, the Newport News Daily Press reported. Stanely said he will alter the bill and …
Monday, April 30, 2012
The candidate for U.S. Senate and former Virginia governor answer questions in Dulles at AOL today. Democrat Tim Kaine will visit AOL May 17.
George Allen, a Republican candidate for the open Virginia U.S. Senate seat, will appear at the AOL Dulles campus today at 1:30 p.m. to speak with AOL employees and other guests. Patch will be covering the forum and inviting a few readers from each Patch to attend in person. If you'd like to attend the event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and telephone number. What Would You Like to Ask George Allen? Tell Us in the Comments! Patch editors will be questioning Allen at the event, and we'd like to know what we should ask. George Allen is a former Virginia governor and former U.S. senator. What are the most important issues to you in the election? What would you like to ask George Allen? Tim Kaine, former …
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Democrat Colgan changes his vote, and two-year, $85-billion budget is approved
A Virginia Senate Democrat changed his mind and voted for the budget Wednesday afternoon, enabling the two-year, $85-billion budget to pass 21-19. Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William) told The Washington Post he had a change of heart on the plan he had coted voted against on Tuesday. While Colgan and other Senate Democrats had been pushing Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) for $300 million to extend Metrorail to Dulles International Airport, Colgan said the governor had not come through with funding, The Post reported. Colgan said he had simply come to the conclusion that the need to pass a state budget outweighed the need to secure funding for the project. The Commonwealth had been preparing for a potential shutdown in May if a budget was…
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Virginia Senate Finance Committee approved Howell-sponsored amendment that will boost money for Metrorail Phase 2.
The Virginia Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved on Thursday a Senate budget that contains a budget amendment offered by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax & Arlington) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax). The amendment will provide $300 million in additional state funds to Phase 2 of the Metrorail to Dulles Project. The amount is in addition to $150 million the state has previously committed, bringing the total state contribution for the project to $450 million. Phase 2 had been an ongoing point of contention between Dulles Toll Road users who fear rising tolls to pay for the project, MWAA officials who compromised on the location of an above-ground station at Dulles International Airport, and other parties. Howell says the …
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A look at some Virginia General Assembly highlights with a Reston connection.
A bill co-sponsored by Del. Ken Plum (D-36) that would make fox and coyote penning a misdemeanor was tabled in committee last week, but the Virginia Senate will vote on a similar bill on Thursday. Plum was a co-sponsor of HB695. He said the issue was brought to his attention by several Reston-based members of The Humane Society. Fox pens are fenced enclosures where dogs are released in competitions to chase down and torment captive foxes, often killing them. In just three years, nearly 4,000 foxes were subjected to these events, says the Humane Society of the United States. Plum says the Senate version (SB202), sponsored by Sen. David Marsden (D-37), has a good chance of passing. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources…
Monday, February 6, 2012
Similar bill passed House last week as many want a 1993 rule overturned.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill that repeals a nearly 20-year-old law limiting handgun purchases to one a month. The vote on the bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Carrico's bill was 21-19. Proponents of Carrico's bill said the law was no longer necessary becuase Federal guidlines are now more stringent than the rule, passed under Democratic Governor L. Douglas Wilder. Opponents said they did not see any reason to repeal it if the law was working. To read more on this topic, check out this Washington Post story.
Letter to the Editor: Women need to do something now to stand up for reproductive rights.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I was 12 years old the night John F. Kennedy was elected president. I remember it vividly. We were living in a little brick house in south Salt Lake City in a very poor section of town. We had enough to eat because my stepfather hunted every fall and there was plenty of venison. My grandmother flew out from Los Angeles that day because my mom was ill. I kept sticking my head in my mom’s bedroom to tell her the election results as they came in on the TV. My grandmother wouldn’t let me all the way in the bedroom. It was late when it looked like Kennedy would win. The doorbell rang and there standing on our porch was Dr. Jenkins, our family doctor. He had never made a house call before, and since it took him an hour to get from his…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Legislation mandates that women seeking abortion must have procedure. Meanwhile, see Sen. Janet Howell's (D-Reston) impassioned speech about gender equity.
The Republican-led Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday by a vote of 21-18 that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. The Senate, which for years had killed similar measures, voted largely along party lines. The House of Delegates, also heavily Republican, has passed the bill in previous sessions and is expected to do so again. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said he would sign the measure. To read more details and analysis on the decision, read this story from The Washington Post. Senate Democrats said this is another measure aimed at chipping away at a woman's right to choose in Virginia. Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) earlier this week attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and…